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Written Answers
15 January 2001
Volume 620

Written Answers

Monday, 15th January 2001.

Administrative Court

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asked Her Majesty's Government:How long, on average, in each term nominated judges spend sitting in the Administrative Court. [HL237]

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There are currently 25 nominated judges who sit on average three weeks each term.

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they accept the recommendation of the Bowman Review of the Crown Office List that nominated judges of the Administrative Court should eventually spend two thirds of their time sitting on administrative cases; and [HL238]Whether they accept the recommendation of the Bowman Review of the Crown Office List that those judges willing to do so should be able to sit for at least half a term in the Administrative Court; and [HL239]Whether they accept the recommendation of the Bowman Review of the Crown Office List that willingness to spend at least half of their sitting time on administrative work should form part of the selection criteria for judges nominated to the Administrative Court; and [HL240]Whether they accept the recommendation of the Bowman Review of the Crown Office List that judges of the Administrative Court should have one reading day per week. [HL241]

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I am sympathetic to these recommendations and have asked the senior judiciary to consider them in the light of the other competing demands within the High Court. In the first instance, Mr Justice Scott Baker, the lead nominated judge, has written to all the nominated judges and has arranged a series of meetings with them to canvass their views.

"Patriotism Minister"

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What are the functions and responsibilities of the Minister for Patriotism. [HL177]

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There is no Minister for Patriotism.

Millennium Dome Site: Legacy Plc Offer

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asked Her Majesty's Government:With reference to the offer made by Legacy plc to purchase the Millennium Dome site:

  • (a) what is the total value of the offer;
  • (b) what sum will be paid in cash if, and when, contracts of sale are signed;
  • (c) whether any sum or sums will be payable in cash subsequent to the signing of contracts, and, if so, at what date or dates or upon what event or events will such a sum or sums be payable;
  • (d) whether any part of the offer made by Legacy plc is dependent upon the granting of planning permission, and, if so, which part or parts of the Legacy plc offer are subject to such grants of planning permission; and
  • (e) whether the total value of the offer includes a sum payable as ground rent; and, if so, whether such a sum will be in lieu of any capital sum. [HL217]
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    Details of the proposed overall financial consideration for the sale of the Dome to Legacy plc are commercially confidential. The Government hope to be in a position to exchange contracts in February 2001. Legacy plc is in close discussion with the local planning authority, Greenwich Council, regarding their proposal.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by Lord Burlison on 4 March 1999 (

    WA 193), whether the offer made by Legacy plc for the purchase of the Dome site will generate receipts for the Treasury which will at least match those which could have been achieved if the site of the dome were clear and disposed of for ordinary commercial development. [HL218]

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    Taking account of the costs which would be incurred in demolishing the dome, the advice provided by the competition team is that the Legacy proposal provides as good as value for money as any other option, including those involving dismantling it. An announcement on the division of proceeds between the New Millennium Experience company, owners of the Dome, and English Partnership's, owners of the site, will be made in due course.

    Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will identify those nominees for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission who were proposed or supported by the Government of the Irish Republic. [HL182]

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    The Irish Government indicated their support for the candidatures of a number of applicants for appointment to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. It is not the practice to reveal the details of private representations of this kind.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:What arrangments will be put in place to fill any vacancies that may occur on the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; what will be the appointment procedure; and whether appointments will reflect those sections of the community which consider themselves to be not represented on the Commission. [HL214]

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    Appointments to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission are made in accordance with the Code of Practice and Guidance on Appointments to Public Bodies issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments and the requirements of Section 68(3) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, which states that the Secretary of State shall as far as practicable secure that the Commissioners, as a group, are representative of the community in Northern Ireland.

    Northern Ireland: Arms Finds

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:How many arms finds there have been in Northern Ireland since 1995 on a yearly basis; and what number of items were recovered. [HL212]

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    Information in relation to the number of arms finds is not readily available. However the following table shows the quantity of firearms, ammunition, explosives and detonators recovered in Northern Ireland since 1995.

    DateFirearmsAmmunition (Rounds)Explosives (kgs)Detonators
    1/1/95–31/12/9511817,690512
    1/1/96–31/12/969810,7011,67713
    1/1/97–31/12/971058,8041,25843
    1/1/98–31/12/988812,18988343
    1/1/99–31/12/9911316,4728944
    1/1/00–31/12/0013210,37630946
    NB: Figures from 1/4/00 are provisional.

    Post Office: Industrial Disputes

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will list the Post Office sorting offices where unofficial industrial disputes took place during December. [HL246]

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    Industrial disputes are a matter for the Post Office.

    Ofgem: Senior Staff

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:For how many years each senior staff member has been employed in the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets; and how long was their previous experience in the gas or electricity industry. [HL206]

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    All five senior staff members employed in Ofgem have come from outside the gas and electricity industry. One has extensive energy regulatory experience, one has extensive experience of the energy sector through work in government departments and one was involved in the privatisation of the electricity industry.

    Years employed in OfgemNumber of Senior Staff
    0–11
    1–23
    2–90
    10 or more1

    Oftel: Senior Staff

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:For how many years each senior staff member has been employed in the Office of Telecommunications; and how long was their previous experience in the telecommunications industry. [HL207]

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    Of the 11 senior staff employed in Oftel, two have extensive previous experience in the telecommunications industry (11 and 22 years) and five have previous relevant regulatory and/or competition experience.

    Years employed in OftelNumber of Senior Staff
    0–12
    1–21
    2–32
    3–41
    4 or more5

    Diamond Synchrotron

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they have signed a memorandum of understanding with the French Government regarding the collaborative arrangements for funding the new DIAMOND synchrotron at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory; and, if so, when they expect to conclude the negotiations and publish the outcome. [HL200]

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    The United Kingdom and the French Governments have signed a memorandum of understanding on DIAMOND, the new UK synchrotron. It is not customary to publish such documents.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether, and, if so, how, the negotiations on French participation in DIAMOND are affected by the decision of the French Government to build their own synchrotron at Orsay. [HL201]

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    The negotiations are not affected.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they expect to collaborate in the synchrotron project at Orsay; and, if so, what financial commitment this might involve. [HL202]

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    The UK Government intend that there will be strong technical co-operation between the UK Synchrotron project, DIAMOND, and French SOLEIL project planned for Saclay over the next period while both machines are in development. Any UK involvement in SOLEIL beyond this phase will depend on the future needs of the UK scientific community. This will require thorough assessment before any financial commitment is made.

    Universal Banking Services

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:What progress has been made towards the establishment of the universal bank. [HL286]

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    Agreement in principle was reached on 20 December 2000 with the following six banks, Barclays, Lloyds TSB Ltd, RBS/Nat West, HSBC, Abbey National and the Halifax, to contribute towards universal banking services at the Post Office. Discussions continue with other banks and building societies to examine what contributions they can make.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:How many high street banks have agreed to fund the universal bank; and which they are. [HL287]

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    To date, six banks have agreed in principle to fund universal banking services at the Post Office. They are Barclays, Lloyds TSB, RBS/Nat West, HSBC, Abbey National and the Halifax.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:How much money they have agreed to contribute to the universal bank; on what terms; and for how long. [HL288]

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    Until the full details of universal banking services have been settled, it is too early to say what government support may be required.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the funding of the universal bank provided by the high street banks is a once and for all payment or whether it is unlimited. [HL289]

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    To date six high street banks have agreed in principle to contribute to universal banking services for a time period of five years.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:When the terms of the funding of the universal bank by the high street banks will be published. [HL290]

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    The terms of funding universal banking services are commercially confidential to the Post Office and to those high street banks which agree to contribute.

    Terrorism Act: Functions Of Examining And Authorised Officers

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:When they will lay before Parliament the draft UK-wide codes in connection with the functions of examining officers and authorised officers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and the order under paragraph 19 of Schedule 8 to the Act in connection with a solicitor's presence at interviews in Scotland. [HL308]

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    We have today laid before Parliament draft codes of practice in connection with the functions of examining officers and authorised officers under the Terrorism Act 2000. We have also today laid before Parliament an order under paragraph 19 of Schedule 8 to the Act in respect of a solicitor's presence at any interview in Scotland carried out in connection with a terrorist investigation or for the purposes of Schedule 7 to the Act relating to port and border controls.

    Operation Trident

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:How many of the 28 illegal firearms seized by the Metropolitan Police during Operation Trident were capable of lethal discharge at the time they were taken; and [HL209]

    What was the calibre, class or type, maker and model of the 28 illegal firearms seized by the Metropolitan Police during Operation Trident; and [HL210]

    How many of the 28 illegal firearms seized by the Metropolitan Police during Operation Trident were: an

  • (a) imitation or replica firearms capable of discharging blank ammunition;
  • (b) imitation or replica firearms not capable of discharging blank ammunition;
  • (c) air weapons not subject to certificate control;
  • (d) non-functional de-activated firearms;
  • (e) deactivated firearms which have been re-activated;
  • (f) home made firearms;
  • (g) imitation or replica firearms converted to discharge live ammunition; or
  • (h) antique firearms. [HL211]
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    Operation Trident is still in progress, and we understand that some 44 firearms have been seized so far by the Metropolitan Police in connection with this operation. Details of these are not immediately available in the form requested, and I will write to the noble Earl when this information has been assembled. A copy of the letter will be deposited in the Library.

    Women Offenders: Home Office Report

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Why no date of publication is shown on the recent Home Office report titled

    The Government's strategy for women offenders. [HL220]

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    A publication date was omitted from the document, Protecting the public and preventing re-offending, The Government's strategy for women offenders, owing to an administrative oversight. The document was published on 12 October, with a full press release. Linda Jones, Assistant Director and Head of Women's Policy Group, undertook a number of media interviews on the days immediately following publication.

    Immigration (Carriers' Liability) Act 1987: Charges

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 18 October (

    WA 91) on the Immigration (Carriers Liability) Act 1987, what were the total charges incurred and owed for each of the last five years by carriers registered in:

  • (a) the United Kingdom;
  • (b) each other European Union member state; and
  • (c) other countries. [HL89]
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    The noble Lord recently asked an almost identical question. A Written Answer was given on 9 November 2000 (WA 174). It remains the case that the information requested is currently unavailable and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

    Child Abuse

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will set out, for each of the last 10 years for which figures are available, the numbers of incidents of child abuse where the parents involved were married; and [HL234]Whether they will set out, for each of the last 10 years for which figures are available, the numbers of incidents of child abuse where the adults involved were not married, one being a parent. [HL235]

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    This information is not collected centrally.

    Freedom Of Information Act: Commencement

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:When they propose to bring the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 into force. [HL242]

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    Section 87 of the Act sets out the commencement provisions. Some provisions came into force on Royal Assent, some will come into effect two months after Royal Assent and all of the remaining provisions will come into effect five years after Royal Assent or earlier as determined by the Secretary of State. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary has begun discussions with the Information Commissioner designate about implementation of these provisions and he hopes to publish an implementation plan in March.

    National Asylum Support Service Scheme

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:In respect of the National Asylum Support Service scheme for accommodating asylum seekers—

  • (a) what has been the average occupancy of accommodation paid for under the scheme;
  • (b) how much accommodation was pre-booked by the scheme, and what is its percentage occupancy;
  • (c) how many accommodation units are currently allocated to individuals but are not in fact occupied, and what is the cost of such accommodation in total; and
  • (d) what proportion of short-term holding accommodation has been occupied by the same individuals for more than (i) three months and (ii) six months. [HL133]
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    As of 20 December 2000, 79 per cent of property under contract to the National Asylum Support Service was occupied.All accommodation used by the National Asylum Support Service is pre-booked. This is a necessary operational requirement to ensure that sufficient accommodation units are available to meet demand.At the end of November 2000, 15,200 asylum seekers were allocated to accommodation by the National Asylum Support Service. Accommodation providers are obliged through their contract to advise the National Asylum Support Service of all instances of asylum seekers being absent from allocated accommodation for more than seven days. All reported instances are investigated by the National Asylum Support Service and appropriate action taken. This information is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.The proportion of short-term holding accommodation held by individuals for more than three months and six months is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

    Citizen's Arrests

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:

  • (a) how many citizen's arrests took place in Great Britain in each of the past 20 years; and
  • (b) whether there are any circumstances in which a citizen's arrest, carried out in good faith, is unlawful. [HL262]
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    No information is held about the numbers of citizen's arrest. A citizen's arrest which is carried out in good faith can still be unlawful if it is not adequately based on relevant statutory or common law powers.

    Commonwealth Games: Air Rifles And Air Pistols

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by Lord McIntosh of Haringey on 30 November (

    WA 180–82), whether his unqualified statement "Air rifles and air pistols do not need any form of visitors permits" is correct. [HL264]

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    The reply referred to was to a Question relating to firearms to be used at the Commonwealth Games in 2002. In that context the reply was correct. None of the air rifles and air pistols to be used in the Commonwealth Games shooting events will require any form of visitors permit.

    Animals Used In Licensed Experiments

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:How many animals were used in licensed experiments in (a) the public sector and (b) the private sector for the most recent 12 months for which figures are available. [HL265]

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    The number of procedures conducted by each type of organisation in 1999 is given in Table 19 of Statistics of Scientific Procedures on living animals, Great Britain, 1999, a copy of which is in the Library. This table shows the number of procedures carried out by:

    Public sector organisations (including universities)1.44 million
    Private sector1.10 million
    Non-profit-making sector (which can be either private or public sector)0.12 million
    There is no information readily available on the number of animals actually used by each type of organisation, but it is similar to and very slightly less than the number of procedures shown above, since nearly all animals are used once and once only.

    Dangerous People With Severe Personality Disorder

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:What information they have to quantify the proportion of the 2,000 plus "dangerous people with severe personality disorder" identified in the White Paper,

    Reforming the Mental Health Act, who have caused "serious physical or psychological harm from which the victim would find it difficult or impossible to recover"; and what proportion of such people (other than those in prison) may be expected to cause such harm in an average year. [HL266]

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    The estimates made up to now of the number of dangerous people with severe personality disorder present in the wider population have been based in part on population information derived from the 1998 Office of National Statistics (ONS) survey of psychiatric morbidity among prisoners in England and Wales. The survey information does not make it possible to identify actual DSPD individuals currently in detention or to provide information about the nature of their offending behaviour to date.Based on estimates of reconviction rates (following release or discharge) of sentenced prisoners and hospital patients subject to restriction orders, the Government estimate that if the population currently estimated to be dangerous and severely personality disordered were to re-enter the community only when it is judged safe for them to do so, a reduction of nearly 200 violent or sexual crimes a year could be expected. This does not include offences committed but not detected or cleared up.

    It is estimated that approximately 200 of those released or discharged will be reconvicted for a sexual or violent crime in an average year. This represents over 50 per cent of the number of such people released from prison or special hospital in an average year.

    The Government recognise that further work is required to refine these estimates and this will be taken forward as part of a wider research strategy during the period of piloting and service development.

    Notifiable offences recorded by the police in which handguns were reported to have been used by offence group

    England and Wales

    Number of offences

    Violence against the person

    All offences

    Homicide1

    Attempted murder and other acts (including wounding) endangering life

    Other

    Robbery

    Burglary

    Other offences excluding criminal damage

    Criminal damage

    19902,53722114582,23356477
    19913,43019199752,988765023
    19923,99728193903,544784717
    19934,20235270883,6051146723
    19942,98125267822,3901347211
    19953,118392301502,4781207922
    19962,956302351572,3161168022
    19972,648392492341,8541619516
    1998–992,687323102611,81415010317
    1999–003,685423104072,56120414219

    1 year ending March.

    There was a change in counting rules for recorded crime on 1 April 1998. Figures before and after that date cannot be directly compared.

    Indecent And Obscene Material On The Internet

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    Asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether offering or down-loading pornography on the Internet is a criminal offence throughout the United Kingdom; if so how many persons have been (a) charged, and (b) convicted in each jurisdiction in each of the most recent three years; and whose responsibility is it to check whether pornography is offered on the internet. [HL276]

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    The term "pornography" is not recognised in legislation, which in England and Wales covers indecent material (particularly indecent photographs or computer generated images of children) and obscene material, There are separate common law and statutory offences in Northern Ireland.In England and Wales, obscenity legislation, such as the Obscene Publications Act 1959 and the Protection of Children Act 1978, applies equally to material placed on the Internet as to material published and distributed in other media; what is illegal off-line is illegal on-line.

    Handguns: Use In Serious Crime

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:What statistics they have on the use of handguns in serious crime in England in each of the last 10 years for which statistics are available. [HL267]

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    Figures for England and Wales for the number of offences in which handguns were used, in various categories of recorded crime, are given in the table.Under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 it is an offence to publish an "obscene article", as defined in the Act. Under Section 2 of the Act a person who publishes (distributes, circulates, sells, lets on hire, gives or lends it, or who offers it for sale or for letting on hire) an obscene article, or transmits obscene data electronically may be guilty of an offence.Under the Protection of Children Act 1976, there is an absolute prohibition of the production, circulation and possession with a view to distribution of any indecent photograph of a child under 16. The simple possession of an indecent photograph of a child is also an offence under Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. Section 84 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 updated these controls to include indecent computer-generated photographs of children, and they have been successfully applied to child pornography transmitted over the Internet.The Government support the work of the Internet Watch Foundation which was set up in 1996 by Internet service providers to enable members of the public, via a hotline, to report potentially illegal material in a newsgroup or website. If the material is considered illegal, the foundation passes details to the United Kingdom police to initiate action against the originators and asks British Internet service providers (ISPs) to close down links to the site. If the originators are abroad, the foundation passes the report to the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) which liaises with the enforcement agencies of the countries concerned.The way in which records are held for those initially charged by the police and those convicted by the courts in England and Wales differs. Offences involving "obscene publications, etc and protected sexual material" became notifiable offences from 1 April

    Number of persons Cautioned and Convicted at all Courts for various offences
    England and Wales 1997–99
    Found GuiltyCautioned
    CodeOffence description199719981999199719981999
    86/01Obscene Publications Act 1959 Sec(2)(1) as amended by Obscene Publications Act 1964 Sec 1(1)—Prohibition of publication of obscene matter18617696544441
    86/02Protection of Children Act 1978 S.I. as amended by Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 Sec. 84—Take, permit to be taken or to make distribute or publish indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children10382139142631
    181/06Criminal Justice Act 1988 Sec.160 as amended by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, Secs. 84(4) and 86(1)—Possession of an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph8110599171934
    Source: Crime and Criminal Justice Unit, Home Office.
    With regard to Northern Ireland, the equivalent legislation is the Protection of Children Act (Northern Ireland) 1978 (as amended) and the common law offence of publishing an "Obscene Libel". Prosecution data under this legislation are not currently available.The equivalent law in Scotland is devolved. The Scottish Executive will respond directly to the noble Lord as soon as possible.

    Military Aircraft Available For Operations

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:What is the number of military aircraft available for operations; and how many aircraft by type are undergoing second-line repair or extensive modifications. [HL14]

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    The table below details aircraft available for military operations and undergoing second-line repair or extensive modification on specific dates at the end of November/ beginning of December. Numbers can change on a daily basis as aircraft move in and out of maintenance.

    RAF Strike CommandAvailable for Operation (as at 4 Dec 00 )Undergoing maintenance or Extensive Modifications at 2nd Line ( Note 1) (as at 4 Dec 00 )
    Sentry AEW152
    Tornado F38111
    Tornado GR 1/41094 (Note 2)
    Harrier534
    Canberra30
    Hercules496

    1998. The number of offences recorded in England and Wales for year ending 31 March 1999 was 603 and for year ending 31 March 2000 was 643.

    The numbers of convictions for offences under the Obscene Publications Act 1959, Protection of Children Act 1978 and Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 for each of the last three years are contained in the table.

    RAF Strike Command

    Available for Operation (as at 4 Dec 00 )

    Undergoing maintenance or Extensive Modifications at 2nd Line ( Note 1) (as at 4 Dec 00 )

    Nimrod193
    TriStar80
    VC1O154
    BAe 12541
    BAe 14630
    Sea King HAR3/3A184
    Jaguar382
    Joint Helicopter Command(as at 29 Nov 00)(as at 29 Nov 00)
    Sea King Mk4303
    Puma296
    Wessex70
    Chinook278
    Lynx7611
    Commander Naval Aviation(as at 29 Nov 00)(as at 29 Nov 00)
    Lynx3512
    Sea King Mks 2 & 3/6407

    Notes:

    1. Second-line maintenance includes scheduled servicing, which can take a number of weeks, but in many cases aircraft can be recovered quickly if required for operations.

    2. This figure excludes aircraft undergoing mid-life update. As at 15 December 2000, 21 Tornado GR 1s were in the process of being upgraded to GR4 standard.

    Rail Transfer Equipment

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the Ministry of Defence is experiencing any difficulties with the rail transfer equipment manufactured by Klaus; and, if so, what; and [HL146]

    Whether the Ministry of Defence has experienced any serious accidents with the rail transfer equipment manufactured by Klaus; and, if so, in what circumstances. [HL147]

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    The rail transfer equipment (RTE) manufactured by Klaus has been in service for some 10 years and a small number of trailers have shown signs of distortion within the main chassis. As a result, some trailers have been removed from service and a regular inspection programme has been introduced for the remaining trailers. A post design services (PDS) contract has been let to investigate the problem and develop potential design solutions.Our records show that there has been only one serious incident involving Klaus RTE. This occurred in June 1999 during a training exercise in Poland when a combination of factors led to the equipment locking up while being operated. During action to recover the situation, the RTE trailer overbalanced and fell onto a rail wagon. No personnel sustained any injuries. The incident has been fully investigated and further work is being undertaken to examine certain design and operating aspects of the equipment. Operator training has also been reviewed and it is now mandatory that a training course is completed at the Defence School of Transport before personnel are allowed to operate the equipment.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 29 November (

    WA 133), in which respects the rules of engagement for troops operating in Sierra Leone differ from those used in Northern Ireland. [HL263]

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    In accordance with Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, it is not our policy to release details of the Rules of Engagement for specific operations since this may adversely affect the effectiveness and capabilities of our forces in future operations.

    Emu: Conditions For Participating In Stage 3

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:What are the "necessary conditions for participating in stage 3 of Economic and Monetary Union" which all candidate countries must be judged to meet, as stated in their response to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee's 8th report (Session 1999–2000) on 14 November. [HL175]Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Article 121 (ex Article 109j) of the treaty establishing the European Community sets out the necessary conditions for judging whether candidate countries should participate in stage 3 of economic and monetary union.

    Ofgem, Oftel, Ofwat And Orr: Staff Turnover

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:What was the annual turnover of senior and support staff during the last financial year in:

  • (a) the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets;
  • (b) the Office of Telecommunications;
  • (c) the Office of Water Services; and;
  • (d) the Office of the Rail Regulator. [HL204]
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    The turnover of support grades for all four organisations (on a comparable basis) is not readily available.The turnover of senior civil servants (above previous Civil Service grade 6 level) in the year April 1999 to March 2000 was:

  • (a) the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) 3 moves
  • (b) the Office of Telecommunications (Oftel) 2 moves
  • (c) the Office of Water Services (Ofwat) 1 move
  • (d) the Office of the Rail Regulator (Orr) 3 moves
  • Note 1: The annual turnover of Ofgem SCS staff has been based on best estimates because pre-merger staff records are not held centrally.

    Educational Projects In Museums And Galleries: Dfee Funding

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:What has been the total amount spent through the Department for Education and Employment since 1997 on new funding initiatives which have directly funded additional educational projects in museums and galleries, including galleries and galleries in art centres; and what has been the allocation of funds under each of these initiatives between:

  • (a) non-art museums;
  • (b) specialist art museums; and
  • (c) art galleries without collections, including those in art centres. [HL277]
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    The department supports educational projects in museums and galleries through a variety of schemes, major examples of which are listed below, although as some projects involve both museums and galleries it is not possible to distinguish between funds for non-art museums and those for art galleries in the way requested.In 1998–99 £140,000 was awarded to fund 17 study support projects involving museums and galleries. The Partners for Study Support Scheme, which is a two-year scheme which began in the summer of 2000, includes funding of £121,000 for nine projects involving museums and galleries, of which £21,000 has been claimed to date.In July 1999 a major three-year museums and galleries programme was announced to provide funding of up to £2.5 million for some 40 projects to develop the educational role of museums and art galleries. Further funding of £650,000 was announced in January 2000 to support an additional number of small projects linking museums and galleries with schools. The scheme covers a wide variety of projects, including several which are focused on arts activities. In total approximately £1.2 million has been spent to the end of November 2000.In 2000–01 the department is also funding three education projects for adults in museums and galleries and supporting their development. To the end of November, £74,000, out of a total of £145,000, had been spent on the projects, including expenditure related to the training needs of the staff involved.

    Boarding And Tuition Fees Schemes

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will list, as at the latest date for which data are available, the name and postcode of each school, and the number of students receiving financial support towards boarding or tuition fees at each school, in (a) the Armed Forces schemes, (b) the Diplomatic Service scheme, (c) the music and ballet scheme and (d) any other similiar scheme whereby the Government support the cost of sending pupils aged between five and 18 years to independent schools or state boarding schools; and whether they will state the latest available figures for the annual cost of each such scheme. [HL176]

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    The information requested involves tables listing several hundred schools. I am therefore placing a copy of the tables for those schemes operated by the Department for Education and Employment, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence in the Library of the House. Pupils attending state boarding schools receive their tutition free, and only the boarding costs are charged to parents; there is no central government scheme for assisting with the latter.

    Teachers: Stress-Related Illness

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:How many teachers are currently off sick with stress-related illnesses. [HL163]

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    The information is not held centrally.The department has issued guidance to schools on good practice in sickness absence management and has set a target of a 30 per cent reduction of sickness absence by 2002.

    Traditional Medicines: Proposed Directive

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 12 December (

    WA 15), whether it is their policy, in discussions on the proposed Traditional Use Medicines Directive, to extend its scope to include products which are combinations of herbs with other ingredients which have been on the market for the qualifying period either as part of the combination in question or as separate ingredients; and [HL247]

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 12 December ( WA 15), whether it is their policy, in discussions on the proposed Traditional Use Medicines Directive, to reduce the 30-year qualifying period for the demonstration of traditional use to a shorter period which would reflect the conditions of the existing United Kingdom market; and if not, why not; and [HL248]

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 12 December ( WA 15), whether in their view the proposed Traditional Use Medicines Directive is likely to provide a secure regulatory home on the market for products which are safe combinations of herbal remedies and food ingredients; and, if not, what steps they intend to take to provide one. [HL249]

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    Our priority in continuing European discussions on the proposed directive is to achieve a secure regulatory regime for traditional herbal remedies. We are aware that there are also some traditional medicines which consist wholly or partly of non-herbal ingredients. Our current position is that, once the directive goes beyond relatively discrete categories such as traditional herbal remedies, it may become more difficult to contain the wider public health and regulatory consequences. We therefore wish to continue to review the developing shape of the directive and the implications for overall medicines regulation before firmly committing ourselves to supporting the principle that coverage should extend more widely.We are also considering carefully our detailed position on the definition of traditional use, including the qualifying time period, and on criteria which might apply in the case of combinations. One general consideration is that the normal regulatory requirements for medicines include demonstration of efficacy. While we have advocated in Europe the specific case for lifting the requirement for efficacy in the case of genuinely traditional herbal remedies, we would have concerns about the potential implications if the parameters for traditional use were set so loosely that a very wide range of medicinal products were no longer required to demonstrate efficacy.At this stage we do not yet know the views of other member states on specific issues relating to combination products. We would expect a clearer picture to emerge over the coming months as European discussions continue. The Medicines Control Agency (MCA) has submitted our initial response to the European Commission on the preliminary draft of the proposed directive. Copies of the MCA's letter will be placed in the Library. We will continue our current consultative approach with herbal interest groups.

    Hospital Patients: Use Of First Name

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the current practice of routinely addressing hospital patients only by their first name accords (a) with government policy and (b) with standard practice in other western countries. [HL261]

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    The current Patient's Charter states that staff should ask patients whether they want to be called by their first or last name and respect their preference. We do not hold information about practices in other western countries.

    Reproductive Cloning

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:When they intend to introduce a Bill which they have promised to prohibit reproduction cloning. [HL257]

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    The Government regard human reproductive cloning as ethically unacceptable.In their response (Cmnd 4833) to the report of the Chief Medical Officer's Expert Advisory Group,

    Stem Cell Research: Medical Progress with Responsibility, the Government announced that they would bring forward legislation to set out unequivocally the ban on human reproductive cloning when parliamentary time allows.

    Therapeutic Cloning

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will set up a House of Lords Select Committee to inquire into the issue of therapeutic cloning to enable conflicting claims about the respective benefits of the use of embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells to be fully considered. [HL258]

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    These issues were fully considered by the Chief Medical Officer's Expert Advisory Group set up in June 1999 and discussed in its Report: Stem Cell Research: Medical Progress with Responsibility. Since publication of the report in August 2000 members of the expert group have continued to review the research on this issue. They confirm that, while other sources of stem cells are demonstrating possibilities, research using human embryos remains essential to reap the full benefits in terms of treating serious diseases.

    This is a view supported by many scientific bodies and individuals at the forefront of research involving both adult and embryonic stem cells. What is important is that research into both adult and human embryonic stem cells is able to take place.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Following their decision to permit procedures which could lead to therapeutic cloning, what action they will take if this is contrary to European Union law. [HL259]

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    On 13 December the European Parliament voted to set up a temporary committee on human genetics and other new technologies in modern medicine and the United Kingdom will be fully involved in the committee's deliberations. However, the European Commission has already stated that there are no plans for harmonisation or Community legislation in this area.

    Medical Toxicology Unit And Agrochemical Companies

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they consider that the employment in the outpatients department of the Medical Toxicology Unit (formerly the National Poisons Unit) of a clinical consultant who is also employed by the agrochemical company Syngenta (formerly Zeneca) might lead to a potential conflict of interest in view of the role of the MTU in the collection of data relating to pesticide poisoning incidents. [HL66]

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    The Medical Toxicology Unit, as part of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital NHS Trust, requires all consultant staff to adhere to the trust's policies on disclosure of interest and additional earnings. As a general rule this requires staff to register any other paid employment. It is the trust's view that this covers situations where consultants who hold part-time positions within the trust work for other employers during the time when they are not employed by the trust.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:What employment contracts, consultancies (whole or part-time) or liaison arrangements have existed between the agrochemical companies Zeneca and Novartis or their predecessors and the Medical Toxicology Unit (formerly the National Poisons Unit) since 1990; and how many of these arrangements are current. [HL67]

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    There are no employment contracts or consultancies between the Medical Toxicology Unit and the agrochemical companies Zeneca and Novartis or their predecessors. The Medical Toxicology Unit has received funding from Zeneca to maintain a database on the incidence of paraquat poisoning in the United Kingdom. This project was originally set up in 1980 at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The Medical Toxicology Unit has also received funding from Zeneca in 2000 towards the establishment of a specialist registrar position in medical toxicology with an emphasis on agrochemical toxicology and product safety.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether Ethics Committee approval was necessary for any joint staffing arrangements between the Medical Toxicology Unit (formerly the National Poisons Unit) and agrochemical companies. [HL68]

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    There are no joint staffing arrangements between the Medical Toxicology Unit and agrochemical companies. All staff are required to adhere to the trust's policies on disclosure of interest and additional earnings.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether any members of staff employed by the Medical Toxicology Unit (formerly the National Poisons Unit) have a formal qualification in crop protection science or have published research in pesticide-related science; and, if so, who they are. [HL91]Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The consultant grade scientist who is the manager of the National Poisons Information Service (London centre), which is part of the Medical Toxicology Unit, was awarded a post-graduate diploma in crop protection from Harper Adams Agricultural College.

    Red meatWhite meat
    Full throughputLow throughputFull throughputLow throughput
    MonthNot operatingLicence revokedNot operatingLicence revokedNot operatingLicence revokedNot operatingLicence revoked
    January 19991011131112
    February119121
    March86311
    April9123132
    May7211281
    June613228
    July915328
    August81549
    September11111
    October11211
    November91211610
    December8182919
    January 2000111655
    February11118331
    March133224517
    April14122611
    May172222511
    June1523168
    July1512057

    Publications on organophosphate pesticide related science/disease by the Medical Toxicology Unit staff have appeared in the following journals:

    • Human and Experimental Toxicology,
    • Human Toxicology,
    • New England Journal of Medicine,
    • British Journal of Anaesthesia,
    • Anaesthesia, and
    • Public Health British Medical Journal.

    Abattoirs

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:How many small and medium-sized abattoirs have ceased to operate for each month since January 1999; and how many of these have had their licences revoked. [HL95]

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    Abattoirs are licensed as either low or full throughput. There is no separate classification for medium-sized abattoirs.Abattoirs may cease to operate, temporarily or permanently, for a variety of reasons, such as seasonal closure, refurbishment, receivership, surrender or revocation of licence. We only record closures due to licence surrender or revocation. However information on other types of closures has been obtained indirectly from the records of hygiene assessments which the Meat Hygiene Service carries out monthly in abattoirs. These indicate which abattoirs could not be assessed in a particular month because they were not operating.The following table shows, for each month from January 1999 to November 2000, the number of abattoirs in the United Kingdom:

  • (i) which were not operating during that month (abattoirs appear each month until they re-open or the licence is revoked); and
  • (ii) which had their licences revoked.
  • Red meat

    White meat

    Full throughput

    Low throughput

    Full throughput

    Low throughput

    Month

    Not operating

    Licence revoked

    Not operating

    Licence revoked

    Not operating

    Licence revoked

    Not operating

    Licence revoked

    August151181615
    September141965
    October14118365
    November141977

    1Information is not available because hygiene assessment system scores were not published in those months due to changes to the system in July 1999.

    Severn Railway Tunnel

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:In view of the recent high rainfall, whether they remain satisfied with the integrity of the Severn railway tunnel. [HL185]

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    I understand from Railtrack that the amount of water entering the tunnel has risen above normal levels over the last two weeks. However, there remains sufficient reserve pumping capacity to manage the increase in a safe and controlled manner.

    Office Of Water Services: Senior Staff

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:For how many years each senior staff member has been employed in the Office of Water Services; and how long was their previous experience in the water industry. [HL208]

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    The Director General of Water Services advises that the Office of Water Services employs six members of the senior Civil Service. The information requested is as follows:

    Years with Office of Water ServicesNumber of senior Civil ServantsYears of experience in the water industry
    111
    10314*
    81
    31
    *One member of staff.

    Sustainable Development

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the concept of sustainable development is a guiding principle for all their policies; and if not, why not. [HL236]

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    The Government published A better quality of life—a strategy for sustainable development for the UK in May 1999 and continue to use that strategy as a framework to guide their policies.We shall shortly be publishing our first annual report on progress by the country as a whole towards sustainable development.

    Litter Collection On Motorway Network

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:What has been the total expenditure by the Highways Agency in the most recent year for which information is available on litter clearance from the motorways and trunk roads in England; and how much of this was paid to contractors and how much was spent on direct labour. [HL279]

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    Although the Highways Agency is responsible for litter collection on the national motorway network I am afraid that information on costs is not held in a form which allows it to be disaggregated from other maintenance costs.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will list the contractors at present holding contracts with the Highways Agency for the removal of litter from the motorways and trunk roads in England, indicating in respect of each contract the dates of starting and ending and the roads to be covered. [HL280]

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    On motorways and the trunk roads listed in table A below, sweeping and cleaning are the responsiblity of managing agents who supervise term contractors, also employed by the Highways Agency. A map has been placed in the Library which, with table B below, shows the areas where the agents and contractors operate and the starting and ending dates of their contracts.

    Al2 Embankment At Witham: Cutting Back Of Planting

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:What steps they are taking to discover who was responsible for the criminal damage caused to property of the Highways Agency by the recent cutting down of plantings on government land along the A12 trunk road embankment, adjacent to the advertisement hoardings on land owned by the Braintree District Council, at Witham; and whether they will ask the police to investigate this incident. [HL281]

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    The Highways Agency has undertaken its own investigation into the cutting back of planting on the embankment, both with Braintree District Council, which owns the advertisement hoardings and with the Allam Group, the company which controls most of the advertisements on display. Inquiries made with both bodies have not yielded any information about who was responsible for the cutting back.The Highways Agency has passed to the police information relating to the incident.

    Ice On Highways

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they propose to take any action in the light of the judgment of the House of Lords in the case of

    Goodes v East Sussex.

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    The judgment was that there was no duty on local highway authorities under the Highways Act 1980 to remove ice from highways. Nevertheless, we expect authorities to continue to salt their roads in icy conditions in accordance with their Code of Good Practice on Highway Maintenance which has been in place since 1989. All our soundings with local highway authorities have confirmed that it is their intention to maintain existing practices.We have instructed the Highways Agency to continue its usual practice of keeping motorways and trunk roads free of ice and snow.Road users should follow the advice in the Highway Code that they should drive extremely carefully when the roads are icy.

    Jubilee Line: Station Closures

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:How many times stations have been closed on the new section of the Jubilee Line as a result of equipment failure since its opening in 1999; and what proposals there are to remedy the situation. [HL284]

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    I understand from London Underground Limited (LUL) that there were 20 instances of station closure due to equipment failure on the extended section of the Jubilee Line in the year after it opened fully in December 1999. The situation improved during the year, with only two instances since August 2000.As part of the internal reorganisation of London Underground in preparation for the public private partnership, three infrastructure companies have been set up with responsibility for maintaining and upgrading the network. These companies, currently still subsidiaries of LUL, have a contractual obligation to ensure that stations are not closed due to equipment failure. Under the PPP, if an infrastructure company failed to make stations (or trains) available and fit for use, it would incur financial penalties.

    Transport Council, 20 And 21 December

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:What was the outcome of the Transport Council held in Brussels on 20 and 21 December 2000.

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    I represented the United Kingdom at the Council.The Council unanimously adopted conclusions welcoming the Commission's proposals for a new European Aviation Safety Agency. The Commission welcomed the progress made and hoped that a Common Position would be reached by June 2001.The Council took note of a progress report on a Commission proposal for transposing safety standards of the Joint Aviation Authorities into EC law. The Council also noted that a proposal for a directive creating generic training requirements for airline cabin crew was moving towards agreement.The Commission set out the main conclusions of the High Level Group, set up following publication of the Commission Communication

    The Creation of a Single European Sky and chaired by the Commissioner. The conclusions focus on creating an independent regulator; managing civil and military airspace in Europe collectively; promoting technical interoperability; and improving the training and recruitment of air traffic controllers. The Commission said it would present a Communication to the Stockholm European Council and make legislative proposals soon after that. Member states all reacted positively. Most pointed to the need to fully involve Central European countries in this work. I stressed the need to separate the operation and regulation of air traffic management services.

    The Council discussed air passengers' rights. The Commission stressed the need for performance criteria for airlines. It hoped for new agreements with industry by the end of April. The Presidency noted that voluntary arrangements were preferable to legislation.

    The Commission gave a progress report on negotiations on air services agreements with the Central and East European countries.

    The Presidency noted recent progress on the technical aspects of a Commission mandate for negotiating a Transatlantic Common Aviation Area with the US.

    The Commission presented its report on the definition phase of the Galileo satellite navigation project. During the debate, I joined other Ministers in recalling the Conclusions of the Cologne and Nice European Councils on the predominant role of private sector finance in the project. The Council did not reach agreement on how to proceed with the development and validation phase. The Commission will undertake further work on outstanding issues, and the project is likely to be discussed again by the Council in April.

    Proposals on maritime safety arising from the Erika disaster were further debated and common positions reached on two draft directives. The first of these enhances the supervision, and responsibilities and

    liabilities, of ship classification societies. The second improves the targeting and standards of port state control inspections, concentrating effort on those vessels which pose the greatest safety and/or pollution risks.

    The Commission gave a presentation on elements of the second package of post- Erika proposals: ship surveillance; increase in provision for oil pollution compensation payments; and a new European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). I underlined the need for the first two elements to be pursued internationally in the context of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and supported the establishment of the EMSA to the extent that it should provide for better quality technical support to the Commission.

    Council Conclusions were adopted reaffirming a maritime safety policy aimed at reducing the risk of accidents and the avoidance of loss of life and pollution of the marine environment. In particular, the Conclusions undertook to continue negotiations with IMO on acceleration of the introduction of double-hulled tankers on the basis of an approach agreed by the Council in October and, if an agreement on those terms is reached at the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee session in April 2001, to adopt a text bringing the IMO agreement immediately into Community law; emphasised the need for an adequate regime, global if possible, for compensation in the event of damage caused by oil pollution at sea; expressed the aim that Voyage Data Recorders (VDRs—"black boxes") should be compulsory within five years on all ships calling at EU ports and that member states should continue their efforts in the IMO to secure an international agreement making mandatory the fitting of VDRs to all vessels.

    There was a debate on an amended proposal to harmonise employment standards between EU and third country crew members on intra-EU regular passenger ferry services. I was joined by other Ministers in emphasising the need to protect seafarers' employment conditions and maintain an appropriate maritime skills base.

    Political agreement was reached on a directive to improve the safety of bulk carriers, which is now subject to the scrutiny of the European Parliament.

    Agreement with the European Parliament having been reached on the package of measures for opening up international rail freight in the EU, the Council unanimously adopted the package.

    Political agreement was reached by qualified majority on a directive on working time in the road transport sector. Self-employed drivers will not be covered by the directive immediately, but their exclusion will be reviewed two years after transposition of the directive, with the aim of drawing up specific provisions. The UK is content with much of the agreed text, and was pleased to see revised definitions of working time and night work incorporated. However, as the final text did not include satisfactory provision on an individual opt-out, or a temporary derogation permitting a 65 hour maximum working week, the United Kingdom abstained from the Council's agreement.

    The Council agreed Conclusions on a proposal obliging international lorry drivers to carry an attestation showing that they were legally employed. The Conclusions stated that the draft regulation should apply only to third country drivers (subject to review), and that work should continue with a view to reaching agreement on the regulation at the Council in April.

    The Commission presented its proposals on weekend lorry bans, driver training and the amendment to Regulation 3820/85 on drivers' hours.

    There was a debate on proposals on public service obligations in the field of passenger transport by road, rail and inland waterway and on state aid granted for co-ordination of transport in those modes. I was among Ministers who spoke in support of the proposals. The Presidency concluded that public services were of general interest and needed particular treatment to safeguard them, and that there was a general desire for progress.

    The Commission presented its Green Paper on security of energy supply.

    The Council adopted a directive continuing indefinitely the harmonised start and end dates for summertime in the EU (last Sunday of March and October respectively). There will be review after five years.

    Office Of The Rail Regulator: Senior Staff

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:For how many years each senior staff member has been employed in the Office of the Rail Regulator; and how long was their previous experience in the railway industry. [HL205]

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    The Office of the Rail Regulator has been in existence for seven years. The table below shows the length of time each of the 15 senior staff members has been employed there. Some senior staff have been associated with the railways for up to 25 years. But to regulate efficiently and effectively, the Orr requires experience and expertise, not only of the core railway disciplines but also of the regulatory, marketing, legal and economic conditions associated with the broader aspects of the rail industry.

    Number of staffLength of service
    27 years
    16 years 9 months
    16 years 5 months
    13 years 6 months
    13 years
    21 years 6 months
    11 year 3 months
    11 year 2 months
    29 months
    18 months
    16 months
    15 months

    Bse And Prion Proteins

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Upon what scientific evidence was based the statement made by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on Radio 4 on Monday 4 December that prion proteins were the infectious agents for BSE. [HL92]

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    While there are a number of alternative theories as to the causal agents for BSE, the majority of the scientific evidence available points to the primary role of prion proteins. None of the ongoing studies on alternative theories has to date produced compelling evidence to suggest that prions are not implicated. Information on government-funded research on TSEs can be found at www.maff.gov.uk.

    European Fisheries Council Meetings

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will set out the number of meetings of the European Fisheries Council in each year since the creation of the Common Fisheries Policy, together with the number of times the United Kingdom was represented in each year by a Cabinet Minister, including instances where the Minister was acting as President of the Council. [HL243]

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    This information is not readily available. However, the records we currently hold indicate that the number of meetings of the European Fisheries Council since the creation of the Common Fisheries Policy is as follows:

    YearNumber of Meetings
    1983N/A
    1984N/A
    19853
    19864
    19873
    19886
    19894
    19903
    19911
    19925
    19931
    19943
    19954
    19965
    19973
    19984
    19995
    20002
    Information on attendees is available only from November 1992. Of these, a Cabinet Minister has represented the UK on four occasions since 1992. On three of these the Minister was acting as President of the Council (December 1992, March 1998 and June 1998).

    Fish Species: Total Allowable Catch

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will set out for each of the last 10 years the total allowable catch for each fish species in each region recommended by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, together with the eventual tonnage decided by the Council of Fishery Ministers at its annual meeting to decide the tonnages. [HL244]

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    A table showing the TACs decided, together with the ICES advice, over the last 10 years is available in the Libraries of both Houses. For some stocks in some years, ICES did not advise a specific TAC but instead recommended appropriate levels of fishing effort. In these cases the figure for the recommended TAC shown in the table is that which our fisheries scientists have established as consistent with the ICES advice.

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:On what occasions over the last 10 years the fishermen's representative bodies urged Ministers to agree total allowable catches in excess of those recommended by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. [HL245]

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    The advice from ICES does not necessarily offer a single proposal for each TAC: a range of strategies is often possible. The Government's approach is to discuss the scientific advice and the Commission's proposals with representatives of the fishing industry and to adopt a negotiating line which takes a balanced approach in the light of both the representations from fisheries organisations and the scientific advice.

    Bse

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will publish an updated table showing the number of cases of BSE confirmed in Britain each week during the calendar year 2000, together with the moving annual total of cases for each 52-week period. [HL282]

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    The following table shows the number of cases of BSE confirmed in Great Britain during each week of 2000, together with the moving annual total of cases reported for each 52-week period.

    Week NumberNo. confirmed each week52 Week Total Reported
    1332,957
    2602,906
    3132,874
    4252,846
    5132,818
    6632,789
    7562,754

    Week Number

    No. confirmed each week

    52 Week Total Reported

    8322,726
    9332,688
    10462,634
    1172,632
    12762,599
    13412,578
    14262,566
    15252,537
    16252,501
    17262,487
    18292,460
    19302,431
    20382,426
    21262,408
    22172,373
    23222,338
    24652,313
    25262,290
    26322,276
    27212,262
    28222,229
    29302,206
    30602,181
    31152,165
    32202,157
    33212,130
    34342,107
    35192,090
    3672,074
    37402,051
    38202,039
    39252,022
    40262,017
    41502,025
    42262,005
    43262,000
    44181,997
    45311,975
    46251,964
    47241,946
    48171,941
    49361,923
    50211,906
    51231,882
    5201,869

    Note:

    Week 1 is the week ending Friday 7 January 2000.

    These figures are affected by a variable delay between slaughter and confirmation as a result of the various times required for laboratory diagnosis and administrative procedures. The time between slaughter and confirmation is, on average, six to eight weeks but may on occasion be considerably longer.

    Game Meat: Export From Us

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:What are the names and addresses of the six facilities licensed to export game meat from the United States to the United Kingdom. [HL271]

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    Four rabbit meat and farmed game meat establishments and two wild game meat establishments in the USA are approved to export to the UK. They are as follows:

    • Rabbit meat/farmed game meat
    • Southern Wild Game/Intergame USA, Devine, Texas
    • Diamond K Ranch Game Meats Inc, Ingram, Texas
    • Wild Game meat
    • Frontier Game Company, Whiteface, Texas
    • Beltex Corporation, Fort Worth, Texas
    • Southern Wild Game/Intergame USA, Devine, Texas
    • North American Bison Cooperative, New Rockford, North Dakota
    These are all EU approved establishments and further details are available on the European Commission's website at the following address where the product and the country may be selected from the lists shown:

    http://forum.europa.eu.int/irc/sanco/vets/info/data/listes/list all.html

    Bse Testing

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    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will report what BSE testing is being undertaken in the United Kingdom during 2001.

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    Following the reports of an increase in the number of cases of BSE in some other European countries, the European Union has asked member states to carry out a survey for the disease. Starting on 15 January, the brains of at least 6,500 cattle over 30 months old which die on farm or in transit, or which are killed on farm but are not eligible for the Over Thirty Months Scheme, will be tested for BSE during 2001 in Great Britain.This is in addition to the testing carried out when clinical symptoms indicate the disease may be present in specific animals.