My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Birt, was appointed as an unpaid adviser by the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary to look at criminality and long-term social trends. His work is being considered alongside work currently being undertaken by the Home Office, the Lord Chancellor's Department, the Law Officers' department and the Treasury, about which Parliament was informed on 7th November. This work is drawing together experience of improving the performance of the criminal justice system in England to identify the way forward for the longer term. The Government will ensure that any firm conclusions which emerge from this work will be reported to Parliament.
My Lords, I am grateful to the Minster for that information. It is about eight months since the announcement of the appointment. Will he confirm that it was announced that the adviser would work one day a week drawing up law and order strategy. Perhaps I may ask three questions. First, when can we expect to discuss the recommendation or the advice offered by the noble Lord on these issues? Secondly, will it be published, as was the case with the advice of Keith Hellawell, the government adviser on drug initiatives? Thirdly, has there been any effect on the law and order situation in this country?
My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Birt, has extensive knowledge in a whole range of social areas. No doubt he brings his freshness of view and his--
My Lords, I believe governments stand to be advised by people with an interest in the subject. The noble Lord, Lord Birt, has an interest in this subject. I invite noble Lords to support that. It will give great aid to government formulation of policy.
My Lords, since I have been a Minister in this House it is apparent that the noble Lord has a wide range of interests. We always listen to his views and concerns with great interest.