Archive for January 2001

30 January 2001

Alison Halford (Delyn): If he has plans to meet the Home Secretary on behalf of the Welsh Police Authorities to discuss the cost of setting civil actions against bodies funded partly or fully by the National Assembly for Wales. (OAQ9161) The First Minister: I am grateful for this question as it may help to elicit information about what civil actions the Welsh police authorities are taking against bodies that are partly or fully funded by the National Assembly for Wales. We have no information on that subject. I have no immediate plans to meet the Home Secretary to discuss matters relating to police funding, as I noted in my previous response to oral question (OAQ8734) asked by David Davies on 16 January. During our recent meetings, Edwina Hart and I have noted carefully what the police authorities in Wales have told us about the general levels of funding, but not about this matter. Alison Halford: It may be helpful for you to know that over the last three years, North Wales Police Authority alone settled over £500,000 in civil actions. One included a one-off settlement of £207,000 relating to a payment to a former detective officer. Do you agree that …..

25 January 2001

Alison Halford (Delyn): What measures does she intend to implement to ensure that theatres, like Clwyd Theatr Cymru, are given sufficient support to enable them to continue to provide their value for money service to the public. (OAQ9098) Jenny Randerson: It is a matter for the Arts Council of Wales to decide on the level of financial support to be provided to individual companies. The partnership Government has provided the council with significant increases in its budget for the next three years, which should enable it to give sympathetic consideration to the budget needs of Clwyd Theatr Cymru.

23 January 2001

Alison Halford (Delyn): In his role as Policy Co-ordinator for North Wales what action has he taken to ensure that policies designed to encourage inward investment are supported by measures to improve the local transportation and technological infrastructure. (OAQ 8982) Andrew Davies: The National Assembly has agreed an outline programme to facilitate the exploitation of spare capacity of the A55 fibre-optic cable network for the benefit of industries and educational establishments in north Wales. This project will facilitate the development of broadband telecommunications in north Wales by making the Assembly’s installations available to the north Wales business community, assisting the Assembly’s policy for reducing exclusion and enhance the sustainable development programme and provide equal opportunity for all industries. On transport, on 11 January, Sue Essex announced a £300 million package of transport investment in Wales over the next five years, supporting local authority integrated transport delivery. The Assembly will continue to enthusiastically promote and support extensive utilisation of advanced information technologies in all sectors. As I said earlier, in terms of new technology, on 17 December 1999 at St Asaph, the First Minister officially launched strand 6 of the Llwybr/Pathway project, which is a telecommunications infrastructure project. That was a …..

18 January 2001

Alison Halford (Delyn): Can the House Committee provide an update on the steps taken to improve the quality and reliability of the National Assembly’s IT system? (OAQ8942) The Deputy Presiding Officer: Business and Information Systems Division, which manage the Assembly’s contract with Siemens Business Services, have been working on a number of projects to improve the Assembly’s IT system. A report looking at the costs of upgrading links to constituency offices to improve the speed of access to OSIRIS was commissioned from BIS and considered by the House Committee last year. The costs of the option proposed were considered prohibitive—of the order of £500,000 with a further £200,000 per annum thereafter. Alternatives, which might prove to be more cost effective, are currently under consideration. SBS has been instructed to improve the robustness of the telecommunications system supporting the OSIRIS network in Cardiff. hardware and software used by Assembly Members and support staff on the OSIRIS system is planned for the next financial year. Alison Halford: I do not want to be negative and I accept that our IT providers have done their best, but we are entirely dependent on a decent IT system especially in Delyn as one of the …..

16 January 2001

Alison Halford (Delyn): What discussions has he had with the Secretary of State on the current condition of flood defences in North Wales (OAQ8811) The First Minister: I have discussed this matter with the Secretary of State for Wales before and since his visit to north Wales to see at first hand the effects of the recent flooding. People will make comparisons between what happened in York, Gloucester, Tewkesbury, Worcester, Bewdley and the affected areas in England. Some areas were affected by rivers that rise in Wales. The area which Alison Halford and David Hanson, the Parliamentary Under-secretary of State for Wales, represent has been in the eye of the storm, if that is the right term to use. That subject is discussed because we are anxious to see exactly what are the funding requirements. I do not know of an area in England that has had a problem similar to that of the Horseshoe Pass, for example, with a landslide wiping out a fairly important road and forcing people to travel an extra 25 miles to get to work. On the other hand, there has been flooding in England. The ideal situation for us in terms of remedial works, …..

11 January 2001

Alison Halford (Delyn): Will the Minister make a statement on the current RSA process, with particular regard to the role and composition of the Welsh Industrial Development Advisory Board. (OAQ8817) Alison Halford (Delyn): Will the Minister make a statement on the current RSA process, with particular regard to the role and composition of the Welsh Industrial Development Advisory Board. (OAQ8817) WITHDRAWN