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The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker): Local housing authorities and housing associations will continue to invest in improving existing stock or increasing the supply of affordable housing in accordance with priorities identified in local housing strategies. Under the new single regional housing pot, the resources provided by central government to support this housing investment will increasingly be directed to areas or types of expenditure identified as priorities in regional housing strategies.
The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith): Mr Jonathon Davies was not consulted during the joint inspection of the investigation and prosecution of cases involving allegations of rape conducted by Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. The members of the steering group for the project and the representatives of criminal justice agencies and special interest groups who assisted in the inspection, which included a number of members of the Bar and the judiciary, are listed in Annexes B
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): Contracts have been awarded to the Capita Group by the department for recruitment services; project management work; and for training seminars and courses covering security; records management; knowledge management; diversity and freedom of information. During the FMD outbreak, the Capita Group provided clerks of works to manage on-farm services in connection with cleansing and disinfection work.
Lord Whitty: There is a substantial body of research cited in the scientific literature on this subject. In the last 10 years there have been some 3,000 publications covering long-term effects of pesticides/insecticides and the use of biological controls and natural enemies in cotton production. The FAO itself has a number of publications covering aspects of these issues and four years ago (1999) it announced a European Union-funded project costing 12 million euros specifically targeted at environmentally friendly cotton production in Asia. Given this existing body of work, the Government do not believe it is necessary to suggest further research in this area.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): There are NVQ level 4 qualifications currently available in the areas of advice and guidance, community justice and community work. Although there is no fixed time period for achievement of an NVQ, level 4 NVQs are often embedded within a structured professional development programme. Candidates are therefore expected to complete NVQs in these areas within a reasonable period for a professional qualification; for example, two to three years.
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 6 February (WA 42) concerning the site of the Battle of the Boyne, whether, given paragraph 9 of the rights section of the Belfast agreement of 1998, this is also a matter for the United Kingdom.[HL1631]
Lord Williams of Mostyn: Both governments have an interest in the overall observance of the agreement. But individual matters of detail must generally be the day-to-day responsibility of the government concerned.
Within the Northern Ireland Office there are 101 NICS legal staff. A total of 96 are located in the Crown Solicitor's Office, the Department of Public Prosecutions, Compensation Agency and the Criminal Justice Directorate; three are seconded to the Police Service for Northern Ireland and one to the Northern Ireland Court Service.
Legal advice and services to the Northern Ireland government departments are normally provided by the Departmental Solicitor's Office, which is a directorate of the Department of Finance and Personnel. The Departmental Solicitor's Office comprises 50 lawyers, two of whom are out-posted to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
In addition, three other Northern Ireland government offices provide specialist legal services. The Office of the Legislative Counsel, located in the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister, which is responsible for drafting Northern Ireland legislation and advising on legislative and related constitutional matters, has a complement of seven lawyers, and the Office of Law Reform, located in the Department of Finance and Personnel, which provides advice to Ministers on the review and reform of the civil law, currently has a complement of four. Finally, the Land Registers of Northern Ireland, also located in the Department of Finance and Personnel, which administers three public registries in relation to legal interests in land, has a complement of five lawyers.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: No. Only legal advice given by NICS lawyers during suspension is available to the Government at all times. During devolution, advice given to the devolved administration is not available to the Government. During suspension, as indicated in the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 13 February 2003 (WA 144), the Government act in conformity with the convention that Ministers do not ask to see the advice given by a previous administration.
|Financial year 1 April31 March||Budget allocation £ thousands|
(1) Figure represents actual spend in 19992000 as budget allocation was not made in advance.