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Veterinary Medicines Directorate

Lord Burlison asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): After having undertaken both a consultation exercise and detailed reviews of the functions, form and performance of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate over the past five years, I have concluded that it should remain an executive agency for another term. The reviews established that the retention of agency status would be the most appropriate means of delivering high quality and cost-effective services over the next five years.

The better quality services stage of the reviews has specifically identified measures to ensure continuous improvement in VMD's quality of service and cost-effectiveness.

Historic Environment

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

The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone): The Power of Place has been of enormous value in helping to shape the Government's thinking as we have worked towards a policy statement setting out our vision for the historic environment and a programme of action for realising that vision. We intend to publish the statement later this year.

Constitution Hill: Memorial Gates

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Blackstone: Responsibility for the subject of this question has been delegated to the Royal Parks Agency and I have asked its Chief Executive, William Weston, to reply.

Letter from the Chief Executive of the Royal Parks Agency, William Weston, dated 31 October 2001.

I have been asked by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to answer your Parliamentary Question about the work taking place to erect gates on Constitution Hill, as this is an operational matter for which the Agency is responsible.

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The Memorial Gates are a gift to the nation to commemorate the contribution of the peoples of the Indian sub-continent and the Caribbean during the War. The works are being carried out by contractors on behalf of the Memorial Gates Trust and are not being carried out by night. They are due to be completed in April 2002. We have emphasised to the Trust the importance of keeping to a minimum any inconvenience to road users.

Public Order Act: Incitement to Racial Hatred

Lord Monson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many (a) prosecutions and (b) convictions there have been in England and Wales for incitement to racial hatred in each year since the Public Order Act 1986 came into force; and what was the maximum penalty imposed in each year.[HL856]

The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith): Records for prosecutions for incitement of racial hatred under Part III of the Public Order Act 1986 have been kept since 1988. The records relate to the year that the application for consent to prosecute was dealt with

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and so it is not possible to state with any certainty how many prosecutions resulted in convictions in any given year. Also, there are no centrally held records that can provide reliable information as to the maximum sentence imposed in any given year. The number of applications for consent to prosecute for each year since 1988 and the number of convictions resulting from the prosecutions are summarised in the table below.

In addition, figures published in the Crown Prosecution Service Racist Incident Monitoring Annual Report 1999-2000 shows that the number of racist incidents sent for prosecution rose from 1,603 in 1998-99 to 2,417 in 1999-2000. Prosecutions were brought against 1,832 defendants (76 per cent) on 2,651 charges. Guilty pleas were tendered on 66 per cent of the charges and there were convictions after trial on another 12 per cent of the charges. In total 2,078 (79 per cent) of the 2,651 charges prosecuted resulted in convictions.

Almost half of the prosecutions were new offences of racially aggravated crime brought under the Crime and Disorder Act 1988, which came into force in September 1999. A high proportion of the remaining offences contained admissible evidence of racial aggravation and were prosecuted under other legislation.

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Consent Applications and Prosecutions Since 1988 Under Part III of the Public Order Act 1986

YearNumber of Attorney-General consent applications (per defendant)WithdrawnNot GrantedProsecutedConvicted (Not necessarily in same year)
2000552 (2 results outstanding)
2001 to date77Results awaited

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House of Lords: Management and Services

Viscount Simon asked the Chairman of Committees:

    What progress has been made with regard to the report by the Steering Group on Management and Services.[HL1100]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Tordoff): On 30 October I met the Leaders, Chief Whips and the

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Convenor of the Cross-Bench Peers to discuss follow-up to the report by the Steering Group on Management and Services. It was agreed that a further working group should be established to build on the work of the steering group and to bring forward detailed proposals for the reform of the domestic committee structure of the House. The working group will be chaired by me, and will include a Back-Bench member from each of the parties and from the Cross-Benches. The report of the working group will be presented to the Offices Committee in the new year.

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