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Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: In 2003, Ministers responded at short notice to requests for emergency financial assistance from five festivals that were facing a shortfall in funding as a result of the expiry of support from both government and commercial sources. Departments had to find moneys from existing budgets to partially fund this shortfall.

The recipients of capped shortfall funding were Belfast Festival at Queen's, Feile an Phobail, Maiden City Festival, Greater New Lodge Community Festival and Ardoyne Fleadh.

Capped shortfall funding in 2004 was provided only to those festivals that successfully made a case to Ministers in 2003, and has only continued pending agreement on new arrangements for funding community festivals. The total amount of shortfall funding provided in 2004 was £374,000: it is estimated that festivals in Northern Ireland access over £2 million a year from a range of public sector funding sources.

In 2004 and 2005, organisers wishing to apply for additional assistance have had to provide detailed business information justifying the need and rationale for funding and the anticipated outputs and benefits.

The applications for 2005 and the amounts of funding that will be provided are still being considered.

Northern Ireland: Fouling of Footpaths by Dogs

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: The Department of the Environment does not hold information on the number of prosecutions for dog fouling in Northern Ireland.


 
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Northern Ireland: Housing Stock

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The information requested is as follows:

Ballywalter

There are 137 Housing Executive and 20 Housing Association dwellings in Ballywalter. The Housing Executive has identified a need for an additional 10 units and Housing Associations are trying to identify a suitable site with a view to having a scheme included in the development programme for 2008–09. A multi element and environmental improvement scheme for seven Housing Executive bungalows in the Well Road/Well Close area is planned to commence in March 2006. Bathrooms in the Corinthian Housing Association Stump Road scheme are due to be refurbished in 2006.

Ballyhalbert

There are 12 Housing Executive dwellings in Ballyhalbert. The Housing Executive has identified a need for five additional properties and a scheme has been programmed for Rural Housing Association in 2006–07.

Portavogie

There are 85 Housing Executive dwellings in Portavogie. The Housing Executive has assessed that there is no real housing need in this area as allocations are generally sufficient to meet need. A multi-element and environmental improvement scheme for 30 bungalows in Greyabbey, Kircubbin, Portavogie, and Cloughey is planned to commence in February 2006.

An external cyclical maintenance scheme for 260 homes in Ballyhalbert, Ballywalter, Portavogie and Cloughey was completed at the end of 2004. A kitchen replacement scheme for 37 homes in Portavogie, Cloughey and Ballywalter was completed in May 2005.

Private Sector Dwellings

For those properties in the private sector (owner-occupiers, landlords and tenants) a range of grants is available to help with the costs of undertaking improvement work. With regard to the provision of private sector housing, this is undertaken by private developers where demand exists for such housing.


 
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Northern Ireland: Murders

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton : There are no verified figures available for murders linked to organised crime. A search of records has shown an approximate number of murders linked to organised crimes from 1998 as follows:
YearApproximate number of murders linked to organised crime
19988
19994
20008
200120
200211
200312
2004
20054

Northern Ireland: Newspaper Funding

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: I refer the noble Lord to HL508 in respect of funding for the Andersonstown News Group.

In addition please find below a table of funding made available to other newspapers for the period 1999 to 2004.
Grants made available to newspaper companies 1999 to 2004


Year(s)CompanyFunderPurpose of Grant Amount
1999–2000Flagship Media Group LtdLEDUMarketing and technical appraisal, product and process costs£11,273
1999–2000Fermanagh Talking Newspaper AssociationsFermanagh PartnershipTo enable a part-time IT facilitator/tutor with special skills to train£2,225
2000–01The Mirror GroupDepartment for Employment and Learning Assistance for disabled employee£5,936
2003–04 Shankill Community Media LtdInvest NIEmployment and management salary costs£28,602
2002–03 2003–04Shankill Community MediaDepartment for Social DevelopmentSalary costs£32,544
2003–04Shankill Community Media LtdDepartment of Finance and PersonnelAssistance for expansion of circulation£95,429
2003–04East Belfast Publishing LtdDepartment of Finance and PersonnelProduction and distribution costs of weekly newspaper£250,464



 
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In respect of the last part of the Question there is no central databank of the conditions, each being individual to the scheme or programme.

Northern Ireland: Noise Complaints

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: This information is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Northern Ireland: Police Ombudsman

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: The Police Ombudsman's office advises that 90 staff are directly engaged in investigations. Oversight of conduct and performance of the staff of that office is a matter for the ombudsman who is totally independent of government. Complaints about maladministration can be referred to my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland but only after the matter has been referred to the ombudsman and the ombudsman's response has been unsatisfactory.


 
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Northern Ireland: Register of Electors

Lord Laird: asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland (Mr D A Stanley) has written to the noble Lord.

A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library.


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