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Written Statements

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

Written Ministerial Statements

Wednesday 15 July 2009

Business, Innovation and Skills

UK Low Carbon Industrial Strategy

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, together with the Department for Energy and Climate Change, is today publishing the “The UK Low Carbon Industrial Strategy”.

In parallel to this document, the Government are also publishing “The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan”, “The UK Renewable Energy Strategy” and “The Carbon Reduction Strategy for Transport”.

Together these set out the policies which will help drive the transition to decarbonising our economy, and reflect how Departments across Government are working together to deliver the transition to a low carbon future.

The core objective of “The UK Low Carbon Industrial Strategy” is to ensure that British businesses and workers are equipped to maximise the economic opportunities and minimise the costs of the transition to a low carbon economy.

Building on the framework for supporting British business set out in “Building Britain’s Future: New Industry, New Jobs”, its ambition is to ensure that the transition to low carbon is a source of quality jobs and business savings in Britain from our rapidly developing civil nuclear industry and renewable energy sector, to energy saving in our smallest SMEs.

British firms will benefit from the low carbon transition both by catering to growing British and global markets for low carbon goods and services, and also by using energy and other resources more efficiently to reduce costs.

At the heart of the strategy are three basic principles for a positive environment for low carbon business:

First, a long term strategic approach from Government—like the clear commitment we have made to nuclear and renewable energy, which will allow businesses to invest in greater confidence;

Secondly, a pragmatic recognition that intervention from Government may be required in some areas to accelerate and enable the transition to low carbon—in the case of the low carbon industrial strategy this means support for the research and development that will produce new low carbon technologies;

Finally, a recognition that Government have a responsibility to ensure that British-based companies and people are equipped to compete for the new demand created by Government climate change policies. This has implications for our skills policy, and the way we support the development of supply chains in this country, both issues addressed in this strategy.

The strategy identifies a range of low carbon sectors in which the Government believe that the UK has potential for job creation and business savings. Where barriers to market or other obstacles are blocking the development of Britain’s full potential in these areas, it sets out the Government’s strategy for removing them.

This includes the first investments from the £405 million for low carbon industries and advanced green manufacturing announced at Budget 2009. Key announcements include:

Up to £120 million to support the development of a British based offshore wind industry.

Up to £60 million to capitalise on Britain’s wave and tidal sector strengths, including investment in wave hub—the development of a significant demonstration and testing facility off the Cornish coast—and other funding to make the south west Britain’s first low carbon economic area.

The Government will provide capital investment in order to establish a nuclear advanced manufacturing research centre consisting of a consortium of manufacturers from the UK nuclear supply chain and universities.

Up to £10 million for the accelerated deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

A £4 million expansion of the manufacturing advisory service, to provide more specialist advice to manufacturers on competing for low carbon opportunities, including support for suppliers for the civil nuclear industry.

The strategy recognises that we need to build on local and regional strengths in order to make the most of the future economic benefits for Britain. For this reason, the strategy introduces the concept of low carbon economic areas, and announces the development of the first of these, located in the south-west of England, focusing on the development of marine energy demonstration, servicing and manufacture.

It also announces the creation of the cross-Whitehall office for low emission vehicles (OLEV) to create a single body charged solely with making a success of the Government’s strategy for low emission vehicles.

Finally, the low carbon industrial strategy recognises that this transition raises significant challenges for our industrial work force and their families. As with previous structural changes to the economy, the move to a low carbon economy will affect each business, worker and family differently. Previous economic structural shifts have had huge social impacts, with some workers and communities being left behind as industries are restructured by change. The Government are committed to doing all they can to ensure this is a just transition.

For this reason, the Government will create a forum for considering these issues and advising Government. The new forum for a just transition will include representatives from central Government, national, local and regional bodies, trade unions, business organisations, and third sector bodies.

I am placing a copy of the strategy in the Libraries of both Houses.

Cabinet Office

Social Investment Wholesale bank Consultation

The Office of the Third Sector has today published a Social Investment Wholesale Bank Consultation which sets out the vision and the economic case, and consults on proposals for the design and functions of a potential bank. This consultation was announced in Budget 2009 and will inform substantive proposals to be developed by the Office of the Third Sector.

Government recognise the important role played by the third sector including social enterprises—as sustainable businesses with a social or environmental mission they contribute significantly to stronger local economies and a fairer society. Yet access to appropriate funding and finance is often the biggest concern facing organisations driven by social or environmental purpose. A Social Investment Wholesale Bank could enable third sector organisations to access the finance they need to grow and become more sustainable.

More broadly, the bank could help increase investment in society, the environment and the economy at the same time, delivering against a “triple bottom line” of more effective interaction between greater economic growth, social cohesion and sustainable development.

The Social Investment Wholesale Bank Consultation document can be downloaded from the Office of the Third Sector (OTS) website at: Copies have also been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


Life Assurance Company Taxation

Life assurance companies are in general taxed on profits as they are recognised and made available to shareholders. The tax system recognises that, for with-profits business, profits on income and gains sometimes have to be held back to achieve the smoothing of returns that is an integral part of the business. This treatment can also apply where a company writes business in a non-profit fund.

When profits are held back in this way there is an Exchequer cost, but this is largely a matter of timing, in that tax should be paid when the deferred profits are recognised and made available to shareholders.

Recently however HMRC has seen an example of manipulation of this tax treatment in relation to a non-profit fund. The manipulation is to change the mix of the non-profit business for tax purposes so that when the previously unrecognised profits of the non-profit fund are recognised they escape tax altogether. Many hundreds of millions of pounds of tax have been avoided in this way.

The Government will introduce legislation to prevent such manipulation in future. Companies will not be able to change the mix of business in their non-profit funds in order to reduce the incidence of tax on their profits that have not yet been recognised. The Government also propose that in the future profits of non-profit business will be taxed as they arise.

In order to ensure the new legislation is appropriately targeted HMRC will consult with the life assurance industry. The precise nature of the new legislation will emerge from that consultation, but the intention is that the potential tax due on unrecognised profits in a non-profit fund will be determined by reference to the appropriate mix of business in 2009. The tax will become due and will be collected as and when profits are recognised and made available to shareholders. After 2009, profits of non-profit business will be taxed as they arise.

The objective of the consultation is to allow the new legislation to be properly targeted. If companies attempt to manipulate their business mix in advance of the new legislation being finalised, for the purposes of avoiding tax, the Government will consider whether it is necessary to introduce retrospective legislation to remove the benefit of that manipulation.

UK's Asset Freezing Regime (April to June 2009)

In a written ministerial statement on 10 October 2006, the then Economic Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Normanton (Ed Balls), undertook to report to Parliament on a quarterly basis on the operation of the UK’s counter-terrorism asset-freezing regime. This is the 11th of these reports and covers the period April to June 20091.

Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2009

The Treasury has amended the Terrorism (United Measures) Order and a new Order in Council is being laid before Parliament today. I have made a separate written ministerial statement about the new order.

Asset-freezing designations

In the quarter April to June 2009, the Treasury gave no directions under the Al-Qaida and Taliban (United Nations Measures) Order 2006.

The Treasury gave no new directions under the Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2006. The Treasury revoked one direction given under this order during this period.

There were no financial sanctions designations made at the UN, or at the EU, in relation to terrorism, or Al-Qaida and the Taliban of persons with links to the UK.

As of 30 June 2009, a total of 237 accounts containing just over £607,6612 of suspected terrorist funds were frozen in the UK.


The Treasury keeps domestic asset-freezing cases under review and completed three formal reviews in this quarter.


In accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1452 (2002), the Treasury operates a licensing system whereby designated persons and others are able to apply to make or receive payments under specific and, if necessary, monitored conditions. In this quarter, the following licences were issued to listed persons:

Four listed persons were granted basic expenses licences (including licences for benefits payments);

one listed person was granted a licence allowing them to receive compensation payment into a frozen account following an European Court of Human Rights judgement;

no persons were granted legal expenses licences;

no licences were granted for extraordinary expenses.

In this quarter two households of listed persons were granted benefits licences.

1 The detail that can be provided to the House on a quarterly basis is subject to the need to avoid the identification, directly or indirectly, of personal or operationally sensitive information.

2 This figure reflects account balances at time of freezing and includes approximately $58,000 of suspected terrorist funds frozen in the UK. This has been converted using exchange rates as of 08-07-09. Future fluctuations in the exchange rate may impact on the contribution this sum makes to future totals of suspected terrorist funds frozen.

Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2009

The Government are strongly committed to tackling terrorist finance. Just as there should be no hiding place for those who perpetrate terrorism, so there should be no hiding place for those who finance terrorism.

Global measures to freeze the assets of those suspected of involvement in terrorism are an important tool in suppressing terrorist finance. The global framework for freezing terrorist assets was established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373, adopted unanimously on 28 September 2001. It is also set out in Special Recommendation III of the Financial Action Task Force the international standard setting body for anti-money laundering and counter terrorist finance.

The United Kingdom gives effect to its international obligations to freeze terrorist assets through Orders in Council under the United Nations Act 1946. The Government report quarterly to Parliament on the operation of the UK’s terrorist asset freezing regime.

Consistent with our international obligations, the Government have put in place a robust and effective terrorist asset freezing regime. As set out in today’s quarterly report to Parliament, as of the end of June 2009, a total of 237 accounts containing £607,661 of suspected terrorist funds were frozen in the UK. As our quarterly reports set out, the UK has an active approach to reviewing cases and to granting exemptions licences to ensure that the asset freezing regime operates in a fair and proportionate way that is consistent with human rights.

The Financial Action Task Force reviewed the UK’s terrorist asset freezing regime in 2007 and concluded that the UK was fully compliant with international standards, the first country to be awarded the fully compliant rating.

The Government keep the asset freezing regime under review to ensure that it remains operationally effective, fair and proportionate. Today the Treasury is laying before Parliament the Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2009. This Order in Council updates the UK’s domestic framework for freezing the assets of suspected terrorists.

The overall objective of the changes is to tailor asset freezing restrictions to ensure that the prohibitions are focused more closely on areas of genuine operational concern, in particular the access to, control and use of funds by designated persons; and to strengthen and make more explicit safeguards in how the regime is operated where this can be done without compromising its effectiveness.

The main changes set out in the new Order in Council are:

Formally reflecting the Court of Appeal judgment in October last year which struck out the grounds for the Treasury to designate a person when the Treasury has reasonable grounds to suspect that they may be (as opposed to are) involved in terrorism.

The introduction of a further safeguard that designations must be necessary for public protection.

Setting a renewable 12-month time limit on designations.

Modifying the prohibitions on making funds, economic resources and financial services available for the benefit of a designation person so that they only apply if the designated person obtains, or is able to obtain, a significant financial benefit. The prohibitions on making funds, economic resources and financial services available directly to a designated person remain unchanged and are a blanket prohibition.

Modifying the prohibition on making economic resources available to a designated person by providing a defence for a person if they did not know and had no reasonable cause to suspect that economic resources which they provided to a designated person would be likely to be exchanged or used in exchange for funds, goods or services.

Modifying reporting provisions to bring obligations on money service businesses into line with other financial institutions.

Clarifying and expanding information gathering powers to ensure that the Treasury is able to request information from designated persons in all cases where this is necessary to ensure effective implementation of and compliance with the asset freeze.

Overall, these changes will improve the operation of the asset freezing regime, ensure that it remains fair and proportionate and help facilitate effective compliance by ensuring that prohibitions are more tailored and clearer in how they apply. The Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order will come into effect on 10 August 2009.

Children, Schools and Families

Schools Capital

It has become apparent in recent months that some local authorities are facing sudden and sharp increases in demand for primary pupil places. I am today announcing that £200 million of capital funding will be made available in the next financial year to authorities with exceptional need to assist them in building additional permanent primary school places by September 2011.

Detailed guidance on applying for this funding will shortly be made available by my Department. Local authorities will have four weeks to apply and I aim to announce allocations in September.

This funding is in addition to the £1.75 billion of additional investment being made available through the Primary Capital Programme over the next two years, which is supported by significant additional investment committed by local authorities. It is also in addition to the £939 million of capital investment which has been brought forward from 2010-11 to 2009-10 to accelerate thousands of school modernisation projects across England and support jobs and local businesses.

I am also announcing today that the following six local authorities will enter the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme this month: Barnet, Bolton, Hampshire, Peterborough, Sunderland and Wigan. Five of these authorities are new to BSF in line with our aim of getting all authorities into the programme as soon as is practicable.

These six authorities have now demonstrated satisfactorily to Partnership for Schools (PfS) that they are fully ready to start the full development of their projects. Another six local authority projects will join the programme in three months time, with a further six three months after that. This rate of starts will maintain the current rate of delivery of BSF.

This is a prudent and affordable rate of progress for our major strategic programme to renew our schools infrastructure, and which brings benefits for the wider community as well as children.

Communities and Local Government

Fire and Resilience

I would like to inform the House about progress on the FiReControl project—part of our major programme of work to ensure that the fire and rescue service is fully equipped to meet the challenges and demands of the modern world.

Recent events, in both Camberwell and Edinburgh, have reinforced the very real significance of doing all we can to ensure the safety of the public and firefighters. FiReControl will provide the public and firefighters with very substantial safety benefits by establishing, for the first time, a linked national network of nine regional fire control centres across England. These will replace the current 46 stand-alone control rooms, operated in each fire and rescue authority (FRA) area.

On a day-to-day basis, the new system will improve firefighter safety, the management of incidents and both the efficiency and responsiveness of the service. Firefighters will have access to safety information and incident details through mobile data terminals, and satellite navigation and automatic tracking of fire appliances will enable more efficient use of resources. Emergency calls from the public will be automatically located and managed using spatial data right down to property level. Control rooms will share calls across the network to manage even the highest call volumes and thereby be more resilient in emergencies. The new network will also improve the country’s ability to respond to terrorism, large-scale industrial accidents and natural disasters such as flooding.

FiReControl is a complex and demanding project that involves significant change to operating practices in the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) as well as the development and installation of a major new national IT system. In November 2008 my predecessor informed the House that the project was being rescheduled due to slower than expected progress with development of the new IT, and that we would continue to monitor progress carefully as there could only be certainty on final timings once we had made progress through the earlier stages.

Good progress is being made on the building of the nine regional centres and the setting up of the local authority controlled companies that will manage the centres. The delivery and installation of equipment in local fire stations is also on track. However, in recent months it has become clear that technical problems with developing the IT system in a way which will meet all our and FRS requirements mean that further time is needed to complete the project.

I am proposing therefore to extend the delivery schedule by 10 months. This means that the first FRSs will switch over to the regional control centres in spring 2011 and the last will switch over by the end of 2012. We have discussed this in detail with the representatives of FRSs and local government, and we believe that this is a realistic timetable. Key Olympic authorities will switch over in time to prepare for the games, and the network will provide robust fall-back arrangements for all FRSs over the Olympic period. I am today publishing a full revised schedule for switch over of all FRSs in all regions and copies will be placed in the Library of the House.

To ensure consistent progress on this revised timescale, we have agreed with EADS, our main supplier, and with key stakeholders, a new approach to delivery to give greater assurance on short-term milestones and closer engagement with FRSs.

We remain committed to meeting all the upfront costs associated with the project and to the principle that no FRA will bear any additional cost as a result of FiReControl implementation. Once the new network is established, many FRAs are expected to make savings. These can be reinvested in local priorities and frontline services. We will be updating the cost figures contained in the FiReControl business case in due course to reflect today’s rescheduling.

FiReControl continues to form an important part of the fire and resilience programme, which has already delivered very substantial benefits for the FRS. The new dimensions project has given the FRS new vehicles, equipment, and training to respond to terrorism and natural disasters. The Firelink project is delivering new digital communications technology, which is giving the FRS access to a world class communications system. FiReControl will build on this successful delivery.


Afghanistan Troop Levels (Autumn 2009 Roulement)

My right hon. Friend the Member for Barrow and Furness (Mr. Hutton), announced in his statement to the House on 29 April 2009, that Headquarters, 6 (UK) Division would command the International Security Assistance Force’s Regional Command (South) from November 2009 to November 2010, Official Report, column 46WS.

The next routine roulement of UK forces in Afghanistan will take place in October 2009. The force package that we plan to deploy will see the current lead brigade, 19 Light Brigade, replaced by 11 Light Brigade which will be committed to Afghanistan until April 2010.

The forces deploying include:

Headquarters, 6 (UK) Division

11 Light Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (261)

Headquarters, 8 Force Engineer Brigade

Headquarters, 101 Logistic Brigade

Elements of 845 Naval Air Squadron

Elements of 846 Naval Air Squadron

Elements of 857 Naval Air Squadron

Elements of Fleet Diving Unit III

The Household Cavalry Regiment

1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery

28 Engineer Regiment

1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards

2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment

1st Battalion The Royal Welsh

3rd Battalion The Rifles

10 Queen's Own Ghurkha Logistic Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps

33 Field Hospital

104 Force Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

160 Provost Company Royal Military Police

Elements of 1 st Royal Tank Regiment

Elements of 2nd Royal Tank Regiment

Elements of 5th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 12th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 16th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 19th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 39th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)

Elements of 39 Engineer Regiment (Air Support)

Elements of 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic)

Elements of 101 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) (Volunteers)

Elements of 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group

Elements of 2 (National Communications) Signal Brigade

Elements of 1st (United Kingdom) Armoured Division Headquarters & Signal Regiment

Elements of 7th Signal Regiment

Elements of 10th Signal Regiment

Elements of 14th Signals Regiment (Electronic Warfare)

Elements of 21st Signal Regiment (Air Support)

Elements of 1st Battalion The Coldstream Guards

Elements of The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

Elements of 4th Battalion The Lancashire Regiment

Elements of 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment

Elements of 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh

Elements of 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh

Elements of 3rd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment

Elements of 4th Battalion The Rifles

Elements of 1 Regiment, Army Air Corps

Elements of 3 Regiment, Army Air Corps

Elements of 4 Regiment, Army Air Corps

Elements of 9 Regiment, Army Air Corps

Elements of 9 Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 24 Postal Courier and Movement Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 27 Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 29 Postal Courier and Movement Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Support Battalion

Elements of 6 Close Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Elements of 7 Air Assault Battalion Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers

Elements of 102 Military Working Dog Support Unit

Elements of 1 Military Intelligence Brigade

Elements of the Joint Civil Military Co-operation Group (CIMIC)

Elements of 148 Expeditionary Force Institute Squadron (Volunteers), The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of Joint Medical Command

Elements of 253 Medical Regiment (Volunteers)

Elements of 254 Medical Regiment (Volunteers)

Elements of 205 Field Hospital (Volunteers)

Elements of 256 Field Hospital (Volunteers)

Number 1 Royal Air Force, Force Protection Wing Headquarters

Number 2 Royal Air Force, Force Protection Wing Headquarters

Number 3 Royal Air Force, Force Protection Wing Headquarters

Number 8 Royal Air Force, Force Protection Wing Headquarters

Elements of Number 3 Royal Air Force Police Wing

2 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment

27 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment

Elements of 3 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment

Elements of 34 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment

9 Squadron, Royal Air Force

31 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 5 (Army Co-Operation) Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 12 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 14 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 18 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 24 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 27 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 28 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 30 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 78 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 617 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of the Tactical Supply Wing, Royal Air Force

Elements of 1 Air Mobility Wing, Royal Air Force

Elements of 1 Air Control Centre, Royal Air Force

Elements of 90 Signals Unit, Royal Air Force

Elements of 2 (Mechanical Transport) Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 5001 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 3 Mobile Catering Squadron

Elements of Tactical Medical Wing

Elements of 93 (Expeditionary Armaments) Squadron

Elements of Tactical Imagery Wing

Volunteer and regular members of the reserve forces will continue to deploy to Afghanistan as part of our integrated force package, and we expect to issue around 710 call-out notices to fill some 650 posts. On completion of their mobilisation procedures, the reservists will undertake a period of training and, where applicable, integration with their respective receiving units. The majority will serve on operations for six or so months. As part of this commitment, we expect up to 21 members of the sponsored reserves to be in theatre at any one time.

I shall make a further statement on the units we expect to commit under 11 Light Brigade’s planned replacement formation, 4 Mechanized Brigade, nearer the time of their deployment.

Military Low Flying

The amount of low flying training carried out in the UK Low Flying System (UKLFS) during the training year 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009 was the minimum required for aircrew to reach and maintain their ability to fly at low level. The number of low flying training hours conducted was 51,888 hours, a reduction of 1,263 hours on the previous training year. This level of activity has been relatively constant over the last three years. The amount of operational low flying (between 250 feet and 100 feet) by fixed wing aircraft has further reduced by 34 per cent. from the previous training year, and there has now been a reduction of 64 per cent. over the last three years.

I have today placed in the Library of the House a report giving a detailed account of the low flying training that has taken place in the UK Low Flying System for the training year 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009.

This year some changes have been made to the way in which the information in the report is presented; the most significant of these is that the data on the amount of low flying for dedicated user areas, principally used for helicopter training, are now being presented on the same basis as that for the rest of the low flying system.

Additional copies of “The Pattern of Military Low Flying Across the UK 2008-09” are available on request from the following address:

Air Staff

Complaints & Enquiries Unit

Ministry of Defence

Level 5 Zone H

Main Building


London SW1A 2HB

Alternatively it can be viewed on the MOD’s website: aviation/lowflying

Judicial Review Appeal

This important case arose from the tragic death of Private Jason Smith from heatstroke in Iraq in 2003 and was brought by Private Smith’s mother. The Court of Appeal gave its judgment for the respondent on 18 May this year, while granting the Secretary of State permission to appeal to the House of Lords.

There is no longer any dispute over the question which initiated the case. The MOD has previously accepted that there are limited circumstances when armed forces personnel come within the UK’s jurisdiction for the purposes of the European convention on human rights when they are deployed overseas. These include the circumstances of Private Jason Smith’s death, where Private Smith was at all times within a British Army camp and British Army hospital and no third party nationals were involved in his death. It has already been agreed that a new inquest should be held into the cause of Private Smith’s death which will be fully compliant with article 2 of the European convention on human rights. Jason Smith’s death remains the source of great regret, and the MOD will continue to offer its wholehearted support to the coronial process, and every possible sympathy and attention to Mrs. Smith.

But the case as it has developed has raised issues of potentially very wide legal significance. These concern the extent to which actions under the Human Rights Act 1998 (which gave further effect to rights drawn from the European convention on human rights) can be brought in cases involving military personnel deployed on operations outside the United Kingdom. Given the importance of the issues raised by the Court of Appeal’s judgment to how we plan and conduct military operations and to the men and women of the armed forces, I have decided that the right course would be to appeal to the House of Lords in order to obtain as much clarity as possible on the legal framework applying to operations overseas. As at all stages of the case, the Government will bear the costs of both sides in the litigation, whatever the outcome.


Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

The Government have made two commitments in recent years on the treatment of children and young people aged under 18 years on adult psychiatric wards. I wish to report to the House on the progress made on these commitments.

The first commitment, made in November 2006, was that within two years no child under the age of 16 would be treated on an adult psychiatric ward.

The second commitment is to commence section 31(3) of the Mental Health Act 2007 in England by April 2010. This provision, which applies to voluntary (informal) patients as well as formal (detained under mental health legislation) patients, places a duty on hospital managers to ensure that patients aged under 18 are treated in an environment in hospital which is suitable having regard to their age (subject to their needs). The hospital manager has to consult a person who appears to them to have knowledge or experience of cases involving patients who have not attained the age of 18.

In its 12th Biennial Report the Mental Health Act Commission welcomed these commitments and commented that

“the ending of admissions of children and adolescents to unsuitable adult facilities is an ambitious undertaking”.

In order to prepare for these two commitments £31 million capital was made available in 2007-08 to 17 projects specifically designed to eliminate the inappropriate use of adult psychiatric wards by children and young people. I can report that five projects have been completed with further projects, which will provide 31 new beds, 35 refurbished beds, and 13 beds relocated to purpose-designed facilities, in various states of completion.

In addition, the Department commissioned the National Mental Health Development Unit (NMHDU) to work on children and young people’s issues within the Mental Health Act 2007 implementation programme. One of the main objectives of this work has been to support local areas to prepare for section 31(3) of the Mental Health Act 2007.

A number of products have been produced including:

The Legal Aspects of the Care and Treatment of children and Young People with Mental Disorder : A Guide for Professionals

A guide that describes the interaction between mental health legislation, the Mental Capacity Act, and children’s legislation and which, for example, will assist adult mental health services clinicians to understand the issues they should take into account when working with under 18s.

The Safe and Appropriate Care Standards for Young People on Adult Wards

Standards prepared by the Royal College of Psychiatrists Research and Training Unit, in conjunction with young service users, parents, Adult and Child and Adolescent Service providers and commissioners, which provides guidance to trusts on how to assess the safety, environment and treatment offered to young people on adult wards.

In Our Words DVD

A training aid which includes contributions from young people, their parents, mental health advocates and health professionals on the treatment of young people with mental health problems.

Working Together to Provide Age Appropriate Environments for Mental Health Patients Aged under 18

Briefing to support adult mental health services (AHMS) and child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) commissioners to work together to develop more effective services to maintain young people in the community when it is safe to do so, and appropriate inpatient resources to meet their needs in a crisis or for medium to long-term treatment.

The Age Appropriate Environment System Dynamic Planning Tool

A model aimed at CAMHS and AMHS commissioners, providers, planners and analysts to enable them to devise and test plans to improve services to meet the needs of under 18s with severe mental health problems is available to download for free.

The Mental Health Act— essential information for Parents and Carers

NMHDU commissioned a leaflet for parents and carers from Rethink which has been distributed to CAMHS and AMHS and which is available to download for free.

Headspace Toolkit

The widely praised Advocacy in Somerset self advocacy toolkit has been updated, distributed to all CAMHS in-patient services and is available to download for free.

Additionally a series of training workshops aimed at CAMHS staff have been provided across England.

Year-on-year figures of bed days for under 18s show that consistent progress is being made. The number of bed days for under 16s and 16-17-year-olds on adult psychiatric wards has significantly reduced. In 2006-07, 12.2 per cent. of bed days for under 18s were on adult psychiatric wards whereas the figure for 2008-09 was 8.1 per cent. I would like to congratulate strategic health authorities, commissioners, and providers on the progress made.

The bed day figures for under 16s on adult psychiatric wards dropped to zero in Q3 2008-09 meeting the Government’s commitment. However, the latest quarterly figures (January-March 2009) for bed days for under 18-year-olds receiving mental health treatment in England show three instances of under 16-year-olds having been treated on adult psychiatric wards, each for one day only.

It is not acceptable for young people to be put in this situation and those few areas where these latest cases have arisen must take action to prevent this happening again. In all these cases action has been taken to investigate the circumstances leading to an under 16-year-old being placed on an adult psychiatric ward and to press those responsible to put arrangements in place to ensure that in future similar situations are dealt with in line with the Government’s commitment. The appropriate place for vulnerable young children is in an environment which is designed for children and young people. In the case of under 16s our view is that the appropriate place is a CAMHS ward.

To conclude, over the past five years the Government have been committed to improving access for children and young people with mental health problems in universal and specialist settings. What these incidents highlight are the need for continued efforts to improve access to emergency and specialist age appropriate inpatient services for under 18s which are close to young people’s homes, and services to maintain young people in the community when it is safe to do so, following the example in adult services of outreach and crisis teams. The Government remain committed to developing mental health services further.

Bed days for under 18 year olds receiving mental health treatment in England within the NHS.


Under 18- year- old on NHS CAMHS ward

16 to 17-year-old on NHS Adult Psychiatric Ward

Under 16- year- old on NHS Adult Psychiatric Ward





















































The figures shown above include the latest revisions to past quarterly returns and therefore differ from those previously published.

*This figure does not include a case which has come to the Department’s attention in a whole life eating disorder unit and which was not reported to the Department by formal channels. Action is being taken to ensure that eating disorder units abide by the Government’s commitment.

Home Department

Criminal Records Bureau (Annual Report)

I announce that copies of the 2008-09 annual report and accounts for the Criminal Records Bureau have been laid before the House today. Arrangements are now in hand for publication.


Lasting Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Public Guardian (Amendment) Regulations

I have today laid before Parliament the Lasting Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Public Guardian (Amendment) Regulations 2009.

Lasting Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Public Guardian Regulations 2007 (2007 Regulations), set out the prescribed instruments that must be used to create a lasting power of attorney (LPA) for property and affairs or for personal welfare.

A consultation “Reviewing the Mental Capacity Act 2005: forms, supervision and fees” ran from 23 October 2008 until 15 January 2009. The consultation included draft LPA forms and invited comments on the revisions.

The forms underwent further revision to take on board comments received through consultation and further user testing has been undertaken with stakeholders and members of the public who had no prior knowledge of the forms.

The amendments to the 2007 regulations replace existing prescribed forms for instruments intended to create a property and affairs LPA or a personal welfare LPA with new prescribed forms. The tiles of the new forms detour slightly from the terms used in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and are purely for presentational purposes. Property and affairs becomes property and financial affairs while personal welfare becomes health and welfare. Respondents to the consultation were in favour of the changes as they felt that they are a better description of the two types of LPA’s.

It is intended that the new prescribed forms will be in place from 1 October 2009.

The Lasting Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Public Guardian (Amendment) Regulations 2009 provide transitional arrangements for the use of the prescribed forms in the 2007 regulations provided the form is executed before 1 April 2011.

The Lasting Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Public Guardian (Amendment) Regulations 2009 also make two minor changes to the 2007 regulations to correct errors.

Legal Aid and Prisoners

My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Lord Bach) has made the following written ministerial statement.

The Legal Services Commission (LSC) will publish today a response to its consultation, published in February 2009, on prison law funding. The consultation focused on proposals to control the volume and cost of prison law cases and place funding on a sustainable basis for the future. Legal aid expenditure on prison law—which includes advice to prisoners on their treatment, discipline and sentence, and legal representation for parole hearings—has increased from £1 million in 2001-02 to nearly £22 million in 2008-09.

Following consultation, the LSC intends to implement a range of measures from July 2010 to control any further increase in prison law costs. The proposals, which will bring prison law funding arrangements in line with many other areas of legal aid, are:

A new fee scheme based on fixed and standard fees (amended in response to feedback from legal aid providers);

A strengthened eligibility test, coupled with more clarity on the cases the LSC will and will not expect to fund in future; and

A new quality requirement, based on 350 hours work annually, to ensure providers have sufficient experience and expertise in prison law.

In the light of consultation responses, the LSC has decided to assess the impact of these steps before introducing additional controls on the volume of cases or piloting alternative means of delivering prison law services, such as telephone advice.

Copies of “Prison Law Funding: A Consultation Response” have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The document can be downloaded from the consultation section of the LSC’s website at

Inquests (Service Personnel)

My hon. Friend the Minister for the Armed Forces and I wish to make the latest in the series of quarterly statements to the House about the inquests of service personnel and others who have died overseas. Our deepest condolences go, as ever, to the families of the service personnel who have lost their lives in the service of their country, and in particular to the 31 who have died since our last statement.

All the families whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, or who have otherwise lost their lives in connection with the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, remain very much in our thoughts.

Today, we are announcing the progress that has been made since the written ministerial statement on 5 May 2009, Official Report, column 7WS, with information about the conduct of inquests by the Wiltshire and Swindon and other coroners. This statement gives the position at 6 July.

The tables which accompany this statement again include information about those cases which involve a board of inquiry or a service inquiry.

Progress with inquests

At the time of the last statement, we reported that up to 27 April 230 inquests had been held since June 2006: 216 into the overseas deaths of service personnel and 14 into the deaths of civilians in Iraq whose bodies were repatriated via RAF Brize Norton or RAF Lyneham.

Since 27 April a further 11 inquests have been held into the deaths of service personnel who died in operations in Iraq or Afghanistan. This makes a total of 241 inquests held since June 2006.

Since operations commenced in 2001 there have been a total of 265 inquests into the deaths of service personnel who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, including five service personnel who died in the UK of their injuries. In two further cases, no formal inquest was held, but the deaths were taken into consideration during inquest proceedings for those who died in the same incident.

We remain deeply grateful for the efforts of all the coroners who are involved in conducting these inquests, and totally committed in our support for the independent coronial system.

Our Departments continue to work closely together, and with the coroners, to review the way in which the system is working and to look for opportunities, prior to the implementation of the coroners’ legislation which is currently before Parliament in the Coroners and Justice Bill, to make improvements for the benefit of the bereaved families.

Open inquests

i Pre-31 March 2007 Fatalities

The statement in May reported that there was one remaining inquest to be held into a death where the body was repatriated via RAF Brize Norton prior to 31 March 2007, into the death of Marine Wigley. That inquest has since been concluded and there are no outstanding pre-March 31 2007 inquests in the Oxfordshire coroner’s district

ii Post-1 April 2007 Fatalities

Since October 2007, additional resources have been provided by the Government to ensure that a backlog of inquests does not build up in the Wiltshire and Swindon district (since 1 April 2007 fatalities have been repatriated via RAF Lyneham). The coroner transfers inquests for service personnel to a coroner closer to the bereaved family, where possible. We are pleased that the district continues to benefit from the experience and expertise of David Masters, who retired as coroner on 31 March, following his appointment as an assistant deputy coroner by his successor, David Ridley.

There are 76 open inquests to be concluded into the deaths of service personnel who died in Iraq and Afghanistan whose bodies were repatriated after 1 April 2007 (36 involving deaths in the last six months). Of these, Mr. Ridley has retained 41 inquests, while 35 inquests are being conducted by coroners closer to the next of kin. At 6 July, two fatalities had been repatriated but inquests were yet to be opened, and four recent fatalities awaited repatriation. Hearing dates have been set in 22 of these cases.

iii. Inquests into the deaths of service personnel who returned home injured

There remain six inquests to be held of service personnel who returned home injured and subsequently died of their injuries.

We shall continue to keep the House informed about progress with the remaining inquests. I have placed tables in the Library of the House which outline the status of all cases and the date of death in each case. Copies are also available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.

Office of the Public Guardian (Annual Report and Accounts)

The “Office of the Public Guardian’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2008-09” has been laid before Parliament today. This document gives full details of the agency’s performance and expenditure for the 12 months from 1 April 2008, and includes the Public Guardian’s annual report to the Lord Chancellor about the discharge of his functions pursuant to section 60 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

A revised version of the “Public Guardian Framework Document” has also been placed in the Libraries of both Houses to reflect recent changes to the governance structure of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). References to the OPG’s responsibility for the Court of Protection’s administrative functions have been removed, reflecting the move of the Court of Protection from the Office of the Public Guardian to Her Majesty’s Court Service on the 1 April 2009. The document now also reflects the OPG’s new clearer governance arrangements. This now consists of two boards—the statutory Public Guardian Board and the OPG’s Executive Board—following the removal of the OPG Agency Board as a third board in the previous structure.

Copies of the “Office of the Public Guardian Framework Document” will also be available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office and from the website of the OPG:

United Kingdom Supreme Court

On 2 April 2009 I announced that the Middlesex Guildhall had been handed over to the Ministry of Justice. I am pleased to be able to report further significant progress on the Supreme Court Implementation Programme—the programme remains on time and within budget.

First, I have received a written assurance from the noble and learned Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers that the Law Lords are satisfied that the refurbished Middlesex Guildhall will meet the needs of the new Supreme Court. The refurbishment has been completed to the highest standards, respecting the heritage of this unique building. This is consistent with both the status of the court and the needs of the Supreme Court Justices, court users and the public for modern accessible facilities. On this basis I have now signed the commencement order that will enable the court to come into being on 1 October 2009, as I am satisfied the court will be fully operational by that date.

Lord Phillips has made the rules that will underpin the workings of the court and these have been laid before Parliament. In making the rules, Lord Phillips has taken into account his statutory duty to ensure that the rules are both simple and simply expressed and that they have a view to ensuring the court is accessible, fair and efficient. The rules have been widely supported on consultation.

In addition the responses to public consultation on the fees payable in the court have been analysed. A summary of the responses to consultation and the Government’s proposed way forward have now been published. Consultees were in general agreement with the course proposed, with the exception of fees for devolution cases. While consultees agreed that the fees for devolution cases should be brought into line with civil fees generally, they were concerned that to make this change in one step represented too steep an increase—we have therefore decided to implement this change in stages.

The Fees Order for the court will be laid on this basis.

I previously announced that the anticipated running costs for the UK Supreme Court would be £12.3 million. At present Her Majesty’s Court Service pays £1.2 million pension and national insurance contributions with respect to the Law Lords. For transparency this will be transferred to the UK Supreme Court from 1 October. This does not represent any additional cost to the public purse. For the first year we have provided an additional £300,000 to cover transitional set-up costs, this is being met from within existing resources. The costs of some aspects of the court’s operation, including security, remain to be finalised and so the anticipated running costs will continue to be refined and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Northern Ireland

Police Ombudsman (Annual Report and Accounts)

The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland’s annual report and accounts for the year ended 31 March 2009 has been laid before the House today.


Maritime and Coastguard Agency (Correction)

I regret to inform the House that the answer I gave on 8 July to a parliamentary question, Official Report, column 802W, about the breakdown of staff employed at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) was incorrect.

The MCA has checked the figures and the answer should read:

The number of staff employed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), broken down into the categories asked, since 2002 is shown in the table. The MCA’s systems only hold records back to 2002:
















Coastguard Control Centre
















Human Resources








Administrative staff includes, for example, Senior Managers and Policy Leads as well as Administrators.

Low Carbon Transport: A Greener Future-Strategy

My right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for the Department for Transport, Lord Adonis, has made the following ministerial statement.

I am announcing today the publication of “Low Carbon Transport: A Greener Future” (Cm 7682)—a carbon reduction strategy for transport. A key component of the “UK Low Carbon Transition Plan”, also published later today, this document sets out the actions we are taking to deliver reductions in transport emissions in line with our obligations under the UK’s carbon budgets to 2022.

It puts us on a path towards a low carbon transport system, giving people and business more low carbon choices about when, where and how to travel or to transport goods.

We have already begun—and will continue—a strong programme of activity to tackle the climate change impact of transport.

In December 2008, we agreed a demanding framework with our European partners for reducing CO2 emissions from new cars. This alone is expected to save 7 million tonnes of CO2 in the UK in 2020. In January 2009, alongside our statement on Britain’s transport infrastructure, we set a pioneering target to reduce CO2 emissions from UK aviation to below 2005 levels by 2050, in so doing, posing a challenge to the aviation industry to innovate and adopt better fuel efficiency. We have also made securing international agreement to reducing CO2 emissions from aviation and shipping a key priority for the UN talks in Copenhagen at the end of this year.

In April, we made clear our intent to create a flourishing market for ultra-low emissions vehicles in the UK for both consumers and industry. This will be achieved through a combination of support for research and development, and a £250 million fund for consumer incentives and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. In May we announced that up to £29 million was available for large urban areas across England to bid to become the country’s first sustainable travel city.

In June and July, we announced a range of measures to promote new, greener technology on our roads. Up to 150 low emission and all-electric vans will be introduced to public sector fleets; over 340 ultra-low emissions cars are to be demonstrated around the UK through a £25 million programme delivered by the Technology Strategy Board; and we launched a £30 million scheme to encourage uptake of low emission buses. And on top of our existing commitment of £140 million to support cycling, to improve the integration of greener travel modes, we also announced plans to radically improve station cycle storage at up to 10 major railway stations nationwide.

Alongside today’s document, we confirm our commitment to working with our European partners to develop an ambitious and realistic mechanism to reduce CO2 emissions from new vans. With the freight and logistics industry, we have also launched a working group to develop a consistent carbon measurement and reporting method and standard for the logistics transport supply chain.

Our efforts will not stop here. In the coming weeks we will emphasise the importance of addressing CO2 from transport in the guidance we give to our local and regional partners as they begin to develop new local transport plans and longer-term transport solutions. Finally, we are shortly to announce our plans for further electrification of the rail network.

The measures set out in strategy will save an additional 85 million tonnes of CO2 over the third carbon budget period from 2018-22. This strategy is a signal of our determination to build a low carbon future.

Renewable Fuels Agency (Annual Report and Accounts)

The Renewable Fuels Agency’s annual report and accounts for 2008-09 (HC 877) has been laid before Parliament today, in accordance with paragraph 14 of the schedule to the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order 2007. The annual report and accounts include the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General. Copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Article 14 of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order requires a further annual report to be published by the end of January 2010, detailing the operation of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations scheme in the 2008-09 obligation period. That annual report will also be laid before Parliament after publication, as provided in the order.