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The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The removal of large items of litter such as shopping trolleys is the responsibility of the owner of the property through which the river flows. If the debris were restricting the flow, it would be a matter for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's Rivers Agency, as the body responsible for maintenance of the Connswater River as a drainage channel.
With regard to sewage-related litter from sewage overflows into the river, the Department of the Environment's Environment & Heritage Service (EHS) is at present in discussion with the Water Service of the Department for Regional Development to undertake a detailed pollution management study for the area associated with the Connswater River, based on the previously completed Drainage Area Plan. This work will examine the sewage collections system in the Connswater area, as well as how sewage is treated, and will identify potential solutions to control discharges of storm sewage and problems with sewage related litter in the Connswater River.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Linguistic Diversity Branch is an administrative unit of the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL). The remit of DCAL includes advising the Northern Ireland departments on their obligations in respect of minority languages, in the context of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Belfast Agreement. The department has also responded to relevant requests for information from other interested parties, including representatives from individual district councils. The principal source of advice for district councils is however the Department of the Environment. The advice has regard to the provisions of the charter in relation to Irish and Ulster-Scots.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: To secure an inflation-linked pension annuity of around £90,000 for a man of the Lord Chancellor's age would cost at least £1.7 million at present. To secure all the elements of the Lord Chancellor's pension package, including widow's pension and lump sum on retirement would cost around £2 million.
(b) at which location in each of these towns the new Down/Ards Area Plan is on display; and
(c) whether the display complies with the requirement of equal opportunity for the residents of both towns to be consulted and comment upon this area plan.[HL961]
The Department is satisfied that the manned display which took place immediately following the publication of the draft plan (as detailed above) and the ongoing (unmanned display) as detailed above comply with the requirements of providing equal opportunities for the residents of both towns to view and comment on the draft plan.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The job description prepared by the Business Development Service of the Northern Ireland Department of Finance and Personnel as part of the exercise to evaluate grading and salary levels of the chief executive posts of all North/South bodies was forwarded to the appropriate departments on 23 August 2000.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: I refer the noble Lord to my previous Answer on 28 November 2002 (WA 66). The present Government have not sought legal opinion on this matter, and do not consider it necessary to do so.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: As the six North/South Implementation Bodies were in fact established by an agreement made on 8 March 1999 between the British and Irish governments, Waterways Ireland's statement in its annual report for 19992000 is incorrect. Waterways Ireland has been made aware of this inaccuracy and has undertaken to make an appropriate correction in its next annual report for 2001.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: There are currently 51 employees at the Waterways Ireland headquarters in Enniskillen: 48 of these employees were recruited through open competition. Two employees are currently on secondment from the Northern Ireland Civil Service and one employee was transferred from the Irish Civil Service. None of the employees required Irish language to obtain employment.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Filkin): Under Section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, those who make their asylum claim as soon as reasonably practicable after arrival in the United Kingdom continue to be supported. We have not received any such evidence in respect of asylum seekers who have been judged by the Home Office to have made their asylum claim as soon as reasonably practicable. The operation of Section 55 is being kept under review.
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