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In each recruitment round for the Police Service of Northern Ireland since its creation, how many application forms have been requested; how many were received; what was the number in each merit pool; and what was the number of recruits from each round, broken down into Roman Catholics and non-Roman Catholics. [HL3501]
|Total number appointed on 50/50 basis|
|Campaign||Number of application forms requested||Number Received||Number in Merit Pool||Roman Catholic||Non-Roman Catholic|
|2 7||4,596||3 4,800|
Whether there has been any contact between the North/South Ministerial Council Secretariat in Armagh and the Ulster Political Research Group; if so, why such contact was made; and what is the Cross-Border Implementation Body's mandate for such contacts. [HL3502]
Baroness Amos: The NSMC Secretariat is staffed by officials drawn from the Irish Government and from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. Those staff may exercise both secretariat and other, wider, functions. Acting in their capacity as officials of the Irish Government and OFMDFM, staff of the secretariat have helped to facilitate meetings between members of the Ulster Political Research Group and a number of external organisations.
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 24 February (WA 40), why those public authorities who own land or roadways adjacent to the Knock and Connswater Rivers do not clear the channels of those rivers; and why clearing of rivers in Northern Ireland is not the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Rivers Agency. [HL3537]
Baroness Amos: The major urban sections of the Knock and Connswater Rivers are designated watercourses within the terms of the Drainage (NI) Order 1973 and therefore channel maintenance to ensure free flows is the responsibility of the Rivers Agency, and not adjacent landowners.
The Rivers Agency's drainage remit in clearing rivers in Northern Ireland is limited to those watercourses designated by the Drainage Council for Northern Ireland. In general designated watercourses are those deemed to be beyond the maintenance capability of adjacent landowners and in which works at public expense provide value for money.
What progress they are making on the review of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Order (Northern Ireland); and whether they are consulting about the special needs of persons convicted of scheduled offences. [HL3543]
My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Northern Ireland (Mr Spellar) is currently considering the responses received and anticipates bringing forward legislative proposals in the autumn.
12 Jul 2004 : Column WA120
What analyses have been carried out over the past year of the dust content of the atmosphere in the Parliamentary Estate; and what were the results of any such analyses, in particular, what proportion is attributed to the demolition of buildings; and [HL3589]
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): Analyses of the dust content of the atmosphere are not carried out as part of the regular monitoring of the Parliamentary Estate. However, whenever works require asbestos to be removed, or if the encapsulation of any asbestos is disturbed, or if any previously unknown asbestos is discovered, then air tests are done in the vicinity. Tests have been carried out on 10 sites in the past year, and in none of these cases was any airborne asbestos dust found. There is therefore no particular cause for concern that the dust on the Parliamentary Estate is carcinogenic.
What further discussions they have had or will have with President Biya of Cameroon on progress towards free and fair elections in October 2004; whether they will ask why observer status was refused by the Ministry of Territorial Administration to certain applicants who wished to observe the partial rerun of the 2002 municipal elections held in the Cameroon on 13 June. [HL3478]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): My right honourable friend the Prime Minister and my honourable friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Africa (Chris Mullin) have discussed the importance of a free, fair and transparent election with President Biya when he visited the UK in March 2004. The UK maintains a constant dialogue with the Government of Cameroon on preparations for the election. We were not aware of refusals by the Government of Cameroon to grant observer status to applicants wishing to observe the partial rerun of the 2002 municipal elections. Two representatives of the British High Commission observed the election reruns and we are discussing their observations with the Government of Cameroon.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: I spoke to Libyan Foreign Minister Shalgam on 9 May to express our concern at the verdict. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary spoke to Bulgarian Minister Passy immediately after the verdicts were handed down to offer our support. He also spoke to Mr. Shalgam on 25 May raising our concerns.
The European Union Troika met Mr. Shalgam during the EuroMed Ministerial in Dublin on 6 May to highlight the EU's concern at the court's decision and underline that a satisfactory resolution to this case is a factor in the further improvement of Libya's relations with the EU. An EU demarche was made on Libyan Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem in Tripoli on 12 June.
How many prisoners have been released on the home detention curfew scheme since January 1999; what were the categories of offences for which they had been sentenced; how many such prisoners were released in each category; and, in relation to each category, what was the average sentence received. [HL2937]
The table includes releases relating to sexual offenders. These were eligible to be considered for release under the home detention curfew (HDC) until March 2001. Since then prisoners subject to the registration requirements of Part 1 of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 (now replaced by Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003) are statutorily excluded from the scheme and all other prisoners convicted of a sexual offence are presumed unsuitable for release on HDC. In addition, since 14 July 2003 prisoners convicted of certain serious offences including offences involving the death of the victim, attempted murder, threats to kill and racially aggravated offences are presumed unsuitable for release unless there are exceptional circumstances.
|28 January 1999 to 30 April 2004||Average sentence|
|Violence against the person||16,717||14.8|
|Theft and handling||12,319||11.0|
|Frauds and forgery||6,505||13.4|
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