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Written Answers

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Apprentices

Question

Asked by The Lord Bishop of St Albans

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether their commitment to making better apprenticeship data available will involve publishing the retention rate of apprentices as employees by company and by occupational sector.[HL279]

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): There are no plans to publish Retention Rate data for Apprenticeships by company name or occupational sector.

The Apprenticeship Evaluation: Learners research report provides high level information on Apprenticeship completers who remain in employment. I attach a copy of the report. A copy of the report is also available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/229998/bis-13-1126-apprenticeship-evaluation-learners.pdf

In addition, information on learning outcomes is published on the Further education (FE) choices website to help better inform learner choices, and is available at:

http://fechoices.skillsfundingagency.bis.gov.uk

Aviation

Question

Asked by Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Kramer on 12 March (WA 375), in relation to the United Kingdom general aviation sector, what action has been taken to ensure cross-party co-operation and support for the Civil Aviation Authority in encouraging the growth of a vibrant United Kingdom general aviation sector. [HL265]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): The Government and Civil Aviation Authority are taking forward a programme of work aimed at encouraging the growth of a vibrant general aviation sector. This has involved consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. My Noble Friend, Lord Rotherwick, secured a Question for Short Debate on the regulation of general aviation on 21 January 2014 [Official Report, column GC319], at which there was wide support for our programme of work.

Burma

Question

Asked by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made any representations to the government of Burma regarding that country’s presidential elections; and if so, what representations.[HL379]

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The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): As set out in the public document “UK Activities in Burma”, published in April 2014 (available on our website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-activities-in-burma), the foremost Government priority is to encourage and support Burma to become a more effectively governed and democratic state, holding credible elections in 2015. Ministers and our Ambassador in Rangoon regularly discuss with the Burmese government the prospects for meaningful constitutional change which will enable the 2015 parliamentary elections to reflect the views of the Burmese people, including their choice of president. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), raised Burma’s progress towards democratisation with the Burmese Foreign Minister on 28 April. The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), most recently discussed these issues with the Burmese Deputy Foreign Minister on 12 June, and our Ambassador discussed the elections with Minister of the President’s Office, U Soe Thane, on 17 June.

China

Question

Asked by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what outcomes they anticipate from the visit of Premier Li Keqiang of China.[HL380]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to the UK for the UK-China Summit has brought our two countries closer together in a partnership for growth, reform and innovation. During the visit, £14 billion of trade and investment deals were signed between UK and Chinese firms. London’s position as the leading offshore Renminbi (RMB) trading hub was strengthened by the appointment of China Construction Bank as an RMB clearing bank in London. Premier Li’s visit has also deepened our co-operation on innovation, as well as on key global issues including through a landmark Joint Statement on Climate Change and through positive discussions with the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), on key foreign policy issues such as Iraq and Ukraine.

Contraceptives

Questions

Asked by Baroness Gould of Potternewton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in each year since 2010, what was the (1) total number of, and (2) net ingredient cost of, each type of contraceptive and contraceptive device dispensed in (a) community clinics, and (b) general practice, in each clinical commissioning group and local authority area in England.[HL474]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Information is not held centrally on the numbers or cost of contraceptives supplied direct to patients through community clinics or general practices.

Asked by Baroness Gould of Potternewton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in each year since 2010, how many prescriptions were written for (1) oral contraceptives, (2) intrauterine systems for the purpose of contraception, (3) contraceptive injections, (4) contraceptive sub-dermal implants, (5) emergency hormonal contraceptives, and (6) intrauterine devices for the purpose of emergency contraception, in each clinical commissioning group area.[HL475]

Earl Howe: Information is not collected centrally on the number of prescriptions written. However, information is available on the number of prescription items dispensed.

A series of tables representing the four financial years 2010-11 to 2013-14, have been placed in the Library. These provide information on each of the categories of contraceptives requested, apart from intrauterine devices for the purpose of emergency contraception, as information is not held on whether intrauterine devices are for emergency or non-emergency use, however, totals for all intrauterine devices are included within the category of intrauterine systems for the purpose of contraception.

The tables are based on ePACT data, representing prescriptions written in England and dispensed in the community in the United Kingdom. This does not include supply through community clinics. Information is not available for Q1 of 2010. Commissioning care group areas were formed in April 2013. Information prior to this time is in the form of primary care trusts. Contraceptives are defined products listed within British National Formulary (BNF) Section 7.3 Contraceptives.

Crimes of Violence

Questions

Asked by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what projects other than refuges for women who are the victims of sexual violence will be set up by the Home Office with the £28 million for the spending review period allocated by the Home Office for specialist domestic and sexual violence services.[HL325]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): Over the spending review period the Home Office funding of £28million provides for:

144 Independent Domestic Violence Advisers and 75 funded IDVA training places; 87 dedicated Independent Sexual Violence Advisers; 54 Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference co-ordinators and funding to Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse to provide support and advice to MARACs, as well as running a

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programme of quality assurance; and £1.2 million for 3 years from 2012 to improve services for young people suffering sexual violence in major urban areas.

The Home Office also provides over £900,000 per year to support the following freephone national helplines: the National Stalking Helpline which offers information and advice to stalking victims; the National Domestic Violence Helpline which offers support for victims of domestic violence and is run jointly by Women’s Aid and Respect; Broken Rainbow which offers help to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims; the Male Advice (and Enquiry) Line which offers help to male victims of domestic violence and advice to perpetrators; and RESPECT which offers information and advice to people who are abusive towards their partners and want help to stop.

Decisions about the provision of refuge accommodation for victims of domestic abuse are a local matter and it is the responsibility of the individual local authority to identify any gaps in service provision and put in place appropriate solutions to address this. We would expect local authorities to build services based on the needs of their communities, taking account of locally available data sources.

Asked by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much of the £40 million ring-fenced funding for specialist domestic and sexual violence services will be allocated to the Department of Health, and how much to the Department for Education.[HL324]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what particular projects under the Department of Health and the Department for Education will be funded in the current spending review period as a result of the allocation of £40 million for specialist domestic and sexual violence services.[HL326]

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: Over the spending review period the £40 million ring-fenced funding for specialist domestic and sexual violence services consists of £28 million allocated by the Home Office. This funding is provided directly to local areas not other government departments and is used to support independent domestic violence advisors, independent sexual violence advisers, and Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference co-ordinators. £900,000 a year is used towards the running costs of national helplines for victims of domestic violence and stalking.

The Ministry of Justice contribution of £12 million is used to fund 78 local rape support schemes.

Diabetes

Question

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that people with diabetes are able to access innovative medicines.[HL399]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): We want to ensure that patients, including those with diabetes, have access to new and effective treatments on terms that represent value to the National Health Service and the taxpayer.

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended a number of medicines for diabetes. National Health Service commissioners are legally required by regulations to fund those medicines recommended by NICE in its technology appraisal guidance.

Gender Recognition

Questions

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken to address transgender patient discrimination in the National Health Service. [HL342]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to support transgender people’s mental health and wellbeing.[HL343]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): We expect people with transgender issues to have the same access to National Health Service treatment, including mental health services, as anybody else in the population. Mental Health has been a priority for this Government for several years now. We made this commitment explicit in the Health and Social Care Act 2012 which, for the first time, creates equal status for mental and physical health across Government and for the NHS and social care.

Since April 2013, gender identity services have been commissioned by NHS England. NHS England will continue to work with the transgendered community, clinical experts and stakeholders through the clinical reference group for gender identity services, to produce a single and consistent policy for the whole of England.

In order to ensure equitable access to services, an England-wide Interim Protocol was consulted on, developed and became operational on 1 November 2013. The Protocol is based on the previously published and well received Scottish Protocol. The Protocol relies on the publication of the Inter-Collegiate “Good practice guidelines for the treatment of adults with gender dysphoria” published at the end of October 2013. A fully consulted policy document and service specifications will be published during 2014.

In addition, NHS England has commissioned a review of transgendered patients’ access to the NHS. This review has considered all aspects of access to NHS services and is currently being finalised in readiness for publishing.

Asked by Baroness King of Bow

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to tackle employment discrimination amongst transgender people.[HL369]

Baroness Northover (LD): The Government is strongly committed to advancing equality for transgender people and ending discrimination in the workplace. The Equality Act 2010 provides protection from discrimination because of gender reassignment in employment.

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In March 2011 the Government published Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality: Moving Forward; and in December 2011 Advancing transgender equality: a plan for action both of which set out the actions to be taken across Government to enhance equality for transgendered individuals. Actions included the Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs improving the experiences of transgender people seeking work. These include providing employers with help on employing transgender people and ensuring training is available to Jobcentre Plus staff on the specific challenges faced by transgender people.

Asked by Baroness Thornton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the feasibility of issuing non-gender-specific official documents to people who do not identify as a particular gender.[HL373]

Baroness Northover: Under UK law only male or female is recognised as a gender. We recognise that a very small number of people consider themselves to be of neither gender. We are not aware that that results in any specific detriment, and it is not Government policy to identify such people for the purpose of issuing non-gender-specific official documents.

A specific review on gender markings in the British passport was carried out by Her Majesty’s Passport Office, which has been placed in the Library of both Houses. The review concluded that there would be no significant advantages to including a non-gender category along with male and female.

Homelessness

Question

Asked by Baroness King of Bow

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stowell of Beeston on 6 May (WA 384), when they expect to receive the report of the review being carried out by Social Finance into innovative models of providing temporary accommodation for homeless families.[HL335]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Stowell of Beeston) (Con): A final report from Social Finance has been received. The report will be published in due course and I will write to the Noble Lady with a copy when it is available.

Homosexuality

Question

Asked by Lord Black of Brentwood

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 6 May (WA 358), whether they are considering introducing legislation to prevent the practice of reparative or conversion therapy on homosexual men and women. [HL294]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): This Government does not believe that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is an illness to be treated or cured. We have no current plans

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to ban or restrict conversion therapy via legislation as we do not feel this would be an effective preventive measure.

We do, however, fully recognise the importance of this issue. Therefore, the Minister of State for Care and Support, Norman Lamb, convened a roundtable with professional bodies and charities in February of this year to discuss collaborative measures to help prevent the use of such therapies. The Department continues to work with these organisations.

House of Lords: Access

Question

Asked by Lord Trefgarne

To ask the Chairman of Committees what are the arrangements for access to the House of Lords during weekends and other quiet periods; and whether there are any plans to change them.[HL431]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Sewel): Members have access to the House of Lords estate 24 hours a day, including during weekends. Outside regular hours (advertised in the Handbook on facilities and services for Members and their staff), Members may gain access to the estate by use of their electronic pass at Carriage Gates.

House of Lords: Security

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask the Chairman of Committees , further to the Written Answer by the Chairman of Committees on 18 June (WA 67), whether decisions to make new policing contract arrangements in 2015 arose from dissatisfaction with the manner and efficiency of the present arrangements; how many existing police officers will be removed from security duties on the Parliamentary estate after March 2015; and what financial savings are envisaged.[HL545]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Sewel): The arrangements for policing and security on the Parliamentary Estate needed to be renewed because the current contract with the Metropolitan Police Service expires in March 2015. In line with best practice, a number of options have been evaluated to ensure that Parliamentary security remains effective and responsive to future demands. All options assume that both armed and unarmed police officers will continue to be provided by the Metropolitan Police. It would be inappropriate to provide information on the costs of the new arrangements while negotiations are underway.

The number of police officers and security staff required under the new arrangements will be determined by Parliament’s operational and security requirement and how providers, including the Metropolitan Police Service, propose to meet these requirements. It will not be possible to give final numbers for police officers and security staff until new arrangements are agreed.

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Iran

Questions

Asked by The Lord Bishop of St Albans

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to make representations to the government of Iran about the events in Evin Prison on 17 April; and, if so, when.[HL355]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The Government was disturbed by reports of physical violence against political prisoners in Evin prison on 17 April 2014. We have been concerned about prison conditions in Iran for some time and set out our views formally in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s 2014 Human Rights report. The UK has been a strong supporter of the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran, Dr Shaheed, and successfully lobbied for the extension of his mandate in 2014.

In March, Dr Shaheed reported that conditions for prison inmates range from poor to inhumane, access to medical services is often limited, and hygiene and nutrition are poor. The UK works closely with international human rights bodies and partners to encourage Iran to engage seriously on human rights issues. The UK’s non-resident Charge d’Affaires also raised human rights with a range of Iranian government officials during his visit to Iran in March.

Asked by The Lord Bishop of St Albans

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will make representations to the government of Iran for an independent international inquiry into the events at Evin Prison in Tehran on 17 April. [HL356]

Baroness Warsi: The Government was disturbed by reports of physical violence against political prisoners in Evin prison on 17 April 2014. We have been concerned about prison conditions in Iran for some time and set out our views formally in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s 2014 Human Rights report. The UK has been a strong supporter of the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran, Dr Shaheed, and successfully lobbied for the extension of his mandate in 2014.

In March, Dr Shaheed reported that conditions for prison inmates range from poor to inhumane, access to medical services is often limited, and hygiene and nutrition are poor. The UK works closely with international human rights bodies and partners to encourage Iran to engage seriously on human rights issues. The UK’s non-resident Charge d’Affaires also raised human rights with a range of Iranian government officials during his visit to Iran in March.

Asked by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are their principal aims in establishing closer diplomatic ties with Iran.[HL381]

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Baroness Warsi: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), announced on 17 June his decision to reopen the British Embassy in Tehran with a small initial presence, as soon as the practical arrangements can be made.

Iran is an important country in a volatile region, and maintaining embassies around the world, even under difficult circumstances, is a central pillar of the UK's global diplomatic approach. We have no illusions that returning to Iran will be easy - there will continue to be many areas where we strongly disagree. Ultimately, having an Embassy in Tehran will enable us to better understand and respond to those challenges.

Israel

Question

Asked by Lord Judd

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to G4S about the legal implications of its remaining involvement with the Israeli Prison Service until 2017, in the light of Article 76 of the 4th Geneva Convention and its application to the detention of Palestinians.[HL358]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The UK considers that Israel’s detention of Palestinian prisoners within Israel is contrary to Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and have clearly stated this position to Israeli officials. We have also made clear our concerns about Israel’s treatment of Palestinian detainees in meetings with G4S. International law does not impose direct obligations on corporations. However, the Government encourages British companies to show respect for human rights in their operations in the UK and internationally.

In September 2013, we launched the UK Action Plan based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This is voluntary guidance which British businesses can consult on doing business in Israel and OPTs, but ultimately it is the decision of an individual or company concerned.

Meriam Ibrahim

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they will answer the question asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool on 10 June (HL Deb, col 236), and on 11 June (HL Deb, col 418), about whether asylum in the United Kingdom will be offered to Meriam Ibrahim, who has been imprisoned and given a death sentence in Sudan.[HL317]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): The UK has a proud record of offering sanctuary to those who need it. Each claim for asylum is carefully considered and where we find individuals are in need of our protection,

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asylum is given. However, to be eligible for international protection, a person must be located outside of their country of origin.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

Question

Asked by Baroness Finlay of Llandaff

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to ensure that charities representing patients are consulted by NICE when drawing up treatment guidelines; and whether they have asked NICE to take evidence from the Multiple Sclerosis Society over the guidance being prepared on the management of multiple sclerosis.[HL440]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): We have made no representations and have not asked the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to take evidence from the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Charities representing patients are able to register as stakeholders and we understand that the Multiple Sclerosis Society is a stakeholder in the development of NICE’s updated clinical guideline on multiple sclerosis. In developing guidance, NICE consults with its registered stakeholders and takes their comments fully into account. We understand the Society has responded to NICE’s recent consultation on its draft guideline in detail.

Northern Ireland Government

Question

Asked by Lord Eames

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of the Republic of Ireland on ways to encourage dialogue among Northern Ireland parties on the issues of flags, parades and dealing with the past.[HL462]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Wales Office (Baroness Randerson) (LD): The Government is in regular contact with the Irish Government at ministerial and official levels on these issues. Both Governments strongly support an intensification of the parties’ negotiations and believe that finding an agreed way forward on these issues would be an important step forward for Northern Ireland.

Palestinians

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the new President of Egypt concerning the opening of Rafah crossing to Gaza, in order to facilitate travel and the transfer of medical supplies.[HL275]

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Baroness Northover (LD): We continue to urge the Egyptian authorities to ease the movement of bona fide travellers and humanitarian aid through Rafah. We call on Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority to work together to enable a sustained increase in the legal flow of goods and persons from and to the Gaza Strip.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their most recent assessment of the level of medical supplies in Gazan hospitals.[HL276]

Baroness Northover: DFID is deeply concerned at the shortage of medical supplies and drugs in Gazan hospitals. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that in Gaza at 29% of drugs are at zero stock (less than 1 month’s supply). DFID is supporting the UN Access Coordination Unit to work with the WHO, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and aid agencies to facilitate the transfer of medical equipment and supplies and patient referrals in and out of Gaza.

Asked by Lord Turnberg

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the Palestinian Authority about the alleged kidnapping of Israeli teenagers on 12 June. [HL353]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right Hon. Friend the Member for Faversham and Mid Kent (Mr Robertson), discussed this with Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah and other government officials on 18 June, during his visit to the region. Mr Robertson expressed his concerns over the kidnapping, welcomed President Abbas’s condemnation of it and was briefed on Palestinian security co-operation with the Israelis.

Prerogative of Mercy

Question

Asked by Lord Empey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the reported loss of records of royal pardons granted between 1987 and 1997 applies to the whole of the United Kingdom.[HL286]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): The exercise of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy may currently take one of three forms:

i) The grant of a Free Pardon;ii) The grant of a conditional Pardon;iii) Remission of all or part of a penalty

By Constitutional convention, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (in succession to the Home Secretary) is responsible, in England and Wales (and the Channel Islands), for recommending to Her Majesty the exercise of the prerogative of mercy to grant a Royal Pardon. In Northern Ireland the

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responsibility lies with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for reserved matters and the Justice Minister for Northern Ireland for devolved matters. In Scotland it is devolved to the First Minister. The Secretary of State for Defence also has the responsibility in relation to members of the armed forces.

Each department or administration is responsible for maintaining their records. I am not aware of any problems with retrieving such records for this period relating to royal pardons granted on the recommendation of the Secretary of State for Justice.

Private Members’ Bills

Question

Asked by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe

To ask the Leader of the House what steps he will take to facilitate the passage of Private Members’ Bills through the House of Lords.[HL290]

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Hill of Oareford) (Con): Practice in recent years is well-established: Private Members’ Bills introduced in the House of Lords are offered Second Reading slots in the order in which they receive their First Reading. Second Readings for Private Members’ Bills introduced this session have been scheduled on Friday 27 June and Friday 18 July; further Second Readings will be arranged in due course. A ballot to determine the order in which Private Members’ Bills receive their First Reading will be introduced from the start of the new Parliament (3rd Report of the Procedure Committee, Session 2013-14).

For Bills that receive a Second Reading, formal consideration of their remaining stages will be arranged where no amendments are tabled and where the Member in charge so requests. Where Bills receive a Second Reading but require further substantive consideration of amendments, they will be competing for time with Private Members’ Bills that are received from the House of Commons and Private Members’ Bills introduced in this House that are still awaiting a Second Reading.

My noble friend the Government Chief Whip will endeavour to facilitate the progress of bills in each of those categories.

Private Rented Sector Taskforce

Question

Asked by Baroness King of Bow

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stowell of Beeston on 6 May (WA 392), with which organisations representing private tenants the Private Rented Sector Task Force has engaged since its establishment. [HL334]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Stowell of Beeston) (Con): The Private Rented Sector Taskforce work closely with my officials in developing our policies

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in relation to the private rented sector. Together they engage with a wide range of private sector tenant groups including Shelter, Crisis, Generation Rent and its predecessor the National Private Tenant’s Organisation, the National Union of Students, as well as individual private tenant organisations.

Schools: Radicalism

Question

Asked by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which Ministers, if any, were present at the presentation to the Department for Education on the threat of radicalisation in Birmingham schools given by head teacher Tim Boyes in 2010.[HL323]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The Secretary of State has asked the Permanent Secretary to conduct an internal review into how the Department for Education dealt with warnings in Birmingham since the formation of this Government in 2010, and before.

Self-employed

Question

Asked by Lord Christopher

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many self-employed workers the Office for National Statistics estimated there to be in each financial year since 2010–11.[HL489]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson, Director General for Office for National Statistics, to Lord Christopher, dated June 2014

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking Her Majesty’s Government how many self-employed workers the Office for National Statistics estimated there to be in each financial year since 2010–11. (HL489)

The table provides estimates from the Annual Population Survey (APS) for the number of people who reported to the survey that they were self-employed. Estimates are averages for the 12 month periods April 2010 to March 2011; April 2011 to March 2012 and April 2012 to March 2013. Estimates for the financial year 2013-14 will be available from the APS on 16th July 2014.

Number of self-employed people, by financial year
Twelve months ending March each year
United Kingdom
Number in self-employment (thousands )As a percentage of all in employment (%)

2010-11

3,918 *

13.6

2011-12

4,101 *

14.1

2012-13

4,160 *

14.1

Source: Annual Population Survey (APS)

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Guide to Quality:

The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV - for example, for an estimate of 200 with a CV of 5% we would expect the population total to be within the range 180-220.

KEYCoefficient of Variation (CV) (% )Statistical Robustness

*

0 ≤ CV < 5

Estimates are considered precise.

**

5 ≤ CV < 10

Estimates are considered reasonably precise.

***

10 ≤ CV < 20

Estimates are considered acceptable.

****

CV ≥ 20

Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes

More timely self-employment estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) are published monthly in Table EMP01 as part of the Labour Market Statistics release, available here:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-311468#tab-Employment-tables

As with any sample survey, estimates from the APS are subject to a margin of uncertainty. These are indicated by the guide to quality in the table.

SESAR

Question

Asked by Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Kramer on 12 March (WA 375), in relation to the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR), how many work packages have to date involved general aviation.[HL264]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): The SESAR Joint Undertaking is the EU public/private partnership which is responsible for managing the SESAR programme. The SESAR Joint Undertaking seeks to involve all affected stakeholders, including General Aviation, in the development of all work packages to ensure the technologies meet their needs.

Social Services: Human Rights

Question

Asked by Lord Low of Dalston

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will make available to Parliament their assessment of the impact of the stronger regulatory powers available to the Care Quality Commission since 2008 on the provision of human rights-compatible care to service users, including the evidence on which that assessment is based, as recommended by the Joint Committee on Human Rights in its report Legislative Scrutiny: Care Bill (11th Report, Session 2013–14, HL Paper 121).[HL352]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care providers in England. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (2008 Act) all providers of regulated activities have to register with the CQC and meet a set of requirements of safety and quality. As the CQC is a public authority it has a legal obligation in relation to protecting, respecting and fulfilling people’s rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 (1998 Act).

If a provider fails to meet these requirements the CQC has a wide range of enforcement powers that it can use to protect patients and service users from the risk of poor care.

The CQC has advised that it has taken the following published enforcement action during the financial year 2013-14.

- The CQC undertook two urgent cancellations of providers’ registration;- The CQC undertook 53 cancellations of providers’ registration;- The CQC imposed a condition on a provider on 45 occasions;- The CQC varied a provider’s condition of registration on 13 occasions;- The CQC undertook an urgent variation of a provider’s conditions of registration on 13 occasions;- The CQC imposed 1,269 warning notices on providers and 18,408 compliance actions on providers; and- The CQC issued over 500 fixed penalty notices.

The CQC monitors and inspects health and social care providers under regulations which stipulate that providers must deliver care and treatment to people with due regard to their age, sex, religion, sexual orientation, race, cultural and linguistic background and disability (Regulation 17).

Where services do not meet standards for Regulation 17, the CQC sets compliance actions and monitors whether providers have taken action to meet the standard. If they have not, the CQC may take enforcement action. Between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2013, the CQC found 48 services did not comply with Regulation 17, leading to enforcement action. This enforcement action is set out in the following table.

Enforcement action around Regulation 17 in 2012-13

Acute hospitals

1

Mental health hospitals/hospitals for people with a learning disability

2

General practitioners

0

Dentists

2

Care homes

36

Home care agencies

3

Other social care services

4

Total

48

The CQC’s consultation‘A New Start’, in June 2013 on how it regulates, inspects and rates services included a section on how Human Rights would be protected by changes to its regulatory model. To accompany the

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consultation, the CQC produced a draft document entitled, “Equality and Human Rights Duties Impact Analysis (decision making and policies)”, to give more detail about the impact of the proposed changes on equality and human rights and how they would promote equality and human rights for people who use health and social care services.

The CQC also consulted on its approach to human rights as part of a broader consultation on changes to regulation of care services. The CQC explained its proposed strategy for delivering on its commitment to promote equality, diversity and human rights in its regulatory work; to provide detail about what the strategy will mean in practice; and to receive feedback from important stakeholders.

The CQC held the consultation between 9 April 2014 and 4 June 2014. The CQC will respond to the results of the consultation in September 2014.

The consultation can be found at the following web link:

www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20140406_our_ human_rights_approach_public_consultation_final.pdf

In January 2014 the CQC published “Equality Counts”, a report providing information about equality in its workforce and for people who are affected by its regulatory policies and practices. The CQC will use the information in this report to drive its work in promoting equality and human rights, both in its regulatory functions and as an employer. The CQC will continue to develop its new approach to ensure equality in different types of health and social care services.

South Sudan

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to commit to ensuring that diplomatic engagement with South Sudan continues beyond the signing of and re-commitment to a ceasefire, in order to support an inclusive national dialogue process.[HL315]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): Recommitting to a ceasefire is an important step, but it is only the first step in a long process towards national reconciliation in South Sudan. We welcome the agreement reached between President Salva Kir and Riek Machar to work towards the formation of a transitional government of national unity. This is a further positive step. But both parties must continue to engage constructively in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-mediated peace talks in Addis. The UK, along with our troika (UK, US and Norway) and EU partners, continues to support IGAD efforts to resolve the crisis with both financial assistance and expertise. The UK Special Envoy to the South Sudan peace talks has attended each session of the talks in an advisory capacity since his appointment in January this year, including when the latest agreement on transitional government was reached on 10 June. The Special Envoy has also

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met with both parties in South Sudan and has engaged regional leaders whose influence is vital to the peace process. We are exploring with troika partners further ways in which we can support the national dialogue process, both financially and administratively.

Sri Lanka

Question

Asked by Baroness Brinton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Sri Lanka about the attacks on Muslims on 15 June by Buddhists in Aluthgama; and what information have they received from the government of Sri Lanka about its plans to halt the sectarian violence. [HL367]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): We continue to raise our concerns about the recent communal tensions and the significant surge in attacks against members of religious minority groups in Sri Lanka including those of 15 June, with the Sri Lankan authorities. Our High Commissioner to Colombo has met Muslim community representatives to discuss their concerns. The Head of the EU Delegation has raised recent developments with the Sri Lankan Defence Secretary. The EU delegation has released a statement in agreement with EU Heads of Mission in Sri Lanka condemning the violence and have called on the Sri Lankan government to uphold law and order.

Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa and other senior Sri Lankan Ministers have visited the area affected by violence, and the army and police have been deployed

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to those areas. President Rajapaksa has also urged restraint and pledged that those responsible for the violence would be held to account. We continue to watch the situation closely.

Syria and Iraq

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will seek ways to contain and, if possible, eliminate the influence of al-Qaeda-affiliated and other jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq.[HL313]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The UK is deeply concerned by the growth of terrorism in Syria and Iraq, which threatens the Syrian and Iraqi people, the region, and the UK. We condemn all acts of terrorism committed in both states. Tackling the threat from foreign extremists currently operating as part of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a priority. I repeated the Statement on Iraq outlining the Government's response given to the House on Monday 16 June by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), House of Lords Hansard, Official Report, Columns 703-706.

The threat from foreign extremists is being tackled through a wide range of interventions from disrupting the flow of foreign-fighters travelling from the UK through to supporting the counter-terrorist efforts of regional partners.