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The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): In the House of Lords, the Advisory Panel on Works of Art would be consulted before a major work of art is relocated. For minor works, the people occupying the rooms affected would be consulted.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government are currently supporting a number of research studies on multiple sclerosis through the Medical Research Council and the Department of Health. These studies include a programme of reviews of research on multiple sclerosis, one of which, on the effectiveness and costs of disease-modifying drugs, including beta interferon, in multiple sclerosis, has just been published.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: We have asked the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to conduct an authoritative appraisal of the evidence on beta interferon as part of its first appraisal programme.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): Eight persons (all male) were shortlisted for the position of Lieutenant Governor of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Five were servicemen and three were diplomats.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: We think it right to recognise the substantial and growing overlap in the work that both services perform as we pursue our drive to reduce reoffending through proven and well-targeted programmes and resettlement planning as set out in the Correctional Policy Framework which we published last year.
We have established a new Strategy Board for Correction Services, chaired by my right honourable friend the Minister of State at the Home Office, Mr Boateng, to advise my right honourable friend the Home Secretary on giving strategic direction for the Prison and Probation Services. This replaces the Prison Service Strategy Board. We will make formal amendments to the Framework Document of the Prison Service in due course.
We have also decided to extend the Prisons Ombudsman's remit to cover probation services. This joint ombudsman will be created initially on an administrative basis, as with the Prisons Ombudsman, but we plan to legislate as soon as practicable. We are giving careful consideration to what the ombudsman's terms of reference should be. We shall make a further statement to Parliament in due course.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Civil penalties under Section 32 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 are enforced in court proceedings brought by the Secretary of State. Proceedings may only be brought where the prescribed period for payment has expired and any objections to payment have been considered by the Secretary of State under Section 35(8). The rules governing such envorcement proceedings will be the ordinary Rules of Court applicable to debt actions
Similarly, where a transporter is detained under Section 36 of the Act as a security for payment of the penalty, the sale of the transporter under Section 37 is subject to the procedure laid down in Schedule 1 to the Act and Statutory Instrument 2000/685. In particular, the sale requires the leave of the court, and before such leave can be granted the Secretary of State must prove that the penalty is due, that the penalty or any connected expenses have not been paid, and that the transporter is liable to sale. Notice of the proposed sale must be given to all interested persons, who may then become parties to the proceedings. Again, it will be open to the carrier to dispute liability by raising a defence under Section 34 of the Act. And the same defences will be available when the Secretary of State seeks to enforce any other security given in place of the transporter under Section 36(2)(b).
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Further to the reply I gave to the noble Earl on 16 June (Official Report, col. WA 217), when a notice of objection against a penalty imposed under the civil penalty provisions of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 is rejected, the final decision is taken by an Inspector of Immigration, who signs the letter notifying that decision. It was an Inspector of Immigration who signed the letter in case reference CPCAU/070.
The Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): In the explosion on Thursday 1 June, Hammersmith Bridge sustained severe local damage where the device was planted under the road near the Barnes abutment, on the east side. The bomb was placed at the end of a crossbeam which directly supports the carriageway. The damage was such that the weight of any traffic on the road above could not be safely carried and the bridge must remain closed to vehicles.
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, the highway authority for the bridge, wants to reopen the bridge fully as soon as is practicable. The western footway has been opened to pedestrians and it
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Treasury's methodology for assessing on-trend points is set out in the publication Fiscal policy: public finances and the cycle (HM Treasury, March 1999). The cycle which ended in the first half of 1997 is estimated to have begun in the second quarter of 1986. The figures for the current budget and net borrowing as a percentage of GDP over the period are shown in Table C 22 of the March 2000 Financial Statement and Budget Report.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): I will write to my noble friend and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.
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