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Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 29 June (WA 12) concerning Waterways Ireland, what is the project at Ringsend Basin Moorings, Dublin; how much it will cost; how the contracts were awarded; and whether any company from Northern Ireland was allowed to bid. [HL3628]
Baroness Amos: The project involves the provision of floating moorings in the inner basin of the Grand Canal Dock in Dublin City to provide approximately 55 new berths. The berths form a "necklace" around the Waterways Ireland visitor centre and access to the moorings is from the existing walkway serving the visitor centre.
Tenders were sought by public advertisement and placed in the Official Journal of the European Communities in July 2003. Tenders were received from seven companies. One company from Northern Ireland submitted a tender. The contract was awarded per the criteria set out in the documentation which was provided to all tenderers.
Baroness Amos: The draft Ards and Down Area Plan was published on 10 December 2002. The decision to hold a public inquiry was made in September 2003. The inquiry is programmed to commence on 10 January 2005. The timing of the report will depend on the time required by the Planning Appeals Commission to hold the inquiry and report its findings to the Department of the Environment's planning service.
In considering planning applications, the planning service will continue to give due regard to the draft area plan as a material consideration. Urgent consideration is also being given to whether any further action is needed in this respect at a policy level.
Baroness Amos: Sick absence statistics for the Northern Ireland departments are analysed by financial year as opposed to calendar year. The information sought is readily available for the 11 departments of the NI administration and their agencies for the period 19992000 to 200203. Published statistics for Northern Ireland departments for the financial years 200001 to 200203 are accessible on the department's website at www.dfpni.gov.uk/publications.
|Department/Agency||Average Days Lost per Staff Year|
The level of sick absence has been a matter of concern over the recent years and a range of corporate and departmental initiatives has been and is being taken forward to reduce the current levels of sick absence. NI departments have set individual targets for reduction in sick absence.
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 12 July (WA 116) concerning school funding in Northern Ireland, how many primary and secondary schools seeking funding have been turned down since 1990 because they did not meet the relevant intake criteria; how many were granted funding without meeting the relevant intake criteria; and, in each case, which schools were involved. [HL3819]
Baroness Amos: The department is aware of nine instances of development proposals for new schools turned down because the schools failed to meet the viability criteriatwo secondary schools and seven primary schools. Records relating to the establishment of integrated schools prior to 1995 are no longer available.
|Year turned down||School||Subsequent proposal|
|2004||Gaelscoil an Lonnain, Belfast|
|2004||+Lir Integrated PS, Ballycastle|
|1998||Gaelscoil Ui Neill, Coalisland||Approved from Dec 2000|
|and 1997||+Oakwood Integrated PS||Approved from Dec 1998|
|1995||Bunscoil an Iuir, Newry||Approved from Oct 1996|
|1995||Bunscoil an tSleibhe Dhuibh||Approved from August 1996|
|1995||Bunscoil Ben Mhadagain||Approved from|
|Year turned down||School||Subsequent proposal|
|1997||*Strangford Int College||Approved from Dec 1998|
|1997 and 1998||*East Antrim (Ulidia) Int College||Approved from Sept 2000|
Schools which received funding without fully meeting the viability criteria
(i) In 1996, Meanscoil Feirste, the only Irish-medium post-primary school in Northern Ireland, was awarded grant-aided status, although it did not achieve the required intake. There was however firm evidence from the school's previous intakes and the growth in the Irish-medium primary school sector that the school would shortly achieve the level of enrolments and that these would be sustainable.
(ii) In 2002, Bunscoil Bheanna Boirche, an existing independent Irish-medium primary school in Castlewellan, was approved for funding with a year-one intake of 10 instead of 12. The decision was taken on the basis that the school had just fallen short of the minimum but had 12 pre-school children in the attached pre-school unit. The school at the time also had a total of 32 children of compulsory school age already attending.
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 7 July (WA 80), whether the North-South Ministerial Council Joint Secretariat staff are permitted to comment on grants issued by the Ulster-Scots Agency. [HL3733]
Baroness Amos: I refer the noble Lord to my Answer of 7 July (WA 80). The North-South Ministerial Council Joint Secretariat has no involvement in decisions about grants issued by the Ulster-Scots Agency, and has made no comments on such disbursements.
What meetings the joint secretaries of the North-South Ministerial Council or their representatives have had together with non-Civil Service or implementation body groups since 1 January 2003; with which groups; on what date; and for what purpose. [HL3763]
Baroness Amos: The duties of the staff of the North-South Ministerial Council Joint Secretariat include holding meetings with persons who are neither civil servants nor members of the North-South Implementation Bodies. Over a period of more than 18 months, since January 2003, such meetings have been numerous, of varying degrees of significance, and many have been unrecorded. It is not possible to list them all with accuracy.
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