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Written Answers

Tuesday 16 October 2007

Aerospace

Lord Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): Since April 2004, the UK aerospace industry has won £15.3 million of government funding through the technology programme under the key technology area of advanced materials calls. The split for each of the three financial years is as follows:

FY 2004-05 £3.98 million;

FY 2005-06 £9.16 million; and

FY 2006-07 £2.16 million

In addition, there are two large collaborative aerospace projects that include advanced materials technology development activity: integrated wing and environmentally friendly engine. Integrated wing is a £34 million programme over three years with just under 50 per cent funded through the technology programme. Of that amount, £11.3 million will come from the TSB and £5.7 million from regional development agencies in the south-west and south-east, Invest Northern Ireland and the Welsh Assembly Government. Industry will make up the remainder of the funding. The environmentally friendly engine is a £95 million programme over five years, with around 50 per cent funding from the technology programme, £30 million from the TSB, and over £13 million from the regional development agencies in the south-west, north-west, East Midlands, Invest Northern Ireland and the Ministry of Defence; with the rest from industry.

Aerospace also benefits substantially from the support for the National Composites Network, a node of the Materials Knowledge Transfer Network, for which the TSB is funding £4.75 million and the regions are providing £12.3 million.

Agriculture: Foot and Mouth Disease

The Duke of Montrose asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The package of support for farmers in England announced by the Secretary of State for the Environment on 8 October 2007 was made from within the Department for Environment,

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Food and Rural Affairs' DEL budget, and as such does not trigger a need to consider an increase for funding for the Scottish Executive.

Armed Forces: Recruitment

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): Applicants with the following convictions are not to be considered for the Armed Forces:

hospital order;offences involving loss of life;sexual offences (including all those listed on the sex offenders register);arson;misuse of drugs—any offence relating to trafficking or supply of drugs; any offence relating to the use of class A drugs; and more than one conviction for “possession for personal use” of a class B or C drug; and .three or more offences against persons, property, or dishonesty.

In assessing applications for the Armed Forces, all three services' recruiting organisations are guided by the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974. In general, therefore, no applicant for the Armed Forces is eligible if they have convictions which are “unspent”. In the vast majority of cases such applicants are required to serve their full “rehabilitation period”, reckoned from the date of conviction, before being considered for Armed Forces employment.

During the application process individuals are handed a copy of MoD Form 493—Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974: Advice to Applicants to HM Armed Forces, which details obligations to declare spent or unspent civil convictions and lists the rehabilitation periods appropriate to the sentence. Reference to MoD Form 493 is made on the Armed Forces Application Form Information and Guidance Booklet (AFCO Form 5). Inquirers and potential applicants can access information on ROA through the internet via the following link at www.lawontheweb.co.uk/rehabact.htm

They can also access internet details via the following services' career websites at:

www.royal-navy.mod.uk/server/show/nav.6113/www.army.mod.uk/

and follow the link to online careers office where they will receive advice and how it applies to them in relation to their interest in the Army at:

www.raf.mod.uk/careers/faqs.cfm/ under the heading “Will I be able to join if I have a criminal conviction?”.



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British Citizenship: Alisher Usmanov

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): It is the policy of the Border and Immigration Agency not to comment publicly on individual cases.

Criminal Justice

Lord Faulkner of Worcester asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Cabinet Office, which runs the Government's official history programme on behalf of the Prime Minister, is in the process of identifying potential authors to write the Official History of the Criminal Justice System.

Energy: Low-carbon Generation

Lord Vinson asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (Lord Triesman): The Government consider that NESTA's report The Disrupters is helpful in highlighting the key role for technological innovation in tackling climate change. The report provides a useful contribution to the innovation debate, in line with NESTA's mission “to transform the UK's capacity for innovation”.

Energy: North Sea Oil

Lord Barnett asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government's figures for receipts from the UK's upstream oil and gas activity are calculated on the basis of all activity, both onshore and offshore, from the whole of the UK's continental shelf. They are not split down by geographical area and we are therefore unable to provide the breakdown that the noble Lord requests.



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Energy: Nuclear Reactors

Lord Jenkin of Roding asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): If the Government confirm their preliminary view that industry should be allowed the option of investing in new nuclear power stations, we have proposed to carry out a strategic siting assessment (SSA) to assess potential locations for new nuclear build. BERR is currently consulting on a proposed SSA process, alongside the main “in principle” nuclear consultation. We have proposed that the SSA would be based on robust and transparent criteria, on which we would consult publicly, and would be used as the basis to assess any potential locations for new nuclear power stations nominated by interested parties.

With regard to the possible future use of existing sites owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), NDA has received queries from a number of energy companies about the potential use of these sites for future new nuclear build and will pass on any information requested about the sites that is already in the public domain on a without prejudice basis. We have not received any proposals for new nuclear power stations in the vicinity of these or any other sites but would expect to receive proposals at the time in the proposed SSA process when the Government invite nominations based on agreed SSA criteria. The SSA itself would be undertaken only if the Government confirm their preliminary view on the question of new nuclear build following the current nuclear consultation.

An indicative timetable for the SSA process is set out within the Government's SSA consultation document and suggests that the nominations process could begin in mid-2008. Any nominations for the building of new nuclear power stations at existing NDA sites would be assessed in accordance with the SSA criteria. Additionally, any future alternative uses of existing NDA sites would need to comply with the Nuclear Installations Act and other relevant safety, security, environmental and planning regulations.

It may be possible for cash receipts generated by the NDA to be retained by the NDA, depending on the nature of the transaction and subject to meeting

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the requirements set out in the NDA's financial memorandum, which includes getting approval from my department and HM Treasury.

Food: Advertising

Baroness Gibson of Market Rasen asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Ofcom has already introduced new restrictions on advertising food and drink to children in broadcast media. New rules on advertising in non-broadcast media by the Committee on Advertising Practice have come into force. The Food and Drink Advertising and Promotion Forum, established in July 2005, is considering what further action is needed in other forms of marketing such as point of sale, sponsorship, packaging and new technologies. Progress in all these areas will be published in the Government's stocktake report due to be published later in the autumn.

Government: Draft Legislative Programme

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government welcome the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust's response to the Government's draft legislative programme. The Leader of the House of Commons will consider all comments on the draft programme in the round and will publish a summary of responses. Departments will also be considering responses on individual Bills.

Ministers would not normally respond individually to every consultation response, but I understand that the Financial Secretary to the Treasury responded on 3 September to the points raised about Bills for which HM Treasury is responsible. The Government's final view on the contents of the legislative programme will be set out in the gracious Address.

Health: Alzheimer's

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The ruling made by Mrs Justice Dobbs dismissed five out of six counts of the judicial review. On the count that was upheld, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has now issued revised guidance on drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease making clear its compliance with equality legislation. NICE is currently conducting a review of the methods which underpin its health technology appraisal process and will be carrying out a consultation on its findings later this year. The department, along with other stakeholders, will be participating in that consultation.

Health: Diabetes

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Government recognise the importance of specialist foot services for people with diabetes and believe they are a key component of a comprehensive diabetes service. The Diabetes Commissioning Toolkit, published in November 2006, sets out a best practice specification for diabetes care. This includes a range of specialist services for the prevention and management of complications in a number of areas, including foot care, and suggests a number of key outcomes to measure progress.

The Diabetes UK survey has highlighted areas where there may be gaps in provision and we hope that National Health Service organisations will use this information, together with the Diabetes Commissioning Toolkit and the National Diabetes Support Team's diabetic foot guide, to plan their services in the future.

IRA

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: Successive Independent Monitoring Commission reports have made it clear that the Provisional IRA has eschewed violence, is committed to the political path and that the leadership is firm in its implementation of this strategy. They have also reported the disbandment of the Provisional IRA paramilitary structures. The fifteenth report of the Independent Monitoring Commission provided further confirmation that “there has been no reversal of that disbandment”.



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Libraries

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Libraries play an important role in a democratic society by promoting access to a wide range of knowledge, ideas and literature. By its nature this includes controversial as well as moderate views, and library staff have great experience in both selecting their stock and managing that which contains radical views.

Public libraries are run by local authorities, and it is right that the 149 library authorities in England retain the local autonomy to make management decisions themselves, such as on issues of stock selection. As such the Government will not be requesting all authorities to review their collections.

However, there is a significant amount of good work already going on in libraries across the country to manage controversial stock—including placing it in the context of a broad range of views—engage communities and support community cohesion. In order to make use of this existing expertise and best practice, the Government have commissioned the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) to work with the public library sector—primarily through the Society of Chief Librarians—to prepare guidance for library authorities on these issues.

The primary objectives of the guidance will be to raise awareness in the library sector of the legislation in this area, including the Terrorism Act 2006; to provide advice on management and operational activity regarding the selection of controversial stock; and to share best practice in promoting social cohesion.


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