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Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Williams of Mostyn: The business plan referred to at the officials facilitation meeting relates to year 2003. This plan has not yet been approved.

The business plan for the Irish Language Agency approved at a meeting of the NSMC Language Sector held on 14 June related to the year 2002.

Language Implementation Body

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 7 November (WA 171–172) concerning the Language Implementation Body, who are the co-chairpersons of the Boord o' Ulster Scotch; and, if there is only one chairperson, why there was a reference to co-chairpersons in the Answer.[HL87]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The reference to co-chairpersons refers to the co-chairpersons of the North/South Language Body—that is, the chairperson of Tha Boord o' Ulster Scotch and the chairperson of Foras na Gaeilge.

North/South Ministerial Council

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 6 November (WA 172) about the North/South Ministerial Council, what issues relating to Tha Boord o' Ulster Scotch were discussed at the North/South Ministerial Council meeting which was held on 9 October; and why the boord was not informed about these discussions. [HL65]

The Lord Williams of Mostyn: I would like to correct my Answer to the noble Lord of 6 November. No issues relating to Tha Boord o' Ulster Scotch were discussed at the North/South Ministerial Council meeting on 9 October. Information on the Language Sector issue discussed at that meeting was communicated to the noble Lord on 6 November in a letter from the joint secretaries.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answers by the Lord Privy Seal on 7 November (WA 170 and WA 171–172), whether the word "North" refers to the most northerly county of the island of Ireland, Donegal; and, if not, why are the component parts of the council not referred to by their legal titles. [HL90]

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The Lord Williams of Mostyn: The term "North" where it appears in the Answers referred to by the noble Lord relates to Northern Ireland.

By accepted usage, the two jurisdictions in which the North/South Ministerial Council exercises its functions are sometimes referred to by their legal titles and at other times by reference to less formal nomenclature.

Northern Ireland: Post-primary Education

Lord Rogan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 6 November (WA 125) concerning education in Northern Ireland, whether the emerging consensus is contained in the responses to the extensive consultation; and what are the figures showing widespread demand for change.[HL173]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: A report summarising the responses to the consultation on the review of post-primary education was published on 8 October 2002 and showed an emerging consensus on the Burns guiding principles, the development of a pupil profile, the value of greater co-operation and collaboration among schools and the ending of the transfer tests.

The report shows a widespread demand for change to our current arrangements in the responses from the education partners, political parties, schools, churches, the community and voluntary sector, business interests and the public.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Baroness Nicol asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they plan to lay before Parliament their report on the progress made in implementing the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and publish their report on the review of legislation prohibiting the disclosure of information.[HL319]

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): I have today, in accordance with Section 87(5) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, laid before Parliament this year's Report on the Implementation of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. I will also place copies of the report on the review of legislation prohibiting the disclosure of information in the Libraries of both Houses.

Unenforced and Uncollected Fines

Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the total amount of unenforced and uncollected fines in England and Wales in 2000 and 2001.[HL83]

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The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Magistrates' courts committees have responsibility for the collection of a range of financial penalties imposed by the courts, including not only fines, but also fees, compensation, confiscation orders and some maintenance orders. The table below shows the arrears for the financial years in question. It is not possible to extract fines from the total, and neither is it possible to differentiate between the amount of debt that is

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uncollected and the amount of debt that is unenforced, as this is not reported to the Court Service.

England & WalesTrue arrearsActual arrears(6)
1999–2000£417,501,826£227,361,076
2000–01£419,137,608£225,908,941

(6) True arrears are the amount of the debt outstanding, including debt that is being collected in instalments but not yet due for payment. Actual arrears are the amount of outstanding instalments that are in arrears.




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