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The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): The Belfast Education and Library Board (BELB) calculates primary school budgets in accordance with its local management of schools (LMS) scheme, which is the subject of consultation with all schools and subject to approval by the Department of Education. The majority of funding which primary schools receive is determined under the board's LMS funding formula, which takes account of individual school characteristics, including the number of pupils, the size of school premises, support for small schools, social deprivation, special educational needs and support for particular groups of pupils.
Baroness Amos: The chief executive of the Belfast Education and Library Board (BELB) has advised that, in the formula funding budget allocation for the 200304 financial year, St Mary's Primary School, Divis Street, Belfast, with 70 pupils, attracted the most money at £3,838 per pupil and Stranmillis Primary School, with 435 pupils, attracted the least at £1,566 per pupil. It should be noted that all of the pupils attending St Mary's Primary School are from the Traveller community and as such attracted additional funding under the board's LMS scheme. In the 200304 financial year, this amounted to £941.58 per qualifying pupil.
Baroness Amos: The Chief Constable has informed me that, in relation to the above information released to the Pre-Employment Consultancy Service, the time taken averaged out at 2 to 3 months for each disclosure.
Baroness Amos: We work closely with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, both through our participation on the boards and at working level, to ensure that their programmes are based on strong systems of accountability.
We are also providing technical assistance, as part of our support to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, and in partnership with the World Bank on the strengthening of the institutional and legal frameworks for tackling corruption in the DRC.
We supported the first World Bank economic recovery credit to DRC, which was earmarked for private sector development and improvement of the business climate through stronger institutions, simplification of procedures and clarification of ownership rights, all of which help to fight corruption.
Baroness Amos: The Department of Regional Development (DRD) Roads Service and Belfast Education and Library Board (BELB) own small areas of land adjacent to the Knock and Connswater Rivers respectively.
DRD Roads Service and Belfast Education and Library Board are aware of their responsibilities as landowners. Maintenance activities, including the removal of litter and other similar material, are undertaken on an ad-hoc basis, as necessary. The Roads Service will carry out an inspection of the area it owns and arrange for the removal of any rubbish found on the riverbanks before the end of February 2004.
BELB also plans to replace fencing adjacent to the Connswater River at Elmgrove Primary School and will take the opportunity to investigate the need for removal of rubbish on this stretch of the river. It is understood that public park maintenance operations by Belfast City Council would also cover litter control on the banks of the rivers flowing through the parks.
Baroness Amos: A court is not required to ascertain the religion of a person when granting a licence to sell alcohol by retail. There are, therefore, no figures available on the percentage of subsisting public house licences held by Catholics and the percentage of those held by Protestants. There are no plans to do so.
Baroness Amos: Information received from the chief executives of the education and library boards in Northern Ireland indicates that staff involved in recruitment and selection and members of boards of governors attending recruitment and selection training are advised of the boards' equal opportunity policies regarding discrimination and fair employment. They are also advised that recruitment of teachers is exempt from the provisions of the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998, (Article 71).
Baroness Amos: I am happy to do this. This week my office will contact the parliamentary branches of all government departments to remind them that they should supply the Printed Paper Office with copies of their published documents as soon as possible after they receive a request for such documents.
Baroness Amos: The Government provide substantial resources to Northern Ireland Railways to enable them to maintain railway services, including services on the Coleraine-Londonderry line. They would welcome any increase in the low levels of patronage of services on this line, but do not promote it or assist in promoting it as a tourist attraction.
Baroness Amos: Translink has advised that the sleepers and rails on the branch railway line between Coleraine and Portrush were replaced in the summer of 2000 with better quality sleepers and rails previously used on the Belfast to Lisburn main line. The cost of the work was £536,411.
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The Sub-Committee on Lords' Interests completed its deliberations before Christmas, except on the issues raised about Members of the House who are or have been employees of the European Union. It was considered that these issues gave rise to difficult legal questions on which there were conflicting views, and it was agreed that Lord Browne-Wilkinson, Chairman of the Sub-Committee and a former Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, should write a formal legal opinion on these questions. It is expected that he will complete his work shortly and then submit it to the Sub-Committee. The Sub-Committee's report is expected to be presented to the Committee for Privileges as soon as possible after that.
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