27 Nov 2014 : Column WA181

Written Answers

Thursday 27 November 2014

Asylum

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many persons benefited from the International Organisation for Migration's Gateway Programme in 2011; whether that programme has continued since then; and in what countries the beneficiaries were resettled. [HL2961]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): The Gateway Protection Programme is the resettlement programme operated by UK since 2002. The programme is operated in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is a key delivery partner in assisting with pre departure logistics for refugees resettled to UK under the programme. The number of refugees resettled under the programme is published through our official statistics at quarterly intervals. The next publication, on 27 November, will include numbers to the year ending September 2014. These will be available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

The number of refugees resettled to other countries’ programmes is a matter for UNHCR and the states concerned.

Asylum: Finance

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have conducted any assessment of relative value for money to the Exchequer of cash-based, voucher-based, or Azure Card support systems for refused asylum seekers.[HL2952]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): Existing legislation explicitly prevents the Home Office from introducing cash for section 4 support.

The Azure Card replaced the previous section 4 voucher system in 2010. The voucher system was open to abuse, fraud and presented poor value for money to the people who relied on it and the UK taxpayer. The Refugee Council report “More Token Gestures” also contended that vouchers stigmatised their users and were inflexible.

The administration of the Azure Card scheme is largely self-financing, non-resource intensive, and provides a less stigmatising and more fraud resistant method of support than the voucher system.

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA182

Asylum: Housing

Questions

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what criteria are used by the Home Office in approving accommodation for failed asylum seekers.[HL2911]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): Accommodation and support is provided in some circumstances to failed asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Support is provided to failed asylum seekers because there is a temporary legal or practical obstacle to departure, for example because the person is too sick to travel, or needs time to apply for the necessary travel document.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there have been any instances where accommodation provided for refused asylum seekers has been deemed unfit for habitation.[HL2912]

Lord Bates: Accommodation for asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers are provided under the same contracts (COMPASS) and are assessed using the same standards. All housing supplied by our COMPASS Providers are assessed using standards detailed in the contract and must meet the required standards for safe, habitable, fit for purpose and correctly equipped accommodation that complies with relevant mandatory and statutory requirements in relation to housing, including the Housing Act 2004.

Any accommodation that is deemed unfit for habitation is rejected irrespective of whether the intended user is an asylum seeker with an outstanding claim or a failed asylum seeker.

Asylum: Syria

Questions

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government by what date they expect to fulfil their undertaking to accept 500 refugees from Syria.[HL2856]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): The Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme is based on need rather than fulfilling a set quota; it is designed to help the most vulnerable displaced Syrians who cannot be supported effectively in the region, and prioritises women and children at risk, survivors of torture and violence and those in need of medical care.

However, we have said that we expect the scheme to help several hundred people over three years, and we remain on track to deliver that commitment. 50 people were relocated to the UK under the scheme between the first group of arrivals on 25 March and the end of June. (This is the latest publicly available figure, as numbers are released as part of the publication of

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA183

Home Office official statistics each quarter; the number of arrivals under the scheme up to September 2014 will be published on 27 November.) Groups are arriving in the UK on a regular basis, and we continue to work closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to identify Syrian refugees who are most at risk and schedule their relocation to the UK. Given the vulnerability of beneficiaries of the scheme, it is essential that the specific support they need is available when they arrive, and we also continue to work with local authorities and partners in the UK to ensure this is in place.

Asked by Baroness Lister of Burtersett

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Lord Bates on 11 November (HL Deb, col 122), how many people have been resettled under the Syrian resettlement programme; and what steps are being taken to increase that number. [HL2929]

Lord Bates: Fifty people were relocated to the UK under the scheme between the first group of arrivals on 25 March and the end of June. (This is the latest publicly available figure, as numbers are released as part of the publication of Home Office official statistics each quarter; the number of arrivals under the scheme up to September 2014 will be published on 27 November.) Groups are arriving in the UK on a regular basis, and we continue to work closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to identify Syrian refugees who are most at risk.

The scheme is designed to complement our humanitarian aid efforts and is based on need rather than fulfilling a quota; however, we have said we expect it to help several hundred people over three years, and we remain on track to deliver that commitment. This is in addition to our consideration of asylum claims lodged in the UK under our normal rules. However, we strongly believe that we should continue to focus on aid rather than resettlement as the best way for the UK to maximise our impact, and we therefore have no current plans to expand the scheme.

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many persons, including children, have so far been accepted from Syria by the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme; how long they expect the scheme to continue; and whether people fleeing Iraq can qualify for it. [HL2960]

Lord Bates: The scheme was launched in January 2014. It is based on need rather than fulfilling a quota; however, we expect it to help several hundred people over three years.

The first beneficiaries of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme arrived in March, and by the end of June 50 Syrians had been relocated to the UK. This is the latest publicly available figure, as numbers are released as part of the publication of Home Office official statistics each quarter; arrivals up to 30 September 2014 will be published on 27 November. Groups of Syrians continue to be brought to the UK on a regular basis under the scheme.

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA184

The VPR scheme is a bespoke programme designed to help particularly vulnerable Syrian refugees displaced by the Syrian crisis who cannot be supported effectively in the region, particularly survivors of torture and violence, women and children at risk and those in need of medical care. We have no plans to extend the scheme to include Iraqi refugees. The Government believes that humanitarian aid and actively seeking to end the conflict in Iraq are the most effective ways for the UK to help the majority of those affected by the crisis. However, the Government has separately, under the Gateway Programme, resettled a number of Iraqi refugees who have sought refugee in countries surrounding Iraq.

The latest publicly available figures for the VPR scheme and Gateway are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

The number of displaced people resettled under the VPR scheme and Gateway Programme are in addition to asylum seekers who lodge applications in the UK; the Government continues of course to consider asylum claims, including applications from Syrian and Iraqi nationals, under our normal rules.

Bail: Greater London

Question

Asked by Lord Black of Brentwood

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many individuals were placed on police bail by the Metropolitan Police Service in each year between 1997 and 2013.[HL3026]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates): This information is not held centrally by the Home Office. In the past the Metropolitan Police Service has provided some data on police bail numbers in response to freedom of information requests.

Care Homes

Question

Asked by Lord Lexden

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the future wellbeing of severely disabled adults living in care homes that are due to be closed.[HL2944]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Government has made no such assessment. Local authorities are responsible for assessing the social care needs of their populations and for arranging or providing care to meet their eligible needs.

Should care homes have to close, it is for the relevant local authorities to assess the care needs of residents and ensure that suitable alternative provision is arranged for them if they are not able to do so for themselves.

The Government is committed to improving outcomes for disabled people and supporting them to live independent lives. Fulfilling Potential, the Government’s

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA185

Disability Strategy sets out to achieve our ambition of enabling disabled people – of all backgrounds and ages - to fulfil their potential and play a full role in society.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why they do not record the numbers of people who are diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis, given that current estimates are based on extrapolations from other countries. [HL3000]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): With the exception of cancer, there is no comprehensive central record of disease diagnosis for any condition. In 2007, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence produced the clinical guidance, Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy): Diagnosis and management of CFS/ME in adults and children which estimates that the annual prevalence is approximately 4000 cases per million of the population.

Curriculum

Question

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they consider that a maintained school teaching young earth creationism or intelligent design as scientifically valid is breaching the requirement in section 78 of the Education Act 2002 for the school to teach a balanced and broadly based curriculum; and if not, what action can be taken in respect of the school.[HL3031]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The Government is clear that all state funded schools must teach science, as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, and that creationism has no place in any science curriculum.

Creationism does not accord with the scientific consensus or the very large body of established scientific evidence; nor does it accurately and consistently employ the scientific method. It should not therefore be presented to children as a scientific theory or body of knowledge.

There is scope for pupils to discuss beliefs about the origins of the Earth and living things, such as creationism, in Religious Education, as long as it is not presented as a valid alternative to established scientific theory and it does not undermine the teaching of the established scientific consensus around evolution.

If parents are concerned that the school is not offering a broad and balanced curriculum, they should follow the school’s complaints procedure.

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA186

Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Question

Asked by Lord Stevenson of Balmacara

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will list the details of all current and former non-executive board members of the Executive Board of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport since May 2010, together with their periods of office, and set out what arrangements are in place for any potential conflict of interest that may arise during the course of such memberships of the Executive Board.[HL3044]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): The details of all members of the Executive Board are listed in the Department’s Annual Reports and Accounts under the section ‘Senior Management’. There are no Non-Executive members of the Executive Board. Members of the Executive Board are required to declare any potential conflict of interests and would not take part in discussions related to those interests.

Developing Countries: Trade

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking in respect of the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before it is Too Late, with specific reference to (1) sustainable agriculture, (2) improved research, (3) re-allocation of land use, (4) reform of global trade rules, (5) climate change, and (6) ecological intensification.[HL2876]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Northover) (LD): The Government is already taking action to address the specific recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report Trade and Environment Review 2013.

At the recent Climate Summit in New York, the Department for International Development on behalf of the Government joined the new Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture. This Alliance aims to enhance the resilience of 500 million people in agriculture by 2030 while at the same time reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions from agriculture. DFID is also a major funder of international agriculture research. This includes support to the Climate Change and Food Security Programme of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

On land use the UK used its G8 Presidency in 2013 to place land high on the agenda. G8 leaders agreed the principle that “Land transactions should be transparent, respecting the property rights of local communities”. They also launched eight land partnerships to support the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on Land Tenure. The UK leads the partnerships in Tanzania and Nigeria and co-leads in Ethiopia. Since the 2013 G8 Summit, the Department

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA187

for International Development has scaled up its work on land and property rights, through bilateral programmes and multilateral support.

The Government also helps to expand market access and trading opportunities for developing countries. For example, the Government played a critical role in concluding the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations between the EU and Southern Africa and West Africa. Least developed countries, and countries from the African, Caribbean and Pacific who have signed Economic Partnership Agreements, have duty free and quota free access to the EU market.

Diego Garcia

Question

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

To ask Her Majesty’s Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 28 July (HL1063) whether Mr Belhaj was the subject of the discussion with the government of the United States referred to in the answer.[HL2845]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): I refer the noble Lord to my response of 26 September, Official Report, Column WA427.

The United States is our most important bilateral ally and we have regular discussions on a range of sensitive issues. It is our longstanding position not to comment on discussions of that nature.

Employment and Support Allowance

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many claimants for Employment Support Allowance who have degenerative conditions for which there is no possibility of improvement have been placed in the Work-Related Activity Group; how many have found employment; how many have had their benefits reduced for failing to find employment; whether the position of those claimants will be reviewed; and, if so, when.[HL2998]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): The information as requested is not available.

Energy: Prices

Questions

Asked by Viscount Ridley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why detailed estimates of the impacts of energy and climate policies on the retail prices (pounds per megawatt hour) of gas and electricity are omitted from the 2014 edition of the annual Estimated Impacts of Energy and Climate Change Policies on Energy Prices and Bills when they have been present in all previous editions.[HL2833]

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA188

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the impacts in pounds per megawatt hour of each energy and climate change policy on (1) retail gas prices, and (2) retail electricity prices, for (a) domestic consumers, (b) medium-sized businesses, and (c) energy-intensive users in their low, central, and high fossil-fuel price scenarios.[HL2834]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): The layout of the 2014 Estimated Impacts of Energy and Climate Change Policies on Energy Prices and Bills report1 was reviewed to focus on overall bill impacts following feedback on the length of Annexes and confusion between the prices and bills tables in previous reports.

The price and consumption effects of each policy on domestic consumers, medium-sized businesses, and energy intensive users are converted into £ impacts and set out in a single set of tables in Annex D.

The results of fossil fuel price sensitivity analysis are summarised in Chapter 6.

1

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/estimated- impacts-of-energy-and-climate-change-policies-on-energy-prices-and-bills-2014

This Answer included the following attachment: Est. impact of policies on energy prices & bills (prices_and_bills_report_2014.pdf)

Asked by The Lord Bishop of St Albans

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the outcomes of the round-table event convened by Ofgem on 29 October on price differences between various payment methods for domestic consumers of electricity and gas, particularly in relation to addressing the higher fuel costs of pre-payment meters.[HL2852]

Baroness Verma: There was general agreement at the workshop that payment differentials was a complex issue and that any changes to the rules would create winners or losers with no clear benefit to vulnerable groups. For example, of households who were fuel poor in England in 2012, around 48% paid for their electricity and 40% paid for their gas through direct debit and around 27% paid for their electricity and 20% paid for their gas through prepayment meters. Changing rules in favour of pre-payment meter customers would make direct debit customers worse-off.

Ofgem intend to circulate a note from the event to participants within the next week. As part of their ongoing work programme on vulnerability, they are planning a series of workshops to focus on other important issues in the future.

Entry Clearances

Question

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 11 August (HL1352), what steps are in place to prevent citizens of countries from which a visa is

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA189

required to visit the United Kingdom but not the Republic of Ireland from entering the UK through the Republic of Ireland.[HL2846]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): The UK and Republic of Ireland share data in order to inform immigration decisions taken by both countries, and continue to pursue the alignment of their visa policies. Immigration Enforcement and Border Force conduct intelligence-led operations to identify and take action against individuals who are seeking to or have entered the UK from the Republic of Ireland without the necessary leave.

Free School Meals

Questions

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the nutritional requirements of the universal infant free school meals provided from September 2014. [HL3040]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The nutritional requirements for school meals, including universal infant free school meals, are currently set out in the Education (Nutritional Standards and Requirements for School Food) (England) Regulations 2007, which are published online at:

www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/2359/contents/made

These regulations set out the food groups to be provided, and how frequently, along with the levels of key nutrients (such as iron, zinc and calcium) that the meals should contain. They also restrict the amounts of saturated fat, salt and sugar that can be served in meals.

From 1 January 2015, a new set of school food regulations will come into force for school meals (including universal infant free school meals). The regulations are published online at:

www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1603/contents/made

The new regulations are based on food groups, to make it easier for cooks to create tasty, nutritious menus. They also restrict the amounts of fried foods, salt and sugar that can be served.

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether it is a requirement of the universal infant free school meals provisions that a hot meal should be provided for certain infant pupils.[HL3041]

Lord Nash: The Department for Education expects all schools to be routinely offering a hot meal option to all their infant pupils. We know that over 98.5% of schools were on track to do so at the start of the autumn term. The Department is working with the small number of schools that were not, so that they can do so as quickly as possible.

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA190

There is no legal requirement that meals should be hot, but it is much harder to meet the requirement to comply with the School Food Standards through the provision of cold food.

Fuel Poverty

Question

Asked by Baroness Greengross

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people over the age of (1) 65, (2) 75, and (3) 85, in the United Kingdom they estimate to be living in fuel poverty.[HL2919]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): Fuel poverty is measured at the household level rather than the individual level. Fuel Poverty is a partially devolved issue, with each separate administration having their own targets and producing their own statistics. Data on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is available from:

Scotland:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/12/3017

Wales:

http://wales.gov.uk/docs/caecd/research/130430-wales-fuel-poverty-projection-tool-2011-12-report-en.pdf

Northern Ireland:

http://www.nihe.gov.uk/index/corporate/housing_research/house_condition_survey.htm

The number of fuel poor households in England under the LIHC indicator containing someone over the age of (1)65 and (2)75 is given below:

Age of oldest person in householdNumber of households (000's)Total number of households (000's)Proportion of fuel poor households (%)
Not fuel poorFuel poor

over 65

5,176

383

5,559

16.8

over 75

2,328

180

2,508

7.9

The sample size of households from the English Housing Survey with someone aged over 85 is too small to produce accurate data.

Gangmasters

Questions

Asked by Baroness Suttie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the average fine levied by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority in each of the last five years in (1) the United Kingdom, and (2) each region of the United Kingdom.[HL3014]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the total amount of fines levied by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority in each of the last five years. [HL3015]

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA191

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many fines were levied by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority in each of the last five years in (1) the United Kingdom, and (2) each region of the United Kingdom.[HL3016]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): The Gangmasters Licensing Authority, which operates in accordance with the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004, has no legal power to impose fines. That power rests with the courts.

Green Climate Fund

Question

Asked by Lord Renwick of Clifton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how it is intended that the proposed £650 million United Kingdom contribution to a global green climate fund will be spent; and what role the United Kingdom will have in its disbursement.[HL2964]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): The Green Climate Fund is aiming to spend 50% of funds helping developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and 50% helping them adapt to the adverse effects of climate change (with the aim that at least 50% of the adaptation funding goes to the most vulnerable countries).

The Fund is governed and supervised by a Board of 24 members, composed of an equal number of members from developing and developed countries that will have responsibility for funding decisions.

The UK holds one of the Green Climate Fund Board seats, meaning we will be fully involved in disbursement decisions.

Hinkley Point C Power Station

Question

Asked by Lord Birt

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they expect the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor to be built as planned, and on time.[HL3017]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): We are confident in the Hinkley Point C project - EDF expects the power station to come online as planned around 2023.

The European Commission’s positive State aid decision in October was a big vote of confidence for the project as the Government and EdF continue to work together on finalising the full terms of the Contract for Difference and the financing arrangements, which includes support from the UK Guarantee.

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA192

Honours

Question

Asked by Lord Jopling

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 18 January 2012 (WA 140), 30 January 2012 (WA 298–300), 10 July (HL828) and 28 July (HL1115), whether they have reviewed the way in which honours lists reflect the distribution of people in the community deserving of a knighthood or damehood, in the light of 30 per cent of those receiving such honours in the last 10 lists being styled “Professor”.[HL2967]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): Every five years the Cabinet Office conducts a review to examine the allocation of honours. The Quinquennial Review is guided by the priorities set by the Prime Minister and any changes to the sizes of the workforces in each sector of the economy. The last review of the honours system took place in December 2012.

Housing: Energy

Question

Asked by Baroness Greengross

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect that all homes in the United Kingdom will reach energy efficiency level Band C.[HL2920]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): The Government believes that improving residential energy efficiency is an important part of its efforts to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions, combat fuel poverty and enhance the country’s energy security, as well as helping all consumers save money on their energy bills and enjoy warmer, more comfortable homes.

We continue to see progress in the deployment of energy efficiency measures towards our goal of 1 million homes helped by March 2015. We have not set any particular target regarding all homes reaching EPC Band C and do not hold any detailed projections as to when this might be achieved.

Israel

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have held with the government of Israel concerning its intention to raise the maximum penalty for stone throwing to 20 years imprisonment.[HL2861]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): I refer the noble Baroness to my response of 17 November, Official Report, column WA62, which is repeated here for ease of reference: While we have not raised this particular issue with the Israeli authorities, our Ambassador to Israeli has written to the Israeli Justice Minister, Tipi Livni, raising our specific concerns on aspects of policy regarding children charged with security-related offences.

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA193

Malawi

Question

Asked by Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what changes to actual programmes funded by Official Development Assistance have taken place since the suspension of budget support in Malawi in 2011.[HL2942]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Northover) (LD): General budget support to Malawi was suspended in 2011 due to concerns relating to human rights and public financial management. Tightly managed sector budget support for health and education was continued by all donors but following the Cashgate scandal in November 2013 this too was suspended. There can be no consideration of putting UK funding through Malawi government systems until the integrity of the Government’s financial management systems has been restored and independently verified.

The UK is still committed to poverty reduction and supporting poor people in Malawi, through a large programme of ongoing investments delivered outside of government systems, in health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation, economic development and governance.

Mental Illness

Question

Asked by Lord Bradley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what new initiatives have been launched to promote increased funding for research into mental health.[HL2962]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the largest United Kingdom funder of mental health research. The NIHR has already increased its investment in this field from £40.3 million in 2009-10 to £71.7 million in 2013-14.

NIHR funding for experimental medicine infrastructure is contractually committed for five years to March 2017. This includes £48.9 million for the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry.

Five NIHR research programmes are currently open to researcher-led funding applications within their respective remits, including applications in mental health:

- Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation;- Health Services and Delivery Research;- Health Technology Assessment (HTA);- Public Health Research; and- Research for Patient Benefit.

In addition, the HTA programme has issued current calls for research proposals on the following topics:

- improving the mental health of children and young people with long term conditions; and- lithium or an antipsychotic as adjunctive therapy to an antidepressant for patients with treatment resistant depression.

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA194

North Korea

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office-funded project “Inside Out: Working in North Korea to connect its journalists to the internet world” in the light of the findings of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry in respect of the control of media content in North Korea by that country's Publication and Broadcasting Department, the level of editorial freedom, the pre-determined and centrally controlled nature of stories and the availability of internet access.[HL2870]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) maintains extremely tight control over media and restricts access to foreign broadcasting. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office funded project ‘Inside Out: Working in North Korea to connect its journalists to the internet world’ is an on-going media project being delivered by the Thomson Foundation, an independent UK organisation with a proven track record of working in a number of countries, including now, for the first time, in DPRK. The project aims to expose participants to the UK media, instructing them on international reporting practices and the development of technical skills to build websites using a variety of international sources.

A pilot workshop was held in Pyongyang between 13-22 October, comprising 46 DPRK participants. The next and final stage of the project will be a study tour to the UK, which is planned to take place in early 2015, and which will be undertaken by some participants from the October workshop, to see how multimedia websites work at British media companies.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of the findings of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on the use of radio broadcasting as a source of information for ordinary North Koreans, they consider radio broadcasts to be an effective means to reach the majority of the North Korean population and especially those without access to television or the internet.[HL2871]

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: The best available source of information on access to media devices in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a survey conducted by InterMedia as part of its 2012 report ‘A Quiet Opening: North Koreans in a Changing Media Environment’. This found that television was the most readily accessible media device among DPRK citizens, with 74% of survey respondents confirming they were able to access television programming compared to 42% who had access to a radio.

Asked by Lord Eames

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the statement of Mr Marzuki Darusman, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA195

in North Korea, that the United Kingdom should consider implementation of all recommendations made by the United Nations Commission of Inquiry, whether there are any points within recommendations 1224 and 1225 that they consider do not apply to the United Kingdom.[HL2888]

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: Para 1224 of the Report recommends that states and others should support the work of civil society organisations to improve the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), including efforts to document violations and to broadcast accessible information into each country. We have previously funded projects with South Korean non-governmental organisations related to documenting violations in the DPRK. We have also worked with international and domestic organisations within the DPRK to improve the treatment of disabled people. Our focus on direct engagement complements that of others, like the US, who support broadcasts into the DPRK.

The former Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the right Hon. Baroness Warsi, stated during the debate on Human Rights in North Korea on 23 July (Official Report, columns GC460-464) the UK’s position on the recommendations for the UN Security Council (para 1225(a)) and our commitment to ensuring that the international community takes action in response to the Commission’s report (para 1225(f)). The recommendations in para 1225 (b) and (c) have been taken forward through the UN Human Rights Council and those in (d), (e) and (g) are primarily for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Secretariat. We are currently exploring the prospects for taking forward para 1225(h), which recommends forming a human rights contact group. Para 1225(i) relates to provision of humanitarian assistance. The UK does not have a bilateral aid programme in the DPRK, but agrees fully with points made in this recommendation about how such assistance should be provided.

Para 1225(j) recommends the convening of a high-level political conference to consider a final peaceful settlement to the Korean War. A comprehensive resolution of the situation on the Korean peninsula will require the DPRK to address the international community's legitimate security concerns.

Overseas Students

Questions

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps are being taken to encourage foreign students to enrol in United Kingdom universities.[HL2847]

Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): The International Education Strategy recognised the huge contribution that overseas students make to the UK and all genuine overseas students are welcome to study in the UK.

The Government and the higher education sector are taking every opportunity to promote the UK’s offer and the warm welcome the UK extends to

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA196

international students, including through using the ‘Britain is GREAT’ campaign. For example, the High Commission in Delhi began work last year (with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK Trade and Investment and the British Council) to promote UK education at outreach events, exhibitions and road shows in some of India’s biggest cities. The ‘Britain is GREAT’ campaign is also promoting UK education across a range of other countries.

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether students attending United Kingdom universities are included in the immigration statistics; and if so, why.[HL2849]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): Published Home Office immigration statistics record data on all people coming to the UK or remaining here who are subject to immigration control. This includes all non-EU students.

International students are also included in net migration statistics that are produced by the independent Office for National Statistics (ONS). In line with the internationally agreed UN definition, these statistics define a migrant as someone changing their normal place of residence for more than a year. Students are therefore included in the same way as other migrants. Other countries, such as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand also include students in their net migration figures.

The ONS has recently improved its methodology so that it is possible to better identify students in the emigration flows to give a more accurate measure of the contribution of students to overall net migration. In the last year, 121,000 non-EU students came to Britain to stay for more than 12 months, and the ONS estimates that only 51,000 left the country.

All migrants who are in the UK for 12 months or more have an impact on our communities, infrastructure and public services. Changing the way we measure migration would not make any difference to our student migration policy. There is no cap on the number who can come to the UK. Those who are sponsored by a reputable institution, have the right qualifications and sufficient funds to support themselves and can speak adequate English can study here. Britain remains the second most popular destination for international higher education students. The latest figures show visa applications from university students increased by 2%, and visa applications for the Russell Group universities are up 4% for the year ending September 2014.

Palestinians

Questions

Asked by Baroness Deech

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of reports of incitement to violence in Palestinian Authority school textbooks and media.[HL2857]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): We deplore all incitement to violence and continually urge the

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA197

leadership of both the Palestinian and Israeli authorities to avoid engaging in, or encouraging, the type of action and language which will make it more difficult to achieve a peaceful negotiated solution to the conflict. An independent US-funded study of Palestinian and Israeli textbooks found, in line with previous studies, that there was very little evidence of Palestinian Authority textbooks inciting hatred of Israel or anti-semitism even if it found that both Palestinian and Israel textbooks needed to do more to promote a positive portrayal of each other.

Asked by The Marquess of Lothian

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to encourage the government of Israel to contribute to the rebuilding of Gaza after the damage caused in the recent conflict; and if not, why not. [HL2884]

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: Further to my previous reply of 28 October, I can confirm that the UK has no plans to request Israeli funding for the reconstruction of Gaza. The UK is engaging Israel and other parties to ensure the unimpeded delivery of aid and the lifting of restrictions to exports from Gaza. The UK is also pressing for progress towards a durable ceasefire agreement.

Pupils: Mental Health

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to train teachers to identify and intervene in cases of mental health issues affecting school pupils.[HL2917]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): Headteachers and teachers are best placed to make decisions about what professional development they require in order to meet the needs of their pupils, and an assessment of training and development needs must be included in teachers’ written appraisal reports. To support teachers identifying and intervening when there are mental health issues, in June the Department for Education issued new non-statutory advice for schools and teachers on pupil’s mental health and behaviour.[1] This provides information, guidance and practical tools on how to build resilience and support good mental health, and helps school staff identify those pupils who may have emerging problems. It also includes links to further support such as MindEd, [2] a website funded by the Department of Health that helps adults identify and support children and young people’s mental health issues.

Sir Andrew Carter is currently chairing an independent review of the quality and effectiveness of Initial Teacher Training courses, which must be designed to ensure that trainees are equipped to meet the teacher standards. These require teachers to have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs. This review will be published next year.

[1] www.gov.uk/government/publications/mental-health-and- behaviour-in-schools--2

[2] www.minded.org.uk

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA198

Qatar

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reported cases of abuse against North Korean workers in Lusail City, Qatar; and what steps they are taking to ensure that Qatar meets its International Labour Organisation obligations and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.[HL2872]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns): We are aware of reports that state-run North Korean bodies have been expropriating large proportions of their workers’ salaries earned in Qatar. We take the issue of the treatment of migrant workers very seriously. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood), recently raised human rights issues with the Qatari government during his visit to Doha on 15 October, and the issue of migrant workers was raised with the Emir of Qatar during his visit to the UK on 28-30 October. We support Qatar’s intention to reform the current labour law. We continue to encourage the Qatari government to address human rights concerns and stand ready to support those efforts where we can.

Schools: Mental Health Services

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to increase pupil access to psychological therapies in schools.[HL2916]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological services programme (CYP-IAPT) is being rolled out across the country by NHS England. This is a £54million programme that is transforming child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) by training specialist mental health staff in the use of NICE approved evidence based psychological therapies, including behavioural and family therapies. By March 2015 these transformed services should be available to 60% of children and young people across the country who are referred to CAMHS for support.

In schools, the Department for Education has published advice on pupil’s mental health and behaviour [1] which provides information and guidance for staff on how to identify pupils who may need extra support. In addition, the Department is also committed to developing a new strategy to promote high quality counselling in schools.

The Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Taskforce, which brings together a range of experts from across health, social care and education, was launched in August to look at how we can make

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA199

sure every child with mental health problems gets the high quality support they need, whatever the setting that they are in.

[2] [1]

www.gov.uk/government/publications/mental-health-and- behaviour-in-schools--2

[2]

www.gov.uk/government/groups/children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-well-being-taskforce

Somerset

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether further ministerial visits are intended to the Somerset Levels.[HL2991]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley) (Con): Although no dates are confirmed at present, ministers will be making further visits to the Somerset Levels from time to time.

South Sudan

Questions

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Derby

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to encourage greater and co-ordinated regional political pressure being put on all parties to the conflict in South Sudan to cease fighting and to respect agreements signed to date.[HL2864]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): The UK is actively supporting regional efforts, led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to resolve the crisis in South Sudan. We raise the need for continued regional engagement through our Embassies in IGAD capitals, contacts between Ministers and through the UK Special Representative’s engagement in the peace talks.

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Derby

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to seeking a United Nations Security Council-backed arms and ammunition embargo on South Sudan.[HL2865]

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: The UK is currently working with other Security Council members to secure an effective UN Security Council sanctions resolution for South Sudan.

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Derby

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to encourage the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and other interested parties to include in peace talks in South Sudan representatives of all communities in South Sudan. [HL2866]

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA200

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: We have consistently encouraged the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to ensure the peace process in South Sudan is inclusive. We have supported events to facilitate wide participation, including the IGAD-led civil society symposium in June. We have also called on the Government of South Sudan to ensure all parties to the talks are represented.

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Derby

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan remains focused on protecting civilians, including preventing sexual violence, and that it has sufficient capacity and resources to fulfil that mandate. [HL2867]

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, we regularly engage with partners in New York to ensure that the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has clear tasking and sufficient resource to implement its mandate. We believe UNMISS’s mandate should continue to focus on the protection of civilians, including preventing sexual violence and will press for this during negotiations on the renewal of UNMISS’s mandate that are underway. Our Embassy in Juba also engages regularly with UNMISS’s leadership on these issues.

Special Educational Needs

Questions

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Clinical Commissioning Groups have put in place joint commissioning arrangements with local authorities concerning the education, health and special care provision required by local children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities as required by the Children and Families Act 2014.[HL3037]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): All clinical commissioning groups have to make joint arrangements with their relevant local authorities to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. NHS England is taking their accountability seriously for this statutory duty and supporting clinical commissioning groups in the move to the new system. NHS England is currently preparing a questionnaire to go out to clinical commissioning groups on implementation.

We will continue to hold NHS England to account for this through our assurance process.

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how the Department for Education is monitoring the local transition arrangements set out in the Children and Families Act 2014.[HL3038]

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA201

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many local transition plans reflect the legal requirement of the Children and Families Act 2014 to carry out a full educational, health and care needs assessment for every child moving to the new system of support. [HL3039]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash): All local authorities have now published information about their plans for transition. Local authorities are accountable for ensuring that there are clear processes for carrying out education, health and care needs assessments for children and young people with statements of special educational needs or learning difficulty assessments, in accordance with the Children and Families Act and associated regulations, when they are transferred to Education, Health and Care plans. Each child or young person’s needs must be considered individually.

To support local authorities, the Department for Education is now working through all 152 transition plans and providing guidance for authorities where necessary.

Sudan

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the ability of the United Nations Mission in Darfur to conduct a thorough investigation of reported mass rapes in Tabit during their visit on 4 November, in the light of the interruption of that visit by military intelligence personnel.[HL2897]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): The refusal to allow the UN African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) access to Tabit on 4 November prevented them from conducting a thorough investigation in to the very serious allegations of mass rapes. Some access was subsequently possible on 9 November but we continue to call on the Government of Sudan to allow UNAMID full and unhindered access to Tabit.

Syria

Questions

Asked by The Marquess of Lothian

To ask Her Majesty’s Government to which rebel groups in Syria they have offered financial or military assistance; and by which groups such assistance has been accepted.[HL2882]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): The UK supports a range of moderates in Syria who oppose both the Assad regime and extremism. We do not provide support to extremist groups, and the need to prevent diversion to these groups is built into our programmes. In August 2013 we gave the Supreme Military Council (SMC) of the Free Syrian Army

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA202

escape hoods, detector paper and nerve-agent pre-treatment tablets to protect them from chemical weapons attack. This financial year the UK will be providing £1 million of non-lethal equipment to the moderate armed opposition. The exact equipment will depend on the requirements of the recipients, but could include commercially available communications equipment, commercially available vehicles, fuel, portable generators and logistics supplies such as clothing, rations and tents; and individual medical kits. The UK Government also expects to make a significant contribution to the recently announced US-led programme to train and equip the Syrian moderate armed opposition. Details of how that contribution will be delivered are currently being scoped. We also provide support to the political umbrella group the National Coalition. This includes advisory and strategic communications support. The UK does not supply weapons to anybody in Syria.

Asked by The Marquess of Lothian

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Turkey about the future status of the Kurds in Northern Syria. [HL2885]

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: We maintain a regular dialogue with the Turkish government on developments in Syria, including on the status of the Kurds in northern Syria. Turkey shares our concern about the present situation in Kobane and has made clear their commitment to support international efforts to tackle the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

We applaud Turkey’s generosity in hosting over 190,000 refugees who have fled the fighting in Kobane, in addition to the 1.5 million refugees from Syria and Iraq already residing in Turkey. The Department for International Development has already responded to the urgent needs of Syrian Kurdish refugees who have fled to Turkey, and is ready to react swiftly to further developments.

Tuberculosis

Question

Asked by Baroness Suttie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what they are doing to support the development of a new tuberculosis treatment regimen.[HL2981]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Northover) (LD): The UK Government is a strong supporter of research to develop new tuberculosis (TB) treatment regimens and has funded the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) since 2005. The TB Alliance has three TB treatment regimens in late stage clinical development and will soon launch one of those into a registration study. In addition the TB Alliance is adapting existing regimens so that they can be used for children with TB.

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA203

United Arab Emirates

Questions

Asked by Baroness Uddin

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the recent decision by the government of the United Arab Emirates to designate as terrorists organisations including United Kingdom-based charities.[HL2938]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): The list provided by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) included a broad range of different groups, numbering 85 in total. Some of the groups listed by the UAE are also proscribed in the UK. The list of groups proscribed in the UK is attached and is also available on the gov.uk website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/proscribed-terror-groups-or-organisations--2.

Three of the groups listed by the UAE are based in the UK: Islamic Relief UK, the Cordoba Foundation and the Muslim Association of Britain. These groups are not proscribed in the UK. We are seeking further clarity from the Emiratis on their rationale for some of these designations, and any practical implications.

This Answer included the following attachment: UK list of proscribed terror groups (ProscribedOrganisationsAug14.pdf)

Asked by Baroness Uddin

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations, if any, they have made to the government of the United Arab Emirates in respect of the inclusion of Islamic Relief on its recent list of banned organisations.[HL2939]

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: We are seeking further clarity from the Emiratis on their rationale for some of these designations, and any practical implications.

Vietnam

Question

Asked by Lord Kilclooney

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the level of freedom of religion in Vietnam; and whether the British Ambassador to Vietnam has raised the matter with the government of that country in the past 12 months.[HL2965]

27 Nov 2014 : Column WA204

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): We remain concerned about the human rights situation in Vietnam and are active in promoting freedom of religion or belief there. Our Embassy works closely with embassies of likeminded countries to ensure this issue is raised regularly with the Vietnamese authorities. Our Ambassador has directly raised with the Vietnamese authorities our concerns about Vietnam’s handling of the visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.

Currently, there is a mixed picture on freedom of religion or belief in Vietnam. There are incidents of religious persecution, but most Vietnamese are able to practise the religion of their choice. Vietnam has increased the number of approved churches and other places of worship and invited the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief to visit in July. However, the Special Rapporteur’s press statement at the end of his visit noted that planned visits to certain provinces had been disrupted as a result of official surveillance and intimidation of activists whom he was due to meet, as well as surveillance of his own activities, with the result that he was unable to investigate certain issues of concern e.g. reports that some ethnic minorities face problems practising their religion.

West Africa: Ebola

Question

Asked by Baroness Suttie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which United Kingdom non-governmental organisations the Department for International Development has supported in response to the ebola epidemic; and how much money has been given to each of those organisations.[HL2980]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Northover) (LD): The UK is leading the international response to Ebola in Sierra Leone, and we are working closely with a wide range of UK and International NGOs to contain and combat the outbreak. Given the shifting nature of the epidemic and the evolving international response, payments to NGOs are under constant review.

To date, our support to UK NGOs includes disbursement of £13.5million to the British Red Cross; £5million to Save the Children; £3.6 million to World Vision; £2.1million to UK Med, £50,000 to Riders for Health and £52,000 to Map Action.

We will make further disbursements to UK NGOs as needed throughout the Ebola crisis.