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Baroness Turner of Camden: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that response. Is he aware that the proposed re-location has occasioned an enormous amount of local anxiety, with the result that a group is opposing the re-location? The group is led by the local MP and supported by the trade unions. Is the Minister aware that

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there has been very little consultation, if any, about the proposed move and that certain members of the board also oppose the move? Is he also aware that there is a very strongly held belief that the move, if it does take place, will involve substantial redundancies? Will that not inevitably have some effect on the effectiveness of the CITB? Therefore, will not the Government feel it incumbent on themselves to do what they can to influence the CITB against this move?

Lord Henley: My Lords, I am aware that very strong feelings have been expressed both for and against the proposals and those strong feelings were reflected in the decision of the board which, I understand, was split in its vote on these proposals. I am also aware that consultation with the various employer federations took place only some two weeks before the decision was made. That is possibly something which the noble Baroness and I would agree was regrettable. As regards whether the Government should intervene, it is a matter for the CITB to decide for itself. It is an operational matter for the board and I am sure that it will take note of the anxieties put forward by the local MP and by a considerable number of members of the other place and those expressed this afternoon by the noble Baroness.

Viscount Ullswater: My Lords, does my noble friend agree that because of the fragmentary nature of the construction industry, there is some requirement for a central training facility, such as the CITB, particularly to develop new technology skills? Does my noble friend agree that the CITB does a good job and that it is the proper function of government to fund such a central facility, which I hope that they will continue to do?

Lord Henley: My Lords, the future of the CITB is not in question. It is not a matter of government funding. The CITB is funded by a levy which is agreed by both Houses each year, so obviously that is a matter for the Government. I can assure my noble friend that whatever happens as a result of the re-location proposals, the CITB will continue to perform the function that it performs at the moment and to provide training facilities in my noble friend's own part of the world, Norfolk.

Lord Rochester: My Lords, can the noble Lord confirm that the Construction Industry Training Board has already decided to eliminate 380 training posts, and that a spokesman for the board is reported to have said that the restructuring of the board is because--I quote:


    "training is seen as yet another cost in a difficult time"? Should not training for skills be regarded rather as an essential investment for the future?

Lord Henley: My Lords, I can confirm that, as I said to my noble friend, the CITB will continue to exist and to provide training. We are talking merely about the re-location of its headquarters. I can give an absolute categorical assurance that there is no question of money from the training budget being diverted to pay for the implementation of the review proposals. I am not aware of the allegations which the noble Lord has made about a cut in the number of training posts provided by the

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CITB, but I shall certainly look into that. The assurance that I have had from the board is that it will not cut its training and certainly not as a result of the re-location proposals which relate only to its headquarters.

Liaison: Select Committee Report

3.2 p.m.

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): My Lords, I beg to move the first Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, That the First Report from the Select Committee be agreed to (H.L. Paper 57).--(The Chairman of Committees.)

Following is the report referred to:


1. In our Second Report, Session 1994-95, we recommended that the Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill [H.L.] should be referred to a Select Committee, and that thereafter a further ad hoc Committee on the Public Service should be appointed. The Select Committee on the Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill [H.L.] has now reported.
2. We recommend that the Committee on the Public Service should have the following terms of reference:
"To consider the present condition and future development of the Public Service in Great Britain with particular regard to the effectiveness of recent and continuing changes and their impact on standards of conduct and service in the public interest.
For the purposes of the Select Committee, the Public Service should be deemed to exclude local government, the National Health Service, schools and institutions of higher and further education, but to include all Government Departments, executive agencies, non-departmental public bodies, companies, trusts and other organisations created by or working for the public service."
3. In the light of the debate in the House on 8 March on the Government's plans for the future of Recruitment and Assessment Services, we suggest that the Committee should begin by reporting, as a matter of some urgency, on that specific matter. The Committee should accordingly have power to report from time to time.
4. Finally, we invite members of the House to submit proposals for the appointment of ad hoc Committees into specific matters. Such submissions should be made to the Clerk to the Liaison Committee, Committee Office, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW.

Lord Bruce of Donington: My Lords, with the permission of the House, I should like to ask the Chairman of Committees a question. On the assumption that we concur with the receipt of the report, can the noble Lord explain what further action is necessary to activate the ad hoc Committee on the Public Service? Has the noble Lord received any information from the Lord Privy Seal on when the Government propose to table a Motion to set up that committee in view of the fact that they have declined to give any information on what they propose to do with regard to its subject matter?

The Chairman of Committees: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for letting me know in advance that he was proposing to intervene in this way. The customary consultations have already begun about the membership of the committee. The next step will be for the Committee of Selection to meet and to recommend to your Lordships the names of the chairman and other members of the committee. The

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report of the Committee of Selection will then be moved in your Lordships' House. Those steps will take place if your Lordships pass this Motion this afternoon. I hope that those steps will take place in the week we resume after the Easter Recess.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House of Lords Offices: Select Committee Report

The Chairman of Committees: My Lords, I beg to move the second Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, That the Second Report from the Select Committee be agreed to (HL Paper 58).--(The Chairman of Committees.)

Following is the report referred to:

1. Electronic Publishing


    The Committee agreed that:

(1) the House should make its publications available free of charge in electronic form;

(2) the medium for free distribution should be the Internet;

(3) by a system of licensing, electronic material should be made freely available, on a non-exclusive basis, to commercial publishers who wish to process it and add value to it;

(4) HMSO (and after privatisation, the Stationery Office), as the "normal and preferred agent for the official publication of Parliamentary material", should be invited to act (subject to satisfactory prices and conditions) as the contractor to create and administer a source database of Parliament's electronic material, to place it on the Internet and keep it up-to-date;

(5) the first classes of Lords document for release on the Internet should be Hansard, bills and public information documents, and (when practicable) the Minute.

2. Copyright

In view of the proposal to privatise HMSO, the Committee agreed:

arrangements for the future administration of parliamentary copyright by the residual HMSO;

the payment of an administration fee to be shared pro rata with the House of Commons; and

the issue of copyright licences free of charge except in exceptional circumstances.

3. Painting of the House in session


    The Committee was informed of the following decisions by the group to which it had delegated responsibility of the painting of the House in session:

copyright in the painting will rest with the House;

330 Lords will be painted in accordance with a general scheme for the placing of Lords which has been agreed;

the painting will be completed by 1st October 1997;

Lords to be painted will pay a subscription of £150, and will receive a signed print. Further prints will be available for purchase by peers and the public.

4. Signalling of Divisions over the TV and radio channels on the annunciators


    The Committee took note of a new method to signal Divisions in both Houses over the television and radio channels on the annunciators in such a way that, with the minimum of interruption, peers and others can be made aware that a Division is taking place, whatever channel they are receiving.

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5. Fire precautions


    The Committee took note of the progress made with fire precautions and the plans to implement further fire safety measures through an automatic fire detection system and fire compartmentation.

6. Cashpoint machines


    The Committee was informed that cashpoint machines had been installed on the ground floor of the House of Lords next to the staff restaurant.

7. Staff of the House

The Committee was informed of the appointment of Mr. J.A. Vaughan as a Clerk, with effect from 16th October 1995; and of the appointment of Mr. T.E. Radice as a temporary Senior Clerk, with effect from 15th January 1996.

The Committee agreed the following new posts:

a Senior Information Officer in the Journal and Information Office at Grade 7, for two years in the first instance;

a temporary Archivist in the Record Office at Curatorial Grade F for one year only;

a Personal Secretary in the Bill Office; and

a part-time casual Executive Officer for about two years from October 1996 to complete an Index of Local and Personal Acts.


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