|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman): We intend to make regulations further amending the Building (Approved Inspectors etc.) Regulations 1985. These amendment regulations will provide that, with effect from a date later this year, applications from corporate bodies seeking approved inspector status shall be made to a designated body, not, as now, to the Secretary of State. We intend that the Construction Industry Council will be designated for this purpose. The CIC is already the designated body for applications from individuals seeking approved inspector status.
In preparation for this change, we are arranging for the CIC to undertake assessment of all new applications from corporate bodies received by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), from now on. We will decide such applications in the light of the CIC's advice in cases where the CIC's assessment is complete before the coming into effect of the amendment regulations. In cases where assessment is not complete when the amendment regulations take effect, the decision will become the responsibility of the CIC.
There are a number of applications currently with the DETR from companies seeking approved inspector status. We have decided to approve an application from RBC Ltd. This approval will take effect from 1 April 1998. The DETR is notifying local authorities of this approval, in accordance with the Approved Inspectors Regulations. Subject to consultation with the applicants, the DETR will arrange for the CIC to take forward the assessment of some of the remaining applications currently with the DETR on the same sort of basis as for new applications.
Wider competition between approved inspectors and local authority building control should be a stimulus to greater efficiency and higher standards of service to the customer. To help bring about this result, we are working to devolve the setting of charges for local authority building control to individual local authorities. We also wish to see arrangements put in place for setting and monitoring compliance with common standards of building control applicable across the public and private sectors. We therefore welcome the establishment by the Local Government Association, the Construction Industry Council and the Association of Corporate Approved Inspectors of a steering group to draw up recommended standards and monitoring
Baroness Hayman: We have decided to merge the Government Offices for the North-West and Merseyside. Links between the Government Office and the proposed Regional Development Agency for the North-West will be simpler if they, like those in the rest of England, cover the same geographical area.
The intention is to establish the single Government Office by about October 1998. We will consult the unions before the merger takes effect. We intend the new Government Office, whose title will be the Government Office for the North-West, to retain premises in Manchester and Liverpool. The Liverpool office has a particularly important role in the administration of Objective 1 European funding and the associated programmes.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): Today we are publishing A Study of Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance Awards. We are also publishing First Findings From The 1996-97 Disability Follow-up to the Family Resources Survey, and the Disability Living Allowance
The information contained in these documents provide an important insight into these benefits and highlights the need to consider them very carefully in the context of welfare reform. We will discuss the publications with disabled people's organisations and other interested parties.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington): The Government have no plans to introduce a voucher scheme for people requiring artificial limbs. The specification of artificial limbs is highly specialised and complex. Each unit is designed to fit the individual user and the fitting needs to take account of the cause of their amputation, their potential for mobility and their lifestyle needs. The market configuration and the need for expert clinical supervision of the entire surgical, fitting and support process militates against a voucher scheme being an option for artificial limb services.
The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): The 33 organisations listed in the following schedule are contracted to the Legal Aid Board for the purpose of providing legally aided family mediation. Phase I contracts commenced between July and September 1997 and will end between May and July 1998. Before a contract is awarded by the board, the mediation supplier must be able to demonstrate that the mediators have trained with one of the key mediation bodies and that the service is working towards compliance with the requirements of the Draft Family Mediation Franchise Specification. Information about the amounts paid to
Divorce Mediation and Counselling Service
Mediation for Families (East London & City)
Barnet, Haringey and Hertsmere African Caribbean Family Mediation Service
The Family Mediation Service at the Institute of Family Therapy
N.C.H. Action for Children--Eye to Eye
South East London Family Mediation Bureau
Anthony Gold Lerman and Muirhead
The Family Law Consortium
Bates Wells & Braithwaite
Dawson Cornwell & Co.
Cambridge Family & Divorce Centre
Peterborough & District Family Mediation Service
Coventry & Warwickshire Family Mediation Service
Birmingham Family Mediation Service
Blair Allison & Co.
South Wales Family Mediators Association
The Mediation Practice
Family Mediation Service (Northumberland & Tyneside)
Durham Family Mediation
Greater Manchester Family Mediation Service
Greater Manchester Family Mediators Association
Simon Bergin Solicitors
Northamptonshire Family Mediation Service
Smith Chamberlain--The Mediation Service
Toiler Hales & Collcutt
Bristol Family Mediators Association
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|