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29 Nov 2006 : Column 709W—continued


29 Nov 2006 : Column 710W

Parliamentary Questions

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether his Department uses an internal traffic light or colour-coded system in relation to written parliamentary questions; and whether his Department grades or classifies written parliamentary questions according to their (a) political sensitivity or (b) potential for embarrassment. [104118]

Mr. Hain: No.

Police Training College

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will give consideration to Ballykelly army base's topography and proximity to Eglinton Airport in determining a suitable location for the proposed Police Training College in Northern Ireland. [104150]

Paul Goggins: The Government's overriding priority is to make sure that we have a new, high quality police college. Ministers have been exploring all avenues, including the Ballykelly army base, to ensure that the project provides value for money. The Cookstown site, which was identified following an extensive exercise, remains the preferred site for the new college.

Rates Revaluation

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the Valuation and Lands Agency expects to commence work on the next domestic rates revaluation in Northern Ireland. [104116]

Mr. Hanson: Any future revaluation is entirely a devolved matter and the timing of any such revaluation will be something for the restored Northern Ireland Assembly to decide.

When the date is set for the next domestic rates revaluation the Valuation and Lands Agency will need to start its work about 21/2 years prior to the effective date of the revaluation. Currently the next revaluation is scheduled for 2012.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many, and what proportion of, households will experience seeing (a) an increase by one per cent. or more, (b) a decrease by one per cent. or more and (c) no change, before the application of transitional relief, as a result of the rates revaluation in (i) Northern Ireland as a whole and (ii) each district area. [104120]

Mr. Hanson: The following table sets out the number and proportion experiencing an increase of 1 per cent. or more, a decrease of 1 per cent or more and no change, for each council area and for Northern Ireland as a whole.


29 Nov 2006 : Column 711W

29 Nov 2006 : Column 712W
Council area Increase by 1 per cent. or more (Number) Increase by 1 per cent. or more (%.) Decrease by 1 per cent. or more (Number) Decrease by 1 per cent. or more (%) No change (Number) No change (%)

Antrim

6,768

35.95

12,050

64

8

0.05

Ards

16,215

51

15,514

48.9

21

0.06

Armagh

8,634

39.5

13,035

59.6

193

0.1

Ballymena

8,630

35.2

15,865

64.7

9

0.03

Ballymoney

3,509

31.8

7,509

68

16

0.14

Banbridge

5,377

30.6

12,204

69.4

2

0.01

Belfast

68,353

55

55,834

44.9

96

0.1

Carrickfergus

3,404

20.6

13,116

79.4

7

0.04

Castlereagh

18,635

65

9,980

34.8

25

0.09

Coleraine

10,328

38.8

16,256

61.1

16

0.06

Cookstown

7,474

59.7

5,042

40.3

6

0.05

Craigavon

7,891

22.8

26,720

77.1

25

0.07

Derry

13,602

33.3

27,223

66.7

8

0.02

Down

13,031

49.7

13,157

50.2

6

0.02

Dungannon

11,070

56.6

8,495

43.4

2

0.01

Fermanagh

12,055

49.6

12,230

50.3

14

0.06

Larne

5,093

36.5

8,849

63.4

17

0.12

Limavady

3,316

28.7

8,241

71.3

1

0.01

Lisburn

17,879

41.5

25,176

58.5

9

0.02

Magherafelt

6,319

44.3

7,934

55.6

4

0.03

Moyle

3,582

46.4

4,118

53.4

18

0.2

Newry and Mourne

18,665

54.7

15,446

45.2

25

0.07

Newtownabbey

10,163

29.8

23,916

70.1

7

0.02

North Down

15,071

45.2

18,258

54.7

15

0.04

Omagh

6,781

36.7

11,650

63.2

17

0.09

Strabane

4,432

30.2

10,248

69.8

10

0.07

Northern Ireland

306,277

43.45

398,066

56.47

577

0.08

Note:
Some of the percentages may no total 100 per cent. due to rounding

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many neighbourhood geo-codes there are in Northern Ireland for the purposes of the domestic rates revaluation. [104130]

Mr. Hanson: There are 915 neighbourhoods recorded in Northern Ireland by the Valuation and Lands Agency for the purposes of the domestic rates revaluation.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the Northern Ireland domestic rates revaluation is planned to be revenue-neutral once transitional relief is phased out. [104138]

Mr. Hanson: The level of resource raised post 2008 will be contingent on the rate set by central and local government. The domestic rates revaluation is revenue neutral in 2007-08. The current reforms will change the distribution of the tax base.

River Bann

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans there are to promote the water-based tourist potential of the River Bann at Coleraine. [104020]

Maria Eagle: Waterways Ireland through the implementation of its Marketing and Promotion Strategy actively promotes the Lower Bann navigation and the facilities at or adjacent to it. The strategy, now in its third year of implementation, combines both destination and product-marketing aspects and is delivered through an integrated set of tactics in order that the marketing needs of the different target groups can be satisfied.

Waterways Ireland also runs a Sponsorship Programme whereby it sponsors local water based events of which three were held on the Lower Bann in 2006.

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has identified Activity Tourism which includes angling and water sports as one of five winning themes in its Strategic Framework for Action. A new activity brochure will be produced in early spring representing a range of outdoor activities throughout Northern Ireland, plus a new website:

Currently the Lower Bann features on www.discovernnorthernireland.com NITB’s consumer website with links to other websites, in particular the Bann System website www.bannsystem.com which provides detailed information on fishing on the river.


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