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North/South Ministerial Council

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The same policy of transparency applies as under devolution.

A list of decisions taken up to 28 March 2003 under the exchange of notes between the British and Irish Governments on 19 November 2002 was placed in the Library on 7 April 2003 and I hope to publish shortly details of further decisions taken since then.

Fintona Development Association

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Since 1997, Fintona Development Association has received funding of £2,400—from the Department for Social Development, through its Voluntary and Community Unit, under the Community Volunteering Scheme Small Grants Programme.

In addition, since 1997 the association received Peace I funding through the following funding bodies: £18,685 Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust; £20,000 Omagh District Partnership.

Information about funding provided by departmental agencies or NDPBs has not been included in this Answer.

11 Jun 2003 : Column WA49

Tourism Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When was the budget for 2002 for Tourism Ireland approved by the North/South Ministerial Council under the exchange of notes process (Cm 5708).[HL2937]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Ministers approved the budget for 2002 for Tourism Ireland Limited on 6 December 2002.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When was a replacement director of Tourism Ireland appointed under the exchange of notes process (Cm 5708); who was appointed; after what process; how many applications were received; and where, on which salary scale, is the successful applicant currently.[HL2938]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Mr Tom McGrath was appointed to the board of Tourism Ireland on 28 January 2003.

NSMC had agreed in October 2000 that the chairmen of both Bord Failte Eireann and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board would be appointed as board members of Tourism Ireland Limited. On that basis, Mr McGrath, who became chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board on 1 January 2003, was proposed for appointment as a director of Tourism Ireland Limited.

The current remuneration for directors of Tourism Ireland Limited is 6,348.69/£4,000 per annum. There is no salary scale.

Northern Ireland: Planning Appealsand Approvals

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What percentage of Article 33 appeals under the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 have been successful each year to date; and[HL3025]

    What is the averge percentage of approvals upheld by the Planning Approvals Commission in Northern Ireland during the periods 1990–94 and 1995–2000.[HL3027]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Planning Appeals Commission is a tribunal non-departmental public body and the chief commissioner has been asked to write to the noble Lord directly. I will ensure that a copy of his letter is placed in the Library.

11 Jun 2003 : Column WA50

Northern Ireland: Environment and Heritage Service Budget

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the Northern Ireland Environment and Heritage Service's budget for each of the past five years; and what was the level of expenditure each year. [HL3026]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Environment and Heritage Service's budget and expenditure, for the past five financial years commencing 1998–99 to 2002–03, are as follows:

Budget £k Expenditure £k
1998–9921,74821,827
1999–200023,82723,601
2000–0127,42627,145
2001–0232,65931,730
2002–0341,59338,214

Budgets and expenditure from 1998–99 to 2000–01 have been prepared on a cash basis as extracted from published Appropriation Accounts.

From 2001–02 all budgets are reported on a full accruals basis as required under the Resource Accounting and Budgeting regime.

Expenditure for 2002–03 is provisional and is subject to audit by the Northern Ireland Audit Office.


Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 21 May (WA 83) concerning smoking in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, whether they consider that spending on facilities for smokers is a proper use of money allocated to health services. [HL3085]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Government require all health and personal social services bodies to operate no-smoking policies. Current guidance reflects the need for such bodies to adopt a pragmatic approach in formulating policies to deal sensitively with issues such as smoking in long-stay facilities. Other factors to be taken into account include the potential risk to patients and others from smoking in inappropriate areas.

The Government remain committed to promoting a smoke-free environment in all health and social services facilities. A five-year tobacco action plan for Northern Ireland, which will be published shortly, will provide a framework for achieving this objective.



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