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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Ian Pearson): The Northern Ireland Tourist Board's 200102 annual report and accounts have been deposited in the Libraries of the House.
The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Mr. John Spellar): I have today published the Probation Board (Northern Ireland) for Northern Ireland Annual Report for 200203. Copies of the report have today been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Mr. John Spellar): The Report on the Review of the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland, which flowed from the Belfast agreement, recommended in the area of youth justice that the Lisnevin Juvenile Justice Centre be closed.
Following a consultation process, the then Minister of State, right hon. Adam Ingram MP concluded that none of the existing juvenile justice centres were suitable. On 29 November 2000 he announced that the best way forward was to construct a new purpose designed facility on land available at Rathgael and that while the new centre was being built, young people already in the system should be transferred to the Rathgael campus. He also announced that Lisnevin would close.
The development of the Rathgael site is being advanced in two stages and I am pleased to announce in this statement that Phase 1, which involved the extensive renovation and up-grading of the Juvenile Justice centre on that site has now been completed and that the Lisnevin centre has closed.
The refurbished centre is now fully operational and will provide a step change in the quality of the custodial provision for juvenile offenders in Northern Ireland. It will operate as the sole custodial facility for young people in Northern Ireland, providing a satisfactory interim solution pending the construction of a purpose-built centre on the same site over the next 3 years.
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Ian Pearson): The Key Targets for achievement by the Northern Ireland Forest Service (an Executive Agency of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development) in 200304 are:
To establish 500 hectares of new plantations.
To replant 750 hectares of land following harvesting.
To pay out woodland grant scheme and farm woodland premium scheme grants of £1.8 million to encourage the extension of the area of private woodland.
To pay 90 per cent. of woodland grant scheme and farm woodland premium scheme claims within eight weeks of receipt of a properly completed claim form.
To retain certification under the UK woodland assurance standard
To produce 400,000m 3 of timber for sale to the wood processing sector.
To achieve 400,000 paying visitors to forests.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs (Mr. Christopher Leslie): My hon. Friend Lord Filkin has today set the following key performance indicators and targets for the Public Guardianship Office for 200304:
To achieve a customer satisfaction rating of at least 50 per cent for both professional and lay receivers, as measured by its annual customer survey.
KPI 2: To increase the proportion of effective visits by the Lord Chancellor's Visitors.
To maintain a minimum of 6,000 visits per year to include all Receivership Division clients.
To visit all new receivership clients where the Chief Executive of the PGO has been appointed receiver of last resort.
To achieve 75 per cent. effective visits over the year.
KPI 3: To increase the percentage of accounts collected on time and reviewed on time, and will use this process to review the case management regime to ensure that it is meeting the needs of each customer and client.
To collect 60 per cent. of accounts within two calendar months of the accounting end date, 80 per cent. within four calendar months of the accounting end date, and 100 per cent. within six calendar months of the accounting end date, referring cases to the Court of Protection where necessary or taking other steps to ensure proper accounts are produced on behalf of clients (applies to Protection clients only: i.e. those clients who have an external receiver).
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To complete the review of 100 per cent. of accounts received or to have requested further information within four weeks (20 working days) of receipt (to apply to both Receivership and Protection clients).
KPI 4: To deliver an improved service to clients:
To respond to 95 per cent. of letters, faxes and e-mails within 15 working days of receipt.
For 95 per cent. of requests for release of funds, the PGO will give directions to the Court Funds Office (CFO) or dispatch direction to an external receiver within 10 working days of receipt.
To dispatch court orders and directions to applicants, receivers or their representatives in 95 per cent. of cases within 25 working days of their being made.
For 95 per cent. of complete applications for final directions, the PGO will give directions within 25 working days, to transfer all of clients' assets to personal representatives.
To register and return 95 per cent. of correctly lodged EPAs, where there are no objections within five working days of the end of the statutory waiting period.
KPI 5: To demonstrate improvements in efficiency by meeting three financial performance targets.
To remain within budget.
To achieve a fee income of £13.1 million.
To achieve a unit cost per case of not more than £535.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs (Mr. David Lammy): On 14 September 2003 a Transitional Provisions Order relating to the status of chancel repair liability was made under the Land Registration Act 2002. The making of the order follows the reversal by the House of Lords in June 2003 of the Court of Appeal's decision in Wallbank v Parochial Church Council of the Parish of Aston Cantlow and Wilmcote with Billesley, Warwickshire. The order provides that, for a period of 10 years from the coming into force of the Act on 13 October 2003, chancel repair liability will remain an interest that binds successive owners of land even though it is not protected by an entry in a register kept by the Land Registry. As no land registration fee is payable for applications to protect similar ancient property rights, such as payments in lieu of tithe, Crown rents and manorial rights, the Land Registry intends to waive the fee for applications to protect chancel repair liability for the 10 year period.
The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Ruth Kelly): The report "Census 2001 Report for Parliamentary Constituencies", containing results from the 2001 Census, was laid before Parliament and published on 25 September.
This report contains results from the 2001 Census for the areas covered by the 659 Parliamentary Constituencies in all four countries of the UK. The tables present similar information to that previously published for local authorities on 13 February, for
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr. Chris Pond): On behalf of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions I am announcing the publication of performance statistics for local authority administration of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (HB and CTB) for the first quarter of 200304. The quarterly statistics for all local authorities in Great Britain were published on 9 October 2003 on the Department for Work and Pensions website at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/other_stats.html and placed in the Library.
Publishing these statistics is part of our strategy for reforming Housing Benefit and for ensuring that Local Authorities are accountable for their performance in Administration of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.
The average reported number of days to process new claims reduced from 59 in the first quarter of 200203 to 53 days in the first quarter of 200304;
Authorities in the worst quartile of performance reported processing times between 56 and 153 days;
106 authorities reported meeting the standard of processing changes in circumstances, on average within 9 days;
The average reported number of days to process change of circumstances remains at 18 days when compared to the same quarter in 200203.
The latest annual audited Best Value performance information for English local authorities is for 200102 and was published by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister on 12 December 2002 on the Best Value Performance Indicators website at: http://www.bvpi.gov.uk/home.asp. A copy is available in the Library.
The most recent corresponding data for local authorities in Wales is for 200102. These are published on the Audit Commission website at http://ww2.audit-commission.gov.uk/pis/pi_data_0l.shtml. A paper copy of the relevant extract from this site is available in the Library.
The most recent corresponding data for local authorities in Scotland are also for 200102 and are in the Accounts Commission publication "Performance Indicators 20012002": "Benefits, Finance and Corporate Issues", a copy of which is available in the Library.
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