Criminal Justice System Business Plan
Lord Tomlinson asked Her Majesty's Government:
When they intend to publish the criminal justice system business plan for 2001-02.[HL948]
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The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairge): My right honourable friend the Home Secretary, my noble and learned friend the Attorney-General and I have today published the business plan for the criminal justice system in England and Wales for 2001-02. The plan describes the aims, objectives and performance targets which the Government expect the criminal justice system as a whole to work to deliver.
Copies of the plan have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Lord Chancellor's Department: Expenditure Limit
Lord Peston asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether there are any proposals to amend the Lord Chancellor's Department departmental expenditure limit and running costs limit for 2000-01.[HL853]
The Lord Chancellor: Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate for Class V, Votes 1, 2 and 3, the Lord Chancellor's Department's departmental expenditure limit for 2000-01 will be increased by £29,818,000 from £2,638,861,000 to £2,668,679,000. The increase is the net effect of:
take-up of year end flexibility to meet increased capital charges on the civil estate, to fund Change Programme, to meet increased expenditure on the Libra project, for legal aid expenditure and other running costs expenditure (£23,437,000);
funding of the Children and Family Court Advisory Service and Support Service (CAFCASS) from both Home Office (£3,000,000) and Department of Health (£3,000,000);
a contribution towards the costs of inspection for the Youth Justice Board from the Home Office (£23,000);
the costs of recruiting and re-appointing panel members for the unified appeals tribunals from the Department of Social Security (£73,000);
funding relating to the Unfair Contract Terms project from the Department of Trade and Industry (£8,000);
a transfer relating to the publication of local authority reports project from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (£11,000);
a contribution towards the costs of district judge redeployment from the Home Office (£467,000);
a transfer relating to CMF2 interface development funding for the JUROR and the Phoenix interface from the Home Office (£32,000);
a transfer in respect of Armed Forces Discipline Act from the Ministry of Defence (£340,000);
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following deferral in the responsibility for warrant enforcement a transfer to the Home Office (£860,000);
a contribution towards the costs of IBIS (Integrating Business and Information Systems) Criminal Justice Systems Unit to the Home Office (£200,000);
relating to the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) a transfer to the Home Office (£23,000);
in respect of modernising the courts, grants from the Civil Service Modernisation Fund (£510,000).
The increase will be offset by transfers from other departmental expenditure limits as stated and a charge on the DEL Reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
The running cost limit for Lord Chancellor's Department Class V, Vote 1 will be increased by £30,885,000 from £611,797,000 to £642,682,000. The increase is in respect of:
take-up of end year flexibility arrangements (£20,240,000);
release of funds from the Departmental Unallocated Provision (£2,308,000);
additional VAT recoveries on contracted out services (£8,084,000);
transfer from the Home Office in respect of contribution to the costs of inspection for the Youth Justice Board (£23,000);
transfer from the Department of Social Security relating to the costs of recruiting and re-appointing panel members for the Unified Appeals Tribunals (£52,000);
transfer from the Department of Trade and Industry relating to the Unfair Contract Terms project (£8,000);
transfer from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions relating to the publication of local authority reports project (£11,000);
transfer from the Ministry of Defence relating to Armed Forces Discipline Act (£340,000);
Wider Markets Initiative receipts (£42,000);
transfer to the Home Office relating to contribution towards the costs of the IBIS (Integrating Business and Information Systems) Criminal Justice Systems Unit (£200,000);
transfer to the Home Office relating to the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) (£23,000).
The running cost limit for Northern Ireland Court Service, Class V, Vote 2 will be increased by £3,538,000 from £33,566,000 to £37,104,000. The increase is a result of:
take-up of year end flexibility (£122,000);
additional VAT recoveries on contracted out services (£543,000);
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costs of Omagh bomb inquest (£1,613,000); and increase in capital charge (£1,000,000) to be sourced from surplus appropriation in Aid;
modernising the courts from the Civil Service Modernisation Fund (£260,000).
The running cost limit for Public Records Office, Class V, Vote 3 will increase by £4,778,000 from £27,698,000 to £32,476,000. This increase is as a result of:
take-up of year end flexibility (£500,000);
lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery fund in respect of the project to microfilm WW1 Soldiers' Documents (£620,000);
Wider Markets Initiative receipts (£450,000);
receipt from the Modernising Government Fund (£250,000).
Invicta Park, Maidstone
Lord Swinfen asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many of the service quarters at Invicta Park, Maidstone, would be deemed unfit for human habitation if they were local authority houses; and[HL722]
What plans they have to repair and modernise the service quarters at Invicta Park, Maidstone, and to bring them up to a satisfactory standard; and[HL723]
What effect poorly maintained quarters have on the retention of service personnel.[HL724]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The Ministry of Defence cannot comment on the standards applied by local authorities. It is accepted that the soldiers' houses in Invicta Park, Maidstone, do not meet modern standards. The department has plans to replace or refurbish the estate. Refurbishment of 20 houses built in the 1950s is due to start in April this year. A project manager has recently been appointed to plan a phased demolition/rebuild programme.
The Government recognise that poor accommodation has a negative effect on the retention of service personnel and that is why we are giving priority to modernising the stock. It is the intention to complete the upgrade programme--that is, to get the bulk of the long-term stock in the UK up to standard 1 for condition--by November 2005.
Near Earth Objects
Lord Morris of Castle Morris asked Her Majesty's Government:
When they will respond to the report of the Near Earth Objects Task Force headed by Dr Harry Atkinson.[HL947]
The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The
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Government's response to this report was published on Saturday 24 February. The Government are broadly in agreement with the majority of the task force's recommendations. The Government endorse the view of the task force that since the possible dangers posed by near earth objects are not limited to any one nation, an international approach is essential. At a European level, the European Space Agency is to work to devise a European strategy on near earth objects. The Government are investigating with the OECD its offer to set up an international forum for discussion of and action on the threat to earth from near earth objects. The British National Space Centre will continue to act as lead unit within government on near earth objects policy.
Copies of the Government's response to the report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Primary and Post-primary Schools: Funding
Lord Rogan asked Her Majesty's Government:
What progress has been made in reducing any disparity of funding between primary schools and post-primary schools in (a) England and Wales, and (b) Northern Ireland since the Second Report of the House of Commons Education Committee 1993-94; if not, why not; and whether they have any plans to reduce any disparity.[HL742]
The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): In England, based on the standard spending assessment (SSA) and grants allocated, funding for primary schools on a per pupil basis has increased at a greater rate than funding for post primary schools. In 1994-95*, the primary per pupil figure was 70 per cent of the post primary: for 2000-01 the primary figure is 80 per cent of the post primary. Between 1994-95 and 1997-98 funding per pupil decreased in real terms by £20 per primary pupil and £260 per post primary. Between 1997-98 and 2000-01 funding per pupil has increased in real terms by £400 per primary pupil and £310 per post primary.
In Wales, there is no education SSA and no comparable figures which identify separately funding per pupil for primary and post-primary schools.
Education responsibilities in Northern Ireland are now the responsibility of the devolved administration.
* Comparable grant figures are not available for 1993-94.
Post-primary pupils include those aged 11-19 in the LEA maintained sector.