The reinvigoration of Right to Buy since April 2012 has ensured, for the first time ever, that the receipts from the additional sales (those over what was forecast prior to the change) are reinvested to help fund new homes for affordable rent. So far, £300 million has been generated from additional sales and already over 2,000 homes have been started on site or acquired.

Asked by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what they are doing to help young people buy their own homes. [HL6807]

Baroness Stowell of Beeston: This Government is committed to supporting people’s aspirations to own their own home. That is why we have introduced schemes such as Help to Buy Equity Loan and Mortgage Guarantee, and reinvigorated Right to Buy. Since the spring of 2010, these, together with our affordable housing schemes have helped or are helping nearly 112,000 people to buy a home of their own. Since April 2010, 420,000 homes have been built, with new housing construction output now at its highest level since 2007.

Housing: Flood Risk

Question

Asked by Baroness Byford

To ask Her Majesty’s Government , further to the Written Answer by Nick Boles MP, Under Secretary of State for Planning, on 10 February

6 May 2014 : Column WA391

(HC Deb, 418W–419W), whether the reference to the requirement to demonstrate that a proposed development will not increase the flood risk elsewhere refers to the risk in both urban and rural areas. [HL6563]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Stowell of Beeston) (Con): Yes, the strict tests on flood risk set out in national planning policy apply to rural and urban areas. These tests include ensuring new development does not increase flood risk elsewhere. In the new planning guidance we launched on 6 March we have made it crystal clear that councils need to consider these tests and where they are not met new development should not be allowed.

Housing: Help to Buy

Question

Asked by Lord Bradley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people have (1) applied for, and (2) been granted, help through (a) the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme, and (b) the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, in each of the 10 districts of Greater Manchester. [HL6500]

Lord Newby (LD): On 23 March, the Prime Minister announced that 2,572 mortgages were supported by the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme in its first four months; 342 of these were in the north-west. The Government do not generally collect data on the number of applications participating lenders receive for mortgages supported by the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme. However, as a single submission to the Government, two of the largest lenders in the scheme, Lloyds and RBS, have said they received 9,569 applications, and one of the smallest lenders in the scheme, Aldermore, received 2,313 applications.

Now the scheme is open, the Government are collecting data on mortgages covered by the guarantee, and will report in due course.

b) The Government publish monthly statistics on the cumulative number of homes purchased (legal completions), with the support of Help to Buy equity loans, by local authority in England. The data can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/help-to-buy-equity-loan-scheme-monthly-statistics.

Housing: Private Rented Sector

Question

Asked by Baroness King of Bow

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stowell of Beeston on 18 March (WA 24), whether they decided against appointing a representative of private tenants on the Private Rented Sector Taskforce; and if so, why. [HL6478]

6 May 2014 : Column WA392

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Stowell of Beeston) (Con): As I explained in my previous answer, the Taskforce is a technical advisory group to provide professional and expert knowledge on increasing institutional investment in the private rented sector and support new build schemes.

It does not have any remit on broader policy on the private rented sector. It does not seek to ‘represent’ the views of any sector or group. The determination of government policy remains a matter for Ministers.

Notwithstanding, the Taskforce has engaged with organisations representing private tenants and the broader private rented sector.

Human Rights: Shell and Rio Tinto

Question

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were their reasons for intervening in proceedings in the United States Supreme Court regarding alleged liability by Shell and Rio Tinto for abuses of human rights in Nigeria and Papua New Guinea; and whether those companies requested Her Majesty’s Government to intervene on their behalf.[HL6632]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): The UK intervened in both these cases (Kiobel v Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum and Rio Tinto v Sarei) to clarify our position on the proper limits of the extraterritorial application of US law. The amicus brief submitted by the UK was confined to our views on this point of international law, and did not take a position on the allegations made against the defendants in this case. The views expressed were consistent with long-standing UK policy.

The UK strongly supports the promotion of business and human rights and was the first country to produce a National Action Plan to implement the UN Guiding Principles. We have consistently made clear that we expect British companies to act in accordance with human rights wherever they operate, and that companies should not be able to act with impunity. States should enact domestic law to regulate the activity of businesses to ensure that they do not have a negative impact on human rights. We believe it appropriate and desirable for a State to provide remedies for human rights victims where human rights abuses are committed by their nationals (including corporate nationals) overseas.

Rio Tinto wrote to the British Government in November 2011 requesting that the Government intervene in their case in view of our stance on extraterritoriality. After considering the points of law that the case raised, we considered that submitting a brief would be appropriate. The Shell case was brought to our attention by a third party and again we objected because there was little, or no, connection between the corporate defendant and the US. Officials discussed the case with the company after we had made the decision to intervene. The Government initially submitted a brief in support of Shell in the Kiobel vs Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum case because we were not advised that a neutral brief was a possibility. As soon as we became

6 May 2014 : Column WA393

aware, we replaced our original brief with a neutral brief, as the best way of representing our wider legal concerns without taking a position on the specific allegations in this case.

Immigration Bill

Questions

Asked by Lord Watson of Invergowrie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many children they estimate will be affected by the provisions contained in Clause 18 of the Immigration Bill. [HL6761]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): Clause 18 (which is now Clause 19) of the Immigration Bill will be relevant to all immigration and deportation decisions engaging the right to respect for private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, including where a child is the applicant or is a family member of the applicant or of the person facing deportation. Careful regard has been had to the best interests of children in the UK in framing the Clause, in line with the children’s duty under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, but we have made no broader assessment of the number of children who will be affected.

Asked by Lord Watson of Invergowrie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have carried out an assessment of the number of children likely to be separated from their parents as a result of the provisions of the Immigration Bill.[HL6762]

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: Our starting point is that it is generally in the best interests of the child to remain with their parents, including where the parents are removed from the UK. We have therefore made no assessment of the number of children who might be separated from their parents as a result of the provisions of the Immigration Bill.

Asked by Lord Watson of Invergowrie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have carried out an assessment of the impact of the Immigration Bill on children, as set out in the Cabinet Office guidelines.[HL6763]

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The Home Office is committed to considering the impact of all new policies and legislation, including where they might have an impact on children. Careful regard has been had to the best interests of children in the UK in framing the provisions of the Immigration Bill. We are satisfied that the Bill is compatible with our obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and with the children’s duty under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009. The Home Office has published an Impact Assessment of the Immigration Bill and a European Convention on Human Rights Memorandum, so has no plans to conduct any additional child impact assessment.

6 May 2014 : Column WA394

Immigration: Detention

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, at the latest date, how many immigration detainees were being held in HM prisons; how many foreign national offenders, whose sentences had already expired but who had not been deported were being held; and what assessment they have made of the impact of such persons on the rehabilitation of British prisoners.[HL6579]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): For the week commencing 31 March, there were 720 immigration detainees in prisons.

Please note that the data includes a small number of individuals who have never served a custodial sentence, but who present specific risk factors that indicate they pose a serious risk of harm to the public or to the good order of an Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) including the safety of staff and other detainees, which cannot be managed within the regime applied in IRCs.

To extract this small number of cases would incur a disproportionate cost.

Foreign national offenders held in prisons beyond the end of their sentence under immigration powers are normally held in unconvicted conditions. Their presence in these prisons does not affect the rehabilitation of British nationals whose access to accredited interventions and other rehabilitation services is governed by risk of offending and offender-related need.

Imports and Exports

Question

Asked by Lord Lucas

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any guarantee that the current levels of service and functionality provided by the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight System are to be provided in any replacement system.[HL6796]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): Our plans for the future replacement of the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system are that service levels and functionality should be equal to or better than those provided in the current system. This will be a requirement within the “Invitation to Tender” that HMRC issues in respect of the procurement process for a new import and export declaration processing system.

Income: Household Averages

Question

Asked by Lord Bradley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the average annual household income in each of the ten districts of Greater Manchester in each of the last ten years.[HL6598]

6 May 2014 : Column WA395

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Caron Walker, Director, Collection and Production, Office for National Statistics to Lord Bradley dated April 2014.

On behalf of the Director General for the Office of National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking Her Majesty’s Government what was the average annual household income in each of the ten districts of Greater Manchester in each of the last ten years. (HL6598)

Table 1 shows estimates of the average annual net equivalised household income for the ten districts of Greater Manchester, for the financial years 2004/05 and 2007/08. These are the only figures which are available at this level of geography over the last ten years, and are derived from the small area income estimates published by ONS. Between 2001/02 and 2007/08 small area income estimates were produced on a triennial basis. The next planned estimates are due to be published in late-2014 covering the period 2011/12, and will make use of data from the 2011 Census.

The income figures presented in the table are equivalised to account for different household sizes and compositions, and so give a more consistent indication of households’ material standard of living.

The small area income estimates, as with any model-based estimates, are subject to margins of error. This, in addition to small differences in the modelling processes used in 2004/05 and 2007/08, mean that changes in income between the two years should be interpreted with caution.

Table 1: Average annual net equivalised household income in each of the ten districts of Greater Manchester 2004/05 and 2007/08 1, 2, 3
£ per year£ per year£ per year
2004/05 (in 2004/05 prices)2004/05 (in 2007/08 prices)2007/08 (in 2007/08 prices)
Mean income (before housing costs)Mean income (before housing costs)Mean income (before housing costs)

Bolton

20,100

21,600

21,200

Bury

21,100

22,800

22,500

Manchester

17,800

19,100

20,100

Oldham

19,000

20,400

20,400

Rochdale

19,200

20,700

20,600

Salford

19,000

20,400

21,200

Stockport

22,500

24,200

24,300

Tameside

19,100

20,600

21,200

Trafford

23,200

25,000

24,500

Wigan

19,700

21,200

21,600

1 Incomes are presented net of income tax payments, National Insurance contributions and Council tax; and are equivalised using the modified-OECD scale to account for differences in household size and composition.

2 Figures rounded to the nearest £100.

3 Data are produced from ONS’s Small Area Income Estimates, based on data by middle layer super output area.

Source: Office for National Statistics

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Insurance Securities

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will establish a formal investigation, independent of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), into the FCA’s handling of the announcement it made via the press on 28 March of an investigation into closed insurance funds; and whether they have made an estimate of the financial consequences of the creation of a possible false market in insurance securities as a result of the initial announcement and subsequent amendments.[HL6489]

Lord Newby (LD): The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Board has announced an investigation which will be independent of the FCA executive. A senior independent lawyer will investigate what went wrong and make appropriate recommendations.

The Chancellor has written to the Chair of the FCA setting out the questions that the investigation should answer. This includes the question of to what extent a false or disorderly market was present in the period before the FCA issued its statement of clarification. The letter was copied to the Treasury Committee and has been published on the Treasury’s website.

Iran

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the number of death sentences handed down so far during 2014 in Iran; and whether they have discussed the issue with President Rouhani and the government of Iran.[HL6752]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): We are deeply concerned by reports of more than 100 executions in the first three months of 2014, including for crimes not considered by the international community to be the ‘most serious’ and for which the death penalty can be applied. We have raised our concerns about Iran’s use of the death penalty with the Iranian authorities; and will continue to do so.

Islamist Organisations

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which Islamist organisations they consider to present a threat to the United Kingdom.[HL6750]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): I cannot comment on intelligence matters.

The list of proscribed terrorist organisations can be found at:

6 May 2014 : Column WA397

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/301777/ProscribedOrganisationsApril14.pdf

Proscription is not targeted at any particular faith or social grouping, but is based on our assessment of an organisation’s concern in terrorism. Over 60 organisations are currently, proscribed including 14 organisations connected to Northern Ireland and organisations seeking to advance a variety of other religious, ethnic, political and nationalist causes.

The Extremism Task Force, which was set up by the Prime Minister following the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, looked closely at whether the Government were doing all they could to confront extremism and radicalisation. It concluded that it is often too easy for extremist preachers and groups to spread extremist views which can lead people into terrorism. The Government are therefore considering the case for new powers to ban groups which seek to undermine democracy or use hate speech.

Israel

Questions

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with their European partners concerning whether Israeli security personnel convicted of violating human rights law in the West Bank should be refused free visas in line with the policy of the United States State Department.[HL6427]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): We have had no such discussions with EU partners. Israeli nationals coming to the UK as a visitor for less than six months do not require a visa. All other routes, will need a visa before travelling, where the usual rules, including fees and checks will be applied.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Israel concerning the reported armed ambush and killing of Yusef a-Shawamreh in the West Bank in March.[HL6583]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The Government has not had any discussions with the Israeli authorities over this specific case. We have, however, raised our concerns over the increasing number of deaths of Palestinians by the Israel Defence Forces.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Israel concerning recent reports of violence and racist graffiti by settlers in the village of Kifl Haris, during a religious ceremony.[HL6584]

Baroness Warsi: An official from our Embassy in Tel Aviv last raised our concerns over settler attacks with the Israeli National Security Council in early March.

6 May 2014 : Column WA398

Israel and Palestine

Questions

Asked by Lord Turnberg

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they are having with Mahmoud Abbas on continuing the negotiations with Israel for a two-state solution. [HL6438]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The Government is having regular discussions about the current peace talks with the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Israel. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), most recently had a discussion on 3 April with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about the peace process. The Foreign Secretary met with the Israeli Minister for Intelligence, International Relations and Strategic Affairs, Yuval Steinitz on 8 April where they discussed the latest in the peace process.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel concerning Palestinian deaths since the beginning of the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.[HL6533]

Baroness Warsi: We have made frequent representations to the Israeli authorities about Israel Defence Forces' use of live fire and appropriate force in both Gaza and the West Bank. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv most recently raised this issue with the Israeli Defence Force on 11 March.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they plan to take to protect the property rights and security of Palestinians if peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are extended. [HL6534]

Baroness Warsi: I refer the noble Baroness, Lady Tonge, to the answer I gave her on 21 November 2013 (Official Report, column WA233).

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the potential of extended peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to effect change in Israel’s control of East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley.[HL6535]

Baroness Warsi: The Government fully supports the peace talks which we hope will lead to a negotiated two-state solution and an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

6 May 2014 : Column WA399

Justice: Immigration and Asylum

Question

Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans significantly to reduce the involvement of expert non-legal members in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber; if so, in the light of the volume of deportation appeals and of unrepresented appellants, what alternative provision there will be for expert advice in sensitive cases; and how they will ensure that the public interest is fully represented on panel hearings.[HL6578]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): The panel composition for Tribunals within the unified Tribunal structure are matters for the Senior President of Tribunals under the Tribunals, Courts & Enforcement Act 2007. These powers are delegated where appropriate to Chamber Presidents of individual chambers of the First-tier and Upper Tribunals. The Senior President published a consultation document regarding the deployment of non-legal members within the Immigration and Asylum Chamber in November 2013. The consultation sought views on whether senior judges within the Chamber should decide on a case-by-case basis whether a non-legal member should sit on a Tribunal panel “where the President of First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) or a Resident Judge has decided that there are strong public interest reasons”. The Senior President will publish a response to the consultation on www.judiciary.gov.uk. A copy of the consultation document published in November 2013 is available at the following link:

http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/about-the-judiciary/the-judiciary-in-detail/judicial+roles/tribunals/senior-president-tribunals

Justice: IPP Prisoners

Question

Asked by Lord Wigley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Imprisonment for Public Protection prisoners were imprisoned at the latest date available date; how many of those were beyond the tariff; and of those beyond their tariff, how many (1) have completed rehabilitation programmes courses successfully, (2) have been on rehabilitation courses but have not completed them successfully, (3) have been offered rehabilitation courses but are awaiting their completion, and (4) have not been offered rehabilitation courses.[HL6602]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): The Parole Board assesses the risk posed by individual prisoners when considering their release or transfer to open conditions, and work that has been completed to reduce these risks, rather than only looking at whether specific offending behaviour programmes (OBPs) have been completed. It is not mandatory for Indeterminate Sentence Prisoners to complete OBPs in order to achieve release. Other work that may help to reduce

6 May 2014 : Column WA400

risk may take the form of accredited OBPs; however, it may also include activities such as education or training, work, one to one sessions with a psychologist and a range of other interventions. Although in some circumstances an OBP may be the preferred option, the Parole Board may consider that an offender has reduced their risk of harm, despite not being able to attend a particular course, because they have been able to undertake other offending behaviour work which has achieved the same outcome.

As at 31 December 2013 there were 5,335 prisoners serving an Indeterminate Sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection, of which 3,561 were beyond the tariff.

Of these prisoners beyond tariff, 3,160 had completed at least one accredited offending behaviour programme successfully; 415 had attended a programme and not completed it successfully and of these, 62 had yet to complete any programme successfully; and 184 are currently attending a programme and the outcome is not yet known.

The figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

No information is collected on how many prisoners have not been offered an accredited offending behaviour programme and this could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Kosovo

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of President Obama’s statement on 26 March that “Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organised”.[HL6525]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The point that President Obama was making is that the situations in Crimea and Kosovo are not comparable. Kosovo’s independence followed a humanitarian crisis, nearly nine years of UN administration, and the failure of a long period of inclusive, internationally sponsored negotiations on Kosovo’s final status. Kosovo thus declared independence only after other options were exhausted, and by the decision of a parliament that had been assembled through a free and fair vote conducted under UN supervision. None of these conditions apply in Crimea.

Legal Aid

Questions

Asked by Lord Boateng

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the Lord Chancellor or any Minister in his Department last met the chief executive officer of the Legal Aid Agency; and whether they discussed (1) the issue of publicly funded representation at inquests for the

6 May 2014 : Column WA401

families of deceased victims, and (2) the provision for publicly funded representation at the inquest of the family of Cherry Groce.[HL6403]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): The Chief Executive of the Legal Aid Agency has regular meetings with Ministers at the Ministry of Justice.

Following a review of its decision in the Groce family’s case, the Legal Aid Agency made a funding request to Ministers. Ministers have considered the request and have granted funding.

Asked by Lord Boateng

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the functioning of the inquest system in the absence of publicly funded legal representation for the families of deceased victims of actions on the part of the police or other public authorities.[HL6404]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to review the effectiveness of the inquest system in respect of the absence of a duty on the Legal Aid Agency to ensure publicly funded legal representation at inquests for families of victims of deaths in custody from the actions of police officers or in circumstances of failures in the duty of care of public authorities.[HL6405]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what guidelines have been issued to the Legal Aid Agency to ensure that families of deceased victims are legally represented at an inquest where criminal charges have previously been investigated.[HL6406]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the decision to refuse legal aid to the family of Cherry Groce at the inquest into her death is consistent with the equality objectives of the Ministry of Justice.[HL6407]

Lord Faulks: The Government is confident that the inquest system is functioning effectively following reforms introduced last July under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. We are committed to reviewing the impact of the reforms in 2015.

In addition, the Government has specifically protected legal aid for families at inquests. Legal Help (the advice and assistance level of legal aid) remains routinely available within the scope of the civil legal aid scheme. In exceptional circumstances funding can also be provided for the family’s legal representation at the inquest pursuant to section 6(8)(b) of the Access to Justice Act 1999 (AJA) or section 10(1) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) (the applicable legislation depending on the date of the original application). A means test applies but can be waived in certain circumstances.

The Lord Chancellor is prevented by statute from giving directions and guidance to the Legal Aid Agency in relation to an individual case, but has published general guidance to which the Director of Legal Aid Casework must have regard when making individual decisions on applications for exceptional funding for

6 May 2014 : Column WA402

representation at inquests. The guidance sets out the relevant criteria and specifically addresses inquests where there is a death in custody or a death in the course of police arrest, search, pursuit or shooting.

Following a review of its decision in the Groce family’s case, the Legal Aid Agency made a funding request to the Lord Chancellor. The Lord Chancellor has considered the request and has granted funding.

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government , further to the Written Answer by Lord Faulks on 27 March (WA 141), what steps they will take to ensure that legal aid resources are spent in the most equitable way and are not concentrated on fewer high-profile defendants.[HL6521]

Lord Newby (LD): In the vast majority of cases, legal aid fees are based solely on factors such as the type of alleged offence, the length of trial and the amount of paperwork involved. They are not increased just because a defendant is “high-profile”. We plan to reduce these fees in 2015, subject to consideration of a number of reviews currently taking place. In addition, a very small number of the longest cases (Very High Cost Cases) are paid based on the work required and the substance of the case. These cases account for approximately 0.1% of criminal cases, but 7.5% of the legal aid spend. The Government is committed to controlling the cost of these cases, and has recently introduced a 30% cut in fees.

Listed Buildings: Energy-saving Measures

Questions

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what research they have commissioned to determine the impact on energy waste of restricting insulation measures on listed buildings.[HL6314]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of additional heating costs for listed buildings that are not able to install or use energy-saving measures because of their listed status; and what consideration they have given to defraying such costs through local taxation.[HL6316]

Lord Bates (Con): Her Majesty's Government has not commissioned any research. However, almost every older building can accommodate some energy-efficiency improvements without harming either its special interest or environmental performance. However, an appropriate balance needs to be achieved between building conservation and measures to improve energy efficiency if lasting damage is to be avoided both to a building's character and significance and its fabric.

Reducing carbon emissions from buildings is not just about insulating the building fabric. Much can be achieved by changing behaviour, avoiding waste, using energy-efficient controls and equipment and managing the building to its optimum performance, all of which is as relevant to older buildings as new ones.

6 May 2014 : Column WA403

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to amending the regulations governing alterations to existing listed buildings to permit the use and construction of energy-saving measures, such as double or triple glazing.[HL6315]

Lord Bates: Existing Building Regulations already strike a balance between the need to conserve energy and the need to protect buildings listed for their architectural or historic interest. The associated statutory guidance states that when undertaking work on or in connection with buildings with special historic or architectural value, the aim should be to improve energy efficiency where and to the extent that it is practically possible

This is provided that the work does not prejudice the character of the host building or increase the risk of long-term deterioration to the building fabric. The statutory guidance says that, in arriving at a balance between historic building conservation and energy-efficiency improvements, it would be appropriate to take into account the advice of the local authority's conservation officer.

Living Wage

Questions

Asked by Lord Monks

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what they are doing to address the situation in those parts of the United Kingdom where a high percentage of the workforce is paid less than the living wage.[HL6678]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what they are doing to address the situation in those parts of the United Kingdom where a high percentage of women are paid less than the living wage.[HL6679]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Viscount Younger of Leckie) (Con): The Government supports a living wage and encourages businesses to pay it when it is affordable but not at the expense of jobs. We recognise that these have been challenging times and we applaud companies that have chosen to pay higher wages.

The Government’s primary tool for supporting the low paid workers is the National Minimum Wage (NMW) which is set by the independent Low Pay Commission at a level that maximises the wages of the low paid without damaging their employment prospects by setting it too high.

There are four NMW rates depending on an individual’s age and whether they are an apprentice. It does not vary by gender or region. The Government has just approved a rise in the NMW to £6.50 per hour from October 2014. This is the biggest cash increase since 2008, with more than one million workers set to see their pay rise by as much as £300 per year.

In addition to the NMW, this Government is helping to increase the take-home pay by cutting taxes, particularly for the low paid. We are raising the personal tax

6 May 2014 : Column WA404

allowance to £10,500 by April 2015. This means over 3.2 million people will no longer pay income tax and the typical basic rate taxpayers will pay £805 less income tax per year than in 2010-11.

Asked by Lord Monks

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures they are taking to encourage more employers to pay the living wage.[HL6680]

Viscount Younger of Leckie: The Government supports a living wage and encourages businesses to pay it when it is affordable and not at the expense of jobs.

We recognise that these have been challenging times and we applaud companies that have chosen to pay higher wages.

This Government is helping to increase the take-home pay by cutting taxes, particularly of the low paid, taking 3.2 million out of income tax by 2015.

Asked by Lord Monks

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the analysis published by the Trades Union Congress on 1 April regarding the proportion of workers receiving the living wage; and what steps they are taking to address the situation in respect of those areas identified in that analysis as having a high proportion of (1) all workers, and (2) women, not receiving the living wage.[HL6775]

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Livingston of Parkhead) (Con): The Government is aware of the analysis published by the Trade Unions Congress and is considering it.

The Government supports a living wage and encourages businesses to pay it when it is affordable but not at the expense of jobs. We recognise that these have been challenging times and we applaud companies that have chosen to pay higher wages.

The Government’s primary tool for supporting low paid workers is the National Minimum Wage (NMW) which is recommended by the independent Low Pay Commission at a level that maximises the wages of the low paid without damaging their employment prospects by setting it too high.

There are four NMW rates depending on an individual’s age and whether they are an apprentice. It does not vary by gender or region. The Government has just approved a rise in the NMW to £6.50 per hour from October 2014. This is the biggest cash increase since 2008, with more than one million workers set to see their pay rise by as much as £300 per year.

In addition to the NMW, this Government is helping to increase the take-home pay by cutting taxes, particularly for the low paid. We are raising the personal tax allowance to £10,500 by April 2015. This means over 3.2 million people will no longer pay income tax and the typical basic rate taxpayers will pay £805 less income tax per year than in 2010-11.

6 May 2014 : Column WA405

Local Authorities

Questions

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government , further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stowell of Beeston on 13 March (WA 404), what stipulations, if any, they have placed upon (1) Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, (2) the North East Leadership Board, (3) Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, and (4) West Yorkshire Combined Authority in terms of (a) the membership of those bodies, (b) remuneration for their members, and (c) how meetings will be (i) chaired, and (ii) recorded. [HL6571]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Stowell of Beeston) (Con): The Orders establishing each Combined Authority specify the membership of the body; and require the election of a chairman and vice-chairman at the first meeting of the Combined Authority and thereafter at its annual meeting. Each member has one vote and there is no casting vote. The Orders also make provision that no remuneration is to be payable to members except for allowances for travel and subsistence in accordance with a scheme drawn up by the Combined Authority. All of the councils concerned consented to these provisions, which were based on proposals originally made by the councils.

The statutory provisions for the conduct of council meetings apply equally to the conduct of meetings of a Combined Authority, including provisions about the taking and publication of minutes. The Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities on Data Transparency applies to combined authorities and the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014, if approved by Parliament, will also apply.

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government , in the light of the recent comments by the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, regarding who should lead the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, what consideration they have given to the consequences should the leader of one constituent authority decide to withdraw from the combined authority.[HL6572]

Baroness Stowell of Beeston: This Government has helped these councils set up a combined authority, something that all the local leaders asked for. I understand that they are now working together to make it work.

As I explained during the recent debates in Grand Committee on the draft Orders providing for the establishment of the combined authorities, if in the future councils decide that changes to a combined authority are in the area’s best interest – perhaps another council joining, or one leaving – and the statutory conditions have been met, the Government would seek Parliamentary approval to a new draft Order providing for the changes to take place.

The Order allows for any local authority to change their representative member on the Combined Authority.

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NHS: “Better Services, Better Value” Review

Questions

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much money has been spent on the “Better Services, Better Value” review for NHS health services across south-west London.[HL6727]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): NHS England estimates the cost of the “Better Services, Better Value” (BSBV) review at around £8.2 million over three years. The six clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in south-west London have a joint annual commissioning budget of £1.6 billion. The amount spent on BSBV therefore represents 0.2% of the CCGs’ annual budget or 0.067% over three years.

The six CCGs will use the detailed BSBV analysis in developing their five-year strategy for local health services.

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which individuals have been employed to conduct the “Better Services, Better Value” review for NHS health services across south-west London.[HL6728]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which public service providers have been employed to conduct the “Better Services, Better Value” review for NHS health services across south-west London.[HL6729]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which private service providers have been employed to conduct the “Better Services, Better Value” review for NHS health services across south-west London.[HL6730]

Earl Howe: We understand that the “Better Services, Better Value” (BSBV) programme of health services across south-west London was led and managed by the local clinical commissioning groups, with the support of six working groups drawn from clinicians working in the local National Health Service. The BSBV programme was disbanded in February 2014.

The companies employed by the BSBV to provide external consultancy support were Ernst and Young and 2020 Delivery. The programme also engaged the Office of Public Management. Over 100 clinicians working in the local NHS developed the BSBV clinical models.

NHS: Keogh Review

Question

Asked by Lord Black of Brentwood

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action has been taken at Basildon and Thurrock NHS Foundation Trust since July 2013 to implement the findings of the Keogh Review.[HL6697]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): On 14 February 2014, Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority jointly published Special Measures—update report, a report summarising the progress made at the National Health Service trusts and foundation trusts placed in special measures following Sir Bruce Keogh’s review of persistently high hospital mortality rates (“the Keogh review”). This includes Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. A copy of the report has been placed in the Library.

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has put a range of measures in place to ensure that patient safety and care issues are identified and addressed at the earliest stage.

The Trust is committed to continuing to improve the quality of services and care provided at its hospitals, and will ensure it listens and is responsive to patient concerns. The Care Quality Commission's Chief Inspector of Hospitals will re-inspect the Trust later this year to assess the improvements in its services. The noble Lord may wish to contact the Trust directly for information about further improvements.

North Korea

Questions

Asked by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking in relation to tensions between North and South Korea following North Korea's artillery shelling and detonation near the border between those countries.[HL6537]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): On 31 March 2014, during a pre-planned and pre-advised live-fire exercise, a small number of artillery shells from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea landed in waters south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea. The Republic of Korea military responded with its own artillery fire into waters on the northern side of the NLL. There were no reported casualties.

We have been monitoring the situation closely and are in contact with international partners. The situation is currently calmer but tensions remain high. In a Written Ministerial Statement on 31 March, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), urged both sides to exercise restraint and not to retaliate further.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of North Korea’s launch of two mid-range missiles, its statement that it “would not rule out a new form of nuclear test for bolstering up its nuclear deterrence” and China’s decision to support the United Nations Security Council’s condemnation of those developments.[HL6546]

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Baroness Warsi: We are extremely concerned that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has fired two medium range missiles into the Sea of Japan, in a further clear breach of UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 1718, 1874, 2087 and 2094. We are also concerned by the DPRK's statement implying that they are considering further missile or nuclear tests.

We urge the DPRK to comply with all of its obligations under relevant UNSCRs and to refrain from any further provocations that would only further destabilise the peninsula.

We welcome China’s support in the UN Security Council condemning North Korean provocations, and we encourage all countries to call on the DPRK to abide by its international obligations.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that officials in the North Korean Workers' Party who were associated with Jang Song-thaek have been sentenced to death; and what recent representations the United Kingdom Ambassador to North Korea has made to the authorities there about the use of capital punishment, torture and political prison camps.[HL6547]

Baroness Warsi: We are aware of media reports that 200 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) government officials believed to be close Jang Song-thaek, who was executed in December 2013, have been sentenced to death. Personnel changes within various organisations suggest the purge of those related to Jang Song-thaek is continuing. However, the lack of transparency means we are unable to confirm what has happened to those who have been removed from their positions. The UK is appalled but not unsurprised by reports of executions in DPRK. During meetings with DPRK authorities we regularly raise concerns about the horrific human rights situation. Our Ambassador in Pyongyang raised these concerns during a meeting with a Vice-Minister from the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs in January and we have raised them with other officials in March.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the United Kingdom Ambassador to North Korea has raised with the authorities there the terms of the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution (A/HRC/25/L.17) condemning “long-standing and ongoing systematic, widespread and gross” human rights violations in North Korea; and whether they have made representations to those countries which abstained or voted against the Resolution to give further thought to the findings of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry and to encourage support for the work of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea.[HL6548]

Baroness Warsi: We regularly raise concerns about the appalling human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) during our meetings with the DPRK authorities. We have raised

6 May 2014 : Column WA409

the Commission of Inquiry report and will be raising the UN Human Rights Council Resolution (UNHRC) in our next meetings. The UK played a key role in ensuring a strong Resolution and will continue to work with partners to ensure the matter remains in the spotlight. It is unfortunate that some UNHRC members chose to either abstain or vote against the Resolution and, as we made clear in the UK statement at the time of the vote, we consider that doing so was a failure in their responsibility to help resolve the crisis and improve the lives of the North Korean people. Nevertheless, the resolution was passed with a significant majority and provides a solid platform for ongoing work in this area, not least through increased support for the Special Rapporteur. We are pleased that it includes a provision encouraging all states who have relations with the DPRK to use their influence to encourage the DPRK to take immediate steps to end all human rights violations. In our bilateral contacts with these states we will be encouraging them to act in accordance with this provision.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, following the passage of Human Rights Council Resolution (A/HRC/25/L.17) on human rights violations in North Korea, what assessment they have made of the suggestion by Amnesty International to increase pressure on North Korea; and whether they are taking any action along such lines.[HL6549]

Baroness Warsi: The UK played a leading role in ensuring a strong UN Human Rights Council Resolution and will continue to work with partners to ensure the issue remains in the spotlight. We agree with the view expressed by Amnesty International that the message sent to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) authorities by the resolution could not be clearer. As both Amnesty International and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have said, crimes against humanity will not be tolerated and those responsible must face justice. As the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), outlined in his Written Ministerial Statement of 31 March, we welcome the final text of the resolution which includes a specific request that the UN Security Council consider referral of the situation in the DPRK to the appropriate international criminal justice mechanism. As a first step, the Commission of Inquiry will give an informal “Arria” briefing to the Security Council on 17 April. Other elements of the resolution which reflect earlier calls from Amnesty International include concrete measures to ensure the work of the Commission of Inquiry is continued. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur has been extended and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is requested to provide the Rapporteur with increased support, not least through a new structure to strengthen monitoring and documentation of the human rights situation in the DPRK, as well as through capacity building of others working to address this issue. These measures will ensure that whenever and however the DPRK regime is brought to account, the material will be there to build a strong case against those responsible for violations.

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Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they are having with the United States Special Envoy on North Korea, Ambassador Robert King, about ways to build international action to follow through the passage of United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution (A/HRC/25/L.17) on human rights violations in North Korea.[HL6550]

Baroness Warsi: The UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva met with Ambassador King on 18 March to discuss the UN Human Rights Council Resolution and how it could be used to build international action to improve the human rights situation in North Korea. In the near future we hope to welcome him.

On 27 March, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), discussed the resolution with US Assistant Secretary Russel. We will continue to work with the US and others to ensure that there is accountability for the horrifying human rights violations documented in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Northern Ireland: On-the-runs

Questions

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Randerson on 26 March (WA 124) and 3 April (WA 226), whether they had considered conferring on the review chaired by Lady Justice Hallett the power of compulsion over (1) current officials, and (2) others; if not, why not; if so, why they decided not to confer the power of compulsion; and what sanctions will be applied to current officials who refuse to attend.[HL6644]

Lord Bates (Con): The Prime Minister's statement of 27 February made clear that the inquiry will have full access to files held by the Government, and government officials who are requested to appear will be expected to do so. The Government does not therefore believe the inquiry requires the power of compulsion.

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Randerson on 26 March (WA 124) and 3 April (WA 226), what is their estimate of the cost of the review chaired by Lady Justice Hallett.[HL6645]

Lord Bates: The current estimate for the cost of the inquiry chaired by Lady Justice Hallett is £490,000.

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Randerson on 26 March (WA 124) and 3 April (WA 226), what assessment they have made of the benefits to the judicial process of the judge-led review into the “on the run” letters.[HL6646]

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Lord Bates: No assessment has been made of the benefits to the judicial process. Lady Justice Hallett has been asked to produce a full public account of the operation and extent of the administrative scheme for OTRs, to determine whether any letters sent through the scheme contained errors, and to make recommendations as necessary on this or related matters that are drawn to the attention of the inquiry. What actions are then required will depend on Lady Justice Hallett’s recommendations.

Asked by Lord Tebbit

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to widen the terms of reference of the independent review of the operation and extent of the administrative scheme for dealing with so-called “on the runs” to cover the question of what understandings or guarantees of immunity from prosecution may have been given to facilitate the talks leading to a ceasefire by IRA/Sinn Fein and to the Belfast Agreement. [HL6718]

Lord Bates: The Prime Minister set out the terms of reference for Lady Justice Hallett’s review on 27 February. How those terms of reference are delivered is a question for Lady Justice Hallett, who has full access to government officials and documentation in order to fulfil her remit.

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Baroness Randerson on 8 April (HL Deb, cols 1237–9), in the event that the police fail to provide the review led by Lady Justice Hallett with adequate information in respect of whether they are currently seeking evidence on “on the runs”, what steps they will take to ensure that Parliament is provided with such information.[HL6804]

Lord Bates: I understand the PSNI are working closely with Lady Justice Hallett’s team to provide access to the information they require in order to fulfil their remit. It will be a matter for Lady Justice Hallett to consider and, if she so wishes comment on, the levels of co-operation received from all relevant parties, and to make recommendations. Her Majesty’s Government will respond appropriately to any recommendations which Lady Justice Hallett makes.

Offenders: Ex-Service Personnel

Questions

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to ascertain the number of ex-service personnel receiving (1) custodial, and (2) non-custodial, sentences.[HL6383]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): The Ministry of Justice does not centrally collate or hold information on the current or previous occupations of those receiving custodial or non-custodial sentences; it is therefore not possible to identify ex-service

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personnel within centrally held data sources. However, in September 2010, the MoJ and Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) published an estimate of the number of regular ex-service personnel in prison in England and Wales and, in March 2011, the MOJ and DASA published a further estimate of the number of regular ex-service personnel under probation supervision in England and Wales.

Copies of the reports are available via the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ex-armed-forces-prisoners-in-england-and-wales-statistics-2010

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/veterans-on-probation-statistics

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will attempt to measure the re-offending rates of ex-service personnel convicted of criminal offences.[HL6384]

Lord Faulks: The Ministry of Justice does not centrally collate or hold information on the current or previous occupation of those convicted of criminal offences; therefore it is not possible to provide re-offending rates for ex-service personnel in the criminal justice system.

Rory Stewart MP has been invited to conduct an independent review of ex-services personnel within the criminal justice system. He has been asked to consider the needs of ex-services personnel, current rehabilitation available to them, how they are identified and best practice. The review is due to report back in autumn 2014 and we will then consider his recommendations.

Offenders: Special Needs Statements

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether youth offending teams are given access to students’ special needs statements as of right.[HL6434]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) can request access to special needs statements from the education services arm of local authorities that hold them, but they have no access to these as of right. Under the Education (Special Educational Needs) (England) (Consolidation) Regulations 2001, local authority education services are not permitted to share these statements, without the student’s consent, with external parties including YOTs, except for prescribed reasons which include where the local authority in question judges it necessary to do so in the interests of the child, on the order of a court or for the purpose of any criminal proceedings.

Under the Children and Families Act 2014, YOTs and local authorities will be required to co-operate in the exercise of the authority’s functions relating to

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children and young people with special educational needs—for example, in the assessment for and preparation of education and healthcare plans in relation to young people known to the YOT.

Ofsted

Question

Asked by Lord Pendry

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the report by Policy Exchange, Watching the Watchmen: the future of school inspections in England, what measures are being taken to ensure that Ofsted inspectors used from private firms are accredited and qualified.[HL6590]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): This question is a matter for Ofsted. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has written to the noble Lord and a copy of his response has been placed in the House Library.

Overseas Aid

Questions

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what methodology they use in co-ordinating with international partners the levels and distribution of international aid.[HL6790]

Lord Bates (Con): There is no single international system designed to co-ordinate the level and distribution of international aid. However, the key determinant of where donor funds are distributed is the dialogue and co-ordination within each recipient country which is, where possible, led by the recipient country’s Government.

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in relation to aid to Ethiopia, whether they have liaised with the Government of the United States about the co-ordination of development assistance in the agricultural sector.[HL6791]

Lord Bates: The UK is part of the US-led New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Ethiopia, which entails regular dialogue and co-ordination of our work in the agricultural and related sectors. DfID and USAID are co-donors to the national safety net programme, which provides cash and food for some 7 million food-insecure Ethiopians, most of whom are rural farmers. We also collaborate closely on land issues; DfID’s new land certification programme in Ethiopia builds on work by USAID to test certification methodologies.

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they co-ordinate the United Kingdom’s emergency aid efforts and expenditure with those of non-governmental organisations and bilateral donors to avoid duplication and waste.[HL6792]

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Lord Bates: Information is consistently shared by the UK with NGOs and other donors at headquarters and field level, and the level of funds pledged or committed are regularly updated on the UN’s Financial Tracking Service. The UK also plays a key leadership role during responses, encouraging all humanitarian actors to co-ordinate and to do so in partnership with the affected Government wherever appropriate.

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures they take in concert with the United Nations and the European Union to ensure that international aid is fairly and efficiently distributed and that waste and corrupt practices are avoided.[HL6793]

Lord Bates:There is no single international system designed to co-ordinate the level and distribution of international aid. However, the key determinant of where donor funds are distributed is the dialogue and co-ordination within each recipient country which is, where possible, led by the recipient country’s Government.

Overseas Aid: Product Development Partnerships

Questions

Asked by The Earl of Dundee

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of product development partnerships as a means for improving healthcare delivery overseas.[HL6567]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many and which product development partnerships they are currently funding in healthcare delivery overseas.[HL6568]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with other European states funding product development partnerships in healthcare delivery overseas.[HL6569]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to fund product development partnerships in healthcare delivery overseas jointly with other European states.[HL6570]

Lord Newby (LD): Product development partnerships, using a mixture of public and private sector partners, can develop new technologies more rapidly than either the public or private sectors alone.

The UK Government is currently supporting ten product development partnerships, details of nine awards were published 23 August 2013 and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dfid-invests-to-save-millions-from-deadly-diseases.

Support is also provided to the Meningitis Vaccine Development Programme. A number of European States fund product development partnerships. Funding is awarded independently by each European State, but there are regular and ongoing discussions amongst the funders about ongoing progress of the development of new products.

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Pakistan: Religious Minorities

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they last made representations to the government of Pakistan about the personal security and protection needs of Christians, Hindus, Shias and Ismailis; and what responses they received.[HL6652]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): It is vital that the Government of Pakistan protects and guarantees the rights of all its citizens, regardless of their faith or ethnicity, as laid down in the Constitution and in accordance with international standards. As Senior Minister of State for Faith and Communities with a personal commitment to freedom of religious belief, I had frank discussions with the Pakistani Prime Minister and other ministers during my most recent visit to Pakistan and during the UN General Assembly. I will continue to press the Pakistani government to meet these commitments. The British Government also remains fully committed to working in partnership with Pakistan to tackle terrorism and violent extremism in all forms which threatens the people of both our countries and the security of all communities in Pakistan. Our concerns are documented in the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office annual Human Rights report launched on 10 April.

Palestine

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they will take to preserve Palestinians’ rights to worship at their own holy sites within Jerusalem. [HL6585]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): We regularly urge the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law as an occupying power in East Jerusalem, including with regard to the protection of holy sites. We will continue to raise with the Israeli authorities our concerns over restrictions on movement and access and the Separation Barrier that limits access for Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza to holy sites in Jerusalem.

Passports

Question

Asked by Lord Empey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to recognise passports issued by Russia to residents of Crimea following the annexation of that territory from Ukraine as valid travel documents. [HL6355]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): The Government is clear that the UK does not recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea which we view as illegal.

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Some residents of Crimea already hold Russian nationality, and were in possession of a valid Russian passport before Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. Subject to any travel ban imposed upon an individual, the UK will continue to recognise any legitimate holder of a Russian passport with a valid UK visa or entry clearance as eligible to travel and seek entry to the UK.

In terms of UK visa applications, those applying for visitor visas can apply at any location. Applications for visas in other categories should, in line with paragraph 28 of the Immigration rules, be made in the country or territory in which they are living. Therefore, Russian passport holders living in Crimea would be able to apply for a visit visa anywhere in the world, including Russia; but any non-visit applications would need to be made in Ukraine.

Peace Walls

Question

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many so-called peace walls currently exist in Belfast; what is their total size (meaning their height multiplied by their breadth); and what were the equivalent figures in 2000 and 2010, or their best estimates of those figures.[HL6805]

Lord Bates (Con): This is a devolved matter and the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Minister of Justice. The Noble Lord may, however, wish to note the Community Relations Council publication at: http://www. community-relations.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Peace-Monitoring-Report-2014.pdf. This refers to the number of peace walls as part of its report.

The Northern Ireland Office does not keep statistics on peace walls which became the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Executive following the devolution of policing and justice matters in 2010. The Noble Lord may wish to contact the Department of Justice to obtain the information he seeks.

Pensions

Question

Asked by Lord Wills

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the average charge-out rate of pension advisers in calculating the quantity and quality of advice that will be available to people retiring under the new pension arrangements announced in the 2014 Budget.[HL6580]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): At Budget the government announced a new guarantee that everyone with a defined contribution pension will be offered free and impartial face-to-face guidance on their financial choices in retirement when they retire. The government is consulting on how best to deliver this guidance as part of its consultation, ‘Flexibility and Choice in Pensions’.

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In addition, the government will work with the FCA to explore the extent to which regulated advice can be made more affordable through more cost effective delivery, such as through the development of online delivery channels.

Pensions: Public Spending

Question

Asked by Lord Wills

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the impact on public spending as a result of the new pension arrangements announced in the 2014 Budget.[HL6582]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The impact will depend on how people choose to use their pension savings, which is difficult to predict. The Government expects any impact to be small in the context of the other pension measures announced in this Parliament – including State Pension age changes, the introduction of the single tier pension and public service pension reform – which are projected to save around £17 billion in 2030 in today’s terms. The estimated net fiscal impact of pension changes announced in this Parliament can be found in Chart 1.12 of the Red Book here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment _data/file/293759/37630_Budget_2014_Web_ Accessible.pdf

Police: Ethnic Minority Recruitment

Question

Asked by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to promote ethnic minority recruitment to the police.[HL6541]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): Improved diversity in policing is absolutely necessary to cut crime in a modern, diverse society, while building the trust and confidence of local communities. It is important police forces reflect the communities they serve. While progress has been made to increase diversity of the workforce, the Government has said that there is still more for forces to do.

This Government’s reforms have already made improvements; for example we set up the College of Policing which has embarked on a major programme to improve the recruitment, retention and progression of black and minority ethnic officers. Locally, Police and Crime Commissioners will ensure that the public’s priorities on crime and community safety are acted upon.

The Home Office is actively engaged with the College and forces to ensure that this work is given appropriate priority and that learning, best practice and opportunities are identified and shared.

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Ports

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government , further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 30 April 2012 (WA 420), what is their policy on grants and state aids for harbour dredging; under which United Kingdom Government and European Union funding programmes grants are permitted; what account they take of the effect of any grant on competition with other ports in the area or region; under what circumstances grants for dredging are available for a single beneficiary which will be the main commercial beneficiary; and whether, in any application for a grant for port development, any dredging element must be identified and justified separately.[HL6769]

Lord Bates (Con): The Government’s policy, as confirmed in the National Policy Statement for Ports, is that the ports industry in England and Wales is generally successful in funding investment, including in capital dredging, on a commercial basis without need for support from public funds. Consequently there is a general presumption against such grants, which can displace and deter private sector investment and distort competition, whether for single or multiple beneficiaries. There may, however, be occasional exceptions, as in the case of the Regional Growth Fund grant awarded for dredging in Liverpool Bay and the Mersey Estuary. This was based on an exceptional regional economic regeneration justification. In any such case, the prospective impact on competition with other ports would be taken into account during consideration of the application.

Dredging costs, along with other port costs, could potentially be eligible for grants from European funding schemes such as the Connecting Europe Facility and Trans-European Networks—Transport (CEF/TEN-T). The Government would normally expect any grant application for UK or EU funds to show disaggregated costings, including clear identification of any dredging element that may be present.

Prisoners: Books

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they are giving to the Howard League for Penal Reform’s request to the Ministry of Justice to reverse its ban on family and friends sending books to prisoners.[HL6379]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): There are important reasons why we have restricted the sending in of parcels by families and friends of prisoners and we do not intend to withdraw those restrictions. The changes we introduced last year in relation to parcels were to ensure consistency across the estate and to make sure that security can be maintained. There have always

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been controls on the sending of parcels into prisons, and allowing parcels to be sent in unrestricted would be operationally unmanageable and would lead to a significant risk of drugs and other illicit items being smuggled into prisons.

We have always recognised the importance of reading and literature in the rehabilitative process, and the positive effects these have on prisoners’ welfare. Every prison has a library, to which every prisoner has access. Prisoners may hold up to 12 books in their cell at any one time, and additional books can be stored locally at the prison. The National Offender Management Service also works closely with the Shannon Trust to support schemes such as “Toe by Toe”, which includes peer mentoring to improve reading levels.

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are their reasons for reducing the access to books of prisoners serving sentences in England and Wales.[HL6459]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): We have not made any policy changes specifically about the availability of books in prisons.

We have always recognised the importance of reading and literature in the rehabilitative process, and the positive effects these have on prisoners’ welfare. Every prison has a library, to which every prisoner has access. Prisoners may hold up to 12 books in their cell at any one time, and additional books can be stored locally at the prison. The National Offender Management Service also works closely with the Shannon Trust to support schemes such as 'Toe by Toe', which includes peer mentoring to improve reading levels.

There have always been controls on the sending of parcels into prisons, and allowing parcels to be sent in unrestricted would be operationally unmanageable and would lead to a significant risk of drugs and other illicit items being smuggled into prisons.

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they consider that library facilities in prisons, including the availability and ordering of books, are fit for purpose.[HL6522]

Lord Faulks: Prison library services are, in the majority of prisons, provided by Public Library Authorities. Prison libraries enable prisoners to receive, subject to the constraints of operating within a custodial environment, a service equivalent to that provided for library users in the community.

Prisoners: Education

Questions

Asked by Baroness Morgan of Huyton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of the introduction of regulations to stop parcels being sent to prisoners, they have plans to improve prison libraries.[HL6736]

6 May 2014 : Column WA420

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): Prison library services are, in the majority of prisons, provided by Public Library Authorities. Prison libraries enable prisoners to receive, subject to the constraints of operating within a custodial environment, a service equivalent to that provided for library users in the community.

We have no plans to make changes to these services.

Asked by Baroness Morgan of Huyton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the literacy figure for prisoners (1) across the prison estate, and (2) broken down into prison category. [HL6738]

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Livingston of Parkhead) (Con): We are working with the National Offender Management Service to introduce, this summer, mandatory maths and English assessment for all prisoners at Reception. The assessment will be undertaken by the Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) provider, and will also identify those prisoners with learning difficulties and disabilities. At present, we have no data on the general level of prisoner literacy, nor any data on literacy levels by prison category.

Final data for the 2012/13 academic year show that there were 22,620 offenders aged 18 or over in the prison system participating on an English course.

Prisoners: Education

Questions

Asked by Baroness Morgan of Huyton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the Ministry of Justice’s March 2013 report showing a link between employment and reduced re-offending, what plans they have to improve literacy education for prisoners.[HL6737]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether prison governors have targets for the improvement of literacy skills of prisoners; and whether those targets are monitored.[HL6739]

Lord Newby (LD): We are taking a number of steps to enhance and build upon the current learning and skills offer to prisoners. We firmly believe that giving offenders the skills and training they need to get and keep jobs on release reduces their likelihood of re-offending.

Officials from the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) are working with the Skills Funding Agency and providers of the Offenders’ Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) to continually improve the quality of the teaching and learning experienced by prisoners through the development and dissemination of good practice. New approaches to literacy in particular include an increase in the use of peer mentors, embedded learning as part of other regime activities, and the introduction of a National Reading Network in association with the Shannon Trust.

6 May 2014 : Column WA421

Later this year we will be introducing mandatory education assessment by the OLASS providers for all newly-received prisoners. This will ensure that all prisoners, not just those who go on to learning, receive a learning assessment (focused around literacy and numeracy but also covering learning difficulties and disabilities). NOMS and its partners are also working towards implementing better data-sharing arrangements between prisons and OLASS providers, so that more is known about prisoners’ previous assessments, progress, and achievements, as well as their current educational needs.

Intensive literacy and numeracy courses, based on the Army’s model, have also been piloted in prisons, particularly to address the needs of prisoners serving short sentences. Prison Governors and OLASS providers are working together to deliver such courses where appropriate.

Prison Governors do not have targets regarding the improvement of prisoners’ literacy skills. As noted previously, we are taking considerable steps both to further identify literacy learning needs and then to address them.

Prisoners: Rehabilitation

Question

Asked by Lord Fellowes

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Lord Chancellor considers that the rehabilitation and behaviour of prisoners will be encouraged by preventing them receiving books by post.[HL6284]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): Up to 12 books may be held by prisoners in their cell at any one time. Prisoners may have additional books stored locally at the prison. Every prison has a library, to which every prisoner has access.

Ministers have not made any policy changes specifically about the availability of books in prisons. The changes to the Incentives and Earned Privileges national policy framework we introduced last year in relation to parcels were introduced to ensure consistency across the estate and to make sure that security can be maintained. There have always been controls on the sending of parcels into prisons, and allowing parcels to be sent in unrestricted would be operationally unmanageable and would lead to a significant risk of drugs and other illicit items being smuggled into prisons.

The National Offender Management Service works closely with the Shannon Trust to support schemes such as Toe by Toe, which includes peer mentoring to improve reading levels.

Prisons: Budget

Question

Asked by Lord Bradley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the current population in each of the United Kingdom’s (1) public prisons, and (2) private prisons; and what is the budget for each individual prison of each type.[HL6566]

6 May 2014 : Column WA422

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): Individual prison population information is published monthly on the Ministry of Justice website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prison-population-figures-2014

The table below identifies, as at Friday 28 March, the population of each public and private sector prison and NOMS run Immigration Removal Centre in England and Wales.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible error(s) with data entry and processing.

Allocated budgets for individual prisons for financial year 2014-15 are in the process of being finalised and are not yet available. Budget allocations will be made on the basis of need and according to Departmental priorities.

Population in (1) public sector prisons, (2) private sector prisons, and (3) NOMS Operated (Public Sector) Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) as at Friday 28 March 2014.
Public Sector Prisons
Prison NamePopulation

Askham Grange

98

Aylesbury

404

Bedford

480

Belmarsh

875

Blantyre House

121

Brinsford

536

Bristol

593

Brixton

772

Buckley Hall

445

Bullingdon

1,095

Bure

618

Cardiff

801

Channings Wood

720

Chelmsford

580

Coldingley

510

Cookham Wood

119

Dartmoor

648

Deerbolt

501

Drake Hall

313

Durham

925

East Sutton Park

90

Eastwood Park

339

Elmley (Sheppey)

1,243

Erlestoke

487

Everthorpe

684

Exeter

547

Featherstone

674

Feltham

616

Ford

516

Foston Hall

290

Frankland

778

Full Sutton

600

Garth

666

Gartree

706

Glen Parva

657

Grendon/Springhill

537

Guys Marsh

564

Haverigg

626

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Hewell

1,274

High Down

1,124

Highpoint (North and South)

1,321

Hindley

274

Hollesley Bay

430

Holloway

513

Holme House

1,209

Hull

758

Huntercombe

408

Isis

616

Isle of Wight

1,133

Kennet

275

Kirkham

626

Kirklevington Grange

292

Lancaster Farms

400

Leeds

1,214

Leicester

372

Lewes

673

Leyhill

506

Lincoln

699

Lindholme

1,002

Littlehey

1,110

Liverpool

1,266

Long Lartin

617

Low Newton

312

Maidstone

587

Manchester

1,151

Moorland/Hatfield

1,259

Mount

768

New Hall

409

North Sea Camp

395

Norwich

764

Nottingham

1,093

Onley

676

Pentonville

1,311

Portland

572

Preston

699

Ranby

1,091

Risley

1,094

Rochester

732

Send

270

Stafford

731

Standford Hill (Sheppey)

459

Stocken

841

Stoke Heath

632

Styal

428

Sudbury

588

Swaleside (Sheppey)

1,110

Swansea

442

Swinfen Hall

585

Thorn Cross

310

Usk/Prescoed

503

Verne

20

Wakefield

740

Wandsworth

1,574

Warren Hill

46

Wayland

986

Wealstun

811

6 May 2014 : Column WA424

Werrington

117

Wetherby

203

Whatton

837

Whitemoor

456

Winchester

657

Wolds

367

Woodhill

793

Wormwood Scrubs

1,247

Wymott

1,097

Private Prisons
Prison NamePopulation

Altcourse

1,122

Ashfield

387

Birmingham

1,434

Bronzefield

486

Doncaster

1,143

Dovegate

1,108

Forest Bank

1,449

Lowdham Grange

916

Northumberland

1,345

Oakwood

1,597

Parc

1,348

Peterborough (Male & Female)

947

Rye Hill

626

Thameside

886

NOMS Operated (Public Sector) Immigration Removal Centres
Prison NamePopulation

Dover (IRC)

259

Haslar (IRC)

162

Morton Hall (IRC)

388

Prisons: HMP Belmarsh

Questions

Asked by Baroness Stern

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken to respond to the recommendation by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons in his recent report on HMP Belmarsh that the library should increase its opening hours so that all prisoners have access to it.[HL6603]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken to respond to the recommendation by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons in his recent report on HMP Belmarsh that not all cells in the High Security Unit and Special Security Unit were equipped with furniture and furnishings in line with the Prison Service's operating standards for such units.[HL6604]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the conclusion of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons in his recent report on HMP Belmarsh that the requirement in the operating standards for the Governor to visit the High Security Unit and the Special Security Unit once a week had not been met.[HL6605]

6 May 2014 : Column WA425

Lord Newby (LD): 1. The prisoner regime includes a programme to allow access to the library once a week for those not attending education. The implementation of New Ways of Working, which includes the introduction of a new Core Day, will increase the opportunity for prisoners to access the library.

2. All in-use cells on the High Security Unit/Special Secure Unit are appropriately furnished in compliance with national guidelines, which are also included as part of the unit’s operating standards. The cells are also equipped to the specification required for accommodating Category A prisoners. The accommodation on the unit is inspected monthly, to ensure compliance and to maintain decency; this system is audited.

3. The Governor has a programme of visits throughout the establishment; this includes visits to the HSU/SSU. The requirement for a weekly visit is completed by the Governor or the Deputy Governor, and the visits will ensure that all prisoners and staff are frequently seen and any emerging issues are heard and noted. These visits are now recorded for audit and inspection purposes.

Asked by Baroness Stern

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the conclusion of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons in his recent report on HMP Belmarsh that there was no evidence that the quarterly health reviews of all prisoners in the High Security Unit and the Special Security Unit required by the operating standards had been carried out. [HL6606]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the findings of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons about the medical treatment in the High Security Unit and Special Security unit in HMP Belmarsh that led to his recommendation that patients “should receive confidential medical consultations and treatment that preserves privacy and dignity, unless risk assessment suggests otherwise”. [HL6607]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): The HSU/SSU is visited daily by a nurse who will speak with every prisoner to establish whether there are any issues. The GP will visit the unit weekly (as a minimum). As part of the HMIP Action Plan that is being developed the Operating Standards are currently under review which will address the issue regarding quarterly reviews.