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26 Jun 2000 : Column WA51

Written Answers

Monday, 26th June 2000.

Crown Prosecution Service: Funding

Lord Windlesham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they intend to reduce public expenditure in the coming year on the Crown Prosecution Service; and if so what are the reasons. [HL2921]

The Attorney-General (Lord Williams of Mostyn): I am pleased to say that an additional £15.8 million has been allocated to the CPS budget this year. This recognises the place of the CPS at the centre of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and the contribution it can make to improving the performance of the CJS, including the police and other agencies. The £15.8 million will allow performance to be raised on prosecutions, on information technology (IT), on diversity and on the Human Rights Act (HRA). Performance improvements will be targeted towards better working with the police, thereby saving police forces' time and money and ensuring that their work in catching suspects is more effectively translated into prosecutions. Consequently, some £4.5 million of the money is to come from the Budget's £100 million police modernisation fund.

Chinook Fleet: Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorders

Baroness Park of Monmouth asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Since the flight trials for the cockpit voice and flight data recorders to be fitted to the Royal Air Force Chinook mark 2/2A fleet were completed in February, how many of the aircraft in the Chinook Mark 2/2A fleet are now equipped with these systems.[HL2787]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorders have now been fitted to four of the RAF Chinook Mark 2/2a Fleet as part of the Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) programme. This reflects the six-week period required to fit and test each aircraft.

Chinook Helicopter Accident: Retention of Documents

Lord Chalfont asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether any papers or documents relating to the crash of Chinook Helicopter ZD 576 have been or are being destroyed; and, if so, whether they will ensure that there is no further such destruction.[HL2738]

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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: None of the original Board of Inquiry papers, written evidence or papers held by the branch with lead responsibility for matters concerning the crash has been destroyed. When they are eventually archived, they will be assigned a review date of 25 years, with a recommendation for permanent retention. At the 25-year point they will be examined for the suitability for transfer to the Public Record Office in accordance with the provision of the Public Records Act 1958 and 1967.

National Army Museum Council: Chairman

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Who is the chairman of the Council of the National Army Museum; and when he last chaired a full meeting.[HL2845]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The chairman of the Council of the National Army Museum is ex officio, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence. The present Under-Secretary has not yet chaired a meeting of council. The last occasion on which the council was chaired by its ex officio chairman was on 20 March 1991. It is customary for council meetings to be chaired by the Deputy Chairman, currently General Sir John Waters. However, the ex officio chairman receives all papers connected with council and is briefed by his officials on museum business.

Museum of Army Transport, Beverley

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it has been drawn to the individual attention of the members of the Council of the National Army Museum that the Museum of Army Transport at Beverley may not be able to display its 119 vehicles after August 2000 due to financial difficulties.[HL2847]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Museum of Army Transport at Beverley is a private museum. Its financial situation is, therefore, a matter for the owner and management of the company.

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What alternatives there are to displaying the National Army Museum's collection of vehicles at the Museum of Army Transport at Beverley; and[HL2848]

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 14 March (WA 200), whether the Council of the National Army Museum have now concluded their strategic review, including the collection currently housed at the Museum of Army Transport at Beverley.[HL2849]

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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Corporate Plan of the Council of the National Army Museum, which is currently being finalised, sets out longer term aspirations for the development of the museum's collection and its outstations. These aspirations, which include the possibility of a development of a major museum complex in the North of England, will be subject to feasibility studies in due course.

FCO Board of Management: Appointments

Baroness Gale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there have been any new appointments to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Management Board.[HL3002]

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: The Board of Management is chaired by the Permanent Under-Secretary and oversees the administration of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and all its resources at home and overseas. It has in the past been composed of Senior FCO officials together with the Chief Executive of British Trade International. They will now be joined by two non-executive members, Mr Alan Gormly, Chairman of BPB Industries, and Ms Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Director of Corporate Affairs of Tesco plc. I am sure that the board will benefit greatly from their experience of private sector management practice.

Angling: Promotion

Lord Mason of Barnsley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have had discussions with the Environment Agency and the Sports Council with a view to obtaining finance for the promotion of angling, and especially the promotion of the sport in the education and training of young people.[HL2903]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government are in regular contact with the Environment Agency and Sport England to discuss a range of issues. My honourable friend the Minister for Sport met representatives of all the angling governing bodies on 13 January this year at which funding to promote angling was discussed. A representative from Sport England was also present at the meeting. My honourable friend has given her support to a number of angling initiatives for young people and will be opening the European Championship.

Sport England has made a substantial contribution to the promotion of angling through both the Sports Lottery Fund and grants to the governing bodies of the sport. For the year 1999-2000, grant-in-aid of £27,500 was awarded to the National Federation of Anglers, £29,000 to the National Federation of Sea Anglers, and £27,000 to the Salmon and Trout Association. Thirty-one angling projects have received Lottery funding totalling over £1.5 million.

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The Environment Agency is committed to developing and promoting sport and recreation, and the promotion of access for everyone, particularly beside, to and on, water. The agency has put in place several measures to promote angling as a sport and educational tool for young people. These include offering a 50 per cent concession on rod licence duties for anglers aged 12-16 inclusive, no licence being required for those under 12 years of age. The agency is also part-sponsor the National Federation of Anglers' Roadshow this summer, at which 5,000-6,000 mainly young anglers will take part. This year they have also introduced the Beginner's Licence, costing £1 per day, in conjunction with coaching schemes. In the last three years, the agency has been targeting fisheries improvement projects in urban areas, the key reason being to improve fishing opportunities for many young anglers who have limited opportunities to travel. The agency has recently published Reel Life magazine, which is sent to 1 million licence holders, including junior anglers, which promoted coaching schemes run by the National Federation of Anglers, the Professional Anglers Association, and the Salmon and Trout Association; angling and conservation guidance; and specific pages dedicated to young anglers, designed to educate and promote good angling practice.

Millennium Dome Additional Funding: Direction

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

    Whether they will publish the letter of direction for the payment of an extra £29 million to the Millennium Dome. [HL2749]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: On 9 June the National Audit Office wrote to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee enclosing a paper on the circumstances in which an Accounting Officer Direction was given to the Millennium Commission Accounting Officer. The substance of the direction is contained within the paper, which has been reported to the House, placed in the Commons Library and also deposited in the House of Lords Record Office.

Bank Notes

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which banks issue notes which are legal tender throughout the United Kingdom; what is the highest denomination note currently issued by each such bank; and what is the Government's policy on the issue, use and availability of high value bank notes. [HL2936]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: No bank issues notes that are legal tender throughout the UK. All current Bank of England notes (£5, 10, 20, 50) are legal tender in England and Wales, but not in Scotland or

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Northern Ireland. Notes issued by the commercial banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland are not legal tender anywhere in the UK.

The Bank of England takes into account public demand when it issues banknotes. Demand is low for the Bank's £50 note and the Scottish and Northern Irish £100 banknotes. As a result, the Bank has no plans to issue a note above the value of £50 in the foreseeable future.

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