The UK Border Agency is co-operating fully with the investigations being conducted by the police, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman and the coroner into the circumstances surrounding Mr Mubenga’s death and will carefully consider the outcome and findings of these investigations.

Israel

Questions

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the Government of Israel on its compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1860.[HL741]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We remain concerned about the situation in Gaza and the constant risk of an escalation of violence. We condemn any attacks involving the targeting of civilians, including rocket attacks by militant Palestinian groups from Gaza into southern Israel. We regularly make representations on this issue and call on all sides to show restraint.

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In close co-ordination with our European Union partners and the Office of the Quartet Representative, we continue to press the Israeli Government to ease restrictions on Gaza. We have called for a sustained increase in the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons from and to the Gaza Strip and on improved access to agricultural and fishing areas. The Israeli restrictions do significant and measurable damage to the economy and living standards of ordinary people in Gaza and only serve to strengthen, not weaken, Hamas.

A solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is needed urgently to give the Palestinian people the state that they need and deserve, and the Israeli people the security and peace that have eluded them for so long. We regularly urge both sides to focus on dialogue, to avoid steps that could undermine the prospects for peace and to work towards the resumption of direct negotiations.

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the United Nations has passed resolutions requiring Israel to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect its nuclear facilities; and what assessment they have made of the reaction of the Government of Israel.[HL745]

Lord Howell of Guildford: United Nations Security Council Resolution 487 in 1981 called on Israel to place its nuclear facilities under the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The United Nations General Assembly and IAEA have also passed several resolutions relating to this issue. Israel has maintained a policy of ambiguity surrounding its nuclear status. The Israeli Government responded to the United Nations Security Council resolution at the time by rejecting it, describing it as “biased and one sided”. However, Israel has voluntarily allowed safeguards at the US-supplied research reactor at Nahel Soreq.

The UK has consistently called on Israel to sign up to the non-proliferation treaty and to agree a full- scope comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

Israel and Palestine

Questions

Asked by Lord Judd

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 11 June (WA 207), whether they will make representations to the Government of Israel about the transfer of Palestinian child prisoners to detention facilities located in Israel, in the light of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.[HL720]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Our embassy in Tel Aviv lobbies the Israeli authorities regularly on the issue of Palestinian child prisoners.

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In addition to our lobbying of the Israeli authorities, the UK has supported research into this issue by leading UK and international lawyers; the report is due to be published in late June/early July.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the Government of Israel’s compliance with the terms of the 14 May agreement concerning Palestinian prisoners.[HL841]

Lord Howell of Guildford: On the 16 May 2012, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), welcomed the deal reached between the prisoners and the Israeli authorities. Our embassy in Tel Aviv and consulate-general in Jerusalem have been working closely with both sides to encourage a resolution of this issue, which we hope will be fully implemented over the coming weeks. However, we have continuing concerns over the reported extension of administrative detention orders. We also continue to raise our concerns with the Israeli authorities about the extensive use of administrative detention, pressing for Israel to either charge or release administrative detainees.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the Government of Israel about ending the practice of administrative detention, in the light of reports from Amnesty International that a further 30 detention orders have been renewed, and three new ones issued, since the 14 May agreement with Palestinian hunger strikers was made.[HL842]

Lord Howell of Guildford: On the 16 May 2012, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), welcomed the deal reached between the prisoners and the Israeli authorities. Our embassy in Tel Aviv and consulate-general in Jerusalem have been working closely with both sides to encourage a resolution of this issue, which we hope will be fully implemented over the coming weeks. However, we have continuing concerns over the reported extension of administrative detention orders. We also continue to raise our concerns with the Israeli authorities about the extensive use of administrative detention, pressing for Israel to either charge or release administrative detainees.

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what support they are giving to the Parents Circle Families Forum in Israel and Palestine.[HL929]

Baroness Northover: The UK welcomes the work of the Parents Circle Families Forum (PCFF) in promoting reconciliation between families on both sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We are not currently providing financial support to the PCFF in Israel or the Occupied

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Palestinian Territories. However, PCFF has participated in a UK-funded project on the use of social media by human rights organisations.

Libya

Question

Asked by Lord Janner of Braunstone

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their latest assessment of Libya’s transition towards democracy.[HL821]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Libya has made important progress in the last year. On 7 July, the country is scheduled to have its first democratic elections in over 40 years. It has worked rapidly, supported by the United Nations (UN), to prepare for National Assembly elections and, while there will no doubt be some irregularities and setbacks, this will be a significant achievement of which the Libyan people should be proud. The UN estimates that 78% of all those eligible have registered to vote and around half of these are women.

However, there is undoubtedly much still to be done. It is important that the new Libya upholds its commitments to human rights and the rule of law, and addresses concerns we have about reports regarding the treatment of detainees in custody. It is also important that the Libyan Government restore security to the streets and militias are properly reintegrated into society, and make further progress with restarting the economy and building government institutions.

Nuclear Security

Question

Asked by Lord Foulkes of Cumnock

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to increase capacity in the United Kingdom nuclear risk market to facilitate the future nuclear new build programme.[HL662]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The Government continue to work with nuclear operators and insurers to encourage them to enter the nuclear insurance market and/or to provide coverage for all elements of operators’ third-party liability.

Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012: Transport

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their present assessment of the readiness of the transport infrastructure to cope with the additional journeys as a result of the Olympics and Paralympics this summer.[HL813]

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Earl Attlee: Some £6.5 billion has been invested in transport infrastructure and detailed operational planning. Additional park and ride, direct coach services and extended national rail, Tube and DLR services are all ready.

We are confident that the transport system will be able to get people to and from Games events but we encourage all spectators to plan their journeys in advance and to allow sufficient time.

We are also confident that we can keep London and the UK moving and “open for business”. An extensive programme of engagement is under way to assist those travelling in areas affected by the Games to plan their journeys and, where appropriate, consider alternative times, routes or modes of transport.

Further details can be found at www.getaheadofthegames.com.

Overseas Aid

Question

Asked by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what percentage of the United Kingdom’s bilateral aid is spent in low-income countries.[HL714]

Baroness Northover: In 2011, 41% of the United Kingdom’s bilateral aid was directly attributable to low-income countries. This is the highest level since 2007. In addition, a further 40% is regional spend, a substantial proportion of which will include low-income countries. The breakdown of this regional spend will not be available until autumn when Statistics on International Development is published.

The remaining 59% of bilateral aid includes middle-income countries such as Ghana and Nigeria, which remain DfID focus countries because they are assessed to be in need of development assistance given their levels of poverty.

The coalition Government have closed many programmes in middle-income countries, such as Russia and China.

Pakistan

Question

Asked by Lord Wills

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what advice they have sought and received on the legality of the United States’ use of drones in Pakistan.[HL732]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Drone strikes are a matter for the United States and Pakistan, which are facing a shared and dangerous threat from terrorists. Naturally, we expect all concerned to act in accordance with international law.

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Pensions

Question

Asked by Lord Janner of Braunstone

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what actions they will take following the release of figures from the Office for National Statistics indicating that their plans to link the state pension age to life expectancy will disproportionately affect people in the north of England because they live shorter lives.[HL856]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The Chancellor announced at this year’s Budget that there will be an automatic review of the state pension age to ensure it keeps pace with increases in longevity. Details of how this will operate will be published later this year.

Pitcairn Island

Question

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proposals they have discussed regarding the construction of a light aircraft landing strip on Pitcairn to promote tourism.[HL671]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government keep all options for developing a sustainable economy in the Pitcairn Islands under review, but specific proposals for a light aircraft landing strip are not under discussion. Current strategies for developing tourism on Pitcairn are based around increasing tourist numbers arriving by cruise ship, by private yacht and on the scheduled sailings of the MV “Claymore II”.

Prisons: Mothers and Babies

Questions

Asked by Baroness Benjamin

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many women in England and Wales were refused a place on a mother and baby unit in prisons in each of the past five years.[HL796]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many women currently serving custodial sentences in England and Wales have children under the age of 18 months with them in prison.[HL797]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the annual cost of a place on a mother and baby unit.[HL798]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many women gave birth whilst serving a custodial sentence in England and Wales in each of the past five years.[HL799]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): For the week ending 24 July 2012, 46 women currently serving custodial sentences in England and Wales had children under the age of 18 months with them in prison.

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The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) began to centrally collect information on how many women in England and Wales were refused a place on a mother and baby unit (MBUs) in prisons from 2010. The number of women who applied for a place on a MBU from 2010-12 was 528, of whom 69 were refused a place. Data for 2007-09 are not available.

NOMS does not centrally record information on how many women gave birth whilst serving a custodial sentence in England and Wales in each of the past five years. NOMS is required only to collect information relating to pregnant mothers and babies in prison to aid the management of places on MBUs. Wider data on births during a custodial sentence are maintained locally; to provide information on the number of mothers who gave birth would require us manually searching an excess of 4,000 prisoner records in the 13 women’s prisons in England and Wales to collate the information for the period in question.

NOMS also does not centrally collect information on the annual cost of a place on a mother and baby unit. NOMS holds information only on prisoner costs at establishment level. The average resource cost of a female prisoner is £49,000 per annum. This is based on the overall average costs per prisoner, for 2010-11, published as part of the management information addendum to the NOMS annual report and accounts 2010-11.

Railways: Fare Evasion

Questions

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what evidence they have that gating schemes at ticket barriers are more effective at reducing fare evasion than “on train” ticket inspections.[HL780]

Earl Attlee: Several factors affect a passenger’s decision to evade paying the correct fare, including revenue protection staff, gating schemes and the level of penalty fares. The evidence available to the department from train operating companies is that an effective strategy to reduce ticketless travel uses all three approaches. Gating and ticket inspectors can both be effective strategies and train operators will usually choose the most cost-effective balance for their franchise area.

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they allow rail franchisees to choose their own method of reducing fare evasion on trains.[HL781]

Earl Attlee: The Department for Transport considers that, where possible, forthcoming franchises should permit train operators to address ticketless travel in the way they consider to be the most effective. A number of the franchises let by the previous Government include a so-called “cap and collar” provision. This makes the department liable, in certain circumstances, to provide revenue support to the franchisee. The presence of such arrangements can dilute the commercial incentives on train operators to protect revenue and

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tackle fare evasion. In some cases, this has meant that contractual obligations have been imposed through the franchise requiring certain actions to be taken on ticketless travel and gating.

Rwanda

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will suspend budgetary and military aid to Rwanda until the Government there cease their support of military commanders and militias attacking the Democratic Republic of Congo, following the precedent set by Sweden and the Netherlands in 2008.[HL804]

Baroness Northover: The Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Howell, and the Secretary of State for International Development, the right honourable Andrew Mitchell, have expressed concerns about the situation in the Kivus recently, in person, to the Rwandan Foreign Minister. They have also emphasised the need for the Congolese Government, with support from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), to tackle all armed groups in the region, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and M23, and bring to justice perpetrators of crimes of international concern. The UK and its partners continue to monitor the situation closely, on which basis it will consider any further action.

Social Care: Funding

Questions

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much local authorities spent on adult social care (in constant prices) in 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11 and 2011–12. [HL626]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): Outturn figures for local authority net current expenditure for 2008-09 can be found from revenue outturn data on the Department for Communities and Local Government website at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/statistics/xls/140135413.xls.

2009-10 outturn figures can be found at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/statistics/xls/2031748.xls.

2010-11 outturn figures can be found at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/statistics/xls/2123435.

2011-12 figures are not comparative with previous years, due to transfers of responsibility between the NHS and local government.

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2011-12 budget figures can be found from revenue account budget data at: http://www.communities.gov .uk/documents/statistics/xls/1933882.xls.

Figures for the GDP deflator can be found on the HM Treasury website http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/data_gdp_fig.htm.

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of the additional funding for rehabilitation and adult social care services made available to the National Health Service and local government following the 2010 Budget has been spent on the services for which the money was intended; and what measures are in place to monitor whether that funding is used for the purposes intended.[HL627]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): In recognition of the pressures on the social care system in a challenging local government settlement, the Government have allocated an additional £7.2 billion by 2014-15 to support the delivery of social care. As part of this, the National Health Service will provide support to local authorities by funding measures that support social care. This will promote improved joint working between the health and social care systems.

Of this additional funding for 2011-12, £648 million was allocated for transfer by the NHS to local authorities, with another £150 million allocated to primary care trusts (PCTs) for spending on reablement services, which help people to regain their independence after a crisis.

PCTs and local authorities are expected to work together to agree jointly appropriate areas for social care investment, with a shared analysis of need and a common agreement on the outcomes to be met. We will also expect them to monitor how this funding has been used and to report back to the department.

NHS planning assurance indicates that, at the end of 2011-12, all of the £150 million was planned for spending on reablement and that there were plans for the full £648 million to be transferred to local authorities.

In September 2011, the department collected information from primary care trusts to understand how the transfer of NHS money was progressing and on which services it was being used. A demonstrative graph of all of the forms that the money is being spent on can be found in the NHS publication The Quarter, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.

Somalia

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they will make regarding the request by the Prime Minister of Kenya for European Union assistance in capturing the port of Kismayo, Somalia from al-Shabaab.[HL778]

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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government have no current plans to make representations regarding the request by the Prime Minister of Kenya for European Union assistance in capturing the port of Kismayo. We welcome the formal agreement between the African Union and the Government of Kenya to integrate Kenyan troops into the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) signed on 2 June, and strongly encourage Kenya to co-ordinate all its activities through the AMISOM command and control structures.

Spencer Perceval

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask the Chairman of Committees whether he will invite the House Committee to support placing a plaque on the spot where Spencer Perceval was shot on 11 May 1812 and moving the incorrectly placed tiles.[HL792]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Sewel): The placement of a plaque on the site of the assassination, in St Stephen’s Hall, would require approval from both Houses. In the House of Lords, approval would be needed from the Administration and Works Committee. In the House of Commons, the Administration Committee would consider such matters and make a recommendation to Mr Speaker, who would decide whether to approve it. I would be content to put this matter before the Administration and Works Committee for consideration if the noble Lord was to write to me with a formal proposal.

The floor tiles around the area of the assassination were badly damaged during the Second World War and have been repaired over the years with spare tiles which were in stock. Three years ago, the Parliamentary Estates Directorate embarked on a programme to repair the tiles in St Stephen’s Hall and, as part of that programme, the original pattern of tiles around the site of the assassination will be restored, with replicas where necessary. It is hoped that this work will be completed in the next 12 months.

Sudan

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether any UK Government officials attended a meeting held at the London Embassy of Sudan on 30 May; and, if so, what was the purpose of that meeting; how many UK companies were represented, and what are their business interests in Sudan; whether any UK Government official spoke during the proceedings, and if so what was said and whether reference was made to the indictment of the President of Sudan for crimes against humanity, the alleged aerial bombardment of South Kordofan or human rights abuses in Sudan.[HL831]

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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): An official from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) was invited to an event at the Sudanese embassy in London on 30 May, hosted by the Middle East Association. The Middle East Association invited approximately 20 companies to discuss a potential visit to Sudan organised by the association.

The UKTI official was asked to speak about the opportunities and obstacles to trade with Sudan. In this context the official covered the effect of US trade sanctions, difficulties companies have experience with banking services in Sudan, Sudanese efforts to diversify from oil to agriculture industries, and UKTI services.

Syria

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made an estimate of the number of refugees and asylum-seekers from Syria in (1) Turkey, (2) Lebanon, and (3) Jordan.[HL717]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The number of Syrian nationals officially registered as refugees in neighbouring countries as at 11 June totals 75,173, distributed as follows: Turkey—27,405; Lebanon—19,068; Jordan—24,151; Iraq—4,549. We understand there are a further 11,000 refugees awaiting registration, and unofficial estimates suggest there are over 89,000 Syrians in need of assistance in neighbouring countries. The UK remains concerned about the number of Syrians fleeing the violence in Syria. We are engaging regularly with agencies and Governments in neighbouring countries to ensure an effective response.

The Department for International Development has committed to date £8.5 million towards the

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humanitarian assistance effort in Syria and neighbouring countries through humanitarian partners including the United Nations. This includes, on 19 April 2012, our announcement of £2 million funding to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to contribute to meeting critically assessed needs of up to 96,500 refugees in the region.

The UK also provides substantial core contributions to UNHCR to cover its operations worldwide including the Middle East region. We are in frequent contact with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with regard to the numbers of people affected and what further assistance may be needed from the international community.

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will contribute to the appeal of the International Organization for Migration in conjunction with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, for funds to meet the needs of Syrian refugees in northern Iraq.[HL863]

Baroness Northover: The UK has committed £2 million to support the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to assist Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, including Iraq. This is in addition to substantial core funding which the department provides to UNHCR for its global operations. We are not contributing directly to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) appeal, but UNHCR is working in partnership with local partners and other humanitarian agencies, including IOM, to ensure aid reaches those who need it most. The UK has also committed £2 million to the UN-managed Emergency Response Fund to support the humanitarian response in Syria and the region, through which IOM would be eligible to access further funding. We are engaging regularly with our humanitarian partners as to what further help may be needed.