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16 Oct 1997 : Column WA199

Written Answers

Thursday, 16th October 1997.

Welsh Assembly

Lord Campbell of Croy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What changes they propose to make in their constitutional proposals for Wales in the light of the very narrow majority in the result of the advisory referendum in Wales on 18 September.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The Government's proposals for a Welsh Assembly as set out in the White Paper A Voice for Wales were endorsed in the referendum of 18 September. Her Majesty's Government has made it clear that it will now proceed with its commitment to the people of Wales, while encouraging further views and suggestions on how those proposals can best be developed to create an efficient and effective assembly.


Lord Campbell of Croy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will confirm the statement made on 1 July, at the Committee stage of the Referendums (Scotland and Wales) Bill by Lord Williams of Mostyn, that the referendums in Scotland and Wales in September were to be advisory to Parliament and that they could be nothing else (H.L. Deb., col. 117).

16 Oct 1997 : Column WA200

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My statement continues to represent Her Majesty's Government's views on this matter.

Domestic Violence: Ministerial Meetings

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the membership of the ministerial committee on domestic violence.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: There is at present no ministerial committee dedicated specifically to domestic violence. At the moment, Ministers meet on an ad hoc basis to consider how such issues should be handled across Government, including whether it is necessary to establish a formal group.

Northern Ireland: Forest Service

Baroness Nicol asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have for the future organisation of the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Dubs): Following consideration of a prior options study, which was announced to Parliament on 7 March 1995, I have decided that the Forest Service should become a next steps agency and that preparations should proceed with a view to agentisation with effect from 1 April 1998. The Forest Service is responsible for the implementation of Government forestry policy within Northern Ireland and performs broadly the same functions as the Forestry Commission in Great Britain. Agency status will give the service more flexibility in its commercial operations and in the delivery of government forestry objectives.

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