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Written Answers

Volume 670: debated on Thursday 3 March 2005

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Written Answers

Thursday, 3 March 2005.

Police Service Of Northern Ireland: Ards Dcu

asked Her Majesty's Government:How many (a) regular police officers; (b) full-time reserve officers; and (c) part-time officers of the Police Service of Northern Ireland were on duty on each Saturday night during November 2004 in the Ards district command unit. [HL678]

During November 2004, the police deployments in Ards DCU during all or part of nightshift on each Saturday were:

DateConstableReserve full-timeReserve part-timeTotal
6 Nov2391446
13 Nov2991452
20 Nov23101245
23 Nov2751446
At least 16 officers are on duty each nightshift throughout the whole shift period to ensure officers' safety and an effective response to calls from the public for assistance. At peak times of the night, more officers are on duty to deal with busy periods.

Northern Ireland: Victims Policy

asked Her Majesty's Government:What progress they have made in the setting up of a victim's and survivor's forum for Northern Ireland, as envisaged in a document entitled

Continued Implementation of the Agreement, published on 1 May 2003. [HL948]

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with responsibility for victims' issues (Angela Smith), are considering the next phase of victims' policy and mechanisms to deal with Northern Ireland's past. These are very sensitive issues and consideration is still being given as to the most effective way of engaging victims and survivors of the Troubles.

Ira Terrorists: Criminal Records

asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 31 January (

Official Report, col. WA 3), whether they ever indicated at a conference in Dublin on 16 November 2004 on former paramilitary prisoners that they intended to expunge the criminal records of terrorists. [HL1115]

The Government do not intend to expunge the criminal records of terrorists and have made no such indication. There was reference made at the conference in Dublin to the possible reform of rehabilitation of offenders legislation which applies to all those who have a criminal record.

Northern Ireland: President Mcaleese's Visits

asked Her Majesty's Government:On what dates Mrs McAleese visited Northern Ireland as President of Eire when security cover was required; what was the purpose of the visits; what locations were involved; and what was the security cost in each case. [HL1191]

President McAleese's visits to Northern Ireland have all been in a working or private capacity and have covered various locations across Northern Ireland. In all cases the Police Service of Northern Ireland provides security. Information on the security costs for each visit is not readily available and could be compiled only at disproportionate cost.

Religious Hatred Offences: Prosecutions

asked Her Majesty's Government:How many prosecutions have been brought for incitement to religious hatred in Northern Ireland under the Public Order (Northern Ireland) Order 1987; and how many of these prosecutions were successful. [HA1335]

Data prior to 1993 are not available; data beyond 2003 will be available later in 2005.During the period 1993 to 2003, there were no prosecutions for incitement to religious hatred. There was one prosecution and subsequent conviction for distributing written material that would incite religious hatred.

Northern Ireland: St Louis Order Property

asked Her Majesty's Government:When they first became aware that the St Louis Order in Middletown, County Armagh, wished to sell its property; what representations were made on behalf of the order; when such undertakings were given; by whom; and what undertakings, if any, were given by civil servants in Northern Ireland. [HL1354]

The Department of Education first became aware that the St Louis Order wished to sell its property in November 2000. Earlier that month the order had written to the Minister for Education and Science in Dublin, advising of the availability of the property, and this was communicated to the then Minister for Education in Northern Ireland at a bilateral meeting with the Minister for Education and Science. In January 2002 the then Ministers for Education, North and South, verbally advised the order of their departments' interest in purchasing the property. Further discussions and correspondence took place in March 2002 involving departmental officials, with agreement in principle reached with the order on the terms and conditions of the purchase subject to positive outcomes from all necessary surveys, and the satisfactory completion of all legal and administrative requirements.

Northern Ireland: Sixth Form Colleges

asked Her Majesty's Government:What consideration is being given to creating sixth form colleges in Northern Ireland to provide a range of well taught subjects, including vocational ones, sufficient for all aptitudes. [HL1363]

The Government have no plans to create sixth form colleges in Northern Ireland. The new post-primary arrangements being implemented in Northern Ireland will provide all post-16 pupils with access to a minimum of 27 courses, of which at least one-third must be vocational, through the entitlement framework. Arrangements for the provision of courses will be developed at local level by schools, FE colleges and their managing authorities collaborating jointly and taking account of the needs of pupils in the area.

Waterways Ireland

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether Waterways Ireland engaged consultants to prepare a marketing and promotion strategy; if so, how they were selected; who were appointed; and how much the consultancy cost. [HL1402]

Through a process of competitive tendering Waterways Ireland engaged consultants to prepare a marketing and promotion strategy. Details of the consultants are contained in the Waterways Ireland marketing and promotion strategy document which is available in the Library. The cost of the consultancy was ₤36,322.16

Lord Laird Asked Her Majesty's Government:

What costs have been incurred to date in the inquiry into staff bullying, mismanagement and wrong appointment procedures at Waterways Ireland. [HL1470]

I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given on 10 February 2005 (Official Report, col. WA 127). I have nothing further to add.

North/South Ministerial Council

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether all appointments to cross-border bodies made since the creation of the North/South Ministerial Council have been made in accordance with the specification laid down by the council. [HL1404]

The only specification approved by the North/South Ministerial Council in relation to appointments to cross-border bodies concerns the appointment of chief executives. To date all such appointments have been made in accordance with this specification.

Heroin: Register Of Addicts

asked Her Majesty's Government:How many registered heroin users there are in England and Wales; and how many are under the age of 18. [HL919]

There is no longer any register of addicts in England and Wales.

Electronic Civil Disobedience

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the steps which the group Electronic Civil Disobedience proposes to take to pursue a denial of service attack against the fur industry from its website on 14 February are legal in the United Kingdom. [HL1053]

I understand that this question relates to assertions purportedly made by a group known as Electronic Civil Disobedience that for several days after 14 February it will seek to co-ordinate the international flooding of e-mail systems of organisations in the fur industry, and hence disable these systems.As a Minister I am unable to comment on the specific case to which the noble Lord refers.Section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 criminalises denial of service attacks where either the offender or the system under attack is located in the UK.

Anti-Terrorism, Crime And Security Act 2001: Intercept Material

asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Statement by the Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 26 January (

Official Report, col. WS 52), what are the circumstances in which intercept material may be used in evidence in criminal proceedings in the United Kingdom. [HL1073]

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) Section 18(12) provides that the prohibition on evidential use of intercept shall not apply to instances where intercept would be a crucial factor in the nature of the offence, and where not to use it would seriously undermine the criminal law in areas of important public policy. This includes offences under current and previous interception legislation and the Official Secrets Acts, perjury and contempt of court relating to interception. Normal rules of evidence apply to all other intercept material.

Government Departments: 0870 Numbers

asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Sainsbury of Turville on 11 January

(WA 55), how many 0870 telephone numbers were being operated by the Home Office on 10 January. [HL1187]

The Home Office had 18 0870 numbers on 10 January 2005.

Crime Data

asked Her Majesty's Government:How many crimes were reported within the constabulary area on the day that Sarah McCaffrey was apprehended and charged with driving a car while holding an apple; what were the nature of those crimes; and how many have been resolved in each category. [HL1211]

The information requested is not collected centrally. The police only provide recorded crime data to the Home Office on a monthly basis.

British Citizenship

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether a child would be a British overseas citizen by virtue of Article 6(2) of the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986 in either of the following circumstances:

  • (a) he is born outside the United Kingdom and outside Indonesia after 1 January 2005,
  • (b) at the time of his birth, the father is solely a British overseas citizen (by virtue of Article 6(1) of the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986), and the mother is solely a citizen of Indonesia, and
  • (c) he has not acquired the citizenship of any third country (including the country of birth);
  • or

  • (a) he is born outside the United Kingdom and outside Pakistan after 1 January 2005,
  • (b) at the time of his birth, the father is solely a British national (overseas) and the mother is solely a citizen of Pakistan by birth,
  • (c) the birth has not been registered at a Pakistani Consulate or High Commission, and
  • (d) he has not acquired the citizenship of any third country (including the country of birth). [HL1393]
  • In these examples, and assuming the parents were married at the time of the birth, the child would acquire British overseas citizenship under Article 6(2) provided confirmation were obtained from relevant authorities that he or she had not acquired any other citizenship at birth, either through a parent or through the place of birth.

    Prostitution

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they, or health or local authorities, provide funds to help individuals wanting to leave prostitution; and, if not, whether they will consider doing so. [HL1432]

    The Home Office has funded 11 projects to establish good practice in terms of support for individuals who want to leave prostitution. These projects have shown that such support needs to address a range of difficulties, including homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, and health needs. Support projects often have a number of funding sources which can include primary care trusts, local authorities and grants administered by central government. The issue of funding such services will be considered as part of the current review of prostitution.

    Gulf War Illnesses

    asked Her Majesty's Government:How much of the estimated £8.5 million spent by the Ministry of Defence on research into Gulf War illnesses has been spent on the effects on British troops of fall out, including sarin and cyclosarin, from the destruction by United States forces of Iraq's chemical arms stored at Khamisiyah in southern Iraq in March 1991; and what information they have on expenditure in the United States on the effects on American troops. [HL1379]

    The Ministry of Defence experts have assessed the US Khamisiyah models and concluded that UK troops may have been exposed to extremely low levels of sarin and cyclosarin. There is no scientific evidence that such low levels of nerve agent would have any detectable human health effects. Therefore, the MoD has not commissioned any research into the effects of nerve agents on troops potentially exposed as a consequence of the demolitions at Khamisiyah.The cost of US research in this area is a matter for the US authorities.

    Royal Navy: Submarines

    asked Her Majesty's Government:How many Royal Navy submarines will have a dry dock hangar capability after the decommissioning of HMS "Spartan" and before the introduction of the astute class submarines. [HL1411]

    I am withholding information about this capability on grounds that disclosure would prejudice the defence of the United Kingdom and the capability and effectiveness of the Armed Forces.

    Local Authorities: Budgets

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Following the letter from the Minister of State for Local Government and the Regions (Mr Nick Raynsford) to local authority leaders of 8 December 2004, which stated that "we expect all local authorities to budget prudently, and that the average council tax increase in England will be less than five per cent next year", whether they will cap the Greater London Authority following its decision on 14 February to set a precept of 5.5 per cent. [HL1422]

    Legislation requires that capping decisions are based on principles determined by my right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister as Secretary of State. In reaching his decisions, he must make a comparison between an authority's budget requirement with that of a previous year. He can also determine other principles, such as increases in council tax.No decisions on capping principles have been taken. My right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister will take decisions on capping after authorities have informed the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of their budget information for 2005–06 which they must do by 18 March 2005.

    Nhs: Clinical Negligence

    asked Her Majesty's Government:How many cases brought against the National Health Service and supported by legal aid receive compensation from the National Health Service; and how many fail because of the lack of a substantiated base for the claim. [HL1373]

    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs
    (Baroness Ashton of Upholland)

    The Legal Services Commission (LSC) issued 6,064 legal aid certificates for clinical negligence matters during 2003–04. Of certificates issued, 4,912 were funded through the investigative stage and 2,320 of these were funded through proceedings. Some 530 cases received damages or other benefits following the investigative stage and 1,350 received damages following proceedings. It is not certain how many of these cases would have had the NHS as a defendant, but the LSC believes that this would be true in the majority of cases.Cases can fail for a number of reasons at either the investigative stage or following proceedings, but every publicly funded case is considered by a specialist accredited solicitor, and must pass the merits and cost-benefit tests set out in the funding code, so no case in which proceedings are undertaken will be baseless.

    Blasphemy

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Ashton of Upholland on 21 February

    (WA 172), what are the "rights of others" which are protected by the offences of blasphemy. [HL1457]

    If material or conduct is gratuitously offensive to Christians, and is prosecuted as such, a finding of blasphemy may be the appropriate response by a court to ensure that the rights of others under Article 9 are protected. In a number of cases, the European Court of Human Rights has found that it is justifiable to interfere with Article 10 rights to protect, inter alia, the religious rights of others.

    Schools: Examinations

    asked Her Majesty's Government:What action they intend to take following the publication of the report by the Qualifications and Assessment Agency on 14 February on the costs and complexity of the examination system. [HL1370]

    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills
    (Lord Filkin)

    The report Financial Modelling of the English Exams System 2003–04 was commissioned by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to inform the exams modernisation programme, which is aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the general examinations system. As last week's White Paper 14–19 Education and Skills makes clear, all assessment should be valid, reliable, fair and transparent, and the White Paper sets out proposals to reduce the assessment burden at 16 and 18.But the Government recognise that an effective exams system inevitably has costs attached. Therefore, alongside implementing the plans in the White Paper, the Government will continue to provide funding and support for the exams modernisation programme, to ensure the most effective use of the investment made in the system.

    Sexually Transmitted Diseases

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will ask the Independent Advisory Body on Teenage Pregnancy, and all other public bodies concerned with sex and relationships education, health education, counselling and mentoring, to work to limit the spread of sexually transmitted diseases; and [HL1428]What measures the Departments of Health and of Education and Skills are taking to reduce the impact of sexually transmitted diseases. [HL1429]

    The Government are committed to improving young people's sexual health. Both the teenage pregnancy and sexual health and HIV strategies encourage sexually active young people to use condoms to protect against unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Younger teenagers are also encouraged to delay sexual activity until they feel ready.These messages are communicated through national media campaigns and through the guidance issued to schools on the delivery of sex and relationship education. The public health White Paper, published in November 2004, included significant additional resources focused on improving young people's sexual health. In addition, the Children Act 2004 requires all local partners to co-operate to achieve the five outcomes for children, one of which is being healthy (including being sexually healthy). One of the key indicators used to measure progress on this outcome will be the incidence of new episodes of STIs among young people.Sex and relationship education, including education about HIV/Aids and other STIs, is a statutory requirement in all maintained secondary schools.

    Inheritance Tax Rate

    asked Her Majesty's Government:What is their estimate of the level to which the threshold for payment of inheritance tax could be raised, with no net loss of revenue to the Exchequer in each case, if the marginal tax rate were simultaneously raised to 50 per cent on each estate's taxable value band:

  • (a) over £500,000; or
  • (b) over £750,000; or
  • (c) over £1 million. [HL1388]
  • The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
    (Lord McIntosh of Haringey)

    With the proposed regimes above, the nil rate band inheritance tax threshold could be raised to (a) £323,000; (b) £311,000 and (c) £302,000 while leaving yield roughly unchanged. These estimates ignore behavioural effects, which could be expected to reduce the yield from the higher marginal rate of tax.

    Income Tax: Earnings

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether personal taxation has increased in the past eight years for an average earner; and, if so, by how much. [HL.1427]

    I refer the noble Lord to table 2.7 Percentage of earnings paid in income tax (after tax credits) on the Inland Revenue website at www.inlandrevenue.gov. uk/stats/_ expenditures/table2-7.pdf. This shows that the percentage of earnings paid in income tax (after tax credits) has fallen over this period for most family types on average earnings.

    Gambling Bill

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the North Greenwich Peninsula, the Millennium Dome, or the waterfront complex have been discussed or considered as potential sites for a regional or large casino within the meaning of Section 7(5) of the Gambling Bill: [HL1472]Whether Anschutz Entertainment, Meridian Delta Limited, or any agent or company associated with those companies, has made representations to the Government about the Gambling Bill; [HL1473]Whether they are aware of any proposals that a casino should be situated in the Millennium Dome, the waterfront complex or the North Greenwich Peninsula after 2007; and [HL1474]Whether the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has discussed gambling or gaming policy with representatives of Anschutz Entertainment, Meridian Delta Limited, or any agent or company associated with those companies. [HL1475]

    My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has had no such discussions. The named companies have made no representations about the Gambling Bill, although the former has in the past sought information about it. Ministers in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister have had regular meetings with representatives of the named companies concerning the Greenwich Peninsula developments and associated commercial transaction; but these have not involved any substantive discussion of the Gambling Bill.We are aware of no representations from associated companies, other than those from Kerzner International, whom I or my right honourable friend the Minister for Sport and Tourism (Richard Caborn) and officials in DCMS have met, just as we have with many other parties interested in the Gambling Bill.We understand that Kerzner has entered into an agreement with Anschutz Entertainment Group to build and operate a hotel on land adjacent to the Dome site and to provide a regional casino at the Dome site if the Gambling Bill is enacted, if Greenwich is designated as an area in which a premises licence for such a casino may be awarded by the local authority, if the company obtains the necessary operating and premises licences, and subject to any planning consent that may be required.We have made it clear that we cannot anticipate decisions about the designation of the areas suitable for regional, large or small casinos, which will be taken on the basis of advice from an independent expert panel which has not yet been appointed; and that under the Bill it will be for the local authority to decide whether or not any casinos may be established in its licensing area, and, if so, to consider applications for premises licences on their individual merits under the procedures set out in the Bill.

    Gold Sales: Government Reserves

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will list the sales of gold from the Government reserves since 1980, showing in respect of each sale the date, the quantity, the price in United States dollars and the proceeds in sterling. [HL1512]

    Three hundred and ninety-five tonnes of gold were sold from the reserves between July 1999 and March 2002. The proceeds were in dollars, and details can be found on page 27 of Review of the Sale of Part of the UK Gold Reserves published by the Treasury in October 2002 (www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ media//9EFEF/GoldReserves.PDF). The proceeds were invested in euro, dollar and yen assets and therefore sterling sums are not recorded.Small reductions in official gold holdings also occur due to the sale of gold coins from the Royal Mint. Details of such sales are available over the past 10 years only, mainly in sterling terms, as follows:

    Value dateSales from reserves (fine ounces)Price (£per ounce)Proceeds to exchange equalisation account (£)
    14/12/1995-2,355.138253.230596,391.60
    14/03/1996-1,608.494260.270418,642.73
    25/09/1996-3,622.861245.220888,397.97
    20/03/1997-3,640.934218.420795,252.80
    18/08/1997-1,612.273207.010333.756.63
    09/02/1998-3,218.181180.200579.916.22
    22/02/2000-12,974.141193.1192,505,553.14
    14/03/2000-6,550.241184.5231,208,670.12
    12/04/2000-5,030.819177.939895,178.90
    12/05/2000-2,241.650182.068408,132.73
    13/12/2000-1,986.798187.789373,098.81
    12/01/2001-6,298.156178.7771,125,965.44
    12/04/2001-29,988.565178.0255,338,714.28
    12/07/2001-3,656.692189.034691,239.12
    12/10/2001-3,847.160196.975757,794.34
    12/12/2001-4,657.450190.887889,046.66
    14/01/2002-5,777.246198.5751,147,216.62
    23/01/2002-5,414.750*$8287.9555*$81,559,207.04
    13/03/2002-3,855.318205.385791,824.49
    12/04/2002-2,208.024207.165457,425.29
    14/05/2002-8,507.928212.1931,805,322.77
    Value dateSales from reserve (fine ounces)Price (£ per ounce)proceeds to exchage equalisation account (£)
    12/09/2002-3.286.408204.872673,292.98
    13/11/2002-1,954.819201.772394,427.74
    13/11/2002-235.446231.516754,509.68
    14/03/2003-6,667.977216.3671,442,730.18
    14/04/2003-4,594.449207.864955,020.55
    22/05/2003-8,129.664224.0781,821,678.85
    17/03/2004-8,756.063221.4871,939,354.13
    30/04/2004-12,590.340221.9952,794,992.53
    23/06/2004-452.765214.97297,331.80
    21/10/2004-5,790.783231.3791,339,865.58
    22/12/2004-2,223.218227.121504,939.50
    27/01/2005-2,956.936226.811670,665.61
    16/02/2005-9,947.261224.2382.230,553.91
    Total**186,638.948
    * Note this sale was in US dollars.
    ** Around 6 tonnes

    Child Support Agency

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will publish all the recommendations from the Child Support Agency's audit committee and internal audit over the past four years. [HL1494]

    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions
    (Baroness Hollis of Heigham)

    The Child Support Agency audit committee report is contained in the agency's annual report and accounts. I will place all internal audit recommendations for the past four years. which do not carry an exemption under freedom of information legislation, in the Library of the House of Lords within the next month.

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will place in the Library of the House the Child Support Agency's risk mitigation plans since 1999. [HL 1495]

    The Child Support Agency's approach to risk management supports that recommended by the Department for Work and Pensions. This has entailed building the systematic consideration and management of risks into existing core business functions whilst managing risks at all levels within the business. To this end both the volume and content of the mitigation plans held within the agency remain fluid. Plans are subject to regular review and updating as the business changes and risks are identified, managed or eventually closed. The agency's high-level risk processes are referred to within both our externally published business plan and our annual report and accounts. Agency high level risks are monitored/reviewed monthly through the agency's business information bulletin. We will arrange for the agency's business information bulletins to be made available in the Library.

    Bse Testing: Meat Hygiene Service

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the independent inquiry into the Meat Hygiene Service's failure to test cattle aged between 24 to 30 months for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, who within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is authorised to change instructions on this subject; and what process led to the withdrawal of the right of official veterinary surgeons to exercise professional judgment on testing. [HLl307]

    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
    (Lord Whitty)

    The content of the instructions issued to the Meat Hygiene Service on the testing of cattle aged between 24 and 30 months for BSE is subject to discussion between the relevant division in Defra, and its counterparts in the MHS and the FSA.Following publication of the report by the independent inquiry team (chaired by Professor Patrick Wall), these instructions, and the terms of the service level agreement (SLA) between Defra and the MHS, governing these arrangements, have been amended to reflect the recommendations made by the Wall Group.

    Energy Consumption: Televisions

    asked Her Majesty's Government:What is their estimate of how much energy is consumed in the United Kingdom each month by television sets in stand-by mode. [HL1383]

    The Government's market transformation programme estimates that the 60 million television sets in the UK consume, on average, approximately 90 million kilowatt hours per month while they are in stand-by mode—approximately 8 per cent of their total average monthly energy consumption.In order to try to reduce the overall energy consumed by televisions the market transformation programme

    (www.mtprog.com) has been encouraging manufacturers to reduce both the "on" and the "stand-by" power consumption of televisions through the adoption of design improvements, an EU-wide voluntary code of conduct, and best practice guidelines and targets.

    The EU-wide voluntary agreement on televisions has been particularly successful in reducing the average energy consumed by televisions in stand-by mode with the majority of new televisions sold in the UK soon to consume around one watt of power in stand-by mode rather than the three to eight watts consumed by older models. We expect this agreement to be extended to cover additional consumer electronics shortly.

    In addition, the Government's initiative on sustainable procurement, announced last autumn, includes a requirement for government departments which purchase televisions to specify televisions with stand-by power requirements of less that one watt.

    Waste Implementation Programme

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Of the £84 million allocated to the Waste Implementation Programme for England and Wales, what is the breakdown of spending; whether there has been a shortfall; and, if so, whether any such shortfall can be allocated to school-based waste-education work. [HL1416]

    Reform of the landfill tax credit scheme allocated approximately £84 million, £92 million and £92 million to sustainable waste management in England between 2003–4 and 2005–6. These funds are administered through Defra's Waste Implementation Programme, which aims to ensure that legally binding targets to reduce significantly the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill are met.There are no expected shortfalls in the budget for the rest of the 2004–05 financial year, which ends on 31 March. Planned levels of expenditure for 2005–06 mean that no significant shortfall is likely to be available to support major new programmes of work.Major areas of funding include: £40 million to take forward a programme of four waste reduction measures; £25 million for programmes designed to help local authorities increase access to doorstep collection of materials for recycling; £22 million for two programmes to improve the quality and availability of data and research; £37 million for a programme of development of new technologies, including pilots; and £4 million for a programme to support voluntary and community waste group initiatives which include delivery of waste education work.Other waste implementation programmes contribute to informal methods of environmental education and awareness raising. For example, £30 million over three years has been allocated to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) for national and local waste awareness campaigns.The Waste Implementation Programme contributed £29 million in 2003–04 and 2004–05 to boost Defra's Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund, which provides project-based funding to local authorities to enable them to roll out high-quality recycling schemes in their areas. The programme also provided £20 million in targeted grants to local authorities in 2004–05 to reduce pressure faced by councils to fund services such as waste management through increases in council tax.

    Areas Of Special Protection

    asked Her Majesty's Government:What are the areas of special protection created under Section 3 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 since the passing of that Act; and what is the area of each in hectares. [HL1443]

    In England, since the coming into force of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, records show that areas of special protection made by order under Section 3 of the 1981 Act are as listed in the table below. It is not possible to provide information on the area of each area of special protection due to disproportionate cost. In Scotland, areas of special protection are the responsibility of the Scottish Executive and in Wales of the National Assembly for Wales.

    Area of Special ProtectionLocationOrder Number
    Berry Head and Berry Head (Southern Redoubt)Devon1984 no. 1471
    1988 no. 1479
    The Easington LagoonsHumberside1987 no. 1163
    The Easington Lagoons (No. 2)Humberside1993 no. 2059
    Gull Island and Warren Shore and Needs Ore PointHampshire1984 no. 578
    The Hornsey EstateNorfolk1988 no. 324

    asked Her Majesty's Government:What are the areas of special protection created by means of Bird Sanctuary Orders made under the Protection of Birds Acts 1954 and 1967; and what is the area of each in hectares. [HL1444]

    In England, records show that those areas of special protection made by order under the Protection of Birds Acts 1954 are as listed below. It is not possible to provide information on the area of each area of special protection due to disproportionate cost. In Scotland, areas of special protection are the responsibility of the Scottish Executive and in Wales of the National Assembly for Wales.

    Areas of special protectionLocationOrder Number
    Abberton ReservoirEssex1967 no. 365
    Brean DownSomerset1968 no. 562
    Charlton's PondDurham1968 no. 564
    Cley MarshesNorfolk1966 no. 536
    Coquet IslandNorthumberland1964 no. 1096
    1978 no. 1074
    Durleigh ReservoirSomerset1964 no. 1989
    Fairburn Ings and Newton IngsWest Yorkshire1968 no. 1964
    1980 no. 401
    Farne IslandsNorthumberland1964 no. 1096
    1980 no. 402
    Foulney IslandCumbria1980 no. 1839
    Gibraltar PointLincolnshire1971 no. 557
    Havergat IslandSuffolk1961 no. 1077
    Hanningfield ReservoirEssex1970 no. 1075
    Hornsea MereHumberside1963 no. 1796
    1980 no. 403
    Humber EstuaryYorkshire/Lincolnshire1955 no. 1532
    1963 no. 1808
    Areas of Special ProtectionLocationOrder Number
    Poole HarbourDorset1978 no. 1258
    Porth ReservoirCornwall1964 no. 1097
    SouthportLancashire1956 no. 692
    Tamar LakeDevon/Cornwall1960 no. 2144
    Trethias IslandCornwall1960 no. 2144
    WalmsleyCornwall1961 no. 865
    Washington New TownTyne and Wear1980 no. 404
    1980 no. 944
    Wheldrake IngNorth Yorkshire1978 no. 1258
    Wicken Sedge FenCambridgeshire1957 no. 1015
    Wyre-LuneLancashire1963 no. 1796 1963 no. 2000

    asked Her Majesty's Government:How many areas of special protection, however created, are also designated as sites of special scientific interest; and what are the names of these sites. [HL1445]

    The table below lists the areas of special protection in England, and where this area is also in a site of special scientific interest, the name of that site.

    Area of Special ProtectionLocationSSSI Name
    Abberton ReservoirEssexAbberton Reservoir
    Berry Head and Berry Head (Southern Redoubt)DevonBerry Head to Sharkham Point
    Brean DownSomersetBrean Down
    Charlton's PondDurham
    Cley MarshesNorfolkNorth Norfolk Coast
    Coquet IslandNorthumberlandCoquet Island
    Durleigh ReservoirSomerset
    The Easington LagoonsHumbersideThe Lagoons
    The Easington Lagoons (No 2)HumbersideThe Lagoons
    Fairburn Ings and Newton IngsWest YorkshireFairburn Ings and Newton Ings
    Farne IslandsNorthumberlandThe Farne Islands
    Foulney IslandCumbriaSouth Walney and Piel Channel Flats
    Gibraltar PointLincolnshireGibraltar Point
    Gull Island and Warren Shore and Needs Ore PointHampshireNorth Solent
    Havergate IslandSuffolkAlde-Ore Estuary
    Hanningfield ReservoirEssexHanningfield Reservoir
    Hornsea MereHumbersideHornsea Mere
    The Hornsey EstateNorfolkUpper Thurne Broads and Marshes
    Humber EstuaryYorkshire/LincolnshireHumber Estuary
    Poole HarbourDorsetPoole Harbour
    Porth ReservoirCornwall
    SouthportLancashireInformation not available
    Tamar LakeDevon/Cornwall
    Trethias IslandCornwall
    WalmsleyCornwallAmble Marshes
    Washington New TownTyne and Wear
    Wheldrake IngNorth YorskhireDerwent Ings
    Wicken Sedge FenCambridgeshireWicken Fen
    Wyre-LuneLancashireLune Estuary

    State Veterinary Service And Defra Inspectors

    asked Her Majesty's Government:How members of the State Veterinary Service and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs inspectors are trained in new legislation, regulations and guidance. [HL1506]

    Members of the SVS are trained by a variety of methods dependant on the identified need. In the case of a significant change in legislation, this may include presentations from legal, policy and professional colleagues and from the industry concerned. For more minor changes, on the job training and workshops (which may also include other delivery partners and enforcement agencies) are used.There are a large number of inspectorate functions within Defra and the wider Defra family of organisations, and information on their training regimes is not held centrally.

    asked Her Majesty's Government:How long an interval, from the date when legislation, regulations or guidance come into force, is allowed for members of the State Veterinary Service and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs inspectors to become competent in the enforcement of such measures. [HL1507]

    For SVS inspectors appropriate training is carried out during the development and introduction of new legislation, regulations, guidance etc. Training must be carried out in a way that ensures they are competent by the time any change is introduced. This means that the training has to be tailored to the change.

    There are a large number of inspectorate functions within Defra and the wider Defra family of organisations, and information on their training regimes is not held centrally.

    asked Her Majesty's Government:What methods are used to monitor the performance of members of the State Veterinary Service and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs inspectors in enforcing legislation. [HL1508]

    All members of the State Veterinary Service (SVS) are subject to the annual appraisal system used throughout Defra to assess competence and performance. This includes in-year reviews and a final written report carried out by an individual's line manager and monitored by the latter's own line manager.There are a large number of inspectorate functions within Defra and the wider Defra family of organisations and their appraisal systems are expected to be broadly similar to that used within the SVS.

    Prime Minister: Travel Arrangements

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether public funds were used for the helicopter flights undertaken by the Prime Minister on 11 February; and, if so, what costs were involved. [HL1365]