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Written Answers

Volume 716: debated on Tuesday 26 January 2010

Written Answers

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Armed Forces: Official Residences

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 16 December 2009 (WA 227–8), what were the particulars of the unplanned maintenance costs of £100,864 for the 19 official service residences for the financial year 2007–08. [HL1019]

This information is not held centrally.

A comprehensive repair and maintenance service is provided to all occupants of service family accommodation including official service residences. Response repair requests range from emergencies such as loss of heating or burst water pipes, through to routine tasks remedying the everyday wear and tear associated with domestic occupation.

To determine the particulars of the unplanned maintenance undertaken on these properties would involve a manual search of records. This information could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 16 December 2009 (WA 227–8), to whom the £375,174 in rent for the 19 official service residences was paid. [HL1020]

Property Grant-in-Aid

£108,408.00

Annington Homes Ltd

£152,604.00

Private Landlords

£114,162.00

Total

£375,174.00

Armed Forces: Senior Staff

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 16 December 2009 (WA 227–8), which officers occupy the 19 official service residences; which officers have (a) one, and (b) two cars for their official use; and what are the criteria by which expenditure on official entertainment is allocated. [HL957]

For the year ended 31 March 2008. The following appointments occupied official service residences:

1st Sea Lord;

2nd Sea Lord;

Commander in Chief Fleet;

Deputy Commander in Chief Fleet;

General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland Chief of the General Staff;

Adjutant General;

Commander in Chief Land;

Commander Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Commander in Chief Air;

Chief of the Air Staff;

Deputy Commander in Chief Personnel (RAF) Chief of the Defence Staff;

Vice Chief of the Defence Staff;

Deputy Supreme Allied Command Europe (NATO);

Deputy Supreme Allied Command Atlantic (NATO);

United Kingdom Military Representative (NATO);

Joint Force Command Headquarters; and

Deputy Commander Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum.

A single staff car will be made available to those officers whose appointment requires them to retain a vehicle for official use. The appointments which have been allocated a vehicle for that purpose is not held centrally. Following the recent publication of the expenses of our senior civilian staff we have decided to extend that policy to cover the senior military officers of 3 star status and above. When this information is published, in the spring of 2010, the costs associated with an official car will be included.

Criteria relating to expenditure on official entertainment are contained within Joint Service Publication 462. A copy is available in the Library of the House and at the following link at http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/DCD1C7CF-6965-4ED4-AFFB-81B0ABF9605E/0/JSP_462_Issue_5_final.pdf. In short, expenditure on official entertainment must be modest. Due consideration must be given, at all times, to whether that official entertainment is necessary, appropriate, cost-effective and an admissible charge against the defence budget. Prior to a function, authorisation must be obtained from a budget manager.

Chagos Islands

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how they will police the proposed marine protected area in the Chagos archipelago; and what are the estimated costs of establishing a full “no-take” marine reserve. [HL1286]

No decision on whether to establish a marine protected area in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) has yet been taken. However, if a decision is taken to move to a “no-take” fishery, then an additional cost to the public purse of around £1 million per annum will be incurred in order to maintain a BIOT patrol vessel. The annual cost of running the vessel is about £1.7 million (including fuel costs). This is at present offset by a fishing licence income varying between £700,000 and £1 million per year. Costs not offset by income are met by a subsidy from the overseas territories programme fund.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are planning to proceed with the proposed marine protected area for the Chagos archipelago in the context of the opposition of Mauritius and the Chagos Islands. [HL1288]

A decision on whether to establish a marine protected area (MPA) in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) has not yet been taken. A decision will be taken following the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) public consultation which is at present under way and which will run until 12 February 2010. The Foreign Secretary launched the FCO public consultation into the proposed MPA in the BIOT on 10 November 2009. The consultation will run until 12 February 2010. A decision on whether to create an MPA will not be taken until the consultation has concluded.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how the interests of the Chagos islanders will be safeguarded in their proposed marine protected area for the Chagos archipelago. [HL1307]

Any decision to establish a marine protected area would be taken in the context of the Government's current policy on the territory following the decision of the House of Lords in R (Bancoult) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2008] UKHL 61 that the British Indian Ocean Territory (Constitution) Order 2004 and the British Indian Ocean Territory (Immigration) Order 2004 are lawful.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office public consultation launched on 10 November 2009 and any decision that may follow for the establishment of a marine protected area are, of course, without prejudice to the outcome of the current, pending proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights. This means that should circumstances change, all the options for a marine protected area may need to be reconsidered.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will await the decision of the European Court of Human Rights on the rights of the indigenous people of the Chagos Islands before declaring the Chagos Islands a marine protection area. [HL1347]

A decision on whether to establish a marine protected area in the British Indian Ocean Territory has not yet been taken. A decision will be taken following the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) public consultation which is at present under way and which will run until 12 February 2010. The FCO public consultation was launched on 10 November 2009 and any decision that may follow for the establishment of a marine protected area is, without prejudice to the outcome of the current, pending proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights.

Climate Change

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how they will co-ordinate and publicise the United Kingdom's activities on climate change in United Nations agencies following the Copenhagen conference. [HL1348]

We will continue to work closely with different UN agencies and through the UK's permanent mission to the UN to co-ordinate our UN engagement and progress UK objectives on climate change.

Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) parties report on the steps they are taking to implement the convention domestically and internationally through national communications. The UK submitted its fifth national communication to the UNFCCC secretariat in June 2009. This is publicly available on the UNFCCC website.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how the United Kingdom's representation in United Nations agencies will promote policies to deal with the effects of climate change on water resources, energy from non-fossil fuel sources, aviation, ocean environment and shipping; and how those actions will be reported to Parliament. [HL1349]

We will continue to work closely through the UK's representation in UN agencies to co-ordinate our UN engagement and progress UK objectives on climate change. Many UN agencies are considering the implications of climate change, and it is important they articulate their comparative advantages and ensure they are working coherently with one another, in line with the broader UN reform principles.

The Department for International Development currently spends £20 million through the UN to help poor countries adapt to climate change. The UK Government, through DfID, will work to ensure that the operational work of the specialised UN agencies, funds and programmes takes account of climate change.

These actions will be reported to Parliament through department annual reports.

Energy: Power Stations

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will keep open beyond 2015 some of the coal and oil-fired power plants which are due to close by that date under the European Union Large Combustion Plant Directive (2001/80/EC), as suggested by the chief executive of E.ON. [HL1403]

We have no plans to keep open those power stations affected by the large combustion plant directive; the market is responding to the need to replace these closures with 20GW of investment under construction or with planning consent.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their forecast of the number of extra fossil-fuel plants that will be required to back up the increase in wind farms required by European Union renewable energy targets. [HL1404]

The UK Renewable Energy Strategy document set out scenarios for deployment of renewable electricity needed to meet the UK's share of the EU renewable energy target. The central scenario presented in the strategy suggested that the UK might need around 29 per cent electricity demand to be produced from large-scale renewable sources by 2020. The strategy and accompanying analysis is published at http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/uk_supply/energy_mix/renewable/res/res.aspx.

The analysis of the impact of increased renewables on the electricity generating market was undertaken by Redpoint/Trilemma (2009). The modelling does not estimate the number of additional plant, but estimates that total generating capacity will increase from 81GW in 2008 to 100GW in 2020 (GB figures), with fossil fuel capacity estimated at around 58GW in both 2008 and 2020. This reflects around 15GW fossil fuel new build over that period, offset by a similar level of plant retirements.

Energy: Wind Generation

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the estimate by the energy consultancy Utilyx that wind energy has produced 0.2 per cent of the United Kingdom's energy requirement during the recent cold spell. [HL1405]

The contribution of wind electricity during the recent cold spell depends on what time period the cold spell is defined as. Looking at daily generation data during the period 1 January to 15 January, operationally metered wind contributed between 0.2 per cent and 2.2 per cent of total operationally metered generation over this period, with an average of around 1 per cent.

These data are made available by National Grid and only refer to wind power which is operationally metered, i.e. around half of the UK onshore wind farms and none of the offshore wind farms. Data from DECC providing a more complete coverage of wind farms are available on a two to three month lagged basis.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the availability of wind-produced electrical power at periods of peak demand during the recent cold weather. [HL1441]

Peak transmission system demand fell between 5 and 6 pm every day during the recent cold spell (defined in this PQ as 1 to 15 January 2010). The generation by wind power during this hour is given in table 1, along with the load factor.

These data are made available by National Grid and only refer to wind which is operationally metered, i.e. around half of the onshore wind farms and none of the offshore wind farms.

Table 1: Electricity supplied by wind during peak demand

Date

MWh produced between 5 and 6 pm

Percentage of electricity supplied relative to theoretical maximum supply

1 January

375

24

2

479

31

3

152

10

4

326

21

5

657

42

6

246

16

7

72

5

8

150

10

9

134

9

10

957

61

11

790

50

12

1128

72

13

491

31

14

292

19

15 January

999

64

Energy: Wind Turbines

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their forecast of the cost of producing power from (a) on-shore wind turbines, (b) photovoltaic plants, and (c) off-shore wind turbines. [HL1263]

The analysis underpinning renewable energy strategy, published in July 2009, used assumptions on the generating costs of different electricity generating technologies to 2020, full details of which are set out in Element (2009) and Redpoint/Trilemma (2009), which are available on the DECC website. The table below summarises these assumptions with respect to solar photovoltaic and wind generation in 2009.

Technology (source)

Year

Capital expenditure (£/kW)

Operating expenditure (£/kW/year)

Load factor

Technology life

Solar photovoltaics up to 5000kW in size (Element, 2009)

2009

£4,000-5,300

£20-44

10%

25 years

2020

£1,765-2,787

£13-44

Wind 15kW to 5000kW in size (Element, 2009)

2009

£1,500-3,000

£44-74

2%-32%

10-20 years

2020

£1,139-2,200

£34-55

Onshore wind large-scale (Redpoint/Trilemma, 2009)

2009

£1,172-1,329

£40

21%-29%

20 years

2020

£1,054-1,322

£40

Offshore wind (Redpoint/Trilemma, 2009)

2009

£2,159-3,036

£68

35%-41%

20 years

2020

£2,128-3,543

£68

Current evidence suggests wind generation in the UK generally faces lower capital costs and higher operating costs than solar photovoltaic generation.

Projections of future electricity generation costs are subject to considerable uncertainty. They require underlying assumptions to be made regarding technological learning rates, deployment trajectories, available resource types, supply chain capacity and so on. Technological learning and economies of scale tend to exert downward pressure on costs through time, while supply chain constraints and declining availability of the best resource may tend to exert upward pressure on costs.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of electricity was produced by wind turbines during the recent cold weather. [HL1440]

The department collects wind data on a monthly basis. These data are published two months in arrears so the latest data available are for October 2009. In October 2009 major power producer (MPP) wind farms supplied 489.4 GWh of electricity, which equates to 1.8 per cent of all electricity supplied from MPPs during October.

EU: Green Buildings

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will support the European Union Commission's declared aim of securing green renovation for 15 million buildings in the European Union member states. [HL1368]

Improving the energy efficiency of the existing building stock will be vital if the EU is to meet its energy and climate objectives. While action at the national level, such as that set out in the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, will be fundamental to delivery of these objectives, there is also a useful role for the EU in supporting member states’ efforts. We therefore welcome indications that the European Commission intends to focus on action to accelerate the green refurbishment of buildings as a key element of the review it is currently undertaking of the existing European Energy Efficiency Action Plan. We look forward to considering detailed proposals from the Commission as to how it intends to take forward its objective in due course.

EU: High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will have their first bilateral formal meeting with the new European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Ashton of Upholland; and what subjects they will discuss. [HL1252]

My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary, my honourable friend the Minister for Europe and my noble friend Lady Kinnock have been in regular contact with the new high representative since she took office, most recently on 8 January 2010 and at the Foreign Affairs Council on 25 January 2010. They have discussed a range of current foreign policy issues.

EU: President

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will have their first bilateral formal meeting with the new President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy; and what subjects they will discuss. [HL1253]

My right honourable friend the Prime Minister met the President of the European Council for a breakfast meeting in London on 19 January 2010. They discussed preparations for the 11 February special European Council, jobs and growth, and follow-up from the COP 15 Copenhagen climate conference.

Government Departments: Bonuses

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government for each of the past three years for which figures are available, how many people were eligible for performance bonuses and special bonuses in the Ministry of Justice and its agencies, by civil service band; how many people received each type of bonus, by civil service band; what the average payment was for each type of bonus, by civil service band; and what the maximum payment was for each type of bonus, by civil service band. [HL6]

An element of the Ministry of Justice’s (including the National Offender Management Service (NOMS)) overall pay award is allocated to non-consolidated variable pay related to performance. These payments are used to drive high performance and form part of the pay award for members of staff who demonstrate exceptional performance, for example by exceeding targets set or meeting challenging objectives.

Non-consolidated variable pay awards are funded from within existing pay bill controls, and have to be re-earned each year against pre-determined targets and, as such, do not add to future pay bill costs. The percentage of the pay bill set aside for performance-related awards for the Senior Civil Servants (SCS) is based on recommendations from the independent Senior Salaries Review Body.

The table below details how many people were eligible for and received a non-consolidated variable pay award and the average and the maximum payment for a non-consolidated variable pay award, awarded under the Ministry of Justice and NOMS standard pay and performance management processes for the three most recent performance years for which the relevant payments have been published in the department's accounts.

Performance Year 2005-06Performance Year 2006-07Performance Year 2007-08

SCS

Non-SCS

SCS

Non-SCS

SCS

Non-SCS

Number of staff eligible for non-consolidated performance payment

149

64,369

149

77,979

244

80,772

Number of staff who received a non-consolidated performance payment

116

12,871

119

16,661

159

18,537

Average value of non-consolidated performance payment

£7,122

£279.94

£7,282

£358.95

£10,364

£458.43

The value of maximum non-consolidated payment

£17,500

£7,500

£22,500

£5,000

£25,000

£5,675

Percentage of SCS paybill set aside for non-consolidated performance payments

6.5%

N/A

7.6%

N/A

8.6%

N/A

Note

For staff below the SCS non-consolidated performance pay may be either end of year or in year. End-of-year payments are made for performance over the course of the performance year and in-year payments are made during the performance year which in the case of the information shown above align to the financial year in which the end-of-year non-consolidated performance payments were made.

The information shown above for 2005-06 and 2006-07 performance years includes non-consolidated performance related payments made to staff in the former DCA and HM Prison Service (now part of the NOMS Agency) prior to the creation of Ministry of Justice in 2007. Information for those years does not include payments to the remaining staff working in the Home Office who joined the Ministry of Justice at the same time, details of which are included in the 2007-08 amounts.

This information includes non-consolidated performance related payments made to those SCS members employed in the Ministry HQ, the National Offender Management Service, Her Majesty's Courts Service and the Tribunals Service. It excludes those employed by the National Archives, the Scotland Office and the Land Registry, as these cost are not met by the Ministry.

Higher Education: Accreditation Bodies

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 15 December 2009 (WA 211), whether King’s College of Management in Manchester remains accredited for the purpose of student visas; and how many students were granted visas to study there in each of the last three years. [HL1331]

Accreditation of colleges is the responsibility of independent organisations in the education sector which have been approved by the UK Border Agency and follow published requirements.

As at 19 January 2010 King's College of Management remains accredited.

In the past three years 325 applications for leave (initial and extensions) were granted for overseas students to study at the college:

Year

Applications

2007

9

2008

191

2009

125

Homelessness: Rough Sleepers

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many rough sleepers there have been each night so far in 2010 sheltering in the arcades around the piazza of Westminster Cathedral. [HL1264]

The department does not collect data on the numbers of rough sleepers in any area smaller than a local authority area, such as the piazza of Westminster cathedral. Westminster City Council has more detailed information about the individual rough sleepers using the piazza area, but it does not collect information about numbers for each night. It may be able to provide an estimate based on the experience of local homeless services.

We have reduced rough sleeping by 75 per cent since 1998. Our national baseline was 1,850 in 1998 and the latest headline figure based on local authority rough sleeper counts was 464 for 2009.

Immigration

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made towards controlling illegal immigration from Haiti into the Turks and Caicos Islands; and whether they anticipate any additional impact from the recent earthquake in Haiti. [HL1295]

The figures for Haitian illegal immigrants repatriated from the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2007 and 2008 were 3,539 and 1,580 respectively. Indications are that the numbers have continued to decline in 2009, although we await a final figure. We continue to monitor the humanitarian situation in Haiti carefully.

Immigration: Tinsley House

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children were detained at Tinsley House immigration removal centre for more than 72 hours during 2009. [HL1125]

During 2009, 111 children were detained at Tinsley for more than 72 hours. This figure is taken from local data normally used for management information only.

Following a recent internal review, however, we have taken the decision to limit the length of stay for children to just 24 hours, after which they will be transferred to Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre.

This is an interim measure pending a programme of changes we will be making at the centre to improve facilities for children.

Internet: Explorer

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the governments of France and Germany about security risks of using Internet Explorer; and whether they will encourage public sector users to use another web browser. [HL1420]

UK government officials and subject matter experts are in regular contact with their counterparts in France, Germany and other countries on both a bilateral and multilateral basis to exchange technical information and opinions on many aspects of cybersecurity, including software vulnerabilities. For example, the UK’s Government Computer Emergency Response Team (GovCertUK) and Combined Security Incident Response Team (CSIRTUK) are members of the group of European government CERTS (EGC), as are their French and German equivalents.

Complex software will always have vulnerabilities and motivated adversaries will always work to discover and take advantage of them. We take internet security very seriously and we have worked with Microsoft and other suppliers over many years to understand the security of the products used by HMG, including Internet Explorer. There is no evidence that moving from the latest fully patched versions of Internet Explorer to other browsers will make users more secure. Regular software patching and updating will help defend against the latest threats.

Microsoft issued a patch to fix the recent Internet Explorer vulnerability on 21 January. Prior to this, government departments had been issued with a GovCertUK alert on how to deal with this particular incident and to mitigate vulnerabilities in relation to particular versions of IE.

A government user, operating on government systems, such as the Government Secure Intranet (GSi), will benefit from additional security measures, unlikely to be available to the average home computer user. These include tools which actively monitor for evidence of any malicious attacks.

Israel

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they will make to the government of Israel about reopening negotiations in the near future leading to a Palestinian state. [HL1257]

The UK continues to work for a lasting peace in the Middle East. There is also no reduction in US commitment and we will continue to work closely with it, the Israelis, Palestinians and other partners to find a way into credible negotiations towards a credible peace.

Kazakhstan

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they consider any part or all of Kazakhstan to be in Europe. [HL1261]

There is no internationally agreed formal definition of the word “Europe” and the scope of a definition depends on the context on which the word “Europe” is used.

Kazakhstan is a member of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and, in line with other countries in the Central Asia region, it has an institutional relationship with the EU in the form of a partnership and co-operation agreement.

Mauritius

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of why Mauritius has withdrawn from the third round of Anglo-Mauritius talks scheduled for this month. [HL1287]

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, following the government of Mauritius saying that they will not support the proposed marine protected area for the Chagos archipelago until the issues of sovereignty and resettlement are addressed, Her Majesty's Government will open discussions on those issues with Mauritius. [HL1306]

Officials from the UK and Mauritius met in January and July 2009. The delegations discussed the latest legal and policy developments relating to the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). Both delegations set out their respective positions on sovereignty and the UK also set out how the UK needed to bear in mind its treaty obligations with the US and our ongoing need of BIOT for defence purposes. There was mutual discussion of fishing rights, the environment, continental shelf and future visits to the territory by Chagossians.

We welcome the prospect of further bilateral discussions with the Mauritians on BIOT. However, Government policy remains that they have no doubt about the UK's sovereignty over BIOT but that they will cede the territory to Mauritius when it is no longer needed for defence purposes. And, following the judgment in the House of Lords in October 2008 in the Judicial Review of the 2004 BIOT Orders in Council which upheld the validity of the BIOT (Constitution) Order, the Government's policy remains that no one has a right of abode in BIOT and permission is needed for anyone visiting the territory. The Government are not, therefore, seeking to facilitate the resettlement of the Chagossians on BIOT.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect a full ban on fishing in their proposed marine protected area for the Chagos archipelago would have upon the Mauritian fishing industry; and whether they have agreed to those proposals. [HL1317]

As set out in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office public consultation document into whether to create a marine protected area in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), the Government recognise that there will be an impact on the international fishing community following the establishment of a marine protected area and any resulting restrictions or a ban on fishing. Only one Mauritian company presently fishes in BIOT waters—on the reefs.

The purpose of the consultation which was launched on 10 November 2009 is to seek views more widely from all stakeholders and interested parties to help the Government assess the right option for the future environmental protection of the territory. The consultation period runs to 12 February 2010 and we are encouraging all with an interest to make their views known.

No decision on whether to establish a marine protected area in the territory will be taken until after the consultation period.

Ministry of Defence: Estate

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many empty Ministry of Defence residential properties there are in Cornwall for which there is no immediate operational requirement; and what discussions they have held with local authorities to make them available to local families. [HL1395]

There are currently 91 service family accommodation (SFA) properties in the Newquay area which have been declared surplus to requirements. These properties are to be handed back to Annington Homes Ltd (AHL), the company from which this department leases the majority of SFA in England and Wales, by 30 March 2010.

Where properties are identified as being surplus to requirements, they are handed back to AHL in blocks and AHL then sells or rents them in the commercial market place. The future sale or use of these properties is a matter for AHL. This department has no control over the sale process or to whom AHL sells the houses. However, AHL works closely with local authorities and social landlords to ensure that properties are utilised as affordable housing for local people wherever possible.

Olympic Games 2012

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government who is in overall charge of the security arrangements for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. [HL1259]

My right honourable friend the Home Secretary has overall responsibility for the security arrangements for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, in accordance with the guarantees given by the then Home Secretary to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2004. I am the Minister with direct responsibility for Olympic security.

This work is being carried forward by the Olympic and Paralympic Security Directorate (OSD), part of the Office for Security and Counterterrorism (OSCT) within the Home Office. The Olympic Security Directorate is accountable to the senior responsible owner (SRO) for the Olympic security programme, who is also based within OSCT. Other bodies such as the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) all have major roles and responsibilities in planning and delivering security for the Games.

Olympic Games 2012: Accommodation

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for the residential accommodation being built for athletes participating in the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London after the Games. [HL1296]

The Olympic Village has been designed from the outset to provide both accommodation for the athletes during Games time and, after the Games, homes for a new sustainable community, which will be at the heart of a vibrant economic and social hub in east London. Following the Games the Olympic Village will be transformed into 2,818 new homes, 1,379 of which have already been sold to Triathlon to provide affordable housing. The new community will benefit from 10 hectares of parks and open spaces, a new polyclinic and a 1,800-place academy for three to 19 year-olds.

Roads: Speed Cameras

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many speed or traffic light cameras in England and Wales have been vandalised in the past 10 years; and how many people have been convicted for those offences. [HL1308]

Unless specified in law, the Ministry of Justice does not centrally hold information that identifies the circumstances of an offence. Therefore, from convictions for offences of criminal damage, it is not possible to separately identify those cases that involved vandalism of speed or traffic light cameras.

Somalia: Pirates

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in view of the state of the Kenyan judicial system, any Somali pirates in future accused of interference with British registered ships will be brought to trial in the United Kingdom. [HL1304]

The UK is grateful to Kenya and now also the Seychelles for their action in the prosecution and detention of pirate suspects. The UK shares the view of international partners that a regional solution, including eventually within Somalia, is most appropriate.

The UK, together with the European Commission and others, is supporting work by the UN Office for Drugs and Crime and the International Maritime Organisation to develop judicial and penal systems within the region to enhance their capacity to combat piracy, in line with their commitments under the Djibouti code of conduct.

In addition to this preferred regional solution, prosecution within the UK for piracy is possible. Decisions on prosecution in the UK would be for the relevant prosecuting authority.

Turks and Caicos Islands

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made in stabilising the economy of the Turks and Caicos Islands since direct rule was imposed; and what are their forecasts for the islands' budget and balance of trade for the current and next financial years. [HL1266]

In his first quarterly statement published on 21 November 2009 (turksandcaicosislands.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/nov-statement) the governor outlined a number of actions that the interim Government have taken to stabilise the economy of the Turks and Caicos Islands. This includes completing a review of Turks and Caicos Islands’ Government financial management practices; steps to implement a wide-ranging stabilisation plan; completing the 2009-10 budget; robust measures to significantly reduce expenditure and bring it closer into line with revenue; and placing high priority on monitoring and strict enforcement of the payment of dues and taxes. Since the statement, a consultation and review of the existing revenue system has been completed, and negotiations with banks near conclusion to refinance liabilities inherited from the previous Administration.

The revised budget figures for 2009-10 are US$142 million for revenues and US$163 million for expenditure. The 2010-11 budget is still in preparation, however, and this deficit is likely to increase during the next fiscal year due to the ongoing impact of the global credit crunch. This means that the Turks and Caicos Islands’ economy still faces significant challenges. Work is in hand to explore solutions.

The latest trade figures are from 2008 and these show imports at US$591 million and exports at US$24.8 million.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the employment opportunities on Salt Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands. [HL1267]

Salt Cay has a population of 100, and employment opportunities on the island are limited.

US$150,000 of funds provided by the UK Government for disaster assistance following Hurricane Ike in 2008 have been allocated by the Turks and Caicos Islands Disaster Recovery Board to two projects on the island. A further US$500,000 has been earmarked for another project. Together, these may provide some general, manual employment opportunities.

Uganda

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are reviewing the Department for International Development's aid programme to Uganda following the proposed anti-homosexuality Bill. [HL1232]

Aid provided by the Department for International Development (DfID) to Uganda is conditional on progress in reducing poverty, strengthening financial management and respecting human rights and international obligations. Recent assessments of human rights in Uganda indicate mixed progress. The UK Government, alongside the EU, US, French, Canadian and Swedish Governments, have lobbied intensely against the introduction of new anti-homosexual legislation in Uganda. We are monitoring this situation closely. DfID will continue to take the human rights situation into account when making decisions on funding to Uganda.