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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside's Ei8ht Pass was introduced in July 1997. In 1997-98 a marketing budget of £100,000 was devoted to the launch of the Ei8ht Pass and was allocated as follows:
|Distribution of leaflet||7,000|
|Ei8ht Pass ticket||8,000|
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): As provided for in the Secure Training Centre Rules 1998, secure training centres will be inspected by persons authorised to conduct inspections under Section 80 of the Children Act 1989. The inspection team would be led by the Social Services Inspectorate, and include OFSTED inspectors to advise on education, an inspector from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons to advise on security and the programmes for addressing offending behaviour and other specialists as required.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: There are currently 40 male trainees at the Medway centre. Since the centre opened on 17 April a total of three female trainees have been accommodated. All trainees have their own separate rooms with integral sanitation. Female trainees are required to have a female member of staff as their keyworker, and at night their unit would be supervised by at least one female member of staff.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The most effective way of preventing a person who has committed a sexual offence in one country from committing one in another once he has been released is through exchange of information between police forces. This already takes place via Interpol. Where the behaviour of those convicted abroad of comparable offences to those in Part I of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 continues to give concern once they have returned to Great Britain, they will, from 1 December 1998, be liable for sex offender orders. These orders carry with them the requirement to register for the duration of the order, which is a minimum of five years.
As regards registration specifically, we are currently undertaking a review of the effectiveness of the registration provisions of the Sex Offenders Act. The position of those convicted abroad will be one of the areas to be considered as part of the review.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The implementation of Section 4 of the Act, which provides for minimum sentences of three years' imprisonment for those convicted for the third time of domestic burglary, depends on the Prison Service's capacity and available resources. The Government keep this matter under review.
Section 8 and Sections 10 to 27 of the Act will be repealed with effect from 30 September 1998 by Section 107 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (which also makes some consequential amendments to Section 9 of the 1997 Act).
Sections 35, 37, 39, 40 and 43 are currently being piloted in Norfolk and Greater Manchester. The projects began on 1 January 1998 and will run for 18 months. They will then be evaluated before deciding when or how they should be extended.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: Government and local authority publicity campaigns to advertise the arrangements for absent voting take place before each parliamentary general election. In addition, electoral registration officers publicise the availability of absent voting as part of the annual registration canvass.
The Working Party on Electoral Procedures, chaired by my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office, Mr. Howarth, is working to consolidate and improve advice to electoral administrators on disability issues; and in addition is reviewing the arrangements for access to absent voting. Home Office officials from the working party meet regularly in a forum with representatives from all the major groups representing the disabled to inform this work.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: An update on the impact of the National Lottery on the horserace betting levy was published on 30 July and a copy has been placed in the Library. This fulfils an undertaking made during the passage of the National Lottery Bill.
The statistical analysis indicates that, in 1997, off-course betting expenditure was about 12.8 per cent. below the level it would have reached in the absence of the National Lottery. Horserace betting accounts for about 69 per cent. of off-course betting expenditure, and therefore the levy yield is likely to have been similarly affected. This can only be an approximate figure, and the effect of the Lottery may vary over time.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The current application forms expire on 14 October 1998. Revised versions of the seven existing forms have been prescribed. These will be valid until 14 October 1999. From today until 14 October 1998, applications may be made either on the newly prescribed forms or on the existing versions. Only the newly prescribed versions may be used for applications made on or after 15 October 1998. The new forms are available from the Application Forms Unit on 0181 760 2233, and copies have been placed in the Library.
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