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Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Government's reasons for declining to sign and ratify Protocol 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights were summarised in my Written Answer of 11 October (WA 37) and are set out in greater detail in my Answers to the noble Lord's related Questions of 23 October (WA 13-14). New rights are not necessarily cost free (especially when they are economic, social and cultural rights) and may affect the rights of others, as many rights have to be balanced against each other.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: I refer the noble Lord to the reply given by my honourable friend the Minister of State for the Home Department (Mr Clarke) in another place, Official Report, col. 51W, 15 May 2000).
A follow-up study to the original Corpus Juris paper has been published. Having studied the potential impact of the original Corpus Juris proposals on the national law of each of the member states, the authors proposed a number of changes designed to meet some of the criticisms which had been expressed. Key elements of the original Corpus Juris paper--in particular the creation of a European Public Prosecutor--have been retained, but there are a number of changes in the proposals concerning
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Government are satisfied that the increase in the level of the fixed penalty is compatible with their road casualty reduction targets. The increase is 50 per cent from 1 November and, as before, it also carries three penalty points. Drivers face disqualification if they acquire 12 points. In addition, the level and effectiveness of enforcement of endorsable offences is being increased through the use of camera technology.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: We have made it clear that we consider it essential to work in partnership with all those with a stake in improving road safety, including the police, in order to achieve the Government's targets for reducing road casualties. The Association of Chief Police Officers supports us in that aim. Our Road Safety Strategy details a number of measures we are taking forward to improve the police's enforcement powers and to make it easier for them to combat illegal and irresponsible driving. These include the greater use of technology. We have already provided some special funding to enhance the use of speed cameras in eight police forces. The size of a "traffic department" in a force is not a good indicator of the level of road policing that is carried out.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The new local boards which will be established under the Bill currently before Parliament will be bodies corporate which, together with the National Directorate, will form the new National Probation Service. They will not be non-departmental public bodies.
The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The ADAPT-funded Jobrotation pilot is providing additional training, leading to National Vocational Qualifications, for 120 unemployed people on New Deal and 600 employed people in the South East and South West. It benefits hotel staff at eight centres and 80 per cent of the New Deal trainees have remained in sustainable employment after one year.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Prime Minister was informed of the National Lottery Commission's decision not to award the next National Lottery licence to either bidder and to negotiate exclusively with The People's Lottery to rectify its bid on the morning of 23 August. The Commission's decision was publicly announced later that day.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My right honourable friend has meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals. As with previous Administrations it is not the practice of Her Majesty's Government to provide details of all such meetings.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Before appointing members of the National Lottery Commission, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport ensured that they had no conflicts of interest. Commissioners are also required to declare any other relevant interests on the commission's register of interests. This register is publicly available and is sent to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The 1998 British National Tourism Survey found that 40 per cent of adults had not taken a holidy of more than four nights in the previous year. These findings did give cause for concern and led to the commitment in Tomorrow's Tourism to widen access to tourism for the 40 per cent of people who do not take a long holiday. The English Tourism Council was asked to investigate the BNTS findings. Its research revealed that a major factor is the continuing market trend towards short breaks (with 86 per cent of people having taken at least one in the past three years). They also found that only 14 per cent of adults do not take any holiday for a variety of reasons, many of which are not connected with poverty or family commitments. Some are just too busy to take holidays. The English Tourism Council will continue to work with the industry and other bodies, such as the LGA, to publicise what is already available and to develop new products for untapped markets such as those on low incomes or with caring responsibilities.
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