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To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the announcement in Innovation Health and Wealth: Accelerating adoption and diffusion in the NHS (December 2011), whether necessary resources have been allocated, and when they plan to launch the specialised commissioning innovation fund. [HL16900]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We are currently in the process of determining the form and function of the Specialised Services Commissioning Innovation Fund as well as the resource allocated to its development and the ultimate size of the fund.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have issued new guidance relating to the floor-covering required for cages in egg production, and in particular, whether the welfare of laying hens directive has altered the floor-covering requirement for cages in egg production.[HL16779]
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) what research has been carried out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in relation to suitable floor-covering for cages in egg production under the European Union welfare of laying hens directive, (2) for how long this research has been undertaken and (3) whether the research is publicly available.[HL16780]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Defra Ministers are currently considering the policy in relation to the appropriate floor covering in the nest areas of enriched poultry cages and will provide appropriate guidance in due course. In the mean time, no further enforcement action will be taken in relation to those plastic-coated wire cages not containing additional floor covering.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 23 April (WA 288-90), whether, in the light of the low incidence rates of scrapie in sheep, they will consider amending the sheep slaughter regulations in a manner similar to the reassessments conducted on associated diseases in cattle.[HL16946]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Following the introduction in EU law of more proportionate controls for classical scrapie, Defra announced that with effect from 19 October 2011, the option of monitoring flocks and herds affected by classical scrapie, as opposed to killing and destroying genetically susceptible animals, is the default approach for controlling the disease in existing and future cases in England.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Ministry of Defence has held an initial scoping discussion with the United States Government on the X-47B unmanned combat air programme. Northrop Grumman Corporation has not been involved.
Lord Astor of Hever:The Government have an 'unmanned air systems (UAS) research and development pipeline' within the defence science and technology programme that examines a range of uses of UAS, including some in the naval environment.
Lord Astor of Hever: With support from the UK Trade & Investment Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO) and industry, the Ministry of Defence undertook an assessment of the export potential of Brimstone 2 and dual-mode seeker Brimstone (DMSB) in 2010. This has continued to be refined in the light of more developments, including the successful performance of the DMSB weapon in recent operations. These assessments have identified a number of potential export sales opportunities.
Lord Astor of Hever: The Brimstone missile systems performed well during Operation Ellamy achieving greater than 98% success rate and making a substantial contribution to the NATO mission to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973 and protect the civilian population of Libya.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 23 April (WA 293), what will be the cost to the Ministry of Defence between 2013 and 2020 of the terms of business agreement between the Government and BAE Systems Maritime-Naval Ships, and what will be its impact on shipbuilding work in United Kingdom shipyards.[HL16850]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The terms of business agreement (TOBA) signed between the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems Maritime - Naval Ships (BAES MNS) in July 2009 includes a commitment to sustain a minimum level of key industrial capabilities in the areas of shipbuilding and support for complex warships, which will meet the future needs of the Royal Navy. The total cost to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the TOBA will, however, depend on what work is awarded to BAES MNS over the duration of the agreement. In return, the company has committed to the transformation of the sector into a world-class sustainable entity for the future with major financial benefits to the MoD.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many mine countermeasures (MCM) and other Royal Navy ships are currently deployed in the Gulf, and what plans they have to increase those numbers in the light of increasing US Navy deployment of MCM vessels.[HL16856]
Lord Astor of Hever: There is typically at least one Royal Navy destroyer or frigate deployed in the Gulf region, supported by a tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), plus a four-strong squadron of minehunters with an RFA support ship at short notice, in the Gulf region.
The maritime presence in the Gulf will vary over time dependent upon the operational requirement and exercises such as those involving the Navy's high readiness Response Force Task Group which might be taking place in the region.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 23 April (WA 298), what evidence they have as to whether or not Dr Al Singace is receiving the medical treatment that he needs whilst in custody in Bahrain.[HL16840]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We have no received no reports on the latest situation of Dr Al Singace's medical treatment, but we have consistently made clear that we expect the Bahraini authorities to ensure the civil rights of prisoners are protected and that they have access to any medical assistance they require. Our ambassador most recently raised human rights issues with the Bahraini Justice Minister on 23 April. We will continue to press these messages with the Government of Bahrain.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Government of Bahrain concerning the implementation of the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry on human rights which reported to King Hamad in November 2011; and what information they have on what progress is being made.[HL16942]
Lord Howell of Guildford: The National Commission's report on implementing the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) was published on 20 March 2012. The report is available at www.biciactions.bh.
The report notes progress has been made in implementing the BICI recommendations. Introducing a police code of conduct, placing cameras in interview rooms and establishing a media oversight body are all important steps. It is also encouraging to see the establishment of a Special Investigations Unit with a mandate to bring to justice those who have perpetrated human rights abuses. However, there is much more to be done. It remains critical that the Government of Bahrain continue its work to implement all the Commission's recommendations, in particular ensuring that recent agreements are honoured, addressing issues of accountability and changing behaviour and culture.
1 May 2012 : Column WA439
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), raised the importance of fully implementing the recommendations of the BICI report in his calls with the Bahraini Foreign Minister on 21 and 4 April. The UK will continue to both raise the importance of this issue with the Government of Bahrain in our contacts and offer our support to fully implementing the BICI recommendations.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether European Union funds are used to subsidise bullfighting or any aspect of it; if so, what is the latest available figure for the amount of such subsidy; and how much of it is paid by the United Kingdom. [HL16887]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): While it is theoretically possible for funding to go towards bullfighting-for example, coupled beef sector payments and rural development or structural funds expenditure-we do not have the information available to answer the question without incurring disproportionately excessive cost. No such payments are made in the UK.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Marland on 27 January (WA 279-80), what estimate they have made of the cost of answering the question (1) in full, and (2) in part.[HL16961]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Marland on 27 January (WA 279-80), what relevant information could be provided without incurring disproportionate cost. [HL16962]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): Since May 2010, five or fewer members of DECC's Senior Civil Service have retired. The average age of these retirees was 60 and the average annual pension was £35,000. The actual figures have not been quoted to protect the confidentiality of the individuals involved.
In order to obtain the information originally requested or more than provided above, the department's pensions provider would need to build a report at a charge of approximately £1,400. Further costs would also be associated with the time it would take to collate and check the data for accuracy; those costs would not be able to be calculated without first seeing the report.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord McNally on 23 April (WA 307), in the table detailing cancellations that have taken place since the year 2007-08, how many of the cancellations of licences were as a result of action taken by the Ministry of Justice where otherwise the company would have wished to carry on trading.[HL16901]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The department does not hold information on the number of companies that would have wished to carry on trading at the point at which their claims management licences were cancelled.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The evidential value and integrity of forensic exhibits is tested under the intense scrutiny of the courts from the point of collection, through analysis and to interpretation and reporting. Each step in the process must be able to withstand these critical reviews. The Forensic Science Regulator is working closely with the police, the National Policing Improvement Agency and the private and public sector (Scottish and Irish laboratories) suppliers of forensic science services to produce a single quality standards framework that applies to all those organisations involved in varying stages of the forensic processes. Police forces have their own forensic practitioners who support each other through expert panels, and on many occasions take advice from the private sector suppliers. The police have ready access to different sources of reliable advice, as well as their own in-house knowledge and expertise.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures they are taking to ensure continued research and development in operational forensic science, following the closure of the Forensic Science Service. [HL16966]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Protocol 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union permits the UK to apply to opt in to this directive at any time after it has been adopted. The UK is participating in the ongoing negotiations on the directive. In the event that the Government's concerns about the initial draft of the
1 May 2012 : Column WA442
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people were sentenced to a community sentence with a mental health Community Treatment Order in (1) each of the magistrates' courts and (2) each of the Crown Courts in England and Wales in each of the last three years.[HL16899]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The table below shows the number of offenders starting court order supervision by the Probation Service with mental health treatment requirements attached, in each probation trust in England and Wales, in each of the past three years. This information is not available either by type of court or at individual court level.
|Offenders starting probation supervision under court orders with mental health requirements attached, by probation trust, England and Wales, 2009-2011|
|Community Order||Suspended Sentence Order||Community Order||Suspended Sentence Order||Community Order||Suspended Sentence Order|
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to amend data protection legislation to enable the transcripts of House of Lords, Privy Council and Supreme Court Written Cases to be deposited by the Supreme Court with Lincoln's Inn library. [HL16846]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the likely cost of the extra 65,000 nursery workers proposed by the Deputy Prime Minister on 15 April; and whether that cost will be met from additional taxation, savings elsewhere or borrowing.[HL16890]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The extension of the free early education entitlement to the 20% most disadvantaged two year-olds from September 2013 and 40% from September 2014 will increase the number of free early education places available to parents and accordingly will require an increase in the number of staff employed by early education providers, with proportionately more in deprived areas. The figure of 65,000 extra workers was calculated by the Independent on Sunday, based on the published number of new early years places that will be created. It does not take into account that there are unfilled places in some existing provision or that places will be part-time. We are analysing the workforce implications, but no firm estimate of the number of extra jobs is yet available.
The Government announced funding for the new two year-old entitlement in the Autumn Statement, rising to £760 million per year by 2014-15. This funding will be distributed by local authorities to providers, who will be responsible for employing staff.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Verma on 12 March (WA 8), what arrangements are being made to secure black and minority ethnic representation in their early conciliation proposal to ensure that potential claimants who allege racial and religious discrimination have confidence that the system will treat them fairly.[HL16873]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Government want to encourage all parties to resolve their disputes at the earliest opportunity where possible, without the need for determination by tribunal. The introduction of early conciliation will allow parties the opportunity to settle the matter before a claim is made to tribunal. ACAS conciliators will attempt to resolve the dispute but, where parties do not wish to engage in conciliation or it is unsuccessful, a claimant will be able to choose to submit a claim to an employment tribunal.
We will engage with a range of stakeholders, including equalities groups, as we develop the process to ensure that early conciliation is fair and accessible for all parties. We will also be issuing a public consultation once we have drafted the regulations that will underpin the process.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how race equality will be achieved in employment tribunals when the proposal to remove lay members from employment tribunal panels is implemented; and what are the ethnic and other diversity demographic data on existing chairs of employment tribunals, who will in future be conducting hearings alone. [HL16874]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Employment tribunal proceedings are heard by a tripartite panel, including an employment judge and two members, unless statute permits otherwise. Employment judges have been permitted to hear certain proceedings alone since 1996, in line with the relevant
1 May 2012 : Column WA445
The Government published a final impact assessment, including an equality impact assessment, alongside their response to the Resolving Workplace Disputes consultation in November 2011. Draft statutory instruments were subsequently affirmed after debates in both Houses. The equality impact assessment is available at the following site (see in particular Annex 3, pages 130 to 148 of the final impact assessment document) http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/employment-matters/docs/r/11-1381-resolving-workplace-disputes-final-impact-assessment.pdf. It concludes that there will be no adverse impact on any of the protected characteristic groups as a result of the proposal to allow employment judges to sit alone in a wider range of cases.
Among other things, employment judges receive training aimed at developing their awareness of, and sensitivity to, the wide range of diversity, disability and particular needs of people appearing before the employment tribunals, be they parties, witnesses, representatives or otherwise.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a selected group of European Union Foreign Ministers is considering the appointment of an official combining the roles of the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission and elected by the European Parliament; if so, whether the Foreign Secretary is a member of the group; and whether they have made any assessment of those proposals.[HL16888]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Different groupings of European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers meet on a wide variety of subjects. We are aware of one group of EU Foreign Ministers meeting on an informal basis to discuss a variety of issues related to the future governance of the EU. While the UK is not part of that group, we understand that one idea under discussion is a merger of the positions of President of the European Council and President of the European Commission.
However, this idea is purely hypothetical; no formal proposals have been made. The UK has had and continues to have strong reservations about whether this would be in the UK's or the EU's interest. A merger of the two presidencies would create a potential conflict of interest, undermine the quality of the EU's decision-making processes and upset the institutional balance within the EU.
To ask Her Majesty's Government which judgments against the United Kingdom of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in or before 2010 are currently unresolved; and what percentage of those cases before the ECHR lost by the United Kingdom up to 31 December 2010 have seen no final judgment.[HL16958]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Article 44 of the European Convention of Human Rights sets out the circumstances in which a judgment becomes final. Article 46 of the convention states that the final judgment of the court will be sent to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to supervise its execution. There are currently 12 lead judgments against the UK which became final in or before 2010 under supervision by the Committee of Ministers. The cases are listed in the table below:
|Case name||Application number||Final judgment date|
According to the European Court of Human Rights Report 2010, the UK lost 271 cases up to 31 December 2010. The percentage of these cases still under supervision of the Committee of Ministers is 4.43%.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): Not all extradition requests lead to the arrest of the subject. As a matter of long-standing policy and practice, we will neither confirm nor deny whether an extradition request has been made or received until such time as a person is arrested in relation to the request, so that people do not have the opportunity to escape justice by leaving the country before they are arrested.
|2012 (up to 24 April)|
The tables provide non-EU extradition figures for 2011 and for 2012 up until 24 April. Figures from 2004 to July 2011 were published in A Review of the United Kingdom's Extradition Arrangements on 18 October 2011 and can be found on pages 464-467.
The figures relate to requests dealt with under the 2003 Extradition Act. These do not include figures for Scotland. It should also be emphasised that an arrest and/or surrender made in a particular year may relate to a request made in a previous year.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what powers local governments have to protect children from potentially harmful film content; and whether they have any plans to grant local authorities new powers to protect children if a licensing requirement for the exhibition of films is removed.[HL16867]
Baroness Rawlings: The Government are currently considering responses to the recent consultation on the deregulation of entertainment activities that are regulated under the Licensing Act 2003. In respect of film exhibition, the consultation outlines explicitly that age classification safeguards will be retained. The consultation explains that primary legislation would be amended to ensure there are no gaps in child protection, should it be decided that the exhibition of film could be removed from Schedule 1 to the Licensing Act 2003.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they propose to replace the role of local authorities in appeals against British Board of Film Classification decisions; and whether there has been a regulatory impact assessment undertaken on the costs of such an appeal mechanism and the potential impact on film distributors and cinema exhibitors if the release of a film is delayed as the result of such an appeal.[HL16868]
Baroness Rawlings: The current system does not provide a formal mechanism against which classification recommendations made by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) can be appealed. Any challenges to, or representation about, the BBFC's recommendations need to be made direct to the BBFC.
Under the Licensing Act 2003, local authorities are currently required to ensure that the exhibition of films is undertaken in line with age restrictions set by either (a) according to a recommendation made by the BBFC or (b) classifications made by that authority. This allows the local licensing authority to take local sensitivities into account, as well as enabling the classification for exhibition of films that are not intended for national distribution. The consultation explains that the Government have no plans to change this arrangement.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 27 February (WA 253), what are the findings they refer to which the researchers of the 2004 report of the Newcastle fluoride bioavailablility study found statistically significant.[HL16932]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The report concluded: "There was no statistically significant difference between artificially fluoridated and naturally fluoridated water, or between hard and soft water ... for plasma fluoride concentration following water ingestion in healthy young adults. Thus, within the limits imposed by the small number of subjects, this study found no evidence for any differences between the absorption of fluoride ingested in artificially fluoridated drinking-water, and in drinking-water in which the fluoride is present naturally, or between the absorption of fluoride from hard and soft waters, at fluoride concentrations close to 1 part per million".
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 27 February (WA 251-2), why in their view the evidence for dental fluorosis of aesthetic concern provided in section 7 of the York review (2000) that was obtained in part from a study by Hawley (1996) involving children from Manchester, showing a range between 7% and 21.5% of the population affected, does not provide "evidence to show that residents of areas receiving fluoridated water in England find dental fluorosis aesthetically unacceptable".[HL16933]
Earl Howe: Assessment of the aesthetic effects of dental fluorosis is complex, as demonstrated by the wide range of findings in the study quoted in the noble Earl's Question. This is one of the reasons why the department commissioned new research on the prevalence and severity of fluorosis, which should be available shortly. Teeth with fluorosis retain the protection provided by the fluoride and any aesthetically unacceptable effects can usually be treated by dental polishing.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the import tariff rate from non-European Economic Area countries on (1) garlic, and (2) eggs; and what is the reason for any difference in tariff rates for these items.[HL16745]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): The import tariff rates for fresh garlic and chicken eggs in their shell, fresh, preserved or cooked are as follows:(1) garlic can be imported under tariff quota or non-quota arrangements. This affects the duty rate. Fresh garlic imported under quota has an ad valorem import duty rate of 9.6%, whereas non-quota imports are subject to a specific duty rate of €1,200 per tonne plus the ad valorem duty of 9.6%; and(2) imports of chicken eggs have a standard ad valorem duty rate of €30.40 per 100 kilograms. There are tariff preference and non-preference arrangements in place which, if used, may reduce
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the past two years, how many opinion polls have been carried out for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; on what issues each poll was conducted, and when; what the cost of each poll was; and how many people were polled.[HL16536]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Core Defra has not carried out any opinion polls in the past two years. It has however funded two modules in omnibus surveys in the last year in relation to the environment. These were used to assess consumer attitudes and behaviours relating to Defra policies, which can then be used to inform communication strategies and policy development.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the percentage of civil servants employed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change who take time off work each year due to smoking-related illnesses.[HL16979]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): We have not undertaken any assessments of the percentage of civil servants employed by DECC who have taken time off work due to smoking-related illnesses.
Baroness Verma: The Government publish information about special advisers on a quarterly basis. The most recent list is available on the Cabinet Office website at http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk.sites/default/files/resources/LIST-APRIL.pdf.
Baroness Rawlings: The Permanent Secretary approved the approach his department took to the quasi-judicial process, which included a small number of people acting as contact points with News Corp, as is required and normal in such a process. He has stated clearly he was aware and content with Adam Smith being one of those points of contact.
Both the Permanent Secretary and the Secretary of State have been clear that the nature and extent of contacts between Adam Smith and News Corp was unauthorised and went too far. This has been confirmed by Adam Smith.
To ask Her Majesty's Government under what circumstances, and for what purposes, blood and tissue samples provided by Gulf War Veterans with their consent and for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions within the National Health Service are passed to the Ministry of Defence without the patients' further consent.[HL16944]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): This information is not collected centrally. However, in any case there should be no purpose for which-and no circumstances under which-such information is passed on without patients' further consent
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funds research infrastructure to support the translation of laboratory-based discoveries into new cancer treatments, including the use of innovative drug delivery systems. This infrastructure includes biomedical research centres and experimental cancer medicine centres.
The NIHR Cancer Research Network hosts phase three clinical trials and other well designed studies. This includes pivotal licensing studies undertaken for industry on a transparent full-cost recovery basis.
The Health Innovation Challenge Fund (HICF) is a joint funding partnership between the Department of Health and the Wellcome Trust. It is positioned as a translational funding scheme to accelerate the clinical application of projects that are well advanced along the development pathway. Drug delivery systems are not a current priority. Suggestions from clinicians, academics and industry for future theme topics can be sent to the joint secretariat. Details about HICF theme selection are available on the HICF website at: www.hicfund.org.uk/HICFundprogramme/HowItWorks.aspx
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they accept the definition of a medicinal product as being "(a) Any substance or combination of substances presented as having properties for treating or preventing disease in human beings; or (b) Any substance or combination of substances which may be used in or administered to human beings either with a view to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmalogical, immunological or metabolic action, or to making a medical diagnosis", as set out in Article 1 of European Directive 2004/27/EC.[HL16934]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): This is the current legal definition of a medicinal product. The decision as to whether a particular product is a medicinal product is made by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using that term, relevant legal precedent and its own published guidance.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): There will always be occasions when sanitary accommodation is shared, for instance when bathrooms contain specialist equipment. However we expect organisations providing National Health Service-funded care to ensure that wherever possible bathroom and shower facilities are segregated. Information on instances where facilities are shared is collected and acted on locally.
For the past 16 months, the department has monitored compliance with the guidance in respect of sleeping arrangements, and in that time breaches have fallen by over 97% from 11,802 in December 2010 to just 461 in March 2012 (the latest date for which figures are available).
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Medical Special Case Files have no specific legal status but, like all medical records, are held subject to data protection and confidentiality requirements. Criteria for creating a special case file would be locally determined but, in general, the creation of these files is discouraged due to concerns about their content not always being available at the point of care and the added difficulty of auditing clinical practice. Inappropriate creation of special case files would be a matter for a doctor's employer and the professional regulator, i.e. the General Medical Council.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure progress towards publishing their response to the consultation on the regulations concerning entry to and exit from the NHS pharmaceutical market that closed in January 2012; and whether they plan to close the 100-hours loophole to protect community pharmacies and their patients, and if so when.[HL16931]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We are currently considering the comments received and will make further announcements about the outcome and our final decisions as soon as
1 May 2012 : Column WA454
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether United Kingdom law complies with the requirements of Protocol No 7 to the European Convention on Human Rights so as to enable ratification of the Protocol on behalf of the United Kingdom. [HL16845]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Government have not made an assessment whether United Kingdom law complies with the requirements of Protocol No 7 to the European Convention on Human Rights so as to enable ratification of the Protocol on behalf of the United Kingdom.
Furthermore, on 18 March 2011, the Government established a commission to consider the case for a UK Bill of Rights, which would incorporate and build on our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. The Government believe any decision they might make to add to these obligations should be considered in the context of the work of the commission.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what amount of compensation, damages and costs they have paid, and to whom, in relation to the European Court of Human Rights cases of Jordan, McKerr, Kelly and Others, and Shanaghan; whether they have received applications for compensation in relation to any other deaths covered by the judgments in these cases; and, if so, from whom and what payments have been made.[HL16941]
Lord Shutt of Greetland: In 2001, the then Government was ordered by the European Court of Human Rights to pay a total of £120,000 in non-pecuniary damages, and £105,000 costs and expenses in relation to the cases listed.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the extent to which the cost of motor insurance is inflated by fraudulent and speculative claims for damages; and what action they are taking with the insurance industry and law firms concerned to reduce the cost of motor insurance.[HL16851]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Government are aware of widespread concern with the increase over recent years in claims for compensation and the significant impact on motor insurance premiums that these claims can have.
The Government are implementing a fundamental reform of "no win no fee" conditional fee agreements and a ban on the payment and receipt of referral fees
1 May 2012 : Column WA455
Additionally, the Prime Minister hosted a summit with the insurance industry on 14 February 2012 which committed government and the insurance industry to a range of actions to address the cost of insurance premiums. A follow-up summit will be held on 2 May.
Baroness Northover: This was a commitment made under the previous Administration. DfID's current research programme is designed to deliver value for money for UK taxpayers and is targeted on relieving poverty and optimising operational research.
Research budgets for all research except that which goes through multilateral organisations are published in Statistics for International Development which is available on the DfID website at http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-us/How-we-measure-progress/Aid-Statistics/Statistics-on-International-Development-2011/.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the announcement in the Budget Report, how they (1) define, and (2) decide the super-connected cities that are to receive funding for ultrafast and high-speed wireless broadband coverage; and when, and on what basis, they will announce funding for the second wave of 10 smaller super-connected cities. [HL16871]
Baroness Rawlings: The Government's Super-Connected Cities Initiative is seeking to transform how people and organisations interact with each other, handle information, access services and do business. We believe that our major cities, where there is a high density of people and businesses, offer the greatest potential to achieve this effect. We have defined these cities as the four national capitals: London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast (although they are not required to compete for approval for funding, each capital must still submit proposals meeting the competition criteria in order to determine the amount of UBF funding to be allocated); the eight English Core Cities and any other city with more than 150,000 dwellings.
More information about the criteria for qualifying proposals and the assessment process can be found on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's website by downloading the document Guidance for Local Authorities submitting proposals to the Urban Broadband Fund. The link to the webpage is: http://www.culture. gov.uk/publications/8729.aspx.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The United Nations Security Council considers the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories on a monthly basis, most recently at an open debate on 23 April 2012.
During this debate, the UK condemned the decision by Israel to publish tenders for 872 units in the illegal Israeli settlement of Har Homa, across the Green Line in East Jerusalem. The UK also urged the Israeli Government to desist from further settlement announcements, given their illegality under international law, as well as the threat settlements pose to the two state-solution and to international efforts to enable peace.
We remain concerned by any attempt to alter the demographic balance in East Jerusalem or elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian Territories and will continue to raise our concerns within appropriate international fora.
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they last made representations to the Government of Israel about the proposed evictions of Palestinian residents from Silwan, the proposed King David Tourist Park in East Jerusalem, and the continuing
1 May 2012 : Column WA457
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We have many concerns about Israeli actions in East Jerusalem, which we consider to be occupied territory. These concerns include the removal of residency rights from Palestinians; the evictions of Palestinians and demolition of Palestinian property; the construction of illegal Israeli settlements; possible unilateral changes to the municipal borders; and severe difficulties of access to Jerusalem for Palestinians from the West Bank or for those residents of Jerusalem who live beyond the separation barrier.
Through our Embassy in Tel Aviv and in direct contact with senior Israeli politicians and senior officials, we have lobbied the appropriate Israeli authorities on the wide range of issues connected with East Jerusalem.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon Friend the member for North East Bedfordshire (Mr Burt) most recently raised the general issue of evictions and demolitions during the visit by the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor on 19 March 2012, and Israeli plans for the City of David National Park in Al Bustan area of Silwan in East Jerusalem on 23 February 2012 with the Israeli Ambassador to London. Our Ambassador to Tel Aviv has also regularly raised our concerns with the Interior Ministry, National Security Adviser and other senior Israeli officials and politicians. When last raised with the Jerusalem Municipality, we were assured that the Municipality had no plans to conduct wide-scale demolitions in Silwan in the immediate future.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 23 April (WA 353), when they expect consideration by the European Union of further measures designed to limit expansion of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories and to deter violence by settlers against local inhabitants, including bans on entry to the European Union, to be completed.[HL16830]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The European Union Foreign Affairs Council (EUFAC) most recently discussed the Middle East peace process at their meeting on 23 April 2012. European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers took note of Baroness Ashton's briefing on the peace process in her role as EU representative to the Quartet, including on the statement issued by the Quartet on 11 April 2012. Ministers noted the concern expressed by the Quartet over unilateral and provocative actions
1 May 2012 : Column WA458
There was broad consensus among Ministers at the EUFAC on the need for further EU action on settlements. This was primarily driven by increasing concern about the threat settlements pose to the viability of a two-state solution.
The Government are increasingly concerned about illegal settlement activity and the actions of violent settlers, and their impact on peace and stability. The UK, together with our EU partners, fully supports the efforts of the EU High Representative to maintain focus on these critical issues.
The full statement of the Quartet on 11 April can be found at: www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/ docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/129513.pdf
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): There are a number of initiatives in place to help local healthcare organisations develop their nutritional policies. These include the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence clinical guideline to help the National Health Service identify patients who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition and the "essence of care" benchmarking system, which includes food and drink, and covers health and social care settings.
Government buying standards for food and catering services (GBSF), launched in June 2011, cover nutrition and sustainability aspects of food provision. GBSF is mandatory for central government departments and their agencies. However, local authorities are encouraged to adopt GBSF and, as such, if local authorities are responsible for provision of food in residential/community care settings, they could require them to implement GBSF.
The department has published practical guidance to help caterers provide food that meets the nutritional needs of adults working in or in the care of the public sector and is currently developing plans to update previous guidance on food served to older people. While the department can produce best practice initiatives for care, it is ultimately up to local nursing leadership to both ensure and assure the patients, organisational board and commissioners that good care is delivered.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 28 March (WA 272-3), whether they have used the International Passenger Survey (IPS) figure of 27,000 Romanians migrating to the United Kingdom between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2010 to calculate overall long-term international migration (LTIM) figures for that country; and what assessment they have made of whether the Office for National Statistics Annual Population Survey figure of an increase in the Romanian-born population in the United Kingdom from 23,000 to 87,000 between 2007 and 2010 is a more effective measure than the IPS for the purpose of the calculation of LTIM.[HL16940]
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 28 March (WA 272-3), whether they have used the International Passenger Survey (IPS) figure of 27,000 Romanians migrating to the United Kingdom between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2010 to calculate overall Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) figures for that country: and what assessment they have made of whether the Office for National Statistics Annual Population Survey figure of an increase in the Romanian-born population in the United Kingdom from 23,000 to 87,000 between 2007 and 2010 is a more effective measure than the IPS for the purpose of the calculation of LTIM (16940).
ONS uses the International Passenger Survey (IPS) data to estimate Long-Term International Migration (LTIM), with adjustments made for asylum seekers, people whose intentions change with regards to their length of stay, and migration to and from Northern Ireland. LTIM estimates adhere to the UN definition of a long-term international migrant, which states that a long-term migrant is a person who changes his or her country of usual residence for a period of at least a year According to the IPS, the net flow of long-term migrants from Romania between the year ending December 2007 and the year ending December 2010 was 23,000.
ONS have made an assessment of the different sources of data on international migration and published a report, available at the following link: http.//www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/migrationl/population-by-country-of-birth-and-nationality/sources-of-international-migration-data/differences-between-sources-of-international-migration-data.pdf.
This research focused on the Labour Force Survey, Annual Population Survey (APS), International Passenger Survey and Long-Term International Migration, and
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To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the prohibitive costs to public funds of introducing a mandatory register for all healthcare support workers referred to by Earl Howe in a debate on the Health and Social Care Bill on 13 March (Official Report, col. 186-7).[HL16920]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the "other considerations" in addition to cost which Earl Howe cited as making the introduction of a mandatory register for all healthcare support workers prohibitive, in a debate on the Health and Social Care Bill on 13 March (HL Deb, cols 186-7). [HL16921]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): During the debate of 13 March, I was referring to the abolition of the General Social Care Council and transfer of the regulation of social workers in England to the Health and Care Professions Council.
The department commissioned some independent analysis of the costs and benefits of regulating around 250,000 domiciliary care workers in 2009. This work indicated that, with a requirement that all workers would have to achieve a national vocational qualification level 2 over two years, or have made good progress towards doing so, the costs would be in the region of £435 million over 10 years. While the prevalence of qualifications among the National Health Service workforce may be higher, introducing mandatory statutory regulation for healthcare support workers would be likely to be of the same order of magnitude, and we could not commit to introduce regulation without a clear understanding of the costs and benefits.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 23 April (WA 357), how many hospital private finance initiative projects have been undertaken against the
1 May 2012 : Column WA461
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): A protocol was drawn up between the Department and Monitor in 2007 in Roles and Responsibilities in the Approval of NHS Foundation Trust PFI Schemes, a copy of which has been placed in the Library. This makes it clear that Monitor's role is to review major investment proposals and to ensure that financial viability of the NHS foundation trust will not be undermined if the transaction proceeds. It also states that in carrying out such a review, Monitor will not approve or reject a scheme; that is the role of the Board of the Foundation Trust. Monitor expects the Board to take into consideration the findings of the review and the likely impact on the published financial risk rating if the scheme were to go ahead.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what has been the resource budget of the Office for Life Sciences in each year since it was established; what it will be in each of the next three years; what discussions (1) the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and (2) the Minister of State for Universities and Science, have had with HM Treasury Ministers about the Office since July 2011, and with what results.[HL16960]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Office for Life Sciences (OLS) was established in January 2009 comprising officials from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), HM Treasury, the Department of Health (DH) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). The OLS had a remit to work with the life sciences industry to build a sustainable and integrated industry in the UK in the future. Its work culminated in the Life Sciences Blueprint, published in July 2009, followed by Life Sciences 2010: Delivering the Life Sciences Blueprint, published in January 2010.
In May 2010, the OLS was restructured with all staff now funded by my department. The OLS continues to work closely and collaboratively with the Department of Health to ensure the UK maintains and builds on its world leading position in life sciences.
|Financial Year||Month||Budget £|
In December 2011, the Prime Minister launched the Strategy for UK Life Sciences. This sets out an ambitious programme of activity designed to position
1 May 2012 : Column WA462
The OLS is currently undergoing a reorganisation to ensure the strategy implementation is properly supported. The reorganisation will utilise vacant posts, and operate within the same staffing envelope and resource budget to ensure more focused responsibilities and greater efficiency. It is not possible at this time to confirm what the exact resource budget will be in 2012-13 but it is likely to remain broadly the same as for 2011-12.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions the Department for Education has had with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about its plans for the implementation of the United Nations resolution declaring the Olympic Truce for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.[HL16769]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is co-ordinating the government international response to the UN resolution on the Olympic Truce in support of pursuing the Government's conflict prevention objectives as set out in the Government's Building Stability Overseas Strategy.
Baroness Northover: The United Kingdom currently gives general budget support to Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia. Sector budget support is also provided to Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. The Department for International Development does not classify states as "single-party" or otherwise.
In order to receive budget support, partner countries must demonstrate commitment to partnership principles, which include strengthening domestic accountability. The coalition Government reviewed the overall approach to providing budget support in 2011 and all new budget support proposals must include clear plans for implementation of our commitment to spend up to 5% (of the value of budget support) on domestic accountability institutions.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 28 March (WA 278-9), what future subsidies or additional contributions they are liable for following the introduction of the Royal Mail Statutory Pension Scheme; what are the previous and new rates of employer and employee contributions; whether the proposed public sector pension scheme changes apply to the new scheme; and whether its liabilities become part of whole of government accounts. [HL16939]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Royal Mail Statutory Pension Scheme (RMSPS) commenced on l April 2012. The scheme provides for the payment of pensions that had built up prior to that date in the Royal Mail Pension Plan (RMPP). As members cannot accrue new benefits in the RMSPS, new employer and employee contributions are not made into the scheme.
Active members of the RMPP will build up new benefits within that scheme from I April. The trustees of the scheme and the employer are responsible for setting contribution rates. Employer and employee contributions remain the same within the RMPP after 1 April as before that date, namely 17.1% from the main employer (Royal Mail Group) and 6% from employees.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how their race integration policies, reflected in the equality strategy, the social mobility strategy and Creating the Conditions for Integration, are contributing to the elimination of racism and the fair treatment of black and minority ethnic people by the police service in England and Wales and, in particular, by the London Metropolitan Police Service.[HL16875]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the timescale and process for responding to the recommendations in part two of the report of the Independent Review of Police Officers' and Staff Remuneration and Conditions.[HL16817]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many claims for judicial review have been lodged by prisoners against (1) the Prison Service, and (2) the Secretary of State for Justice, within the last three years; and in what proportion of those cases has a written response been made within 14 days of receipt of the letter of claim.[HL16833]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): While the number of judicial reviews received from prisoners or their representatives against the Secretary of State for Justice are recorded centrally, there is no such record of letters before action. Such correspondence is addressed by the most appropriate prison, headquarters unit or by the Treasury Solicitors Department, depending on the nature and complexity of the complaint. To answer the question in full would require a trawl through thousands of individual records held at over 136 various sites. This could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): On 31 January 2012 there were 38.5 unfilled posts at HMP Isis. These cover the grades in the table below. A number of officers are currently going through the recruitment process.
|Vacant Posts at HMP Isis-31 January 2012|
|Vacant Posts (Full Time Equivalent)|
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many incidents there have been at HMP Isis of (1) assaults on prisoners, (2) assaults on staff, (3) assaults requiring hospitalisation, and (4) concerted indiscipline, for the latest 12-month period for which figures are available.[HL16879]
Lord McNally: Since 2009 the MoJ has published a wide range of statistical information on various aspects of safety in custody. National and prison-level statistics on deaths, self-harm and assaults can be found at the following website location: http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/statistics-and-data/prisons-and-probation/safety-in-custody.htm.
In 2010, there were 24 assaults recorded at HMP/YOI Isis. In relation to the detail requested, the information is provided in the following table. The figures should not be added together to form a total, as they are overlapping subsets.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements they are proposing to protect and compensate house owners the value and saleability of whose properties will be affected by the proposal for High Speed 2; and whether they are considering the implementation of a property bond scheme. [HL16935]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many requests to access communications data under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 have been (1) authorised and (2) denied in each year since the Act came into force.[HL16882]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): All communications data statistics are published in the annual reports of the Interception of Communications Commissioner. The number of requests to access communications data before 2005 was not published by the commissioner. The following table shows the number of communication disclosures published in the commissioner's annual reports 2005-10.
Please note that the 2005-06 report covers the period from 1 January 2005 to 31 March 2006. The 2006 report covers the period from 11 April 2006 to 31 December 2006 as there was a change of commissioner in April 2006.
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