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22 May—The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh;

28 May—The Princess Royal;

18 July—The Princess Royal;

4 September—The Duchess of Gloucester;

28 September—The Prince of Wales; and

1 October—The Princess Royal

In addition, The Princess Royal is due to visit Liverpool on 31 October, and The Duke of Gloucester will visit on 10 November.

This information has been verified with the Royal Household.

Lord Fearn asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Carter of Barnes:

YearNumberPark Name

2006

1

Birkenhead Park, Birkenhead

2007

1

Court Hey Park, Knowsley

2008

0

n/a

In 2006, Birkenhead Park in Birkenhead received heritage grants of £451,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and £101,361 from English Heritage. In 2007, Court Hey Park in Knowsley received £50,000 from HLF. Prior to 2006, HLF funded nine Merseyside parks to the value of £19,908,800.



21 Oct 2008 : Column WA95

Northern Ireland Office: Agencies

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Northern Ireland Office made a tax payment in respect of members of the Parades Commission. This followed a ruling by HM Revenue and Customs that they should be considered as office holders and should therefore have been paid via the departmental payroll (with tax being deducted from their remuneration at source), rather than receiving gross payments. The tax payment covered the period up to 2005. This does not indicate that any moneys in relation to tax were owed by the commissioners.

Following the HMRC ruling, all agencies and related organisations were informed that individuals appointed as office holders must be paid via payroll to ensure deductions in relation to income tax and national insurance contributions were made at source.

Northern Ireland Office: Bonuses

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Northern Ireland Office operates three bonus schemes—special bonuses (to reward particularly meritorious contributions during the year), an end-of-year bonus for staff below the senior Civil Service (SCS) (to reward performance and delivery throughout the year), and a bonus scheme for SCS staff which is an integral part of the pay arrangements in operation in all Whitehall and Northern Ireland departments. Figures are set out in following tables.

Special Bonus Awards (paid between April and October 2008)
GradeNumber of Staff Receiving BonusAmount

SCS

0

£0

Grade A

36

£11,655

Grade B1

48

£11,195

Grade B2

50

£10,970

Grade C

114

£19,545

Assistant Scientific Officer

19

£2,720

Grade D1

126

£18,665

Grade D2

78

£10,290



21 Oct 2008 : Column WA96

End-Year Bonuses to non-SCS staff (Relating to 2007-08 reporting year and paid in July 2008)
GradeNumber of Staff Receiving BonusAmount

Grade A

39

£46,020

Grade B1

55

£56,650

Grade B2

48

£42,240

Grade C

88

£64,240

Assistant Scientific Officer

7

£4,725

Grade D1

99

£62,370

Grade D2

31

£16,430

End-Year Bonuses to SCS staff (Relating to 2007-08 reporting year and paid between September and October 2008)
GradeNumber of Staff Receiving BonusAmount

SCS

42

£317,200

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: Ministers do not approve bonus payments to any individual members of staff. All the arrangements under which bonuses are paid have, however, been approved by Ministers.

Northern Ireland Office: Special Payments

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: Since 1992, the Northern Ireland Office has paid a special allowance to all its administrative staff working in Northern Ireland. The allowance was introduced in recognition of the department's work in the law and order field.

The allowance, which has not been uprated since 1994, is in two parts: an annual amount, paid monthly, of £287 and a daily attendance allowance of £1.31 paid only to individuals who attend certain designated sites; this element is subject to a maximum of £287 in any one year.

A review of these allowances will commence shortly.

Northern Ireland: Human Rights Commission

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: These are operational matters for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, which operates independently of Government. The noble Lord may wish to write to the commission directly on these matters.

Passports

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): As of early October, there are three remote area arrangements that are operative. These are at the following locations:

Haverfordwest (Wales); andLerwick and Stranraer (Scotland).

Pesticides

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The United Kingdom was one of four member states to abstain from voting on the proposal (the others were Hungary, Ireland and Romania), which was therefore approved by a qualified majority. The text was subsequently adopted by the Council as its common position and transmitted to the European Parliament for the second reading in September. The second reading process is expected to be completed by the end of this year or early in 2009.



21 Oct 2008 : Column WA98

Police: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: That is an operational matter for the chief constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the noble Lord, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House and in the Official Report.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: That is an operational matter for the chief constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the noble Lord, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House and in the Official Report.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: That is an operational matter for the chief constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the noble Lord, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House and in the Official Report.

Prisons: Costs

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: As the prisoner population fluctuates on a daily basis, the Northern Ireland Prison Service use cost per prisoner place as a guide. The projected average cost of keeping a person in prison for one week in 2008-09 is £1,567.

Prisons: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:



21 Oct 2008 : Column WA99

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: At 15 October, there were 20 prisoners in custody for non-payment of debts.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The statutory schemes are as follows:

Remission of Sentence:Prison and Young Offenders Centre Rules (Northern Ireland) 1995—Rule 30;Northern Ireland (Remission of Sentences) Act 1995; andTerrorism Act 2000—Section 79 for scheduled offences committed before 1 August 2007.Early Release:Prison Act (Northern Ireland) 1953—Section 16;Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998; andLife Sentences (Northern Ireland) Order 2001—Article 7.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: On 13 October 2008, there were 154 foreign national prisoners being held by the Northern Ireland Prison Service (excluding Irish nationals). Their nationalities are shown in the following table.

Algerian

1

Kyrgyzstani

1

American

1

Latvian

3

Argentinian

1

Liberian

1

Australian

1

Lithuanian

11

Belgian

1

Moldovan

3

Beninese

1

Moroccan

1

Bulgarian

1

Nigerian

7

Canadian

1

Polish

15

Chinese

74

Portuguese

3

Danish

1

Romanian

3

Dutch

8

Sierra Leone

1

German

2

Slovenian

1

Ghanaian

1

Somalian

1

Hungarian

1

South African

2

Ivorian

1

Spanish

1

Korean

2

Sudanese

1

Unknown

1

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: Remand rates can fluctuate for a number of reasons. For example, major police successes in tackling organised crime and in apprehending suspected offenders can result in a short-term increase.


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