HC Deb 15 September 2004 vol 424 cc1626-7W
Keith Vaz

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how many respondents there were to the Fairness For All White Paper; and if she will make a statement on the content of the responses; [187940]

(2) what plans she has to take the proposals contained in the Fairness For All White Paper forward following the consultation period; and on what timetable; [187941]

(3) what plans she has to meet stakeholder organisations for further discussions on the Fairness For All White Paper. [187942]

Ms Hewitt

The consultation following the release of Fairness for All, officially closed on 6 August 2004. Over 450 responses have been received from a wide variety of stakeholders, interested groups and individuals. The Government is currently assessing all the responses it has received in detail and will publicly respond in due course.

The Government will continue to adopt an open and inclusive approach to involving stakeholder organisations in developing our proposals on the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR). As part of this approach we have already met with stakeholders through the independent advisory task force on 7 September. This meeting has advised on, and informed, the ongoing analysis of the 'Fairness for All' consultation.

The Government is committed to improving equality and human rights for all in our society. This underpins our vision of a modern, fairer and more prosperous Britain. We are fully committed to the creation of the CEHR which we believe will help create a more equal and cohesive society.

The establishment of the CEHR will require primary legislation, and we intend to bring a Bill before Parliament as soon as time allows. We anticipate setting up a steering group to continue for 12–18 months to manage the planning and implementation of the key milestones towards the launch day. The CEHR will not be fully operational before the end of 2006 at the earliest.