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Written Answers

Volume 670: debated on Wednesday 16 March 2005

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Written Answers

Wednesday, 16 March 2005.

Northern Ireland: North/South Implementation Bodies

asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 21 December 2004

(WA 257), what additional benefits have occurred to cross-border co-operation as a result of the setting up of the cross-border bodies outlined in the Belfast agreement. [HL868]

No earlier answer exists for the reference provided by the Noble Lord.I presume from similar Questions which the noble Lord has tabled recently that he intended to refer to my Answer given on 21 December 2004

(WA 135).

I have nothing further to add to this earlier reply.

Northern Ireland: Northern Bank Robbery

asked Her Majesty's Government:What is the membership of the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Newforge sports club in terms of:

  • (a) serving officers;
  • (b) retired officers;
  • (c) police civilian staff; and
  • (d) others; and [HL1452]

What are the criteria for membership of the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Newforge sports club by individuals who are:

  • (a) non-police officers;
  • (b) former police officers; and
  • (c) police civilian staff;

and whether security checks are carried out on such individuals; and [HL1453]

Whether, in light of the alleged planting of £55,000 from the Northern Bank robbery at the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Newforge sports club, there is adequate security in place, including security cameras, at the sports club. [HL1454]

I am advised that the Newforge Country Club in south Belfast is a private members club owned by the RUC Athletic Association and I am therefore not in a position to provide the information requested by the noble Lord.

Police Service Of Northern Ireland: Childcare Facilities

asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 2 February

(WA 38) regarding childcare facilities for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, whether the focus groups were held in 1999 or 2003–04; and, if they were held in 1999, why it has taken until 2005 to begin the preparation of a business case. [HL1501]

The childcare focus groups were run from the end of 2003 to April 2004. They were held across the service in headquarters departments and district command units and were attended by both police and support staff.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 2 February

(WA 38) regarding childcare facilities for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, why, according to the oversight commissioner's reports between 2001 and 2004, no evidence was given to indicate when a decision regarding the full implementation of the Patten report recommendation 123 would be taken. [HL1502]

At the time of request, evidence was not available as it was still being collated as part of a research project into childcare facilities.Focus groups were run from the end of 2003 until April 2004, and following this a report was prepared by an external consultant. The PSNI human resource department is now considering the issues raised in that report as they relate to childcare and family friendly issues.

Northern Ireland: Prison Early Release Scheme

asked Her Majesty's Government:Since the introduction of the early prison release scheme for paramilitary organisation members, how many prisoners have been recalled each year in the categories of republican and loyalist. [HL1537]

Since the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 came into force on 10 April 1998, the number of persons recalled to prison in each year by perceived affiliation to republican and loyalist organisations is as follows.

YearLoyalistRepublican
199811
199900
200021
200131
200230
YearLoyalistRepublican
200321
200430
2005*10
Total154
(

* as at 28 February 2005)

The figures reflect the number of persons perceived to have these affiliations at time of sentence who were recalled to prison under the provisions of the Prisons Act (NI) 1953 and the Life Sentences (NI) Order 2001 and the NI (Sentences) Act 1998. The figures include prisoners recalled for breaches of licence conditions unrelated to terrorism.

Northern Ireland: St Louis Order Property

asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 1 March

(WA 10) concerning the purchase of the St Louis Order's property in Middletown, who are the directors of the two parties of the Middletown Centre for Autism; who appointed them; and after what process. [HL1595]

There is only one party, funded by the Department of Education, in connection with the purchase of property to be developed as the Middletown Centre for Autism and to which directors have been appointed; namely, the Middletown Centre for Autism (Holdings) Limited. The directors of this company are Maire Foley and Ruth Hamilton, appointed by the Department of Education, and Michael Flanagan and Hubert Loftus, appointed by the Irish Department of Education and Science. Nominees for potential candidates for the two Northern Ireland posts were canvassed from within the department and set against criteria to consider those with relevant and specific experience in finance, autism and capital projects. It is not for Her Majesty's Government to comment on how the Irish Government arrived at their directors.

Lord Birt

asked Her Majesty's Government:What specific advice the Prime Minister's strategy adviser, the Lord Birt, gave in regard to the Green Paper

Blueprint for a Strong, Independent BBC, published on 2 March; and[HL1573]

What official meetings have been held in the past two years between the Prime Minister's strategy adviser, the Lord Birt, and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport; and on each occasion what were the nature of and reason for the meetings. [HL1574]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
(Lord McIntosh of Haringey)

Lord Birt provides private internal advice to the Prime Minister and other Cabinet Ministers on a range of issues. His advice is not made public as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussions.

Mckinsey And Co

asked Her Majesty's Government:What representations or correspondence they have received from McKinsey and Company Incorporated, officially or unofficially, in regard to the Green Paper

Blueprint for a Strong, Independent BBC, published on 2 March. [HL1576]

The Government have not received any written representations or correspondence from McKinsey and Co. in relation to the Green Paper. Nor are we aware of any unofficial representations or correspondence from McKinsey and Co.

asked Her Majesty's Government:What was the nature of any existing contract or work undertaken in the past two years between McKinsey and Company Incorporated and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport or Number 10 Downing Street. [HL1614]

Neither the Department for Culture, Media and Sport nor Number 10 Downing Street has placed any contracts with McKinsey and Company Incorporated in the past two years.

Consumer Credit (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations

asked Her Majesty's Government:How the technical amendments set out in Annexe A of the explanatory memorandum to the regulations are given effect in the Consumer Credit (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (S. I. 2004/2619). [HL1550]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry
(Lord Sainsbury of Turville)

The schedule below confirms how each of the amendments set out in the annexe to the explanatory memorandum is given legislative effect in the Consumer Credit (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2004.

Consumer Credit (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2004—Schedule of Amendments

In each case, the text in italics is the reference to the provision in the miscellaneous provisions regulations that gives effect to the amendment.

Amendments to the Consumer Credit (Advertisements) Regulations 2004:

In Schedule 2, shoulder note delete "Regulations 4(1), 7(6), 8(1) and (6)" and insert "Regulations 4(1), 7(6), 8(1) and (5)". Amendment by way of Regulation 3(2).

In Schedule 3, paragraph 5(2) delete "debtor" in line 1 and insert "hirer" in its place. Regulation 3(4)(a).

In Schedule 3, paragraph 5(3) delete "credit" and "debtor" in line 2 and insert "owner" and "hirer" respectively in their places. Regulation 3(4)(b).

Amendments to the Consumer Credit (Agreements) Regulations 1983:

In Regulation 2(4)(c) for the words "6 to 8B and 11 to 17" substitute "6 to 8B, 11 to 14 and 15 to 17". Amendment by way of Regulation 2(2).

In Regulation 3(6) for the words "Forms 1 to 3 of Schedule 4" substitute "Forms 1, 4 and 5 of Schedule 4". Regulation 2(3).

In Regulation 7(4)(c) for the words "5 to 7B and 10 to 17" substitute "5 to 7B, 10 to 13 and 14 to 17". Regulation 2(4).

In Regulation 7(4)(e)(i) for the words "20 to 23" substitute "20 to 24". Regulation 2(4).

For paragraph 23 of Schedule 1 substitute:

"23.Agreements that cannot be cancelled by the debtor under the Act, the Timeshare Act 1992 or the Financial Services (Distance Marketing) Regulations 2004."A statement that the debtor has no right to cancel the agreement under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, the Timeshare Act 1992 or the Financial Services (Distance Marketing) Regulations 2004. Regulation 2(5)

Part I of Schedule 2 (forms of statement of protection and remedies available under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 to debtors under regulated consumer credit agreements) shall be amended as follows:

In paragraph 4:

delete the words from "[However you may return" to the end of the paragraph; for "Notes:" substitute "Note:", and

delete the whole of note** .

In column 2 of paragraph 5 for the words "3 or 6" substitute "4 or 6".

In column 3 of paragraph 18 of Part II of Schedule 2 for "£x**** " the first time that it appears substitute "£x*** ".

Regulation 2(6)

Oil Market: China

asked Her Majesty's Government:What effect they foresee on (a) the availability of oil in the market, and (b) fuel prices, from the reported large-scale acquisition by China of oilfields and oil concessions from, among other countries, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Angola and Brazil. [HL1701]

There are a wide range of factors that will influence future developments in the oil market. Growth in China's demand for oil is one, and has been factored into current oil price levels as well as the future production capacity plans of the major oil producers. Although China has concluded a number of deals in recent years in oil-producing countries it is unlikely that the additional effect these deals will have on the availability and price of oil will be significant in the short and medium term. The oil market is a global market involving a large number of producers and consumers. Moreover, oil production from these fields and concessions will be used to meet China's growing oil import needs, as well as global oil demand more generally.However, we will continue to monior market developments and promote the development of competitive and liquid global oil markets as the most effective way to help deliver more stable prices and for any time.

Solent European Marine Site

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether Section 5(a) and (b) of the Solent European Marine Site (Prohibition of Method of Dredging) Order 2004 (S.I. 2004/2696) should be taken to imply that part of the Solent European Marine Site is outside relevant British fishery limits and may, therefore, be dredged by boats from other European countries; and why this order is not extended to all British territorial waters. [HL1721]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(Lord Whitty)

The Solent European Marine Site (Prohibition of Method of Dredging) Order 2004 (S.I. 2004/2696) was made to avoid any deterioration in the natural habitat and species for which the Solent European Marine Site (EMS) has been designated. The Solent EMS is totally contained within six nautical miles of the English coast where vessels from other countries do not have access rights.Articles 5(1)(a) and (b) are well precedented and relevant enforcement provisions. They enable British sea-fishery officers to enforce the order on British vessels even if they have left the relevant area, and on vessels from other countries even if they do not have access rights to the area. There is no intention to extend this order to all British territorial waters; measures to protect other European marine sites from damage caused by fishing are considered on a case-by-case basis.