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Written Answers

Volume 713: debated on Friday 23 October 2009

Written Answers

Friday 23 October 2009

Age of Consent


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received representations from Professor John Spencer and Mr Peter Tatchell or from other sources to reduce the age of sexual consent from 16 years; and, if so, what is their reaction. [HL5708]

The Government have not received any representations from Professor John Spencer or Mr Peter Tatchell to reduce the age of sexual consent from 16 years.

Issues surrounding the age of sexual consent were fully considered as part of the Setting the Boundaries consultation prior to the introduction of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and subsequently during the passage of the legislation. The Government consider that the current age of consent is at the right level and have no plans to lower it.

Armed Forces: Recruitment


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people aged (a) between 18 and 25 years old, and (b) under 18 years old, joined the Armed Forces in (1) 2000, (2) 2005, and (3) 2008. [HL5730]

The intake to UK regular Armed Forces by age for financial years 1999-2000, 2004-05, and 2007-08 is as follows:

Under 18









5,980 p

12,825 p

Source: DASA (Quad-Service)

Figures show all intake to UK regular Forces including re-enlistments and rejoined reservists but excludes movements between services.

Figures are for UK regular forces and therefore exclude Gurkhas, full-time reserve service personnel, the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment, mobilised reservists and naval activated reservists.

Due to ongoing validation of data from the joint personnel administration system, service flow statistics for financial year 2007-08 are provisional and subject to review.

Figures have been rounded to the nearest five.

P = provisional.

Statistics on personnel entering into the UK regular Armed Forces by age are available in “TSP19—UK Regular Forces Intake and Outflow by Age” table 1 “Table 1—Intake to UK Regular Forces by Age and Service”. The most recent edition of which can be found at content=190.13&date=2009-06-10&type=html& PublishTime=09:30:00.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government which social groupings recruits to the Armed Forces came from in (a) 2000, (b) 2005, and (c) 2008. [HL5731]

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many recruits to the armed forces under 25 years old came from each of the Welsh local authority areas in (a) 2000, (b) 2005, and (c) 2008. [HL5732]

This information is not held in the form requested, however details of those recruited through the Armed Forces Careers Offices (AFCO) in Wales, in the table below, give an indication of Welsh recruitment into the Armed Forces.

This information will not provide a comprehensive picture of individuals recruited from Wales as it does not include those recruited through AFCOs in England or through other means, such as the internet.

Data for the Naval Services and the RAF for financial year 2000-01 are not available as new IT systems have since been introduced.

2000-01 (Army only)



AFCO Cardiff




AFCO Swansea




AFCO Wrexham




There are no recruitment policies or targets set for personnel from different social groupings and such information is consequently not monitored.



Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government (a) which electoral systems operate in the United Kingdom, and (b) what was the turnout at the most recent election in which each system was used. [HL5707]

Details of the electoral systems which operate in the United Kingdom and the approximate turnout at the most recent election (excluding by-elections) in which each system was used are set out in the table below:

Electoral system


Approximate Turnout

First Past the Post

Local County Council Elections (England)—2009


Westminster Parliamentary Elections—2005


Additional Member System

Greater London Assembly Election—2008


Scottish Parliamentary Election—2007


National Assembly for Wales Election - 2007


Closed Party List System

European Parliamentary Elections (England, Wales and Scotland)—2009


Single Transferable Vote

European Parliamentary Elections (Northern Ireland)—2009


Northern Ireland Assembly Elections—2007


Local Government Elections (Scotland)—2007


Local Government Elections (Northern Ireland)—2005


Supplementary Vote

Bedford Borough Council Mayoral Election—2009


Greater London Mayoral Election—2008


House of Lords: Carbon Emissions


Asked by

to ask the Chairman of Committees whether the House of Lords will sign up to the 10:10 campaign to reduce its carbon emissions by 10 per cent in 2010. [HL5596]

The Administration and Works Committee is due to discuss the 10:10 campaign at its next meeting, in November. I will write to the noble Lord to let him know the outcome.



Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what principles they apply in deciding whether to introduce retrospective legislation. [HL5662]

The Government recognise that retrospective legislation has the potential to cause unfairness and to create problems regarding legal certainty. The Government therefore only legislate retrospectively when they consider that the general public interest in the law not being changed retrospectively is outweighed by a competing public interest. The Government will not legislate retrospectively if they consider that to do so would be incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.