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Why there was a delay in the development of exemptions within the Licensing Act 2003 for small-scale performances of live music of more than a year after the Live Music Forum and the Musicians Union called for the implementation of such exemptions as a matter of urgency. [HL5366]
Lord Davies of Oldham: There was no delay. The DCMS has been developing options for consultation to exempt low impact (de minimis) licensing activities from the scope of the 2003 Act. The Government do not undertake amendments to primary legislation lightly, particularly in the case of legislation which was only brought fully into force within the past three years. As part of that work, we are considering exemptions for small and incidental live music events, taking into account the recommendations made by the Live Music Forum. Officials have had discussions with stakeholders, including the Musicians' Union, which aim to develop exemptions that can benefit live music without jeopardising the licensing objectives. We hope to publish a consultation document in the autumn, and subject to the outcome, to have the exemptions in place by spring 2009.
(a) whether there has been any preliminary formal or informal consultation on the proposals contained in the leaflet Modernising Scientific Careers, published in June 2008; (b) what feedback they have received from such consultation; and (c) when they expect a timetable for formal consultation to be published. [HL5389]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The proposals contained in the Modernising Scientific Careers leaflet were informed by discussions with stakeholders and had broad support. The proposals have been modified following the leaflet's publication and further feedback. We have ongoing discussions with a wide range of stakeholders including employers, education commissioners and higher education institutes. We are
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What assessment they have made of the time taken by the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland to process cases; whether they have taken any steps to reduce processing times; and, if so, what those steps are. [HL5393]
In order to reduce avoidable delay in the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland, Ministers commissioned the Criminal Justice Board to develop performance standards to be achieved by 31 March 2011. These were announced in June 2007 and comprise three of the five KPI targets contained in the Government's Justice for All public service agreement. These standards commenced with effect from 1 April 2008 and progress will be closely monitored over the course of the next three financial years by the multiagency delay action team (DAT) on behalf of the Criminal Justice Board and Ministers. These standards augment the DAT's existing programme of work: a multifaceted joint strategy designed to deliver justice more effectively and efficiently which is aimed at speeding and streamlining communications and transactions between police and prosecution and the courts, with the overall aim to try to remove avoidable and unnecessary delay in criminal case processing in Northern Ireland. While we have only relatively recently embarked on the formal three-year
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Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: This is an operational matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland. I have asked him to reply to the noble Lord, and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Official Report and the Library of the House.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 29 September (WA 41920), when the discussions about the provision of new rolling stock for National Express East Anglia commenced; and when they expect the deed of amendment to the franchise agreement to be signed. [HL5485]
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The initial presentation from National Express East Anglia to the Department for Transport on the subject of the provision of additional rolling stock took place in December 2007.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 29 September (WA 419), when the discussions with TransPennine Express about the provision of additional rolling stock commenced; and when they expect the deed of amendment to the franchise agreement to be signed. [HL5486]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The awards of religious tribunals may be enforceable through the courts by virtue of the Arbitration Act 1996. This provides that where both parties agree to arbitration, the decision of the tribunal that
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Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: Significant progress has been made on the implementation of the St Andrews agreement. Discussions between the Northern Ireland parties on those elements of the agreement which
13 Oct 2008 : Column WA42
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