Thursday 16 July 2009
Between the start of operations in October 2001 and 13 July 2009, there have been 184 fatalities suffered by British Forces personnel as result of operations in Afghanistan. Of these, 156 fatalities were as a result of hostile action.
Fatality and casualty statistics for UK military and civilian personnel in Afghanistan are updated fortnightly on the MoD website. The tables can be found at http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistan BritishCasualties.htm.
The Government have not made any representations to Transport for London or BAA on this matter.
The escalators at Heathrow Terminals 1-2-3 Underground station are the responsibility of London Underground and are currently being refurbished to ensure continued reliability and to reduce the risk of failure in future. Responsibility for London Underground was transferred from the department to the Mayor of London and Transport for London in 2003.
The project is being carried out in phases with two out of the four escalators, which connect the ticket -hall and platforms, being worked on at a time.
The work on the first two escalators began in April 2009 and is due to finish in late August 2009. Work on the other two escalators will take place in 2010.
During the work, special one-way systems have been introduced to ease congestion and to keep disruption to a minimum—allowing the station to remain open while the work is carried out.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to motion 599 passed at the British Medical Association conference supporting the introduction of a minimum price for a unit of alcohol; and what calculation they have made of the impact on hospital admissions and the annual saving to the National Health Service of a minimum alcohol unit price of 50p. [HL4855]
The Government acknowledge the recent motion by the British Medical Association.
Government will look to develop further evidence in this area with a view to identifying proposals for actions, which reduce irresponsible, harmful and or binge drinking without impacting unduly on the majority of responsible drinkers.
The department commissioned an independent review on the effects of alcohol pricing and promotion from the School of Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield. The Part A report “Systematic review of the evidence” and Part B, “Modelling the potential impact of pricing and promotion policies for alcohol in England: Results from the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model” were published in full in December 2008, and were placed in the Library.
Asylum Seekers: Detention of Children
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children of asylum seekers were detained at Dungavel immigration removal centre and for what length of time in (a) January to June 2007, (b) July to December 2007, (c) January to June 2008, (d) July to December 2008, and (e) January to June 2009. [HL4729]
The information requested on the number of children of asylum seekers detained at Dungavel immigration removal centre and the periods for which they are detained is not yet centrally collated. The information requested could be obtained only by the detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.
The new European directive on consumer credit requires lenders to present details of key features of prospective agreements in a standardised form and to provide adequate explanations. The directive must be implemented by June 2010 and the Government have been consulting on how we can adapt these requirements to ensure UK consumers are better informed about offers of credit.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they record the number of reported crimes relating to international property rental scams carried out over the internet; and, if so, how many have been reported in each of the past five years in (a) London, and (b) the United Kingdom. [HL5044]
In terms of police recorded crime statistics collected by the Home Office, it would be the jurisdiction of the country where the rental property is located which would record the offences and thus no crime would be recorded in England and Wales. Currently, internet perpetrated fraud of this type is not a separate collection and thus there are no available statistics.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how statistics relating to the number of online scams, in particular international property rental scams carried out over the internet, reported to local police stations are collated to support a single or co-ordinated response to such crimes by specialist officers. [HL5046]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the answer by Lord Drayson on 22 June (Official Report, House of Lords, col. 1342), how he will look further into the level of collection of blood cord in the United Kingdom; and what are the percentages of blood cord extracted from the umbilical cord and collected for research, cryopreservation or clinical treatment in the United Kingdom compared with each of the other European Union member states. [HL4527]
I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given by my noble friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health on 7 July 2009 (Official Report, col. WA 125).
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the commercial value of patents on the use of embryonic stem cells; to what extent opportunities for commercial use, rather than therapeutic potential, have influenced public policy; and whether the lack of patents and commercial use of adult stem cells has affected their ability to attract funding. [HL4558]
The Intellectual Property Office does not make assessments of the commercial value of an invention in its patent granting procedures, nor does it attempt to predict the commercial value of potential inventions when advising on policy proposals. UK law and practice on the patentability of inventions in relation to stem cells is based on the European directive 98/44/EC on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions which was implemented into UK patent law in 2000, and takes account of subsequent developments in case law.
The primary considerations of public sector bodies in determining whether particular proposals should receive funding in medical sciences are research excellence and importance to health. Where research can be categorised this has allowed adult stem cells to secure £24.7 million of funding versus £14.7 million for embryonic stem cell research in 2007-08, a ratio of greater than 60:40 (adult to embryonic). The UK National Stem Cell Network has recently reported patenting activity associated with both adult and embryonic stem cells.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 29 June (WA 10–11), whether funding for induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells is recorded under adult stem cell funding alone, under embryonic stem cell funding alone, under funding for research with both adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells, or in a different category; and whether funding for umbilical cord blood stem cells is categorised under adult stem cell funding. [HL4834]
The majority of government support for stem cell research is provided through the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
The MRC reports projects involving research for induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and umbilical cord blood cells primarily under the category of adult stem cell research. Around 10 per cent of the MRC's spending on research involving stem cells (based on spend for 2007-08) includes research projects involving a range of approaches and techniques including both adult and embryonic stem cells. Spend on such projects is reported evenly across both of the categories.
BBSRC funding for iPS cells was recorded under either adult stem cell funding alone, or funding for research with both adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells, as appropriate. No iPS cell research was recorded under embryonic stem cell funding alone or any other category. BBSRC did not report any funding on umbilical cord blood stem cells.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 7 July (WA 125–6), what are the respective levels of cord blood stored for clinical use in the United Kingdom and those countries studied in the report Cord Blood Banking in the UK—an international comparison of policy and practice. [HL4982]
The figures on the respective levels of cord blood stored for clinical use can be found in the report entitled Cord Blood Banking in the UK—An International Comparison of Policy and Practice, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.
Equality and Human Rights Commission
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answers by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 20 November 2008 (WA 224) and 17 December 2008 (WA 39), what discussions they had with the Equality and Human Rights Commission prior to stating in the answer that 13 non-permanent staff are employed by the commission. [HL4935]
The Government Equalities Office asked the commission to provide the information requested for the previous Written Answers. The commission maintains that the information that 13 non-permanent staff are employed by the commission was correct as the individuals were on fixed-term contracts and therefore subject to the commission's terms and conditions and paid via payroll.
Other non-permanent staff working at the commission at that time were engaged via an agency and not considered by the commission as employees.
European Arrest Warrant
Mr Symeou applied for leave to appeal to the House of Lords, which was heard at the Administrative Court on 2 June. The court certified a point of law of general public importance, but refused Mr Symeou leave to appeal to the House of Lords. Mr Symeou has applied directly to the House of Lords for leave to appeal. As this case is still before the courts it would not be appropriate for me to comment further.
The European arrest warrant (EAW) has introduced a simpler mechanism for the surrender of persons within the EU. Given the number of people who now travel across borders of EU member states, it is essential to have an efficient and effective extradition system in place. The operation of the EAW is closely monitored by both member states and the European Union itself and we are confident that it is working effectively in the interests of justice and the victims of serious crimes.
Food Standards Agency
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made in recruiting a new chair of the Food Standards Agency following the announcement that Dame Deidre Hutton is to relinquish that post in July; and whether that appointment will be subject to consultation with Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition and to pre-appointment scrutiny. [HL4723]
My right honourable friend the Secretary of State invited the House of Commons Health Select Committee to scrutinise the preferred candidate, the right honourable Lord Rooker, prior to appointment. The committee invited Lord Rooker to give evidence on 6 July 2009, following which it recommended that the Secretary of State continue with the appointment. Lord Rooker was confirmed as the new chair of the Food Standards Agency on 13 July and will take up his position on 27 July 2009 for a period of four years.
The appointment has been run jointly with the devolved Administrations as required by the Food Standards Act. As is customary, there were no plans to consult with Her Majesty's Official Opposition outside of the pre-appointment scrutiny process
The process, run by the Appointments Commission, is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments and has been conducted in accordance with the commissioner's Code of Practice for Public Appointments, involving an independent assessor at all stages, including the shortlist and interview panel.
The Government have no plans to introduce special food labelling for schoolchildren. They have developed a number of resources for use in schools to assist schoolchildren in learning about food labelling within the context of healthy eating. An example of one of the learning resources provided can be found at:
Government Equalities Office
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many bonuses were awarded to senior staff in the Government Equalities Office and in the non-departmental public bodies it sponsors in (a) 2007, and (b) 2008; what was the value of the ten highest bonuses; and what process was used to determine the level of bonuses. [HL4811]
Since its establishment on 12 October 2007 the Government Equalities Office has awarded four non-consolidated performance payments to its senior staff. The total cost of these payments was £30,000.
Payments Amount Awarded 1 £10,500 2 £8,000 3 £6,000 4 £5,500
For the Senior Civil Service, departments and agencies are responsible for their own reward arrangements within a framework set centrally by Cabinet Office.
The Government Equalities Office sponsors the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The EHRC has not paid any senior staff bonuses since its inception in October 2007.
On 24 April 2009 the Government published guidance for caseworkers dealing with applications for settlement from Gurkhas who were discharged before 1 July 1997. Under this guidance one of the criteria was that anyone with 20 or more years of service could have settled in the UK.
The 20 years’ service criteria recognised exceptional ability and quality of service as well as commitment, in particular from those who worked their way through the ranks and saw their service extended. However, it is not the case that this was the only criterion under which ex-Gurkhas may have qualified to settle under the terms of this guidance.
On 21 May 2009 the Home Secretary announced that any former Gurkha with more than four years’ service who had been discharged from the Brigade of Gurkhas before 1 July 1997 would be eligible for settlement in the UK.
Health: Contaminated Blood Products
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Statement by Lord Darzi of Denham on 20 May (WS 121–2), what level of additional discretionary funding will be made available to trustees for disbursement to widows and other dependants according to financial need. [HL4863]
Work is now under way by departmental officials to implement the Government's response to Lord Archer's report, which will include the level of funding to be made available for disbursement to widows and other dependants. No decision on this has yet been taken.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 29 June (WA 15) indicating that officials at the Department of Health did not meet the Macfarlane Trust to discuss financial or other details of the Government's response to Lord Archer of Sandwell's report prior to the publication of their response, whether their assessment of the average level of disbursement to the Macfarlane Trust's beneficiaries at £6,400 was the average level of disbursement to both the infected and non-infected beneficiary community. [HL4887]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 29 June (WA 15) indicating that officials at the Department of Health did not meet the Macfarlane Trust prior to publication of the Government's response to the Archer report, whether the average level of disbursement to the Macfarlane Trust's infected beneficiary community was £8,600 in the financial year ended 31 March 2009, as represented in the submission from the Macfarlane Trust dated 1 July 2009. [HL4888]
I refer the noble Lord to my earlier reply (WA 15) which said that a broad indicator of the annual level of benefit currently available through the Macfarlane Trust was calculated by dividing the total number of beneficiaries both infected and non-infected into the total expenditure of the trusts, the result being an overall average of £6,400.
The Macfarlane Trust has made representations showing average disbursements to infected beneficiaries based on different denominators. Such calculations provide helpful, but broad, indicators of the typical level of benefit currently available to different categories of beneficiary.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Statement by Lord Darzi of Denham on 20 May (WA 121–2), when the Department of Health will respond as a whole to the written submission from the Macfarlane Trust dated 1 July regarding the implementation of that Statement; and when their response to the Macfarlane Trust will be published. [HL4889]
Health: Coronary Care
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Warner on 13 March 2006 (WA 192–3), how many additional and replacement cardiac catheter laboratories have been commissioned since 2001 under the major capital programme; and what was the total cost of the Treasury-funded cardiac capital programme. [HL4907]
Catheter laboratories are the facilities in which cardiologists undertake the main cardiological interventions for patients, such as angiography, angioplasty, pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implants. As part of the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Diseases there has been a national programme to increase the number of catheter laboratories across the country and also replace old and outdated facilities. There are two main routes through which this has been delivered.
First, there is the £613 million revascularisation capital programme that started in 2001 and is due to be completed in 2009. This has been funded by the department and strategic health authorities.
Secondly, there is the £125 million Big Lottery Fund catheter laboratories programme that started in 2001 and was completed in 2006. This was funded half by the lottery and half by the department.
The revascularisation capital programme comprised 29 developments across the country and included two completely new cardiothoracic centres, where services had not existed before, at Wolverhampton and Basildon and Thurrock. It provided major replacement centres at Blackpool, Liverpool, Hull, Nottingham, Manchester, Southampton, Plymouth and Bristol which included new wards, out-patient and diagnostic facilities, catheter laboratories, cardiac theatres and critical care beds. The programme also funded smaller schemes, some consisting of a single catheter laboratory suite. The total number of catheter laboratories constructed in this £613 million programme across all of the schemes is 53, of which 40 were additional catheter laboratories and 13 were replacements.
The Big Lottery Fund catheter laboratories programme made its first installations in 2002 and was completed in 2006. The programme has provided 90 brand new catheter laboratories; 72 of these are additional catheter laboratories and 18 replaced old and out-dated technology. Sixty-three of these laboratories have been developed in district general hospitals to provide improved local access (59 additional and four replacement) and 27 have been in tertiary centres cardiac centres (13 additional and 14 replacement) over and above the investment from the revascularisation capital programme.
Programme Additional Catheter Labs Replacement Catheter Labs Total Revascularisation Capital 40 13 53 Big Lottery Fund 72 18 90 Total 112 31 143
Additional Catheter Labs
Replacement Catheter Labs
Big Lottery Fund
At the end of May 2009 there were 8,310 people waiting for an angiogram in England, and 98 per cent of these were waiting three months or less and nobody was waiting longer than six months.
The waiting list in each strategic health authority (SHA) and the average wait for people on the waiting list at the end of May 2009 is shown in the table below.
SHA Name 31.5.09 Average wait per person by week East Midlands 508 2.9 East of England 885 3.2 London 1,081 3.6 North East 392 2.6 North West 1,031 2.7 South Central 583 4.6 South East Coast 765 3.3 South West 1,073 3.2 West Midlands 751 2.8 Yorkshire and The Humber 1,241 4.0 Grand Total 8,310 3.3
Average wait per person by week
East of England
South East Coast
Yorkshire and The Humber
To put this in perspective, five years ago (on 31 May 2004) there were 23,375 people waiting for an angiogram in England and 68 per cent of these were waiting three months or less and 6 per cent were waiting longer than six months.
Overall the total numbers waiting have reduced by 64 per cent and the number of people waiting over three months has reduced by 98 per cent.
Health: Notifiable Diseases
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many instances of notifiable diseases brought into the United Kingdom by (a) visitors, and (b) returnees from abroad, have been recorded in the last five years for which figures are available, and from which countries did those cases originate. [HL4912]
Information about the travel history or status of patients with notifiable infectious diseases is not collected as it is not required to be reported by registered medical practitioners under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. The 1984 Act requires the minimum essential information to be reported to enable prompt investigation and response to protect public health.
Data on statutory notifications of infectious diseases are collated and published by the Health Protection Agency (HPA). A copy of the HPA’s latest annual report on statutory notifications of infectious diseases for 2007 has been placed in the Library.
Higher Education: Admissions
The total number of applicants to full-time undergraduate courses via UCAS for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 are shown in the table. Estimates for the final number of applicants in 2009 are not held centrally. On 9 July, UCAS will publish figures showing the number of applicants who had applied by 30 June, which is the closing date for applications to UCAS’s main application scheme.
Year of entry Applicants 2006 506,304 2007 534,495 2008 588,689
Year of entry
In 2008 the Nursing and Midwifery Admissions System (NMAS) was subsumed into the UCAS application system and part of the increase from 2007 to 2008 can be attributed to this factor. In 2008 there were 13,487 applicants who applied via UCAS to ex-NMAS courses only, the majority of whom were English domiciled (and NMAS was only for English institutions).
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead on 2 July (WA 88) and having regard to the statements by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs in their letter dated 27 January 2006 to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in response to a request from the FCO, whether there are any circumstances in which a person would not have become a British Overseas Citizen under Article 6(1) of the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986 at midnight on 1 July 1997 if (a) immediately before midnight on 1 July 1997 he was a British Dependent Territories citizen, and (b) at birth he was an Indian citizen by descent who also acquired British Dependent Territories citizenship, and (c) he ceased to be a British Dependent Territories citizen by operation of Article 3 of the 1986 Order, and (d) before 1 July 1997 he had already attained full age (18) for the purposes of Indian law, and (e) he did not renounce British Dependent Territories citizenship upon attaining full age but has never acquired a United Kingdom passport, and (f) he has never held any other nationality or citizenship, other than those referred to in (a) to (e). [HL4978]
Such a person will have become a British overseas citizen. This status will be recognised, subject to his being able to provide the relevant documents to establish his citizenship.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to levy a tax on the ownership of horses; if so, what amount would be payable per animal; and whether they intend to extend that tax to the ownership of ponies and native horse or pony breeds. [HL4899]
Specific proposals on how responsibilities and costs for animal health could be shared in the future, including the scope and application of a registration-based disease levy, have been subject to a recent three-month period of intensive public consultation. Final decisions as to whether owners of horses should contribute to a disease levy will be taken in the light of responses to that public consultation.
London Metropolitan University
We know of no threat to the future of London Metropolitan University.
It is an important principle set out in legislation (Sections 65(1) and 68(2b) of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992) that Ministers cannot intervene in the funding decisions of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Ministers therefore have no role in decisions about student numbers and funding of individual universities.
The Government fully supported the funding council’s decision to commission an independent review of its own handling of the situation at London Metropolitan University. It has also always been our view that a similar review should be conducted into the actions of the university itself, and that has been made clear in discussions with the funding council. The Government are therefore pleased that London Metropolitan has now commissioned Sir David Melville and Deloitte to conduct such a review. We believe that this must look at all aspects of what happened at London Metropolitan, including issues of governance.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans are in place to ensure the continuation of the work on nutritional standards for low income families being conducted by the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition at London Metropolitan University. [HL3616]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the expenditure on the National Health Service in each financial year from 1988–89 to 2007–08 at 1996–97 prices; how many completed hospital consultant episodes there were in each of those years; and what were the percentage NHS productivity changes in each of those years as calculated by the Office for National Statistics (or its predecessors). [HL4961]
Where possible, the requested data are given in tables 1, 2 and 3. Care should be taken in comparing data across time periods. As noted in footnotes, definitional changes make direct comparisons of data problematic.
Year Net NHS Expenditure (4) £ billion Net NHS Expenditure (in 1996-97 Prices) £ billion Cash(1) 1988-89 Outturn 18.420 25.878 1989-90 Outturn 19.855 26.039 1990-91 Outturn 22.326 27.141 1991-92 Outturn 25.353 29.098 1992-93 Outturn 27.968 31.139 1993-94 Outturn 28.942 31.364 1994-95 Outturn 30.590 32.639 1995-96 Outturn 31.985 33.168 1996-97 Outturn 32.997 32.997 1997-98 Outturn 34.664 33.777 1998-99 Outturn 36.608 34.929 1999-00 Outturn 39.881 37.318 Resource Budgeting Stage 1(2) 1999-00 Outturn 40.201 37.617 2000-01 Outturn 43.932 40.576 2001-02 Outturn 49.021 44.289 2002-03 Outturn 54.042 47.301 Resource Budgeting Stage 2(3)(5) 2003-04 Outturn 64.173 54.612 2004-05 Outturn 69.051 57.207 2005-06 Outturn 75.822 61.556 2006-07 Outturn 80.561 63.661 2007-08 Outturn 89.261 68.624
Net NHS Expenditure (4) £ billion
Net NHS Expenditure (in 1996-97 Prices) £ billion
Resource Budgeting Stage 1(2)
Resource Budgeting Stage 2(3)(5)
1. Expenditure pre 1999-2000 is on a cash basis.
2. Expenditure figures from 1999-2000 to 2002-03 are on a Stage 1 Resource Budgeting basis.
3. Expenditure figures from 2003-04 to 2010-11 are on a Stage 2 Resource Budgeting basis.
4. Figures are not consistent over the period (1988-89 to 2007-08), therefore it is difficult to make comparisons across different periods.
5. Figures from 2003-04 include a technical adjustment for trust depreciation.
6. Expenditure excludes NHS Annually Managed Expenditure (AME)
7. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) deflator 23 April 2009.
8. Total Expenditure is calculated as the sum of revenue and capital expenditure net of non-trust depreciation and impairments. This is in line with HM Treasury Guidance.
Data Year Finished Consultant Episodes 1989-90 8,416,673 1990-91 8,898,744 1991-92 9,091,323 1992-93 9,614,508 1993-94 10,097,884 1994-95 10,313,379 1995-96 10,923,489 1996-97 11,072,003 1997-98 11,532,895 1998-99 11,983,893 1999-2000 12,196,270 2000-01 12,264,676 2001-02 12,337,724 2002-03 12,712,153 2003-04 13, 295,166 2004-05 13,706,450 2005-06 14,423,506 2006-07 14,784,581 2007-08 15,359,062
Finished Consultant Episodes
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The NHS Information Centre for health and social care.
1. Inpatients are defined as patients who are admitted to hospital and occupy a bed, including both admissions where an overnight stay is planned and day cases.
2. Assessing growth through time: HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. The quality and coverage of the data have improved over time. These improvements in information submitted by the NHS have been particularly marked in the earlier years and need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. Some of the increase in figures for later years (particularly 2006-07 onwards) may be due to the improvement in the coverage of independent sector activity. Changes in NHS practice also need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. For example, a number of procedures may now be undertaken in outpatient settings and may no longer be accounted for in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time.
3. Data quality: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. Data are also received from a number of independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.
4. A finished consultant episode (FCE) is defined as a continuous period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. FCEs are counted against the year in which they end. Please note that the figures do not represent the number of different patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the same stay in hospital or in different stays in the same year.
Year Index % Change 1995 100.0 1996 99.9 -0.1 1997 99.3 -0.6 1998 98.3 -1.0 1999 98.3 0.0 2000 97.2 -1.1 2001 98.4 1.2 2002 95.5 -2.9 2003 94.0 -1.6 2004 93.8 -0.2 2005 93.2 -0.6 2006 93.9 0.7 2007 95.0 1.2
Office for National Statistics (ONS).
1. Source 1995 to 1997: Article ONS Public Service Productivity January 2008
2. Source 1997 to 2007: Article ONS Total Public Service Output and Productivity June 2009
3. No published figures are available for the years prior to 1995. In analyses prior to this period
ONS assume output = input
NHS: Surplus Land
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the public capital for the National Health Service that could be released in each strategic health authority area by the disposal of surplus land and buildings on the basis of (a) current use, and (b) market value. [HL4964]
Under the local arrangements for managing National Health Service estate, the disposal of surplus land and buildings are decisions that are taken locally rather than nationally. The planned value of income such disposals for non-foundation trusts during this financial year and next is estimated to be £200 million per annum. Equivalent data for foundation trusts are not available.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department of Health will consider the outsourcing of the management of National Health Service land and buildings in the light of the experiences in that area of the Department for Work and Pensions and the Ministry of Defence. [HL4965]
Individual National Health Service trusts are separate legal entities. They are responsible for the management and disposal of land and buildings in their ownership. The department currently has no plans to seek to outsource at a national level the management of land and buildings in the ownership of National Health Service trusts.
Northern Ireland: Equality Commission
As set out in Schedule 8 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998, although the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for making appointments to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, sponsorship of the commission is a matter for the devolved Administration.
The noble Lord may wish to write directly to the relevant sponsor department, the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
As set out in Schedule 8 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998, although the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for making appointments to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, sponsorship of the commission is a matter for the devolved Administration.
The noble Lord may wish to write directly to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland or to the relevant sponsor department, the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
Northern Ireland: Human Rights Commission
The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission corresponds regularly with the Northern Ireland Office on a wide range of policy and sponsorship issues, both at ministerial and official level. This correspondence is therefore held across a wide variety of locations throughout the department.
A comprehensive and accurate search would involve a trawl of e-mails, paper and electronic records throughout the department since 1 January 2008. This exercise could be done only at disproportionate cost.
The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission receives funding to carry out its functions as set out in Schedule 7(6) to the Northern Ireland Act 1998. It is for the commission collectively to decide on its detailed business plan. All commissioners are remunerated in the same way for their work as commissioners; funding is not provided separately to individual commissioners to carry out particular tasks.
Communications activity by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is an operational matter for the commission. The noble Lord may wish to contact the commission directly to obtain this information.
The commission is currently consulting publicly on its draft strategic plan 2009-11 which includes strategic aims relating to communication. Copies of the draft strategic plan and accompanying equality impact assessment have been placed in the Library of the House.
Olympic Games 2012
Information on the remuneration of the Olympic Delivery Authority's senior management, including employer's pension contributions, appears in the authority's annual report and accounts. The 2007-08 annual report and accounts were published in July 2008, and the 2008-09 annual report and accounts will be published shortly. Details of any special payments, including any such payments to members of staff, are included in the notes to the accounts.
There has been one application refused as a direct result of a confirmation of identity interview. As the main function of the interview is to act as a deterrent to those attempting to assume another identity, we expect the number to remain low.
Refusals of applications on identity grounds are rare; rather applications tend to lapse because of the applicant's failure to attend an interview or respond to requests for additional evidence of identity.
We have not received any such representations.
As set out during the passage of the Postal Services Bill in the Lords, our policy is for Post Office Ltd to remain owned in its entirety by the Crown.
Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution
The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has published one report since July 2007, Novel Materials in the Environment: The Case of Nanotechnology, published in November 2008.
The UK is currently tackling the illegal trade in timber through the European Union's Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) process. We believe that it is essential that this work continues at the European level—otherwise the trade in illegal timber and timber products could simply be diverted to, or through, other member states.
The EU is currently negotiating voluntary partnership agreements (VPAs) with several tropical timber producing countries, from which all timber products exported to the EU will be guaranteed to have been legally produced.
The UK has also long argued for additional EU measures to support the VPA process. We are currently working with EU partners in taking forward negotiation of the due diligence regulation. The UK has been at the forefront of negotiations, calling for a prohibition on the first placing of illegal timber and timber products on the Community market.
Finally, we seek to ensure that the Government lead the way in demanding legal products. From April 2009, UK government departments now accept only timber that has been verified as legal and sustainable, or licensed under FLEGT voluntary partnership agreements. The Government are actively promoting responsible timber procurement in the wider public sector and are working with the Governments of other EU member states to generate a common approach to the international market and timber supply chains.
The requested information is shown in the attached table.
Decision Outcome 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Curtailment 7 9 7 8 5 13
Figures are rounded to nearest 5.
"+" Indicates 1 or 2
“-“ Indicates Nil
Because of rounding, figures may not add up to totals shown.
The figures quoted are not provided under National Statistics protocols and have been derived from local management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change.