PN150903Const

IMMEDIATE

WEDNESDAY 15 JANUARY 2003

LORDS CONSTITUTION COMMITTEE TO LAUNCH FIRST MAJOR REPORT ON DEVOLUTION

Working relationships between the UK Government and the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should be strengthened to ensure the future success of devolution.

This is the key finding of a report on devolution published today by the House of Lords Constitution Committee.

Lord Norton of Louth, Chairman of the Committee, said:

"While the current system of devolution has settled in smoothly, relationships between institutions rely too heavily on 'goodwill'.

"It is crucial to implement more formal working practices now, while Labour-dominated administrations are in office in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff, rather than later, when parties of different political persuasions will have to work with each other."

The report discusses the need for greater openness; the Barnett funding formula; the civil service; and the need to rationalise departments and ministers at Westminster. 

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

1. The members of the House of Lords Constitution Committee which conducted this inquiry were:

Lord Acton

Lord Elton

Lord Fellowes

Baroness Gould of Potternewton

Lord Holme of Cheltenham

Baroness Howells of St. Davids

Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle

Lord Lang of Monkton

Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market

Earl of Mar and Kellie

Lord Morgan

Lord Norton of Louth (Chairman)

2. The report is published by the Stationery Office: Devolution: Inter-Institutional Relations in the United Kingdom, House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution, 2nd Report, Session 2002-03, HL Paper 28, ISBN 0 10 400129 1, £13.00. The full text of the report will be available on the internet via www.parliament.uk shortly after publication.

3. A separate volume of evidence has been published by the Stationery Office: Devolution: Inter-Institutional Relations in the United Kingdom, House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution, Session 2001-02, HL Paper 147, ISBN 0 10 413202 7, £32.50. It is available on the internet via www.parliament.uk.

4. The Barnett formula is a mechanism for allocating increases in funding to the devolved administrations for programme areas according to the proportion of their population (in comparison with that of England). 

5. The Committee started taking evidence in February 2002 and visited Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. It heard oral evidence from 62 witnesses, and received written evidence from a further 17 organisations and individuals.

Further information from:

Thomas Elias, Clerk of the Committee

Telephone: 020 7219 1228 or E-mail: [email protected]

Jillian Bailey, Press and Publicity Officer (Committees)

Telephone: 020 7219 8659 or E-mail: [email protected]

[ENDS]