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Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government: bjc

Baroness Amos: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given on 12 November (Official Report, col. WA 197).

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Amos: Details of the date on which each body supplied a 2004 business plan to the relevant sponsor department and the amount of funding requested are set out in the attached table. Budgets for all North/South implementation bodies are subject to joint agreement by Ministers, North and South in accordance with the arrangements under the agreement made by the exchange of notes between the two governments dated 19 November 2002. This process has not yet been completed in respect of 2004, and it is therefore not possible to provide the information requested at parts (b) (c) and (d) at this time.

2004 Budgets for North/South Bodies

North/South Body Date Business Plan Submitted Amount of Funding Requested (£ million)
Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission5 September 2003 3.2
Waterways Ireland28 August 2003 31.7
Language Body— Ulster Scots Agency20 August 2003 3.0
Foras na Gaeilge13 October 2003 13.8
InterTrade— Ireland23 October 2003 9.0
Special EU Programmes Body1 August 2003 2.0
Food Safety Promotion Board16 October 2003 6.1


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Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government: Whether there is any expected underspend during 2003 for each of the cross-border implementation bodies; if so, which bodies may be underspent and by how much; and what are the reasons for such underspends.[HL5507]

Baroness Amos: The attached table provides details of the underspend which each of the North/South implementation bodies has advised is anticipated at this time.

Expected Underspend for North/South Bodies

Body Amount of Expected Underspend Reasons for Expected Underspend
Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission£1.7 million Legislation required for the Agency to undertake all of its functions has not been progressed.
Waterways Ireland£4.1 million Delays in the provision of accommodation, recruitment and planning process for a number of capital projects in the South.
Language BodyNil N/A
InterTrade—Ireland£2.5 million Delays in the full implementation of the approved work programme.
Special EU Programmes Body£0.1 million Delays on work to the Common Chapter and the establishment of the Regional Partnership Board.
Food Safety Promotion BoardNil N/A

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the expected underspends during 2003 of the cross-border implementation bodies will affect their budgets for 2004.[HL5508]

Baroness Amos: The budgets for North/South implementation bodies for 2004 will be considered in the context of the relevant body's 2004 business plan in accordance with the normal budgetary process.

20 Nov 2003 : Column WA353

While underspend of a body is not an issue considered in the budget process, the factors contributing to that underspend may have an impact on the development of the business plan and thus the budget.

North/South Language Body: Budget

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure have not arranged extra budget for the Language Implementation Body agreed in June. [HL5277]

Baroness Amos: In accordance with the agreement made by exchange of notes between both governments on 19 November 2002, the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Republic of Ireland agreed in June 2003 that the budget originally agreed for the North/South Language Implementation Body for 2003 would be increased, subject to approval of revised business plans for 2003. Revised business plans were submitted to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in September 2003 for processing through the agreed interim procedures for North/South bodies. I am pleased to report that they have now been approved by the Ministers of the sponsor departments, North and South, in accordance with the procedures.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What role the North/South Ministerial Council has in ensuring that the decision-making process for North/South bodies is correctly applied; and how any such role was fulfilled in the settling of the budget of the Language Implementation Body 2003.[HL5454]

Baroness Amos: The North/South Ministerial Council Joint Secretariat plays a facilitation role in progressing the administrative procedures of the decision-making process.

The Joint Secretariat facilitated the progress of the decision on the increase in the 2003 Budget for the Language Body at the various stages in the administrative procedures.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 11 June (WA 44) what is meant by "the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs advised the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure of the 2003 provision for the North South Language Body"; whether the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs set the budget; and, if not, what action it took. [HL5510]

Baroness Amos: The Answer given on 11 June (WA 44) does not state that "the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs advised the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure of the 2003 provision for the North South Language Body", but that the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs advised the Department of Culture,

20 Nov 2003 : Column WA354

Arts and Leisure of the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs 2003 provision for the North/South Language Body.

I also refer the noble Lord to the Answer given on 2 April 2003 (WA 132).

Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many staff there are in the Linguistic Diversity Branch of the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure; and what are its annual running costs. [HL5453]

Baroness Amos: At 20 November 2003, there are 14 members of staff in the Linguistic Diversity Unit of the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. The annual salary costs for these 14 staff, based on 2002–03 pay rates are £382,000.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Since 1999 what "future searches" have been carried out by the Northern Ireland Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure; how much each cost; when they were commenced; when they were completed; and what was the outcome.[HL5455]

Baroness Amos: Since 1999 the Northern Ireland Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure has undertaken six "future searches". These are:


    (1) Public Libraries Future Search conducted as part of the review of the public library service.

    Cost:£20,000
    Commenced:5 November 2001
    Finished:7 November 2001
    Outcome:The ultimate outcome was the publication Tomorrows Libraries—Views of the Public Library Sector which was published in December 2002. During the Future Search conference five key themes emerged as the basis for a shared future vision for the library service. These themes were developed further by action planning groups and provided the structure of the above publication. The department is currently working to turn this vision into a practical strategic and resourced way forward.

    (2) Archives Policy Future Search undertaken to determine future direction for archives in Northern Ireland and provide the foundation for new archive legislation.

    Cost:£14,500
    Commenced:17 October 2002
    Outcome:The Future Search conference identified the main issues to be addressed in developing archives policy and these were explored in more detail by a number of planning groups. The resulting draft report with recommendations is now with the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure for consideration and response.

20 Nov 2003 : Column WA355

    (3) Geographic Information Future Search was carried out to help develop a strategy for this policy area.

    Cost:£18,000
    Commenced:20 February 2002
    Finished:22 February 2002
    Outcome:Following the Future Search conference a document entitled A Geographic Information Strategy for Northern Ireland—A Consultative Document was drafted and issued for consultation in December 2002.

    (4) Football Future Search was undertaken as part of an initiative to develop a strategy for soccer in Northern Ireland.

    Cost:£27,000
    Commenced:10 February 2001
    Finished:12 February 2001
    Outcome:The proceedings of this Future Search conference helpd to inform the report of the Football Advisory Panel to the Minister, Creating a Soccer Strategy for Northern Ireland. The report was subsequently endorsed by the Minister and formed the basis of the Irish Football Association's development plan for soccer.

    (5) Ulster-Scots Future Search was undertaken to help develop an agreed and achievable strategy for the development of Ulster-Scots language and culture.

    Cost:£27,000
    Commenced:28 November 2002
    Finished:30 November 2002
    Outcome:The conference produced around 30 common themes and the department is working closely with the Ulster-Scots community to develop an agreed and achievable strategy using these as a base.

    (6) Arts Future Search was undertaken to seek stakeholder views and help develop a coherent strategy for the development of policy in this area.

    Cost:£25,000
    Commenced:30 May 2000
    Finished:1 June 2000
    Outcome:The Future Search conference identified a number of key issues which stakeholders identified as being critical to the development of this sector. Following the conference working groups developed recommendations and actions to progress these key themes all recommendations and actions were published in June 2001 in the Face to Face document, a 10-year vision for Arts and Culture in Northern Ireland.

20 Nov 2003 : Column WA356


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