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Quangos

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will list the people who presently serve on more than one quango in Northern Ireland, indicating the bodies on which they serve, the position they hold on each such body, when they were first appointed and the number of terms for which they have served on each body. [26741]

Mr. Paul Murphy: A copy of the information requested has been placed in the Library.

Water Services

Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what plans she has to amend the Water and Sewerage Service (Northern Ireland) Order 1973 in order to empower the Water Service to enter third party land for the purposes of laying a private supply pipe; and if she will make a statement; [27122]

9 Feb 1998 : Column: 54

Mr. Paul Murphy: Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Water Service under its chief executive, Mr. H. R. F. Plester. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from H. R. F. Plester to Mr. John D. Taylor, dated 4 February 1998.







Policing

Mr. McNulty: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what measures she is taking to implement the proposals made in the Labour Party discussion paper "Policing in Northern Ireland--A Service for All People" (a) to reform the method of appointment of members of the Police Authority and (b) in respect of the role of community police liaison committees. [28959]

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Marjorie Mowlam: As my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State informed the House on 15 December 1997, Official Report, columns 100-04, I intend to issue a consultation paper before the start of the Committee Stage of the Police (Northern Ireland) Bill, outlining some options for changes to strengthen the Police Authority, and the Community Police Liaison Committees so developing further the partnership between the police and the community, which is essential to combating crime of all kinds. Copies of that paper, "Your Voice--Your Choice", which is published today, have now been placed in the Library of the House. I have no set views on which, if any, of these options should be implemented, and I am keen to hear views on these important issues. Decisions must await the outcome of the consultation process; and developments in the talks.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Minister without Portfolio

38. Mr. Baker: To ask the President of the Council what representations she has received on the advantages of extending the length of time available to the Minister without Portfolio to answer oral questions. [26137]

Mrs. Ann Taylor: None since I announced that the time for oral questions to the Minister without Portfolio about the Millennium Experience would be doubled with effect from Monday 16 February.

Sitting Hours

40. Mr. Hanson: To ask the President of the Council what representations she has received on an extension to the number of morning sittings of the House. [26139]

Mrs. Ann Taylor: Several people have suggested such a change. The Modernisation Committee is currently considering proposals to extend morning sittings and hopes to report soon.

Members' Smoking Room

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Chairman of the Catering Committee what measures he proposes to eradicate mice from the Members' Smoking Room. [28359]

Mr. Dennis Turner: Pest control is the responsibility of the Director of Works; however, good housekeeping is essential in the prevention of pest infestation. To this effect, the contract cleaning of the Members' Smoking Room is carried out during the night, as soon as possible after close of business.

Although no reports of sightings of mice have recently been made to the management of the Refreshment Department or to the Parliamentary Works Directorate, the Refreshment Department will ensure that the cleaning contractors are aware of the importance of maintaining the correct standard of cleaning, and I have asked the management of the Department to ensure that particular attention is paid to the Members' Smoking Room.

However, in my personal capacity, I am on record as having said that the traditional way of keeping down rodent infestation is best; it may well be that if chemicals prove ineffective, the House may wish to reconsider re-introducing a cat as a more effective deterrent.

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Mr. Sanders: To ask the Chairman of the Catering Committee when the Members' Smoking Room was last checked for vermin infestation. [28358]

Mr. Dennis Turner: Bait is set in eight places in the Members' Smoking Room as a precaution against rodent infestation. The bait is checked monthly, the last inspection being 16 January 1998. The last time the pest control contractor found evidence of the presence of mice in the Smoking Room was in August 1997.

I understand that staff of the Refreshment Department have been reminded of the correct procedure of reporting evidence or sightings of vermin.

British Beef Industry

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Chairman of the Catering Committee what steps the Refreshment Department is taking to support the British beef industry. [28709]

Mr. Dennis Turner: I am pleased to advise my hon. Friend that the Refreshment Department will be showing its support for the British beef industry by celebrating "British Beef Week" with a promotion of British beef in its cafeterias and in the Members' Dining Room during the week commencing 16 February 1998. A 'pledge' book will be provided in the Dining Room to enable all hon. Members to indicate their individual support for the industry.


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