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House of Lords: September Sittings

Lord Cope of Berkeley the Leader of the House:

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Baroness Amos: The total additional costs arising from the September sittings of the House in 2003 cannot yet be assessed. This is largely because the major works contracts running through the summer

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are not yet complete and, until they are, contractors will not submit claims for expenditure resulting from any delay and disruption. These claims may then be disputed. Most contracts were also let on the basis of a September sitting, not a 12-week recess.

The House authorities estimate that the contracts were some £160,000 more expensive than they would have been, which amounts to about 1 per cent of the average summer works spend, and is due mainly to the need to accelerate work on certain areas required by Members during the sittings.

No useful forecast can be made for September 2004 while the figures for 2003 are unknown. Some costs will be unavoidable if only one House sits.

Northern Ireland: Inward Investment

Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether Invest Northern Ireland has had any contact with IKEA to locate a base in Northern Ireland; and whether any support has been extended to IKEA for such new investment.[HL340]

Baroness Amos: Invest Northern Ireland has had no direct contact with IKEA regarding an investment within the retail sector in Northern Ireland. No financial assistance has been extended to IKEA as the retail sector is not within Invest Northern Ireland's remit for support.

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the attendance records at commission meetings of all the members of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission since 1999; and what measurement they have used to calculate the success of the work of the commission and of its individual members.[HL361]

Baroness Amos: Minutes of all commission meetings from 1 March 1999 to the present are available on the commissions's website www.nihrc.org. Each set of minutes lists those commissioners who attended each meeting. Since 2003, the attendance of each commissioner has also been recorded in the commission's annual report (laid before this House in July 2003).

The commission is required by paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 7 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to submit an annual report to the Secretary of State. The report shows how the commission has performed its functions during the year in accordance with its statutory role and responsibilities. The Secretary of State is required to lay a copy of this report before Parliament.

The contribution of individual commission members is a matter for the Chief Commissioner.

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Parliamentary Pay and Allowances

Baroness Turner of Camden asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the Senior Salaries Review Body will next review parliamentary pay and allowances.[HL483]

Baroness Amos: In 1996 the Senior Salaries Review Body recommended that Parliamentary pay and allowances should be reviewed every three years, commencing in 2000. In line with this recommendation my right honourable friend the Prime Minister has recently written to John Baker, the Chairman of the Senior Salaries Review Body, asking the body to report next year.

Council of Europe and Western European Union: British Delegation

Lord Clinton-Davies asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the full composition of the United Kingdom delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Assembly of Western European Union.[HL484]

Baroness Amos: The United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Assembly of Western European Union is as follows:

Full RepresentativesSubstitute Representatives
Tony Lloyd MP (Leader)
Mr David Atkinson MPMr Tony Banks MP
Mr Malcolm Bruce MPBaroness Billingham
Sir Sydney Chapman MPMr Peter Bottomley MP
Mr Tom Cox MPLord Burlison
Rt Hon Terry Davis MPRt Hon George Foulkes MP
Mr Bill Etherington MPMs Jane Griffiths MP
Mr Paul Flynn MPMr Michael Hancock CBE MP
Lord JuddBaroness Hooper
Baroness Knight of CollingtreeRt Hon Lord Kilclooney
Christine McCafferty MPMr Khalid Mahmood MP
Mr Kevin McNamara MPMr Humfrey Malins CBE MP
Mr Jin Marshall MPMr David Marshall MP
Mr Edward O'Hara MPMr Alan Meale MP
Lord Russell-JohnstonMr Gordon Prentice MP
Sir Teddy Taylor MPMiss Geraldine Smith MP
Mr John Wilkinson MPLord Tomlinson
Mr Jimmy Wray MPDr Rudolf Vis MP
Mr Robert Walter MP

Prisoners: Heroin Users

Lord Chadlington asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 8 September (WA 35), what work is being done inside prisons to help the 31 per cent of prisoners who were opiate users before conviction.[HL27]

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The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): A comprehensive range of drug treatment services is available to drug misusers in prisons, including opiate misusers. These services include: detoxification (a clinical service which is available at all local/remand prisons); counselling, assessment, referral, advice and through-care services (CARATs)—a low-level intervention that provides a gateway assessment, referral and support service to prisoners both within custody and upon their initial release and is available at all prisons; and intensive drug treatment programmes (60 of which are available across the prison estate).

Young Offenders: High Intensity Training Programme

Lord Chadlington asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 8 September (WA 36), whether they intend to expand the high intensity training programme to other young offenders institutions.[HL28]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The high intensity training programme is currently being run at Thorn Cross young offender institution. Funds were allocated from the Spending Review 2000 settlement to extend the programme to Deerbolt young offender institution. The planning for the extension and related reconstruction work is under way and the programme is planned to start in June 2004.

Prisons: Visitors' Centres

Lord Elton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 13 November (WA 214) concerning visitors centres in prisons, whether they will publish the letter therein referred to in the Official Report.[HL48]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: I can confirm that a copy of my reply will be placed in the Library as soon as it is available.

HM Inspector of Prisons

Lord Elton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 19 November (WA 292) concerning HM Inspector of Prisons, whether they will arrange for the publication in the Official Report of the letter referred to therein.[HL51]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: I can confirm that a copy of the letter will be placed in the Official Report.

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Criminal Offences

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether new criminal offences have been created by


    (a) the Criminal Justice Act 2003; and


    (b) the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003; and if so, whether they will list such offences and the dates from which they are expected to come into effect.[HL86]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: No new criminal offences were created by the Criminal Justice Act 2003. The Anti-social Behaviour Act created a number of new offences: Closure of premises where drugs are used unlawfully Remaining on or entering premises in contravention of a closure notice. Obstructing a constable or authorised person acting under Section 1(6) (service of a closure notice) or Section 3(2) (entering the premises or doing anything reasonably necessary to secure the premises against entry). Remaining on premises in respect of which a closure order has been made. Entering the premises. Dispersal of groups Knowingly contravening a direction given under Section 30(4) (to disperse, to leave the relevant locality or prohibiting a return to the relevant locality). Firearms Carrying an air weapon (whether loaded or not) or an imitation firearm in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse. Possession by a person under the age of 17 of an air weapon or ammunition for an air weapon. Firing by a 14 to 16 year-old of an air weapon beyond the boundary of private land under the circumstances where he has the permission of the occupier to shoot unsupervised. Possessing, purchasing or acquiring, or manufacturing, selling or transferring any air rifle, air gun or air pistol which uses, or is designed or adapted for use with, a self-contained gas cartridge system. If at the time that this provision comes into force, a person has such a weapon, it will be an offence to continue possession without a licence. The environment Permitting premises to be open without reasonable excuse in contravention of a closure order issued because a public nuisance is being caused by noise coming from the premises. Selling an aerosol paint container to a person under the age of 16.

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Public order and trespass Making preparations for or attending a rave within 24 hours of a direction being given under Section 63(2) of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 where a person knows the direction has been given which applies to them. Failure by a person to leave land as soon as reasonably practicable when knowing that a direction under Section 62A of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 has been given which applies to them. Entering any land in the area of the relevant local authority as a trespasser with the intention of residing there within three months of a direction under Section 62A being given. High hedges Failing to comply with a remedial notice to take action in relation to a high hedge. Intentionally obstructing a person exercising the powers to enter the neighbouring land in order to carry out their functions under the Act. We expect all of these measures to be brought into effect during 2004.


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