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(b) With space on the census questionnaire limited to only two new tick boxes, and many more demands for tick-boxes than could be accommodated, ONS developed a set of principles by which requirements for new tick box categories for ethnic groups could be assessed and prioritised. These covered:

strength of need for information;lack of alternative sources of information;clarity and quality of the information collected and acceptability to respondents; andcomparability with the 2001 Census data.

Particular groups which were identified during the consultation with users and also considered for individual tick boxes were:

African

Cornish

East African Asian

Eastern European

Greek/Greek Cypriot

Iranian

Jewish

Kashmiri

Kurdish

Latin American

Mixed: Black and Asian

Mixed: White and Chinese

Nepalese

Non-European White

Sikh

Sri Lankan

Turkish/Turkish Cypriot

Vietnamese

Detailed information about the prioritisation process and the ethnic groups which were considered together with the scores obtained are available in Annex A of the Information Paper Deciding which tick-boxes to add to the ethnic group question in the 2011 England and Wales Census.

http://www.ons.gov.uk/census/2011-census/2011-census-questionnaire-content/question-and-content-recommendations-for-2011/index.html.

(c) Less than 1 per cent of respondents to the 2007 test which was carried out in approximately 100,000 households from within the five local authority areas of Bath and North East Somerset, Camden, Carmarthenshire, Liverpool and Stoke-on-Trent recorded themselves as "Gypsy or Irish Traveller".

Asked by Lord Laird



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Baroness Crawley: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Jil Matheson, National Statistician, to Lord Laird, dated December 2009.

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent questions asking (a) whether "tick answer" options such as "choose one" and "tick all" on the 2011 census form will be printed in bold and capital letters to reduce incorrect responses (HL744); (b) whether the words "Mixed British" will be added to the proposed ethnic group question title "Mixed/multiple ethnic groups" in the 2011 census, in line with the existing "Asian British" and "Black British" ethnic group options (HL747).

(a) The design of the 2011 Census questionnaire, including fonts, text format and page layout, has been subject to extensive methodological research and testing. In the options you refer to, "one" is in bold type and "tick all that apply" is in a different colour and font. There are no plans, at this late stage, to make any changes to the format of such instructions on the questionnaire.

(b) There are no plans to change the wording of this question. Parliament has now approved the Draft Census (England and Wales) Order 2009, which set out the question topics to be asked in the 2011 Census. The title of the "Mixed/multiple ethnic groups" category in the ethnic group question cannot, therefore, be amended at this stage.

Central Asia

Question

Asked by Viscount Waverley

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): In Central Asia, the British Council has offices in Kazakhstan (Almaty and Astana) and in Uzbekistan (Tashkent), and also delivers small programmes from these centres to Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The British Council also has offices in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which it funds and operates on a regional basis. Grant funding for 2009-10 is approximately £2 million.

China: Organ Donation

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton



16 Dec 2009 : Column WA233

Baroness Thornton: No human organs are or have been imported from China into the United Kingdom. Information is not held in the UK about other member states in the European Union and from what countries organs are imported for transplant. The European Commission is working with European Union member states to identify and implement a programme of work to improve the quality and safety of organs across Europe; increasing organ availability; and making transplant systems more efficient and accessible. This aims to stimulate joint actions and facilitate co-ordination across member states.

Civil Service

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): The number of civil servants seconded or on loan to the transport industries* in 2008 and 2009 totals 21, comprising the following breakdown:

YearNumber

2008

7

2009

14

Total

21

Crime: Drink-Driving

Question

Asked by Lord Condon

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): I announced on 3 December 2009 in a Written Ministerial Statement (Official Report, cols. WS 139-140) that I have asked Sir Peter North to undertake an independent review of drink and drug driving legislation. The noble Lord will be aware that Sir Peter is an internationally renowned legal expert whose previous studies include the review of road traffic law which led to the Road Traffic Act 1991.

The review will examine possible changes to the current provisions, including the case for changes to the legal alcohol limit for drivers and whether there is a need to tighten the law on drug driving. The study will also consider the likely impact of any changes on driver behaviour, and the practical steps needed to support the introduction of any new or revised offences.



16 Dec 2009 : Column WA234

Sir Peter has been asked to report by the end of March 2010 and we will then consult on his findings and finalise and publish the Government's new road safety strategy. I have placed a copy of the terms of reference for the review in the Libraries of the House.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The UK welcomes the Group of Experts report, and the thorough research that went into it. Where it has been legally and practically possible to do so, the UK has shared information on the activities of militia groups as requested by the Group of Experts and will continue to co-operate in this way. We have also provided assistance on the ground in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to members of the group.

On the telephone numbers in question, we forwarded the request for information to the police, who passed it on to the War Crimes Unit. This process has proven to be a lengthy one and we continue to press for a response.

The UK takes its obligations under the DRC sanctions regime very seriously and will not hesitate to support sanctions against any person or company against whom there is sufficient evidence. That could of course include UK-based companies or individuals.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead: We are aware of allegations but we have no evidence that any links exist between the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and individuals in the UK.

The UK takes its obligations under the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) sanctions regime very seriously and will not hesitate to support sanctions against any person or company against whom there is sufficient evidence. That could of course include UK-based companies or individuals.

UK has been in touch with the group throughout, and offered as much assistance as possible to it in its enquiries and shared information on the activities of

16 Dec 2009 : Column WA235

militia groups as requested by the Group of Experts and will continue to do so where possible. We have also provided practical assistance on the ground in eastern DRC to members of the Group of Experts.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead: The UK welcomes the Group of Experts report, and the thorough research that went into it. Where it has been legally and practically possible to do so, the UK has shared information on the activities of militia groups as requested by the Group of Experts and will continue to co-operate in this way. The UK has been in touch with the group throughout-and offered as much assistance as possible to it in its enquiries. We have also provided practical assistance on the ground in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to members of the Group of Experts.

We are aware of allegations but we have no evidence that any links exist between the Lord's Resistance Army and individuals in the UK.

The Lord's Resistance Army is not proscribed as a terrorist group by the UK. Nevertheless, we will not hesitate to support sanctions against any person or company against whom there is sufficient evidence. That could of course include UK-based companies or individuals.

Education: Home Schooling

Question

Asked by Lord Lucas

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): Following careful consideration Ministers have decided that this information will remain confidential because of the potential impact on those involved in the review. There have been a large number of postings on various websites and blogs harassing Mr Badman and the apparent campaign is continuing. The department will review the position again in the new year.

The information-gathering exercise that followed the review did not incur any external costs as it was conducted by departmental officials.



16 Dec 2009 : Column WA236

Embryology

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Thornton: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that it would not be accurate to describe the polar body of an oocyte that contains a pronucleus as equivalent to the blastomeres of an embryo that contain nuclei. The HFEA has also advised that it has never identified the polar body of an egg as being identical to the blastomere of an embryo.

The content of professional body guidelines is a matter for the professional bodies themselves and not the HFEA.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool



16 Dec 2009 : Column WA237

Baroness Thornton: The Government are aware of the findings of the Hampton Implementation Review of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), to which the Independent on Sunday's articles refer.

Since the review in April 2009, the HFEA's change programme has continued, with many improvements made to the way in which the authority conducts its business. The HFEA has advised that it accepts that there are still areas for improvement, some of which it has already started work on. These include introducing a new risk-based compliance cycle, which the authority will roll out over the next few months. The HFEA has already streamlined its licensing process by introducing an executive licensing panel to approve straightforward licence applications. The members of the authority had initial discussions about the Hampton report at their meeting on 9 December 2009. The members will have a more detailed discussion on the findings at their next meeting on 20 January 2010.


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