|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Maria Eagle: Invest NI does not directly create jobs. It provides assistance for businesses to improve their competitive position, which in turn may lead to employment creation. The employment change in client businesses is measured on an annual basis and in terms of employment gains or losses. The employment gain in the financial year ended 31 March 2004 was 130; and for the financial year ended 31 March 2005 the gain was 202. This represents a total of 332. However these gains were offset by 737 job losses, resulting in a net employment change of -405 employees over the period.
|Jobs created through the Northern Ireland Start a Business Programme in Belfast, West, 2002-03 to 2005-06|
|Financial year||New jobs|
David Cairns: Initial research by consultants to inform decisions in relation to the Review of Public Administration in Northern Ireland, which included the reform of local government, indicated that the costs associated with the reorganisation of local government would range between £47 million and £143 million.
At this stage no additional funding has been provided by central Government to local councils to assist with the costs of the local government organisation. I am, however, working closely with local government as Chair of the Local Government Taskforce, to develop a more detailed estimate of the costs associated with implementation of the Review of Public Administrations decisions in relation to local government. The business case being developed will be used by Government to inform decisions on any funding to be provided to local government to assist with implementation.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the timetable is for setting up the Mental Health and Learning Disability Taskforce; to whom the taskforce will be accountable; what its terms of reference are; and what its membershipwill be. 
The Inter-Departmental Taskforce on Mental Health and Learning Disability will be established early next year when the new director of
Mental Health and Disability Services is appointed. The Taskforce will be chaired by the new directorof Mental Health and Learning Disability with representation from relevant Government Departments, Health and Social Services and service users and carers and will, in the first instance, be accountable to me as Minister responsible for health, social services and public safety. The Taskforce will co-ordinate Government's response to the Bamford Review recommendations and oversee implementation.
Paul Goggins: The Comprehensive Spending Review process is not expected to conclude until late 2007. In making bids within this process for developing health and social services, I will be considering the priority to be given to developing mental health and learning disability services.
Paul Goggins: It is the responsibility of each health and social services trust to make sure that it monitors performance including staff compliance with guidance for minimising MRSA. The main mechanism for the Department to monitor compliance with guidance for minimising MRSA is the annual reporting by trusts on the Infection Prevention and Control Controls Assurance Standard. Mandatory surveillance of the level of MRSA bacteraemias has been in place since 2002.
The Departments Changing the Culture action plan of March 2006 on the prevention and control of health care-associated infections requires trusts to produce annual infection reduction plans. A key message of the action plan is that infection prevention and control is the responsibility of everyone concerned. Arrangements for a regional infection control manual, which will detail specific control measures for MRSA and provide a universal set of standards against which compliance might be measured, are also being considered.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to what extent the funding in the Chancellor's Peace Package represents resources not
previously committed to Northern Ireland; from which budget the funds will be drawn; and what the timetable is for spending the money. 
Mr. Hanson: The key elements of the package as outlined by the Chancellor relate to the years 2008-09 and beyond. Currently, resource allocations to Northern Ireland, arising from previous Spending Reviews, are only in place up to and including 2007-08, and thus any and all amounts for the years beyond that represent new commitments. The issues of the timetable for spending and the allocation of the resources within the package to specific spending programmes will be a matter for a restored Executive and Assembly.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will assess the merits of allowing the Social Security Agency and benefit recipients to retain Post Office card accounts as a regional facility. 
Mr. Hanson: The Post Office card account (POCA) operates as a UK service covering the Department for Work and Pensions, the Social Security Agency and others. It would not be commercially viable for the Social Security Agency to operate the POCA in isolation.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which public appointments have been made by his Department to former Ministers who have served in the Government since May 1997. 
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for what reason the Department for Regional Development (DRD) adopted a policy of presumption against growth in the countryside; and what discussions the DRD has had with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on this policy. 
David Cairns: Draft Planning Policy Statement 14 introduced a presumption against development in the countryside, with exceptions. Its purpose is to better manage an accelerating trend of development in the countryside, particularly in the building of single dwellings, in the interests of protecting the environment and encouraging more sustainable rural development patterns, consistent with the Regional Development Strategy 2025.
The Department for Regional Development held discussions with other Departments, including a number of meetings with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the development of draft PPS 14.
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the remuneration (a) structure and (b) arrangements will be made available for staff of Water NI Ltd., and if he will make a statement. 
You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland a Parliamentary Question about when the remuneration (a) structure and (b) arrangements will be made available for the staff of Northern Ireland Water Ltd; and if he will make a statement (106438). I have been asked to reply as this issue falls within my responsibility as Chief Executive of Water Service.
All employees of Water Service will transfer under the TUPE (transfer of undertakings and (protection of employment) regulations on their existing terms and conditions.
As part of the Water Reform Programme, proposals on the high level remuneration policy for Northern Ireland Water Ltd have been submitted to the Department for Regional Development (the companys shareholder) for agreement. Implementation and arrangements for remuneration will be a matter for the Board of the new company. The remuneration policy for 2007/8 will be finalised over the next few months.
David Cairns: Performance-related payments for the chief executive form part of the paybill of the Water Service which in 2006-07 is funded from the resource budget allocated to it, net of income from customers.
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has for redundancies at management level within Water NI Ltd.; and whether his proposals will be subject to public consultation. 
You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland a Parliamentary Question about what plans he has for redundancies at management level within Water NI Ltd.; and whether his proposals will be subject to public consultation (106444). I have been asked to reply as this issue falls within my responsibility as Chief Executive of Water Service.
An important aspect of the Water Reform agenda is to improve the level of efficiency in the delivery of water and
sewerage services and to reduce costs to ensure that charges to customers are kept to a minimum. The number of staff to be retained over the next 3 years at management, and indeed non-management level, will be informed by the funding available to Northern Ireland Water Ltd. Decisions on the implementation of efficiencies will be a matter for the Board of the new company which will assume full powers from 1 April 2007.
Appropriate consultation on future staffing plans will, of course, be taken forward with the relevant Trade Union groups and if there is a requirement to undergo a period of public consultation in line with Equality Impact Assessment procedures, this will also be taken forward.
David Cairns: With effect from 1 April 2007, the new Water Company will be subject to regulation under a range of environmental protection legislation which isin the mainenforced by the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) of DoE which may issue warning letters or enforcement notices or, ultimately, seek prosecution, subject to the final decision of the Public Prosecution Service.
For a limited period, it is proposed not to initiate criminal prosecutions under the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 where a pollution offence by the water company is solely attributable to the historic under-investment in the infrastructure; but otherwise the penalties available to the Courts under that Order include fines up to a maximum of £20,000 and periods of imprisonment not exceeding two years.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what liability the Greater London Authority (GLA) will have for higher than expected expenditure on the 2012 Olympics under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between the GLA and the Government. 
Tessa Jowell: The Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the Mayor, published in 2003, provides that increases in the cost of the games may be shared, by agreement between the Government and the Mayor.
The contribution from the London council tax towards the cost of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games is £625 million as set
out in the Governments response to A London Olympic Bid for 2012 (HC 268), Report of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Session 2002-03.
The 2003 Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the Mayor of London provides for cost overruns to be met in a sharing arrangement to be agreed as appropriate between them. It makes no presumptions about the use of council tax. That is a matter for the Mayor.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate the Government have made of their contingent liability arising from their commitment to underwrite the 2012 Olympic games; and if she will make a statement. 
Tessa Jowell [holding answer 29 November 2006]: The present contingent liability is set out in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's Annual Resource Accounts for 2005-06, which are in the House Library. Any revisions to the contingent liability will be published in the Department for Culture, Media and Sports Annual Resource Accounts for 2006-07. In the meantime, discussions within Government on the appropriate level of contingency are continuing.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what reports have been prepared by consultancy firms on the cost of the 2012 Olympics; which firm produced each report; when each report was produced; and what the cost to the Department was of each report. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|