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Baroness Byford: My Lords, may I press the Minister on a particular question on which I thought that help might be at hand: the whole question of discards? I referred to the new process announced in December 2003. After all these months something should have happened on that. I hope that something might be forthcoming, but I realise that there are wider questions which he will want to consider. However, it is a fairly basic point.
Lord Bach: My Lords, I am sorry that I did not reply to the noble Baroness. There are many reasons for discards, several of which are quite complex. I am advised that the Commission has come forward with an action plan. A discards ban is one of the ideas in that plan, but we want to test out what works. I think that the noble Baroness also asked about scientific research. An annual scientific assessment of stocks is made which informs the decisions made on stock management.
Lord Stoddart of Swindon: My Lords, the Minister said that the Government do not support the Bill. That means that they oppose it. However, the tradition is for the Government to remain neutral in Private Members' Bills and I hope that both he and the Government will hold to that.
Lord Bach: My Lords, I am sorry if I did not make the position clear. I have expressed the Government's views on the matters which make up the Bill, but by not opposing it in my remarks today I am remaining neutral in the conventional way in which governments do for Private Members' Bills.
Lady Saltoun of Abernethy: My Lords, I am most grateful to all noble Lords, whether they supported me or not, who stayed late this afternoon and thus have helped to make this such a good debate. I shall study carefully what all of them have said.
I should like to make one or two comments. My noble kinsman Lord Mar and Kellie particularly emphasised the trauma caused to the Scottish fishing industry. I say to him that fisheries in the rest of the UK are also suffering badly.
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My noble kinsman and the noble Lord, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, had a little disagreement about the functions of the EU as regards keeping the peace in Europe since the Second World War. The EU was the dream of people who fought in the Second World War and, for some, in the First World War as well. Their dream was to set up an organisation that would prevent any further wars taking place in Europe. Long before we joined it, the EU did in fact contribute to that aim, as well as NATO.
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I was very interested in the speech of my noble friend Lord Greenway and I have learnt a good deal from it, as I have from the contributions made by all noble Lords. I say again that I am most grateful to them. In the mean time, I wish all a very happy weekend.
House adjourned at twenty-six minutes before six o'clock.
Section 14(1) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 (the 2005 Act) requires me to report to Parliament as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of every relevant three-month period on my exercise of the control order powers during that period.
The 2005 Act came into force on 11 March 2005. During the first three months of the operation of the Act, I made 11 non-derogating control orders. Ten control orders were made on 11 March 2005 under Section 3(1)(b) and (c) of the 2005 Act in respect of individuals who were at that time certified under Section 21(1) of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (the 2001 Act.). A further order was made with the permission of the court under Section 3(1)(a) of the 2005 Act on 26 April 2005again in respect of an individual who was formerly certified under Section 21(1) of the 2001 Act.
I have modified these orders to authorise a change of address in three instances: to give effect to the court's ruling following an appealsee below; to give access to further family members in one case; and to clarify the wording of certain obligations in the control orders on two further occasions.
A right of appeal exists in Section 10 of the 2005 Act against a decision by the Secretary of State not to modify an obligation contained in a control order. One of those subject to a control order has exercised his right of appeal under this section and has had his appeal upheld. His order has since been varied to substitute different obligations on him.
Section 14(2) of the 2005 Act requires the Secretary of State to appoint a person to review the operation of that Act. Lord Carlile of Berriew QC was appointed as the independent reviewer of the 2005 Act on 11 March 2005.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Baroness Andrews): My right honourable friend the Minister for Local Government has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
In a Statement issued on 18 March, the Deputy Prime Minister announced that he was establishing a tripartite committee with key stakeholders, to discuss the future of the local government pension scheme. The first meeting
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of the tripartite committee, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, subsequently met on 24 May and was attended by representatives of the local authority employers and the trades unions.
The Government believe that local authority employees should have a stable, strong pension scheme in which they can have confidence. It is important, however, that the balance is right between, on the one hand, the cost of the scheme to the taxpayer, and, on the other hand, the value of the benefits which the scheme offers to current and future pensioners.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): On 14 June 2005 I made an order under Section 2 (6) of the Taxes Management Act 1970 amalgamating a number of divisions in Northamptonshire, Tyne and Wear and Greater London with effect from 1 July 2005, as follows:
All the amalgamations were made at the request of the general commissioners in all the divisions with the aim of improving the organisational efficiency of the divisions concerned. I have placed a copy of the order amalgamating the divisions in the Libraries of both Houses.
The review stems from the order-making power in Section 75 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to remove or relax statutory prohibitions on disclosure. The report gives details of all the provisions examined during the course of the review and sets out the Government's intention in relation to each of them. Of the 183 provisions which were reviewed and found to be within the scope of the power, 13 have already been amended using that power, and a further 59 will be repealed, amended or time-limited.
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The Government will continue to assess the scope for further amendments or repeals to the remaining prohibitions on disclosure. Beginning in 2005, the Government will prepare and bring forward a series of orders under Section 75 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, giving effect to the commitments made in this report.
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