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15 Mar 2012 : Column WA85



15 Mar 2012 : Column WA85

Written Answers

Thursday 15 March 2012

AWN Pugin

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The House did not have a specific programme of events to mark this anniversary. However, a number of recent activities in the House have celebrated the work of AWN Pugin.

In October 2011, the House authorities facilitated the filming of a BBC documentary about Pugin's life and contribution to architecture. A considerable element of the programme focused on Pugin's design for the Palace of Westminster, specifically for the House of Lords Chamber and the Clock Tower. The estates archivist and historian in the Parliamentary Estates Directorate appeared in the programme.

On 23 February, the House of Lords (http://twitter. com/#!/UKHouseofLords) issued a tweet with a photograph of the Lord Speaker with a new stamp, celebrating the work of AWN Pugin, produced by the Royal Mail as part of the Britons of Distinction collection (http://twitpic.com/8nnthy).

On 1 March, the Parliamentary Archives (https://twitter.com/#!/UKParlArchives) also issued a tweet to mark the birth of AWN Pugin. This tweet included a link to the Parliament website, which contains a description of Pugin's work in the Palace of Westminster (http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/building/palace/architecture/palacestructure/the-architects/).

In addition, the Parliamentary Estates Directorate holds regular conservation and collections awareness days, and the next one will have a strong Pugin theme. This will be held on 28 March and Members and staff are welcome to attend. Further details and instructions on how to book a place can be found on the parliamentary intranet.

Finally, each year the estates archivist and historian usually provides one or two guided tours for the Pugin Society. This year's tours will take place later in the year.

Abortion

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Abortions can be performed only in accordance with the Abortion Act 1967 (as amended). The Act stipulates specific circumstances where termination of pregnancy is permitted; gender selection is not included. It is illegal for a practitioner to carry out an abortion for that reason alone, unless the certifying practitioners consider that an abortion was justified in relation to at least one of the Section 1(1) grounds. A sex-linked inherited medical condition may be relevant to the practitioner's consideration of whether any of the Section 1(1) grounds are met in a specific case.

The department has contacted three police forces, the General Medical Council (GMC) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) about reports of gender-selective abortion and investigations and reviews are under way. The Chief Medical Officer for England has written to all clinics and hospitals undertaking abortions to remind them of the provisions of the Abortion Act and that sex-selective abortions are illegal. A copy of the letter has already been placed in the Library. There is no set timescale for when all these investigations and reviews will be completed.

Armed Conflict: Civilian Protection

Question

Asked by Lord Dubs

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government continue to raise the importance of the protection of civilians in global conflict zones, including in United Nations (UN) Security Council debates. Most recently, on 12 March, the Foreign Secretary raised this as chair of the debate on the situation in the Middle East.

Regarding the indiscriminate use of explosive weapons in Homs, the Syrian regime has demonstrated that it is manifestly unwilling to meet its responsibility to protect its civilian population. The Government have been clear on the need to end all violence-in Homs and Syria more generally-and will continue to be at the forefront of activity in the UN to bring about an end to the violence.

At the November 2011 protection of civilians debate, the UK permanent representative condemned the repression of demonstrators in Syria and emphasised

15 Mar 2012 : Column WA87

the need for an end to violence by the Syrian Government. The Government will continue to raise concerns about the violence in Syria during all relevant upcoming discussions and debates in the UN and other fora, including at the next protection of civilians debate in June 2012.

Armed Forces: Aircraft

Questions

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Cost data provided by the US Department of Defense as part of our Conversion Development Phase investigations are commercially sensitive and I am withholding the information as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

Lord Astor of Hever: We have yet to make any final decisions about the conversion of a "Queen Elizabeth"-class carrier. Our Conversion Development Phase (CDP) investigations include consideration of the Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System and Advanced Arrestor Gear equipment which appears capable of launching and recovering a wide range of airframes across the full range of launch and recovery weights while leveraging existing and funded aircraft clearances.

BBC: World Service Trust

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Northover: A business case sets out the rationale for choosing an intervention and is written by a team within the Department for International Development (DFID) responsible for appraising a proposal. As such it outlines DfID's logic and justification for spending taxpayers' money.

The proposal for more strategic funding to Media Action was first considered during meetings in early May 2011. A full proposal was submitted to DfID, by Media Action, on 8 July 2011.



15 Mar 2012 : Column WA88

Broadcasting: Television Licences

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for television licence evasion in England and Wales from 2008 to 2010 (latest available) can be viewed in the table.

Charging data are not collated centrally and therefore proceedings data have been provided in lieu.

In 2008 there were 35 fine defaulters imprisoned for using a television without a licence. Data for 2009 and 2010 are not available due to data quality issues. To provide these data would involve contacting each criminal court for the court files to search for this information manually and extract the data from various sources which would be disproportionate to cost.

The BBC does not pay towards the court and prison costs involved. Annual court proceedings data for 2011 are planned for publication in May 2012.

Persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for television licence evasion1, England and Wales, 2008 to 20102 3

2008420092010

Proceeded against

134,518

166,912

164,444

Found guilty

120,785

148,853

142,375

Children: Looked-after Children

Question

Asked by Lord McColl of Dulwich



15 Mar 2012 : Column WA89

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The information requested is not held centrally by the department.

Disabled People: Children's Holidays

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Changes to the regulatory framework which would reduce the burden of inspection on specialist providers of holiday schemes for disabled children would need full consultation. We expect this to take place as part of a consultation to be launched in June on changes to the regulations that will be needed to take account of a number of different policy developments.

Education: Nurseries

Questions

Asked by Baroness Hughes of Stretford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Under current legislation, maintained nursery schools are not permitted to become academies. Academies are independent schools and are defined by Section 463 of the Education Act 1996 as schools that must provide full-time education for five or more pupils of compulsory school age.

If a maintained nursery school had five or more pupils of compulsory school age, then it would technically meet the definition above. However, as a maintained nursery school could not guarantee, on a continuing basis, that it would have pupils of compulsory school age in attendance, we do not consider that this meets the requirements of the legislation.

The department has received two requests regarding maintained nursery schools becoming academies. Officials

15 Mar 2012 : Column WA90

have informed them that maintained nursery schools cannot become academies at this time.

While we do not consider that a compelling case for permitting maintained nursery schools to become academies has been made, we continue to be keen to work with maintained nursery schools and Sure Start children's centres to explore new forms of governance which give parents and staff more of a say in how those organisations are run and will consider further representations on the issue.

Education: Teacher Training

Question

Asked by Baroness Hughes of Stretford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): This information is not collected centrally. Where schools, including independent schools, provide placements for students in support of an accredited teacher training provider, costs are a matter for the school and the provider to decide.

Elections: Overseas

Question

Asked by Viscount Waverley

Baroness Northover: I refer the noble Lord to the letter I sent him on 12 March 2012. A copy of this letter will be deposited in the House Library.

Energy: Efficiency

Question

Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): DECC has worked closely with the insulation industry to gain a detailed understanding of the sector's capacity to increase solid wall installation rates in a safe and sustainable way. Our final impact assessment, to be published alongside the government response to the consultation, will contain our analysis and assumptions.



15 Mar 2012 : Column WA91

In addition, the department has made available £2 million to support the training and up-skilling of solid wall installers.

Energy: Oil

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): A number of factors affected oil prices at the end of 2011. These include uncertainty over the future levels of Iranian exports, Iran threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, an increased "risk premium" due to heightened potential for disruption in the Middle East, continuing strong demand growth from Asia, and slow growth in non-OPEC producing countries.

The impact on the UK economy of higher oil prices is complex, working through a number of different channels. Oil is a factor in production for a wide range of goods and services; and higher oil prices will tend to have a negative impact on output, inflation and unemployment.

Energy: Wind Farms

Question

Asked by Lord Donoughue



15 Mar 2012 : Column WA92

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): In setting the level of renewable obligation support for any technology we do take account of the revenues and capital and operating costs during the operating life of the equipment. However, we do not make any explicit assumptions on the cost of "write down" for any technology.

Firearms: Licensing

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): Information requested on the number of firearms and shotguns surrendered is given in the tables. Data have been extracted by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) which manages the National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS).

Data are not available centrally for voluntary surrender documents.



15 Mar 2012 : Column WA93



15 Mar 2012 : Column WA94

Table A: Number of licensed firearms and shotguns surrendered in 2008, by weapon category and force area
Firearms
BlowpipeCannonGunHumane KillerCombination Rifle / Shot GunLauncherMusketPistolPistol - airRevolverRifleRifle - air

Avon and Somerset

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

2

9

1

Bedfordshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

3

1

1

Cambridgeshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

2

0

Cheshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

Cleveland

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

4

11

0

Cumbria

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

14

0

Derbyshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

Devon and Cornwall

1

5

2

0

0

0

0

4

0

11

31

1

Dorset

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

4

0

Durham

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

12

0

Dyfed Powys

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

2

19

0

Essex

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

16

0

Gloucestershire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

7

0

Greater Manchester

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

11

0

Gwent

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

5

0

Hampshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

8

5

0

Hertfordshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Humberside

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

2

7

0

Kent

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

2

21

0

Lancashire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

16

0

Leicestershire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

3

0

Lincolnshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

15

0

Merseyside

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Metropolitan Police

0

0

2

2

0

0

1

11

0

2

14

0

Norfolk

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

10

17

1

Northamptonshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

9

0

Northumbria

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

4

3

North Wales

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

1

35

0

North Yorkshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

14

0

Nottinghamshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

13

0

South Wales

0

4

1

0

1

0

0

4

0

2

4

1

South Yorkshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

0

5

0

Staffordshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Suffolk

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

5

22

0

Surrey

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

4

9

0

Sussex

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

9

5

0

Thames Valley

0

0

1

2

0

0

0

3

0

9

27

0

Warwickshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

0

6

0

West Mercia

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

16

1

West Midlands

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

4

17

0

West Yorkshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

Wiltshire

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

6

0

Total

1

9

6

8

1

1

3

59

1

92

442

9

Source: National Firearms Licensing Management System.


15 Mar 2012 : Column WA95



15 Mar 2012 : Column WA96

Table A: Number of licensed firearms and shotguns surrendered in 2008, by weapon category and force area
Firearms
Rifle RimfireRifle / Shotgun CombinationSection 1 shotgunSelf contained air/ gas containerSlaughtering InstrumentSound ModeratorSound Moderator (Rimfire)SpareSpare BarrelTranquillising RifleUnknownTotal FirearmsShotguns

Avon and Somerset

2

0

0

0

0

4

2

0

1

0

0

23

73

Bedfordshire

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

8

26

Cambridgeshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

31

Cheshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

19

Cleveland

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

1

0

0

0

22

14

Cumbria

0

0

0

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

1

18

47

Derbyshire

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

5

6

Devon and Cornwall

0

0

0

0

1

6

0

1

0

0

2

65

147

Dorset

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

9

28

Durham

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

15

30

Dyfed Powys

0

0

0

0

1

3

0

0

0

0

1

28

171

Essex

0

0

0

0

0

5

0

0

0

0

0

22

53

Gloucestershire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

7

58

Greater Manchester

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

15

37

Gwent

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

0

0

0

0

10

41

Hampshire

0

0

1

0

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

22

81

Hertfordshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

28

Humberside

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

2

0

0

0

15

67

Kent

0

0

0

0

0

7

0

0

0

0

0

32

64

Lancashire

0

0

0

0

0

5

0

0

0

0

0

25

76

Leicestershire

0

0

0

0

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

8

49

Lincolnshire

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

20

122

Merseyside

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

16

Metropolitan Police

0

1

0

4

0

4

0

0

0

0

0

41

65

Norfolk

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

1

0

34

110

Northamptonshire

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

12

17

Northumbria

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

13

13

North Wales

0

0

0

2

0

11

0

1

0

0

0

52

156

North Yorkshire

0

0

0

0

0

8

0

0

0

0

0

24

105

Nottinghamshire

0

0

0

0

0

6

0

0

0

0

0

21

39

South Wales

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

20

47

South Yorkshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

9

34

Staffordshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

58

Suffolk

0

0

0

0

0

8

0

0

0

0

0

39

133

Surrey

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

18

41

Sussex

0

0

0

0

0

6

0

0

0

0

0

21

77

Thames Valley

0

0

0

0

1

5

0

0

0

0

0

48

91

Warwickshire

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

11

44

West Mercia

0

0

0

0

0

6

0

0

0

0

0

24

222

West Midlands

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

24

32

West Yorkshire

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

4

41

Wiltshire

0

0

0

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

10

42

Total

2

1

1

7

8

137

2

6

1

1

4

802

2,651

Source: National Firearms Licensing Management System.

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