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5 Dec 2005 : Column 1081W—continued


David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he has taken to promote (a) Lough Neagh, (b) the annual Sham Fight in Scarva, (c) the annual Twelfth of July Demonstrations in Scarva, (d) the site of the Battle of Diamond at
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Loughgall, (e) the annual demonstrations by the Royal Black Institution and (f) the annual Apprentice Boys of Derry parades as major tourist attractions. [31276]

Angela E. Smith: The Northern Ireland Tourist Board's (NITB) Strategic Framework for Action 2004–07 document has identified the regions, signature projects and winning themes on which NITB will focus over this period.

With regard to the specific areas referred to:

Lough Neagh

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) currently has a seat on the Lough Neagh Partnership Board and had been represented on the Lough Neagh and Lower Bann Advisory Board until 2005. Also in March 2005, the NITB contributed £4,000 to the Lough Neagh Partnership Board to assist with a marketing strategy for the Lough.

Sham Fight in Scarva

The Sham fight at Scarva while not featured directly on the NITB Discover Northern Ireland website, has links through the Twelfth of July Celebrations ( and Scarva Visitors Centre (

Annual 12th July Demonstrations

The NITB has promoted the Orange order Annual 12th July Parades through a number of media channels, including the 'Northern Ireland Visitor Guide 2005/06' and, 'Events in Northern Ireland', and on its Discover Northern Ireland website.

The Battle of the Diamond, Loughgall

This project lies outside the core priorities of the Strategic Framework for Action 2004–07 and as such the NITB has no further plans for this site. However, the Dan Winter Cottage in Loughgall is listed on the NITB website and the 'Stop and Visit Guide' on an annual basis.

Royal Black Institution

The NITB has not promoted any events from this organisation to date.

Apprentice Boys

Over the past five years the NITB has offered the Apprentice Boys £28,300 in selective financial assistance through the Events Marketing Support Scheme and paid out £25,000 in relation to the same. In addition to the Events Marketing Support Scheme money, the NITB board agreed to make an additional payment of £20,000 in 2002–03 towards the cost associated with the festival. This was in recognition of the potential benefits for tourism which may have arisen from the continued success and development of the event. The NITB has also listed the event in the 'Events in Northern Ireland' guide for the past five years and the Maiden City Festival was listed in the events section of the Discover Northern Ireland website from 29 November 2004 to 14 August 2005.

Valuation and Lands Agency

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the Valuation and Lands Agency plans to employ extra staff for the domestic rates revaluation in Northern Ireland. [30663]

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Angela E. Smith: The Valuation and Lands Agency has employed 26 additional staff in order to fully resource the revaluation. Four of these staff are employed on short-term contracts.

Additionally the Agency has employed two staff on secondment from another Government Agency within Northern Ireland for the purposes of the revaluation.

No further recruitment is anticipated for the purposes of the revaluation.

Vehicle Licences and Insurance

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many drivers have been convicted of driving without (a) road tax licence and (b) valid car insurance in each district command unit in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [31973]

Mr. Hanson: The information is as follows.

(a) Road tax licence

Figures in table 1 are provided by Driver and Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland (DVLNI) and cover the financial years 2000–01 to 2004–05. It is not possible to provide a breakdown by district command unit, therefore, Northern Ireland totals are included.

Those detected for vehicle excise duty offences are usually offered an out-of-court settlement. Only if they ignore the penalty or refuse to pay are they prosecuted in court. The figures for those convicted or who paid out-of-court settlements in the last five years are:
Table 1: Number of convictions or those who paid out-of-court settlements 2000–01 to 2004–05


Of the 64,998 cases actioned over the last five years 86 per cent. resulted in out-of-court settlements and 14 per cent. were prosecuted through the courts.
Enforcement Section (DVLNI)

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(b) Valid car insurance

The statistics included within table 2 cover the calendar years 2000 to 2003 and are based on the PSNI district command unit in which an offender's address falls. Data for 2004 will become available in early 2006. Due to the lack of comparability of 1999 data (based on crimes reported to 12 police divisions) figures for that year have not been included.
Table 2: Persons convicted for driving without insurance by PSNI district command unit 2000–03(50)(5508480051)

Belfast East85112178143
Belfast North178264294290
Belfast South79112117103
Belfast West101149272167
North Down7793176114
Newry and Mourne158186182222

(50) Data are based on the district command unit in which an offender's address falls. The district command unit structure became operational in April 2001, however, for the purposes of comparability with later years, figures for 2000 and the first quarter of 2001 are also based on the 2001 DCU structure.
(51) Includes offences of 'no insurance' and 'causing no insurance'.
(52) Missing data relate to those offenders for which DCU information is not available.