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Written Answers

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Administration of Justice: Scotland

Question

Asked by Lord MacKenzie of Culkein

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the transfer of suspects and convicted criminals to and from an independent Scotland, whether or not it remains a member of the European Union.[HL1098]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): Both the UK Government and Scottish Government have said that there can be no “pre-negotiations” on independence in advance of the referendum. The question of how the transfer of prisoners to and from the Scottish prison estate and other parts of the United Kingdom would be affected by Scottish independence cannot be answered now because it would depend on multiple negotiations that could only take place if people in Scotland vote to leave the UK in September’s referendum.

Air Force: Military Bases

Question

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 6 May (WA 319), how many non-operational airfields not capable of supporting fixed-wing military aircraft are owned by the Royal Air Force.[HL1322]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): It is the MOD rather than the single services who own airfields. The RAF does not use any non-operational airfields, which are not capable of supporting military fixed wing aircraft. For the purposes of answering this question, volunteer gliders have been included as fixed military wing aircraft.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why they have not named the contractor awarded the contract for the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme in April; and whether they will now do so.[HL1198]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The Ministry of Defence (MOD) awarded the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme Converted Vehicle Part 2 Safety and Environmental Case contract to BAE Systems Global Combat Systems Limited in April 2014. A notice was published on 17 January 2014 through the Defence

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Contracts Online facility, that confirmed the MOD’s intent and rationale in placing a single sourced contract with the company. Due to a processing error the name of the contractor was omitted from the contract award notice. However, the MOD has since rectified this and the contractor’s name was issued for publishing to Defence Contracts Online on 17 July 2014.

Burma

Question

Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when details of the training course provided by the United Kingdom to the Burmese army will be released to Burma Campaign UK following Burma Campaign UK's successful appeal under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to obtain such information.[HL1229]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The information requested was released on 22 May 2014 within the statutory 20 working day timescale prescribed for information requests under the Freedom of Information Act. It has not been subject to an appeal.

Cabinet: Aberdeen

Question

Asked by Baroness Seccombe

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the estimated cost to the Exchequer of holding the Cabinet meeting in Aberdeen on 24 February. [HL1361]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): The central cost of holding Cabinet in Aberdeen was £1,800. This is a considerable reduction from the cost of regional Cabinet meetings under the previous Administration, which were reported through Parliamentary Questions to have cost between £50,000 and £100,000.

As was the case under previous Administrations, Departments and agencies may also have incurred costs in terms of travel, staff time and other support. The cost of police security is a matter for the relevant police force.

Capita

Question

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 6 May (WA 367–8), what specific figures they have for (1) savings, and (2) asset realisations, delivered by Capita.[HL1321]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The Ministry of Defence (MOD) obtains best value for money in its contracts by maximising competition. Not all contracts

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have specific figures relating to savings because of the nature of the requirement. This is the case for most contracts between the MOD and Capita.

However, Capita is currently working in partnership with the Armed Forces to deliver the Recruiting Partnering Project. This contract is expected to deliver savings of around £254 million over 10 years. This contract also identified £3.5 million in asset sale realisation in 2012-13.

In June 2014, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation awarded a contract for its strategic business partner to Capita, working with URS and PA Consulting. The 10-year contract, worth around £400 million, will help transform the facilities and services that allow our armed forces to live, work, train and deploy on operations. It also has the potential to deliver substantial savings for the taxpayer, which could reach over £300 million a year during the contract.

The MOD uses a Cabinet Office Crown Commercial Services Framework Agreement with Capita for the provision of temporary manpower resource. However, as this framework was only let in November 2013, savings figures for MOD overall are not yet known.

CCTV

Questions

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of changes proposed in the Deregulation Bill, local authorities will be allowed to use CCTV cameras to enforce rules regarding the use of bus lanes.[HL1162]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): The Government is proposing to ban the use of CCTV for parking enforcement, subject to a very small number of exceptions that emerged following the public consultation, including parking in bus lanes. The proposals do not affect any moving traffic offences. Therefore local authorities will still be able to use CCTV to enforce against either parking or driving in bus lanes.

A copy of the Government’s response to the consultation is in the Library of the House.

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of changes proposed in the Deregulation Bill, there will be a grace period for drivers whose parked cars cause obstructions in bus lanes or at yellow box junctions.[HL1163]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: In December, the Government’s consultation on parking asked for comments on the scope for introducing new grace periods for parking, including what areas it should apply to. In the Government’s response to the consultation, we announced we will introduce a mandatory 10 minute free period (a) at the end of paid-for on-street parking, (b) at the end of free on-street parking, and DCLG will also lead work to extend the same grace period to local authority off-street parking. I have placed in the Library a copy of the Government’s response to the consultation. We have not announced any grace periods for bus lanes or yellow box junctions.

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Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of changes proposed in the Deregulation Bill, police forces will be able to use for existing purposes CCTV cameras that they control.[HL1164]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of changes proposed in the Deregulation Bill, shops and garages will be able to use CCTV cameras to combat theft.[HL1165]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The Government’s proposals relate to the use of CCTV by local authorities to issue parking fines. They do not relate to or limit the use of CCTV by police forces or others to tackle crime. Indeed, Ministers believe that public confidence in CCTV is strengthened if it is used to catch criminals not make money.

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of changes proposed in the Deregulation Bill, hospitals, schools and colleges will be able to request local authorities to enforce parking restrictions. [HL1166]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: Local authorities will continue to be responsible for parking enforcement on public highways, therefore hospitals, schools and colleges can continue to request local authorities to enforce parking restrictions on public highways. I have placed in the Library a copy of the Government’s response to the consultation, which outlines in detail what the Government is proposing.

Central African Republic

Questions

Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the reports of security incidents affecting aid workers and aid operations in the Central African Republic.[HL1231]

Baroness Northover (LD): Conditions in CAR are extremely challenging for communities affected and for humanitarian workers. The Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported over 770 security incidents throughout CAR since January 2014. 67 of these incidents have affected humanitarian personnel. DFID is working with agencies which have appropriate systems and a level of community acceptance to enable them to access some of the most vulnerable populations in CAR. In 2014 DFID has funded the ICRC, UN agencies and international NGOs to support communities who have suffered from the violence.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to promote humanitarian access and improve ambient security in the Central African Republic.[HL1245]

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Baroness Northover: Security is the overriding factor in enabling humanitarian access and the UK is playing a strong role as part of the international community’s response. We provided early support to the deployment of the African Union mission (MISCA), as well as to the EU security mission (EUFOR) and co-sponsored the UN Security Council Resolution that authorised a UN Peacekeeping Operation (PKO) which will deploy in September.

Child Abuse in Cleveland Judicial Inquiry

Question

Asked by Lord Watson of Invergowrie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether a Government response was prepared following the submission by the Northern Regional Health Authority of its report Action Taken Following the Judicial Inquiry into Child Abuse in Cleveland in 1988; and, if so, what that response contained.[HL1219]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The information requested is not available. Retention of such records as were held by the Department would have expired. We are continuing to research records in order to cooperate fully with the Review of the Home Office investigations announced on 7 July 2014, and with the Inquiry Panel into child sexual abuse.

Copyright

Question

Asked by Lord Clement-Jones

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the recommendations of the report by the Prime Minister’s intellectual property adviser, Mike Weatherley MP, what consideration is being given to the measures necessary to provide statutory underpinning of industry-wide codes and initiatives to tackle the funding of copyright infringement by advertisers and financial providers.[HL1296]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Neville-Rolfe) (Con): Government welcomes the work undertaken by Mike Weatherley MP in highlighting a “follow the money” approach to assist in the battle against online Intellectual Property crime.

There is collective agreement across government, industry and law enforcement that influencing intermediaries is an effective approach. Initiatives such as the Infringing Website List online portal and the Intellectual Property Office supported WhiteBullet Intellectual Property Infringement Index are at the early stages of implementation and offer flexibility that would not be achievable under a statutory approach.

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Defence: Procurement

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many companies have signed up to the Framework Agreement for Technical Support since 2010; and at what cost. [HL1199]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): 392 companies have signed up to the Framework Agreement for Technical Support (FATS) since 2010. There is no direct cost to companies for joining FATS, but they would have incurred individual tendering costs as part of the bidding process.

Dementia

Question

Asked by Baroness Finlay of Llandaff

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will seek to issue commissioning guidance to improve links between neurological and dementia services with a view to enabling Parkinson’s dementia to be diagnosed at the earliest opportunity.[HL1299]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Clinical commissioning groups are responsible for commissioning services for people in their area and are responsible for ensuring that people with dementia get the care and support they need.

The dementia enhanced service (DES) requires practices who take up the DES to offer a dementia assessment for patients on the GP register who are “at risk” of developing dementia including people with long-term neurological conditions which have a known neurodegenerative element e.g. Parkinson’s disease.

Developing Countries: Abortion

Question

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to ensure that the implementation of the European Commission's policy on humanitarian aid for medical treatment for service women and civilian girls raped in armed conflict or forced into pregnancy provides effective access to safe abortions where national law forbids such treatment.[HL1190]

Baroness Northover (LD): The UK is in regular dialogue with other EU bilateral donors and the European Commission to protect and promote women’s and girls' access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. This includes safe abortion services in line with our policy on safe and unsafe abortion.

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Devolution

Question

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Baroness Randerson on 16 July (HL Deb, col 588), under what circumstances the Sewel Convention would be set aside in order for the national interest to prevail.[HL1285]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Wales Office (Baroness Randerson) (LD): Under the Sewel Convention, Parliament would not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters except with the agreement of the devolved legislature. This is an important element of the understandings by which devolution operates across the UK, and we would be reluctant to depart from it in anything other than exceptional circumstances.

Disability Aids

Questions

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures they are taking to ensure that there is equality of access to disability assistive technology systems in different parts of the country.[HL1301]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures are they taking to ensure that people with disabilities are receiving the best assistive technology for their needs and requirements.[HL1305]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): NHS England is responsible for the oversight of commissioning of Assistive Technology by the National Health Service.

NHS England advises that it is committed to improving and assuring the continued development of assistive technology through the publication and monitoring against national service specifications. It recognises the potential of assistive technologies to improve health outcomes, empower patients to self-manage their conditions, and provide care that is convenient, accessible and cost-effective. The Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS) programme at NHS England aims to improve the lives of people with long-term conditions through the use of technologies such as telehealth, telecare, telemonitoring, telecoaching and self-care apps. The ambition is to create the right commissioning environment that supports and encourages the innovative use of technology to improve health outcomes and deliver more cost effective services.

NHS England has also identified an additional £22.5 million funding for Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Environmental Controls in 2014-15. It is currently engaged with clinicians and service providers to ensure equitable and timely access to these services for the population of England.

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EU Justice and Home Affairs

Question

Asked by Lord Browne of Belmont

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to oppose any further moves towards the integration of justice and home affairs within the European Union; and in particular, whether they intend to opt in to the European Arrest Warrant. [HL1100]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): This Government will approach forthcoming EU legislation in the area of justice and home affairs on a case-by-case basis, with a view to maximising our country’s security, protecting Britain’s civil liberties and preserving the integrity of our criminal justice system.

On the specific issue of the European Arrest Warrant, the Government set out its position during debates in the House of Commons on 10 July 2014, Official Report, column 485 as well as in the House of Lords on 8 May 2014, Official Report, column 1585. The House of Lords had the opportunity to discuss the measure further during the debate in that House on 17 July 2014.

The Government intends to seek to rejoin this measure in the national interest.

European Fighter Aircraft

Question

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the causes of the shortage of fully qualified Typhoon pilots, and in particular of the impact of redundancy programmes.[HL1167]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): There is no shortage of qualified Typhoon pilots in the Royal Air Force.

Falkland Islands Review

Question

Asked by Lord Tebbit

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the comment by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 1 July (HL Deb, col. 1709), whether they consider the Franks inquiry into the Falklands War to have been thorough and vigorous.[HL1347]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): As I stated on 16 July (HL col. WA127), the Franks Report was an important inquiry for the public record, establishing events and learning lessons.

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Fracking

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 7 July (WA 8), why they have not sought evidence from NATO regarding claims that Russia is funding non-governmental organisations opposed to fracking in the United Kingdom; and whether they will now do so.[HL1141]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): I would like to clarify for the noble Lord, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Secretary General has not claimed to possess evidence that Russia is funding non-governmental organisations opposed to fracking in the UK or elsewhere.

The Secretary General is reported to have said during a speech at Chatham House that it was his belief, following discussions with Allies, that “Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engages actively with so-called non-governmental organisations, environmental organisations working against shale gas – obviously to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas. That is my interpretation.”

The UK works closely with NATO and Allies to refute misinformation disseminated by Russia.

Gastrointestinal Cancer

Questions

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the current National Health Service ability to meet the needs of paediatric, adolescent, wild-type and syndromic gastrointestinal stromal tumour cancer patients.[HL1367]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will develop a National Service Framework for paediatric, adolescent, wild-type and syndromic gastrointestinal stromal tumour cancer patients. [HL1368]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what information is made available to patients about paediatric, adolescent, wild-type and syndromic gastrointestinal stromal tumours.[HL1369]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what their assessment is of the treatment available for paediatric, adolescent, wild-type and syndromic gastrointestinal stromal tumour cancer patients.[HL1371]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): This Government wants England to lead the world in tackling cancer and ensure the National Health Service is able to meet the needs of all cancer patients. That is why our 2011 Cancer Outcomes Strategy set the ambition to save a further 5,000 lives a year from cancer by 2014-15. The Strategy is backed with more than £750 million over the four year Spending Review period (2011-12 to 2014-15).

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A number of treatments have been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) including the paediatric, adolescent, wild-type and syndromic (PAWS) sub-variants.

NHS commissioners are legally required to fund treatments recommended by NICE in its technology appraisal guidance. NICE regularly reviews its guidance to take into account new evidence.

Treatment for PAWS GIST is commissioned through NHS England’s Specialised Services. Treatment for individuals is managed through multi-disciplinary teams. GIST Support UK have in partnership with Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, established a PAWS-GIST clinic that is led by Dr Bulusu working with a United Kingdom national alliance of doctors. NHS England, through its Children’s Cancer and Sarcoma Clinical Reference Groups, is monitoring the clinic as it develops and progresses.

We know how important it is for patients to receive the information they need and a range of initiatives have been used in the NHS, such as information prescriptions, advanced communications training and support for clinical nurse specialists.

NICE guidance on improving outcomes in children and young people with cancer also emphasises the importance of providing patients, families and carers with the information they need.

NHS England has no plans to develop a National Service Framework for paediatric, adolescent, wild-type and syndromic gastrointestinal stromal tumour.

Health and Wellbeing Boards

Question

Asked by Lord Grocott

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Earl Howe on 9 July (HL Deb, col 216), how many managerial and clerical staff were appointed to each of the Health and Wellbeing Boards established by the Health and Social Care Act 2012.[HL1473]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The information requested is not collected centrally.

Health Services

Questions

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to promote the use of out-of-hospital urgent care providers to the National Health Service and patients.[HL1402]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Information on the various urgent and emergency care services that operate in England is available on the NHS Choices website to help patients and the public make good choices about what type of facility may best suit their needs. This is supported by a “Find Urgent Care services” portal which allows users to enter a postcode and obtain directions to their nearest facility.

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More broadly, NHS England is currently conducting a review into urgent and emergency care services in England. The Urgent and Emergency Care Review aims to reduce pressure on accident and emergency (A&E) by delivering a system that enables more patients to be treated outside of hospital.

The end of first stage Report on the Review, published in November 2013, recognised the need to deliver highly responsive urgent care services outside of hospital so people no longer choose to queue in A&E. The Review further recognised that there are a range of urgent care services currently open including ‘walk-in centres’, ‘minor injury units’, ‘urgent care centres’ and other similarly named facilities that all offer slightly different services, at slightly different times, in different places.

In response to this, the Review proposed to support the co-location of community-based urgent care services in coordinated urgent care centres. These will be locally specified to meet local need, but should consistently use the “urgent care centre” name, to replace the multitude of terms that are available at present. Urgent care centres may provide access to walk-in minor illness and minor injury services, and will be part of the wider community primary care service including out-of-hours general practitioner services.

Since November last year, the Review team at NHS England has been working collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders from across the system to work out the practicalities for delivering this change, to ensure that all urgent care centres are able to provide access to a broad range of physical and mental illness and injury care, for both adults and children. Final decisions on how urgent care centres might be organised will rest with local health economies, but a more consistent offer from such facilities will be advantageous in promoting them as an alternative to hospital based urgent care.

NHS England will update on progress with the Review later this year.

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impacts on costs and patient outcomes of the use of out-of-hospital urgent care providers.[HL1403]

Earl Howe: NHS England is currently conducting a review into urgent and emergency care in England. The Review, led by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, aims to help build an improved, safer and more sustainable system for the future.

The end of first stage Report on the Review, published in November 2013, set out NHS England’s vision for the future delivery of urgent and emergency care, but recognised that this vision will take three to five years to implement the transformational change proposed.

Since November last year, the Review team at NHS England has been working collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders from across the system to work out the practicalities for delivering the transformational change required. Work on the cost implications and benefits in terms of patient outcomes, for all aspects of the Review (not just in relation to out-of-hospital urgent care), is ongoing.

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NHS England will update on progress with the Review later this year.

Health Services: Disability

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of current measures and the compliance of the National Health Service in ensuring that all official paperwork and all types of communication are adapted appropriately for people with sensory disabilities.[HL1366]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Department has not made any such assessment.

NHS England is committed to the development and implementation of a new information standard for accessible information and communication.

ISB 1605 Accessible Information aims to establish a consistent, standardised framework and approach to the identification and recording of the information and communication needs of patients, service users, carers and parents, where they relate to a disability, impairment or sensory loss; establish “flags”, alerts, prompts and other mechanisms to ensure that such needs are highly visible to appropriate staff; and set out clear expectations as to how such needs should be met, supported or addressed.

Final approval of the standard is scheduled for spring 2016. Following the announcement, organisations are currently anticipated to have 12 months to achieve full compliance.

HMS “Victory”

Question

Asked by Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 28 November 2012 (HL Deb, col GC 124) and the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 20 May 2013 (WA 26), when they expect to announce a decision on the future of HMS Victory (1744); and when they expect to publish the key management principles formulated by the Advisory Group for HMS Victory.[HL1415]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): Ministers and Officials from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), drawing on advice from the independent Advisory Group, continue to engage with the Maritime Heritage Foundation over the future management of the wreck site of HMS VICTORY (1744). The Project Plan must be consistent with the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage and its associated Annex.

Considerable progress has been made over the last two years but no date has been set for an announcement.

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The DCMS and the MOD have published guidance, including Key Management Principles, on the Protection and Management of Historic Military Wrecks outside UK Territorial Waters, this can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protection-and-management-of-historic-military-wrecks-outside-uk-territorial-waters

More information specific to HMS VICTORY (1744) will be published once the way ahead is determined.

Housing Benefit: Social Rented Housing

Question

Asked by Lord German

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of their recent Evaluation of Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy: Interim Report, what incentives they intend to make available to social landlords to encourage offers of alternative housing to be made to people affected by the removal of the spare room subsidy.[HL1492]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): The Government has already taken steps to support mobility of tenants in the social rented sector.

Our social housing reforms have given social landlords, including councils, much more flexibility when allocating housing. Our statutory guidance on social housing allocations stresses the importance of giving under-occupying social tenants appropriate priority for a transfer. It also encourages authorities to re-consider the parameters of their allocation schemes which may prevent under-occupiers from being able to move.

The introduction of the national HomeSwap Direct scheme has made it easier for tenants wanting to move to find a suitable property. A guide was issued in February 2014 to support landlords seeking to facilitate mutual exchanges; highlighting various steps landlords can take to make mutual exchange a more attractive and viable proposition for tenants. Indeed, many social landlords are helping affected tenants by holding “mutual exchange fairs”, where tenants who want to downsize can meet those looking for larger properties.

The 2015-18 Affordable Housing Programme also encourages housing providers to build appropriately sized social homes to meet local need, 77% of successful bids have been for 1 and 2 bedroom homes, increasing the stock of housing available for those working to downsize.

Human Papillomavirus

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what information is in place to inform girls of the human papilloma virus vaccine and its risks.[HL1118]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): A wide range of information about human papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation is

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available. This includes leaflets, vaccination record cards, information on the NHS Choices website, and more detailed clinical guidance to health professionals who are able to advise girls on both the benefits and risks of HPV immunisation. The potential side effects of HPV vaccine are also described in the product information (the Summary of Product Characteristics for healthcare professionals and the Patient Information Leaflet which is included in the pack of each dose of vaccine).

HPV immunisation has a very good safety record, and plays a significant role in reducing the risks of girls contracting cervical cancer as they grow older.

Jobseeker’s Allowance Sanctions Independent Review

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what their evaluation is of the report by Matthew Oakley, commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions, on the imposition of benefits sanctions. [HL1381]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): The Government welcomes and accepts all of Matthew Oakley's recommendations.

As Matthew himself confirmed, sanctions play an important role in the system. We have already started to make improvements as part of our continuous review of sanctions policy and will continue to build on these through Matthew’s recommendations.

Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft

Questions

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many United Kingdom pilots have flown in F-35B planes to date; in how many sorties; and for how many aggregate flying hours.[HL1201]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): Six serving Royal Navy and Royal Air Force pilots have flown some 497 hours on F-35B aircraft. In addition, one retired Royal Air Force pilot and three BAE Systems pilots have flown the F-35B. However, the Ministry of Defence does not hold details of their flying hours.

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many United Kingdom pilots have flown in F-35B full flight simulators situated in the United Kingdom; on how many occasions; and for how many aggregate hours.[HL1202]

Lord Astor of Hever: There are currently no full F-35B simulators in the United Kingdom.

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Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimates they have made of the savings in development costs for the integration of F-35B aircraft flight operations into the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers as a result of the use of simulators.[HL1224]

Lord Astor of Hever: There are no specific figures available which estimate the savings in development costs due to the use of simulators. This lack of data is because the development programme was planned from the outset to include the use of synthetics. Consequently, all flight test activity will have been estimated on the basis of the Programme having successfully completed a phase of concept demonstrations and risk reduction using simulators.

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimates they have made of the improved capabilities of the F-35B fling from Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers as a result of modifications evaluated by the use of simulators.[HL1225]

Lord Astor of Hever: Simulators are being used to better inform our understanding of the F35’s operational capability in all contexts, including carrier-based operations. I am withholding further information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 30 July 2013 (WA 263–4), how many F-35B aircraft the United Kingdom has purchased, and whether any more will be purchased before the next Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2015.[HL1319]

Lord Astor of Hever: The UK has placed orders for four F-35B aircraft and, to date, has taken delivery of three of these. The F-35 programme has been established as an incremental acquisition programme, with production contracts being let initially on an annual basis. As such, there is the potential for contracts to be let for UK aircraft in Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 8 (2014) and LRIP 9 (2015), before the next Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2015.

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether a decision has been made as to how many F-35B aircraft will be allocated to the Operational Conversion Unit, and what are the estimated costs of setting up and running the Operational Conversion Unit. [HL1320]

Lord Astor of Hever: The numbers of F-35B aircraft within the Operational Conversion Unit will vary over time, dependent on the operational output required for the UK Lightning II force.

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An estimate of costs associated with establishing and sustaining an Operational Conversion Unit for the F-35B has been made. The Department does not publish cost estimates as to do so would prejudice its commercial interests.

Landslips

Question

Asked by Lord Bassam of Brighton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are supporting, or plan to support, work to repair damage caused by landslips and coastal erosion in the South-East.[HL1149]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley) (Con): The Government announced a support package totalling over £560 million to overcome the immediate and longer-term recovery issues faced by local authorities, communities, individuals and businesses following the severe weather of winter 2013/14. Coast protection authorities in the South-East are responsible for the management and recovery of coastal land slips under the Coast Protection Act 1949.

Learning Disability: Nurses

Question

Asked by Lord Wigley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many learning disability nurses have been trained in the United Kingdom in each of the last five years. [HL1258]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The following table shows the number of new learning disability nurse training places that were filled in the last five years in England. The department in England does not collect this information for the rest of the United Kingdom.

The table includes the students enrolled on both the degree and diploma courses.

2009-102010-112011-122012-132013-14

Learning disability nurse trainees

723

642

574

618

603

Source

: Multi-professional education and training budget monitoring returns.

Lyme Disease

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 25 June 2012 (WA 21-2), whether they consider that the use of the CE-marked Trinity Biotech EU Lyme western blot test, when used with cerebrospinal fluid, would constitute “use of an in-house test” as defined by the Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency guidance.[HL1358]

29 July 2014 : Column WA293

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Use of a sample type not indicated by the manufacturer would be considered to be off label use of the device. This off label use is not regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and would be the responsibility of the laboratory.

McKinsey and Company

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which departments currently have contracts with McKinsey and Company.[HL1332]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): Since January 2011, as part of the Government’s transparency programme, details of contracts above the value of £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder:

https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder

Mesothelioma

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their current estimate of the total number of fatalities from mesothelioma expected in the next 30 years. [HL1501]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): Based on the latest data available the Health and Safety Executive estimate that there will be around 58,000 mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain over the 30-year period 2013-2042.

The statistical model used suggests an uncertainty range of 53,000 to 64,000 deaths on that estimate. However, the true uncertainty range may be wider as longer-range predictions are reliant on assumptions about asbestos exposures that cannot currently be fully validated.

The annual number of mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain is projected to peak towards the end of this current decade.

Military Aircraft

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate in cost per capita of pilot training of the savings made by using full flight simulators. [HL1203]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The use of full flight simulators has been an integral part of flying training for a number of years. Simulators are used for a number of reasons. These include: improved availability compared with aircraft; teaching effectiveness; flight safety (as trainees move onto more complex aircraft); affordability; and environmental impact (such as, reduced noise and emission).

As such, we do not hold this information.

29 July 2014 : Column WA294

National Crime Agency: Northern Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Baroness Randerson on 16 July (HL Deb, col 588–9), what are the specific ways in which the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is “fully engaged” in speeding up the National Crime Agency's full introduction.[HL1286]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Wales Office (Baroness Randerson) (LD): Ministers and officials in the Northern Ireland Office remain actively involved in seeking to ensure the full extension of the NCA’s remit in Northern Ireland. In recent weeks the Secretary of State has discussed the issue with the Home Secretary, Justice Minister Ford, Chief Constable Hamilton and the SDLP. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State has raised the issue with Justice Minister Ford and Chief Constable Hamilton. The previous Minister of State also raised the issue during recent meetings he had with the SDLP, Justice Minister Ford and Chief Constable Hamilton. Officials remain closely involved in ongoing discussions with the Department of Justice and Home Office on securing further progress.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

Question

Asked by Lord McColl of Dulwich

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the cost in 2012–13 and 2013–14 of running the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence; and how many people are currently employed by that organisation.[HL1414]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) comprehensive expenditure in 2012-13 and 2013-14, taken from its published annual report and accounts1, was:

2012-13

2

- £64,955,0002013-14

3

- £60,754,000

We understand that 588 staff were employed by NICE in June 2014.

Notes:

1

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_ data/file/330381/NICE_annual_report_2013-2014_PRINT.pdf

2

The 2012-13 figure includes £6,628,000 attributable to the National Clinical Assessment Service, which NICE hosted for one year before its transfer on 1 April 2013 to the NHS Litigation Authority.

3

On 1 May 2013 the National Technology Adoption Centre transferred to NICE from the Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trus.

NHS: Social Enterprises

Questions

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to engage with social enterprise organisations in respect of the provision of healthcare. [HL1401]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Government recognises the important role that social enterprise organisations play in the provision of healthcare, and is committed to ensuring that patients receive healthcare services from the providers that are most capable of meeting their needs and improving the quality of services that they provide.

The Department engages frequently with social enterprise organisations that provide healthcare in a wide variety of ways. This includes through initiatives such as the Mutuals Support Programme and the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund both run by Cabinet Office and the Technology Spin-out Fund launched earlier this year by the Department, Big Society Capital and local partnerships. As part of a recently published independent report commissioned by the Department on staff engagement and empowerment in the National Health Service, interviews were held with over thirty providers and workshops with over 150 stakeholders.

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of social enterprise providers in the delivery of National Health Service services; and what plans they have to enhance opportunities for social enterprise in the National Health Service.[HL1404]

Earl Howe: This Government believes that social enterprise providers make a valuable contribution to the delivery of NHS services.

In October 2013 the Government commissioned an independent review of staff engagement and empowerment in the National Health Service, led by Chris Ham, Chief Executive of the King’s Fund. The report was published in July 2014 sets out the impact of staff owned mutuals and social enterprises.

The publication notes that “a period of ‘accelerated evolution’ and evaluation of existing and alternative models would enable further evidence to be gathered about the impact of different organisational forms on staff engagement and performance.”

The publication by the Kings Fund can be found at:

www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/articles/improving-nhs-care-engaging-staff-and-devolving-decision-making

In response, the Government has set up a £1million fund to support “pathfinder” organisations in the acute sector explore how mutual models could increase staff engagement across their organisations.

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to amend the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 to enhance opportunities for social enterprises in the National Health Service.[HL1405]

Earl Howe: While the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 is kept under constant review, there are no current plans to amend it. Under the Act commissioners must consider how improvements to the social well-being

29 July 2014 : Column WA296

of their local area can be achieved from the services they are procuring. The Government believes that this is the right approach to improve the quality of public services, whilst creating better value for money for taxpayers.

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures are in place to encourage commissioners to award National Health Service contracts to social enterprise providers.[HL1406]

Earl Howe: The Government firmly believes that patients must receive healthcare services from the providers that are most capable of meeting their needs and improving the quality of services that they provide, regardless of what sector that organisation comes from, including public, private, social enterprises and voluntary services.

It is right that these decisions should be taken independently by local commissioners in the best interests the populations for which they are responsible.

Northern Ireland Office

Question

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the statement by Baroness Randerson on 17 July (HL Deb, col 738), when they expect to have in place properly designed systems to ensure that Northern Ireland Office policy has proper lines of responsibility, accountability and safeguards against error. [HL1350]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Wales Office (Baroness Randerson) (LD): Northern Ireland Office policy continues to be decided by Ministers. The NIO’s Senior Management Board monitors the delivery of all NIO policy, ensures lines of responsibility and accountability are clear, and checks that safeguards against error are sufficiently robust. As a result of significant changes in responsibilities and priorities, the Northern Ireland Office is a very different department from that which existed prior to devolution. The Department will be reflecting carefully on the conclusions and recommendations of the Hallett report, and considering whether there are further steps that need to be taken within the NIO to strengthen existing processes and ensure that appropriate lessons are learned. This work will be led by the Permanent Secretary and the Senior Management Board.

Nutrition

Question

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 17 July (WA 145), which supermarkets have signed up to the calorie reduction pledge; what action each has taken to demonstrate its commitment to the pledge; who is responsible for monitoring the behaviour of supermarkets with reference to the pledge; and whether any sanction exists for failure to adhere to the pledge.[HL1287]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Eight supermarket chains have committed to take voluntary action to support and enable their customers to eat and drink fewer calories. A table giving each supermarket chain’s calorie reduction pledge annual returns for 2013 and 2014 has been placed in the Library.

Annual returns provided by companies are published on the Responsibility Deal website each summer. An independent evaluation of the whole Responsibility Deal is under way. The Department does not monitor the returns against delivery plans. If a company fails to provide an annual return it may be removed as a signatory to that pledge.

Ofsted

Question

Asked by Lord Black of Brentwood

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what arrangements they have in place to assess the performance of the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills Board overall, and of its individual members.[HL1419]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector reports to the Education Select Committee at least twice a year on matters relating to Ofsted’s performance.

The performance of the Ofsted Chair is reviewed by the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education on behalf of the Secretary of State.

The Chair undertakes performance reviews of the Chief Inspector and Ofsted Board members.

Orders and Regulations

Question

Asked by Lord Goodlad

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many statutory instruments from the Cabinet Office have been laid this calendar year; of those, what percentage corrected errors in a previous instrument (including drafts of affirmative instruments that had to be superseded by correcting drafts); and what steps that Department is taking to reduce the need for correcting instruments.[HL1421]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): All legislation is published online at legislation.gov.uk

The lessons gained from any errors in Statutory Instruments are fed back into the department’s quality assurance process, ensuring that the planning process takes sufficient account of the time required for pre-laying scrutiny of instruments.

Pakistan

Question

Asked by Lord Ahmed

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have provided any financial support to internally displaced people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa following the recent military operation conducted by the army of Pakistan in North Waziristan.[HL1196]

29 July 2014 : Column WA298

Baroness Northover (LD): DFID has allocated up to £5 million to support the Government of Pakistan’s efforts to help some of the most vulnerable internally displaced people following the military operation in North Waziristan. This will provide people with ration packs, non-food items such as cooking utensils and solar lanterns, and water and sanitation services.

Parades Commission

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will require the Northern Ireland Parades Commission (1) to publish the presentations made to it in connection with a determination, (2) to publish the reasons for a determination, and (3) to list which commissioners attended the meeting to make the determination and how they voted; and, if not, why not.[HL1213]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Wales Office (Baroness Randerson) (LD): Determinations are an operational matter for the Parades Commission acting independently of Government. The Noble Lord may wish to write to the Parades Commission directly on these matters.

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to change the legislation concerning the Northern Ireland Parades Commission to require it to give detailed reasons for its decisions and to publish the minutes of its discussions regarding determinations.[HL1460]

Baroness Randerson: Her Majesty’s Government has no current plans to change the legislation concerning the publication of information about determinations made by the Northern Ireland Parades Commission. Under the Public Processions (NI) Act 1998, determinations are an operational matter for the Parades Commission acting independently of Government.

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the importance of effective media relations with respect to the role of the Northern Ireland Parades Commission.[HL1461]

Baroness Randerson: Her Majesty’s Government has made no assessment of the importance of effective media relations with respect to the role of the Northern Ireland Parades Commission. Media relations are an operational matter for the Parades Commission, acting independently of Government.

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the Northern Ireland Parades Commission about the publication of reasons for that body's decisions.[HL1463]

Baroness Randerson: Her Majesty’s Government has had no discussions with the Parades Commission about the publication of reasons for that body's decisions.

Under the Public Processions (NI) Act 1998, determinations are operational matters for the Parades Commission acting independently of Government.

29 July 2014 : Column WA299

Patients

Questions

Asked by Lord Bradley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many patients whose treatment was incomplete there were at each NHS Trust and NHS Foundation Trust for every month since May 2010.[HL1430]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many patients whose treatment was incomplete there were at each NHS Trust and NHS Foundation Trust in each of the last five years.[HL1431]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Information has been placed in the Library which shows the number of patients who were waiting to start consultant-led treatment for non-urgent conditions at the end of each month from June 2009 to May 2014 in each National Health Service trust and NHS foundation trust in England. These data are collected each month as part of the monitoring of performance against referral to treatment waiting time standards, and are known as incomplete pathways. The data do not sum to published national figures, because they exclude independent sector organisations.

Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit

Question

Asked by Lord Clement-Jones

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have for future funding of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit.[HL1295]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Neville-Rolfe) (Con): The Government provided £2.56 million of seed funding to establish the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit in 2013. This funding was provided on the understanding that, from 2015, industry stakeholders would be encouraged to make future investments in the unit, as a result of its demonstrated success in reducing online Intellectual Property (IP) crime.

The unit has been well received by industry and early indications suggest that it will reduce online IP crime.

The Government is currently discussing options to ensure the future sustainability of the Unit with industry.

Prerogative of Mercy: Northern Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Randerson on 10 July (WA 76), which other parts of government aside from the Northern Ireland Office are being contacted about the missing files on the provision of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM) in Northern Ireland between 1987 and 1997; which bodies played a role in RPM grants in that period; and which department would now maintain files on such use. [HL1210]

29 July 2014 : Column WA300

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Wales Office (Baroness Randerson) (LD): Officials from the Northern Ireland Office have contacted colleagues in the Department of Justice, The National Archives, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Royal Household to ascertain if they hold relevant information. During the period 1987-1997 the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was responsible for recommending the exercise of the RPM to HM the Queen in Northern Ireland cases. At this time, the use of RPM was relatively common, since this pre-dated the establishment of the Criminal Cases Review Commission. It appears that during this period, the use of the RPM was not recorded in a single central list. Individual case records, including information about RPM use, are likely have been destroyed in accordance with proper protocols. The Northern Ireland Office maintains files relating to its use of the RPM, in line with public records legislation and National Archives guidance. Other departments are responsible for the paperwork relating to their own use of the RPM in GB.

Prescription Drugs: Visual Impairment

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to introduce talking labels as standard on medication for blind patients to ensure that they are able to understand their medication.[HL1306]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The requirements for medicines labelling are set out in European and national legislation. These state that for blind and partially sighted patients, the name must appear in Braille on the packaging and that the package leaflet is made available on request in formats suitable for the blind and partially sighted.

The Government is aware of other technological initiatives which can be used by blind patients to access additional information. However, these are not mandated within the regulations and there are no plans for changes to the current European legal framework.

Prisoners: Travellers

Question

Asked by Baroness Whitaker

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the recommendations in the report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons People in prison: Gypsies, Romany and Travellers that there should be further research into the reasons why people from those communities are in prison and how they are supported; and that the number of young people of Gypsy, Romany and Traveller background in Secure Training Centres should be investigated.[HL1158]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): The Ministry of Justice is considering how best to take forward Her Majesty’s Inspectorate

29 July 2014 : Column WA301

of Prisons (HMIP) report recommendation for research into the reasons why people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities are in prison.

To address the historically low declaration rates of GRT prisoners and to improve the support received by GRT prisoners, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) has carried out extensive work to increase the declaration rates of GRT prisoners including work to increase the confidence of GRT prisoners to declare their ethnicity.

In March 2014, NOMS implemented a new tool to monitor various outcomes for prisoners against a range of protected characteristics, including GRT prisoners. NOMS is now monitoring outcomes for this group of prisoners.

The Youth Justice Board (YJB) commissioned and jointly published (with HMIP) the report: 'Children and Young People in Custody 2012-13: An Analysis of 12-18 year olds' perceptions of their experience in secure training centres'. This was the first published annual summary of children and young people's self-reported experiences and perceptions from surveys carried out with young people in each of the four Secure Training Centres (STCs).

The YJB will continue to commission these reports and monitor the findings from this survey in future years to gain a better understanding of the representation GRT young people within STCs.

Russia

Question

Asked by The Marquess of Lothian

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many airborne sorties have been carried out by United Kingdom armed forces in the last month to intercept Russian military aircraft approaching or entering British airspace.[HL1412]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): None.

Segregation of Prisoners

Question

Asked by Lord Knight of Weymouth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many prisoners with known mental health problems have been kept in segregated custody for longer than 24 hours in the last year.[HL893]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): Figures recording the number of prisoners with known mental health problems who have been placed in segregation for longer than 24 hours during the last year are not gathered centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost by collating the information from records held at each prison.

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Social Security Benefits: Asylum

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many refugees granted indefinite leave to remain did not access mainstream benefits support within the 28-day grace period in each of the last five years.[HL1456]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): The information requested is not readily available.

South Sudan

Questions

Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the level of funding allocated to education in South Sudan.[HL1233]

Baroness Northover (LD): Donor financing committed to education for the period 2012 to 2017 is currently around £220 million. No donor financing is channelled through government systems. South Sudan will be making an application for further Global Partnership for Education (GPE) financing from September 2015 to September 2017.

In 2012, DFID supported the Government of South Sudan (GRSS) to appraise its General Education Sector Plan (2012 to 2017) which aims to achieve at least 80% primary net enrolment. This included the costing of the 5 year plan, which was estimated at £940 million. The current annual allocation of domestic funding, around 7% of the national budget, would cover approximately £490 million of the total cost. The UK continues to press the GRSS to spend more of its own resources on the delivery of basic services, including education, to its citizens.

Asked by The Lord Bishop of St Albans

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they are supporting the role of churches and other civil society groups in the peace and reconciliation process in South Sudan, and in the delivery of humanitarian assistance.[HL1383]

Baroness Northover: The UK is one of six donors funding the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Community Security and Arms Control (CSAC) Project, which includes provision of technical support for national and community-level community reconciliation process, including working with faith-based partners. Furthermore, under the Africa Conflict Pool Programmes, the UK is funding civil society organisations to build the capacity of local populations to identify and resolve conflicts that affect them.

Through the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF), the UK has supported work by national civil society to provide health, education, food security and livelihood, water and sanitation and mine awareness services for the most vulnerable. In addition, some United Nations

29 July 2014 : Column WA303

agencies supported by the UK (such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP)) work in close collaboration with local partners. To improve basic services the UK funded Girls Education South Sudan (GESS) project is working through Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) in two of South Sudan’s 10 States, and the UK-led Health Pooled Fund (HPF) will support faith-based county hospitals as well as government ones.

Statins

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they consider that offering statins to more people will discourage the adoption of long-term healthy lifestyles. [HL1272]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Earlier this month, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidance on the modification of blood lipids (cholesterol) for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The guidance recognises the place of statins in the primary prevention of CVD. However, it does not propose that statins should be used instead of the lifestyle adjustments that people at risk of CVD need to make—such as stopping smoking, being more active, drinking less alcohol, eating more healthily and losing weight.

The guidance encourages general practitioners to fully explore with their patients the ways in which people can reduce their risk of CVD, presenting all the options promoted by NICE’s guidance, including lifestyle changes, and to allow patients to make their own decisions.

Warships

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the last two Warship Support Modernisation Initiative contracts were awarded for (1) HMNB Clyde, (2) HMNB Devonport, (3) HMNB Portsmouth; what cost-saving targets were set for each of those contracts; and whether those targets were achieved in each case.[HL1200]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The Warship Support Modernisation Initiative (WSMI) contracts awarded for Her Majesty’s Naval Bases at Clyde, Devonport and Portsmouth did not include specific savings targets. The three WSMI contracts were placed under Target Cost Incentive Fee (TCIF) arrangements, through which the companies were incentivised (via gain-share arrangements) to deliver the agreed contractual outputs within or below the agreed Target Cost for each contract.

The three contracts all delivered gain-share benefits.

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Wheelchairs

Questions

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the National Health Service wheelchair voucher scheme.[HL1302]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what the approval process is for mobility aids and wheelchairs to be approved for use under the National Health Service wheelchair voucher scheme; and whether they consider that it allows sufficient patient choice.[HL1303]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the power of local National Health Service providers to set their own level of the National Health Service wheelchair vouchers on levels of access to the scheme in different areas.[HL1304]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Government has not made any assessments relating to the wheelchair voucher scheme. NHS England is leading work with all groups involved in wheelchair services to improve current services.

World War II: Military Decorations

Question

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Arctic Stars have been presented since 1 October 2013, and how many claims for that award are outstanding.[HL1318]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): Since 1 October 2013, the total number of Arctic Stars that have been issued is 6,781, with 7,554 applications waiting to be assessed.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask the Leader of the House whether she will discourage ministers and spokespersons from answering Questions for Written Answer by referring to websites, in order to accommodate those without internet access.[HL1142]

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Stowell of Beeston) (Con): On 13 May the House agreed a new set of rules to govern the content of written answers, in response to the introduction of a new electronic system for submitting them. While the digital copy of answers will be the definitive record copy, all written answers will continue to be published, and a signed copy will continue to be sent to the Peer asking the question.

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These rules make clear that all answers should be complete and comprehensible, and not rely on references to external documents or webpages. They also make clear that supporting documents should be included as attachments, not hyperlinks, and referred to in the answer itself. Any attachments that are included will be available in the Library to be printed out on demand.

All of these rules will help to accommodate those without internet access. I will remind all Lords Ministers to adhere to them.

29 July 2014 : Column WA306

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Questions for Written Answer have been answered by reference to websites (1) by department, and (2) in each Parliamentary session, since the 2010 General Election.[HL1284]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): The information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.