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Written Answers

Volume 692: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

Written Answers

Monday 4 June 2007

Agriculture: Animal Diseases

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the inquiries that they pursue in the event of outbreaks of non-United Kingdom animal diseases include seeking to recover costs from any person who is deemed to be responsible. [HL3837]

Yes. We always carry out investigations into the reasons behind outbreaks of exotic notifiable disease (that is, those not endemic to the United Kingdom). Where there is evidence of non-compliance with animal health legislation, the appropriate authority will consider whether legal proceedings should be instigated and this includes the recovery of costs. Where there is a failure to act in a reasonable manner to control disease, my department will also seek to recover its disease control costs.

My department is working with the livestock industry on how the roles, responsibilities and costs of providing animal health and welfare could be balanced better. The scope of the work includes the strengthening of the available steps where there are failures in responsibility.

Albania

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they recognise the Albanian royal family and support the efforts they are making towards national reconstruction. [HL3900]

The UK welcomes any efforts that help the development of Albania. Leka Zogu, the son of the former King of Albania Ahmet Zogu (King Zog), had some involvement with the Legality Movement and National Movement for Development, both political parties, following his return from exile in 2002. In February 2006, he announced his withdrawal from political life.

Animal Welfare: Vets

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they accept the need for a baseline number of state vets formerly called the State Veterinary Service, now renamed Animal Health. [HL3905]

Animal Health's resources and work demands are reviewed regularly and the number of directly employed vets will vary from time to time. However, it is accepted that Animal Health's in-house veterinary capability is core to its business. In the last year, Animal Health has converted some 70 temporary veterinary positions into permanent posts, to bring the current veterinary staff complement to almost 300 full-time equivalents. A set baseline number for the agency may not be helpful at this time, given that the responsibilities of the agency will continue to change.

Armed Forces: A400M

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why they propose to procure aircraft such as the A400M without a full defensive aids suite fit.[HL3822]

We continuously review our requirements for defensive aid suites (DAS), taking into account operational roles, threat assessments, the technology available and industrial capacity. This includes keeping under review the scale of DAS procurement for the A400M aircraft, all of which will be “fitted for” DAS.

Armed Forces: Internment Procedure

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the conditioning of detainees by hooding, ordering them into a stress position and deprivation of sleep to sustain the impact of detention prior to interrogation, as described at the recent court martial of members of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment and others, is in accordance with the requirements of the Geneva Convention; and, if so, whether it is allowed explicitly or implicitly by those conventions. [HL3560]

The recently concluded court martial of Payne and others lasted for 94 days. Evidence was heard from many witnesses, a number of whom referred to conditioning for interrogation, hooding, stress positions and sleep deprivation. Some evidence was heard in camera. The use of hooding, stress positions or sleep deprivation for conditioning prior to interrogation is unlawful as contrary to the Geneva Conventions.

These were issues of fact and law that would properly fall to be argued and determined as necessary in the court martial proceedings. In his summing up to the panel in the court martial on 12 March 2007, the Judge Advocate, Mr Justice McKinnon, said: “It is not necessary to discuss the lawfulness of hooding and stress positions save to this extent: stress positions are generally accepted to be unlawful as contrary to the Geneva Conventions and the laws of armed conflict”. He continued: “It is common ground that hooding was acceptable at the material time for good security reasons but questions of its general acceptability would or might arise if it was used for long periods in the heat of Iraq or if it was used for the purposes of sensory deprivation. This case does not stand or fall on a consideration of hooding. The real issue relates to stress positions”.

Avian Flu

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in light of the report by the National Emergency Epidemiology Group into the possible source of the outbreak of avian influenza, they will introduce a requirement for greater biosecurity around meat processing plants that deal in infected meat. [HL3836]

The Government’s policy is to promote the highest possible levels of biosecurity and vigilance to prevent the risk of disease occurring. This applies to all elements of food production.

In the event of an outbreak of avian influenza, animal disease controls are put in place to prevent the spread of the infection to birds and to prevent potentially infected poultry meat from entering the food chain. This is to avoid the risk that such meat might present an animal health risk of spreading the disease. The Food Standard Agency’s advice is that avian influenza does not pose a food safety risk to the United Kingdom consumer. Processing plants are permitted to obtain meat from areas outside animal disease control zones. Clear requirements for the handling and disposal of waste in meat processing plants are set out in existing hygiene and animal by-product legislation and are enforced by the Meat Hygiene Service and local authorities.

Chagos Islands

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, following the refusal by the Court of Appeal to grant leave to appeal to the House of Lords against the judgment of the Court of Appeal on 23 May dismissing the Government's appeal against the cancellation by the Divisional Court of two Orders in Council on the right of abode of the Chagossian people in their homeland, they propose to petition the House of Lords for leave to appeal; and whether they accept the decisions of the courts to date. [HL3981]

My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary will consider the 23 May judgment of the Court of Appeal carefully and has in this regard asked officials for further advice. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary reserves the right to petition the House of Lords to grant permission to appeal, as she is entitled to do within one month. The Government's policy in relation to the British Indian Ocean Territory therefore remains the subject of possible ongoing legal proceedings and it would be inappropriate to comment further.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will take measures to facilitate the return of the Chagos islanders; and create a trust fund to help to revive the economy of the Chagos Islands. [HL3982]

My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary will consider the 23 May judgment of the Court of Appeal carefully and has in this regard asked officials for further advice. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary reserves the right to petition the House of Lords to grant permission to appeal, as she is entitled to do within one month. The Government's policy in relation to the British Indian Ocean Territory therefore remains the subject of possible ongoing legal proceedings and it would be inappropriate to comment further.

Climate Change: Carbon Credits

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their response to recent reports of people and organisations buying carbon credits that do not yield any reductions in carbon emissions; and [HL3756]

What action they are taking in response to recent reports of failings in the new markets for carbon credits and other greenhouse gases; and [HL3757]

What is their response to recent reports of an inadequacy of procedures for verification of the real value in carbon credits; and [HL3758]

What is their response to recent reports of wide variations in the price per tonne of carbon dioxide offsets; and [HL3759]

What is the official procedure for organisations wishing to set up in business selling carbon offsetting mechanisms; and how this sector is regulated. [HL3760]

The Government support offsetting as part of a hierarchy of actions, the most important being to reduce emissions. We acknowledge that carbon offsetting is not a cure for climate change, but it can help to raise awareness and to reduce the impact of our actions.

The Government support the use of offsets generated by robust and verifiable mechanisms bound by international regulation. The Government's own offsetting schemes use the clean development mechanism (CDM), which can also be accessed by consumers through a variety of providers. We have also proposed that the CDM and other regulatory market offset mechanisms form the core of Defra's voluntary code of best practice for the provision of offsetting to UK customers.

The CDM is supervised by an executive board, established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This is responsible for full oversight and the release of certified emission reductions (CERs) to projects that have met the requirements of the CDM process. That process is multi-stage, employing stringent verification procedures to ensure the real value of the emission reductions generated.

The carbon market is an essential part of the package to tackle climate change globally and is a crucial mechanism to help to drive the investment needed to reduce emissions cost-effectively. The market is growing rapidly and faces development issues, as any emerging market does. For example, there is a need for more investment, via the carbon market, in Africa. At the second meeting of parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP2) in Nairobi, there was a particular focus on enabling wider uptake of CDM projects—a “Nairobi framework” was agreed to facilitate investment in Africa. The UK, as the major focus of the carbon market, wants to work to connect market experts here with project developers in Africa as a contribution to this work.

COP/MOP2 also encouraged further initiatives to help to build capacity to carry out projects and agreed measures aimed, for instance, at aiding easier development of small-scale CDM projects. We are also co-operating with colleagues in other countries to consider how we might link the EU-ETS, which is currently at the heart of the carbon market, to other emerging schemes and so work towards a truly global market for carbon.

There is currently no regulation of businesses that sell carbon offsetting mechanisms. However, on 18 January, Defra launched a consultation on a voluntary code of best practice for the provision of carbon offsetting to customers. The consultation closed on 13 April 2007 and the code of best practice is expected to be operational by the end of the year.

The purpose of establishing a code is to ensure consumer confidence in an emerging market and continued growth of that market through that confidence. The code will be voluntary and offset providers can choose whether to seek accreditation for all, or some, of their offsetting products.

The code proposes that offset providers supply consumers with clear information and transparent prices. It is not for the Government to dictate prices for CO2 offsets, but there is a market price for carbon, established by the EU-ETS, which is available to the public as a point of reference.

Defra plans to support the standard by providing guidance to consumers on offsetting, which will also help consumers to make informed decisions about their actions.

Climate Change: Models

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they plan to re-examine the range of climate models used by the Hadley Centre for assessing UKCIP02 options to include models from other European Union countries; and, if so, which other models will be examined. [HL3615]

The UKCIP02 national climate scenarios, published in 2002, were based on projections of future climate change using the Met Office Hadley Centre climate model. There are no plans to re-examine the range of climate models used by the Met Office for assessing UKCIP02. However, the next set of scenarios, UKCIP08, due to be published in 2008, will be based on projections from the Met Office model, augmented by results from other models around the world, including Europe.

Other models that will be used are:

France

ISPL model at Institut Pierre Simon Laplace

Russia

INM-CM3.0 model at Institute for Numerical Mathematics

USA

UIUC model at University of Illinois

CCSM3.0 model at National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

Japan

MIROC-medres medium-resolution model at Center for Climate System Research (University of Tokyo), National Institute for Environmental Studies, and Frontier Research Center for Global Change (JAMSTEC)

MRI-CGCM2.3.2 model at Meteorological Research Unit

Canada

CGCM3.1 T63 model at Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis

Australia

CSIRO-MK3.0 model at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

There is potential also to include:

Germany

MPI ECHAM5—Max Planck Institute

USA

GFDL AM-2 model at Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

NCAR PCM—National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) parallel climate model

NASA GISS—Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Japan

MIROC-hires high-resolution model at Center for Climate System Research (University of Tokyo), National Institute for Environmental Studies, and Frontier Research Center for Global Change (JAMSTEC).

Common Agricultural Policy

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Davies of Oldham on 16 April (WA 11), on what basis they maintain that the United Kingdom's contribution to common agricultural policy (CAP) spending cannot be identified, in light of the Answer by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on 25 November 1999 (Official Report, col. 748) and the Written Answer by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on 8 January 2001 (Official Report, col. 453W); and what are (a) the present annual cost of the CAP to (i) consumers, and (ii) taxpayers; and (b) total expenditure on United Kingdom agriculture by (i) the Government, and (ii) the European Union in the latest year for which figures are available. [HL3804]

The United Kingdom makes its contributions to the EC budget as a whole and not to individual spending programmes within it. There is not therefore a specific United Kingdom contribution to common agricultural policy spending. However, as has been done in the past, we can provide notional estimates.

We can estimate the UK consumer cost of the CAP by comparing the difference between UK and world prices for agricultural products and applying that difference to the volume of UK consumption. Our latest provisional estimate for 2005 is a consumer cost of approximately £3.5 billion. Based on information contained in EC amending budget No. 6/2006, the notional United Kingdom taxpayer contribution to common agricultural spending in 2006 is £4.2 billion.

Total expenditure on United Kingdom agriculture in 2006-07 from the EC budget was £2.9 billion, and can be divided into the following categories:

Market support—£366 million

Direct aids—£2.4 billion

Rural development—£163 million.

On top of that, approximately £763 million was spent on English agriculture by the Government.

Responsibility for domestic agricultural spending is a devolved matter and advice on such expenditure needs to be sought from each of the devolved Administrations.

Crime: Business

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans there are for a national definition for recording crimes against business, to be adopted by all police forces in England and Wales. [HL3811]

There are no plans to set a national definition of business crime.

Crimes against business are already recorded in crime statistics but are often grouped together with other, unrelated crimes. The aim is to measure these with consistency and accuracy. Crimes such as robbery of business property, theft from a shop, theft by an employee and different types of fraud are already counted separately in recorded crime statistics and work will continue to expand the range of these. Once a definition of commercial burglary has been agreed during 2007-08, this can be adopted by all police forces in their crime recording systems and in returns to the Home Office. The new commercial burglary definition will then be piloted in 2008-09 as part of the Home Office annual data requirement.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What support they are giving to the business crime forums, which are emerging in some regions in England and Wales, and to the business crime contacts in regional government offices, in tackling crimes against business.[HL3813]

A key aspect of regional business crime and fraud forums is that they are locally driven by those in the business community who wish to have them and are willing to support them. Government support is given through advice and information from the Home Office and through government regional offices.

Central Home Office funding for regional work on tackling crime, drugs and anti-social behaviour is now channelled through the Safer and Stronger Communities Fund (SSCF), a joint fund with Communities and Local Government (CLG). Decisions about how this funding is spent are therefore devolved to the local area through the local area agreement process.

Crime: Prison Officers

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 21 May (WA 82), why HM Prison Service does not record all prosecutions or convictions of prison officers. [HL3969]

Prison Service staff are required to inform their line managers if they have been charged or convicted of a criminal offence or receive a police caution. Information reported remains in local records. The Prison Service will consider whether to change these procedures as part of its improvement plan to strengthen the service’s approach to tackling corruption.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why no information is held centrally on the number of prison officers convicted of offences of corruption or other offences relating to their duties, when such information is held on the number of police officers so convicted. [HL4009]

The value of central collection of information on staff prosecutions or convictions will be considered as part of the improvement plan to strengthen the Prison Service’s approach to tackling corruption.

EU: Article 308

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answers by Lord Triesman on 14 May (WA 5), if Article 308 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC) cannot be used by the Community to widen its competencies beyond what is needed to attain the objectives mentioned in the treaty (a) why they did not veto; and (b) how do they justify the following European initiatives, which rely on Article 308 TEC for their legality (i) the seven Council directives and regulations mentioned in the letter of 2 March 2004 from the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to the chairman of the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee; (ii) the 30 Council directives and regulations passed since 2004 and mentioned in the document placed in the Library of the House on 17 April by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which appear to fall outside the objectives of the TEC; and (iii) proposals for Council decisions and regulations 8205/05, 8210/05, 10774/05, 5865/06, 13852/06 and 16933/06. [HL3909]

In assessing the legal base of proposals brought forward by the Commission, the Government apply criteria laid down by the Court of Justice in case law dating back to the 1980s and consider each proposal as a whole, and in particular its aim and content. Article 308 requires that a proposal be necessary for the achievement of a Community objective and that the Council must act unanimously. The Government have given an undertaking that, where the Commission puts forward a legislative proposal citing Article 308 as its legal base, the Commission's justification of its choice of legal base and the Government's assessment of that choice will be provided to the scrutiny committees.

EU: Bilateral Meeting with Russia

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the meeting of the European Union and Government of Russia took place at Samara as planned; and, if so, what were its conclusions. [HL3852]

The EU-Russia summit took place on 17 and 18 May as scheduled and covered a broad agenda, including international issues, trade, climate change and energy. The EU raised human rights. There were no formal conclusions.

EU: Competences

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which clauses in the existing European Union treaties justify the European Union's competence in the fields of energy, tourism, space and health, and justify its external action service. [HL3910]

Articles 2 and 3 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (the EC treaty) outline its common objectives and activities. Article 3(1p) makes a specific reference to health protection, and Article 3(1t) to energy and tourism. In addition, Articles 95 and 175 of the EC treaty outline the principal legal bases for action on energy, and public health is covered by Article 152.

The co-ordination and facilitation of co-operative space activities by the EU and European Space Agency (ESA) is provided by Article 8 of the EU/ESA framework agreement. This is based on Articles 170 and 300(2) of the EC treaty, which provide respectively for international co-operation with third countries and international organisations and for the conclusion of international agreements.

The EU has no external action service.

EU: UK Contribution

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Davies of Oldham on 14 May (WA 6), what is their best estimate of the United Kingdom's gross annual contributions to the European Union budget over the years 2007 to 2012 if (a) the United Kingdom's rebate is maintained, and (b) the rebate is not maintained. [HL3959]

Based on the European Commission’s forecasts and assumptions, and using the financial perspective table agreed on 17 December 2005, Treasury estimates for the United Kingdom’s gross contribution to the EC budget and the abatement were set out in an Answer given in the other place on 31 January 2006 and are as follows:

£ billion 2004 prices (payments)

Gross contribution before abatement

Abatement

2007

-14.2

3.9

2008

-14.6

4.6 to 4.7

2009

-13.7

4.8 to 4.9

2010

-14.4

3.8 to 3.9

2011-13

-14.1 to -14.5

3.5 to 4.1

Later calendar year estimates for the United Kingdom’s contributions to the EC budget will be published annually in the Government’s European Community finances White Paper. The 2007 edition of this White Paper (Cm 7090) was published on 22 May 2007.

Extradition: Mr Manzarpour

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why, when Lord Triesman said on 30 March 2006 that “we are taking a close and active interest in the case of Mr Ali Manzarpour, and we are looking after the rights of Mr Manzarpour as well as we can” (Official Report, col. 852), Baroness Scotland of Asthal stated in a Written Answer on 9 May that “the United Kingdom Government have no locus in this case” (WA 261). [HL3967]

The noble Earl refers to my response of 30 March 2006 (Official Report, col. 852), which related to the consular assistance that was provided to Mr Ali Manzarpour while he was detained in Poland. This was in line with standard consular policy towards British nationals in detention abroad. On 14 December 2006, Mr Manzarpour was released from Warsaw detention centre and returned to the United Kingdom. The Answer given by my noble friend the Minister of State for the Home Department, the right honourable Baroness Scotland QC, on 9 May to the noble Earl (Official Report, cols. WA 260-61), related to a question about an extradition request by the United States to Poland for Mr Manzarpour. The Government clearly have no locus in this matter and are unable to answer such questions.

Female Genital Mutilation

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Ashton of Upholland on 15 May (WA 24), how many victims of genital mutilation have applied for civil protection under Part IV of the Family Law Act 1996 (as amended) or the Protection from Harassment Act 1997; and [HL3861]

Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Ashton of Upholland on 15 May (WA 24), whether they have published guidance to victims of genital mutilation about the civil protection available to them. [HL3862]

The type of abuse in a case, including female genital mutilation (FGM), is not recorded centrally when an application for civil protection is made under either the Family Law Act 1996 or the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

There is no separate guidance on civil court protection for victims of FGM. However, in March this year my department published an update of the 2003 guidance Domestic ViolenceA Guide to Civil Remedies and Criminal Sanctions, which outlines a number of civil remedies available to victims and how to apply. There is also a range of guidance across government concerning FGM, including a DVD produced by the Department of Health, which provides both factual and clinical information to health professionals.

Fishing: North Devon

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What effect a 12-mile Welsh territorial water boundary has had on the north Devon fishing fleet. [HL3794]

In addition to EU or UK legislation, the fleet is subject to those rules introduced by the Welsh authorities that apply exclusively in their own waters. As far as I am aware, the only supplementary legislation of this type applies to scallop dredging and was introduced following full consultation with the interests concerned.

Fishing: Protection Duties

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether there are plans for the Royal Navy to extend fishery protection duties to include the waters surrounding the coasts of Scotland and Northern Ireland. [HL3880]

On behalf of the Marine and Fisheries Agency (Defra), the Royal Navy conducts fishery protection duties in English, Welsh and Northern Irish waters. In the last case, this is in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

There are no plans for the Royal Navy to conduct fishery protection duties in Scottish waters. This is the responsibility of the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency, which is funded by the Scottish Executive.

Food: Labelling

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the responsibility for checking correct labelling of national and imported foods lies with local authorities or the Food Standards Agency or both. [HL3731]

The Food Standards Agency has the overall policy responsibility for food labelling. However, the enforcement of the legislation is undertaken by food enforcement officers, who are employed by local authorities.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is taking following the recent case of potatoes imported from abroad being sold as Pembrokeshire potatoes; and whether they will make representations to those countries that flout correct labelling rules. [HL3734]

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has policy responsibility for labelling, but responsibility for enforcement of labelling legislation rests with local authorities. The responsibility for accurate labelling lies with the food business operator at the point of sale. Hence in this case the FSA is leaving the matter in the hands of Cardiff Trading Standards to resolve locally. The FSA has received information that the potatoes had the correct origin when imported and is therefore not proposing to take any further action or representation with the countries supplying the potatoes.

France: Bilateral Discussions

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Triesman on 14 May (WA 6), whether they will provide more explicit information about the bilateral Anglo-French interests referred to in the discussion between the Prime Minister and President Sarkozy. [HL3842]

My right honourable friend the Prime Minister saw President Sarkozy on 11 May. They agreed on the importance of bilateral co-operation, including within the EU and G8. They also discussed prospects for the European Council in June, policy toward EU enlargement, EU trade policy and the common agricultural policy.

Freedom of Information

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the extent to which the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Human Rights Act 1998 contain appropriate and necessary safeguards to limit or restrict the right of public access to information communicated to public authorities by Members of Parliament in their capacity as such, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, and to respect the right to private life and correspondence. [HL3926]

The Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 were drafted by this Government with the need to protect confidential and personal information in mind. There are provisions within the Acts to protect such information where appropriate. The Government have not made a separate assessment of the safeguards within these Acts. The Human Rights Act 1998 contains provisions to give further effect to the convention rights, which include the right to respect for private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have reviewed the extent to which the Data Protection Act 1998 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000 need to be amended in the public interest so as further to limit or restrict the right of public access (a) to information about the activities of Members of Parliament, or (b) to information communicated to public authorities by Members of Parliament in their capacity as such; and, if so, for what reasons and in what respects are such amendments needed. [HL3927]

The Government have not made a review of the kind suggested by the noble Lord. There are appropriate provisions already in both Acts to protect sensitive information.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have received notification of any instances in which personal or confidential information communicated to public authorities by Members of Parliament in their capacity as such has been improperly disclosed, whether in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000, or otherwise. [HL3928]

The Government have not received notification of any improper disclosure of personal or confidential information communicated to public authorities by Members of Parliament in their capacity as such.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What remedies are available to individuals whose right to respect for their personal privacy has been infringed by virtue of the unauthorised disclosure of personal or confidential information about themselves, communicated to public authorities by Members of Parliament in their capacity as such. [HL3929]

An individual has the right to remedies following an unauthorised disclosure of personal information only where such a disclosure has been proven to contravene the relevant legislation (for example, the Data Protection Act 1998) or the common law (for example, where a duty of confidence is owed in respect of the information in question).

Fur Farming

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether fur farmers whose businesses were terminated on the bringing into force of the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Act 2000 have received financial compensation arising from that Act; and, if so, what was the range of amounts paid to them. [HL3955]

Eleven former fur farmers submitted claims for compensation as a result of the ban on fur farming under the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Act 2000. Four of these claims have been settled. The remaining seven claims remain in dispute and are currently being progressed through formal arbitration.

As seven of the claims remain in dispute, it would be inappropriate to release information relating to the settled compensation claims, as it could undermine the effective conduct of negotiations at a sensitive time and have a prejudicial effect on the outcome of the unsettled claims.

The outcome of arbitration is confidential between the parties. However, information relating to the total amount of compensation paid will be published once all the claims have been settled.

Gambling: Online Casinos

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they propose to accede to requests from the Government of the United States for the extradition of British subjects alleged to have infringed United States laws prohibiting online gambling; and whether they have received any such requests to date. [HL3894]

For any extradition request made by the US to the UK (and vice versa) to succeed, the “dual criminality” test must be satisfied. This means that the conduct for which a person's extradition is sought must be an offence in both the requesting and requested states, punishable by a term of at least 12 months' detention in both territories. Online gambling is not an offence in the UK.

As a matter of policy and practice, the Home Office will neither confirm nor deny the existence of any extradition request ahead of an arrest.

Government Departments: Ecosystem Services

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which departments, if any, carry out assessments of ecosystem services as part of their operations; and what guidelines they have issued to encourage departments to factor the economic, social and environmental value of ecosystem services into their decision-making process. [HL3888]

Defra is leading government efforts to develop means of assessing the state and trends of ecosystem services and of taking the value of ecosystem services into account in decision-making. The department will publish an action plan by the end of 2007 for embedding an “ecosystems approach” to policy and decision-making on the natural environment in England, which will set out how Defra and partners will work towards more integrated management of the natural environment to deliver healthy ecosystems and a sustainable supply of ecosystem goods and services.

Valuation of ecosystem services will be key to the success of this approach, and Defra will be publishing an introductory guide to valuation of ecosystem services in policy and project appraisals later this year to engage other government departments and agencies with this agenda. This is seen as a first step towards development of more specific guidance on the appraisal and valuation of ecosystem services, and further actions for appraisal and valuation guidance will be identified in the ecosystems approach action plan.

Health: Colitis and Crohn's Disease

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment has been made of the special educational needs of children under the age of 19 who have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. [HL3984]

The assessment of children's special educational needs is not a function that is carried out centrally. The SEN code of practice provides practical advice to local authorities, maintained schools, early education settings and others on carrying out their statutory duties to identify, assess and make provision for all children with special educational needs.

Additional guidance Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings (DH/DfES) and sister guidance Including Me: Managing Complex Health Needs in Schools and Early Years Settings (Council for Disabled Children/DfES) provide help to all schools and early years settings in developing policies on managing medicines, in putting in place effective management systems to support individual children with medical needs and in enabling children with complex health needs to access education and childcare.

Health: Continuing Care

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much each strategic health authority in England has spent on continuing care in each of the past five years. [HL3821]

Health: Dentistry

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many consultants in dental public health were employed by each primary care trust (i) in 2005-06, and (ii) in 2006-07; and how many are currently employed.[HL3801]

The Information Centre's workforce data are collected annually and are a snapshot of staff in post as at 30 September each year. The most recent data, provided in the Answer given to the noble Lord on 9 May (Official Report, col. WA 264), show the headcount position as at 30 September 2006. Data for 2007 are due for collection on 30 September 2007 and although a publication date has not yet been set it is planned to be in the spring of 2008.

Health: Dyspepsia

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What estimates have been made of savings to the National Health Service in the event that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence clinical guidelines for the management of dyspepsia in adults in primary care, published in August 2004, were fully implemented by all primary care trusts; and [HL3877]

What studies have been commissioned on the level of implementation in primary care trusts of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence clinical guidelines for the management of dyspepsia in adults in primary care. [HL3878]

We have made no estimate of the savings to the National Health Service that would result from full implementation by all primary care trusts (PCTs) of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) clinical guideline on the management of dyspepsia in adults in primary care. Nor have we commissioned any studies on the level of implementation of the guideline by PCTs.

NICE clinical guidelines are recommendations on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions and are intended to support clinical decision-taking. NICE guidance does not over-ride the individual responsibility of health professionals to make appropriate decisions, which may deviate from the guidance, according to the circumstances of the individual patient and in consultation with the patient or their representative.

Health: Medicines

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What percentage of total National Health Service expenditure was spent on medicines in the latest year for which data are available; and what was the equivalent percentage 10 years previously. [HL3871]

The following table shows total net drugs expenditure and National Health Service revenue expenditure for the years 1995-96 and 2005-06.

Total net drugs expenditure (£ million)

Total net NHS revenue expenditure (£ million)

Drugs spend as proportion of total NHS revenue expenditure (%)

1995-96

4,379

30,250

14.5

2005-06

9,979

73,677

13.5

National Health Service expenditure is the total NHS net revenue expenditure. NHS expenditure is on a cash basis pre-1999-2000 inclusive, and a resource basis post-1999-2000. Resource budgeting (RB) was introduced in two stages. Phase 1 (2000-01 to 2002-03) included debtors and creditors and phase 2 (2003-04 onwards) applies full RB.

As a result of these accounting differences, the two years are not strictly comparable.

Notes: Figures are net which include Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme receipt savings.

Source: Prescription pricing division of the NHS Business Services Authority, England and department finance division.

Health: Prostate Cancer

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 9 May (WA 267) on screening for prostate cancer, what figures they have for each primary care trust on the numbers of identified cases of aggressive cancers; and whether these figures show any variation in the incidence of such cases by ethnic group. [HL3784]

Incidence figures for prostate cancer are not collected based on how aggressive the cancer is or on the ethnicity of the patient. However, latest figures show that 29,406 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in England in 2004 and the table below breaks this down by primary care trust (PCT).

PCT

Number of patients with prostate cancer

South Gloucestershire

149

Havering

188

Kingston

81

Bromley

96

Greenwich Teaching

84

Barnet

140

North East Lincolnshire

75

Hillingdon

111

Enfield

120

Barking and Dagenham

70

City and Hackney Teaching

87

Tower Hamlets

39

Newham

72

Haringey Teaching

90

Blackburn with Darwen

66

Herefordshire

112

Milton Keynes

119

Newcastle

121

North Tyneside

125

Hartlepool

46

North Tees

72

North Lincolnshire

77

Nottingham City

115

Bassetlaw

37

Plymouth Teaching

191

Salford

118

Stockport

205

Portsmouth City Teaching

89

Bath and North East Somerset

128

Luton

74

Hammersmith and Fulham

62

Rotherham

85

Ashton, Leigh and Wigan

191

Blackpool

132

Bolton

167

Ealing

114

Hounslow

59

Warrington

73

Knowsley

111

Oldham

185

Calderdale

111

Darlington

54

Barnsley

116

Bury

123

Swindon

86

Brent Teaching

126

Harrow

92

Camden

57

Islington

75

Croydon

170

Gateshead

100

South Tyneside

59

Sunderland Teaching

139

Middlesbrough

86

Southampton City

126

Medway

106

Kensington and Chelsea

70

Westminster

86

Lambeth

101

Southwark

85

Lewisham

105

Wandsworth

127

Tameside and Glossop

159

Brighton and Hove City

106

South Birmingham

221

Shropshire County

204

Walsall Teaching

168

Richmond and Twickenham

75

Sutton and Merton

187

North Somerset

179

Coventry Teaching

193

Telford and Wrekin

70

Wolverhampton City

138

Heart of Birmingham Teaching

143

Leeds

406

Kirklees

197

Wakefield District

205

Sheffield

294

Doncaster

133

Derbyshire County

400

Derby City

120

Nottinghamshire County

305

Lincolnshire

559

Redbridge

92

Waltham Forest

49

County Durham

247

Cumbria

243

North Lancashire

301

Central Lancashire

331

East Lancashire

214

Sefton

267

Wirral

158

Liverpool

306

Halton and St Helens

173

Western Cheshire

158

Central and Eastern Cheshire

313

Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale

123

Trafford

182

Manchester

180

North Yorkshire and York

607

East Riding of Yorkshire

235

Hull

145

Bradford and Airedale

221

South East Essex

211

Bedfordshire

192

East and North Hertfordshire

304

West Hertfordshire

143

Surrey

478

West Sussex

504

East Sussex Downs and Weald

215

Hastings and Rother

98

West Kent

349

Leicestershire County and Rutland

412

Leicester City

106

Northamptonshire

352

Dudley

137

Sandwell

126

Birmingham East and North

289

North Staffordshire

85

Stoke on Trent

91

South Staffordshire

434

Worcestershire

441

Warwickshire

337

Peterborough

78

Cambridgeshire

351

Norfolk

581

Great Yarmouth and Waveney

132

Suffolk

419

West Essex

197

North East Essex

140

Mid Essex

145

South West Essex

197

Eastern and Coastal Kent

405

Hampshire

762

Buckinghamshire

365

Oxfordshire

383

Berkshire West

284

Berkshire East

265

Gloucestershire

373

Bristol

204

Wiltshire

390

Somerset

381

Dorset

510

Bournemouth and Poole

310

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

334

Devon

648

Redcar and Cleveland

94

Isle of Wight National Health Service

97

Northumberland

178

Bexley

102

Torbay

106

Solihull

188

Data from the United States had suggested that there was a link between ethnicity and prostate cancer, with black men more likely to develop prostate cancer. To investigate whether this was the same for England, we funded the PROCESS study (prostate cancer in ethnic subgroup) in 2002. This study has now been completed and shows that black men are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer compared with white men, but that they do not have worse outcomes. Follow-up studies are currently being devised and will help to advise how best to take this issue forward.

Health: Stem Cell Therapy

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 30 April (WA 182) on clinical application of stem cell knowledge, which of the clinical applications involved the use of embryonic stem cells; and which involved the use of adult stem cells. [HL4039]

In reference to the Answer given to the noble Lord on 30 April 2007 (Official Report, WA 182), of the stem cell clinical trials that already fall under the remit of the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee, all were carried out using adult stem cells.

Iraq and Afghanistan: Casualty Reporting

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the average time for the notification of the casualty reporting process to be completed per casualty in (a) Iraq, and (b) Afghanistan. [HL3951]

This information is not held in the form requested and could be provided only at disproportionate effort. Casualty reporting is undertaken as quickly and sensitively as possible and takes precedence over all but the most urgent operational and security matters.

Land Management

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which catchments they have designated as priorities for the purposes of the £5 million land management grants; and what criteria were used to so designate them. [HL3918]

The England catchment sensitive farming capital grant scheme is available in 40 catchments. These catchments were identified jointly by the Environment Agency and English Nature (now part of Natural England) from data gathered for water framework directive purposes on nitrates, phosphorus and sediment pollution, combined with data on sensitive freshwater fisheries, chalk streams, failing bathing waters, groundwaters and lakes designated as special areas of conservation. English Nature prioritisation of designated sites at risk of diffuse water pollution from agriculture was also taken into account. Further local appraisals were carried out to target specific areas and pollutants as set out in a funding priority statement for each catchment. These statements can be found at www.defra.gov. uk/farm/environment/water/csf/grants/capital-grants-scheme.htm. I have also arranged for the information requested to be placed in the Library of the House.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What range of new facilities will be available for grant aid under the £5 million land management grant scheme. [HL3919]

The England catchment sensitive farming capital grant scheme covers 26 sets of items. These are mainly low-cost items and include funding for fences and gates, water provision for grazing livestock, management of run-off, drainage water, dirty water and sediments, and sheep-dip facilities. The full list can be found in the Farmer Handbook at: www.defra.gov.uk/farm/environment/water/csf/grants /capital-grants-scheme.htm. I have also arranged for the information requested to be placed in the Library of the House.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to extend the £5 million land management grant scheme to other catchments; and over what timescale. [HL3920]

The England catchment sensitive farming capital grant scheme is part of the England catchment sensitive farming delivery initiative, which runs until 31 March 2008. The future of the initiative depends on departmental spending plans for 2008-09 through to 2010-11, which are currently being considered as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007.

Licensing: Music

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Whether the Musicians Union’s 2006 survey “State of the Nation” is an adequate guide to assessing the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on the performance of live music. [HL3890]

The findings of the Musicians Union’s “State of the Nation” survey are yet to be published. In assessing the impact of the Licensing Act on live music, we will look at a range of evidence, and the views of the Musicians Union’s members will provide a valuable contribution.

DCMS set up the Live Music Forum to help to monitor the impact of the Licensing Act on live music. It has been working with, and drawing on evidence from, a range of stakeholders, including the Musicians Union. In addition, DCMS has commissioned its own research to assess the Act’s impact in this area, details of which are available on the DCMS website: www.culture.gov.uk/Reference_library/Research. This research is also available in the Library of the House.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many incidents of busking have been prohibited since the Licensing Act 2003 came into force. [HL3892]

We do not hold this information. However, in most circumstances, busking, in the sense in which the word is normally used, will not be licensable. This is because busking is usually “incidental” to other activities, such as shopping, or the premises where the music is played will not have been provided for busking to take place. There may, however, be instances that fall outside this, and other laws and by-laws may apply.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will clarify the distinction between licensable public performances and exempt private performances of live music under the Licensing Act 2003. [HL3893]

Schedule 1 to the Licensing Act 2003 provides the full definition of “regulated entertainment”, for which an authorisation is required: www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2003/30017--k.htm#sch 1.

In summary, performances of live music require an authorisation under the Licensing Act 2003 if they are provided to any extent for members of the public, in order to entertain them, and where the premises at which the live music is provided has been made available for that purpose. Section 173 lists places that are exempt from the requirements of the 2003 Act regardless of whether a performance is for the public or a private event.

A private event with live music will become licensable only where a charge is made by the event organisers or managers to an audience for whom the entertainment is, or entertainment facilities are, being provided with a view to making a profit.

Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the 2003 Act sets out certain exemptions in relation to regulated entertainment, including both public and private performances.

The 2003 Act devolved the administration of the licensing regime to licensing authorities. Any person who is uncertain whether or not any particular performance would constitute a licensable activity should seek the advice of their local licensing authority as part of planning their event.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What take-up by licensed premises there has been of the provisions set out in Section 177 of the Licensing Act 2003; and what action the Government have taken to promote the use of Section 177 with licensing authorities. [HL3924]

We do not hold this information. Sections 5.4 to 5.7 of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport's revised Guidance to Licensing Authorities provides advice about the application of Section 177 of the Licensing Act 2003.

Northern Ireland Office: Block Grant

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 25 April (WA 142), how much has been allocated to the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) departmental expenditure limit in each of the last five years; to what the NIO has allocated its funds; and what consultation and equality assessment was conducted prior to the allocations. [HL3505]

The following table shows the amounts that have been allocated to the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) in each of the last five years as per the annual published Treasury Spring Supplementary Estimates.

2002-03 £000s

2003-04 £000s

2004-05 £000s

2005-06 £000s

2006-07 £000s

Resource DEL

1,165,361

1,136,389

1,203,735

1,235,529

1,281,828

Capital DEL

41,575

72,852

82,736

65,348

85,329

The following tables show the resources allocated to the various NIO operational directorates, agencies, legal offices and non-departmental public bodies as per the 2007 NIO departmental report.

Resource Outturn

2002-03 £000s

2003-04 £000s

2004-05 £000s

2005-06 £000s

2006-07 Estimated £000s

Policing and Security

790,906

763,538

880,460

858,570

881,743

Criminal Justice

22,638

19,647

23,217

26,889

27,679

Public Prosecution Service

14,315

19,339

22,619

25,135

34,364

Prisons

149,162

112,194

114,175

129,349

138,757

Compensation Agency

33,601

28,482

26,230

45,099

41,595

Bloody Sunday Inquiry

27,037

30,411

12,411

9,397

6,687

Youth Justice Agency

0

12,822

14,864

18,970

28,929

Other

58,138

57,531

55,551

69,802

110,076

Total Resource Outturn

1,095,797

1,043,964

1,149,527

1,183,211

1,269,830

Capital Outturn

2002-03 £000s

2003-04 £000s

2004-05 £000s

2005-06 £000s

2006-07 Estimated £000s

Policing and Security

35,276

28,756

46,636

35,010

40,140

Criminal Justice

702

1,042

2,416

1,853

19,275

Public Prosecution Service

321

1,240

186

721

1,196

Prisons

13,280

14,637

11,902

10,301

13,000

Compensation Agency

582

205

630

529

215

Bloody Sunday Inquiry

0

0

0

0

0

Youth Justice Agency

0

1,959

623

6,981

475

Other

3,261

1,909

8,365

94

6,028

Total Capital Outturn

53,422

49,748

70,758

55,489

80,329

Funding allocations are considered and agreed by the NIO departmental board. Consultation was undertaken at departmental board level before allocations were agreed.

Olympic Games 2012: Shooting

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the proposal by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games to build shooting ranges at the Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich at an estimated cost of £18 million, with a further cost of £8 million to demolish the construction after the Games, satisfies value for money and lasting legacy criteria. [HL3901]

In terms of lasting legacy for shooting, it is intended that the indoor shooting range at the Royal Artillery Barracks will be deconstructed after the Games for reuse elsewhere in the UK.

Decisions on the future use and location of all of the relocatable venues will be made on a needs basis, in close consultation with the home country sports councils and UK Sport.

Passports

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many replacement United Kingdom passports have been issued in the last 12 months to persons who have previously been issued with a replacement passport on (a) one occasion, and (b) more than one occasion. [HL3828]

In the 12 months to 30 April 2007, the Identity and Passport Service issued a total of 302,361 replacement UK passports. It is not possible to break this figure down to show the number of occasions that passports were issued to replace previous replacement passports.

The total figure for replacement passports issued includes those issued to replace passports reported lost or stolen, passports replaced as a result of change of name or photograph and those where the holder has submitted a damaged passport along with the replacement passport application.

Police: National Black Police Association

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether government financial support to the Black Police Association has been suspended; if so, for what reason; for what purposes the financial support was given; and what was the annual total of such support. [HL3790]

The National Black Police Association (NBPA) is one of four staff support associations in policing that receive grant-in-aid funding from the Home Office for projects in support of diversity objectives. Funding for the NBPA supports the work of the association, which contributes to the recruitment, retention and progression of minority ethnic officers and staff and to increases in community trust and confidence in the police service.

The NBPA has received the following funding:

1999-2000

£150,000

2000-01

£50,000

2001-02

£70,370

2002-03

£70,370

2003-04

£121,214

2004-05

£108,121

2005-06

£198,083

2006-07

£180,000

Following the initial audit report of the accounts of the National Black Police Association (NBPA) by the Home Office Audit Assurance Unit, the NBPA cabinet was informed on 2 April that, due to inadequate financial controls and the lack of other financial management procedures, its grant and grant-in-aid funding for projects and administration were frozen.

On Thursday 17 May, we received the Home Office auditor's final report on the funding for the National Black Police Association. We will review the report's recommendations and work closely with the NBPA to agree the best process for taking forward the recommendations made.

Prisons

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the names and locations of all the prisons and young offender institutions in (a) England; (b) Scotland; and (c) Wales. [HL3956]

The table below lists the names by Prison Service area of all 141 prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales. The Ministry of Justice is responsible only for prisons in England and Wales.

England

HMP

Prison Service Area

HMP/YOI

Ashwell

East Midlands

HMP

North Sea Camp

East Midlands

HMP

Whatton

East Midlands

HMP

Foston Hall

East Midlands

HMP

Gartree

East Midlands

HMP

Leicester

East Midlands

HMP

Lincoln

East Midlands

HMP

Lowdham Grange

East Midlands

HMP

Morton Hall

East Midlands

HMP

Nottingham

East Midlands

HMP

Ranby

East Midlands

HMP

Rye Hill

East Midlands

HMP

Stocken

East Midlands

HMP

Sudbury

East Midlands

HMP

Wellingborough

East Midlands

HMP

Glen Parva

East Midlands

YOI

Onley

East Midlands

YOI

Bedford

Eastern

HMP

Blundeston

Eastern

HMP

Bullwood Hall

Eastern

HMP

Chelmsford

Eastern

HMP

Edmunds Hill

Eastern

HMP

Highpoint

Eastern

HMP

Hollesley Bay

Eastern

HMP

Littlehey

Eastern

HMP

Mount

Eastern

HMP

Norwich

Eastern

HMP

Peterborough

Eastern

HMP

Wayland

Eastern

HMP

Whitemoor

Eastern

HMP

Warren Hill

Eastern

YOI

Blantyre House

Kent and Sussex

HMP

Canterbury

Kent and Sussex

HMP

Cookham Wood

Kent and Sussex

HMP

East Sutton Park

Kent and Sussex

HMP

Elmley

Kent and Sussex

HMP

Ford

Kent and Sussex

HMP

Lewes

Kent and Sussex

HMP

Maidstone

Kent and Sussex

HMP

Standford Hill

Kent and Sussex

HMP

Swaleside

Kent and Sussex

HMP

Rochester

Kent and Sussex

YOI

Dover

Kent and Sussex

Immigration Removal Centre

Belmarsh

London

HMP

Brixton

London

HMP

Bronzefield

London

HMP

Holloway

London

HMP

Latchmere House

London

HMP

Pentonville

London

HMP

Wandsworth

London

HMP

Wormwood Scrubs

London

HMP

Feltham

London

YOI

Acklington

North East

HMP

Durham

North East

HMP

Frankland

North East

HMP

Holme House

North East

HMP

Kirklevington

North East

HMP

Low Newton

North East

HMP

Castington

North East

YOI

Deerbolt

North East

YOI

Altcourse

North West

HMP

Buckley Hall

North West

HMP

Forest Bank

North West

HMP

Garth

North West

HMP

Haverigg

North West

HMP

Kirkham

North West

HMP

Lancaster

North West

HMP

Liverpool

North West

HMP

Manchester

North West

HMP

Preston

North West

HMP

Risley

North West

HMP

Styal

North West

HMP

Wymott

North West

HMP

Hindley

North West

YOI

Lancaster Farms

North West

YOI

Thorn Cross

North West

YOI

Albany

South Central

HMP

Bullingdon

South Central

HMP

Camphill

South Central

HMP

Coldingley

South Central

HMP

Downview

South Central

HMP

Grendon

South Central

HMP

Highdown

South Central

HMP

Kingston

South Central

HMP

Parkhurst

South Central

HMP

Send

South Central

HMP

Spring Hill

South Central

HMP

Winchester

South Central

HMP

Woodhill

South Central

HMP

Aylesbury

South Central

YOI

Huntercombe

South Central

YOI

Reading

South Central

YOI

Haslar

South Central

Immigration Removal Centre

Bristol

South West

HMP

Channings Wood

South West

HMP

Dartmoor

South West

HMP

Dorchester

South West

HMP

Eastwood Park

South West

HMP

Erlestoke

South West

HMP

Exeter

South West

HMP

Gloucester

South West

HMP

Guys Marsh

South West

HMP

Leyhill

South West

HMP

Shepton Mallet

South West

HMP

Verne

South West

HMP

Ashfield

South West

YOI

Portland

South West

YOI

Birmingham

West Midlands

HMP

Blakenhurst

West Midlands

HMP

Brockhill

West Midlands

HMP

Dovegate

West Midlands

HMP

Drake Hall

West Midlands

HMP

Featherstone

West Midlands

HMP

Hewell Grange

West Midlands

HMP

Long Lartin

West Midlands

HMP

Shrewsbury

West Midlands

HMP

Stafford

West Midlands

HMP

Brinsford

West Midlands

YOI

Stoke Heath

West Midlands

YOI

Swinfen Hall

West Midlands

YOI

Werrington

West Midlands

YOI

Askham Grange

Yorkshire and Humberside

HMP

Doncaster

Yorkshire and Humberside

HMP

Everthorpe

Yorkshire and Humberside

HMP

Full Sutton

Yorkshire and Humberside

HMP

Hull

Yorkshire and Humberside

HMP

Leeds

Yorkshire and Humberside

HMP

Lindholme

Yorkshire and Humberside

HMP

Moorland (Open)

Yorkshire and Humberside

HMP

Moorland (Closed)

Yorkshire and Humberside

HMP

New Hall

Yorkshire and Humberside

HMP

Wakefield

Yorkshire and Humberside

HMP

Wealstun

Yorkshire and Humberside

HMP

Wolds

Yorkshire and Humberside

HMP

Northallerton

Yorkshire and Humberside

YOl

Wetherby

Yorkshire and Humberside

YOl

Wales

HMP

Prison Service Area

HMP/YOI

Cardiff

Wales

HMP

Parc

Wales

HMP

Prescoed

Wales

HMP

Swansea

Wales

HMP

Usk

Wales

HMP

Prisons: Private Sector

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the annual report to Parliament of HM Prison Service covers only public sector prisons; and, if so, whether there is a similar reporting mechanism to Parliament for private sector prisons. [HL3838]

The annual report to Parliament of HM Prison Service will cover only public sector prisons.

Authority for contracted prisons now resides with regional commissioners. Regional offender managers will be reporting on the performance of contracted establishments within their respective geographical areas and those reports will be published on the National Offender Management Service website. Financial information on all contracted prisons will be reported by the Commissioners’ Support Bureau and will be placed on the NOMS website.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will now publish the latest figures showing the scoring of private sector prisons under the performance rating system for prisons. [HL3839]

The latest figures showing scores of private sector prisons under the performance rating system are published on the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) website and are contained in the pages for NOMS regions relating to where the individual prison is located.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will make it mandatory for private sector prisons to place links on their websites to the Chief Inspector of Prisons' latest report about their prisons. [HL3840]

HM Prison Service does not currently provide a link to the website of HM Chief Inspector of Prisons in respect of inspection reports on public sector establishments and there are no plans to make it mandatory for private sector prisons to provide such a link on company websites. Access to all prison inspection reports, both public and private sector, can be obtained directly from the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website.

Public Sector: IT Projects

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, as recently stated by the chief information officer at the Department for Work and Pensions, 30 per cent of public sector technology-based projects and programmes are a success. [HL3916]

The figure quoted does not measure the success of public sector IT projects. The 30 per cent figure was quoted from an independent British Computer Society report entitled Case Study of Successful Complex IT Projects, published in August 2005.

Vietnam: Human Rights

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will make representations to the Government of Vietnam concerning Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan of Advocates International, both sentenced to imprisonment to be followed by house arrest, and the case of Reverend Nguyen Van Ly, sentenced to eight years in prison; and whether they have received other requests on behalf of those defending civil and religious freedoms in Vietnam. [HL3915]

We are concerned at the recent arrest and sentencing of several peaceful human rights defenders in Vietnam, including Nguyen Van Dai, Le Thi Cong Nhan and Nguyen Van Ly, who have been charged with “conducting propaganda” against the state. We, along with our EU partners, have made numerous representations to the Vietnamese authorities on this issue.

Most recently, on 15 May the EU issued a statement expressing its concern about the current situation and calling on the Vietnamese Government to release all non-violent political activists who have exercised their rights to freedom of expression and association.

My right honourable friend the Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, Ian McCartney, raised our concerns about the arrest and detention of human rights activists with the Vietnamese Vice-Minister Le Cung Phung during the EU/Association of South East Asian Nations ministerial meeting in Nuremburg on 14 and 15 March. He also raised this issue with the Vietnamese ambassador on 10 May.

We will continue to raise the question of human rights defenders, along with other human rights issues, with the Vietnamese Government, including during the forthcoming EU human rights dialogue.

We have had other representations about these cases. Several members of the public have written to honourable members, calling on the Government to make representations to the Vietnamese authorities on behalf of those defending civil and religious freedoms.

Waste Management: London

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What estimate has been made of the volume of hazardous waste produced by London householders; and what proportion of that is currently estimated to be collected by London boroughs on the latest available figures; and [HL3777]

What plans exist in London to improve the collection of hazardous waste in the area; and by when they expect these plans will be implemented.[HL3778]

The Household Hazardous Waste Forum has estimated that hazardous waste comprises some 1 per cent to 2 per cent of the household waste stream. The main items include paints and related materials, some household and garden chemicals, motoring products including waste oil and lead acid batteries, as well as some household appliances such as fridges, freezers and televisions.

The Government do not hold data on how much of this waste stream is collected by London boroughs. However, the City of London operates a hazardous waste collection service on behalf of 32 of the 33 boroughs. In addition, each waste disposal authority is required to provide facilities for the separate collection of all household waste. In terms of specific hazardous waste streams, industry estimates that in England above 90 per cent of lead acid batteries are separately collected, and approximately 85 per cent of waste oil is recorded as being separately collected. The remaining oil is believed to be used in small space heaters. Fridges, freezers and televisions are generally deposited at household waste recycling centres and consigned for treatment.

There are no current plans to change existing hazardous waste collection in London.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much London is required to contribute to the Gershon review proposals for efficiency gains on waste services; what proportion of that amount have London boroughs produced at the end of 2006-07; and by when they estimate the London boroughs will achieve their contribution to the Gershon target. [HL3780]

Sir Peter Gershon's review of public sector efficiency, published in July 2004, identified the opportunity for local government in England to achieve at least £6.45 billion per annum of sustainable efficiency gains by 2007-08. This is equivalent to 7.5 per cent of its 2004-05 baseline expenditure. The spending review 2004 translated the outcome of the report into an efficiency target of 2.5 per cent a year over the next three financial years across the public sector. Every local authority will be expected to meet this target and is free to choose how best to do so.

There is no set requirement for efficiency gains in London's waste services as targets have not been set for individual local services. This recognises the fact that individual authorities will have made more progress in achieving efficiency gains in certain sectors than others.

Information on gains achieved by councils in 2006-07 will not be reported until the autumn. However, London boroughs have confirmed that they achieved £33 million of efficiency gains each year in environmental services by the end of 2005-06 and have forecasted that £54 million will have been achieved by the end of 2006-07. This represents 22 per cent of the total efficiencies posted in environmental services—3 per cent greater than London's 19 per cent share of English authorities' total waste management and street cleansing expenditure.

Waste Management: Newspapers and Magazines

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in pursuance of their objectives to encourage the conservation of energy and to reduce the incidence of carbon emissions and the weight and volume of domestic refuse, they will open discussions with newspaper and magazine publishers to achieve a reduction in the number of newspaper supplements, free newspapers and magazines and the frequency of their delivery. [HL3808]

The Government have voluntary agreements with the newspaper, periodical publishing and direct marketing industries, which are intended to lessen their contribution to carbon emissions and waste. The agreements are designed to improve recycling rates and recycled content of such media and to allow more effective “opt-out” services for the public.

The Government and the Newspaper Publishers Association (NPA) reached a voluntary agreement in April 2000 to increase the recycled content of newsprint, signing up to targets to reach 60 per cent by the end of 2001, 65 per cent by the end of 2003 and 70 per cent by the end of 2006.

The industry has exceeded these targets year on year, achieving 63.5 per cent by the end of 2001, 68.6 per cent by the end of 2003 and an industry estimated rate of 80.6 per cent in 2006.

The Government also signed a voluntary agreement with the Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) in November 2005, to increase the rate of magazine recycling through a number of initiatives. The PPA, which represents around 90 per cent of publishers in the UK, agreed to raise recycling levels to 50 per cent by 2007, 60 per cent by 2010 and 70 per cent by 2013.

As part of the agreement, the PPA will work with local authorities with the aim of increasing the rate of magazine recycling and providing advertising and editorial space for promoting magazine recycling initiatives. It will also use the Waste and Resources Action Programme's (WRAP) recycling logo in a prominent place in its magazines (the target coverage for this logo is 95 per cent of PPA membership by the end of 2006) and will work with WRAP on a study into barriers to using recycled content in magazines.

The recycling rate of magazines was estimated to be 40 per cent (270,000 tonnes) in 2003. A recent report by the PPA estimated the recycling rate to be 45 per cent in 2005, which equates to around 302,000 tonnes.

To reduce the volume of direct mail, the Government signed a voluntary agreement with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) in July 2003, which set recycling targets to increase the recycling of direct mail to 70 per cent by 2013. The agreement also encourages producers of direct mail to avoid using materials that contaminate the recycling process. In addition, the agreement aims to improve the targeting of direct mail, thereby reducing the volume of mail distributed in the first place by encouraging the use of suppression files. These files list people who have opted out of receiving direct mail.

Water Supply: Belgium

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Whitty on 10 November 2003 (WA 172), whether Belgium now meets its obligation under the urban waste water treatment directive to collect and treat urban waste water from Brussels. [HL3805]

The European Commission is currently in the process of assessing whether Belgium's urban waste water treatment obligations for Brussels are being met.

Zimbabwe: Human Rights

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have made representations to the Government of Zimbabwe concerning the human rights of Simon Mann, in light of recent reports that he may be deported from Zimbabwe to Equatorial Guinea. [HL3771]

We are aware that the Equatorial Guinean authorities are seeking Simon Mann’s extradition from Zimbabwe. We are providing full consular assistance to Mr Mann and his next of kin in the UK and will remain in contact with them as legal proceedings progress. Our embassy in Harare has raised our concerns over the human rights aspects of this case with the Zimbabwean Ministry of Foreign Affairs.