Previous Section Index Home Page


Mr. Peter Penfold

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister what factors led him to say on 11 May that Mr. Peter Penfold had done a superb job in working closely with President Kabbah. [54261]

31 Jul 1998 : Column: 604

The Prime Minister: Like my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, I have consistently recognised the contribution made by Mr. Penfold to relations between Britain and Sierra Leone, and to Britain's standing with the people of Sierra Leone. His close relationship with President Kabbah has been an important part of that contribution.

Cabinet Meetings

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister on what occasions the Cabinet has met since May 1997; and what was the duration of each meeting. [54904]

The Prime Minister: Since May 1997 Cabinet has usually met once a week when Parliament is in session; no record is routinely kept of the duration of each Cabinet meeting.

Government Publications

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Prime Minister what factors underlay the retail cost of (a) the "Government Annual Report" CM 3969 and (b) "In Touch with the People" CM 4014 ; and if he will make a statement on the reasons for the difference. [55138]

The Prime Minister: In line with established practice, the price of the Government's Annual Report 97/98 CM 3969 and the Local Government White Paper "In Touch with the People" CM 4014 were determined by The Stationery Office after discussion with the relevant Government departments and in line with the HMSO guidelines for Command Papers. The price of documents produced by The Stationery Office varies according to a range of factors including production costs, estimated sales and print run.

Sierra Leone

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Prime Minister on what date he was first consulted concerning the planned involvement of UK Government personnel and military assets in support of Sandline International's involvement in restoring the Government of Sierra Leone. [41832]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 14 May 1998]: The Legg Report makes clear Ministerial knowledge of Sandline's activities.

Reviews and Task Forces

Mr. Corbett: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the reviews and task forces announced by the Government since 1 May 1997 and in each case the date they reported or the date they are expected to report. [55136]

Dr. Jack Cunningham: I have been asked to reply.

A fully updated list of reviews and task forces notified to this Parliament since 1 May 1997 has been made available in the Library, with details of their report dates. To ensure comprehensive coverage, a trawl has been undertaken across all Departments and the list therefore includes for the first time a number of reviews already announced to the House in the usual way since 1 May 1997.

31 Jul 1998 : Column: 605

ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORT AND THE REGIONS

Road Noise

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the proposals for noise mitigation measures on existing trunk roads in rural areas in the White Paper, A New Deal for Transport. [52251]

Ms Glenda Jackson: The White Paper states that we are examining the scope for noise mitigation measures on trunk roads built before the current standards of road construction were created. The report on the review of trunk roads in Wales expands on this, explaining that a separate announcement will be made on revised criteria for dealing with requests for noise mitigation in such cases. The White Paper also announces a new policy of considering the use of quieter road surfaces whenever a road needs to be resurfaced.

Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what resources are being made available to the Highways Agency for new measures to reduce motorway noise. [54679]

Ms Glenda Jackson: As indicated in the report A New Deal for Trunk Roads, a separate announcement will be made in due course about the budget to be made available for the Highways Agency to deal with the most serious and pressing cases and the new criteria to be used.

AWE Aldermaston

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if he will make a statement on the plutonium contamination incident at AWE Aldermaston on 15 December 1997; and if he will place copies of the HSE reports on this incident in the Library; [52173]

Mr. Meacher: I will write to my hon. Friend.

Technetium-99

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to Paragraph 7 of the United Kingdom submission to the OSPAR Convention ministerial meeting in Sintra, on 20 to 24 July, if he has asked British Nuclear Fuels plc for an explanation for the measurement of technetium-99 discovered in lobsters reported to the Government by BNFL in May 1997; [52777]

Mr. Meacher: I will write to my hon. Friend.

Compliance Cost Assessments

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what cumulative net increase in compliance costs has been estimated in compliance cost assessments published by his Department since 1 May 1997. [52937]

31 Jul 1998 : Column: 606

Mr. Meale [holding answer 28 July 1998]: Compliance cost assessments are not directly comparable, and do not include savings, so it is not possible to provide a simple figure for the cumulative net increase in compliance costs over the period in question. I have placed in the Library summary information of costs from the compliance cost assessments carried out since July 1997. Information before that date is not held centrally, but I will arrange for it to be placed in the Library as soon as possible.

Trunk Road Accidents

Ms Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what assessment he has made of recent trends in (a) injuries to residents and (b) damage to their property in respect of residences alongside (i) trunk roads and (ii) the A10 (London); [53250]

Ms Glenda Jackson: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr. Lawrie Haynes, to write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Laurence Haynes to Ms Joan Ryan, dated 31 July 1998:



    The Highways Agency obtains accident records on a regular basis from the London Accident Analysis Unit which is part of the London Research Centre. The Unit performs regular statistical analysis such as ranking of sites and breakdown of accident figures by type of vehicle, severity, road and weather conditions. The Unit also carries out a rolling programme of route studies that make specific recommendations for safety improvements based on the accident record of a route.


    The Agency's network managers are also able to commission specific safety studies on an ad hoc basis if accident figures of our normal oversight of the network show that there might be a safety problem at a specific location. One such study was recently commissioned on the A10 in north London. The study will include work on traffic signal installations and an examination of road geometry, speeding and environmental issues. The results of the study will be available in about three months' time.


    We monitor continuously trends in complaints or claims for damage or injury to persons or properties along side trunk roads, including the A10 in London. We have not detected any significant changes in the numbers of complaints or claims for damage or injuries either nationally or on the A10 in London.

Ms Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to improve the protection for residents living alongside trunk roads. [53249]

Ms Glenda Jackson: I refer my hon. Friend to the statement made by my hon. right Friend the Minister of Transport setting out our policy on trunk roads, today Official Report, columns 653-560.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr. Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions on what

31 Jul 1998 : Column: 607

occasions Ministers in his Department have had meetings with (a) Friends of the Earth and (b) CPRE in the last six months. [53695]

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) how many meetings Ministers in his Department have had with Marks and Spencer plc since 1 February; and on what matters; [54396]

Mr. Meale: Ministers, their Special Advisers and other civil servants meet many people in the course of their work. This properly includes meetings with interest groups outside Government. This liaison is intended to help Ministers draw upon outside contributions--from academics, think-tanks, trade and industry associations, private sector organisations, trade unions and others, as well as relevant experience from other countries--during the process of policy analysis and development. But they must observe the requirements of propriety: for instance they must not provide confidential information without authorisation, or allow improper influence on policy. It is not our policy to make information on meetings or their content public.


Next Section Index Home Page