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To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 14 March (WA 63), whether the current statutory requirements for data collection with regard to NHS-commissioned abortions are sufficient to guarantee value for money, in the light of the Written Statement by Earl Howe on 24 November 2011 (WA 79-80).[HL16487]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Government are committed to ensuring that a value for money approach is adopted covering all aspects of healthcare provision. In order to carry out abortions under National Health Service contract, independent sector places are subject to local NHS tendering processes and must demonstrate that they are able to provide a quality and cost-effective service, which meets local needs. The department has developed and issued an abortion specification for use by the NHS in support of this process.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 1 March (WA 363-4), how many tests have been conducted on sheep carcasses to establish any evidence that transmissible spongiform encephalopathy in sheep could directly cause Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease in humans.[HL16425]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): As required by the EU Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) Regulation, every year the UK tests some 20,000 healthy slaughtered and fallen sheep aged over 18 months for TSEs. Any sheep which tests positive for the initial rapid test undergoes further discriminatory testing-PrP (prion protein) immuno-histochemistry and Western blotting-to distinguish possible cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in sheep from those of classical and atypical scrapie. BSE has never been found naturally occurring in sheep.
The latest Joint Scientific Opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) (http://www.efsa.europa .eu/en/efsajournal/doc/1945.pdf) concluded that BSE is the only animal TSE for which there is evidence of its being a zoonotic agent and a cause of a form of Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD) in humans.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 8 March (WA 433), whether the Merlin mark 2 helicopter is able to conduct anti-surface unit warfare, search and rescue, and maritime intelligence, target acquisition and reconnaissance.[HL16360]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Merlin Mkl helicopter is currently undergoing update and conversion to the Mk2 standard. This is due to enter service progressively from autumn 2013. It will have anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface unit warfare primary roles, with search and rescue as a secondary role.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to awarding a medal to those members of the Royal Navy Submarine Service who undertook deterrent and special operational patrols during and after the Cold War. [HL16530]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Ministry of Defence recognises that some former service personnel, including those who served during the Cold War period, feel that their service has not been appropriately recognised.
While it has been the policy of successive Governments not to award a medal simply for service, we have agreed that there should be a fresh review of the rules governing the award of military medals. This will be conducted by an independent reviewer with full consultation with interested parties. It will make use of all of the work already undertaken as a part of the Ministry of Defence's earlier review but will have a broader scope and an independent lead. The scope of the review and who is to lead it are expected to be announced shortly.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The Home Office provides an annual grant-in-aid payment to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). Further funding for a number of specific projects and key initiatives is strictly allocated. As a
28 Mar 2012 : Column WA251
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the light of the Children's Society report I Don't Feel Human, they will review the levels of support for vulnerable children in the immigration system. [HL16597]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The report will be considered in detail by UK Border Agency officials. Children in the asylum and immigration system are able to access adequate support. All unaccompanied children are entitled to support from their local authority under the Children Act regardless of their immigration status. Additionally, destitute asylum seekers who have children are supported by the UK Border Agency. This support lasts until they leave the United Kingdom or they are granted leave to remain and are therefore free to obtain work or access the mainstream benefits system.
The level of support provided under the Children Act is not fixed at set amounts but depends on an assessment of the child's needs. The cash payments made to asylum seekers in order to meet their essential living needs are already kept under regular review and adjusted where necessary.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Cabinet Manual does not include, in the section on the formation of a minority administration, guidance on the circumstances in which the incumbent Prime Minister would be advised to resign; what they understand "a clear alternative" to mean; and whether they will act to further clarify these areas of uncertainty. [HL16583]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Cabinet Manual is not intended to cover every possible law, rule and convention which may affect the conduct and operation of Government, but seeks to set out in plain English those issues which the Government believe are most likely to be relevant to the operation of the executive. The content of the manual will evolve over time, and the current intention is to make periodic updates as and when appropriate.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) recognises the importance of improving prison conditions throughout Central and South America to ensure that fundamental human rights are upheld. We encourage all states which have not yet done so to ratify and effectively implement the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, which provides for international and domestic monitoring of all places of detention. A number of our posts in the region have raised the issue of prison conditions with local authorities. Posts will continue to do so where appropriate.
We work closely with our EU partners in Central and South America, including in support of EU-funded prison reform projects. The UK also raises this issue in international fora such as the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The development of non-custodial sentences in Central and South America is not a current priority for the FCO, although it has been raised in some discussions with countries in the region, including in the context of prison reform seminars in Chile. Nevertheless we would consider future small-scale interventions in support of this issue where they tally with existing priorities.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord McNally on 9 February (WA 87), whether they consider the deprivation of a parental relationship to constitute need, or harm, in respect of a child.[HL16641]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Government's view is that, following relationship breakdown, it is beneficial for both parents to continue to be involved in a child's upbringing and to have regular contact with the child, provided this is safe and in the best interests of the child concerned.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 19 March (WA 127), whether the available statistics indicate that civil partnerships are less likely to be dissolved than civil marriages.[HL16601]
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 19 March, whether the available statistics indicate that civil partnerships are less likely to be dissolved than civil marriages.
The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force on 5 December 2005. The percentage of civil partnership formations which end in dissolution by a given anniversary can be compared with the percentage of marriages which end in divorce by a given anniversary. This analysis is limited because only five years of civil partnership dissolution data are available. Also it does not include marriages and civil partnerships that end by the death of a partner. In addition, this analysis is only available for all marriages, and not separately for civil and religious marriages.
Tables 1 and 2 show that civil partnerships are less likely to end in dissolution than marriages are to end in divorce and that the difference increases as the number of years since marriage or civil partnership formation increases to five years. For example, 3.3% of civil partnerships formed in 2006 had ended in dissolution by the fourth anniversary whereas 5.3% of marriages in 2006 had ended by the same anniversary. However it is too early to say whether this trend will continue beyond the fifth anniversary.
|Table 1: Percentage of civil partnerships dissolved by year of formation|
|Year of civil partnership||Number of civil partnerships in England and Wales||Percentage dissolved by anniversary (years)|
|Table 2: Percentage of marriages ending in divorce by year of marriage|
|Year of marriage||Number of marriages in England and Wales||Percentage divorced by anniversary (years)|
Many people formed a civil partnership soon after the legislation came into effect in December 2005; some of them had been in a relationship for some time and would have formed a civil partnership earlier, had that been possible. The impact of this phenomenon on the percentage of civil partnerships dissolved could distort the comparison with marriages ending in divorce in the short term, so a longer time series of civil partnership statistics is required for a fuller comparison.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the timetable for delivering the actions they list in Creating the Conditions for Integration, published in February; and how they will provide national leadership in cases where local institutions do not assist integration. [HL16580]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The projects detailed in Creating the Conditions deliver on a variety of timetables. Many, such as the Big Lunch and Inter Faith Week, are bound by time specific events, whereas work to improve the recording of hate crime, for instance, is ongoing.
Integration must be understood locally, because challenges, tensions and missed opportunities vary enormously between places. Central government will take action where we can genuinely help. We will provide national leadership by working across government to create the conditions for integration and ensure that the integration benefits of programmes and projects are recognised and supported. Where there is a clear case to do so, we are kick-starting local action in partnership with communities and businesses, as in the support we are giving to Luton Borough Council and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to counter the problems caused by the English Defence League.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the procurement process by which Re:generate was appointed as the "training partner" to "train the community organisers in the Root Solution Listening Matters approach to help them build networks and create dialogue", as stated on the Locality website. [HL16506]
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: As part of Locality's tender to deliver the community organisers programme, Locality included Re:generate as a training partner. As Locality were appointed through the Official Journal of the European Union's (OJEU) procurement processes, it was not necessary to procure Re:generate separately.
The Root Solution Listening Matters process is built around a conversation which sparks people's interest and stimulates ideas, gets to the root causes of issues, identifies leaders who will reflect on the problems and find ways of tackling them. Senior and volunteer community organisers are taught listening techniques to explore things that people love about their area, things that concern them most-their motivations for action-and their ideas for action, focusing on drawing out solutions.
Community organisers will listen to hundreds and sometimes thousands of people, starting with those they know well, progressing to knocking on doors and continuing in homes, on the streets and groups. Action teams form around the project ideas to address local issues. Project leaders come together to form a wider network of local people, and develop a strategy for the community based on all the listening.
Gathering this kind of rich community and market intelligence in a systematic way, if handled with respect and negotiated sensitively, will establish a community vision, bring resources into the areas, inform public services, deliver the localism agenda and create a vibrant network of activity that will promote business, enterprise, social projects and campaigns.
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The code of conduct which governs the behaviour of community organisers was developed and agreed by the national partner, Locality; the training partner, Re:generate; kickstarter host organisations; senior community organisers from the first cohort; and officials in the Office for Civil Society.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what will be the relationship between community organisers and local authorities at parish and principal council level; and what will be their relationship with elected councillors for the areas in which they are working. [HL16563]
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: Locality has encouraged host organisations to engage with local authorities to make them aware of the programme aims and alert them when a community organiser is operating in their area.
There are no expectations for community organisers to have a relationship with government, local authorities or charities, as their focus is to listen to local people and allow them to set the priorities and take their own projects forward. This is better achieved by allowing community organisers to be independent of established processes and structures.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions and consultations must take place with the appropriate local authorities before and after a decision is made to install community organisers in localities in their areas.[HL16645]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether persons who are employed in full-time or substantially full-time work, or part-time work of (1) up to 16 hours a week, and (2) up to 24 hours a week, will be eligible for appointment as part-time voluntary community organisers.[HL16648]
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: Volunteer community organisers are volunteers and are not required to make a specific time commitment to qualify as a volunteer organiser. Therefore people who work full-time, part-time, or do not work at all, would all be eligible to volunteer as a community organiser in the time that they have available.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why, in the Ministry of Justice's comparison of the costs of magistrates and district judges in the report The Strengths and Skills of the Judiciary in the Magistrates' Courts, published in November 2011, an assessment was made of the costs to the economy of magistrates sitting in court.[HL16517]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The report in question was commissioned by the Ministry of Justice to inform the deployment of judges in the magistrates' courts. In order to make a comprehensive assessment of the relative costs of using magistrates and district judges, the report took account of a range of factors including the wider cost to the economy of magistrates sitting in court.
Lord McNally: The Government place great value on the lay magistracy. As well as playing a vital role in ensuring that justice is done swiftly and effectively, magistrates provide an important link between the justice system and the communities it serves.
Lord McNally By volunteering to dispense local justice, lay magistrates embody the principles of the big society and serve as an excellent example of the contribution individuals can make to their communities.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The number of offenders cautioned, the number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for breach of a non-molestation order in England and Wales in 2009 and 2010 (latest currently available) together with the sentence received can be viewed in the table.
It is known that there were issues in the central recording of offences resulting from a breach of a previously imposed court order. These issues were subsequently resolved allowing information on prosecutions and convictions for breach of a non-molestation order to be collated from 2009 onwards.
Police recorded crime data are the responsibility of the Home Office. It has advised that information on breaches of non-molestation orders are included within the over-arching classification of Other Offences Against the State and Public Order and that it is not possible separately to identify such offences from these centrally held data.
|Offenders cautioned(1) defendants proceeded against(2) at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts, for breach of a non-molestation order(3), by final outcome, England and Wales, 2009 and 2010(4)|
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The number and proportion of violent offences dealt with by means of out of court disposals in England and Wales during 2010 is shown in the table.
Penalty notices for disorder may be issued for the offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 of "using words, conduct likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress". However, a penalty notice will not be appropriate where there has been any injury to any person or any realistic threat or risk of injury to any person.
|Number and proportion of offenders cautioned(1) and defendants proceeded against(2) at magistrates' courts for violent offences(3), England and Wales, 2010(4)|
|England and Wales|
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will introduce legislation to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two protocols of 1954 and 1999; and if so, when.[HL16473]
Baroness Rawlings: The Government are committed to introducing legislation to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property and accede to its two protocols as soon as parliamentary time allows, taking account of all our legislative priorities.
Baroness Rawlings: There are currently no plans for Government formally to mark the bicentenary of the birth of David Livingstone in March 2013, although it is possible that some museums sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport may consider related exhibitions closer to the event.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have estimated the cost of following recommendations from the Electoral Commission to provide the minimum necessary information to voters by either paying for delivery of election addresses, or producing and distributing to every household an election address booklet, in each area where police commissioner elections will be held.[HL16515]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The Government estimate the cost of producing and paying for postage of election mailings from each candidate to each elector to be in the region of £25 million to £35 million. This is based on previous large-scale polls and depends on the number of candidates that stand. We estimate that the postage and printing costs of a booklet to every elector would be approximately £12 million, not including the administrative costs of compilation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many members of the staff of the Equality and Human Rights Commission are employed as legal advisers in relation to the discharge of the Commission's functions in relation to (1) alleged unlawful discrimination, and (2) human rights.[HL16511]
All of these staff are employed as legal advisers in relation to the discharge of the EHRC's functions in relation to both alleged unlawful discrimination and human rights, so it is not possible to give a breakdown of staff working on (1) alleged unlawful discrimination, or (2) human rights.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to encourage, through both neighbouring states and United Nations institutions, the agreement of a comprehensive settlement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, including the implementation of existing agreements; and how any such plans relate to the rest of the Horn of Africa.[HL16581]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government continue to be concerned by the unresolved dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and its destabilising effect on the wider Horn of Africa region.
On 17 March, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my honourable friend the Member for North West Norfolk (Mr Bellingham) expressed concern about Ethiopia's incursion into Eritrea on 15 March, in response to alleged Eritrean-backed armed attacks into Ethiopia. Mr Bellingham said that conflict is in neither country's interest and called on both countries to avoid all actions that could create tensions and lead to an escalation in violence. In the same vein the UK supported United Nations Security Council Resolution 2023 in December 2011, which extended sanctions on the Eritrean Government in response to concerns about their regional activities reported by the Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group in July 2011.
The UK has drawn attention to the potential for instability arising from this issue in discussions about the Horn of Africa at the United Nations Security Council. We have also supported agreement of a new European Union (EU) strategic framework for the Horn of Africa, and the appointment of a new EU special representative to the region, to further EU objectives, including in relation to the Ethiopia and Eritrea border issue.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): A number of steps are being taken to share intelligence across the public and private sectors, in particular by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, HMRC, DWP and the National Fraud Initiative. More information on these efforts is set out in the Government's report Tackling Fraud and Error in the Public Sector.
The national fraud strategy, Fighting Fraud Together, sets out the Government's commitment to enhance these arrangements. The National Fraud Authority is working with public and private stakeholders to develop a systematic approach to sharing fraud intelligence as part of the work to design the National Crime Agency.
Lord Henley: The periods of validity for the passport and the driving licence prevent a reliable estimate being made of the number of fraudulently obtained documents that may be in circulation. That is because there are a number of circumstances over the lifetime of the documents which may impact on their validity.
The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) undertakes sampling and testing to determine the nature and volume of passport fraud. Small sampling exercises between 2005 and 2011 indicated that between 0.25% and 0.39% of applications for UK passports contain evidence of fraud. In 2010-11, the IPS detected a total of 7,870 suspected frauds out of a total of 5.384 million passport applications.
In 2011, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) carried out investigations and identified 1,000 fraudulently obtained driving licences. The DVLA processed 9.3 million driving licence applications in 2011.
Lord Henley: The Identity and Passport Service (IFS) uses data from confirmed incidents of fraud to enhance further its counterfraud measures. The data are used to develop further IFS knowledge of the nature and pattern of fraud within passport applications, and to inform decisions on checks and interventions which contribute to the prevention and detection of fraud.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many written instructions have been provided by ministers in the Department for Transport to the Accounting Officer for the Department in accordance with paragraph 5.5 of the Ministerial Code in the past two years; and for what reasons.[HL16703]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): This information is not held and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Overnight lighting in unoccupied parts of 2 Marsham Street is kept to an essential minimum through a combination of manual and automatic lighting controls.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the past two years, how many opinion polls have been carried out for the Department for Transport; on what issues each poll was conducted, and when; what was the cost of each poll; and how many people were polled.[HL16533]
Earl Attlee: Since March 2010, the Department for Transport has undertaken 10 surveys which asked the general public about their opinions. The total cost of these was £745,201. The issues covered and the number of respondents for each survey are listed in the following table:
|Title of research||Fieldwork dates||Cost||Number of responses|
Substantial steps have been taken to reduce the cost of departmental opinion polls. For example, the total spend on the random probability omnibus call-off contract in the two years from March 2008 to February 2010 was £683,267. Over a similar time period, March 2010 to February 2012, the spend-as indicated in the table-was only £277,692, a reduction of 59%.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the past two years, how many opinion polls have been carried out for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport; on what issues each poll was conducted, and when; what was the cost of each poll; and how many people were polled.[HL16534]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the past two years, how many opinion polls have been carried out for the Home Office; on what issues each poll was conducted, and when; what was the cost of each poll; and how many people were polled. [HL16535]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): Between March 2010 and March 2012 the Home Office and its agencies have completed three public opinion polls. Details of these polls are shown in the attached table.
|Issues||Date||Sample size||Cost (exc VAT)|
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Whole of Government Accounts for the financial year to 31 March 2010, published on 29 November 2011, disclosed a total outstanding liability figure for private finance initiative schemes of £28.1 billion. This liability is made up as follows:
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the community organisers page on the Cabinet Office website was last updated; when they intend to update it further; and where the definitive up-to-date statement of government policy and information on progress on the community organisers programme is to be found.[HL16490]
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: There is no dedicated community organisers page on the Cabinet Office website as this is an arm's-length programme to Government. There have been some news releases, the last being on 5 October 2011. Information relating to the programme can be found at the following website: www.cocollaborative.org.uk.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): As set out in the Ministerial Code, details of ministerial overseas travel are published quarterly, covering date, destination, purpose of trip, type of transport (ie scheduled, RAF, chartered or Eurostar), the number of officials accompanying the Minister for non-scheduled travel, and the cost. You can access this information at: www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings-external-organisations.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 14 March (WA 74), what were the amounts invoiced by the Government Car and Despatch Agency to each Department of State for the use of cars by Ministers for each month since May 2010; and what were the hours they covered.[HL16496]
Earl Attlee: The amounts invoiced by the Government Car and Despatch Agency to each Department of State for the use of cars by Ministers for each month since May 2010 were announced by way of a Written Ministerial Statement on 16 January and have been placed in the Libraries of the House.
The amounts invoiced include both allocated cars which cover a set number of hours and the ministerial car pool service which is an on-demand service and therefore the information on hours covered is not available.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Hanham on 8 February (WA 69), what have been the results so far of the Homes and Communities Agency's programme management framework process to monitor the use local authorities have made of the Government's £47 million funding for new and refurbished pitches for Gypsies and Travellers; and when is the next provider quarterly contract review meeting for this purpose.[HL16538]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The Traveller Pitch Funding programme is currently at the contracting stage. Programme management and monitoring including quarterly contract review meetings will begin with individual providers once they are in contract. We expect this to be within the first quarter of 2012-13.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Answer by Earl Attlee on 16 February (Official Report, col. 927), what was the outcome of Earl Attlee's undertaking to take up the matter of Gypsies' and Travellers' economic activity with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. [HL16539]
Earl Attlee: I raised the issue of Travellers' economic activity with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The ministerial working group on tackling inequalities experienced by Gypsies and Travellers, which is chaired by the Secretary of State, has looked at access by Travellers to Department for Work and Pension employment services. The group will be publishing a progress report shortly.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): In-vitro diagnostic tests play a key role in the National Health Service and a wide range of tests and equipment is available to allow rapid diagnosis, screening for disease, identifying, monitoring and managing treatment and ensure the safety of blood supplies for transfusion.
In-vitro diagnostic testing should be quality assured by a range of internal and external quality assurance procedures within all laboratories and this also forms part of the external laboratory accreditation system which operates within the United Kingdom. Medically qualified pathologists are registered with the General Medical Council and non-medical clinical scientists with the Health Professions Council. Pathology services in general also form part of the Care Quality Commission's assessment of hospitals.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether squatters who leave their squat and become homeless are regarded as intentionally or unintentionally homeless; and what impact Clause 136 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill will have on this designation if it becomes law.[HL16298]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): Section 191 of the Housing Act 1996 provides that a person becomes homeless intentionally if this is a consequence of something that he or she has deliberately done or failed to do. The accommodation he or she has left must have been available for their occupation and reasonable for them to continue to occupy. It is for local authorities to make decisions in individual cases. However, it would be unlikely that a squat being occupied illegally could be considered as accommodation that is available to be occupied and reasonable for a person to continue to occupy.
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill creates a new criminal offence where a person is in a residential building as a trespasser having entered it as a trespasser, knows or ought to know that he or she is a trespasser and is living in the building or intends to live there for any period.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many sham marriages were estimated to have taken place in the United Kingdom in each of the past five years; how many were declared void; and how sham marriages are declared void and at what cost per voided marriage.[HL16629]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The UK Border Agency is notified by registration officers where they have grounds to suspect that a marriage is being entered into solely for immigration purposes. These reports are made under Section 24 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, All Section 24 reports are investigated by the agency and where appropriate action is taken. The agency received 384 reports in 2007; 344 reports in 2008; 561 in 2009; 926 in 2010; and 1741 in 2011.
Lord Henley: The total cost per year of sham marriages to public funds is not known. A marriage certificate alone does not give foreign nationals the right to live and work in the United Kingdom. Applications based on marriage or civil partnership where there is evidence of sham behaviour will be refused and action will be taken to remove the applicant from the United Kingdom. There will be no impact on public funds in these cases because no leave or residence will have been granted on the basis of the marriage or civil partnership.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): A couple whose marriage is legally valid in the country where it took place should be recognised as legally married in England and Wales. In such cases the couple will remain legally married to each other until the marriage is ended though divorce, annulment or the death of either party. This includes legally valid marriages which are declared "bogus" and/or were only entered into for immigration purposes. The couple will remain unable legally to remarry someone else until they are legally free to marry again.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to discuss with the Government of India their commitment to human rights following the sentence of capital punishment in the case of Balwant Singh Rajoana; and if so, what matters they intend to raise.[HL16673]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): It is the long-standing policy of successive Governments to oppose the death penalty, in all circumstances, as a matter of principle. We are deeply concerned by reports that India intends to execute Mr Balwant Singh Rajoana, thereby ending India's seven year de facto moratorium on the death penalty. However, we understand there are some questions over whether or not the execution will take place on the date set by the court. We are therefore following developments closely.
We have made clear our position on the death penalty to the Indian Government, both bilaterally and through the European Union. My honourable friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my honourable friend the Member for Taunton Deane (Mr Browne), wrote to the Indian high commissioner about this issue in November 2011. He also raised this issue with the then Indian Foreign Secretary, Nirupama Rao, when they met on 28 June 2011, and with Minister of State for External Affairs, Preneet Kaur, on 5 July 2011. We will continue to press for the universal abolition of the death penalty.
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): Israeli citizens who hold a valid travel document and meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules are allowed to enter the UK regardless of their area of residence.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received from HM Revenue and Customs regarding the impact on insolvency proceedings of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.[HL16624]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial impact on HM Revenue and Customs of changes to civil litigation costs and funding, as currently set out in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.[HL16625]
Lord McNally: The published impact assessment, available on the Ministry of Justice website, sets out the expected impacts of changes to civil litigation costs and funding on the relevant affected groups. Consistent with the assessment made in the impact assessment, the financial impact on HM Revenue and Customs will depend on a number of unknown factors including the volume of cases it chooses to pursue in future, the number of cases that it wins, the success fees and ATE premiums negotiated, and the tax recovered in those cases.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 19 March (WA 142-3), whether in their calculations for overall long-term international migration figures they have used International Passenger Survey figures whose standard error percentages mean that they are not considered reliable for practical purposes; if so, why they did so; and what are the Annual Population Survey figures for Romanian population stocks resident in the United Kingdom since 1 January 2007.[HL16655]
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 19 March (WA 142-3), whether (1) in ONS calculations for overall Long-Term International Migration figures we have used International Passenger Survey figures whose standard error percentages mean that they are not considered reliable for practical purposes; if so, why we did so; and (2) what are the Annual Population Survey figures for Romanian population stocks resident in the United Kingdom since 1 January 2007. (HL16655).
In response to the first question, published estimates of long-term international migration (LTIM) are calculated from international passenger survey (IPS) data with adjustments for asylum seekers, people whose intentions change and migration to and from Northern Ireland. The IPS estimates that are incorporated in the published estimates of LTIM are considered reliable according to their standard error (SE) percentages. At
28 Mar 2012 : Column WA273
|Table 1-Romanians resident in the UK by year since 2007|
|Romanian Country of birth||Romanian Nationality|
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord McNally on 20 March (Official Report, col. 761) on advertising referral fees in hospitals, (1) what they consider to be "authorised marketing", (2) what was the position on marketing that the chief executive expressed to NHS managers, (3) what guidance they intend to give to NHS managers, and (4) how much income is derived by NHS hospitals from these "authorised marketing" activities.[HL16611]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Authorised marketing means marketing which is approved by the board of the National Health Service organisation concerned to take place in its premises. There are no statutory regulations in place in this area, and no directions have been issued from the Secretary of State to NHS trusts and primary care trusts on these matters. The Secretary of State has no powers to direct foundation trusts.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Data on staff experience of bullying, harassment and abuse is gathered via the annual National Health Service staff survey. The 2011 NHS staff survey was published on 20 March 2012 and involved more than 250,000 staff across all NHS trusts and social enterprises of which around 135,000 or 54% responded. The 2011 NHS staff survey found that 15% of NHS staff experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from patients, relatives and the public and that 15% experienced harassment, bullying and abuse from other staff in 2011, the same as in 2010.
There is no place for bullying, harassment or abuse in the NHS. It contradicts the basic value of equity that is the cornerstone of the NHS. The NHS has taken strong steps to eliminate bullying and harassment in the workplace and the NHS constitution reinforces the need for continued action from NHS organisations.
NHS Employers also produces a range of guidance and advice for the NHS since it was founded in 2005 and has run a very successful anti-bullying campaign across the NHS in England. NHS Employers' advice stresses that bullying by patients, their relatives or by colleagues is unacceptable and should be dealt with immediately. It also advocates a number of ways in which this problem may be dealt with.
It is also important to note that evidence suggests that bullying is one indicator that is expected to rise in times of volatility such as reorganisation and change. In this respect, it is important to note that despite several years of change in the service the level of reported bullying reported in the NHS staff survey this year has seen very little change since that in 2008.
As a minimum, all NHS organisations should have in place bullying and harassment policies and procedures that are easily accessible to staff and managers alike, and provide support for employees which is monitored on a regular basis by senior managers.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many out-of-hours NHS services are currently delivered by the private sector; and how many out-of-hours services were run by the private sector in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11.[HL16628]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) foundation trusts, and (2) non-foundation trusts, missed their accident and emergency targets during the nine months to 31 December 2011; and what were the comparable figures for the 12 months to 31 March 2011.[HL16589]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The number of acute trusts and foundation trusts not meeting the four hour target quarterly is displayed in the following table. The information is provided for each quarter of both periods stated in the question. It is not possible to provide information
28 Mar 2012 : Column WA276
|Number of acute trusts not achieving Accident and Emergency waiting times standard since April 2010|
|Foundation Trusts:||Non Foundation Trusts|
|Quarter||No of trusts||Of these, number not achieving standard||No of trusts||Of these, number not achieving standard|
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Department for International Development does not support medical work and other humanitarian projects in the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea.[HL16489]
Baroness Northover: We believe that the Department for International Development's investment in the various multilateral organisations-for example, the World Health Organisation and UNICEF-working in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) represents the best way for the UK to assist the people of the DPRK.
Baroness Garden of Frognal: No. The International Olympic Committee appointed Dow Chemical as a global sponsor of the International Olympic Committee in July 2010. As a result, Dow Chemical has the right
28 Mar 2012 : Column WA277
The Olympic Stadium wrap was removed from the public sector funding package for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as part of the November 2010 comprehensive spending review. The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG), a private company operating independently of Government, tendered in February 2011 for a private supplier of the wrap. LOCOG announced Dow Chemical as the chosen supplier of the wrap in August 2011, as Dow had provided the most sustainable solution. The Government were kept informed of this procurement process, and the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 published an independent report which confirmed the competitive tender process and that the most sustainable solution was chosen.
Baroness Garden of Frognal: Ticketing for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is a matter for the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG), a private company operating independent of Government. There are 8.8 million Olympic tickets and 2.2 million Paralympic tickets available, with 75% of both put on sale through the UK application process.
Around 7 million of the 11 million tickets have so far been purchased, some 5 million of which have been sold through the UK application process. The remainder of the 7 million have been purchased through National Olympic Committees (primarily for them to sell to international sports fans), the International Olympic Committee, international federations, broadcast rights holders, prestige ticketing partners and Thomas Cook for domestic break packages. The remaining 4 million tickets available for both Games will go on sale from April until the Games start.
Baroness Garden of Frognal: Ticketing for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is a matter for the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG), a private company operating independent of Government. 75% of tickets for the Games are sold through the public application process. Sponsors and stakeholders, including corporate organisations, are allowed to purchase 8% of tickets to the Games, with domestic sponsors alone providing £700 million towards LOCOG's c£2 billion privately-financed budget to stage the Games.
28 Mar 2012 : Column WA278
Baroness Garden of Frognal: The main contract to print and fulfil the majority of tickets for London 2012 was awarded by the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) following a thorough, competitive and open procurement process in 2010. The company which won the bid met all of LOCOG's criteria around security, scale and budget and-having worked on several previous Games-has specialist systems in place to manage the complex process of personalising, printing, packaging tickets and integrating security aspects to the scale it requires. LOCOG has spent more than £3 million with UK print companies on other contracts, with a further £2 million of business in the pipeline over the remaining months of the Games. Tickets sold after May will be printed in the UK-the printing and fulfilment of these tickets is on a smaller scale, and will be managed in a different way.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether LOCOG Ltd is using a manual or computer system for the issue of tickets for the sale of seats for the 2012 Olympic Games; and if a computer system is used, what type, system and software are employed which mean that it has to operate in real time.[HL16527]
Baroness Garden of Frognal: Ticketing for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is a matter for the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG), a private company operating independent of Government. The ticketing system has been developed by LOCOG in collaboration with its Tier 3 Partner Ticketmaster. Operational details are a matter for LOCOG, and the software will be proprietary to Ticketmaster.
Due to the unprecedented demand, with 11 million tickets at a range of price categories and with discounts for young people and seniors at over 1,000 sessions of sport, the scale and complexity of the ticketing process presents unparalleled challenges. LOCOG and Ticketmaster are testing the systems now for the final sales process from April, to ensure that they are accessible and resilient.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 10 January (WA 65-6), what current liabilities of the Royal Mail Pension Plan are included in the Whole of Government Accounts; what is the level of Royal Mail assets that is so included; what are the rates of
28 Mar 2012 : Column WA279
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Royal Mail Holdings plc (RMH plc) operates three pension schemes (the Royal Mail Pension Plan, Royal Mail Senior Executive Pension Plan, and Royal Mail Retirement Savings Plan) and various other small scale schemes for overseas subsidiaries. The Whole of Government Accounts for 2009-10 reflects the £8,041 million net pension liability of the pension schemes. Details of the assets and liabilities of the schemes are included in the accounts of RMH plc. In the RMH plc accounts to 31 March 2010, the fair value of pension assets disclosed was £25,814 million and the present value of liabilities was £33,855 million.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Freud on 20 March (WA 159-60), whether the identical median and mean average age of United Kingdom state old-age pension recipients in Bangladesh, Pakistan and the United States is significant; what investigation they have made of measures being taken in Bangladesh and Pakistan to counter fraudulent claims; and whether they will review the strength and extent of the measures already taken in those three countries to identify continuing payments where the pensioner has died.[HL16653]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The similar median and mean between recipients in Bangladesh, Pakistan and the United States is not seen as significant. The age distribution of populations of UK pensioners in other countries may not conform with the UK norm or with the norm of the country of residence for a number of reasons, primarily linked to migration patterns.
There is no reason to suggest that the observation is indicative of greater fraud. We are currently setting up the Integrated Risk Intelligence Service (IRIS) which we will be incorporating within it advanced analytics which could help identify whether any such correlations exist.
With regards to investigative measures that we have in place, in Bangladesh and Pakistan we currently have international pension service assistants who help
28 Mar 2012 : Column WA280
We also conduct a life certificate exercise. The current strategy is to life-certificate everyone aged 80 and above every two years. This year we have re-evaluated the current system and it has been agreed that we will introduce life certificates for all those aged 75.
Customers issued with a life certificate are given instructions to get this independently witnessed and returned to the department. If the department does not receive a reply within specified timeframes, benefit is terminated. If a customer later returns a fully completed life certificate, benefit is put back into payment.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The Police Reform Act 2002 established a system for handling complaints against the police. Chief officers are obliged to record complaints about the conduct of a person under their direction and control.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will suspend the payment of any retirement or pension awards to senior officers of South Wales Police until the completion of all investigations into the collapse of the Lynette White trial.[HL16631]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the port of Great Yarmouth is exempt from needing a dredging or dumping licence under Section 75 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009; and, if so, under what authority that exemption was made. [HL16626]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Under the Great Yarmouth Port Authority Harbour Revision Order 1989, the Great Yarmouth Port Authority currently operates as the harbour authority.
Under Section 75 (as amended) of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, a harbour authority, such as the Great Yarmouth Port Authority, is exempt from requiring a marine licence for dredging or spoil disposal activity if the conditions as set out in Section 75 of the Act are met.
Earl Attlee: Quad bikes registered for general road use must be approved under EU type approval or the motorcycle single vehicle approval to demonstrate legal compliance. This includes noise and emissions requirements, which are applicable to that category of vehicle.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to support Eurostar in resuming regular services between Brussels and Lille whilst avoiding delays caused by immigration control on its passengers coming into the United Kingdom; and whether they will reintroduce passport checks on trains between Lille and United Kingdom stations.[HL16471]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the UK Border Agency service required Eurostar to stop carrying passengers between Brussels and Lille, and if so, why; whether the Government of France has suggested that Eurostar may be prevented from operating services in France unless it carried passengers from Brussels to Lille, and if so, why; and what action the United Kingdom Government are taking to resolve this problem.[HL16472]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The Home Office and Border Force have worked closely with Eurostar to ensure that only those correctly ticketed for an international journey remain on board as the service leaves the Schengen zone for onward travel to the United Kingdom. The present arrangement, whereby a full service between Brussels and Lille continues to be provided for holders of season tickets, is the preferred Eurostar response to that challenge.
The UK and Eurostar recognise the value of the existing juxtaposed arrangements both in terms of passenger experience and in controlling the numbers
28 Mar 2012 : Column WA282
Senior Home Office officials continue to work closely with Belgian and French counterparts and with Eurostar to deliver a solution that minimises the impact on genuine travellers while maintaining the integrity of the UK border and which is acceptable to each country through which the service passes.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Earl Attlee on 17 October 2011 (Official Report, col. 112-3), when they will bring forward secondary legislation under Section 14 of the Planning Act 2008 to set lower thresholds for railway development projects that are required to be processed through the Infrastructure Planning Commission.[HL16677]
Earl Attlee: Since the 17 October 2011 exchanges during the passage of the Localism Bill, the Government have continued to work with Network Rail to examine the need for changes to the current planning regime to enable the timely delivery of major and minor infrastructure works to support sustainable growth. These include the option of introducing secondary legislation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by Earl Attlee on 28 February (WS 113-4), how they will demonstrate that the process of procuring Crossrail rolling stock will comply with European Union procurement rules. [HL16562]
As with all its procurements, Crossrail Ltd is required to procure the rolling stock and depot contract in a fair, objective and transparent manner, and in full compliance with the regulatory framework. Copies of the Instructions for Tenderers and the Rolling Stock Provision Agreement, which were released to shortlisted bidders on 28 February 2012, have been placed in the Libraries of the House.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 21 March (WA 177), how much revenue risk a train operator faces when the franchise is in revenue support; and whether this is sufficient to pay for the employment of revenue protection staff.[HL16705]
Earl Attlee: I refer the noble Lord to my Answer of 21 March 2012 (WA 177) which set out the balance of revenue risk between the Government and a franchised train operating company when that company qualifies for revenue support. As stated in that Answer, the Department for Transport does not have details of the costs of employing revenue protection staff as this is an operational matter for individual train operators. Therefore, the Government do not have details of the balance between employment costs of these staff and revenue collected by them.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 21 March (WA 177), when the 10 new Class 350/4 units will be operational; and how many second-hand cascaded rolling stock will become operational on the Northern franchise, and when.[HL16707]
Earl Attlee: The new Class 350/4 units are expected to become operational between December 2013 and April 2014, ahead of full fleet operation from the May 2014 timetable change. This will release Class 185 units for internal cascade within the TransPennine franchise.
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