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The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): No. Before implementing Part II, the Government must be satisfied that the new arrangements for divorce which it would put in place will work. The pilot projects which have been run to test the provision of information meetings under Part II were concluded at the end of May. The preliminary research results are disappointing in view of the Government's objectives of saving saveable marriages and encouraging the mediated settlement of disputes. A summary of the research results so far will be published today, and copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The full research results from the pilots will not be ready until early next year when the Government will consider whether further research is necessary.
The Government will therefore bring forward amendments today to the Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill currently before Parliament to ensure that its pension sharing provisions can take effect under the existing divorce law or under the divorce law as reformed by Part II of the Family Law Act. A set of supplementary explanatory notes for the Bill will be available from today.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government are today publishing their response to the Joint Committee's reports to coincide with the introduction of the Financial Services and Markets Bill in the House of Commons. Copies of the Government's response are available in the Printed Paper Office and the Library of the House. It will also be published on the Treasury's Internet website (http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk). The Government very much appreciate and welcome the work of the Joint Committee.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The disposal of the weapons has been under negotiation between the Government of Liberia, the UN Secretariat and the regional peacekeeping force, ECOMOG. President Taylor of Liberia has now given a public undertaking to destroy the remaining weapons on 26 July. The Librerian Foreign Minister has written to the Secretary-General asking for UN assistance in the destruction of the weapons and ammunition. The Secretariat is preparing to dispatch a small team to Monrovia.
We welcome President Taylor's undertaking. Under the EU Joint Action on small arms, the UK is committed to promoting the effective removal of surplus small arms, encompassing safe storage as well as quick and effective destruction of these weapons.
Baroness Amos: The primary conditions for the return of refugees to Kosovo is adequate security. We believe the refugees should be provided with full information and support but should make their own decisions on when they believe it is right to return. The refugees want to go home. The role of the international community is to provide humanitarian assistance to those who need it and practical support to assist them in the rebuilding of Kosovo.
Baroness Amos: The Department for International Development (DfID) regards the principle of informed choice as crucial to successful refugee return and is promoting this through a number of initiatives. We are funding an expert in Tirana to support the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) attempts to co-ordinate the provision of information. We are supporting radio broadcasts, and are helping refugees get access to broadcast information by funding the provision of 13,500 clockwork radios. Five thousand of these have already been distributed in the camps in Albania and Macedonia. We are also supporting the re-establishment of Kosovar print and electronic media (such as Kosovo Sot newspaper and Radio TV 21).
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 provided for a new Detention and Training Order to replace existing custodial sentences for juveniles, a range of non-custodial measures and the formation of the youth justice board and local multi-agency youth offending teams.
Together these changes are designed to further the principal aim the Act also set for the youth justice system--preventing offending. They are at various stages of implementation. It is too early to predict the effect on the use of custody.
(a) at strategic level (for example, the chief officer's steering group);
(b) at project level (for example, as members of the YOTs) and
(c) in providing specific contracted services to the YOTs.[HL2837]
|Youth offending team areas||Chief officers' group||Youth offending team||Services|
|Kensington & Chelsea||--||--||NACRO Victim Offender Conference Service (reparation and mediation work)|
|West London Family Service Unit and West London Action for Children (delivery of parenting order)|
|North Kensington Video/Drama Project (early intervention)|
|Hammersmith & Fulham||Hammersmith & Fulham Policy and Equalities, and Housing Departments||Hammersmith & Fulham Community Safety, and Principal Housing Officers||NACRO VOCS (reparation and mediation work)|
|West London Magistrates' Court||FULPAC, NCH Action for Children, NSPCC and West London Action for Children (delivery of parenting order)|
|Crown Prosecution Service|
|Westminster||Westminster Legal Services, and Housing Departments||--||NACRO VOCS (reparation and mediation work)|
|West London Magistrates' Court|
|Lewisham||RPS Rainer||RPS Rainer||RPS Rainer (appropriate adults)|
|Lewisham Race Equality Council||Youth worker||NACRO (bail support and supervision)|
|YMCA, Parent Support Group and Cassell Centre (delivery of parenting order)|
|Housing and community safety team (delivery of child safety order)|
|Crime Concern, Thames Gateway and Solotec (mentoring)|
|Victim Support Careers Service, Ilderton Motor Project and Youth Service (caution plus)|
|Crossroads Education Project, Careers Service, Lewisham Way Youth Centre, Ilderton Motor Project and Youth Service (all involved in supervision, probation and combination orders)|
|Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and Isle of Wight||Drug Action Team||--||Portsmouth Community Safety Partnership (final warning intervention work)|
|Prison Governor||NCH Action for Children (appropriate adults and remand work)|
|Clerk to the Justices||NACRO (reparation and mediation work)|
|Director of Hampton Trust (representing voluntary sector)||Society of Voluntary Associates (SOVA) (reparation, mediation and mentoring work)|
|Two district councils (on behalf of all district councils in the YOT area)||Crime Concern (reparation and mediation work)|
|Hampton Trust (family group conferencing)|
|Wolverhampton||Wolverhampton Borough Council Leisure Service Spurgeon's Child Care||Youth worker||Spurgeon's Child Care (final warning intervention, bail support and supervision, delivery of parenting order)|
|Wolverhampton Race Equality Council||NACRO (mentoring)|
|Sheffield||Sheffield City Council Community Safety Unit, Community Partnership and Legal Department||Sheffield Victim Offender Mediation Project worker SOVA (mentoring and appropriate adults)||Sheffield Victim Offender Mediation Project|
|South Yorkshire Police Authority||Webster-Stratton Project (delivery of parenting order)|
|Drug Action Team|
|University of Sheffield|
|NCH Action for Children|
|Bedfordshire||--||Youth worker||NCH Action for Children (parenting order programmes)|
|NCH Action for Children|
|Luton||Luton Borough Council Community and Youth Development, and Housing Departments||--||Luton Mediation (caution plus)|
|Fire Authority||Spurgeon's Child Care (delivery of parenting order)|
|Safer Luton Partnership|
|University of Luton|
|St. Helens||St. Helens Borough Council Community Safety, Housing and Competitive Services Departments||Drug and alcohol advisory worker||New Start (preparation for employment)|
|Magistrates' Court||Safer communities worker||Partnership with Parents (parenting order programmes)|
|Sunderland||Housing Department||Housing Development Officer||NACRO (caution plus)|
|Southwick Neighbourhood Youth Project (delivering child safety order)|
|Springboard Sunderland Trust (education, training and other activities)|
|Blackburn||Community Volunteer Service||Careers Service||Princes Trust (mentoring)|
|Magistrates' Court||Princes Trust Groundworks Trust||Groundworks Trust (reparation work)|
|Crown Prosecution Service||Lifeline (Drugs Advisory Service)|