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Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 21 December 2004 (WA 135), what additional benefits have occurred to cross-border co-operation as a result of the setting up of the cross-border bodies outlined in the Belfast agreement. [HL681]
Baroness Amos: The table below provides details of the budgets for the North/South implementation bodies for 2005 and the percentage increases over the 2004 budgets. The figures quoted in the table for the agencies of the Language Body are based on draft business plans provided by the agencies, as the 2005 budget figures for the Language Body have not yet been agreed.
|North/South body implementation||2005 Budget|
|Foras Na Gaeilge|
|Special EU Programmes Body||2.195||8.66|
|Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission||3.67||14.69|
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 11 January (WA 29) concerning staff bullying at Waterways Ireland, what grades are the individuals concerned; and whether they are still employed by Waterways Ireland. [HL827]
The 20 staff who have collectively alleged that bullying and harassment exists in Waterways Ireland are all still employed by Waterways Ireland. The individuals concerned are employed in a number of different grades within the organisation.
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 11 January (WA 28) concerning applications for posts in Waterways Ireland, how many people were interviewed for each post; and under what country's employment legislation the recruitment procedure was carried out. [HL828]
|Director of Operations:||10|
|Director of Finance/Personnel:||7|
|Director of Technical Services:||6|
|Director of Corporate Services:||13|
Whether those civil servants who had been seconded to Waterways Ireland before March 2002 have had their secondments terminated by 31 March 2002 as proposed in the Inland Waterways sector meeting minutes of 23 November 2001. [HL913]
Baroness Amos: Due to the large number of applications received for permanent posts within Waterways Ireland, it was necessary to retain a number of seconded staff beyond the proposed termination date to allow the business of Waterways Ireland to continue while the recruitment process took place. In total, 13 civil servants remained on secondment for periods within 2002, one continued into 2003 and one into 2004.
Baroness Amos: No member of the Northern Ireland Civil Service has been found guilty of (a) intentional harassment; (b) harassment without malicious intent; or (c) harassment with no deliberate intent. This is in accordance with guidance issued by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, which makes clear that when dealing with complaints of harassment it is the impact of the behaviour which is relevant and not the motive or intent behind it.
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 25 January (WA 147), whether they will specify the individual meetings which have taken place between the Prime Minister and Sinn Fein representatives since 1 September 2004; where those meetings took place; on what dates; and which members of the republican movement were present. [HL1116]
Baroness Amos: The plight of orphans in Zimbabwe is tragic. More than 1.3 million children have already been orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS. Within five years, over 20 per cent of Zimbabwe's children will have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. The Department for International Development is already responding to this challenge in Zimbabwe.
In 200304, DfID funded non-governmental organisations to implement feeding programmes at schools and clinics which reached over one million children, many of whom were highly vulnerable or within families affected by HIV/AIDS.
In 2005, DfID is working with UNICEF and other donors to design a programme of international support for Zimbabwe's National Plan of Action for Orphans and Vulnerable Children. DfID support will amount to £25 million over the next five years, including £2 million already approved for community-based activities that directly assist children in need. Activities will include increasing school enrolment of orphans and vulnerable children, as well as their access to healthcare, food and clean water.
8 Feb 2005 : Column WA98
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The Government acknowledge that there are a wide variety of views on whether the blasphemy laws should be retained, repealed or extended. We have no immediate plans to amend these laws but will keep the issue under review, particularly as the benefits of the new provision against incitement to religious hatred are realised.
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