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Motorcyclists: Safety Improvements

Lord Orme asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: The document Tomorrow's roads--Safer for everyone, which is published today, sets out the broad context for how we propose to deliver road safety improvements for motorcyclists. A detailed report of the decisions taken in response to the consultation exercise has also been issued today, and I shall place copies in the Library of the House.

We are removing unnecessary restrictions while improving training and testing for learner riders. We shall abolish the rule that means learner riders lose their provisional licence after two years, and we shall

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improve the training they receive. New licences will be valid until age 70 years, provided the rider holds a current training certificate. New car drivers will have basic safety training before riding a moped.

Linford Christie

Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What discussions they have had with Sport England regarding the decision taken by the New South Wales Government to ban Linford Christie from using state-owned training facilities in connection with his work as a coach to a squad of British athletes.[HL1116]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: UK Sport has primary responsibility for anti-doping policy and procedures within the UK, but the Government have had no discussions with it about this issue. The decision to ban an athlete suspended by his international federation, in this case the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF), arises from the federal and state legislation in Australia and New South Wales.

Northern Ireland: Curriculum Review

Lord Eames asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why representatives of the main Churches in Northern Ireland and representatives of other world faiths were not included in the curriculum review by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment in the Province despite the spiritual and ethical considerations involved; and[HL1160]

    Whether representatives of the Churches will be consulted by the Council for the Curriculum,

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    Examinations and Assessment in Northern Ireland in the process of curriculum review, thus ensuring the government commitment to the creation of a fully inclusive society is honoured.[HL1161]

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: I can assure the noble Lord that the council will include the Churches in the consultation process for the curriculum review. Two major periods of consultation are due to take place covering the curriculum framework and the revised programmes of study. On the present timescale of operations these are due to take place between April and June 2000 and between April and June 2001.

RUC: Criminal Injuries Compensation

Lord Eames asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in the light of the Patten report on policing in Northern Ireland, they will review the scales of compensation and support paid to widows and families of Royal Ulster Constabulary officers killed on active service.[HL1162]

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: Pursuant to the answer given by my noble friend Lord Dubs on 9 November 1999 (Official Report, columns 141-42), the Government are currently considering their response to the report of the review of criminal injuries compensation in Northern Ireland which includes recommendations on the scales of compensation.

The Patten report recommends that a substantial fund be set up to support widows, injured police officers, injured retired officers and their families and that the Widows Association be supplied with an office and a regular source of finance to run their organisation. The Government fully accept these recommendations and are currently working on their implementation.

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