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Tourism Ireland Limited

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Tourism Ireland Limited (TIL) is not an implementation body. Following the decision of NSMC that tourism would be an area of co-operation within the remit of the North/South Ministrial Council, TIL was established as a publicly-owned limited company under companies legislation in the Republc of Ireland to discharge that function. The Memorandum and Articles of Association of TIL were subsequntly approved by NSMC in October 2000. TIL has no formal relationship with the implementation bodies, but is linked to the NSMC through its Memorandum and Articles of Association. The previous Written Question asked about cross-Border bodies set up under the provisions of Strand 2 of the Belfast Agreement, and although TIL is not an implementation body it was included in the Answer because it is a body operating on a cross-Border basis and it was set up under the agreement. TIL is not a government agency. ralph

North/South Ministerial Council Secretariat

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 6 November (WA121-122), whether the community background information sought is available anywhere; and, if so where.[HL267]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: No; information on community background of members of the Northern Ireland Civil Service is contained in the Seventh Report of the Equal Opportunities Unit of the Department of Finance and Personnel but is not disaggregated at this level.

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The department accepted 69 of the 71 recommendations contained in this report. Many of the recommendations require ongoing work and, to date six have been implemented in full. Good progress is being made on the other recommendations with priority given to fleet replacement and improved

9 Dec 2002 : Column WA6

communications. Additional resources of over £12 million have been made available to date and the speed at which the plan will be fully implemented will be determined by the availability of future funding.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Governemnt:

    What is the average age and mileage of the current fleet of ambulances in the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service; and how this average compares with the normally expected age and mileage for ambulances in England.[HL286]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: At 31 October 2002, the average age of the NIAS Accident and Emergency (A&E) fleet was four years and the average mileage 104,000. UK guidelines for ambulance fleet replacement stipulates a replacement cycle for A&E vehicles of seven years or 140,000 miles.

Northern Ireland: Boarding Pupils

Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many boarders there are at each of the schools in Northern Ireland which enrol boarders.[HL304]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The information requested is as follows:

Grant-Aided Schools

Preparatory DepartmentSecondary Department
Grammar Schools
Campbell College2659
Methodist College8144
Royal School, Armagh382
Royal School, DungannonNot Applicable44
St Colman's CollegeNot Applicable55
Victoria College351
Special Schools
Fleming Fulton6
Jordanstown7
Fallowfield5
Independent Schools
Glencraig Curative School28
Rockport23

Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission

Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What public funds have been allocated by the Northern Ireland Film Commission to each film it has supported during the past two years.[HL345]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission has provided the figures given below. These refer to the last three years as payments to productions occurred across three financial years. The source of these funds was the EU Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation.

9 Dec 2002 : Column WA7

£
1999-2000
"Wild About Harry"67,500
"The Most Fertile Man in Ireland"54,000
2000-2001
"Wild About Harry"22,500
"The Most Fertile Man in Ireland"36,000
"H32 (aka No Distant Heroes)"42,000
"Puckoon"79,355
2001-2002
"H3 (No Distant Heroes)"3,000
"Puckoon"10,000
"Mapmaker"45,000
Total£359,355


Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the total cost of providing for the presence of the Northern Ireland Film Commission at the last Cannes Film Festival. [HL344]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The total cost of providing for the presence of the Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission at the Cannes Film Festival and Market in May 2002 was £14,977.62.

Crown Prosecution Service: Damilola Taylor Murder Trial

Baroness Hilton of Eggardon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What conclusions the Director of Public Prosecutions has reached following his review of the handling by the CPS of the Damilola Taylor murder trial.[HL529]

The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith): The Director of Public Prosecutions has made public today his summary of his findings in relation to the handling by the CPS of the prosecution following the murder of Damilola Taylor. His overall conclusion is that the initial decision to charge the accused was correct and that to carry on with the case as various new factors emerged between charge and trial was, based on the evidence available, the right thing to do. There would have been grounds for strong criticism of the prosecution if it had failed to put the evidence before a judge and jury for trial. I have placed a copy of the summary of the DPP's findings in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.

The Director of Public Prosecutions also examined at my request whether it might now be desirable to allow prosecutors direct access to witnesses in order for their credibility to be assessed. Following his initial findings, I have decided to issue a consultation paper in the new year, which will enable the public, the police, the legal profession and the judiciary to express their views.

9 Dec 2002 : Column WA8

Mark 1 Rolling Stock

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much money has been expended from public funds to meet the costs of the introduction of the cup and cone device for MK1 rolling stock which has now been abandoned.[HL332]

The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) undertook research into the option of using a cup and cone safety device as a way to prolong the safe running of mark 1 rolling stock. The HSE's total research and development costs into the crashworthiness of mark 1 rolling stock between 1996 and 1999, which includes the cup and cone safety device, was approximately £1.5 million. No public funds were subsequently provided to train operators for fitment. ralph

Senior Civil Servants: Parliamentary Training

Lord Norton of Louth asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What training is provided for senior civil servants to enable them to understand the role and procedures of both Houses of Parliament. [HL343]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The Cabinet Office provides a wide range of training for civil servants at all levels on the role and procedures of both Houses of Parliament. Full details are available on the internet at www.cmps.gov.uk

Specific training is provided for bill teams and for new senior recruits to the Senior Civil Service. Parliamentary procedures are covered as part of their induction programme.

Cyclists

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 do not permit cycles to be fitted with any lamp which automatically emits a flashing light; and whether they will consider changing these regulations to allow cyclists to use them legally; and [HL352]

    Given that some cyclists prefer to use lamps which automatically emit a flashing light in contravention of the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, whether there are safety advantages to such lamps. [HL353]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 do not allow cyclists to use flashing lamps for historical reasons. Flashing lamps have traditionally been used to attract extra attention to a vehicle and are not permitted on vehicles that are simply proceeding forwards in the normal way.

9 Dec 2002 : Column WA9

The Government are considering amending the regulations to permit optional flashing lamps to be used in addition to the steady lights required by the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations. The Department for Transport is intending to issue a consultation paper on proposals early next year.

Research into pedal cycle lighting and conspicuity commissioned by the Department for Transport concluded that flashing lamps do not improve conspicuity but neither do they impair it.


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