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Written Answers

Volume 689: debated on Tuesday 20 February 2007

Written Answers

Tuesday 20 February 2007

Africa: Chinese Investment

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What discussions they are having with the Government of China on co-operation in countering poverty, inequality, unemployment and conflict in Africa; and what progress they are making. [HL1986]

My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary, Ministers and officials regularly discuss African issues with the Chinese Government. We seek to increase co-operation with China within multilateral fora and initiatives relevant to Africa in areas such as transparency, aid and debt principles and arms transfers. All Africa's partners, including China, need to work in ways that reinforce Africa's own agenda of poverty reduction and sustainable development. The Department for International Development has already established regular high-level talks with China on international development issues, focusing on Africa, and China and the EU agreed at their September 2006 summit to establish a structured dialogue on Africa. The German presidency hopes to begin this dialogue soon and we look forward to contributing actively. We welcome the commitment in China's first White Paper on Africa, published in January last year, to “step up co-operation with other countries and international organisations” in support of the millennium development goals in Africa.

Agriculture: Fallen Stock

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 10 January (WA 88), whether they have considered the possibility that the collection of diseased sheep from farms may spread disease, bearing in mind the transmission of disease by vehicles and people during the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in 2001. [HL2041]

Yes, biosecurity considerations are always at the forefront of animal health and welfare policies.

The State Veterinary Service, on behalf of the National Fallen Stock Company Limited (NFSC), is carrying out an audit function of specific National Fallen Stock Scheme (NFSS) requirements at each registered plant and with each registered collector. This is to ensure they comply both with the provisions of the regulations and supplementary provisions required by the NFSC. These provisions include requirements for robust biosecurity measures in relation to the suitability of vehicles and procedures for their cleansing and disinfection when transporting fallen stock.

Agriculture: Sheep

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will take steps to dismantle the regulations on the identification and traceability of sheep, in view of the fact that they have acknowledged that there is no bovine spongiform encephalopathy in sheep. [HL1950]

EU rules governing the identification of sheep and goats are laid down in EU Council Regulation 21/2004. These rules are intended to improve our ability to trace animals in the event of an animal health disease outbreak, such as foot and mouth disease. We have no plans to change the current rules.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 10 January (WA 88), whether they have any specific evidence that the on-farm burial of sheep has caused water pollution. [HL1951]

It is difficult to demonstrate with certainty that any specific incidence of burial would lead to water pollution. However, the rules in the EU Animal By-Products Regulation 1774/2002/EC which ban on-farm burial of fallen stock were made on a precautionary basis influenced by the evidence provided in a number of scientific opinions from the EU's scientific steering committee (SSC). The evidence relating to those opinions was last considered at an SSC meeting on 16 and 17 January 2003. The following uncertainties were identified:

location of burial sites;

potential for transmission of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) from specified risk material buried near the surface was poorly characterised;

extent to which infectivity would be reduced by burial;

penetration of prions into leachates and groundwater; and

dangers arising from “re-engineering” in areas where previous burial of TSE-contaminated material had occurred.

Given these uncertainties, the committee confirmed its earlier view that the burial of animals poses a significant risk.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 10 January (WA 88), and in view of the fact that the European Union allows the burial of sheep in certain designated areas, whether they will now consider licensing such activities in upland and less-favoured areas where hitherto the practice was widespread. [HL1952]

No. The derogation is only available under the EU Animal By-Products Regulation 1774/2002/EC in those parts of the UK which meet the regulation's remote areas criteria. These are areas where the livestock population is so small, and where disposal facilities are so far away, that the arrangements for collection and transport would be unacceptably onerous compared to local disposal. The only areas fitting these criteria in the UK are parts of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, the Scilly Isles and Lundy Island in England, and Bardsey Island and Caldy Island in Wales.

Ambulance Service: Single-manned Paramedic Vehicles

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many single-manned paramedic vehicles (rapid responders) were introduced in 2005–06; and how many will be introduced in 2006–07. [HL1914]

Animal Welfare: Wild Birds

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Mr Barry Gardiner, on 24 January (HC Deb, 1806W), and in the event that the current health-based ban on the importation of wild birds into the European Union is repealed or amended, whether they would press for a permanent ban to continue on the conservation and welfare grounds referred to in the Prime Minister's letter to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds of 30 November 2006. [HL1742]

As indicated in the Prime Minister's letter, the primary reason for the ban on the trade on the importation of wild birds is concern about the potential it has to spread avian flu and other diseases. The trade can, if managed unsustainably, also damage wild populations. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, to which the UK and EU member states are parties, has arrangements that aim to regulate trade in some endangered wild birds so as not to be detrimental to their survival in the wild. Before agreeing to any ban on conservation grounds we would need to first consider the effectiveness of those controls. We could not press for a ban on welfare grounds, as this would not comply with World Trade Organisation agreements.

Avian Flu

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Following the avian flu outbreak in Suffolk, whether they will increase the number of tests carried out on wild fowl in Norfolk and Suffolk; and [HL1937]

Whether wild bird droppings in East Anglia have been tested over the past 12 months to ascertain whether there could be a link with a possible outbreak of H5N1; and, if not, whether such research will be undertaken. [HL1939]

Within the area around the infected premises in Suffolk there will be enhanced levels of surveillance. Defra, along with our delivery partners, will be patrolling the sites surrounding the infected premises.

Elsewhere, we will continue to pursue our wild bird surveillance programme which is targeted to those areas likely to be at greatest risk. We are aware of 30 key waterbird locations in Suffolk—estuaries, marshes and so on. Twelve of these locations are within 20 kilometres of the infected premises, of which 10 are patrolled regularly as part of the programme. Six of those sites have been patrolled over 100 times since the patrol programme began in early November 2006.

Wild bird droppings are not routinely tested and there are no plans to do so.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many visits by Bernard Mathews's employees have been made to (a) the company in Hungary, affected by an earlier outbreak of H5N1, or (b) to England from that company in Hungary in the past six weeks. [HL1962]

A full epidemiological investigation into the source of the recent H5N1 avian influenza outbreak in Suffolk is ongoing. I will arrange for a copy of the findings to be placed in the Libraries of the House in due course.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether any lorries from the Hungarian farm which was infected with avian flu two weeks ago have entered the Bernard Matthews farm in Suffolk; and [HL1938]

Whether the shed in which avian flu broke out on the Bernard Matthews farm in Suffolk was of a similar design to the other 20 sheds on the farm; and, if so, whether the infection could have been brought in through the access of wildlife; and [HL1940]

Whether full biosecurity procedures were in place and were followed prior to the recent avian flu outbreak at the Bernard Matthews farm in Suffolk. [HL1941]

A full epidemiological investigation into the source of the recent H5N1 avian influenza outbreak in Suffolk is ongoing. I will arrange for a copy of the findings to be placed in the Libraries of the House in due course.

Aviation: Air Quality

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Department for Transport will participate in research on cabin air quality by the United States Federal Aviation Administration. [HL1943]

Department for Transport officials and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are discussing with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the possibility of collaborative research.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What consideration they have given to introducing regulations on the installation of contaminated air detection systems in United Kingdom registered aircraft. [HL1947]

The principle of better regulation is to legislate only where necessary. It is not clear that contaminants are present in the cabin environment in a quantity harmful to crew and passengers. That is why we asked the independent Committee on Toxicity (COT) to undertake a comprehensive review of all the evidence, and we will, of course, be guided by the COT’s conclusions and recommendations.

Aviation: CAA Funding

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have any plans to review the funding arrangements for the Civil Aviation Authority. [HL1944]

The Government have no plans to review the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) funding model. The House of Commons Transport Committee reported in 2006 saying “the basic principle of the existing model, in which the CAA recovers its costs from those it regulates, is fair, and we are reassured to note that other European states are moving towards this model”. The committee did, however, recommend reviewing the level of the CAA's required rate of return on capital employed. The Government will respond to the committee's report shortly.

Aviation: Pilots

asked Her Majesty's Government:

(a) what guidelines have been issued; and (b) what training has been given to pilots to ensure compliance with Directive 2003/42/EC. [HL1946]

The UK has had a civil aviation mandatory occurrence reporting scheme for over 30 years. It is established under the Air Navigation Order and administered by the Civil Aviation Authority. Information and guidance on the mandatory occurrence reporting scheme is contained in Civil Aviation Publication 382. Both the order and CAP 382 have been amended to implement the directive. However, the requirements of Directive 2003/42 are virtually identical to the existing requirements of the UK occurrence reporting scheme. Implementation of the directive had a negligible effect on the UK scheme and so did not raise any compliance issues for pilots.

Airlines are required to included guidance and instructions to pilots on occurrence reporting in their operations manuals. However, airlines are not required to provide pilots with specific training on occurrence reporting.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the working arrangements for pilots employed by Ryanair using United Kingdom airports are compliant with safety standards. [HL1976]

Ryanair is an Irish airline and the Irish Aviation Authority is responsible for ensuring the safety of its operations. We have discussed recent reports about Ryanair with the Irish Aviation Authority who are satisfied that Ryanair's operations continue to meet relevant safety standards. We have no reason to dispute their assessment.

BBC: Overseas Service

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the level of government financial support for the BBC overseas service in the current year; how this compares in real terms in each of the previous five years; and whether they are committed to strengthening this support in the next quinquennium. [HL1997]

BBC World Service (BBCWS) will receive £239,543,000 of grant-in-aid funding from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 2006-07. Figures for the previous five years are given in the chart below. This sustained increase in funding demonstrates a strong record of investment in BBCWS. This has helped BBCWS meet the challenges posed by new technology, in particular allowing for the development of new media services and, from later in 2007, the launch of vernacular TV. Grant-in-aid funding for BBCWS forms part of the overall settlement allocated to the FCO by HM Treasury. Future funding will be reviewed this year in the context of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Year

Amount

2005-06

239,143,000

2004-05

225,143,000

2003-04

220,143,000

2002-03

200,970,000

2001-02

187,877,000

British Library

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What financial provision they intend to make to ensure that services and standards at the British Library are maintained and that no new charges are levied upon the public. [HL1932]

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is currently in discussions with Treasury about the Comprehensive Spending Review settlement and is continuing to make a strong case for the value of its sectors. The British Library has provided detailed briefing, which will help Ministers make an informed decision on future allocations. How the British Library manages the organisation within its settlement will be a matter for the board and senior management.

China: Arms Exports

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations they are making to the Government of China in support of moves towards a United-Nations-sponsored arms trade treaty. [HL1987]

The Government are committed to securing a legally binding treaty to regulate the international trade in arms. The resolution to set up a UN process to take forward work towards an arms trade treaty was adopted by the General Assembly on 6 December 2006 by a strong majority. China abstained from this vote. The UN Secretary-General has now called for views on the scope, feasibility and draft parameters of a treaty. With the aim of eventually securing agreement to a treaty with universal support, we are working with our international partners to encourage all countries, including China, to engage positively in this process.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have made an assessment of the role played by arms deals in securing access by China to present and future oil supplies and other minerals in Africa. [HL1988]

It is not possible to make such an assessment as the People's Republic of China does not publish details of its arms exports, and last submitted data to the UN Register on Conventional Arms covering its exports in 1996. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary, Ministers and officials hold regular discussions with the Chinese Government on a wide range of international issues, including Africa. Within this dialogue we encourage China to increase the transparency of its arms exports.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations they are making to the Government of China concerning the declaration of arms exports in the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. [HL1989]

The UN Register of Conventional Arms is a voluntary reporting mechanism to promote transparency in the export and import of conventional arms. Details of participation in the register are available on the UN website at: http://disarmament.un.org/cab/register.html. We would encourage all countries to participate in reporting to the register. The People's Republic of China does not publish details of its arms exports and last submitted data to the UN register on its exports in 1996. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary, Ministers and officials hold regular discussions with the Chinese Government on a wide range of international issues, including arms exports. Within this dialogue we encourage China to increase the transparency of its arms exports and we work with China as it seeks to improve its export controls.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations they are making to the Government of China about arms transfers to conflict zones in Africa, support for Governments such as Zimbabwe and Sudan and support for United Nations resolutions on Darfur. [HL1995]

We welcome commitments made by China in its White Paper on Africa, published in January last year, and at the China-Africa summit in November 2006, to enhance “co-operation with other countries and international organisations” in support of the millennium development goals in Africa. We are increasing our dialogue and seeking to enhance practical co-operation with China on African issues both bilaterally and multilaterally. We look to work together increasingly in ways that reinforce Africa's own development agenda of improved peace and security, democracy, good governance, human rights and sound economic management.

Within these dialogues, we encourage China to increase the transparency of its arms exports and we work with China as it seeks to improve its export controls. Also, the Government are committed to securing a legally binding treaty to end irresponsible arms trading. We are encouraging China to engage positively in the UN process that will take this initiative forward.

We also work closely with China, as we do with other key partners within the UN, on issues relating to Zimbabwe and Sudan. We encourage China to use its considerable influence with the Governments of Zimbabwe and Sudan, and to take a more proactive role in support of UN and international action in these areas.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations they are making to the Government of China about its transfer and export of arms and the comparison with controls and standards established by the European Union and other regional agreements; and what response they have received. [HL1996]

My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary, Ministers and officials hold regular discussions with the Chinese Government on a wide range of international issues, including arms exports. Within this dialogue we encourage China to increase the transparency of its arms exports and we work with China as it seeks to improve its export controls. The UK is leading calls for an international arms trade treaty, with the aim of ending irresponsible arms trading that fuels internal conflict, external aggression or regional instability and human rights abuses. We are encouraging China to engage positively in the UN process that will take this initiative forward.

Climate Change

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will offer a special annual award, either directly or through outside organisations or charities, for environmental and climate change work by both companies and individuals. [HL1769]

In February 2005, funding of £12 million for the period 2005-06 to 2007-08 was announced for the Climate Change Communications Initiative, with over £8 million of that being made available for Climate Challenge Fund projects.

An initial Government announcement was made in June 2006, that awards would be made to 53 projects under the fund (totalling £2.6 million in 2006-07 and £2.2 million in 2007-08). A further 28 projects were announced in September (totalling £3.5 million over 2006-07 and 2007-08).

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will give further support to the PRECIS programme for climate change impact studies in Brazil and neighbouring countries; and which other countries can expect to receive support from the United Kingdom. [HL1770]

The PRECIS model is now used in numerous government and academic institutions around the world. The period 2004-05 saw a focus on collaboration among countries in neighbouring regions of the world. Such collaborations now exist in South America and south Asia and scientists are working towards a similar collaboration in central Asia.

Since 2003, PRECIS workshops have been held in the UK, Cuba, Bhutan, Brazil, India, Turkey, Argentina, Belize, Ghana and Malaysia. Over 220 researchers from over 50 countries have been trained through PRECIS workshops.

There is ongoing support for this process. Defra funds the development of the Hadley Centre's regional climate model and the Department for International Development funds the personal computer version of the Hadley Centre's regional climate model. Additionally, the United Nations development programme funds support for training materials relevant to PRECIS, for experts in developing countries.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many categories of the sources of greenhouse gases they track in their estimate of world greenhouse gas emissions; and what are their current estimates for the emissions of each category. [HL1839]

The Government do not make annual estimates of world greenhouse gas emissions. The International Energy Agency (IEA) publishes annually global emissions data for carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel consumption.

In 2004, the most recent year for which data are available from the IEA, the estimated emissions from this source were about 26.6 billion tonnes of CO2, including international shipping and aviation.

Detailed estimates for 2000 for all greenhouse gases by country and sector are collated by the World Resources Institute and published on its website.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many categories of carbon emissions from food production and preparation they track; and what are their current estimates for the emissions of each category. [HL1840]

The table below shows greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from food production by category included in the UK GHG inventory for 2005, in million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This is the most recent year for which data are available.

The data on emissions from fuel combustion include forestry operations and food production. Emissions from energy use by the food and drink industry (for example, emissions from the processing of raw ingredients into packaged, canned or frozen products), and emissions from the manufacture of fertilizer, are included in the inventory with industrial emissions, but these are not separately identified.

Emissions outside the UK from the production of food imported to the UK are excluded in the UK inventory. The emissions are reported in accordance with internationally agreed guidelines. Statistics for carbon dioxide (CO2) indicators for food transportation are available on the Defra website.

The most recent estimates show that CO2 emissions from food transport, including emissions from overseas transport, increased by 4 per cent between 2002 and 2004. The impacts of food transport are highly dependent on the mode of transport used: GHG emissions per tonne carried are much higher for air transport than for sea transport.

2005 emissions (million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent)

Category

Carbon dioxide

Methane

Nitrous oxide

Total

Combustion of fossil fuels

Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing: Stationary combustion

0.48

0.04

0.51

Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing: Emissions from off-road machinery

3.96

0.48

4.44

Enteric fermentation and manure management

Cattle (enteric fermentation and manure management)

13.82

13.82

Sheep (enteric fermentation and manure management)

3.56

3.56

Other animals (enteric fermentation and manure management)

1.06

1.06

Manure management nitrous oxide emissions

1.32

1.32

Fertilizer use

Agricultural Soils

25.12

25.12

Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry

Cropland—changes in non-forest biomass due to yield improvements, and lowland drainage

0.55

0.55

Cropland and Grassland—application of lime

0.73

0.73

Land converted to cropland or grassland—changes to soil carbon and biomass stocks due to change of land use, and emissions from biomass burning from forest conversion

5.68

5.68

Total

56.80

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their estimate of the carbon emissions from uncultivated land, swamps and bogs as parts of world emissions levels. [HL1841]

Natural processes on the land surface—that is, respiration by plants, soil microbes, animals, and fire—release approximately 440 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. However, this is more than compensated for by an even larger uptake of carbon by photosynthesis, which is enhanced at elevated carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. When this is taken into account, these processes give rise to a net sink of approximately 9.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. This acts to slow the rate of rise of atmospheric CO2 caused by emissions from fossil fuel combustion and changes in land use by humans, mainly deforestation.

If this sink—and a similar sink in the oceans—did not exist, the CO2 rise would be approximately twice as fast as currently observed. Identifying uncultivated land, swamps and bogs within this total is very uncertain but these land areas are probably responsible for most of the net sink. Natural wetlands are also a source of methane emissions amounting to some 4.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What progress they have made in their discussions with the insurance industry to secure changes in policy content to encourage adaptations to buildings for both private and corporate policyholders in response to climate change and other related issues. [HL1844]

The Defra-funded UK climate impacts programme (UKCIP) works with stakeholders to help them assess how they might be affected by climate change, so they can prepare for the impacts. UKCIP works with the insurance industry, particularly the Association of British Insurers, to build capacity to address the risks associated with climate change. For example, UKCIP has undertaken research, with the ABI as a major stakeholder, under a portfolio of Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council projects called “Building knowledge for a changing climate”.

In addition to this, as part of its new flood management strategy—“Making space for water”— the Government are working with the ABI on a project that looks at what more can be done to encourage greater uptake of property-level flood protection measures and resilient repair of properties after a flood—both important adaptations for preparing the country's housing stock for the impacts of increased flood risk.

Crime: Public Interest Immunity

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Answer by the Minister of State at the Home Office, Mr Michael, on 25 June 1998 (HoC Deb, cols. 589–90) on public interest immunity documents, whether they will review the answers to parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of that Question. [HL1215]

The Questions referred to asked my predecessor to comment on aspects of an individual case that are a matter for the police and the courts, not for Ministers. I understand that the documents referred to were the subject of a court order made in the course of a criminal prosecution. Following the House of Lords judgment in the case of Taylor and Others v Director of the Serious Fraud Office and Others, mentioned by my predecessor, a person who provides information to the police in confidence is guaranteed immunity from suit in respect of that information. Under the circumstances, and having particular regard to the House of Lords judgment, it would not be appropriate for me to take any further action, particularly given the considerable passage of time since the events in question.

Defra: Virology

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs funding was given to the work of virologists in agencies over each of the past five years; and what allocation is in place for the next two years, [HL1872]

Our agencies deliver a range of services to the department, which are supported by Defra funding from various budgets. These services include surveillance, research and emergency response capability that cover a number of specialist areas including virology. The department does not allocate a set amount of funding specifically to fund virologists; rather it is the responsibility of the agencies to ensure that an adequate service is provided.

Information on planned agency expenditure is set out in the department's estimates for the coming year, and details of actual expenditure are available in the annual report and accounts published by each agency after the end of the financial year.

The majority of Defra funding into the field of virology supports the work of the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), which focuses on animal health. Defra funding to support the VLA over the past five years is set out below:

2002-03

£79.694 million

2003-04

£87.812 million

2004-05

£84.963million

2005-06

£97.181 million

2006-07

£95.500 million (planned expenditure)

Defra also provides funding for plant and fish virology at the Central Science Laboratory and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science respectively.

Over the next five to six years Defra, BBSRC and the Department for Trade and Industry will be working in partnership to co-fund a £120 million project to build a new virology facility based at the Pirbright Laboratory.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the reply by Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton on 1 February (HL Deb, col 334), who are the virologists employed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; and what are their relevant qualifications and agency location. [HL1908]

Information on the number of virologists employed by Defra (broken down by agency, qualification and location) is set out in the table below:

Agency

Location

PHD

BSC

MSC

Technician

Total

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Weymouth

5

9

14

Central Science Laboratory

York

3

12

15

Veterinary Medicines Direcorate

Weybridge

5

1

6

Veterinary Laboratories Agency(VLA)1

Weybridge

84

1 Staff qualifications are not kept centrally at the VLA and there would be a disproportionate cost involved in obtaining this information for virologists. That said, they include postgraduates, graduates, three clinical veterinarians and two honorary university professors, and range from world experts in their field to those working in a technical capacity at the laboratory bench.

Energy: Electric Vehicles

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why they have discontinued end-user grants through the Energy Savings Trust for electric vehicle technology. [HL1909]

Following a consultation on the TransportEnergy grants in 2004, in response to which both industry and Government expressed support for a technology-neutral approach, the grant programmes were suspended.

Technology-neutral programmes were considered and developed, including the low carbon car grant programme, but a review of the programmes showed that they would not offer value for money.

Other incentives for the uptake of electric vehicles include their exemption from vehicle excise duty and fuel-cost savings.

Environmental Justice

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they have taken to make access to environmental justice affordable. [HL1804]

The Government have provided for access to environmental justice in a variety of ways. These are in accordance with, in particular, the Aarhus Convention on Access to Environmental Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters.

When the UK ratified the Aarhus convention in February 2005, the Government published a detailed explanation of how they considered the EU and the UK complied with these obligations, including under requirements imposed under common Community measures. Further details are available on the Defra website.

EU: Overseas Aid

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the proportion of the United Kingdom's contribution to the total European Union expenditure on overseas aid. [HL2020]

The United Kingdom’s share of the EC budget in 2007 will be 17.08 per cent. The level of commitment for overseas spend is €6.578 billion. Of this, the EC expects 90 per cent of disbursements to be classed as official development assistance (ODA).

The United Kingdom's share of the European Development Fund (EDF9), which covers years 2003 to 2007, is 12.69 per cent. The commitment level over this period is €13.5 billion, all of which is likely to be ODA.

Government: Capital Assets

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What capital assets they own or jointly own in the Republic of Ireland; and what is the approximate value of each item. [HL1992]

The Government published an updated National Asset Register on the 30 January 2007. This itemises all assets owned by central government with a value above of £1 million. The National Asset Register is available on the HM Treasury website at www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/Documents/Public_Spending_and_Services/National _Asset_Register/pss_nar_ 2007 index.cfm

Health: Physiotherapy

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether physiotherapy and other allied health professions are represented as core disciplines on the Department of Health 18-week clinical partnership working groups. [HL1875]

The allied health professions, including physiotherapy, are represented on the clinical advisory group for 18 weeks by a member of the Allied Health Professions Federation (AHPF). The AHPF is also represented on the 18-week stakeholder group, of which the acting Chief Health Professions Officer is also a member.

HIV/AIDS: Angola

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What contribution they have made in each of the past three years to combat HIV/AIDS in Angola. [HL1641]

The UK has supported a number of interventions to tackle AIDS in Angola over the past three years, through the bilateral programme managed by the Department for International Development. This has included support for the establishment of voluntary counselling and testing centres, raising awareness through radio programmes, social marketing of condoms, study tours and institutional strengthening of the National AIDS Commission Secretariat.

The UK's bilateral contribution to programmes directly focused on AIDS in Angola has steadily grown, from £200,000 in the financial year 2003-04, to £422,970 in 2004-05, to £1,363,232 in 2005-06. In 2006-07, we expect to have given a further £1.1 million out of an overall bilateral programme of £5 million.

We have also contributed £18 million from bilateral funds for a UNICEF Southern Africa programme to protect orphans and vulnerable children from AIDS. In the first year of the programme (2006-07) US$1.4 million was allocated to Angola.

The UK is also a major global contributor to the principle multilateral organisations that are supporting Angola's response to AIDS: the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), the World Bank and the European Commission (EC). GFATM has a US$27.7 million programme on AIDS in Angola, of which US$12.4 million has been allocated since October 2005. The UK is a major supporter of GFATM, with commitments of £100 million in each of 2006 and 2007.

The World Bank is supporting a joint donor-government programme to address AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis programme in Angola, for which it has made available a grant of US$21 million. The UK contributed 13.2 per cent of funds to IDA (International Development Association—the World Bank's concessional lending Arm, which gives loans and grants to the world's poorest Countries).

In Angola, the EC is supporting the health sector as a whole, including €2.9 million for improving the use and management of blood in public health centres. The EC has also approved two new contracts with NGOs to minimise HIV transmission and the impact of AIDS in rural provinces of Angola, worth some €4.85 million. The UK's imputed share of EC funding is 17.4 per cent.

HIV/AIDS: Botswana

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What contribution they have made in each of the past three years to combat HIV/AIDS in Botswana. [HL1640]

The UK no longer has a bilateral programme in Botswana. The Government's policy on middle-income countries prioritises 10 per cent of our bilateral aid to large middle-income countries with a high proportion of poor people; highly indebted middle-income countries; and middle-income countries that are vulnerable to falling back to low-income status. Botswana currently falls into none of these categories and as such no longer benefits from a bilateral aid programme with DfID.

Botswana does, however, benefit from UK assistance through both regional and multilateral channels. We have committed £18 million from bilateral funds managed by DfID for a UNICEF southern Africa programme to protect orphans and vulnerable children from AIDS. In the first year of the programme (2006-07) US$1.3 million was allocated to Botswana.

We also provide £4 million support to the innovative multi-media Soul City edutainment regional programme in southern Africa. This 2003-07 programme reaches eight countries, including Botswana.

From 2002-06, we supported a £7.65 million regional programme implemented by the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This had components in Botswana, where the programme supported social marketing of condoms, strengthening the National AIDS Commission and work to prevent HIV transmission at cross-border sites.

The UK is also a major global contributor to the principle multilateral organisations that are supporting Botswana’s response to AIDS: the global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria (GFATM), the World Bank and the European Commission (EC). GFATM has a programme of over US $18.5 million on AIDS in Botswana, of which over US $9 million has been allocated since October 2005. The UK is a major supporter of GFATM, with commitments of £100 million in each of 2006 and 2007.

The EC contributes to Botswana's response to AIDS with €50.26 million towards the Education Sector Budget Support Programme (2006-09) which includes a focus on HIV prevention in schools. In addition, the EC supports regional programmes which underpin Botswana’s response. These include €3.1 million for ongoing regional support to SADC's AIDS work, and €4.5 million towards the “Circles of Support” regional programme supporting orphans and other children made vulnerable by AIDS. The UK’s imputed share of EC funding is 17.4 per cent.

Immigration: Appeals

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many appeals to the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, resulted from appeals against decisions of immigration judges (formerly chairmen or vice-presidents) of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal for each year from 2002 to 2006. [HL1924]

The latest information taken from the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and Court of Appeal's electronic databases states that the number of appeals received by the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, as a result of appeals against decisions made by immigration adjudicators/immigration judges in each calendar year during the period 2002-06 were:

Calendar Year

Number of appeals decided by Immigration Adjudicators/Immigration Judges

Number of appeals from IAT/AIT granted permission to proceed to the Court of Appeal.

2002

84,259

82

2003

108,348

108

2004

109,220

154

2005

100,825

254

2006

167,219

342

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proportion of the work of the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, consisted of appeals from the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal for each year from 2002 to 2006. [HL1925]

The latest information taken from the Court of Appeal's (CoA) electronic database states that the proportion of Court of Appeal work concerning decisions on immigration and asylum cases in each calendar year during the period 2002-06 was:

Calendar Year

Applications for permission to appeal for Immigration and Asylum cases as a proportion of CoA permission applications for all case types

Appeals from Immigration and Asylum cases granted permission to proceed, as a proportion of all appeals granted permission to proceed to the CoA

2002

7.6 per cent

6.5 per cent

2003

9.9 per cent

8.5 per cent

2004

13.6 per cent

14.1 per cent

2005

19.8 per cent

20.5 per cent

2006

21.3 per cent

28.8 per cent

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proportion of appeals to the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, concerning decisions of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal involve challenges to determinations of a single immigration judge on reconsideration of appeal for each year from 2002 to 2006. [HL1926]

The information required is not available from databases of either the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal or the Court of Appeal. To obtain the information entails manually checking individual files, which would incur disproportionate cost.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proportion of Asylum and Immigration cases listed for hearing by the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, were conceded by the Home Office before the hearing took place (a) in time for another case to be listed, and (b) too late for another case to be listed, for each year from 2002 to 2006. [HL1927]

The information required is not available from databases of either the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal or the Court of Appeal. To obtain the information entails manually checking individual files, which would incur disproportionate cost.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What has been the average cost to the taxpayer of (a) effective, and (b) abortive appeals to the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, relating to appeals against the determination of an immigration judge. [HL1928]

A precise average cost to the taxpayer for Court of Appeal work relating to asylum and immigration could be provided only at a disproportionate cost by scrutinising individual case files. Similarly, an assessment of the variance in cost between effective and abortive cases is unavailable.

Estimates from the Court of Appeal indicate an average cost per case of £6,000. Taking representation into account, and on the basis of estimates from the Legal Services Commission and Treasury Solicitors, this could rise to approximately £12,000.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in light of the reported increase in the burden of work in the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, ascribed to appeals from the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, they have any plans to review the current work of the Tribunal. [HL1929]

The work of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) was reviewed internally and a report publishing findings was completed in April 2006. The review concluded that it was as yet too soon to determine the effect of policy changes on the workload of the Court of Appeal. The AIT recognises the need to assess continually the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of its work and this will continue as part of wider reform of tribunals and administrative justice.

Legal Aid

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the estimated cost in the last financial year of legal aid for representation in alternative dispute resolution, ombudsman and adjudication schemes; and whether they have any intention of reviewing this funding. [HL1931]

In terms of cases that closed during 2005-06, £14.9 million was spent on family alternative dispute resolution cases and £0.8 million on civil alternative dispute resolution cases. It is not possible to identify how much was spent on alternative dispute resolution in cases that proceeded further.

From July 2005, most applicants for legal aid have been expected to pursue any available complaints system before they are funded to take proceedings. There are no plans to review funding in alternative dispute resolution.

National Lottery: Big Lottery Fund

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Of the grant moneys allocated each year by the Big Lottery Fund, how much was allocated in 2005 and 2006 to the following categories (a) education; (b) health; (c) environment; and (d) the voluntary sector. [HL1930]

The DCMS is unable to supply the information in the format requested as many of the projects funded by the Big Lottery Fund cover two or more areas in its statutory remit. However, information on how much was allocated to the voluntary sector will be available for 2006-07, when the Big Lottery Fund reports for the first time against its new undertaking to allocate 60 to 70 per cent of all its funding to the voluntary sector.

Official Visits

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much revenue they collect from facilitating meetings and arranging private drivers for visiting United Kingdom parliamentarians in overseas countries. [HL1982]

Our posts overseas are not generally responsible for arranging the programmes of visiting parliamentarians. Where posts have the resources to facilitate meetings for visiting parliamentarians, no charge is made.

Where resources allow the use of official transport by parliamentarians, our posts recover the full economic cost. Information on receipts is not held centrally and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.

Visiting parliamentarians meet the costs of the hire of private drivers.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much revenue has been raised by the High Commission in Darfur from facilitating meetings and arranging private drivers for visiting United Kingdom parliamentarians. [HL1983]

We do not have a separate diplomatic mission in Darfur.

When parliamentarians have visited Sudan, they have been responsible for their own expenditure and no revenue has been raised by our embassy in Khartoum.

Where resources allow the private use of official transport by parliamentarians, our posts recover the full economic cost. Visiting parliamentarians meet the costs of the hire of private drivers. No charges are made for facilitating meetings.

In the past year, the embassy has arranged meetings and provided transport for parliamentarians on two occasions, but no charges have been made as embassy officials have accompanied the parliamentarians.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which of their high commissions and embassies most frequently charge visiting United Kingdom parliamentarians for facilitating meetings and arranging private drivers. [HL1984]

Our posts overseas are not generally responsible for arranging the programmes of visiting parliamentarians. Where posts have the resources to facilitate meetings for visiting parliamentarians, no charge is made.

Where resources allow the use of official transport by parliamentarians, our posts recover the full economic cost. Information on receipts is not held centrally and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.

Visiting parliamentarians meet the costs of the hire of private drivers.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have proposals to enable the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to provide visiting United Kingdom parliamentarians with services to facilitate meetings and arrange private drivers without a charge. [HL1985]

We have no plans to introduce a free programme-arranging service, or to arrange transport at no cost to visiting parliamentarians.

In many cases our posts provide appropriate contact details and in some cases are able to facilitate meetings. There is no charge for this, but they do not have the resources to arrange programmes.

Posts make no charge for providing the details of local private car hire companies. The cost of private cars and private drivers falls to the visiting parliamentarian.

Olympic Games 2012: Relocation of Businesses

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why they do not consider the expenses of relocating businesses to vacate the Olympic Park as part of the core costs of the Olympic Games; and for what purpose the businesses are being relocated. [HL1722]

Businesses in the Lower Lea Valley are currently being relocated to make way for the construction of the Olympic Park in preparation for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2012.

The Games will act as a catalyst for, and bring forward, the large-scale regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley, which was identified in the Mayor's London Plan of February 2004 as an opportunity area requiring public sector intervention to ensure sustainable economic and social regeneration. More recently, the Mayor has set out his strategic planning vision for the area in the Lower Lea Valley Opportunity Area Planning Framework, which was agreed in January 2007.

For these reasons, these costs are not included in the core costs of the Olympic Games.

Prisoners: Deportation

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they intend to introduce legislation to amend the Criminal Justice Act 1991 so as to permit prisoners liable for removal to have their cases reviewed by the Parole Board in the same way as other long-term prisoners, in accordance with the reasons given for granting a declaration of incompatibility under Section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998, in R (on the application of Clift) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] UKHL54. [HL2023]

While the noble Lord has referred to the ruling of this House in respect of Regina (on the application of Clift) v Secretary of State, the ruling of this House regarding long-term prisoners liable to removal having their cases reviewed by the Parole Board in the same way as other long-term prisoners concerned Regina (on the application of Hindawi and Headley) v Secretary of State.

The Government are currently considering their options for introducing the necessary statutory amendments to ensure compliance with the terms of this judgment. Administrative arrangements will be made in the interim which will ensure that no long-term prisoner liable for removal from the UK is disadvantaged.

Railways: Carriage of Cycles

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether there are safety reasons for preventing the carriage of cycles in the power cars of Intercity 125 trains. [HL2009]

The space at the rear of Intercity 125 power cars trains, originally intended for guards' accommodation and luggage, is used for emergency coupling and fire extinguishing equipment as well as control units for automatic train protection and engine management. The area needs to be kept clear for rapid access to the equipment and is not, therefore, suitable for the carriage of cycles.

Railways: Cross Country Franchise

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In view of the shortage of accommodation on First Great Western trains, whether they will suspend the specification for bidders for the Cross Country franchise to ensure that it meets the demand patterns now forecast for the duration of this franchise. [HL1789]

The Government will not suspend the specification for the new Cross Country franchise.

The specification requires bidders to put forward proposals for capacity increases of at least 30 per cent from today's levels.

Railways: Electrification

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why they have rejected any further significant extensions of railway electrification. [HL2039]

The Government have not rejected further significant extensions of railway electrification. The Government's long-term strategic framework for rail, which will be published in the summer, will include an assessment of the current case for additional electrification. This will take account of the operational and environmental benefits that electric trains currently offer compared with diesel. However, it will also reflect the cost of installing and maintaining electrification infrastructure and the improvements expected over time in the operational and environmental performance of diesel trains.

Railways: Great North Eastern Franchise

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the timetable specification for the bidders for the Great North Eastern Railway franchise will include the same train services as that in operation in May 2007. [HL1977]

The service specification for the new InterCity East Coast franchise will include the same services as that in operation from the May 2007 timetable. This represents the current (December 2006) timetable with the addition of a regular Leeds half-hourly service.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the specification issued for the Great North Eastern Railway franchise will cater for demand expected during the whole period of the franchise. [HL1978]

One of the four principal objectives for this franchise is “to seek to accommodate current and anticipated future growth in passenger demand”.

This objective is stated in the consultation document for the InterCity East Coast franchise replacement, and is available in the House of Commons Library and on the Department for Transport website. Bidders will be required to address this and other franchise objectives when submitting their bids.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether those bidding for the new Great North Eastern Railway franchise will be required to include proposals to alleviate capacity problems at peak hours between London and the North. [HL1979]

One of the four principal objectives for this franchise is “to seek to accommodate current and anticipated future growth in passenger demand”. This objective is stated in the consultation document for the InterCity East Coast franchise replacement, and is available in the House of Commons Library and on the Department for Transport website. Bidders will be required to address this and other franchise objectives when submitting their bids.

Providing sufficient capacity at peak times will be a significant challenge for bidders, and they will be directed to the ongoing work of Network Rail's east coast main line route utilisation strategy (RUS) that is specifically addressing this issue. They will also be required to co-operate with the emerging recommendations from the RUS during the course of the franchise.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the operators of the new Great North Eastern Railway franchise will be committed to co-operate within Network Rail in evaluating the electrification of the 15 miles of track in the Leeds area which would improve journey times between Leeds and London. [HL1980]

Bidders will be advised of the proposed electrification scheme at Hambleton between the east coast main line and westwards towards Leeds via Micklefield. They will be required to co-operate with Network Rail to determine the feasibility of such a scheme.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the operators of the new Great North Eastern Railway franchise will be committed to provide a similar level of on-board service as that provided at present. [HL1981]

Bidders for the new InterCity East Coast franchise will be required to provide a high quality service at stations and on trains. It will be for the bidders to determine the appropriate catering service offered on-board that meets the needs of passengers.

Railways: Great Western Franchise

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the specifications issued to builders for the start of the Great Western franchise meet the demand anticipated at the first timetable change; and, if so, why the timetable has been augmented at short notice. [HL1874]

In its invitation to tender for the Great Western franchise, the former Strategic Rail Authority specified a minimum train service pattern. Bidders were required to form their own views of existing and future demand, and to respond with proposals, including rolling-stock deployment, to meet this demand. Since the revised timetable was introduced in December 2006, First Great Western (FGW) has added three services; adjustments of this scale are routine at a time of major timetable change.

Rights of Way

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they have taken to ensure that the Discovering Lost Ways project delivers a joined-up network of routes which encourage walking and cycling and routes that have been identified in any local rights-of-way improvement plans; and whether this has been achieved in a cost-effective manner compared to the making of public path orders. [HL1871]

The Discovering Lost Ways project is about establishing what ways already exist, not creating new ones. However, in recognition of this, Natural England will be looking actively at the role that rights-of-way improvement plans and local access forums could play in the process of translating “lost ways” research into useful and enjoyable walking, cycling and riding routes on the ground.

As part of this appraisal, Natural England will also look at the value for money of different approaches, including comparison with existing ways of improving the rights of way network.

Roads: M40 Service Stations

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will authorise the building of a service station on the M40 within 40 miles of London. [HL1993]

Planning permission has been granted to develop motorway service areas near London at Cobham (M25 junctions 9-10) and Burtley Wood (M40 junction 2).

Secretary of State for Transport

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many days since 1 January the Secretary of State for Transport has spent solely in (a) England, and (b) Scotland. [HL1860]

In his capacity as Secretary of State for Transport, my right honourable friend has not attended any official engagements in Scotland since 1 January.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Secretary of State for Transport was in England on 18 January. [HL1861]

The Secretary of State for Transport had engagements in England on 18 January before travelling to France.

Shipping: MSC “Napoli”

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the terms of reference of the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch into the “Napoli” cargo ship incident will include consideration of the merits of the decision to tow to Portland rather than to use closer ports of refuge such as Falmouth, Plymouth or Torbay. [HL1694]

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) is carrying out a full investigation into the causes of the serious structural failure and flooding of the container vessel MSC “Napoli”. The scope of the investigation will not be extended to investigate the decision on a place of refuge and the ensuing salvage operation.

I refer the noble Baroness to the oral Statement made to the House by my honourable friend the Minister of State for Transport on Thursday 1 February 2007 [Official Report, Commons, cols. 376-78].

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch will hold hearings in public into the “Napoli” cargo ship incident. [HL1695]

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) is carrying out a full investigation into the causes of the structural damage and flooding of the container vessel MSC “Napoli”.

The MAIB was established in 1989 following the “Herald of Free Enterprise” disaster as an independent professional accident investigation body. Its investigations involve gathering witness evidence from all those involved in an accident, and undertaking painstaking analysis leading to the publication of timely, comprehensive reports containing important recommendations for improving safety at sea.

Sudan: Darfur

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the personal risks posed to United Kingdom humanitarian aid workers in Darfur; whether these risks have increased over the past six months, during which the violence has forced more than 400 humanitarian workers to relocate; and what advice they are giving.[HL1454]

Over the past six months, the United Nations and non-governmental organisations have increasingly been targeted by all parties in Darfur. As a result, all humanitarian aid workers have become exposed to higher levels of personal risk. We utterly condemn these attacks and have made representations to the parties involved. The UK advises against all but essential travel to Darfur and we provide up-to-date reporting on the risks affecting the humanitarian community in Darfur. We are in very close contact with the humanitarian agencies and have provided funding to enhance the security management of their operations.

Taxation: VAT Carousel Fraud

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why HM Treasury takes the view that value added tax carousel fraud transactions have effectively ended. [HL1966]

The Government published estimates alongside the 2006 Pre-Budget Report, showing that levels of attempted MTIC fraud in the UK grew significantly during 2005-06, to between £3.5 billion and £4.75 billion, with a consequent impact on the in-year VAT receipts of between £2 billion and £3 billion. In response to this increase, HMRC has strengthened its operational strategy, increasing the level of criminal investigations with international partners in Europe and beyond and re-deploying over 700 extra compliance resources in order to check a greater number of suspect VAT repayment claims submitted by those operating in supply chains known to be associated with MTIC fraud.

Operational indicators in the current financial year suggest that HMRC's response has led to a dramatic reduction in MTIC activity. The latest monthly balance of payments statistics published by the Office for National Statistics, using trade data supplied by HMRC show that trade in MTIC-related goods has fallen by over 90 per cent since April 2006.

Transport: Fatalities

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Who is responsible for producing statistics on accidents, deaths or injuries occurring on the rail networks. [HL2012]

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) produces rail safety statistics, which are published in ORR's annual report on rail safety, copies of which are in the House Library.

UN: International Covenant on Enforced Disappearance

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they expect to sign the International Covenant for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; whether they have any reservations about the covenant; and, if so, whether they will explain them. [HL2022]

The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly in December 2006. It opened for signature and subsequent ratification on 6 February 2007.

The convention will be an important tool in preventing enforced disappearance in the future. The UK was active throughout the negotiations to draft the convention, and we supported its adoption last year at both the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly.

The Government now need to conduct a detailed analysis of the provisions of the treaty and their implications for implementation in order to determine the UK's position towards ratification, including whether we would need to make any reservations. The UK did not sign the convention at the ceremony in Paris on 6 February because the UK does not sign international treaties unless it has a firm intention to ratify within a reasonable time-frame. We understand that 57 states (including 10 member states of the European Union) have so far signed the convention. The convention requires 20 states to ratify in order to enter into force.

At the adoption of the convention at both the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, the UK made an interpretative statement clarifying our understanding of certain provisions, including what constitutes an enforced disappearance, the application of obligations under international humanitarian law and the procedures applicable to the adoption and placement of children found to have resulted from an enforced disappearance. This statement can be found at: www.fco.gov.uk/ukmisgeneva.

Voice Coaching: Treasury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much HM Treasury has spent on voice coaching and elocution lessons in each of the last five years. [HL2033]

Voice coaching and elocution is not recorded as a separate category of expenditure, so the information on spending, if any, is not held.