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Written Answers

Volume 690: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

Written Answers

Monday 19 March 2007

Army: Council Tax

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Who is responsible for paying council tax on residential property owned by the British Army. [HL2574]

All service accommodation is formally exempt from the council tax regime; instead, my department pays contributions in lieu of council tax to local authorities, which are broadly equivalent to the amount of tax that would otherwise have been due. The average contribution, determined by the type of property occupied, is then recovered from service occupants with their accommodation charge. Where service families’ accommodation is occupied by civilian personnel, they are responsible for payment of council tax direct to the local authority concerned. In Northern Ireland, domestic rates are payable on residential property owned by the British Army.

Care Services: Inflation

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their estimate of the current rate of inflation within the adult social care sector. [HL2028]

The department produces a personal social services pay and prices index, which is a weighted average of estimated changes in pay, prices and capital costs for the sector. The index covers services for children and adults and includes services directly provided by local authorities and services purchased from independent sector providers. The latest year for which the data required to calculate the index are available is the financial year 2004-05. This index was provided to the Health Select Committee in summer 2006. The estimated inflation in the sector in 2004-05 was 4.3 per cent. The department also calculates a separate index for services provided to adults only. In 2004-05, estimated inflation in the adult social care sector was also 4.3 per cent.

Children: Custody

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action they are taking in response to the lessons for practice in the National Children’s Bureau report Tell Them Not to Forget About Us: A Guide to Practice with Looked After Children in Custody. [HL2455]

The department funded the National Children's Bureau to research and produce the publication Tell Them Not to Forget About Us, to develop a model of practice to guide local authority social workers and youth offending teams (YOTs) in working together to meet the needs of children from care who go to prison, to make sure that the two agencies can work together better to improve the support provided to this group of vulnerable young people.

The guide was launched at an invited workshop, organised by the department, involving senior managers from local authorities, the Youth Justice Board and representatives from the voluntary sector. We have ensured that key groups of professionals, such as the independent reviewing officers, have been made aware of the information that it includes about best practice in working to support young people from care who are in custody. A copy of the publication was sent to every director of children's services and every YOT manager.

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

What steps they are taking to ensure that information on a child’s care status is consistently recorded and shared between social care and youth justice agencies when a looked-after child is in custody or on remand. [HL2456]

Children who are in the care of the local authority must be provided with a care plan that sets out how the authority proposes to meet the child's assessed needs, while Asset is the standard assessment framework used by all youth offending teams (YOTs) in England and Wales with young people aged 10 to 17 who offend. Asset will include identifying information specific to each child, including information about their care status. It aims to identify key risk factors contributing to a young person’s offending behaviour along with protective factors that might help to reduce the risk of reoffending.

Social workers and YOT workers have shared responsibilities where a looked-after child is also a young person who offends, and information in Asset will include information drawn from the child’s care plan. Where a child enters custody, the YOT worker should ensure that the custodial establishment is aware of the child’s care status, including any entitlement to leaving care services, and their social worker’s contact details. It is important that the custodial establishment receives the child’s care plan alongside the Asset assessment.

Our Green Paper Care Matters was issued in October 2006. This includes proposals for improving the support for young people from care who enter custody

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they are taking to ensure that local authorities discharge their responsibilities to looked-after children who enter custody or remand. [HL2457]

Where local authorities share parental responsibility for a child in their care who has been admitted to custody, they have statutory responsibilities to continue to plan for their welfare.

The department funded the National Children’s Bureau to research and produce the publication Tell Them Not to Forget About Us, to develop a model of practice to guide local authority social workers and youth offending teams (YOTs) in working together to meet the needs of children from care who go to prison, to make sure that the two agencies can work together better to improve the support provided to this group of vulnerable young people. A copy was sent to every director of children’s services and every YOT manager.

For 2007-08, with the Home Office, my department is funding the placement of social workers in young offender institutions (YOIs). These posts will have an important role in maintaining contact between looked-after young people in custody and the local authorities responsible for their care.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they are taking to ensure that in the case of a looked-after child in custody or on remand there is an effective integration of the child's sentence plan and his care or pathway plan. [HL2459]

The department funded the National Children’s Bureau to develop and publish good practice guidance to assist local authority social workers and youth offending teams (YOTs) in working together to meet the needs of children from care who go to prison. This guidance includes information on good practice so that local authorities and YOTs are able to co-ordinate their respective responsibilities for care planning and for sentence planning. A copy was sent to every director of children’s services and to every YOT manager.

Children: EU Accession Countries

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many children in the care of local authorities in England and Wales are from countries that joined the European Union in 2004, broken down by each local authority. [HL1311]

Children: Protection

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What guidance the Secretary of State for Education and Skills has issued to local authorities on Section 53 of the Children Act 2004, and the new duty on social workers to ascertain and give due consideration to the child's wishes and feelings in child protection inquiries and children needing assessments; and [HL2119]

How the Secretary of State for Education and Skills is monitoring the implementation of Section 53 of the Children Act 2004, and the new duty on social workers to ascertain and give due consideration to the child's wishes and feelings in child protection inquiries and children needing assessments. [HL2120]

The revised version of the core guidance document Working Together to Safeguard Children, which was published in April 2006, incorporates changes made as a result of Section 53 of the Children Act 2004, making clear the requirement to take the wishes and feelings of children into account and setting out when specifically this needs to be done in individual cases. In addition, the guidance makes it clear that local safeguarding children boards should put in place arrangements to ascertain the wishes and feelings of children about the priorities and effectiveness of local safeguarding work more broadly. The first part of Working Together is statutory guidance for local authorities, and the document also informs the work of other agencies involved in safeguarding children. The new duty is being monitored, as with the rest of local authorities' social care work, through the work of the relevant inspectorate, currently the Commission for Social Care Inspection. Multi-agency safeguarding children work is monitored by the inspectorates more generally, and the inspectorates produce a series of regular joint chief inspectors' reports on safeguarding children.

Climate Change

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Adonis on 7 March (WA 50-51), whether www.climatechallenge.gov.uk, www.defra.gov.uk or other material that they are sending to schools contains information opposing the theory that climate change is caused primarily by carbon dioxide emissions; and [HL2611]

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Adonis on 7 March (WA 50–51), whether they will consider sending the Channel 4 documentary film “The Great Global Warming Swindle” to schools to balance the views put forward by “An Inconvenient Truth”.[HL2612]

The pack sent to schools will signpost web-based information, including guidance for teachers on how to incorporate climate change into the teaching of the national curriculum. This guidance will reference opposing theories on the causes of climate change. We will not be sending a copy of “The Great Global Warming Swindle” to schools.

Discrimination

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 5 March (WA 6) on statutes that discriminate against Roman Catholics, why they currently have no plans to bring forward legislation to remove statutory provisions mentioned in the Answer. [HL2532]

The Government have always stood firmly against discrimination in all its forms, including against Roman Catholics, and they will continue to do so. To bring about change to the law on succession would be a complex undertaking involving amendment or repeal of a number of items of related legislation, as well as requiring the consent of legislatures of member nations of the Commonwealth. It would raise other major constitutional issues. The Government already have a heavy legislative programme and therefore have no plans to legislate in this area.

Genealogical Records

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will bring the computerised recording of genealogical records in Northern Ireland up to the same standard as in the rest of the United Kingdom. [HL2423]

Genealogical research in Northern Ireland requires searching in a more diverse range of sources, both public and private, than is the case in the rest of the United Kingdom. The starting point is substantially different owing to the almost total absence of 19th-century census returns and of an official set of pre-1858 wills. These are available in England and Wales and in Scotland and have been the subject of extensive digitisation projects. Only the civil registration records for Scotland have been computerised, but the digitisation of those for England and Wales is now under way.

Indexes of civil registration records on births, deaths and marriages in Northern Ireland have already been computerised and are available for use by members of the public in the General Register Office (GRO) Belfast. The GRO (Belfast) is also taking forward plans to digitise all civil registration records and to widen public access to them. This will bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the United Kingdom.

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has completed two significant digitisation projects of interest to genealogists. It is currently engaged in two further projects with plans to develop other digitised sources. Some of the primary sources that have already been digitised will act as substitutes for the destroyed census returns, thereby improving access to genealogical records in Northern Ireland.

At the same time, PRONI has been engaged in a project to put its extensive and detailed descriptive catalogues online. This will open up a vast resource to genealogists, who, for the first time, will be able to undertake comprehensive searches using personal names in the same way as genealogists can do at present in England and Wales and in Scotland.

Gulf War Illnesses

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations the chief executive of the Veterans Agency and the Minister for Veterans have received from Mr TE Walker, a Gulf War veteran, concerning the Pensions Appeal Tribunal’s decision that he has Gulf War syndrome; what replies they are sending; and what further steps they will take in this regard. [HL2114]

Health: Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence

asked Her Majesty's Government:

On how many occasions in the last three years the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence exercised its power to refer a disciplinary case to the courts on the basis that the outcome is too lenient in contrast to the number of references in respect of lenient sentencing made by the Attorney-General. [HL2554]

In the last three financial years, the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) has referred 22 cases to court under Section 29 of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002. During that period, 2,213 decisions have been notified to CHRE.

All the Section 29 appeals, apart from two that were withdrawn and four that remain to be heard, have either been upheld by the court or settled by agreement.

Information Systems: DfES

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In respect of the Department for Education and Skills, (a) on how many occasions in the last year malicious programs have compromised departmental computer systems; and, for each occasion, how many machines were affected; how long it took to remove the programs from the system; and what was the impact on the department's activities; (b) what penetration tests have been carried out of information systems over the last year and what were the results, indicating in each instance whether the tests were carried out independently of the providers of the system concerned; and (c) on how many occasions in the last year the departmental management team has considered information risk. [HL2406]

(a) There were no successful malicious software attacks to the DfES network last year; (b) the DfES network is subjected to annual penetration tests; and (c) the management board regularly reviews information risks as part of its corporate governance responsibilities.

Iran: Export Credit Guarantees

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Sainsbury of Turville on 7 November 2006 (WA 125-26) on export credit guarantees for Iran, whether any of the technology listed has the potential for use within the nuclear industry; and, if so, how. [HL2142]

In principle, a very wide range of goods and technologies have potential for use within the nuclear industry. Export licences are required for any which are specifically controlled under the military or dual-use lists (which, in turn, reflect the control lists in the international non-proliferation regimes), and any which the exporter knows, suspects or has been informed are for use in a WMD programme of concern. It is primarily the exporter's responsibility to determine this. In the case of the items listed in Lord Sainsbury's Answer, many of the companies listed did approach the Export Control Organisation (ECO) for advice on these issues or submitted applications, and the ECO, having fully examined those cases, was able either to issue licences or to confirm that licences were not required. If we had judged that there was a risk of use within a WMD programme of concern, then licences would have been refused.

Iraq: Airbridge

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many C-130J Hercules aircraft used as part of the airbridge to and from Iraq are fitted with defensive measures; and what progress has been made since October 2006 in fitting defensive measures to Tristar aircraft used as part of the airbridge. [HL2324]

The C-130J Hercules are deployed on Operation TELIC for intra-theatre transport. Civilian charter aircraft fly the strategic airbridge to theatre and link with the Hercules, which complete the final leg of the airbridge into Iraq. All C-130J Hercules deployed in this role are fitted with defensive measures.

The Tristar are used for the airbridge to Afghanistan but are not used as part of the airbridge to Iraq. Work continues on the fitting of defensive measures to aircraft in the Tristar fleet. The majority of the RAF Tristars are now fitted with defensive measures. All Tristars that fly the Afghanistan airbridge are fitted with defensive measures.

Iraq: Withdrawal

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What contingency plans the Ministry of Defence has in place to organise any rapid withdrawals of United Kingdom military components from Iraq in circumstances of operational difficulty. [HL2453]

The UK is currently in Iraq at the request of the democratically elected Government of Iraq as authorised by United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1723. We remain committed to assisting the Iraqi Government and people in building a stable and secure nation for the future.

Military commanders in theatre and at the Permanent Joint Headquarters in the UK keep the operational situation and intelligence picture in theatre under constant review. Intelligence and operational information feeds the planning process, which takes into account current and predicted trends.

In the event that conditions on the ground required a withdrawal, there are contingencies available to military commanders. These include the use of the theatre reserve force and the ability to reassign assets as required.

Litigation

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In what circumstances the costs of public law litigation brought in the public interest can be paid from central funds; and whether in such cases the costs of the judge and court can be met from fee income. [HL2430]

There is no provision for any costs in either civil or family cases brought in the public interest to be met out of central funds (the DCA budget which covers costs awarded to non-legally aided defendants who are acquitted in criminal cases).

Funding may be available from the CLS fund (legal aid) in judicial review cases. This is subject to tests of means and merits. The existence of a wider public interest in the outcome is a factor considered in the merits test.

The costs of the judge and the court in civil and family cases are generally covered by fee income. This is calculated on average cost across civil and family business as a whole and there are no specific fees or fee concessions for public interest cases.

In 2005-06, court fees across civil and family represented 79 per cent of the total cost. The remaining part of the cost not covered by fees is met by the general taxpayer as part of the resource budget of DCA. The taxpayer's contribution is made up of potential fee income forgone under the system of exemptions and remissions, and fees that are currently set well below full-cost levels.

Manchester

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the percentage of Manchester residents without any qualifications.[HL2638]

In the 2005 Annual Population Survey, 22.1 per cent of working-age residents in Manchester had no qualifications. The table below shows how this compares with wider geographical areas:

Geographical area

Proportion of working-age residents with no qualifications

Manchester1

22.1 per cent

Greater Manchester2

17.8 per cent

North-west3

17.0 per cent

England

14.1 per cent

1. Local education authority

2. Learning and Skills Council area

3. Government Office region

Olympic Games 2012: English Regions

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the commitment by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on 21 November 2006 that investment would be made in the English regions as a result of the 2012 London Olympics, whether they will provide budgets showing the benefit for each region that they expect to benefit. [HL2523]

The Secretary of State's statement to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on 21 November 2006 that investment will be made by the regions as a result of the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games referred to the plan that each region is currently pulling together to prioritise how they intend to maximise the benefits of the 2012 Games for their businesses and communities and to ensure that the Games deliver a lasting social, environmental, economic and health legacy.

A nations and regions group, chaired by Charles Allen, brings together representatives from every region and nation to drive forward work in this area.

Olympic Games: Special Purpose Vehicles

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they agreed to create special purpose vehicles for the Olympic governing bodies of boxing and basketball; whether this step is being taken with the unanimous agreement of the two Olympic governing bodies’ executive committees concerned; when the British Olympic Association was consulted on this initiative; and whether it gave its support to the special purpose vehicles. [HL2521]

There has been no such “vehicle” created for the sport of boxing. Funding is currently channelled through the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) and it is planned that this will be the formal route once final agreement between the British body and the ABAE has been reached. To support investment into the GB performance programme within the ABAE, UK Sport, the Government's lead agency for high-performance sport, has created a performance management group, the membership of which includes Sir Clive Woodward, director of elite performance at the British Olympic Association.

UK Sport has created a temporary subsidiary body to administer and manage its investment into the sport of basketball. This was necessary as two competing governing bodies were unable to determine which had jurisdiction of the British team. The decision to create the body—now known as British Performance Basketball (BPB)—was taken by the UK Sport board at its November 2006 meeting. Both governing bodies consented to the establishment of BPB. It is understood by all parties that this is a temporary solution and that responsibility will transfer back to the appropriately recognised British governing body when the issues within the sport have been resolved.

The British Olympic Association was consulted on this issue throughout the process, including ahead of the November UK Sport board meeting. However the decision to create a temporary subsidiary body lay with the UK Sport board.

Olympic Games: Winter 2010

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much of the £600 million six-year programme of support to Olympic athletes announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 2006 Budget will fund the winter Olympians in the run-up to the Vancouver Games in 2010. [HL2524]

A total of £6 million of UK Sport's total world-class pathway programme investment has been allocated to fund and support our winter Olympic and Paralympic ambitions through to Vancouver 2010. This investment is separate from the investment announced to support summer Olympic and Paralympic sport through to 2012. In addition, between 30 and 40 TASS scholarships of up to £10,000 each are currently being finalised with winter sport athletes for the year 2007-08.

Pay

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their estimate of the average wage in (a) Northern Ireland, and (b) the United Kingdom. [HL2600]

The information requested falls within the responsibilities of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, National Statistician, to Lord Laird, dated 19 March 2007.

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question to ask what the current average wage is in (a) Northern Ireland, and (b) the United Kingdom. (HL2600)

Average earnings are estimated from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) and are provided for full-time employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence. This is the standard definition used for the ASHE. The ASHE does not collect data on the self-employed and people who do unpaid work.

I attach tables showing average gross weekly earnings for 2006 for all full-time employees on adult rates. These statistics are already published on the National Statistics website at: www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=13101.

The ASHE, carried out in April of each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom. It is a 1 per cent sample of all employees who are members of pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) schemes.

Gross weekly (£) pay for full-time employee jobsa by place of work

Median

Mean

United Kingdom

447

537

Northern Ireland

405

472

a Employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay period was not affected by absence.

Guide to quality:

The coefficient of variation (CV) indicates the quality of a figure; the smaller the CV value, the higher the quality.

The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—e.g. for an average of 200 with a CV of 5 per cent, we would expect the population average to be within the range 180 to 220.

All the figures on this table have a CV of less than 5 per cent.

The median replaces the mean as the headline statistic. The weighted mean is the sum of the weighted values divided by the sum of the weights. The median is the value below which 50 per cent of employees fall. It is preferred over the mean for earnings data as it is influenced less by extreme values and because of the skewed distribution of earnings data.

Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, Office for National Statistics.

Schools: Reading and Writing

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many children in England and Wales leave primary school education without the ability to read and write to a proficient standard.[HL2621]

In England, attainment at the end of key stage 2 is measured by national curriculum tests. These tests are a measure of achievement against the precise attainment targets of the national curriculum rather than any generalised concept of ability in any of the subject areas. The national curriculum standards have been designed so that most pupils will progress by approximately one level every two years. By the end of key stage 2, pupils are expected to achieve level 4 in the core subjects of English, mathematics and science. Assessment in English covers both reading and writing.

In 2006, a total of 594,100 pupils were eligible for assessment in English at the end of key stage 2. Of these pupils, 122,800 (21 per cent) did not reach the target level 4. This includes 4,300 pupils absent from the test and 500 pupils unable to access the test.

Assessment in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Assembly.

Solicitors: Conditional Fee Agreements

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the practice whereby solicitors retain insurance commission and other payments derived from arranging conditional fee agreements; whether such moneys should be handed over to the clients; and whether they will introduce measures to prohibit such conduct in the future. [HL2515]

The conditional fee agreements (CFAs) regime was reviewed in 2004. This resulted in the changes introduced on 1 November 2005, when the regulations governing CFAs were revoked and the professional rules of conduct and client care code, which solicitors must comply with, were amended by the Law Society.

The professional rules require solicitors to act in the best interest of their clients including informing them about any interest that solicitors may have in recommending insurance. The current rule on receipts of commission by third parties requires solicitors to disclose to their clients any commission received of more than £20, which they may retain only with their client’s agreement. Any solicitor who does not comply with the rules could face disciplinary action.

Sport: Medicine

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many people are working for UK Sport's sports science and sports medicine fast-track practitioners programme; how many are qualified doctors; what is their remit; and what is the 2007 budget for the programme. [HL2519]

UK Sport's sports science and sports medicine fast-track practitioners programme is a partnership with the national governing bodies of sport, with the remit to improve the delivery of key sports science and sports medicine services to high-performance athletes. It aims to develop a pool of elite practitioners, ensuring that we have a sufficient number as we move towards 2012 and beyond.

Two UK Sport employees co-ordinate the programme as part of their wider responsibilities. There are also a further eight course tutors drawn from various partner organisations, including the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association. Of the tutors, one is qualified to doctorate level.

The budget for the programme in 2006-07 is £380,000.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

From which Olympic governing bodies they have received requests to establish (a) a sports technology and innovation programme; (b) a sports performance programme consultants team; and (c) a sports medicine fast-track practitioners programme. [HL2520]

UK Sport has not received any requests from Olympic governing bodies to establish the range of programmes mentioned. Rather, the provision by UK Sport of these programmes was contained within UK Sport's successful submission for funding to provide high-performance support to Olympic and Paralympic governing bodies in the build-up to London 2012.

With reference to the programmes:

(a) 11 Olympic sports are currently benefiting from the technology and innovation programme;

(b) 33 receive support from UK Sport's performance programme consultants team; and

(c) 10 are currently supported by practitioners working with their sport from within the sports institute network on the sports science/sports medicine fast-track programme.

Sport: Talented Athlete Scholarships

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether UK Sport talented athlete scholarship scheme funding is drawn from the £300 million funding announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the Great Britain Olympic athlete programme 2006-12. [HL2522]

Funding for the talented athlete scholarship scheme (TASS) is entirely separate from the additional £300 million investment announced by the Chancellor. Current funding for TASS has been confirmed up to the end of March 2008.

Television: ITV

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, following the warnings on 12 January from the Office of Fair Trading, they will use their special powers under the Enterprise Act 2002 to prevent any attempts by BSkyB to take over ITV. [HL2117]

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry made a Written Statement to Parliament on this matter on 26 February 2007 (Official Report, cols. WS 77-78).

Unemployment

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many people between the ages of 16 and 26 are currently not in education, training or employment in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland. [HL2507]

The information requested falls within the responsibilities of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, National Statistician, to Lord Rogan, dated 19 March 2007.

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about the number of people between the ages of 16 and 26 who are currently not in education, training or employment in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland. (HL2507)

The attached table shows the number of people between the ages of 16 and 26, by gender, who are currently not in education, training or employment. These estimates are not seasonally adjusted.

Similar estimates are published each month in Labour Market Statistics—First Release in table 14, covering the UK for age groups 16 to 17, 18 to 24, and 25 and over (see the attached link www.statistics. gov.uk/pdfdir/lmsukO2O7.pdf).

Estimates are taken from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

Table 1People between the ages of 16 and 26, by gender, currently not in education1, training or employment2, United Kingdom, not seasonally adjusted.

Three months ending December 2006

All Persons (000's)

Male (000's)

Female (000's)

United Kingdom

1,408

595

813

England

1,197

507

690

Wales

69

31

38

Scotland

105

41

64

Northern Ireland

37

16

21

Source: ONS Labour Force Survey (LFS)

1 Refers to those who are not in full-time education.

2 People not in employment refers to those who are unemployed or economically inactive.

Waterways Ireland

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure supported the appointment of the current director of corporate communications in Waterways Ireland. [HL2601]

Waterways Ireland does not have a director of corporate communications. However, the appointment of the director of marketing and communications at the body is a subject of ongoing legal actions and therefore it would not be appropriate to comment further on this matter.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the outcome of the investigation into the alleged bullying of a senior member of staff by the chief executive of Waterways Ireland; and what action the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has taken as a consequence.[HL2628]

I refer the noble Lord to the joint statement issued on 5 April 2005 by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. The statement deals with the outcome of the investigation and the actions to be taken following the investigation. Departmental officials monitored these recommendations and they have been fully implemented.

The joint statement is available in the Library.