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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Apprenticeships are designed around employers' needs for performance in a particular skill, trade or occupation, and the same requirements apply to all apprentices. An apprenticeship framework comprises the separate elements of a competence-based qualification, a technical certificate, transferable functional or key skills or their GCSE equivalent and non-certificated elements covering employee rights and responsibilities, and practical learning and thinking skills.
We have had no representations specifically focused on dyslexia, other than correspondence on individual cases. A working group of external experts chaired by Peter Little OBE is advising officials on access to the apprenticeship programme for people with disabilities and/or learning difficulties, including implementation of the flexibility that will allow people with disabilities to use alternative forms of evidence to establish their suitability for an apprenticeship. The Apprenticeships Unit has commissioned a study led by SKILL to analyse apprenticeship disability data and develop recommendations on ways to make the programme more accessible and improve success rates for disabled apprentices.
Baroness Wilcox: The basis of the current apprenticeship programme was set out in World Class Apprenticeships and enacted in the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009. Both of these were subject to an equality impact assessment. All apprenticeship frameworks are based on the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards in England (SASE), on which disability organisations were consulted. Framework developers are required to have regard to disability legislation in preparing apprenticeship frameworks and quality assurance guidelines for framework development reinforce this. Issuing authorities have directions and guidance from the Secretary of State to ensure that the quality assurance guidelines are adhered to.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): There is one in-service aircraft carrier, HMS "Illustrious", and two that have been withdrawn from service. Of these, HMS "Ark Royal" is in the process of being disposed of, while transfer of ownership for the former HMS "Invincible" has recently been agreed.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Records of joint military exercises with other countries from 1990 to 2005 are not held centrally, and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Information since 2006 is as follows:
Baroness Verma: Department for International Development (DfID) staff frequently discuss financial support for the Thailand Burma Border Consortium
21 Mar 2011 : Column WA104
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Office for National Statistics on the basket used to calculate the consumer prices index (HL7829).
The ONS conducts a comprehensive review of the CPI "basket" each year to ensure that the index remains up to date and representative of consumer spending patterns. It is for the ONS to decide the content of the "basket" and as such there are no discussions with Her Majesty's Government on this subject.
Further details on the review process and the update of CPI basket in 2011 are available on the National Statistics website at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=2660.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many burglaries occurred in each of the past three years for which records are held according to (a) the British Crime Survey, and (b) police recorded crime statistics.[HL7515]
The British Crime Survey (BCS) covers the population resident in households in England and Wales and includes crimes that are not reported to or recorded by the police. However, incidents as measured by the BCS are estimates based on a survey and cover only domestic burglary. Figures are provided for the number of incidents of domestic burglary from the 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 BCS (Table 1).
Police recorded incidents of burglary are also provided for the past three years (Table 2). These figures are counts of burglary recorded by the police and include burglaries that occur in domestic properties and in commercial and other properties.
|BCS incidents of domestic burglary from 2007-08 to 2009-10|
|Table 2 Police recorded burglary 2007-08 to 2009-10|
|Number of offences|
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Ministry's aim has been to demonstrate the effectiveness of Together Women and similar women's community projects and embed the different approach as part of local commissioning arrangements. Many projects have received funding from a range of sources, including probation trusts and local authorities, but securing sufficient funding to sustain service delivery has become more challenging. The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) has committed to provide further investment to sustain the majority of the projects in the financial year 2011-12. A full announcement will follow shortly.
As a result of this more local approach to commissioning each project has a different funding arrangement. In all cases funding levels will be lower than 2010-11 to take account of the need for efficiencies.Hull, Leeds/Bradford and Salford projects were funded by the MoJ in 2010-11 and NOMS has confirmed funding for 2011-12;Sheffield was funded by MoJ and the Corston Independent Funders Coalition in 2010-11 and NOMS has confirmed funding for 2011-12; in addition funding is being made available by HMP and YOI New Hall for through the gate services; andLiverpool TWP was closed in September 2009. A new contract for the service funded for 18 months by MoJ and Merseyside Probation Trust was awarded to a new provider in October 2010.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): There are no specific regulations governing the weight allowed to be carried by seaside donkeys but the Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to any animal and to treat an animal in a way that fails to meet its welfare needs. We consider the requirements of the Act to be sufficient to ensure the necessary protection of the welfare of seaside donkeys.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to discontinue the Dance and Drama Awards Scheme; within what timescale; and what provision will be made for students who are part way through their courses.[HL7482]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Department for Education is considering the arrangements that will apply for supporting young people over the age of 16 in education, including access to specialist performance arts training. We hope to be able to announce details shortly.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 8 March (WA 389), how many non-European Union students collectively paid £2.2 billion in higher education tuition fees in 2008-09; what proportion of this sum was paid to (a) private sector, and (b) public sector, institutions; what was the source for this figure; and how it was calculated.[HL7708]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): In 2008-09 academic year 251,310 students domiciled outside the European Union were enrolled on higher education courses in the UK. (Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) student record.)
The income of higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK is collected as part of HESA's finance record, and is the source of the £2.2 billion figure used in the answer on 8 March. This includes data submitted by all HEIs which receive direct public funding, plus the University of Buckingham, which is the only institution which receives no direct public funding whose data are included in the finance record. The same HEIs provide data for the student record, where the above figure of 251,310 students comes from.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by Lord Wallace of Tankerness on 7 March (WS 145) on the Welsh referendum, whether they will bring forward legislation enabling the English to decide through a referendum whether they are in favour of establishing an English Parliament.[HL7578]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): As the noble Lord is aware the coalition programme for government committed the Government to establishing a commission to consider the West Lothian question. An English Parliament has been proposed in the past as a solution to the West Lothian question. It would be open to the commission, once established, to consider this as part of its review.
Baroness Verma: The Government are committed to tackling the gender pay gap and are taking a range of measures to improve women's position in the labour market in Great Britain. These include making pay secrecy clauses unenforceable, extending the right to request flexible working to all employees, consulting on a new system of parental leave, and promoting gender equality on company boards.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of United Kingdom business regulation derives from European Union legislation; what steps they plan to take to reduce future European Union business legislation; and whether they plan to try to repeal any European Union business legislation.[HL7520]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The proportion of planned regulation stemming from the EU between April 2010 and March 2011 accounted for approximately one third of the total volume of regulation. The proportion varies each year.
My right honourable friend the Prime Minister recently announced three new major policy goals to reduce the regulatory burden originating in Brussels. These are to bring in a one-in, one-out rule for new EU regulations; set a new and tougher target to reduce the total regulatory burden over the life of the Commission; and give small businesses-engines of job creation-an exemption from big new regulations.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 8 February (WA 46-7), what is the impact on the formulation of United Kingdom foreign policy of the United Kingdom's share of voting rights in the European Union decision-making process.[HL7456]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): There is no impact. The UK's foreign policy is decided by Ministers acting
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To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 8 February (WA 46-7), whether benefits for British citizens arising from the free movement across European Union member states of people for work or study and enjoyment of free or reduced healthcare costs in European Union member states could also be achieved through bilateral agreements, as is the case with some countries outside the European Union.[HL7459]
Lord Howell of Guildford: We do not consider that benefits for British citizens similar to those arising from European Union membership could be achieved effectively or efficiently through the negotiation of multiple bilateral agreements.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 8 February (WA 46-7, what would be the cost of carrying out a cost-benefit analysis of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union.[HL7460]
Lord Howell of Guildford: I refer the noble Lord to the noble Lord Sassoon's response of 11 February 2011 (WA 96). Since there is no intention to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of EU membership, the cost of such an analysis is not known.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discretion the Northern Ireland Office gave to the Royal Ulster Constabulary about the questioning of Father James Chesney about the alleged murders in Cloudy, County Londonderry in 1972.[HL7767]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Financial Services Authority (FSA) introduced restrictions to short selling in the UK in autumn 2008 using powers under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The FSA was granted further powers in the Financial Services Act 2010 to require the disclosure of information on short selling and prohibit short selling in specified cases.
In September 2010 the European Commission published a draft proposal on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps. The proposal has been turned into a draft regulation which is currently being negotiated by EU member states. The UK is taking a full and active part in these negotiations.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 28 February (WA 269-70), what was the outcome of their consideration as to whether any changes should be made to the process by which the Financial Services Authority answers parliamentary questions.[HL7415]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 28 February (WA 269-70), what is their assessment of the likely impact on the independence of the Financial Services Authority of a requirement to publish their answers to parliamentary questions in the Official Report.[HL7416]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): As I set out in my earlier Answer, Treasury Ministers ensure that the department and its associated bodies report to Parliament in the appropriate way, according to the status of the individual entities. Having assessed the handling of Financial Services Authority (FSA) parliamentary questions, we have decided that it would be appropriate to retain the current practice whereby the FSA writes directly to Peers and Members in response to their questions. The Government believe that retention of that practice is both transparent-Members and Peers can make the replies they receive public in any way they see fit-and proper in terms of the FSA's operational independence from Government.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 28 February (WA 229), (a) whether the statement by the National Fluoride Information Centre that naturally and artificially fluoridated water have "exactly the same effects" is consistent with the conclusion by researchers in the Newcastle bioavailability study that although the study found "no statistically significant difference",
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The statement by the National Fluoride Information Centre is based upon the report of a different research study: Chemistry and Bioavailability Aspects of Fluoride in Drinking Water by the Water Research Consultancy available at: www.bfsweb.org/facts/sof_effects/Chemistry&Bio.htm.
"Hexafluorosilicate added to fluoridate water is effectively 100 per cent dissociated to form fluoride ions under water treatment conditions. Therefore in terms of chemistry and bioavailability there is absolutely no difference between added and 'natural' fluoride".
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether charges are imposed for emergency passports or travel to the United Kingdom from overseas in cases involving transnational practices in violation of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007.[HL7442]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): In such cases, the price of an emergency passport and costs of travel to the United Kingdom are not paid for by the Government, but are charged to the individual concerned.
We would not allow a lack of funds to delay the process of getting a victim to safety. If funding cannot be identified, for example, from friends, family or a local authority, in exceptional circumstances the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can provide a discretionary loan to cover the costs of repatriation, including any passport fees.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord McNally on 8 March (WA 391), why there are no plans to make the Higher Education Statistics Authority subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000.[HL7704]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Ministry of Justice is consulting a number of bodies regarding their possible inclusion within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The bodies being consulted have been largely drawn from nominations received in response to a public consultation in 2007 and the Higher Education Statistics Authority was not a nominated body. However, the Government will keep the scope of the FOIA under review and may consider its extension to additional bodies in the future.
|Year||DEC Score||DEC Rating|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Display energy certificates (DEC) are not awarded on a floor by floor basis. The overall rating for main building as a whole in each of the past three years was as follows:
The Cabinet Office publishes data on DEC ratings on a six-monthly basis on the following website: http://www.ogc.gov.uk/government_delivery_display_ energy _certificate_data.
Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The primary objective in public sector procurement is to achieve value for money. The Government's strategy to increase the number of contracts awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises is based on removing unnecessary and frequently expensive barriers that hinder SME participation in bidding for government work.
Our actions to facilitate SME involvement should improve value for money by fostering greater competition for contracts. There is nothing in the Government's strategy for SMEs in procurement that would increase costs to the public purse.
Lord Taylor of Holbeach: I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave on 20 December 2010 (Official Report, col. WA265). Sir Philip's recommendations have been incorporated into ongoing programmes within the Cabinet Office.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they will ensure that their proposal to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises to bid for central government contracts is consistent with the recommendation for centralised purchasing made by Sir Philip Green in his efficiency review.[HL7632]
Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The Government are centralising procurement of commodity goods and services to improve value for money. The category strategies we are developing for these commodity goods and services will drive this and will also involve SMEs where they contribute to value for money. Aggregation of requirements does not always entail larger contracts. Depending on the characteristics of the supply market, value for money may be better achieved by going to market in lots that are SME-friendly and achieve greater security of supply. This will be considered when putting together our future supply strategies for centralised categories. In some categories SMEs will feature strongly not as main contractors but in supply chains.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the legislation they have introduced was preceded by (a) a white paper, and (b) pre-legislative scrutiny; and whether they intend to increase those proportions in the future.[HL7479]
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): Of the 26 programme Bills introduced by Her Majesty's Government, the Police Reform and Social Responsibility, Pensions, Health and Social Care, Education and Welfare Reform Bills were preceded by a White Paper. The Terrorist Asset-Freezing Act 2010 underwent pre-legislative scrutiny, and clauses of the National Insurance Contributions Bill were published in advance of introduction. In addition, the Government are supporting the Wreck Removal Convention Bill, a Private Member's Bill which was published for pre-legislative scrutiny as part of the Marine Navigation Bill in May 2008.
A range of additional consultative methods were employed including consultations with interested groups and the public, for example the Your Freedom website was used in the development of the Protection of Freedoms Bill.
It is to be expected that a new Government will seek to introduce their priority legislation early and that opportunities for prior consultation and pre-legislative scrutiny will increase as a Parliament progresses.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): In line with international standards, the department's policy requires that the dignity, rights, safety and well-being of participants must be the primary consideration in any research study. This is stipulated in the Department's Research Governance Framework (second edition) and the Governance Arrangements for Research Ethics Committees.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what resource was allocated for each student aged 16-19 attending a full-time course at a further education or sixth form college for the provision of Guided Tutorial and Careers Advice in each of the years 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14.[HL7549]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): It is not possible to provide a figure for the resource allocated to guided tutorial and careers advice provision for 16-19 year-olds in the years stipulated. It is possible to provide figures for the amount of funding given over to the entitlement curriculum, which has funded tutorial provision and enrichment activities for all full-time 16-19 year-olds.
For the academic years 2008-09 to 2010-11 the funding allocated per student was equivalent to around £750 to cover 114 guided learning hours (glh) of tutorial and enrichment activities. For 2011-12 we have reduced the funded guided learning hours for the curriculum 2000 entitlement curriculum for all full-time learners from 114 glh to 30 glh and removed the requirement to deliver specific activities through enrichment funding. The funding allocated per full time student will reduce to around £200 on account of these changes. We recognise that tutorial provision for all is important and that is why we have protected it as far as possible.
We are also re-investing £150 million of the funding saved from reducing the entitlement to support the most disadvantaged students. Targeted funding for disadvantage and additional learner support will increase by more than one third in 2011-12 to a total funding of some £770 million. This increased funding can be used to support the sort of entitlement activity (including tutorials) that will benefit the hardest to reach young people.
The table below1 details the level of entitlement funding for all full time 16-19 students at further education (FE) providers (including sixth form colleges; excluding schools and academies) between 2008-09 and 2010-11. The funding allocations for 2011-12 are yet to be finalised and will be communicated to all 16-19 providers by the end of March. Estimates of the total funding allocated to FE providers for the entitlement will only be available once detail of the level of recruitment in the 2011-12 is available. Funding decisions and priorities for the financial years 2012-13 and 2013-14 have yet to be agreed and so no information can be provided at this stage.
|Academic Year Entitlement Funding For 16-18 Learners at FE Providers (excl. Schools & Academies)2|
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many students studying full-time in further education or sixth form colleges currently receive support for living costs through government grants and loans; and what is the total resource allocation.[HL7551]
Lord Hill of Oareford: Students in further education or sixth form colleges whose income is below certain thresholds were, until 1 January 2011, eligible to apply for an education maintenance allowance (EMA). In 2009-10, up to and including June 2010, 646,633 young people aged 16-19 received an EMA, with a total budget of £553,614,060. The EMA was designed to help with the costs of participation, not to support students' living costs, although we know that some students have used their EMA to contribute towards their living costs. We will be replacing EMA from September 2011 with a scheme that is able to target funding more effectively to those in greatest need of financial assistance.
Where students are accessing specialist provision, the Young People's Learning Agency operates specific schemes designed to help with living costs. The Residential Support Scheme and Residential Bursary Fund make approximately 4,000 awards each year, with a total budget of £6.1 million.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the statutory requirement for local authorities to provide free or subsidised transport to 16-19 year old students studying full-time at further education colleges, sixth form colleges and school sixth forms.[HL7612]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Local authorities must publish a transport policy statement by the end of May each year. The statement should set out the arrangements that the local authority will make in the following academic year to help students of sixth form age, and learners aged 19-25 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, access education or training. Those arrangements could include providing transport to and from college, or financial support to help with transport costs.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Verma on 3 March (WA 356-7), regarding the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), what are the strategic objectives and measurable performance indicators
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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Following reports of the harassment of protestors in Iraq, including journalists, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Alistair Burt released the following statement:
"We have been following events in Iraq closely. We are concerned at a number of reports of harassment of protestors, including political groups associated with the protests, and of violence against journalists and media offices across Iraq. We call on the Iraqi and Kurdish authorities to investigate these incidents and to protect the right to freedom of expression and assembly."
Our officials in Iraq regularly meet with journalists and media outlets to discuss their concerns. On 9 March 2011, embassy officials in Baghdad discussed recent developments with the Trade Union Congress. They will continue to raise any concerns as appropriate with the Iraqi authorities.
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): EU Regulation 25/2011 of 14 January 2011 applied asset freezes against Mr Laurent Gbagbo and others involved in obstructing peace and national
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To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their proposals for the provision of civil and family legal aid in England and Wales in cases involving violence against women or children will include cases where there is physical violence, threatening or intimidating behaviour, and any other form of abuse which directly or indirectly may give rise to the risk of harm.[HL7597]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Government's recent consultation on proposals to reform the legal aid scheme included the proposal to retain legal aid for private law family cases where there is objective evidence of domestic violence. We asked respondents for their views on situations (listed in the consultation) which might demonstrate this. Responses to the consultation are currently being considered, and the Government plans to publish its response in the spring.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people received legal acts of assistance in each of the years 2000-01 to 2009-10 in the constituencies of (a) Broxtowe, (b) North-West Leicestershire, (c) Loughborough, (d) Northampton South, (e) Sherwood, (f) North Warwickshire, and (g) Milton Keynes.[HL7614]
Lord McNally: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) is responsible for administering the legal aid scheme in England and Wales. The LSC does not record the number of people who receive legal aid, but instead records the number of acts of assistance. One individual may receive a number of separate acts of assistance, and one act of assistance can help more than one person.
We are re-examining the data in respect of all of the constituencies and I will write separately with this information. Data cannot be provided for the year 2000-01 as our systems do not hold data going back this far across all schemes.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much they gave in bilateral aid to Libya in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09, and (c) 2009-10; what is their estimate of how much Libya received in multilateral aid from the United Kingdom in each of those years; and what information they have about what it was spent on.[HL7187]
Baroness Verma: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the British Council provided the UK bilateral aid to Libya in the years requested, for areas such as education, human rights and capacity building. This aid totalled £489,000 in 2007-08, £630,000 in 2008-09 and £486,000 in 2009-10. The figure for 2009-10 excludes expenditure by the British Council which is not yet available.
As reported in Statistics on International Development (SID), the UK's imputed share of funding from multilateral institutions in Libya was £200,000 in 2007-08 and £691,000 in 2008-09. Figures for 2009-10 are not currently available and will be reported in the next addition of SID later this year. The imputed multilateral aid represents the UK's share of expenditure by the European Union budget, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through our core contributions to these organisations.
EU technical and financial co-operation with Libya was suspended in February 2011. Co-operation focused on funding for the EU HIV Action Plan for Benghazi and a national HIV strategy. The EU has also funded migration-related activities including co-operation between Libya and Niger on border control, activities of the International Organisation of Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. UK contributions to the EU Budget are non-discretionary and imposed by the EU treaties.
From 2006 to 2010 UNDP's programmes in Libya focused on mainstreaming the millennium development goals; encouraging economies and economic performance to improve service delivery and governance; and human resources for sustainable human development. UNDP's new strategy for Libya from 2011-14 will focus on strengthening environmental management systems: institutional capacity to combat HIV-AIDS; and gender equality.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded one project in Libya during the requested period, which focused on national capacity to manage global environmental issues, such as biodiversity, climate change, international waters and land degradation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether freezing orders made in respect of Libyan assets and the movement of funds include those of the Central Bank of Libya and businesses incorporated outside Libya, but known or believed to be owned by Libyans.[HL7413]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Libya (Financial Sanctions) Order 2011 (the Order) implemented UN Security Council Resolution 1970. The Order froze the funds, other financial assets, and economic resources owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the six individuals listed in the UN Resolution.
Subsequent to that, EU Council Regulation 204/2011 (the Regulation) applied an asset freeze to the funds and economic resources belonging to, or owned, held or controlled by, the six listed in the resolution, as well
21 Mar 2011 : Column WA120
The Government have granted a license to allow transactions with non-Libyan financial institutions, where the transactions will not benefit persons, entities or bodies referred to in the order or the regulation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are able to take to assist Eritrean and other asylum seekers evacuated to Malta from Libya; and what discussions they are having with their European Union counterparts about the plight of Asian and African nationals trapped in Libya.[HL7449]
Baroness Verma: We are not aware of any asylum seekers having been evacuated from Libya to Malta since the 17 February outbreak of the crisis, but we stand ready to take practical measures to help Malta discharge its responsibilities towards asylum seekers who are on its territory.
European Union leaders discussed the situation at the Extraordinary European Council in Brussels on Friday 11 March. An immediate priority has been to respond effectively to the humanitarian challenges at Libya's borders to help displaced persons, including Asian and African nationals, return home. The council confirmed that ensuring the safe evacuation of those wishing to flee the fighting remains a priority. The EU and member states have mobilised humanitarian aid and are committed to further assist people in Libya and people crossing its borders, in close co-operation with international and non-governmental organisations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organisation for Migration. The European Council has asked Justice and Home Affairs Ministers to meet and draw up an action plan on migration, ahead of a further discussion at the June European Council.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are providing emergency assistance to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) to aid persons fleeing Libya; and whether they will call on Tunisia and Egypt to co-operate with the UNHCR to the best of their abilities.[HL7470]
Baroness Verma: During his 4 March visit to the Tunisian-Libyan border, the Secretary of State for International Development praised the work of the Tunisian authorities in providing valuable support to the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR). He welcomed the Egyptian authorities' commitment and co-operation, which was also noted by Rashid Kalikov, the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Libya, during his 10 March visit to Cairo.
The UK was the first country to respond to the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) appeal for financial and logistical support to help repatriate people on the Libya-Tunisia border. For example, in response to a UNHCR request, the Department for International Development (DfID) has sent 38,000 blankets and 1,400 tents, providing shelter for up to 10,000 people stranded at the Libya-Tunisia border. In addition, two DfID Air Logistics Officers have joined UNHCR's Humanitarian Evacuation team to help the smooth running of the airlift operation. We continue to work with the UNCHR to get help to those in need and to make sure that we have the right supplies and people in position to be able to react to all eventualities.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether HM Inspectorate of Constabulary or the Association of Chief Police Officers will investigate and report on the installation and use of databases, including proposed databases, by the South Wales Police and their partner members for recording alleged and
21 Mar 2011 : Column WA122
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) have no plans to specifically investigate and report on the installation and use of databases, including proposed databases, by the South Wales Police and their partner members for recording alleged and actual anti-social behaviour.
However, South Wales Police are taking part in the anti-social behaviour call handling and casework management trials which were launched by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Crime Prevention on 4 January and which are supported by the Home Office, ACPO and HMIC. The trials will explore better ways to respond to calls and identify and protect vulnerable people. This includes installing IT systems to enhance sharing of information on cases between agencies, but not establishing new databases. An assessment of how this improves service delivery will be published in due course.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they will ensure that lessons learnt from the failure of penetration testing of the anti-social behaviour management database developed by South Wales Police will be made available to other police forces in England and Wales.[HL7384]
Baroness Neville-Jones: We are informed by South Wales Police that, as part of the development of a new database to provide enhanced information on reports of anti-social behaviour, they undertook penetration testing in January 2011. Penetration testing is a standard security check during the development of new IT systems before they go live. This test identified some issues relating to control of access by approved users of the database, which had not been populated. These issues have now been addressed and the database passed a second test in February 2011.
South Wales Police are taking part in the anti-social behaviour call handling and casework management trials announced by the Home Office on 4 January, which include using IT to improve sharing of information between local agencies. We will be publishing an assessment of the trials in due course, and will incorporate any lessons learned from the testing and development of the database as required.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Her Majesty's Ambassadors and High Commissioners in each of the Council of Europe member states have provided, or will be asked to provide, details of (a) whether convicted prisoners in those countries can vote, (b) if so, what restrictions on types of
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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is consulting with its missions in Council of Europe member states on prisoner voting arrangements. When consultations are complete I will place information in the Library of the House on the topics raised by the noble Lord.
Earl Attlee: The Shipping Minister, the honourable Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), is considering the representations which have been made and will take a decision at the earliest opportunity.
Lord Shutt of Greetland: The current Government was not involved in the multi-party talks at St Andrews in 2006. The St Andrews agreement does not contain any specific reference to transport facilities.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are very concerned at the recent clashes in the Abyei region, including those on 27 and 28 February 2011 and 1 and 2 March 2011 between northern and southern groups in the area. We judge that such violence is likely to continue in the absence of renewed political commitment to reach a solution on the future of Abyei which is acceptance to all parties. We urge both parties to the comprehensive peace agreement to intensify their efforts towards this goal.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department has carried out two public consultations relating to the display of tobacco products, which received replies from the tobacco industry.
In October 2009, the department published the Consultation on Proposed Tobacco Control Regulations for England (under the Health Bill 2009). Copies of both documents have already been placed in the Library.
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the New Approach to Transport Appraisal will be amended to identify separately small time savings to enable Ministers to judge to what extent the appraisal of a scheme is dependent on them.[HL7572]
Earl Attlee: We are still considering whether small journey time changes should be separately reported as part of our work to reform the way transport projects are assessed and funding prioritisation decisions are made. An announcement on the reforms will be made in due course.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what time values for work travel and other travel are applied to (a) car users, (b) train users, (c) tram users, (d) bus users, (e) cyclists, and (f) pedestrians in the New Approach to Transport Appraisal.[HL7573]
Earl Attlee: The Department for Transport's standard values of working time for different modes of travel are published as table 1 of WebTAG unit 3.5.6. They can be retrieved from our web-site at: http://www.dft. gov.uk/webtag/documents/expert/unit3.5.6.php#012.
Due to insufficient data on the characteristics of tram users, we do not specify a value for this mode. Instead, tram scheme promoters can use an all-mode average value, or agree an alternative approach based on local data with the department. Alternative approaches are reviewed and approved by the department on a case-by-case basis.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 31 January (WA 242), what are the sources of data on the street sapling survival rates provided by the London Tree and Woodland Grants Scheme, the Greater London Authority's Street Trees scheme and the Community Forests in Greater Manchester and Greater Liverpool; and whether they will commission research on vandalism rates and deterrence.[HL7516]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): Information about street sapling survival rates is not recorded in any consistent or comprehensive way. Survival rates referred to in the previous Answer were provided by project staff who have many years of urban tree-planting experience.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make representations to the Government of Turkey about (a) the alleged blocking of the satellite transmissions of Roj TV, and (b) attacks on the website of Firat News Agency, Amsterdam.[HL7468]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government do not plan to make representations to the Government of Turkey on the blocking of transmissions of Roj TV, or on attacks made on the website of Firat News Agency. Our embassy in Ankara raises issues relating to freedom of the media in the context of wider discussions on human rights with its Turkish counterparts.
Freedom of expression and freedom of the media remain key areas for reform in Turkey in the context of its EU accession process. The EU progress report for 2010 addressed the issue, and makes clear that while there have been some positive developments, more work is needed before Turkey fulfils the EU criteria on respect for freedom of expression and the media.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they will make to the Government of Turkey about the importance of ensuring access to communication in the run-up to the forthcoming election.[HL7469]
Lord Howell of Guildford: The Government do not plan to make representations to the Government of Turkey about the importance of ensuring access to communication in the run-up to the forthcoming election. Following Turkey's general election in 2007, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) issued a report which assessed that "the elections demonstrated the resilience of the election process in Turkey, characterized by pluralism and a high level of public confidence [and that] Turkey's diverse and vibrant media provided broadly balanced coverage of electoral issues, enabling voters to make informed choices". The British Government supported this assessment.
A further OSCE report, published in January 2010, made recommendations-echoed by the 2010 EU progress report-to improve access to the internet and media freedom. Our embassy in Ankara regularly raises issues relating to media freedom in the context of wider discussions on human rights with its Turkish counterparts.
Baroness Verma: The Government have not yet taken a decision on budget support for Uganda for financial year 2011-12 and beyond. What we do know is that the process for making this decision will be more rigorous in the future, and will follow two basic steps. The first is to assess the Government of Uganda's commitment to the following: poverty reduction and
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Baroness Verma: The Government Equalities Office (GEO) is supporting the work of my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Equalities, Lynne Featherstone MP, in her role as the overseas champion on violence against women and girls. This involves working closely with the Home Office, the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to ensure cross-government co-ordination in this policy area.
GEO officials also champion measures to combat violence against women on behalf of the UK in a number of European and international arenas, including the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women, the Commonwealth Women's Affairs meetings, the EU and the Council of Europe.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the mean salaries for Indian nationals in each of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) categories 1136, 2131, 2132 and 3131 from the tier 2 (intra-company transfer) visa certificates of sponsorship data for the total of the past six months of 2010; and what percentage and how many such nationals had a salary lower than the United Kingdom 2010 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) full-time annual salaries for each of those SOC category codes.[HL7512]
|SOC code||Mean salary||ASHE mean salary||Number with a salary lower than ASHE||% with a salary lower than ASHE|
|Number of "Assigned" Certificates of Sponsorship (COS) for the period 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010 for specified nationalities: Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru, Surinam, and Venezuela|
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