Previous Section Index Home Page

Northern Ireland

Independent Monitoring Commission

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Shaun Woodward): I have today published and laid before Parliament my fifth annual report on the operation of the Agreement between the British and Irish Governments which established the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC). This report covers the period 18 September 2007 to 17 September 2008.

In line with a commitment made by my predecessor, this report also contains the audited accounts of the IMC for the 12-month period ending 31 March 2008.

6 Apr 2010 : Column 136WS

The report covers the 17th and 18th report on paramilitary activity and the 19th report on the leadership of PIRA and assessment of the completion of the transformation of PIRA. It does not refer to the 20th report on paramilitary activity as this fell outside the 12-month period under review.

I am very grateful to the Commissioners of the IMC for the continued commitment, focus and dedication they have shown during this reporting period, and for their continued efforts in promoting and maintaining a peaceful society and a stable and inclusive devolved Government in Northern Ireland.


Commission on Scottish Devolution

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Jim Murphy): The Government welcome the Scottish Affairs Committee's report on the inter-parliamentary recommendations made by the Commission on Scottish Devolution. The commission, established by the Scottish Parliament in December 2007 and supported by the UK Government, produced its final report in June 2009. The report set out a package of measures designed to review 10 years of experience of devolution and to recommend changes to enable the Scottish Parliament to serve the people of Scotland better, to improve the financial accountability of the Scottish Parliament and continue to secure the position of Scotland within the United Kingdom.

The Government welcomed the final report from the Commission on Scottish Devolution on its publication and responded formally with a White Paper "Scotland's Future in the United Kingdom" on 25 November 2009. Of the 63 recommendations, 42 were for Government to consider and 39 were accepted in the White Paper, including a radical package of reform to the financial accountability of the Scottish Parliament. The Government signalled their commitment to bring forward legislation as soon as possible in the next Parliament for those matters outlined in the White Paper that require it.

The Scottish Affairs Committee's consideration followed a letter from the Speaker of the House of Commons to both the Scottish Affairs Committee and the Procedure Committee to ask for their views on how the recommendations in part 4 of the Calman commission's final report might be taken forward. Part 4 of the commission's final report related to relations between Parliaments and Governments.

Response to the Committee's Recommendations and Findings

The Scottish Affairs Committee's report provides consideration of the recommendations made by the Commission on Scottish Devolution in relation to strengthening co-operation and communication between the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament. These recommendations cover the following areas of co-operation and communication:

6 Apr 2010 : Column 137WS

All of these recommendations relate to the operation of effective inter-parliamentary relations. These are matters for the House, as acknowledged by the Government in the White Paper. Where the committee recommends changes to Standing Orders the Government will give consideration to bringing forward the necessary motions early in the next Parliament.

In the White Paper the Government agreed that a strong relationship between the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament was an essential part of a framework for co-operation within the UK. We also welcomed the support shown by the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament to consideration of how to strengthen their relationships in its White Paper.

The Government believe that the third report from the Scottish Affairs Committee provides a very positive response and a strong framework for improving co-operation in line with the recommendations from the Commission on Scottish Devolution.


HM Customs and Excise Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions

The Solicitor-General (Vera Baird): My right hon. Friend the Attorney-General has made the following written ministerial statement:

6 Apr 2010 : Column 138WS


Service Stations (Consultation)

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Chris Mole): I am publishing today a consultation document seeking views on revisions to Department for Transport (DFT) circular 01/2008 on Service Areas and Other Roadside Facilities on Motorways and All-Purpose Trunk Roads in England.

This circular sets out the Department's policy on the provision, standards and signing of roadside facilities on the strategic road network (SRN), including motorway service areas (MSAs), motorway rest areas (MRAs), truckstops, and services and lay-bys on all-purpose trunk roads (APTRs).

The Department is now reviewing these policies and as part of this process needs to understand better the views and experiences of those that are affected by them.

The consultation document proposes making a number of changes to existing policy, such as allowing new dedicated lorry parking facilities to be located directly off motorways and requiring roadside facilities to provide recharging facilities for electric vehicles. The responses received during the consultation will inform the consideration of the policy options.

Copies of the consultation have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Clark): I am pleased to announce the targets for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for 2010-11.

These are;

6 Apr 2010 : Column 139WS

The MCA will also continue with their programme of work covering the following safety themes:

The agency will also monitor its performance through a range of service standards and measured outcomes which will be reported in its published annual report and accounts.


Her Majesty's Land Registry (KPI and Targets)

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Mr. Michael Wills): The following list sets out the key performance indicators and targets that have been set for Her Majesty's Land Registry for 2010-11.

6 Apr 2010 : Column 140WS

Customer Service




Overall Satisfaction



Other strategic targets

    Index Home Page