18 Nov 2013 : Column WA127

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA127

Written Answers

Monday 18 November 2013

Agriculture: Genetically Modified Crops

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which member of the Government is responsible for the United Kingdom’s approach in the case before the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding the decision of the European Food Safety Authority to allow genetically-modified soya beans to be marketed by Monsanto in the European Union; and whether any organisations are contributing to Her Majesty's Government's legal costs in that case.[HL3054]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The United Kingdom has a strong interest in the science-based system underpinning genetically modified product applications and so has applied to intervene in this case, which concerns the authorisation of genetically modified food and feed. Any intervention will represent the view of the Government as a whole and the only likely external legal costs will be those from instructing counsel and costs of attending any hearing should that prove necessary.

Agriculture: Pollinators

Question

Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the National Pollinator Strategy will include dates and quantifiable targets for actions; whether it will aim to deliver results by 2020 in line with the Nagoya Biodiversity Protocol; and when the Strategy will be published.[HL3290]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley) (Con): The National Pollinator Strategy will guide our efforts in England to safeguard pollination services for agriculture and broader biodiversity benefits. It will describe plans to improve our understanding of the abundance, diversity and role of pollinators over the next three to five years and identify any necessary additional actions and targets to strengthen our response. It will also describe pollinator-relevant actions for government and others to implement now, building on the many initiatives already underway. The National Pollinator Strategy will build on existing plans and commitments agreed under the Convention on Biological Diversity (‘Nagoya protocol’) and being implemented under Biodiversity 2020. A full public consultation on the draft Strategy will be held early in 2014 and the final Strategy published by early summer.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA128

Alcohol

Question

Asked by Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they will publish the Chief Medical Officer’s review of safe drinking levels, and their response to it. [HL3150]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): My Answer of 17 June, Official Report, column WA1, on alcohol stated that, if the United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers decide, in the light of the evidence review, to develop new guidelines, we would expect to consult on the new guidelines once they have been developed. It is at that stage that the evidence review would also be published.

Asylum Seekers

Questions

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of the email to all his staff dated September 11 from Glyn Williams, Head of the Asylum Casework Directorate in the Home Office.[HL2344]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): A copy of Glyn Williams' email to staff will not be placed in the Library of the House. The email is an internal staff message and contains confidential information, including Asylum Casework Directorate's restructure plans. These are, as yet, incomplete. Publishing this information would undermine the restructure process.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what provision is made, or will be made, for the rehabilitation of (1) asylum seekers detained in detention centres whose claims are successful, (2) individuals who have been detained in detention centres and are subsequently released, and (3) individuals who, in exceptional circumstances, are detained in detention centres for a period of (a) 1–2 years, (b) 2–3 years, and (c) three years or more.[HL2915]

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: We do not make provision for the rehabilitation of asylum seekers whether detained in detention centres or otherwise.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their rationale in not permitting asylum seekers, and failed asylum seekers, to apply for permission to work until their claims, or further submissions, have been outstanding for 12 months or more. [HL3017]

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA129

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: I refer the noble Lord to my answer of 12 March 2013, Official Report, column WA48.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what procedures are in place to ensure that Home Office decision-making on asylum cases does not prioritise the 60 per cent target rejection rate over the viability of any given case.[HL3112]

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The asylum casework directorate (ACD) does not have a 60 per cent target rejection rate for decision making. All asylum cases are treated on their individual merits, on a case-by-case basis.

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 30 October (WA 254), in the light of their decision not to appeal the Northern Ireland High Court judgment to quash a removal decision in the matter of the application by ALJ and A, B and C, whether they will now amend the relevant protocols on the admission to the United Kingdom of children of asylum seekers who were first registered in the Republic of Ireland.[HL3126]

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The Government has no plans to amend policy or legislation as a result of the decision of 14 August in the Northern Ireland High Court in the matter of an application by ALJ and A, B and C.

We are satisfied that Ireland is a safe country for the removal of asylum seekers, including children, from the UK in accordance with its position in the list of safe countries at Part two of Schedule three to the Immigration and Asylum (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004.

Banking

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Newby on 14 October (WA 56), whether they can, in any of the three stabilisation powers listed or the one proposed, overrule a vote of holders of bonds and sub-equity instruments issued prior to the enactment of the Banking Act 2009; and whether they are considering this in the current circumstances of the Co-operative Bank.[HL2829]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The special resolution regime (SRR), established by the Banking Act 2009, includes three stabilisation options: the private sector purchaser (PSP) tool, the bridge bank (BB) tool, and the temporary public ownership tool (TPO). These options include

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA130

powers to carry out the transfer of shares and other securities or property, rights and liabilities, and to make related provision.

The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill will introduce a fourth stabilisation option, the bail-in option, which will provide the Bank of England with powers to divest shareholders of a failing bank of their shares and other securities, and powers to cancel or reduce creditors' claims to the extent necessary to restore the bank to financial viability.

The powers under the stabilisation options (including the new bail-in option) in relation to securities apply irrespective of when those securities were issued, and would not be constrained by votes of the holders of those securities prior to the firm entering the SRR.

Information about the use of the SRR powers and the safeguards for creditors is set out in the SRR Code of Practice, which is available from www. gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/209933/bankingact 2009_code_of_practice.pdf and in the draft annex to the Code of Practice setting out further information about the bail-in option, which is available from www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads /attachment_data/file/248720/Draft_bail- in_annex_to_ the_Banking_Act_Code_of_Practice.docx.

The Bank of England is the authority with lead responsibility for resolution. The Government has frequent discussions with the Bank of England, at Ministerial and official level, about the full range of firms and across a range of issues. It would not be appropriate to comment on the details of discussions about individual firms.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Question

Asked by Lord Pearson of Rannoch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Lord Newby on 30 October (HL Deb, col. 1579), what is the basis for their view that the European Union created a sustainable peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina; and what effect NATO had on creating the peace.[HL3133]

Lord Newby (LD): Both the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) have played important roles in ensuring peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). From a military perspective, the NATO led Implementation Force (IFOR) was vital for implementing aspects of the Dayton Peace Accords, and its successor, the Stabilisation Force (SFOR), played an important role in stabilising the peace in Bill. The European Union Force (EUFOR) Operation Althea. an EU Common Security and Defence Policy Mission, replaced SFOR in 2004. EUFOR Althea continues to retain a UN mandate to help the BiH authorities preserve a safe and secure environment and to provide capacity building and training for Bill's armed forces. We believe it continues to act as an effective deterrent to those within BiH who continue to question the territorial integrity of BiH.

On the political side, EU member states appointed Lord Carrington (1991), Lord Owen (1992) and later

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA131

Carl Bildt (1995) as EU Representatives for the Former Yugoslavia, and Co-Chairmen of the International Conference on Yugoslavia. These positions were followed by the creation of an EU Special Representative (EUSR) for BiH in 2002. The incumbent, Peter Sorensen. continues to help sustain the stability of BiH through facilitating reforms related to EAU accession. An EU Police Mission (EUPM) was also active in BiH from 2003 to 2012 and oversaw important developments in the rule of law.

This Government believes that the strongest way to ensure the long term stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina is through membership of the EU and NATO. The path to membership of both organisations provides an important normalisation and reform process. The UK fully supports the important work of both EU and NATO missions in BiH to help the Bosnians achieve these goals.

Burma

Questions

Asked by Baroness Jenkin of Kennington

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to encourage Burma’s involvement in Family Planning 2020.[HL3262]

Baroness Northover (LD): The UK Government will continue to support Burma’s efforts in engaging with Family Planning 2020, including though dialogue with the relevant ministry.

Asked by Baroness Jenkin of Kennington

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to take steps to assist Burma in improving the quality of its maternity services.[HL3263]

Baroness Northover: The UK has allocated £80 million over four financial years (2012 to 2016) in support of the Three Millennium Development Goal Trust Fund in Burma. This fund supports access to essential health services for maternal and child health and family planning.

Care: Care Costs

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what forecast they have made of the average amount elderly people will have to spend on care bills before qualifying for state help, as a result of the introduction of the cap on care costs.[HL3201]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): People currently have no protection from catastrophic care costs. The introduction of the cap will limit the maximum amount people have to pay towards their care costs to £72,000.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA132

Due to the introduction of the extended means test in residential care two thirds of people who reach the cap will pay less than £72,000. This is due to the fact that the local authority contributions will count toward the cap.

An illustration of the amount that people of different levels of assets could contribute towards their care costs is provided in Caring for Our Future: A consultation on what and how people pay for their care and support (Figure 4 page 37), a copy of which has already been placed in the Library.

If people choose care which is more expensive care than the local authority would pay they will remain responsible for these additional costs.

People will also remain responsible for their daily living costs in residential care just as they would meet these costs if they were receiving care within their own home.

Children: Care Homes

Question

Asked by The Earl of Listowel

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are considering the impact of obligations on police reporting of crime on avoidable criminalisation of children in children’s homes.[HL3261]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): We expect police forces to record all crimes that are reported to them, in compliance with the established principles that govern the crime recording process. However, we recognise the importance of ensuring that officers have discretion and flexibility in order to deal with offenders by the most suitable disposal available.

Restorative justice and community-based resolutions are currently used by the majority of police forces as the more appropriate means to respond to low level offending that is perpetrated by young or first-time offenders. Decisions on the appropriate disposal are an operational matter for forces. However, through the new crime outcomes framework, introduced by this Government, forces will inform the public on the number of crimes where no action was taken by virtue of the offenders young age.

Children: Child Abuse

Question

Asked by Baroness Scotland of Asthal

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of mandatory reporting provisions for teachers and care professionals in relation to child abuse allegations in the United States, Canada and Australia; and what consideration has been given to introducing similar provisions in the United Kingdom.[HL3250]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The Department has looked at a range of research about mandatory reporting, including the impact of mandatory reporting systems in the

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA133

United States, Canada and Australia. Given the various reporting models and different child protection systems in place, there are inherent difficulties in comparing mandatory reporting laws internationally.

The research is not clear on whether introducing mandatory reporting can result in children being better protected. It can make children less safe by flooding the system with referrals, many of which are not substantiated following investigation. This could divert resource from helping children and families and cause considerable distress.

Our statutory guidance 'Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013' is already crystal clear that professionals should refer immediately to social care when they are concerned about a child. We believe what is needed is better training and awareness for professionals to understand how to spot abuse and neglect and the impact it has on children.

Children: Child Labour

Question

Asked by Baroness Doocey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what has been done by law enforcement agencies to provide intelligence to local authorities for the removal of children from the worst forms of child labour. [HL3123]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): We consider the worst forms of child labour to be child abuse which is an abhorrent crime and, where this happens, we are committed to ensuring these crimes are thoroughly and properly investigated and those responsible arrested and brought to justice.

Under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 both the police and local authorities have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Therefore, where the police suspect a child is a victim of trafficking for the purposes of labour exploitation, slavery or servitude they should work in partnership with the local authority to ensure the safety and welfare of the child.

Children: Looked-after Children

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have plans to instruct social services departments to record all children with “looked after” status, resulting from the imprisonment of a parent or carer; and, if not, why not.[HL3354]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): Local authorities collect information on the circumstances for coming into care of all their looked after children, including whether their parents are in custody or prison. Under the Children Act 1989, local authorities have a statutory duty to provide support needed to both the child and to the child’s parents as necessary.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA134

The Government collects information about looked after children from local authorities on an annual basis and published the data in the Statistical First Releases. Children who are looked after as a result of the imprisonment of a parent or carer are included in the data collection under the heading “absent parenting” – a category used for all children who do not have a parent who can support them.

Children: Sexual Abuse

Question

Asked by Baroness Doocey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they intend to ratify the 2007 Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.[HL3125]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): The UK signed the Council of Europe's Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse in May 2008. An initial examination suggests that the UK is compliant with the vast majority of the Convention's articles, but there are a small number of articles which require further assessment before the UK is in a position to ratify the Convention. In addition to work on the Convention, the Government has set out a comprehensive programme to tackle sexual violence in the action plan of the Sexual Violence Against Children and Vulnerable People National Group.

Crime: Domestic Violence

Question

Asked by Baroness Scotland of Asthal

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they are working to combat any social stigma attached to being a victim of domestic violence.[HL3249]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): The Government is committed to challenging the stigma which can be attached to being a victim of domestic violence and abuse. The Home Office has run two recent national campaigns aimed at 13 to 18 year olds to show that abuse, sexual assault or rape are never the victim's fault. The campaigns encouraged teenagers to re-think their views of violence, abuse, controlling behaviour and what consent means in relationships, and directed them to places for help and advice. We will re-launch this initiative later in the year.

Defence: Procurement

Question

Asked by Lord Lee of Trafford

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their latest estimated cost of examining the Government-owned, contractor-operated option for defence procurement.[HL3159]

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA135

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The Materiel Strategy programme is currently in the Assessment Phase and is considering two options; DE&S+ and a Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) model. The Concept Phase of the programme started in May 2011 and analysed a number of different operating models. It concluded with the approval of the Initial Gate Business Case in April 2013 and cost £12 million. The Assessment Phase is currently developing both DE&S+ and GOCO options.

Drones

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the use of drones for civilian purposes.[HL3328]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): Civilian Remotely Piloted Aircraft operations are closely regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and are treated in the same manner as that of an equivalent manned aircraft; this applies to all aspects of ‘unmanned’ aviation, from the initial design and construction, or airworthiness, through to the safety requirements of how it is flown and operated. This viewpoint is shared internationally.

For the smaller sized, lightweight systems, which are referred to as small unmanned aircraft—those which are flown at short range and always within the sight of the person flying them—these are overseen to a lesser extent by the CAA, proportional to the level of risk involved.

Education: 14-15 Year-olds

Question

Asked by Lord Hanningfield

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to improve and enhance the secondary school teaching syllabus aimed at 14- to 15- year olds, and in particular those who would benefit from vocational courses.[HL3157]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The Secretary of State asked Professor Alison Wolf to carry out an independent review of vocational education, which concluded in March 2011. The independent review found that urgent action was needed to ensure that the vocational qualifications, 14-15 year olds take, are of a high quality, promote progression into further education or employment and are not so extensive as to prevent students from developing essential core skills in areas such as mathematics and English.

Following the recent review of the national curriculum, schools will be teaching the new programmes of study from September 2014, except for English, mathematics and science, which will be phased in from September 2015.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA136

Since September 2013, 14-16 year olds have been able to attend studio schools, university technical colleges and further education colleges through direct enrolment, meaning young people interested in pursuing vocational routes at 14 are now able to study these qualifications alongside the core academic key stage 4 programme.

The Government has published a list of high-value vocational qualifications and reformed performance tables to incentivise the teaching of these qualifications alongside a core academic curriculum. Young people who started Key Stage 4 in September 2012 are now benefitting from these changes.

The Government wants to ensure that all young people receive the education which is right for them and will provide the best opportunities for progression to education, employment or training.

Education: GCSEs and A-Levels

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how claims by schoolchildren of headaches, hay fever or noise in the examination hall are currently evaluated when granting extra marks in GCSE or A-Level examinations; and what steps are taken to determine whether the system is being abused.[HL3200]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): This is a matter for the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation and I have asked its Chief Executive, Glenys Stacey, to write directly to the noble Lord. A copy of her reply will be placed in the House of Lords Library.

Education: Nurseries

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to improve nursery inspections; and, if so, how.[HL3205]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The Government is fully committed to improving all early years provision and a robust inspection system is an essential part of that. The question of how nursery inspections might be improved is a matter for Ofsted, so I have asked Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, to write to the my noble Friend. Copies of his response will be placed in the House Libraries.

Energy: Diesel

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Chesterton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what studies they are undertaking with industry and universities to establish the environmental, energy and health advantages and disadvantages of diesel as compared to petrol internal combustion engines.[HL3175]

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA137

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): The Government is not currently funding any studies with these specific aims. There is already a significant body of scientific literature on these topics which the Department's officials and specialist contractors are able to draw on in the provision of advice and the development of policy. In addition, organisations such as the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) and the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) carry out studies and advise Government on these issues.

Energy: National Grid

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the average costs of connecting (1) onshore wind turbines, (2) offshore wind turbines, and (3) fossil-fuelled and nuclear power stations, to the national grid. [HL3196]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): It is not possible to give meaningful average costs of connecting different sorts of generation to the national electricity transmission system. Generators pay towards the costs of building and maintaining the network through on-going use of system charges. These charges are calculated on an annual basis and reflect the cost that each generator imposes on the network. They vary according to a range of factors which are not specific to a particular generation technology, including the capacity and location of the generator in question.

EU: Biofuels

Questions

Asked by Baroness Howe of Idlicote

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have received in support of their stated preference for a five per cent cap on the use of biofuels in transport fuel since the last COREPER meeting on 16 October; and whether they have any plans to make further representations to other governments in Europe ahead of the Energy Council on 12 December.[HL3314]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how the United Kingdom has engaged with other European Union member states that support a cap on the use of biofuels in transport fuel at around five per cent in order to generate consensus.[HL3315]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): The European Commission has proposed a cap of five per cent on the contribution made to the 2020 renewable transport target by biofuels derived from food crops (such as corn, sugarcane and oilseed rape).

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA138

The UK Government has made clear to the European Commission, the European Parliament and all other Member States in the European Council that we support the five per cent cap. We will continue to do so in the run up to the Energy Council on 12 December.

The negotiations are ongoing and it would not be appropriate, or in the interests of the UK negotiating position, to disclose what support we have received from other Member States.

EU: Charities and Non-governmental Organisations

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the level of European Union spending on charities and non-governmental organisations; and whether the European Union funds any organisations or bodies which promote the European Union.[HL3070]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The Government does not have data on how European Union (EU) spending is broken down by type of organisation, such as charitable and non-governmental organisations. EU spending is broken down into hundreds of individual budget lines across all areas of EU expenditure and it is not feasible to get the data required on each one of these budget lines.

EU: Legislation

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to make representations to other European Union member states to propose that national parliaments should have greater powers to amend or recall existing European Union legislation or to lower the threshold of the number of national parliaments necessary to trigger the yellow card procedure.[HL3183]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): National parliaments are the fundamental source of democratic legitimacy in the European Union. We are developing ideas to increase the power of national parliaments in EU decision making. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) and the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr Lidington) have both given speeches over recent

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA139

months outlining these ideas and discuss them with their counterparts on a regular basis. Officials in London and in our Embassies have done the same.

Food: Saturated Fat

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government upon what scientific evidence they have based their policy to encourage people to eat less saturated fat.[HL3053]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Public Health England advises that people should consume on average no more than 11% of their food energy as saturated fat. This advice is based on recommendations made to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy (COMA) in 1984, an expert committee who advised the Government on nutrition issues. COMA based its recommendations on a review of the scientific evidence available at the time. Since then, the Government has continued to monitor developments in the evidence base on saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. There is consistent evidence from recent trials to show that reducing saturated fat consumption lowers blood cholesterol which in turn decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Fostering

Questions

Asked by The Earl of Listowel

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what guidance they give to local authorities about preparing the children of foster carers for the placement of foster children in those families.[HL3335]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to undertake research into the best means of supporting the children of foster carers who have foster children placed in their families.[HL3336]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The Government recognises the important role that children of foster carers play within the fostering household and the need to prepare and support them. Paragraph 5.68 of Volume 4 of the Children Act 1989 Guidance makes clear that fostering services should provide support to the sons and daughters of foster carers. Standard 21.6 of the National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services reiterates this.

The Government welcomes the recent research published by the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education on the impact of fostering on foster carers’ children. We also welcome, and continue to support, the Fostering Network’s annual Sons and Daughters campaign to celebrate the contribution of foster carers’ children. We have no plans to undertake further research concerning the children of foster carers at this time.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA140

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 have been turned down by the Home Office since May 2010; and how many of those requests have subsequently been upheld on appeal and fulfilled.[HL3399]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): The Ministry of Justice publishes annual statistical reports on the handling of requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for central government. These reports include statistics on the outcomes of internal reviews and appeals to the Information Commissioner. These reports can be accessed on the following webpage: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-foi-statistics.

Between 1 May 2010 and 30 June 2013, 21 requests to the Home Office were the subject of appeal by the requester or by the Home Office to the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights). In three cases some information was provided to the requester and the appeal withdrawn. In one case the original response was partly overturned and is the subject of appeal to the Upper Tribunal. In no case was the original response wholly overturned by the Tribunal. Two appeals are ongoing. Between the same dates, two requests were the subject of appeal to the Upper Tribunal. In neither case was the original response overturned. One appeal is ongoing.

Gambia

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they intend to update the Country of Origin Information Service (COIS) report on the Gambia; and whether they intend to require that COIS reports are updated more frequently.[HL3137]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): An updated country of origin information report on the Gambia was published on 5 November 2013 and is available on the Home Office's website:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/coi/gambia/

We are considering how to ensure our country information and country policy is aligned to provide readily accessible, up-to-date information and guidance that supports caseworkers in making the right decision. We plan to have new processes and products in place next year.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA141

Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2000

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Freud on 5 November (HL2881), to which specific part of Schedule 2 to the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2000 the techniques and experimental approach described in the previous question pertain. [HL3206]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): The person proposing to undertake such an experiment would have the legal duty to use the information in Schedule 2 in order to decide whether the work is covered by Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2000 (as amended). Based on the limited information provided in the question, Part III of Schedule 2 would apply in this case.

Health: Care Assistants

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how care assistants are currently being trained; what system is currently in place to ensure that they have been trained to a specific set of standards and to evaluate their performance; and what steps are being taken to ensure proper supervision and support is provided to care assistants.[HL3170]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Employers have a duty of care to both their employees and service users to ensure that staff are trained and competent to carry out their role.

Some employers require healthcare assistants (HCAs) to have a Qualifications and Credit Framework qualification at level 2 or 3, whilst others will support HCAs to gain these qualifications post-employment. It is also possible to enter work as an HCA (or senior HCA) through an apprenticeship. Once accepted as an HCA, the employing organisation will provide training so that the trainee becomes competent in the skills required for the job. HCAs will be supervised by appropriately qualified staff and be subject to routine performance management systems.

Care Quality Commission registration requirements already require staff, including healthcare assistants, to be trained appropriately for the tasks allocated to them.

The Cavendish Review, published in the summer, highlighted a range of areas where we could do better for our healthcare assistants and social care support workers, their patients and service users. At Report Stage of the Care Bill we announced that we were accepting Camilla Cavendish's recommendation for a Certificate of Fundamental Care, and that we had

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA142

asked Health Education England to work with the Sector Skills Councils and other stakeholders to deliver this. We will be responding to the other recommendations in due course.

Health: Coeliac Disease

Question

Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what gluten-free products can be prescribed for patients suffering from coeliac disease under current NHS guidelines; and what products are no longer available since the passage of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. [HL3235]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): A list of gluten-free products, recommended for National Health Service prescription in primary care, can be found in Part XV of the Drug Tariff. Items which do not appear in Part XV may also be prescribed if the prescriber believes there is a genuine clinical reason for doing so. The Drug Tariff is published on-line at:

www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/924.aspx

Since 1 April 2012 to 10 November 2013, a number of gluten-free products including bread, pasta and flour have been removed from the Drug Tariff, at the request of the relevant manufacturer. These are listed in the following table.

Gluten-free products removed from the Drug Tariff since 1 April 2012
DateManufacturerProduct

April 2012

Dr Schar UK Ltd

Glutafin Gluten Free Savoury Biscuits (125g)

July 2012

Dr Schar UK Ltd

Dietary Specials GF White Mix (500g)

Dietary Special GF White Bread Mix (500g)

Dietary Special GF White Cake Mix (750g)

Glutafin Select GF Cake Mix (500g)

Glutafin Select GF Pastry Mix (500g)

Glutafin GF Wheat Free Cake Mix (500g)

August 2012

Ultrapharm

Polial GF Biscuits

Bi-Aglut Bread Rolls

Bi-Aglut Bread Flour Mix

Bi-Aglut Plain Flour

Gluten Free Foods Ltd

Valpiform GF Petite Baguettes

September 2012

Glebe Farm Food Ltd

Glebe Farm Gluten Free White Bread mix

Glebe farm Gluten Free Brown Bread mix

Dr Schar UK Ltd

Glutafin Gluten Free Wheat Free Pastry Mix — 500g

Ambe Medical Group

Proceli gluten free part baked long white rolls

Proceli gluten free pasta puntini

Proceli Part-Baked Flat Bread

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA143

November 2012

Dr Schar UK Ltd

Glutafin Select 4 Fibre rolls (260g)

December 2012

Dr Schar UK Ltd

Glutafin Select 4 White rolls 260g

Glutafin Select 4 Fibre rolls 260g

June 2013

Ambe Medical Group

Proceli gluten free pasta capellini short spaghetti x 500g (2 x 250g)

Proceli gluten free part baked white dinner rolls x 140g

August 2013

GF Foods Ltd

il pane di anna mixes and pastas

Pasticely pastas and breads

November 2013

Ultrapharm Ltd

Ultra gluten free baguettes

Ultra gluten free bread rolls

Ultra gluten free sweet biscuits

Health: Complementary and Alternative Medicines

Question

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which homeopathic treatments have been referenced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence as of benefit to patients; and where the research data on which those judgments have been based are published.[HL3367]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has not recommended any homeopathic treatments for use on the National Health Service.

Health: Health Workers

Questions

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions have taken place between the Department for International Development and the Department of Health about the migration of health workers to the United Kingdom from low- and middle-income countries.[HL3152]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Department has worked together with the Department for International Development to produce a definitive list of developing countries which should not be targeted for recruitment of healthcare professionals. The list is based on the economic status of the countries and how many healthcare professionals are available.

The United Kingdom has signed the World Health Organization Code of Practice (WHO CoP) on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel and the UK was a member and donor of the Global Health Workforce Alliance.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA144

National Health Service organisations are strongly advised to adhere to the WHO CoP in all matters concerning the international recruitment of healthcare professionals across all disciplines—including the appointment of medical staff, nurses, dentists, radiographers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and all other allied health professionals.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the international recruitment of health workers, what discussions have taken place between the Department for International Development and the Department of Health about addressing domestic skill shortages in the United Kingdom health workforce.[HL3154]

Earl Howe: No specific discussions have taken place between the Department and the Department for International Development about addressing the domestic skill shortages in the United Kingdom health workforce.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 places a duty on the Secretary of State to ensure there is an effective system in place for workforce planning and the delivery of education and training in the National Health Service and the public health system. As of 1 April 2013, this duty is delegated to Health Education England (HEE). The key purpose of HEE is to ensure that the healthcare workforce has the right skills, behaviours and training, and is available in the right numbers to support the delivery of healthcare and health improvement.

One of the objectives in the Government's mandate to HEE is to lead a process of improved workforce planning to ensure sufficient staff are trained with the right skills in the right locations to enable healthcare providers to deliver their commissioning plans. Successful implementation of this requirement should lead to a significant reduction in the number of health roles on the Shortage Occupation List by March 2015.

In moving towards reducing the gap in healthcare workers the Department continues to endorse the World Health Organization code of practice and implements it through the UK code of practice.

Health: Hospices

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the report from the Commission into the Future of Hospice Care Future ambitions for hospice care: our mission and our opportunity; and how they intend to respond to the recommendations which require action by Government departments. [HL3256]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Departmental and NHS England officials are aware of the report.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA145

NHS England is responsible for the Government's End of Life Care (EOLC) Strategy. The Strategy makes clear the responsibilities of the National Health Service to ensure adequate support for hospices, including through stronger commissioning and adhering to the principles of the Compact Code of Good Practice.

NHS England is currently doing a refresh of the EOLC Strategy.

Health: Mitochondrial Disease

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 15 July (WA 86), whether the “mitochondria replacement technique” proposed by the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research at Newcastle University entails the destruction of embryos with mitochondrial mutations and the synthesis of new entities from their remains; and if so, whether they consider the resulting entities to be the same as those undergoing the treatment.[HL3067]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Mitochondrial donation techniques involve placing the nucleus from an egg or embryo with unhealthy mitochondria into an egg or embryo free of a mitochondrial disorder. The transfer of the nucleus does not involve modification of the mitochondria.

The pro-nuclear transfer technique involves the discarding of unhealthy mitochondrial material from an embryo and the transfer of the remaining material to an enucleated donor embryo with healthy mitochondria, to create an embryo which can go on to develop unaffected by mitochondria disease.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 30 October (WA 258), whether the proposed public consultation is intended to engage with the international community; and to what extent the draft regulations will be distributed for consultation both to the national electorate and to members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.[HL3147]

Earl Howe: The Government intends to follow the Consultation Principles, published by the Cabinet Office on 17 July 2012 and currently available at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/consultation-principles-guidance

The consultation document and the draft regulations will be freely available on the Department's website for anyone who wishes to submit comments. The Government has no plans to directly solicit comments from international bodies.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA146

Health: Musculoskeletal Conditions

Question

Asked by Baroness Jenkin of Kennington

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment Public Health England has made of the burden of musculoskeletal conditions in relation to overall disability; how musculoskeletal health is reflected in its workstreams; and what examples of best practice it has identified to share with local authorities.[HL3148]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The burden of musculoskeletal conditions as a substantial contributor to disabled life years was highlighted in the United Kingdom analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study. This analysis was published in The Lancet, March 2013, which was co-authored by Public Health England (PHE). As an organisation PHE is very clear that actions contributing to the alleviation of that burden must be prioritised, particularly including support for physical activity and smoking cessation.

PHE has not, at this stage, sought examples of best practice specifically relating to musculoskeletal conditions to share with local authorities. However, sharing of best practice with respect to risk factors for these conditions is routinely incorporated into guidance and advice offered to local services and will inform development of physical activity strategy.

Healthcare: Costs

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 24 October (WA 187), what was the most recent annual amount paid to the government of Ireland for the health costs of United Kingdom pensioners resident there; on what basis that figure was calculated, and on what number of pensioners or percentage thereof; and whether they will place in the Library of the House the relevant letters on which that calculation is based.[HL3094]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The latest annual figure is for 2012-13 and was £246,828,154* for pensioners. The basis on which the pensioner figure was calculated, including the percentage of pensioners was included in a letter of 11 July 2011 to Ireland's Department of Health and Children. The relevant section of that letter is included as follows:

Reimbursement arrangements for 2010-2013

For 2010-2013, we agreed that we would not pursue the use of another triennial survey, which otherwise would have been due. As an alternative arrangement, we have agreed that between 2010 and 2013, UK liability to Ireland (currently 40%) will fall, year on year, by 1.13%. This figure was agreed after both parties noted an average downward trend in UK liability

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA147

for dual pensioners since the start of the bilateral agreement in 1971. As a result, UK liability will be 35.48% by 2013. Applying the same principle, Irish liability will stand at 4.44%. We agreed that such a deal would provide a logical and pragmatic approach; remove the need to enter negotiations about Department for Work and Pensions resource for a triennial survey (along with your equivalent), and see an end to protracted negotiations regarding pensioner numbers and categories of UK liability for those years.

*Source:

Resource Accounting and Budgeting exercise. Totals are based on estimates of the costs of European Economic Area healthcare claims made annually for the purposes of provisions made in the Department's accounts in accordance with HM Treasury resource accounting rules.

Healthcare: Support Workers

Questions

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to promote voluntary registers for health care support workers.[HL3291]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made an assessment of which organisations would best be able to support the creation of voluntary registers of health care support workers.[HL3292]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their definition of a reliable and effective accreditation scheme for voluntary occupational registers; and whether there are any current examples.[HL3293]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what initiatives the Professional Standards Agency has taken to fulfil Strategic Objective 3 in its 2013 Annual Report with regard to health care support workers.[HL3294]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Since January 2013, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) has had the ability to accredit voluntary registers of people working in a variety of health and social care occupations. The PSA Accredited Voluntary Registers Scheme was introduced to give employers and commissioners, looking for health and social care practitioners that are not regulated by statute, the benefit of being able to choose people who are on registers that are accredited by the PSA.

The Government promotes the scheme when responding to requests and correspondence from organisations and individuals concerning regulation. We will continue to promote the scheme in this way and signpost organisations to the PSA website where more information can be obtained.

To achieve accreditation, organisations must meet the standards laid down by the PSA. Beyond this, the Government has made no assessment of which organisations would best be able to support voluntary registers of health care support workers.

In order to be accredited, organisations that hold voluntary registers must provide evidence to the PSA that they are well run, and that they require registrants to meet high standards of personal behaviour, technical

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA148

competence and, where relevant, business practice. The current PSA scheme is supported by the Government as a reliable and effective accreditation scheme.

In line with strategic objective 3 of its 2013 annual report, the PSA has made significant progress with implementing a reliable and effective assured voluntary registration scheme, which will ensure that there are robust standards of conduct and training for those on the accredited registers. It will also give commissioners, providers of care and direct users of care services a further means of assuring themselves about the standards met by individual workers. However, the PSA has not yet received applications from organisations regarding voluntary registers for health care support workers.

Holocaust

Question

Asked by Baroness Whitaker

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what aspects of the Holocaust are covered in the National Curriculum; and whether they include the genocide of the Roma people.[HL3345]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The Holocaust remains a compulsory part of the new national curriculum for history, which will be introduced from September 2014. It is for schools to decide exactly what they teach as part of this.

The Department funds the Institute of Education to provide continuing professional development for teachers in Holocaust education. This includes coverage of all major groups of victims of the Nazis, including the Roma people.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 30 October (WA 258), in the light of the definition of “serious disease” in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, as amended, whether the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority considers it as including all terminal diseases but not necessarily restricted to such conditions.[HL3146]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Human Fertilisation Act 1990, as amended, uses the phrase “serious mitochondria] disease” but does not define it. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that it considers it would not be appropriate to comment or speculate on how the Authority would consider this issue before regulations on mitochondrial donation treatment have been submitted to Parliament.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA149

Immigration

Questions

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what provision is made for those released on bail from detention centres; and if none is made, whether they have plans to do so.[HL2916]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): Provision for those released on bail from immigration detention depends on individual circumstances. Needs are assessed on a case-by-case basis and those that are eligible may be provided with accommodation or financial support, either from the Home Office or the relevant local authority.

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps the Home Office is taking to meet its target of reducing immigration by 60 per cent; and what measures have been put in place to protect asylum seekers.[HL3032]

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The most recent statistics show that net migration is down by a third since its peak in 2010. Over the last three years we have reformed all major routes of entry to the UK for non-EEA migrants. We have increased the skill level required to come for work, tackled abuse in the student sector and reformed family visas.

The Government takes its international obligations very seriously and we have a proud history of providing refuge to those in need of protection. Every asylum case is carefully considered on its individual merits and taking into consideration the situation in the country of origin. Where a claim is refused there is a right of appeal to the courts. However, where we and the courts find someone is not in need of protection we expect them to return home voluntarily and if they choose not to leave we will seek to enforce their removal.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the likely consequences of halting immigration to the United Kingdom; and whether they have any plans to do so.[HL3199]

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The Government has not made any such assessment and has no plans to do so. Immigration enriches our culture and strengthens our economy. It helps maintain strong international links, boosts inward investment and fills skill gaps in our economy. While the Government has no plans to halt immigration, we intend to protect UK interests by controlling it effectively. We are committed to reducing net migration from the hundreds of thousand to tens of thousands, while continuing to attract the brightest and best and to ensure our more selective immigration system meets our economic needs.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA150

Immigration Removal Centres: Security

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what provisions are in place for regulating and periodically evaluating security arrangements in Immigration Removal Centres; whether there is a complaints procedure to hold those providing security services to account; and, if so, how many formal complaints have been made in respect of the security services at Immigration Removal Centres in each of the last five years. [HL3111]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): The regulation of security arrangements in Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) is through the Detention Centre Rules 2001, the Operating Standards for IRCs, Detention Services Orders relating to security arrangements and the relevant sections of the contracts and service level agreements relating to security.

Each IRC has a Home Office Immigration Enforcement Manager to monitor ongoing service provision.

Evaluation of security arrangements is carried out by Home Office Immigration Enforcement on the basis of risk assessment. Independent assessment of the security arrangements in IRCs is provided in the reports of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons and the annual reports of the Independent Monitoring Boards.

A comprehensive complaints system is in place at all IRCs and detainees also have the provision to raise complaints both anonymously or in person and in-confidence to the Independent Monitoring Boards who can raise complaints on behalf of detainees. Detainees who are not satisfied with the way in which their complaint has been handled may ask for it to be reviewed by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

It is not possible to provide the number of complaints involving a Detainee Custody Officer or Manager employed in the security department without the examination of individual records at disproportionate cost.

Immigration: Children

Question

Asked by Baroness Lister of Burtersett

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 29 August (WA 367) on the immigration detention, deportation and removal of parents, whether information about children's welfare is routinely obtained from parents before decisions are made to detain them or continue their detention; which “others” information is routinely obtained from, and whether this includes children's services and those caring for the children outside detention; and whether the Home Office seeks information about the child's welfare, wishes and feelings directly from the affected child.[HL2826]

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA151

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): Where parents are being detained, deported or removed from the UK, information about the children's welfare is obtained before decisions are made on the family's case. The Home Office has a national network of Family Engagement Managers who work closely with families throughout the family returns process to ensure the safeguarding of children and help guide families through the process, outlining options for return to their country of origin. This includes talking to the children in an age appropriate way, obtaining their views and tailoring the return plans accordingly. An individual and tailored return plan is put together by a Family Engagement Manager for every family removed through the Family Returns Process, which, before it is implemented, requires consideration and support from the Independent Family Returns Panel In considering the options for the return plan, information is obtained from children's services, teachers, GP's and other family members along with any other professional body that has had contact with the child and that the parents have given the Home Office permission to contact. The Home Office use pre-departure accommodation, Cedars, to support ensured returns of families from the UK who have refused to co-operate with other return options, or for whom other return options are not suitable. Barnado's provide welfare and social care facilities at Cedars and work with families during their stay to help them prepare for their return to their country of origin.

Immigration: Detention

Questions

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what information and statistics they have gathered concerning the primary causes of detention in a detention centre; and what statistics and information exists on the number of people incorrectly detained.[HL3113]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): Immigration Act powers of detention are used in the following circumstances: initially, whilst a person's identity and basis of claim is being established; where there are reasonable grounds for believing that a person will not comply with the conditions attached to temporary admission or release; as part of a fast-track asylum process; or to effect removal from the UK.

The Home Office publishes data on the number of people entering immigration detention each year, which can be found at the link below. This data is not, however, broken down by reasons for detention. Although the Home Office holds management information on reasons for detention in individual cases, this data is not held centrally and could be collated only by examination of individual records at disproportionate cost.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tables-for-immigration-statistics-april-to-june-2013

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA152

Statistics on the number of people whose detention under Immigration Act powers has been found by the Courts to be unlawful are not held centrally.

Asked by Lord Ramsbotham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps are being taken to ensure that short-term detainees held in immigration detention centres and prisons are given equivalent access to the provisions of the Detention Centre Rules 2001, which do not apply in those facilities.[HL3176]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether victims of torture, or those whose health may be affected by detention, have recourse to an equivalent mechanism to Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001 when held in a prison or short-term holding facility. [HL3177]

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: There are no plans to extend the provisions of the Detention Centre Rules 2001 to cover short-term holding facilities or prisons. Separate rules are under development for short-term holding facilities and consideration will be given to the inclusion in those rules of provisions equivalent or similar to those in the Detention Centre Rules.

Detainees held in short-term holding facilities will be in such facilities only for very short periods of time, often just a matter of hours. In many cases, the persons concerned will be transferred to an immigration removal centre, where they would be covered by the Detention Centre Rules, including Rule 35.

Immigration detainees held in prisons are covered by Rule 21 of the Prison Rules 1999, which requires prison medical officers or practitioners to report on the case of any prisoner whose health is likely to be injuriously affected by continued imprisonment, or the conditions of imprisonment, and to pay special attention to the mental condition of any prisoner whose condition appears to require it. This equates to the requirements of Rules 35(1) and (5) of the Detention Centre Rules.

Inflation

Question

Asked by Lord Ezra

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the reasons for the differences in the rate of inflation between the United Kingdom and the Eurozone and United States.[HL3138]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): Annual CPI inflation in the UK was 2.2 per cent in October 2013, compared to 0.7 per cent in the euro area. It was 1.2 per cent in the United States in September. In the UK food inflation is higher than in both the euro area and the US and ongoing price rises in energy contrast with falling prices in the euro area and the US.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA153

Internet: Harassment

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to combat online harassment. [HL3167]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): The Coalition Government takes online harassment very seriously. Robust legislation is in place to deal with internet trolls, cyber-stalking, and perpetrators of grossly offensive, obscene or menacing behaviour.

In July, the Crown Prosecution Service published guidelines for prosecutors on the approach they should take in cases involving communications sent via social media. The College of Policing also wrote to all Chief Officers in July 2013 with advice on tackling online abuse.

Legal Services: Pro Bono Work

Question

Asked by Baroness Scotland of Asthal

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what efforts they are making to facilitate pro bono work in the legal profession.[HL3220]

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness) (LD): The Attorney General continues to chair the Domestic and International Pro Bono Co-ordinating Committees which both have an excellent record at encouraging lawyers to carry out pro bono work both in the UK and overseas. In the last year, the Law Officers have undertaken various visits and speaking engagements, as well as taking part in events during National Pro Bono Week (w/c 4th November 2013)—to highlight the importance of pro bono, as well as encouraging the profession to continue its engagement with pro bono initiatives. During National Pro Bono Week, the Law Officers attended The National Pro Bono Centre Question Time panel debate, visited the Personal Support Unit in the Royal Courts of Justice, visited and spoke at the University of Law and at BPP Law School. The Attorney General was also a Panel member at the Launch of the LawWorks Pro Bono Survey 2013 and keynote speaker at the 115th anniversary of Toynbee Hall’s Free Legal Advice Centre.

Most recently the Attorney General’s International Pro Bono Committee has been encouraging its members and the profession to develop relationships with members of the inter-departmental Justice Assistance Network (JAN), and HMG more generally, with a view to developing opportunities for collaborative working and better coordination regarding the delivery of Rule of Law programmes. The Department for International Development (DfID) is currently strengthening its partnership with the pro bono community; DfID is working with the sector to understand how it can most effectively support pro bono actors to deliver expert technical assistance to developing country partner Governments which strengthens the rule of law and supports poverty reduction.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA154

The Law Officers also welcome the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Pro Bono which has played an active role in this year's National Pro Bono Week and pro bono work more generally.

NHS National Cancer Action Team

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether an equality impact assessment was carried out prior to the disbanding of the NHS National Cancer Action Team; and what assessment they have made of the implications for the future of the Black and Minority Ethnic Cancer Alliance, previously supported by the Action Team.[HL3178]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The functions of the National Cancer Action Team have been absorbed by the improvement body NHS Improving Quality, and so no equality impact assessment was carried out.

The National Cancer Equality Initiative (NCEI) is now the responsibility of NHS England and is working to reduce inequalities in cancer care.

The NCEI is co-chaired by the National Clinical Director for cancer, and the inequalities lead for the Clinical Commissioning Group alliance. The NCEI secretariat is provided by Macmillan Cancer Support.

The NCEI was set up to bring together key stakeholders from groups including healthcare professionals, the voluntary sector, academics, and equality champions to develop research proposals on cancer inequalities, to test interventions, and to advise on the development of wider policy.

The Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Cancer Voice and the BME Cancer Alliance are supported by the Black Health Initiative, based in Leeds. The chief executive of the Black Health Initiative, and the co-chair of the BME Cancer Alliance both now sit as members of NCEI.

NHS: Accident and Emergency Services

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the average cost of an accident and emergency attendance by a patient whose condition could have been dealt with by a general practitioner. [HL3392]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The information requested is not available because the cost of an accident and emergency attendance by a patient whose condition could have been dealt with by a general practitioner is not reported separately to the Department.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA155

NHS: Competition

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of recent comments by Sir David Nicholson, Chief Executive of NHS England, about the impact of competition in the National Health Service; and whether they have any plans to amend Part 3 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 in the light of experience since competition was introduced.[HL3376]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Government is committed to the principle that competition in the health service must be a means to improving services for patients and not an end in itself.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 did not introduce competition to the National Health Service. The Act continues the sector specific approach to managed competition in the NHS, overseen by a regulator, Monitor, whose primary duty is to protect and promote the interests of patients.

There are no plans to amend part 3 of the Act or the NHS Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition regulations, which continue the procurement requirements put in place by the previous administration.

Monitor and NHS England will be issuing further guidance to commissioners to support them in taking decisions about the use of competition locally in the best interests of their patients.

NHS: Expenditure

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much capital expenditure has been incurred at Lewisham Hospital in the years 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14 to date.[HL3329]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The information is not available in the format requested. The Department collects financial information from NHS Trusts, but this information does not distinguish between individual hospitals within a trust.

From 1st October 2013, Lewisham Hospital became part of the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust. This trust is responsible for providing NHS services at Lewisham Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Greenwich, 11 other health centres in Lewisham and some services at St Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup.

Prior to this, in August 2010 Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust was formed, which comprised Lewisham Hospital and community services.

The figures in the following table represent capital expenditure for Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust for 2011-12 and 2012-13 and for Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust for month six of 2013-14. The NHS Trust Development Authority have provided the figure for 2013-14.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA156

YearCharge Against the Capital Resource Limit (£000s)

2011-12

4,464

2012-13

5,404

2013-14 (month 6 year to date)

2,203

NHS: General Practitioners

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether Clinical Commissioning Groups are able to sanction general practitioners who fail to provide adequate same-day appointments.[HL3391]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): General practitioners (GPs) are independent contractors who hold contracts with NHS England. Under the terms of their contracts, GPs are required to provide “immediately necessary treatment” for patients when this is, in their clinical judgement, required.

Failure to provide such treatment could lead to GPs being in breach of their contract. In such circumstances, NHS England could choose to withhold remuneration or terminate the contract.

Northern Ireland Parades Commission

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Randerson on 8 November (WA 85-6) concerning appointments to the Northern Ireland Parades Commission, who made the assessment that the process was “fair and open”.[HL3356]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Wales Office (Baroness Randerson) (LD): As previously stated in the answer given to the Noble Lord on 8 November, Official Report, Columns WA85 & WA86, appointments to the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The Commissioner has appointed Dame Anne Pringle as Public Appointments Assessor to chair the selection panel. Dame Anne will report on the outcome of the selection process and confirm that the appointments process was conducted in accordance with the Code of Practice. An essential requirement of the Code is that Departments must deliver appointments processes that meet the principles of merit, fairness and openness.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA157

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development: Better Life Index

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they intend to improve the United Kingdom’s rankings in education, skills and income equality on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Better Life Index.[HL3204]

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): The OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s) Better Life Index underlines the urgent need for the Government’s radical reforms to raise standards in education, improve young people’s skills and support social mobility. The rigorous new national curriculum focuses on the basics so that children from a young age have a strong foundation on which to build. There is much greater challenge in the new maths curriculum from primary school through to age 16 so that standards are raised across the board and for all children. The new English curriculum has a greater focus on grammar, spelling and punctuation.

We are reforming A levels and GCSEs so that they match the best in the world and give our students the skills they need to progress to further education, training or employment. All young people without C grades at GCSE must now study English and maths beyond 16, and our new Tech Bacc combines high-quality occupational qualifications with a rigorous maths core. Our new TechBacc will be rigorous and challenging, giving vocational education the high status it deserves—putting it on a par with A-level study and recognising excellence.

We have set an ambition that, by 2020, the great majority of 16-19 year-olds should be studying mathematics, and we are supporting the creation of new mathematics qualifications for those with at least a grade C at GCSER, but who do not choose to proceed to mathematics A level or AS level.

Parliaments: English Parliament

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Statement by Baroness Randerson on 4 November regarding proposed new powers for Wales (WS 7), whether they have plans to legislate for an English parliament with powers equivalent to those of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; and, if not, why not.[HL3195]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): The Government has no plans to set up an English parliament. Following a commitment in the Programme for Government, the Government established a Commission to consider the consequences of devolution for the House of Commons. The Commission considered the case for establishing an English parliament but did not include this in its menu of options for dealing with legislation which affects only England.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA158

Passports

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many members of the National Congress Party-led government of Sudan hold United Kingdom passports. [HL3022]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): Her Majesty's Passport Office does not collate information in the format requested.

Personal Independence Payment

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the age limit for the receipt of Personal Independence Payments; why there is a limit; whether they have ensured that all sections of the civil service have been trained on the topic; and, if so, how.[HL3227]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): Like disability living allowance (DLA), personal independence payment (PIP) operates an upper age limit of 65 or pension age, whichever is the later, for an initial claim. However, existing DLA claimants who were aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013 will be invited to claim PIP regardless of their age at the point they're invited and will be able to access the mobility component without restriction at that point.

The age limit is designed to provide extra help for those disabled relatively early in life who have had limited opportunities to earn and save. Once awarded, PIP may continue in payment after the age of 65 if the entitlement conditions continue to be satisfied.

Learning and development has been undertaken with all staff who work on delivering PIP and guidance has been put in place for their use. Information about PIP is also available on the Department's Intranet site for all staff to access.

In developing PIP, the Department worked closely with all Government Departments and the devolved administrations to ensure they were aware of, and understood, PIP and how it may impact on their functions, for example entitlement and delivery of "passported" benefits. Further information, available to all sections of the civil service and the public generally is available on www.gov.uk.

Police: Operation Alice

Question

Asked by Lord Hoyle

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what has been the cost to date of Operation Alice concerning the police investigation into the incident involving Andrew Mitchell MP and a police officer in Downing Street on 19 September 2012.[HL3216]

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA159

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): The estimated cost to the Metropolitan Police Service of Operation Alice as at 7 November 2013 is £248,200.45.

Police: Wales

Question

Asked by Lord Wigley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many (1) total force full-time equivalent police staff, and (2) full-time equivalent operational frontline police officers, there are in each of the four police force areas of Wales; and how that compares to the corresponding figures in 2010.[HL3298]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): The table provided contains data on the number of (1) full-time equivalent police staff, and (2) full-time equivalent operational frontline police officers, in each Welsh police force as at 31 March 2010 and 31 March 2013 and the change between the periods.

Number of full-time equivalent1 police staff2 in Wales, by police force area, as at 31 March 2010 and 31 March 20133,4

Mar-10Mar-13Change% Change

Dyfed-Powys

692

576

116

16.8%

Gwent

810

643

167

20.6%

North Wales

876

839

37

4.2%

South Wales

1,810

1,621

189

10.5%

Total

4,188

3,679

509

12.2%

1. Figures have been presented to the nearest whole number.

2. These figures exclude police community support officers, traffic wardens and designated officers.

3. These figures are published within the Police Workforce, England and Wales statistical publications (previously titled Police Service Strength, England and Wales), and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-workforce-england-and-wales

4. Source: Home Office, using data received from police forces via the Annual Data Requirement.

Number of full-time equivalent1 operational frontline police officers in Wales, by police force area, as at 31 March 2010 and 31 March 20132
Mar-10Mar-13Change% Change

Dyfed-Powys

1,086

1,030

-57

-5.2%

Gwent

1,336

1,267

-68

-5.1%

North Wales

1,458

1,387

-71

-4.9%

South Wales

2,735

2,373

-363

-13.3%

Total

6,615

6,056

-559

-8.4%

1. Figures have been presented to the nearest whole number.

2. Source: HMIC, Valuing the police data: http://www.hmic.gov.uk/data/valuing-the-police-data/

Prostitution

Question

Asked by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures they are taking to protect prostitutes from abuse and violence.[HL3043]

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA160

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): The Coalition Government is committed to tackling the harm and exploitation associated with prostitution. The cross-Government Action Plan to end Violence Against Women and Girls sets out our commitment to ensure that those involved in prostitution are protected from violence, free from exploitation and, where appropriate, given help to leave.

In October 2011 the Home Office published a review of effective practice in terms of policing, exiting, minimising harm and general multi-agency working. This document is available on the GOV.UK website.

The Home Office has also funded the UK Network of Sex Work Projects to pilot a national scheme to help protect sex workers from violent and abusive clients. The 12 month pilot brought together a number of locally run ‘Ugly Mugs’ projects, which encourage sex workers to report incidents of violence and abuse. The UK Network of Sex Work Projects is currently taking Ugly Mugs forward with local areas.

Royal Mail

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 28 October (WA 220-1), what factors have been used to determine whether the investment banks managing the sale of the Government’s holding in Royal Mail will receive the potential discretionary performance fee; and what percentage of the maximum £4.2 million has or will be paid.[HL3136]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Viscount Younger of Leckie) (Con): The decision on the discretionary element of the underwriters’ fees will take into consideration a number of factors set out in the agreement with the underwriters. These include the relevant underwriters’ contribution to the efficient preparation of the IPO (Initial Public Offering) and its overall success. We will also look at their success in generating demand for the IPO alongside the quality and success of roadshow meetings and resulting investor feedback. In addition, we will consider the final price achieved and the aftermarket performance of the shares.

No decision has been made on how much of the discretionary fee will be paid.

Schools: New Schools

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many (1) academies, (2) free schools, (3) community schools, (4) community special schools, (5) foundation (including trust) schools, (6) foundation special

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA161

(including trust) schools, (7) voluntary-aided schools, (8) voluntary-controlled schools, (9) faith schools, (10) grammar schools, (11) pupil referral units, (12) sixth-form colleges, (13) university technical colleges, (14) studio schools, (15) independent schools, (16) British schools overseas, and (17) any other

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA162

type of school, opened in each year since 2009, and to date in 2013.[HL3245]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The information requested is shown in the table below:

Number of schools opened each academic year from 2009/10 to 2013/14
Coverage: England (including overseas schools registered on Edubase)
Openings by academic year (September to August)
Number of schools opened since 2009/102009/102010/112011/122012/132013/14 (to date)

Type of establishment

Academies 1

3,313

70

898

923

1,062

360

British schools overseas

0

0

0

0

0

0

Community schools

114

40

31

23

17

3

Community special schools

19

13

1

2

2

1

Foundation schools

34

7

8

12

6

1

Foundation special schools

2

0

0

0

2

0

Free schools 2

174

0

0

24

57

93

Local Authority Nursery schools

2

0

0

2

0

0

Offshore schools

1

0

0

0

0

1

Other independent schools

215

47

43

67

49

9

Other independent special schools

159

41

38

38

40

2

Pupil referral units

70

25

19

21

4

1

Service Children’s Education

1

0

1

0

0

0

Sixth form centres

6

2

3

1

0

0

Studio schools 3

24

0

1

1

9

13

University technical colleges 4

17

0

1

1

3

12

Voluntary aided schools

62

9

15

18

12

8

Voluntary controlled schools

20

8

7

1

4

0

Characteristic of schools

Faith schools 5

799

26

152

247

275

99

Selective schools 6

29

6

3

10

10

0

Data as at 04/11/2013, source: Edubase other than where listed.

1. Includes all academy types, sources: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/academies-annual-report-academic-year-2011-to-2012 and http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/academies/b00208569/open-academies

2. Includes all free school types, source: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/freeschools/b00222175/open

3. Figures do not include studio schools within schools/academies as they are not separate institutions in their own right

4. Source: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/technical/a00198954/utcs

5. A faith school is defined here as a school with a declared and not missing religious character on Edubase as at 04/11/2013

6. No additional state-funded selective schools have opened in this period; the schools listed in this row are all independent

Schools: Population Changes

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what population change, broken down by region, took place in (1) nursery schools, (2) primary schools, (3) secondary schools, (4) pupil referral units, (5) non-maintained school, (6) special schools, and (7) all schools, in each of the last five years, and to date in 2013. [HL3246]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The information requested has been provided in the table provided below1.

1

School Censuses; January 2009–January 2013.

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA163

18 Nov 2013 : Column WA164