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Written Answers

Volume 690: debated on Wednesday 21 March 2007

Written Answers

Wednesday 21 March 2007

Afghanistan: Civil Society Organisations

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will publish a summary of the United Kingdom's aid to civil society organisations in Afghanistan that are promoting human rights, equality, and the rule of international law; and what assessment they have made of the combined effects of international aid in these sectors on public opinion in Afghanistan.[HL2615]

Each year the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) publishes a comprehensive summary of the UK's aid to civil society organisations promoting human rights, equality, and the rule of law overseas in the FCO 2006 Annual Human Rights Report (published in October 2006). Copies are available in the Library of the House. The report provides an overview of the main challenges to human rights in Afghanistan and explains the Government's activities to promote human rights throughout the country. After more than 25 years of conflict, Afghanistan's reconstruction and development remains a long-term endeavour. Challenges remain, particularly in the south. But the Afghan people are starting to see results across much of the country, particularly in regions where security has been restored. An ABC News/BBC World Service poll published last December shows that 74 per cent of Afghans consider that their living conditions are better than under the Taliban and eight in 10 Afghans support the presence of international troops in their country. While life in Afghanistan is far from easy, most Afghans are conscious of the important amount of resources allocated by the international community to the security and reconstruction of their country. Most Afghans continue to rely on international forces to re-establish the security necessary for reconstruction and development. The enduring unpopularity of the Taliban—89 per cent of Afghans view them unfavourably—and the levels of support for the current Government, are testament to the fact that the Afghan people consider that Afghanistan is heading in the right direction.

The ABC News/BBC World Service poll is available at

The very comprehensive Asia Foundation Survey for 2006 might also be of interest. It is available at survey06.html.

Information on the Afghanistan National Development Strategy is available at

British Citizenship

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will bring forward legislation to allow women to transmit their British citizenship to their children who were born to foreign fathers overseas before 7 February 1961. [HL2548]

Since 1 January 1983 women have been able to pass on their citizenship to their children born overseas in the same way as men. Prior to that date, citizenship could be transmitted only through a British father, but it was announced on 7 February 1979 that children aged under l8 of UK-born mothers could apply to be registered as British citizens.

In recognition of the fact that some may have learnt of the concession too late to benefit from it, we have removed the condition that the applicant must be under 18 on the date of the application. However, there are no plans to extend the option of registration to those born before 7 February 1961 as they could not, in any event, have benefited under the concession announced in 1979.


asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted in the production of one tonne of cement; and what is the estimated total emission of carbon dioxide in the production of cement in the United Kingdom and the European Union. [HL2485]

The UK calculates emissions from cement production as part of the greenhouse gas inventory. Emissions occur both from fuel combustion in the cement sector to provide heat for the calcination process, and from the calcination process itself.

Emissions of CO2 in 2004 from fuel combustion in the cement industry amounted to 4,661.6 thousand tonnes and emissions associated with the cement production process were 5,455.7 thousand tonnes. This equates to a total emission of 10,117 thousand tonnes of CO2. Total clinker (the main raw material for making cement) production was 10,813 thousand tonnes—emissions of carbon dioxide from the UK cement industry in 2004 were therefore approximately 0.94 tonnes per tonne of clinker produced.

Comparable emissions from fuel combustion are not available for the EC or for other European countries, since these are reported combined with other sectors as “other industry”.

Emissions associated with the calcination process, however, are available. The table below contains emissions of CO2 for a number of European countries, together with the amount of clinker produced, wherever this is available. The total report in the EC greenhouse gas inventory is also included in the table. The fourth column contains the “IEF” (implied emission factor)—this is the amount of CO2 emitted (thousand tonnes, kt) per thousand tonnes (kt) of clinker produced. This value is slightly lower for the UK than elsewhere.

Clinker produced (kt)

CO2 emission (kt)

IEF (kt/kt)









Czech Republic
























































































Other greenhouse gases are not emitted as part of the production process, only as a result of the associated fuel combustion. Emissions of methane and N2O are small—0.54 thousand tonnes and 0.17 thousand tonnes in 2004, respectively.

Children: Community Sentences

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are reviewing the balance between the surveillance and support elements of sentences served by children in the community. [HL2460]

The Government recognise that in order to be effective community sentences for young offenders must tackle offending behaviour, address educational and social problems and encourage young offenders to take responsibility for their behaviour. That is why we have introduced sentences which have expanded the range of non-custodial sentencing options available to the courts and offer flexible interventions to deal with offending behaviour and provide rehabilitative opportunities while also managing risk and protecting the public.

While the effectiveness and application of the community sentencing framework is subject to monitoring by the Home Office and YJB, there is no current review of the balance between the surveillance and support elements of community sentences served by young people.

China: Death Penalty

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations have been made to the Government of China over the continuing implementation of the death penalty. [HL2678]

We continue to urge the Chinese Government to limit, and ultimately abolish, their use of the death penalty. We did this most recently at the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue on 5 February. My noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor also raised the death penalty with the chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on 24 October 2006.


asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their timetable for consultation on, and consideration of, the proposals from Natural England for the creation of a 4,500 kilometres continuous corridor of clear and well-managed public access along the length of England's coast. [HL2665]

The Government received Natural England's report on 28 February in which it recommended that the Government should introduce new legislation to enable Natural England to align a “coastal access corridor” around the whole coast that people could enjoy with confidence and certainty. We are considering Natural England's advice and intend to issue a public consultation document in the spring.


asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much the Home Office has paid out in compensation for whatever reason to (a) convicted prisoners; (b) individuals on remand; and (c) all other categories of inmate including those detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 in each of the past five years. [HL1784]

The following table provides the most accurate breakdown available of compensation paid to prisoners over the past three financial years. Figures for previous years are not available in the form requested, nor can the figures below be broken down between convicted and remand prisoners. Figures for claims brought by those individuals sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983 are not collated centrally.

Justify="centre" Compensation Paid to Prisoners 2004-07









*Up to 31 January 2007

Crime: Life-shortening Medication

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the doctrine of double effect in relation to the law on homicide applies to the use by a doctor of life-shortening medication with the intention of relieving a patient's severe suffering and distress as distinct from pain.[HL2625]

The Government understand that criminal liability is sometimes analysed in terms of an application of the doctine of double effect. But they are not aware of any case law where the doctrine of double effect has been considered in relation to the particular facts described.

Whether or not such actions could amount to homicide would depend on the facts of any particular case and would include considerations of the nature of the medical treatment, the intention of the doctor and the cause of death.

Crime: Rape

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether statistics are available on the incidence during police investigations of accusations of rape being withdrawn in circumstances where admission of false allegations have been made. [HL1895]

Diplomatic Missions: Congestion Charge

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What further representations they have made to foreign embassies and missions in London over the non-payment of the congestion charge; and whether they will publish such correspondence.[HL2613]

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to take every opportunity to remind diplomatic missions of the need to meet their obligations to comply with UK law. We wrote to the worst debtors in March and August 2006, urging them to pay. In August we also wrote to all missions that owed more than £1,000 in fines, urging them to settle their debts with Transport for London. This is standard practice in preparation for the annual Written Ministerial Statement I made on unpaid parking and minor traffic violation fines on 28 November 2006 (Official Report, cols. WS 74-76). The next Statement will issue by the end of June 2007.

We are placing copies of the text of the letters mentioned above in the Library of the House.

Egypt: Identity Cards

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Triesman on 19 February (WA 177) about Egyptian identity cards, what has been the result of their discussions with the German presidency of the European Union about the best way of making progress on this issue; and what reasons the Egyptian authorities have given for refusing to allow people belonging to religions other than Islam, Judaism and Christianity to identify themselves correctly in the space on the identity card where the holder's religion has to be stated.[HL2618]

We have raised this issue regularly with the Egyptian Government, both bilaterally and with EU partners, and will continue to do so.

The German presidency of the EU raised concerns about this issue with the Egyptian Foreign Ministry on 5 March. The Foreign Ministry told the presidency that discussions are under way with representatives of the Egyptian Bahai community to resolve the problem. The Egyptian Government have explained the current ID policy on the ground that Islam, Judaism and Christianity are the only religions officially recognised in Egypt. We will continue to pursue this.

Energy: Biofuels

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What progress they have made in the development of environmental and sustainability certification standards for (a) domestically produced, and (b) imported biofuels and feedstocks since the House of Lords European Union Committee issued its report on the EU Strategy on Biofuels on 20 November 2006 (47th Report, HL Paper 267).[HL2606]

The environmental sustainability of production is one of the Government's key priorities for biofuel development. That is why the Government are developing carbon and sustainability reporting as an integral part of the renewable transport fuel obligation (RTFO). This will require all fuel suppliers who apply for renewable transport fuel certificates to report on the greenhouse gas balance and wider environmental impacts of the biofuels supplied. Reporting will apply to all fuels whether domestically produced or imported.

The reports will include details of the previous use of the land on which the biofuel feedstocks were grown and the impacts on biodiversity of growing those feedstocks. This will encourage companies to supply biofuels that deliver the maximum greenhouse gas savings with the minimum environmental impact. It will also ensure that we can monitor the impact of both imported and domestically-sourced biofuels.

In the long term, the Government will be looking to move to a system that allows only biofuels which meet certain minimum sustainability standards to benefit from the RTFO. However, developing a verifiable and robust system that is compatible with World Trade Organisation requirements on barriers to trade will take time. The Government are currently consulting on how and when they might move to such a system as part of their wider consultation on the RTFO, copies of which are available in the House Libraries or on the Department for Transport website at

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether any feedstock for biofuels is cultivated using organic farming techniques. [HL2647]

There is currently very little processing capacity for biofuels in the UK, although more is planned. I am not aware of any organically grown crops being used for biofuels at present.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proportion of set-aside farming land is now cultivated for feedstock for biofuels. [HL2649]

Of the 360,000 or so hectares English farmers are obliged to set aside, some 76,000 hectares (21 per cent), have been entered into contracts under the non-food set-aside arrangements for the 2006 single payment scheme. The majority of the hectares concerned would be used for energy purposes, but the precise number could be gathered only at disproportionate cost.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the targets for United Kingdom market share of biofuels include all biofuels, irrespective of their different carbon emission mitigation benefits; and [HL2645]

Whether they support the expansion of (a) domestic production of biofuels, and (b) importation of biofuels for use in the United Kingdom; and whether this is primarily for reasons of climate change mitigation or for reasons of energy security; and [HL2650]

What assessment they have made of the potential for emissions mitigation from transport from the use of blends of biobutanol in fuel; and [HL2709]

Whether the introduction of the renewable transport fuels obligation will be accompanied by a reduction of fiscal incentives to produce biofuels. [HL2710]

The Government support biofuels primarily because of the carbon savings they can offer. Biofuels also offer a number of ancillary benefits, including contributing to the diversity and security of the UK's transport fuel supplies and creating opportunities for the rural economy.

The renewable transport fuel obligation (RTFO) will, in its early years, reward all biofuels equally, irrespective of the carbon savings they offer. It will, however, include a requirement on transport fuel suppliers to report on the environmental impacts and lifecycle carbon performance of any biofuels for which they wish to claim certificates. Over time, the Government are proposing to move to a system where the RTFO rewards different biofuels according to their environmental performance. The RTFO consultation document published on 22 February, and available in the House Libraries, seeks views on this issue.

The biofuels that will be needed to meet the RTFO's targets are expected to come from a mixture of imports and domestic production. A number of UK biofuel production plants have come on stream since the announcement of the RTFO and several more are at the planning and development stage.

Fuel duty incentives are a matter for the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Chancellor announced in Budget 2006 that, over time, the Government expect that the emphasis will move from the duty incentive towards the buy-out price as the principal support mechanism for biofuels in the future.

Biobutanol has a number of potential advantages over bioethanol, including its ability to be used at up to a 10 per cent blend without any modification to existing vehicle technology. It also has a higher energy content than bioethanol, and has the potential to be more easily incorporated into the existing UK fuel supply infrastructure. The Government have not, however, carried out any detailed assessment of the extent to which biobutanol could reduce total emissions from road transport. Its total emissions benefits would, as with all biofuels, depend on the nature of the feedstock from which it was produced, as well as the energy used to cultivate, process, refine and transport it.

Energy: Microgeneration

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they are taking to ensure that the impact of local government microgeneration targets is not diminished by proposals to improve energy efficiency in revisions to Part L of the building regulations. [HL2481]

The 2006 amendment to Part L introduced new provisions that require microgeneration and other low or zero carbon systems to be considered at the design stage. At the same time this department published a new guide for designers. This is non-prescriptive and complementary to the achievement of local government microgeneration targets. The Government have announced that the building regulations energy performance standards are to be improved over time to encourage zero carbon designs for new buildings. The links with all microgeneration initiatives are therefore set to continue.


asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the remarks by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 1 March (Official Report, cols. 1747-49), by what legal instrument those wishing to fly the European Union flag after 6 April will no longer need prior permission from the local authority to do so; whether such an instrument has been sanctioned by Parliament; and, if so, how it has been sanctioned.[HL2610]

The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007 No.783) were laid before Parliament on 15 March 2007. They are due to come into force on 6 April 2007. The relevant provision is in Schedule 1, Class H, to the regulations.

Freedom of Information

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the answer by Lord Evans of Temple Guiting on 7 March (GC 46–7) in the debate on the draft Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Act 2006 (Consequential Provisions and Modifications) Order 2007, whether the voting records of individuals could be disclosed at a future date under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and, if so, at what interval after the event. [HL2587]

The record of whether an individual has voted is publicly available. The marked register of those who have voted is available for inspection at the relevant sheriff court.

The record of how an individual has voted is not publicly available, as their ballot paper is sealed up after the poll is complete, sent to the sheriff court, and may be unsealed only by order of a court, in the event of an election petition or investigation of an electoral offence.

Sheriff courts are not a Scottish public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and are not required to release information under the provisions of that Act.

The marked register and ballot papers, along with other electoral documents retained by the sheriff clerk after an election, are destroyed after a year, unless otherwise directed by an order of the Court of Session.

Government: Non-ministerial Departments

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether there are any non-ministerial government departments which are governed by a board which comprises both executive and non-executive members; and, if so, whether they will list those bodies, their governing statutes and the composition of their boards. [HL2684]

The Cabinet Office does not collect the information requested. Information on non-ministerial departments, including their parent departments and responsible Ministers, can be found in the List of Ministerial Responsibilities, copies of which are available in the Library for the reference of noble Lords.

Houses of Parliament: Smoking

asked the Chairman of Committees:

What is the timetable for the implementation of changes to the smoking policy on the parliamentary estate, in line with the smoke-free provisions of the Health Act 2006; and [HL2849]

Where on the parliamentary estate smoking will be permitted after 1 July 2007. [HL2850]

The Administration and Works Committee published a report today recommending to the House that, except as permitted below, smoking should be prohibited in all parts of the parliamentary estate occupied by the House of Lords.

In the interests of smokers, the committee recommends that specified smoking areas should be provided in the following locations within the Lords estate:

Black Rod's Garden

State Officer's Court

Peers' Inner Court

The committee also recommends that smoking should be permitted in an area at the end of the Lords Terrace abutting the Commons Terrace. Given the usage of the Lords Terrace for the consumption of food and drink, this provision should be reviewed if excessive smoking creates a hazard or offence.

It is proposed that the new policy on smoking should come into operation on 1 July when the relevant provisions of the Health Act 2006 are commenced by the Secretary of State.

The committee recognises that such a significant change in smoking policy should be a matter for the whole House. Accordingly, it is expected that the report will be debated in the House in due course.

Immigration: Fast-track Decisions

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What percentage of initial decisions on asylum applications in 2006 were made (a) in the detained fast track, and (b) outside the detained fast track; and what was the average time taken to make an initial decision in each category. [HL2545]

Total initial decisions made on asylum applications are published every quarter and relate to decisions in that quarter but may relate to applications made in previous periods. Detained fast-track decisions are published every quarter and relate only to applications made in that quarter.

Comparable data are not available for initial decisions made outside the detained fast-track process. It is not possible to give an answer based on two non-comparable sets of data.

The two separate sets of data, on total initial decisions and detained fast-track cases, are published quarterly and annually. Copies of these publications are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate web site at

Immigration: Initial Decisions

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What they are doing to improve the quality of initial decisions in immigration cases in order to avoid unnecessary appeals and refunds. [HL1287]

Quality assurance measures are in place in all initial decision-making areas for in-country applications made in the UK to the IND, and visa applications made abroad at entry clearance posts. The measures in place include intensive staff training, regular updating of guidance and instructions for caseworkers, regular audits and sampling of cases as well as the sharing of best practices across departments.

UKvisas and the IND are also taking forward a number of measures which are in accordance with the recommendations made by the Home Affairs Select Committee in the summer of last year.

Fees charged for applications are non-refundable as they reflect the cost involved in the consideration of the application and are not affected by the outcome.

Immigration: Treatment of Claimants

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many families have been supported in the Section 9 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc.) Act 2004 pilot areas following a human rights assessment. [HL2229]

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many children have been taken into care as a result of Section 9 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc.) Act 2004. [HL2230]

We have not been notified of any children having been taken into care as a direct result of the Section 9 pilot.

Iraq: Weapons of Mass Destruction

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their current assessment of Iraq's ability to deploy weapons of mass destruction before March 2003. [HL2682]

As my noble friend knows, the Government's policies on Iraq have been scrutinised at great length by four separate inquiries, along with a great deal of discussion in both Houses of Parliament.

The Government have acknowledged that Iraq did not possess stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in March 2003 and therefore could not deploy them.

Kosovo: Small Arms Survey

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will provide funding or technical assistance for the implementation of the conclusions of the 2006 small arms survey of Kosovo.[HL2627]

We are currently considering proposals, which, if implemented, would help address the harmful effects of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in Kosovo.

The UK is one of the most active participants in international efforts to combat the global proliferation of SALW. We have allocated £13.25 million to a UK SALW strategy over the period 2004-07. We are also one of the largest donors supporting the UN effort to combat the proliferation of SALW, assisting UN agencies, regional organisations, Governments and non-governmental organisations.

Local Government: Unitary Authorities

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessments they have made of the impact on planned public expenditure totals of local authorities' proposals to establish unitary structures.[HL2608]

The impact on public expenditure totals will depend on which, if any, proposals for future unitary structures are implemented. In submitting proposals, councils have estimated the potential costs and savings that would arise from a move to unitary structures in their area.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will publish a list of the partners and stakeholders who will have an opportunity to make representations about the proposals for unitary structures which have been put forward by local authorities; and, if so, when they will publish such a list.[HL2609]

The Government intend to announce which proposals will proceed to a 12-week consultation before 27 March, the day for publication of the notice of election for the forthcoming local elections. We will include in the consultation document a list of stakeholder organisations that have been invited to submit their views. The consultation document will also be publicly available and it will be open to anyone to make representations to the Secretary of State during the consultation period.


The Indices of Deprivation 2004 identify six different ways of describing deprivation at a district level. On all six measures Manchester ranks between second and fourth most deprived local authority in England (see table below). There are a total of 354 local authorities in England with the most deprived authority being ranked one and the least deprived ranked 354.

District level measures of deprivation

Manchester Rank

Rank of Average Score—averages scores from across the whole district taking into account both deprived and non-deprived scores


Rank of Average Rank—averages ranks from across the whole district taking into account both deprived and non-deprived ranks


Rank of Extent—aims to portray how widespread high levels of deprivation are within a district


Rank of Local Concentration—identifies whether the district suffers from concentrated “hot spots” of deprivation


Rank of Income—identifies the number of people within a district suffering income deprivation (ie reliant on means-tested benefits)


Rank of Employment—identifies the number of people within a district suffering employment deprivation (ie involuntary exclusion from work)


Namibia: Land Reform

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What technical assistance they will offer to the Government of Namibia to ensure that land reform is achieved peacefully. [HL2680]

UK 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. Namibia currently falls into none of these so DfID no longer operates a bilateral programme in Namibia.

DfID is providing short-term funding of £300,000 through the UNDP to assist the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to establish a regional land reform technical support facility. This facility has recently started to operate. Its main focus is to provide technical support to member states that are implementing land and agrarian reforms. Namibia as a SADC member will be eligible for support from this facility.

The EC in Namibia has also allocated €34 million for rural development, including land reform, in Namibia under the ninth European Development Fund (EDF9) which covers the period 2003-07. The UK share of this is 12.7 per cent. This support is likely to be continued under the EDF 10 which is expected to be finalised in 2007.

Nepal: Consular Discussions

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What matters were discussed at the meeting between the British consulate-general and the Nepalese consulate-general on 12 March in Hong Kong; whether they will ask the British vice-consul to prepare an informal record of the discussions; and whether they will place a copy of such record in the Library of the House.[HL2616]

The meeting was to ascertain whether the Nepalese consulate-general is able to issue a letter confirming that those who claim to have British Overseas citizen status are not eligible to hold Nepalese citizenship or to confirm that a Nepalese citizenship card was issued in error. A record of the meeting will be placed in the Library of the House.

Passports: Interviews

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which passport interview offices have already secured premises; and how much these premises cost from the date of acquisition to 1 February 2007. [HL2266]

I attach a list of the 39 offices acquired to date. The estimated cost of providing and running interview offices for the first year of operation is £58.32 million, as published on 21 April 2006 in the Identity and Passport Service Corporate and Business Plan.

Interview Offices Delivered to IPS





1st floor, Norwood House, 96-102 Great Victoria Street, Belfast BT2 7BE



Part ground floor, Blythswood House, 200 West Regent Street, Glasgow G2 4DQ



Part 3rd floor, Mayflower House, Armada Way, Plymouth PL1 1LD



Part 1st floor, No. 2 Cathedral Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1EE



3rd floor, Wellington House, Wellington Street, Leicester LE1 6HL



15th floor, Chartist Tower, Upper Dock Street, Newport NP20 1DW



1st floor west, Midgate House, Westgate City Road, Peterborough PE1 1TN



Part ground floor, 33 Park Place, Leeds LS1 2RY



First floor, Rosebury House, 41 Springfield Road, Chelmsford CM2 6JJ



2nd floor, Nations House, Edmund Street, Liverpool L3 9NY



2nd floor, Belgrave House, Crawley RH10 1HU



1st floor, Apex three, 95 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5HD



Axis Court, Riverside Business Park, Swansea, SA7 OAJ



6th floor, Kensington House, Suffolk Street, Queensway, Birmingham B1 1LN



Westminster House, Portland Street, Manchester M60 1HY



Ground floor, Milton House Charter Row, Sheffield S1 3FZ



First floor, Kingsway House, Ellice Way, Wrexham LL13 7YT



Part 4th floor, A W House, Stuart Street, Luton, LU1 2SW



Riverside II Office Park, Campbell Road, ST4 4RJ



5th floor, Monarch House, Queen Charlotte Street, BS1 4EX



Training and Enterprise House, 2 Queens Square, Middlesbrough TS2 1AA



Kings Reach, 38-50 Kings Road, Reading, RG1 3AA



8th floor, Enterprise House, Isambard Brunel Road, Portsmouth, PO1 2RX



Crown House, Crown Street, Ipswich, IP1 3HS



Ground floor, Saracen House, Crusader Road, City Office Park, Tritton Road, Lincoln, LN6 7AS



Ground floor, Unit four, Plaxton Park, Cayton Low Road, Scarborough, Y011 3BQ



St John's Court, Ainsworth Street, Blackburn, BB1 6AR



9th &10th floors, Hannibal House, Elephant & Castle, Southwark, London, SE1 6TE



Brunel House, Mead Avenue, Houdstone Business Park, Yeovil, BA22 8RT



Scotia House, The Castle Business Park, Stirling, FK9 4TZ



Suite 2, 2 Glengallon Road, Glenshellach Business Park, Oban, PH34 4HH



Second floor, Aldgate House, 1-4 Market Place, Kingston upon Hull, HU1 1RA



Part ground floor, St. Crispens House, Duke St, Norwich, NR3 1PD



Montpellier House, Montpellier Terrace, Cheltenham GL50 1WJ



Ground floor, Regents Court, Kingmoor, Carlisle, CA6 4SJ



Lyle House, Fairways Business Park, Inverness, IV2 6AA


Newport I.O.W

Part ground floor, Building B, The Apex, St Cross Business Park, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5WN



3rd floor, Maybrook House, 25 New Street, Dover, CT 17 9AJ



Part ground floor, Regent Centre, Regent Road, Aberdeen, AB11 5NS

People Trafficking

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the UK Borders Bill, in its current form, is fully compatible with the European convention against trafficking. [HL2378]

The UK Borders Bill is the next step in implementing the Home Office's plans to strengthen the ability of the new Border and Immigration Agency to deter and detect those breaking the rules and ensure that foreign nationals legally in the UK play their part in supporting the UK immigration system. The Bill is not the legislative vehicle by which we will implement the convention, but there are no provisions that are incompatible with it. Indeed, several provisions will help prevent trafficking and punish and deter traffickers, such as the measures to tackle facilitation and trafficking, the requirement for those subject to immigration control to make an application for a biometric immigration document, and automatic deportation for foreign national criminals.

Police: IPCC

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Independent Police Complaints Commission pays the total costs it incurs while conducting an investigation; and, if not, which other bodies contribute towards these costs. [HL2588]

The costs arising from investigations conducted by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) are a matter for the commission.

Your Question has been passed to the chair of the IPCC and I will ensure that he replies to you directly and arrange for copies of his response to be placed in the House Libraries.

Prisoners: Supervision

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many prisoners are currently subject to supervision by MAPPA (multi-agency public protection). [HL2190]


asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the average cost to the taxpayer of (a) a community order, and (b) a suspended sentence order. [HL2540]

There are no separately costed figures for a community order and a suspended sentence order.

The community order and the suspended sentence order were introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 for offences committed on or after 4 April 2005. For 2005-06 the average cost in the National Probation Service of a community sentence, which included for this purpose suspended sentence orders, was estimated as £2,400. As 2005-06 was a transitional year, with sentences running under both the pre-CJA 2003 regulations and the CJA 2003 regulations, this estimated cost should be treated with caution. The custodial cost arising from breach of a suspended sentence order is not included in the above cost.

Somaliland: Millennium Development Goals

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the capacity of the Somaliland authorities to measure their attainment of the millennium development goals. [HL2157]

The UN has carried out a number of household surveys in Somalia (including Somaliland) and collated data on its progress against the MDGs (table below).

Assessment of the Transitional Federal Government and Somaliland and Puntland authorities' capacity to measure their attainment of the MDGs has been difficult as data collection in Somalia has been hampered since 1990 as a result of the civil war, insecurity and lack of governmental institutions. The TFG, Somaliland and Puntland authorities and donors are committed to addressing this and will be discussing plans for a national census and for statistical capacity to be strengthened at an envisaged donor conference later this year.





Eradicate poverty and hunger

Population living below $1 a day (whole of Somalia)


Prevalence child malnutrition (% underweight under 5)



Achieve universal primary education

Net primary enrolment ratio



Promote gender equality

Ratio girls to boys in primary and secondary education


Proportion of seats in Parliament held by women



Reduce child mortality

Under five mortality rate (per 1,000)


Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live births)



Improve maternal health

Maternal mortality rate (per 100,000 live births)


Births attended by skilled health staff



Combat HIV/AIDS malaria and other diseases

HIV prevalence among 15-24 year old pregnant women


Incidence of TB (per 100,000 per year)



Ensure environmental sustainability

Access to an improved water source (% of population)


Access to improved sanitation



Develop a global partnership for development

Access to affordable, essential drugs (whole of Somalia)


UNDP MDG Report Somalia, UNICEF Multiple Cluster Indicator Surveys, UNDP Human Development Reports, household surveys from 1999-2004.


asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much money has been spent on translation services for non-English speaking citizens of the United Kingdom each year since 1997. [HL2685]

The Government have not made an estimate of the amount spent on translation services for non-English speaking citizens of the United Kingdom. Individual public bodies are accountable for this spend, but the Government are committed to working with them to look at the issue and consider balancing this to give a greater focus on promoting community cohesion. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government therefore has asked the Commission on Integration and Cohesion to consider this issue as part of its final report due in June 2007.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to review the adequacy and effectiveness of money being spent on translation services, in light of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's aim that all citizens living in Great Britain should speak English. [HL2686]

Earlier this year, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government asked the Commission on Integration and Cohesion to consider this issue as part of its final report in June 2007. The commission, in its interim statement published in February, said that it intended to provide further information alongside its final report on the key questions local authorities should be asking before making decisions as to what to translate. The Government will decide how to take this issue forward once they receive the commission's advice.

Transport: Accidents

asked Her Majesty's Government:

By what criteria they decide whether to make a Statement to Parliament in the aftermath of a road or rail accident. [HL2431]

Whether or not to make an Oral Statement to the House is decided on a case-by-case basis, taking account of the requirements of the Ministerial Code.

Turkey: Human Rights

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether Article 301 of Turkey's penal code, which makes it a criminal offence to insult the Turkish identity and prevents free discussion of the circumstances in which Armenians lost their lives in 1915–16, is compatible with membership of the European Union. [HL2784]

The European Commission has said that,

“if the Turkish Penal Code continues to be interpreted in a restrictive manner, then it may need to be amended in order to safeguard freedom of expression in Turkey”.

We endorse this view and continue to press the Turkish authorities to address the issue of Article 301, both in the context of Turkey's accession to the EU and for the benefit of Turkish society.

Young Offender Institutions: Huntercombe

asked Her Majesty's Government:

On how many occasions since September 2004 independent monitoring boards have raised with the Home Office and the Youth Justice Board their concerns about the arrival late at night of young people being transported to the Huntercombe young offender institution. [HL2541]

The independent monitoring board at YOI Huntercombe has raised concerns to the Home Office and Youth Justice Board on 64 occasions since September 2004.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

At what time is the latest recorded arrival of a young person at Huntercombe young offender institution. [HL2542]

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How often in the past 12 months juveniles have been transported to Huntercombe young offender institution in shared transport with adult prisoners. [HL2544]

Contractors’ records show that between March 2006 and February 2007, 90 juvenile prisoners shared transport with adult prisoners while being escorted to HMYOI Huntercombe. In such circumstances management arrangements ensure effective separation within the vehicle.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many young people in Huntercombe young offender institution have been held more than 100 miles from their homes in the latest period for which figures are available. [HL2558]

As of January 2007, there were 13 young people from HMYOI Huntercombe who were being held more than 100 miles from their home address.

Where no home address is listed for a young person the committal court has been used as a proxy address.


asked Her Majesty's Government:

What treaties and agreements are in force relating to the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes giving protection to investors in Zimbabwe who are nationals of (a) the United Kingdom, and (b) other European Union member states. [HL2603]

The UK signed an investment promotion and protection agreement (IPPA) with Zimbabwe on 1 March 1995, but this has yet to be ratified. Ratification of the IPPA would allow present and future UK investors to take the Government of Zimbabwe to international arbitration if they illegally expropriated a UK investment.

However, to ratify this IPPA the Government of Zimbabwe would need to change their constitution to allow international agreements to take precedence over national law. Current UK investments in Zimbabwe are not protected by international agreement.

Our embassy in Harare continues to press the Government of Zimbabwe to ratify the agreement, so far without success. Ratification is unlikely to take place in the current economic and political climate.

Three EU member states, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, have bilateral investment protection agreements in force which relate to the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Seven other EU member states, Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Sweden have signed bilateral investment treaties with Zimbabwe which also relate to ICSID. None has been ratified.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the fact that Zimbabwe is no longer a member of the Commonwealth means that the situation in that country will not be discussed at any point during the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. [HL2668]

The agenda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November has not yet been established. Since Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth in December 2003 and has not subsequently sought to rejoin, it is unlikely to be part of the formal agenda of the meeting.