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Written Answers

Volume 696: debated on Wednesday 21 November 2007

Written Answers

Wednesday 21 November 2007

Abortion

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the current rate of abortion in England and Wales per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 compared with other European countries. [HL21]

The information requested is set out in the following table.

Abortion rates for EU27 countries, latest year, where available.

Rate per 1,000 women aged 15-44

2004

2005

2006

Belgium

8.0

Bulgaria

26.1

Czech Republic

12.2

Denmark

14.3

Estonia

33.1

Finland

11.0

France

14.5

Germany

7.2

Hungary

23.4

Italy

9.1

Latvia

25.5

Lithuania

13.2

Malta

0.0

Netherlands

8.6

Poland

0.0

Romania

33.9

Slovakia

15.7

Slovenia

13.8

Spain

9.6

Sweden

20.2

United Kingdom

16.0

England and Wales

16.9

17.0

17.5

Sources and Notes

Belgium. Source: Federal Public Service of Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment.

Czech Republic. Source: Institute of Health Information and Statistics of CR (IHIS CR).

Denmark. Source: Vital statistics, Statistics Denmark.

Estonia. Source: Estonian Abortion Registry.

Finland. Source: Register on Induced Abortions and Sterilizations, STAKES.

France. The data are underestimated.

Germany. Source: Federal Statistical Office, Statistics of legal abortions.

Italy. Source: ISTAT.

Lithuania. Source: LHIC, annual report data.

Netherlands. Source: Chief Medical Officer of Public Health.

Spain. Source: Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs.

Slovakia. Source: Institute of Health Information Statistics.

Slovenia. Source: Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia.

Sweden. Source: Report from each clinic to the National Board of Health and Welfare.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What has been the annual percentage change in the number of conceptions that end in abortion for each year since 2000. [HL22]

The information requested is set out in the following table:

Annual statistics on abortions as a percentage of all conceptions (England and Wales) since 2000.

Conceptions—all ages

Year

Total (1,000's)

Percentage ending in abortion

Annual percentage point change from previous year

2000

767.0

22.7

0.1

2001

763.7

23.2

0.5

2002

787.0

22.5

-0.7

2003

806.8

22.5

0

2004

826.8

22.4

-0.1

2005

837.4

22.3

-0.1

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many abortions on the grounds of rectifiable disabilities have occurred after 24 weeks’ gestation in the past 10 years. [HL186]

The number of abortions that are performed at 24 weeks’ gestation and over by principal medical condition if performed under Section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act 1967 are in the following tables. Abortions performed under this section are those where there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped. Medical conditions recorded under Section 1(1)(d) are coded using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (10th edition) published by the World Health Organisation.

Principal medical condition for abortions performed under ground E, over 24 weeks’ gestation, residents, England and Wales, 1997-2002

numbers

ICD-10 Code 1 

Condition 

19972 

1998 

1999 

2000 

2001 

2002 

Total grounds E alone or with any other 

74

73

89

94

100

114

Q00-Q89 

Congenital malformations total

57

59

61

59

63

79

Q00-Q07

the nervous system total

31

26

36

35

27

42

Q00

anencephaly

1

1

2

3

2

2

Q01

encephalocele

0

1

1

0

0

1

Q02

microcephaly

1

1

5

0

2

1

Q03

hydrocephalus

15

8

5

17

4

9

Q04

other malformations of the brain

8

7

7

7

12

15

Q05

spina bifida

3

4

6

8

7

6

Q06-Q07

other

3

4

10

0

0

8

Q10-Q89

other congenital malformations total

26

33

25

24

36

37

Q10-Q18

the eye, ear, face and neck

0

0

0

0

0

0

Q20-Q28

the cardiovascular system

7

13

10

8

15

13

Q30-Q34

the respiratory system

0

0

1

0

3

4

Q35-Q37

cleft lip and cleft palate

0

0

0

0

1

0

Q38-Q45

other malformations of the digestive system

0

0

1

3

0

1

Q50-Q56

the genital organs

0

0

0

0

0

0

Q60-Q64

the urinary system

7

7

6

8

4

4

Q65-Q79

the musculoskeletal system

8

9

2

4

6

10

Q80-Q85

the skin, breast integument phakomatoses

0

0

0

0

0

1

Q86-Q89

other

4

4

5

1

7

4

Q90-Q99

Chromosomal abnormalities total

12

10

17

20

24

25

Q90

Down’s syndrome

5

4

4

5

11

7

Q910-Q913

Edwards’ syndrome

5

1

2

5

9

6

Q914-Q917

Patau’s syndrome

1

2

4

4

1

1

Q92-Q99

Other

1

3

7

6

3

11

Other conditions total

5

4

11

15

13

10

P00-P04

foetus affected by maternal factors

0

0

2

1

0

1

P05-P08

foetal disorders related to gestation and growth

3

1

4

8

7

2

P35-P39

foetus affected by congential infectious disease

1

1

0

2

1

0

P55

haemolytic disease of foetus and newborn

0

0

2

1

0

4

P832-P833

hydrop foetalis not due to haemolytic disease

1

2

1

2

5

0

O30

multiple gestation

0

0

0

0

0

0

O42

premature rupture of membranes

0

0

0

0

0

0

Z20-Z22

exposure to communicable disease

0

0

0

0

0

0

Z245

need for immunisation against rubella

0

0

0

0

0

0

Z80-Z84

family history of heritable disorder

0

0

2

1

0

3

1 ICD-10 codes are taken from the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (10th revision) published by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

2 Figures for 1997 include 10 cases for non-residents of England and Wales, in addition to 64 cases for residents of England and Wales. It is not possible to provide resident-only figures for disease categories for this year for reasons of confidentiality.

Section 1(1)(b): that the termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman (ground B).

Section 1(1)(c ): that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated (ground A)

Section 1(1)(d): that there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped (ground E).

Section 1(4): that the termination is immediately necessary to save the life (ground F) or to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman (ground G).

Principal medical condition for abortions performed under ground E, over 24 weeks’ gestation, residents, England and Wales, 2003-06 

 

 

 

 

numbers

ICD-10 code 1

Condition

2003 

2004 

2005 

2006

Total grounds E alone or with any other 2

 136

124

137 

136

Q00-Q89

Congenital malformations total

96 

91 

99

95

Q00-Q07

the nervous system total

 58

35

54

60

Q00

anencephaly

..

..

..

..

Q01

encephalocele

..

..

..

..

Q03

hydrocephalus

..

..

..

10

Q04

other malformations of the brain

12

11

14

24

Q05

spina bifida

16

..

..

..

Q02,Q06, Q07 3

other

 17

12

22

16

Q10-Q89

other congenital malformations total

 38

56

45

35

Q20-Q28

the cardiovascular system

18

23

12

13

Q30-Q34

the respiratory system

..

..

..

..

Q60-Q64

the urinary system

..

..

..

..

Q65-Q79

the musculoskeletal system

10

15

..

..

Q10-Q18, Q35-Q56 and Q80-Q89 3

other

..

..

15

..

Q90-Q99

Chromosomal abnormalities total

22

23

28 

25

Q90

Down’s syndrome

..

11

..

12

Q910-Q913

Edwards’ syndrome

..

..

..

..

Q914-Q917

Patau’s syndrome

..

..

..

..

Q92-Q99 3

other

10

..

10

..

Other conditions total

 14

10

10

16

P00-P04

foetus affected by maternal factors

..

..

..

..

P05-P08

foetal disorders relating to gestation and growth

..

..

..

..

P832-P833

hydrops foetalis not due to haemolytic disease

..

..

..

..

Z80-Z84

family history of heritable disorder

..

..

..

..

Other*

..

..

..

..

Footnote: From 2003 onwards, totals of fewer than 10 (between 0 and 9) are suppressed for reasons of confidentiality in line with the Office for National Statistics' guidance on the disclosure of abortion statistics (2005). In line with the guidance, three-year aggregate totals for 2003-05 have been produced where possible. This is the case for two groups: in 2003-05, there were 11 cases with a principal medical condition of the congenital malformations cleft lip and/or cleft palate (ICD10 Codes Q35-37) and 17 cases recorded as “other malformations of the digestive system” (ICD10 Codes Q38-45). Other conditions with suppressed data may be published in a 10-year aggregated table in the future.

1 ICD-10 codes are taken from the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (Tenth Revision) published by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

2 Over 24 week total includes abortions carried out under grounds A, B, F or G.

3 Codes listed under “other” have cases between 0 and 9 inclusive.

.. Fewer than 10 cases (between 0 and 9) or where a presented figure would reveal a suppressed value.

* Includes cases where insufficient detail was available to allocate an ICD10 code.

Alcohol

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What reports they have received from primary care trusts (PCTs) about the appointment of alcohol nurse specialists by PCTs; and whether there will be enough alcohol nurse specialists to cover the brief interventions envisaged in their revised alcohol harm reduction strategy. [HL145]

We do not collect this information centrally. The alcohol nurse specialists are not the only staff who deliver brief interventions; they can be undertaken by other healthcare workers and appropriate professionals in other settings, such as probation officers in the criminal justice setting.

Buses

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have agreed arrangements with the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly and Transport for London for mutual recognition of passes issued under the pensioners concessionary bus travel scheme. [HL283]

Concessionary travel is a devolved policy area and the devolved Administrations have their own arrangements in place.

From 1 April 2008, people aged 60 and over and eligible disabled people in England will be entitled to free off-peak local bus travel anywhere in England, not just within their local area as at present. This is provided for in the Concessionary Bus Travel Act 2007.

The Act contains a power to allow, via future secondary legislation, for the possibility of mutual recognition of bus passes across the UK. The Department for Transport had initial discussions with the devolved Administrations last year about the proposal and all indicated support for inclusion of this power. However, it was also acknowledged that we would need to discuss it further and work together to resolve various technical and resource issues before mutual recognition could be pursued in practice.

China: Tibet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations they have made to the Government of China about the arrest and conviction by a court in Sichuan of the Tibetan nomad, Runggye Adak, who was imprisoned after he called for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. [HL132]

The EU raised Runggye Adak's case with the Chinese Government on 21 August, following his detention in Lithang on 1 August 2007, and continues to monitor his case. We regularly urge China to lift restrictions on freedom of expression, including free speech, in line with international standards. My right honourable friend the Minister for the Olympics and London (Tessa Jowell) raised freedom of expression during her visit to Beijing from 11 to 15 November. We continue to raise our concerns about minority rights in Tibet both bilaterally and through the EU.

Cultural Olympiad

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their specific strategy to ensure that the Cultural Olympiad has a lasting legacy beyond the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games for continued participation in cultural activities and events. [HL58]

We are working with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and with a number of our non-departmental public bodies, to deliver a range of projects that will inspire and involve young people and will generate a positive legacy. Leaving a legacy for continued participation beyond 2012 is a significant consideration of the planning and development of projects.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proportion and level of funding for the Cultural Olympiad is budgeted to come from commercial sponsorship; and [HL66]

What proportion of the existing budget for the Cultural Olympiad will be spent on (a) the opening ceremonies; (b) the closing ceremonies; and (c) the torch relay; and [HL67]

Whether they anticipate that money originally allocated to the Cultural Olympiad will need to be diverted to cover other costs of staging the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; and [HL68]

How much funding Cultural Olympiad projects will receive from the Legacy Trust UK Consortium; and how much of this funding has already been spent; and [HL70]

What is the total amount of money specifically available to fund the Cultural Olympiad; and from what sources is that money available; and [HL146]

What is the anticipated total cost of the Cultural Olympiad as currently planned; and how they plan to meet any funding gap between the available funds and the anticipated cost. [HL147]

We expect the funding of the Cultural Olympiad to come from a range of private and public sources. The positive outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review enables our non-departmental public bodies to spend some of their budget on the Cultural Olympiad. LOCOG's sponsors are keen to play a part in the Cultural Olympiad, but it is too early to say the extent to which they will offer specific funding or value-in-kind.

LOCOG will deliver all the component parts of the host city contract. This includes the mandatory ceremonies element of the Cultural Olympiad, including the torch relay and ceremonies which are funded by LOCOG's privately financed budget. LOCOG continues to develop the programmes to deliver these projects within its £2 billion budget.

LOCOG is also working closely with a range of organisations to deliver a number of nationwide projects. It is too early to specify the precise component parts of tier 2 of the Cultural Olympiad as these projects are currently in the planning and development stage—which includes consideration of costs and funding.

Tier 3 of the Cultural Olympiad—a UK festival of culture—is also undergoing further development. LOCOG anticipates that this will be led by arts and cultural organisations inspired by the opportunities to link to the London Games.

The Legacy Trust, which has £40 million of funding, will be launched in November 2007. It will provide an additional source of funding for Cultural Olympiad projects.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What consideration has been given by the Culture and Creativity Advisory Forum to incorporating involvement from all nations and regions of the United Kingdom in the Cultural Olympiad. [HL71]

The Culture and Creativity Advisory Forum (CACAF) is attended by officials from the nations and regions who are working to ensure that the whole of the UK benefits from the Cultural Olympiad.

CACAF has had a number of discussions on regional and UK-wide plans, including contributing to plans for all tier 2 projects to have a UK-wide element, and to the role that the creative programmers will play in opening up opportunities in all nations and regions of the UK.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the main projects for the Cultural Olympiad; and which organisations or individuals are leading these. [HL148]

The overall structure of the Cultural Olympiad is: tier 1, the mandatory ceremonies; tier 2, the major projects specified in the bid book; and tier 3, the UK-wide cultural festival.

Tier 1, led by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), includes: handover ceremonies in 2008; the opening and closing ceremonies in 2012; medal ceremonies; team welcome ceremonies; the torch relay; and Olympic youth camp.

Within tier 2, there are 10 major projects in development. The working titles of these are: film and video nation; artists taking the lead; 2012 sounds; international museums exhibition; live sites; international Shakespeare festival; world festival of youth culture; 2012 carnival; world cultural festival; and celebration of disability arts and sport.

LOCOG, working closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, is working in partnership with a number of bodies to develop the vision, scope and detailed business plan for each of these projects, including a consideration of costs and options for funding. Further details will be announced shortly.

Tier three, the UK-wide cultural festival, will include a number of cultural events in each region and nation of the UK. Creative programmers have been appointed to shape this programme of events.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the key implications of the Cultural Olympiad legacy action plan; and what impact this has on the funding and costs for the Cultural Olympiad. [HL155]

The Government's legacy action plan will be published in the next few months. It will explain to the public how the Government will deliver their commitments for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games as set out in Our Promise for 2012. This will include reference to Cultural Olympiad projects, in line with LOCOG’s current planning for delivering these projects. There are no additional impacts on the Cultural Olympiad.

Embryology

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 23 October (WA100-01) regarding relevant paragraphs in the Declaration of Helsinki and guidelines produced by the International Society for Stem Cell Research, whether they will seek to enshrine in primary legislation a simple yet unambiguous prohibition of all such experiments that lack a compelling scientific rationale. [HL73]

The United Kingdom is a world leader in stem cell research. This is largely due to the fact that we have legislative regulation which is internationally recognised as supportive, flexible and facilitating. Current legislation and regulation are both in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki (paragraph 11) and paragraphs 8.3 and 10.3 of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. Proposals for changes to legislative regulation contained in the recently published Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill will ensure this remains the case.

Fluoridation

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 12 July (WA 242), how parents in artificially fluoridated areas who rely on reconstituted infant formula are made aware of the Department of Health's advice to use water with a low fluoride content; and where the department recommends that they obtain it. [HL7]

An advice note is on the website of the British Fluoridation Society. If parents make inquiries of the department, they are offered a copy of the note.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 1 October (WA 145) and in the light of the response to the report of the United States National Research Council in March 2006 on the potential risks of water fluoridation at 4 parts per million (ppm), whether the findings of the report have relevance for areas fluoridated at 1 ppm in view both of the wide variations in individual human response and of the council's finding that infants and young children are three to four times as susceptible to fluoride as adults; and [HL8]

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 1 October (WA 145–46), whether they will now address the possibility that infants and young children may suffer a range of adverse effects through water fluoridated at 1 part per million (ppm), in the light of the finding by the United States National Research Council in 2006 that these effects are similar to those for adults at 4pm for which the council found evidence of potential harm to bone strength, IQ, brain chemistry and function, and thyroid and other endocrine functions; and [HL9]

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 1 October (WA 145–6), why they now believe that the findings of the United States National Research Council (NRC) in March 2006 are “not directly applicable” to water fluoridation in the United Kingdom because of the differing concentrations of fluoride involved, when as indicated by the Written Answer by Lord Warner on 24 July 2006 (WA 240) they had delayed their own research programme in order to take account of the NRC's findings in the knowledge that the council were addressing fluoridation at the higher concentration of 4 parts per million. [HL10]

The main recommendation of the National Research Council's (NRC) committee on fluoride in drinking water that the Environmental Protection Agency's maximum fluoride level of 4 parts per million (ppm) should be lowered is not relevant to the United Kingdom where the maximum concentration permitted is 1.5 ppm. The findings of the NRC report are consistent with our view that water is safe and healthy at the levels used for water fluoridation. However, the committee's report includes a wide-ranging review of the effects of fluoride with a number of recommendations for further research, which are informing the development of our research programme. While we remain of the view that the only risk to infants and young children from their higher exposure to fluoride is the cosmetic effects of dental fluorosis, we will ensure that research and monitoring of the effects of water fluoridation on systematic health is sensitive to any unique effects on this age group.

Gibraltar

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will report on the progress which has been made on the implementation of the arrangements at the Cordoba ministerial meeting in 18 September 2006 between the United Kingdom, Spain and Gibraltar. [HL245]

Implementation of the 2006 Cordoba trilateral arrangements is on track and working well, improving the quality of life for citizens on both sides of the border.

New border arrangements came into force in December 2006 which have substantially improved border fluidity. The airport arrangements have delivered more connections from Gibraltar airport and since December 2006 direct flights between Madrid and Gibraltar have become routine. Gibraltar is also now included in new EU aviation measures and construction of Gibraltar's new air terminal is due to begin in early 2008. Phone links between Spain and Gibraltar have also been improved in line with the Cordoba arrangements. Since February 2007, Spain has recognised Gibraltar's international dialing code, eliminating previous constraints on cross-border phone calls, and mobile roaming between Gibraltar and Spain is now possible. The pensions settlement was accepted by an overwhelming majority of affected Spanish pensioners and the first payments were made in April 2007 as envisaged at Cordoba.

Health: Dermatology

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will introduce dermatology training for general practitioner practice nurses. [HL136]

Education and training of practice nurses is a matter for their employers and for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, which requires its registrants to work within their competence, and to update and maintain their knowledge and skills throughout their professional life.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the average time from first out-patient appointment to the completion of a consultant episode in dermatology. [HL138]

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proportion of an average general practitioner's budget is currently spent on dealing with consultations with a dermatological component. [HL139]

Health: GP Special Interests

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What estimate the Department of Health has made of the expected effect of an increase in the number of general practitioners with special interests on referrals to secondary care; and whether there will be changes in funding to reflect this. [HL137]

We do not centrally monitor local referral patterns.

It is for local health commissioners, both primary care trusts and practice-based commissioners, to determine local services—including general practitioners with special interests services—which will best meet the needs of their local populations within the resources available to them, and to fund these services accordingly. The influence of community-based services on referrals to secondary care will be an important consideration in overall service planning at local level.

Referral numbers to secondary care in any one area will therefore be a result of the balance of local services designed to address local need.

Health: Prostate Cancer

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What consideration they have given to the research findings on the risk of prostate cancer among black men in the United Kingdom, published in the journal European Urology; and what action they are taking to address the finding that black men have both a poorer knowledge of prostate cancer and are at grossly increased risk of getting the disease. [HL32]

The paper published in the journal European Urology was a result of the Prostate Cancer in Ethnic Subgroups (PROCESS) study, which was undertaken at the University of Bristol and funded by the department. This study, which cost nearly £300,000, shows that black men are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer compared to white men, but that they do not have worse outcomes. The researchers who undertook the PROCESS study are now considering follow-up studies which will help advise how best to take this issue forward, and the department is discussing with them the most appropriate funding stream for this work.

The results of the PROCESS study were discussed by the prostate cancer advisory group, chaired by Professor Mike Richards, the national cancer director, and are being taken into account as we revise the prostate cancer risk management programme, which will be relaunched in summer 2008.

With specific reference to prostate cancer treatment for black men, the National Health Service cancer action team (CAT) has appointed an associate director of patient experience. This post is being funded by the National Audit Office. Responsibilities of the post will cover equality issues for cancer, including prostate cancer, as follows:

providing leadership on black and minority-ethnic (BME) group issues within the CAT;

promoting the establishment of a forum of the key stakeholders working with BME communities and work with them to facilitate the sharing of good practice; and

working with key stakeholders and selected cancer networks to develop best-practice guidance for cancer networks (including needs of local populations, awareness raising, information and support for patients, end-of-life care and promoting the implementation of guidance).

Inequalities in cancer are also being considered as part of the development of the new cancer reform strategy, which we hope to publish by the end of the year. An equality impact assessment will also be published alongside the strategy.

Immigration: Detention

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they disclose detailed reasons for detention to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal when it considers bail applications. [HL113]

If the Secretary of State wishes to contest an application for bail, he must file with the tribunal and serve on the applicant a written statement of his reasons for doing so.

This statement, known as the bail summary, will include the reasons why continued detention is considered to be appropriate.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In how many asylum and immigration cases involving detention or removal of families, children have been split from their families in each of the current and previous two years. [HL114]

The information requested could only be obtained by the detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost. The Borders and Immigration Agency makes every effort to avoid splitting families and does so only in exceptional cases.

The policy on splitting families can be found in Chapter 58.7.1 of the Operational Enforcement Manual (OEM), which is publicly available on the BIA website at: www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/oemsection e/44752?view=Binary.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many welfare assessments have been made in each of the current and previous two years on families detained in immigration removal centres; and in how many cases this led to release. [HL115]

The welfare of children detained with their families is reviewed on a continuous basis. For example, at Yarl's Wood, where families with children are held for longer periods, arrangements include the initial screening and assessment on a family's arrival at the centre; a weekly meeting attended by the removal centre's staff, crèche and education staff, healthcare professionals and the social workers seconded to work in the centre to identify whether any child's welfare is a cause of concern; initial and further assessments by healthcare staff, social workers, counsellors or specialists at outside hospitals following referral; the formal reviews of a child's detention each week which consider all the assessments of a child's welfare; and the multidisciplinary staff review conducted on the case of every child whose detention may last longer than 28 days.

The variety of the different assessments and the fact that a child is often the subject of several means that it is possible neither to identify how many separate assessments have been made nor to attribute the release from detention to any one of them.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many asylum and immigration cases of family detention have been reviewed by Ministers in each of the current and previous two years; and in how many cases this led to their release. [HL116]

The information requested could only be obtained by the detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.

Quarterly snapshots are published in the quarterly asylum bulletin, showing the number of people detained under Immigration Act powers on the last Saturday of each quarter. Statistics on the total number of persons recorded as being removed from the UK upon leaving detention each quarter are also published in the quarterly asylum bulletin.

Information on the number of persons detained is published in the quarterly asylum bulletin, available in the House Library and on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1. html.

Iraq: Child Malnutrition

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Triesman on 5 June 2006 (WA 153-54), what is the latest acute malnutrition rate among Iraqi children under five; how this compares with the rate of 5.9 per cent in the UNICEF survey in 2000 during the oil-for-food regime; and what measures are being taken to reduce it other than by encouraging economic growth.[HL204]

There are no fully reliable or up-to-date figures on child malnutrition in Iraq. The latest joint UNICEF-Government of Iraq multiple indicator cluster survey was published in March 2007. It reported a fall in malnutrition rates since 2000. The proportion of children who were too thin for their age had fallen from 5.9 per cent in 2000 to 4.8 per cent in 2006. The proportion of children too short for their age or underweight had fallen from 22.1 per cent to 21.4 per cent and 15.9 per cent to 7.6 per cent respectively.

The Government of Iraq have primary responsibility for ensuring the welfare of their own citizens, including children. However, the UN, led by UNICEF, continues to support the Iraqi Government to improve nutrition rates through infant feeding campaigns, the provision of medical supplies and other support. DfID is supporting humanitarian agencies providing emergency relief, including food assistance, to children and other vulnerable groups. Since 2003, DfID has committed over £130 million in humanitarian assistance, of which £15 million has been for this year alone.

Motor Insurers' Bureau

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are content, in light of their involvement in the establishment and operation of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), that the MIB seeks to transfer fully or to share liability with the blue light services (police, fire and ambulance) when they are involved in road collisions with non-insured drivers and when they are operating within standard, approved operating guidelines. [HL287]

All claims made to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau are dealt with in accordance with current liability law. We are satisfied that the correct procedures are being operated by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

Police: Pensions

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action they propose to take to ensure that the new police pension scheme does not adversely affect the ability of British Transport Police (BTP) to recruit high-quality staff, or limit opportunities for BTP staff to transfer to other police services. [HL250]

We are committed to an effective British Transport Police and recognise that quality officers are vital.

We are working with colleagues to determine what, if any, changes to the current interchange arrangements between the BTP and Home Department forces may be needed. This work is at an early stage.

Police: Terrorist Incidents

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether health and safety legislation should properly be invoked in circumstances where the police and other security forces are dealing with terrorist incidents. [HL179]

The security services, and special forces, are subject to health and safety legislation, as are the police. However, the criminal enforcement provisions of this legislation do not apply to the former as Crown bodies.

The Government have no current plans to change the application of health and safety legislation to the police or other security forces.

Roads: Level Crossings and Bridges

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the latest available information concerning illegal behaviour by road users at level crossings and bridges; and what is being done to counter this. [HL278]

The British Transport Police assists Network Rail with prosecutions using the evidence gathered from enforcement cameras where they are installed at level crossings. For instance, the dedicated camera enforcement unit in the north-east has initiated more than 380 prosecutions so far this year.

Roads: Motorway Lanes Closures

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 24 October (WA 121), what hourly cost is attributed to a blocked lane of a motorway in the Defence Research Agency's report of heavy vehicle recovery practice. [HL271]

The report by the Defence Research Agency used a computer model and estimated a range of delay costs for blocking one lane of a three-lane motorway for 65 minutes of £29 to £18,528. This range is for traffic flow rates of between 1,000 and 2,000 vehicles per lane per hour respectively.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What hourly cost the Highways Agency attributes to closing one lane of an ordinary motorway in the United Kingdom; and how this figure is arrived at; and [HL272]

What hourly cost the Highways Agency attributes to closing one lane of the M25 motorway in the United Kingdom; and how this figure is arrived at; and [HL273]

What hourly cost the Highways Agency attributes to closing an ordinary motorway in the United Kingdom; and how this figure is arrived at; and [HL274]

What hourly cost the Highways Agency attributes to closing one lane of the M25 motorway in the United Kingdom; and how this figure is arrived at. [HL275]

The Highways Agency does not have flat-rate costs for motorway closures. Instead, a cost must be determined on a case-by-case basis, as it is highly dependent on factors local to the individual stretches of motorway, including duration and time of closure. Such a cost would be in the order of £5,000 to £10,000 per lane per hour and is made up of two parts; the actual cost of the traffic management measures deployed, and the delay and changes in vehicle-operating costs to road users.

Smarter Choices

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What estimates have been made of the contribution that travel planning and smarter choices initiatives will make towards the achievement of the carbon emission reduction targets in the Climate Change (Draft) Bill. [HL193]

Our most recent estimate of the carbon dioxide (CO2) saving from smarter choices and travel planning is for an annual reduction in road transport CO2 of about 0.5 per cent in 2025, or about 0.5 million tonnes of CO2.

The Government are developing the evidence base further to inform future forecasts and decision-making. For example, earlier this year the smarter travel towns initiative reported very encouraging results, showing an increase of over 10 per cent in walking, cycling and public transport use among the targeted population and a commensurate decrease in car use. The final results from the sustainable travel towns will be available in 2009.

Taxation: Alcohol Duty

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What has been the value of alcohol duty to the Exchequer in 2005, 2006 and 2007 to date. [HL340]

The total duty receipts of alcohol products (cider, beer, wine and spirits) can be found in the HM Revenue and Customs Beer and Cider Bulletin, Wine of Fresh Grapes or Made Wine Bulletin and Spirits Bulletin, which are available from the HM Revenue and Customs website addresses at:

www.uktradeinfo.co.uk/index.cfm?task=bullbeer

www.uktradeinfo.co.uk/index.cfm?task=bullfresh

www.uktradeinfo.co.uk/index.cfm?task=bullmade wine

www.uktradeinfo.co. uk/index.cfm?task=bullspirits.