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Royal British Legion (Ex-forces Resettlement)

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role the Royal British Legion has in respect of resettlement of ex-forces personnel; and if he will make a statement. [142152]

Mr. Spellar: Under its Royal charter, the Royal British Legion (RBL) has a responsibility for the welfare of the ex-service community and its dependents. The RBL's services are therefore complementary to those provided by my Department and it is able to offer advice and assistance to ex-Service personnel, as well as organising a number of initiatives.

Chinook Accident (Mull of Kintyre)

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last met the Mull of Kintyre Group about the Chinook accident, and what issues were discussed. [142464]

Mr. Spellar: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I met with Lord Chalfont and other members of the Mull of Kintyre Group on 15 November 2000. The Group took the opportunity to restate their continuing concerns over the conclusions of the RAF Board of Inquiry into the cause of the accident.


Mr. Maclennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he has taken to promote equality between (a) older people, (b) disabled people, (c) ethnic minorities, (d) religious minorities, (e) women and (f) gay and lesbian people, and the rest of the population, with respect to the activities within the responsibility of his Department. [141489]

Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence, its agencies and the armed forces, are committed to, and operate a policy of, equal opportunity for all staff and for those applying for employment. The Department's equal opportunities policy clearly states that there must be no unfair discrimination on the basis of: gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, religious belief, physical or mental disability, or working pattern.

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The Ministry of Defence, its agencies and the armed forces are working hard, in partnership with external organisations (such as the Commission for Racial Equality, Opportunity Now and the Employers' Forum on Disability) to increase the overall number of civilian and service personnel they employ from under-represented groups. They are also striving to ensure that all policies, procedures and services are developed with a view to promoting diversity and to valuing the positive benefits that difference can bring.


National Stadium

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans the Government have to fund transport and other infrastructure improvements around (a) Wembley Stadium and (b) Picketts Lock. [141420]

Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 11 December 2000]: The transport and other infrastructure improvements needed for the new Wembley Stadium, and to support the regeneration of the surrounding area, are being discussed by the Wembley Task Force. The funding for the package of improvements will come from a number of different sources. These included the s106 agreement between the London Borough of Brent and Wembley National Stadium Ltd., the Single Regeneration Budget and London Underground.

The transport and infrastructure improvements for the new National Athletics Stadium in Edmonton are currently being assessed by the stadium project team, which includes UK Athletics and the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and supported by the London Borough of Enfield, as part of on-going feasibility work. It is too early to assess what improvements will be necessary or how the improvements will be funded.

Television Inquiry

Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement on the most recent developments in Phase II of the Creative Industries Task Force Television Inquiry. [142683]

Mr. Chris Smith: The Inquiry has been completed and the consultant's report will be published on my Department's website today: on 'CREATIVE, MEDIA & ARTS', then click on 'FORMS AND DOCUMENTS'. A hard copy Executive Summary of the report will also be published, sent to interested parties and made available by my Department on request. I will also arrange for copies of the Executive Summary to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses in due course.

The consultants, David Graham and Associates, were asked to report on how the UK television programmes supply market could best be adapted to realise the potential of UK creative talent to satisfy the growing audio-visual economy.

Their report addresses outstanding issues from Phase I of the Inquiry, highlights important and interesting data about recent trends in the broadcasting industry and

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updates information provided by the consultants in their 1999 research "The Economics of the TV Supply Chain". It concludes by making recommendations for establishing the conditions necessary for each element of the programme supply chain to compete and prosper in the digital age.

Findings have informed the joint DTI/DCMS Communications White Paper, and the Government will continue to work closely with the television industry in formulating policy that is intended to meet future challenges.



Aircraft Noise

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many representations his Department received in response to its consultation on aircraft noise. [142052]

Mr. Mullin: My Department has received 590 responses to the consultation on control of noise from civil aircraft near aerodromes. The responses are currently being studied.

Airport Access

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what target he has set for increasing access to airports by public transport. [142054]

Mr. Mullin: In their White Paper "A New Deal for Transport", the Government said that they expected all airports with more than 1,000 commercial aircraft movements a year to develop surface access strategies. These strategies contain short-term and long-term targets for increasing the proportion of passengers and airport staff travelling to and from the airport by public transport, walking and cycling. The Government have not stipulated what these targets should be, but their guidance on drawing up strategies emphasised that they should be realistic but challenging. Setting the targets is a matter for the Airport Transport Forum at each airport, a body comprising representatives of airport employers, public transport operators, local authorities and other interested parties.

Surface access strategies were produced by each airport earlier this year, and fed into local authority Local Transport Plans. They will therefore be taken into account in the Government's decision on funding for local transport schemes. It is now the task of the Airport Transport Forums to monitor performance against the targets. The Government will also monitor the situation.

Ordnance Survey

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if the Ordnance Survey plans to resume publication of maps indicating parliamentary, local authority and ward boundaries for each county. [141319]

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Ms Beverley Hughes: Ordnance Survey will continue to publish the Administrative Boundary Map series which includes European and Westminster boundaries and unitary and local authority boundaries. The previous 1:100,000 Scale Administrative Areas Diagrams were phased out in 1996. The Administrative Areas Diagrams did not depict wards. In the new series eight maps at 1:250,000 scale show unitary and local authority boundaries and two maps at 1: 625,000 scale show the European and Westminster Parliamentary Boundaries.

Environment Agency/British Waterways

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions at what stage the review of the Collaboration Agreement between the Environment Agency and British Waterways is; and if he will make a statement. [141305]

Mr. Mullin: The Collaboration Agreement between the Environment Agency and British Waterways was signed on 19 June 2000. The Government undertook to review the progress made in implementing this agreement, as well as the Environment Agency's navigation responsibilities, as part of the first quinquennial review of the Agency. The commencement of this review was announced by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment on 8 December. The review is expected to report to Government next year and to be completed in summer 2001.

Railway Stations (Disabled Access)

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make it his policy to require that all main line railway stations are equipped with lifts to enable disabled people to cross between platforms. [142244]

Mr. Hill: Access to railway stations for disabled people is covered by Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Since October 1999, service providers have been required to take reasonable steps to change practices, policies or procedures which make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to use a service. From 2004, service providers will have to take reasonable steps to remove, alter or provide reasonable means of avoiding physical features that make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to use a service.

In addition, the Rail Regulator is currently revising his Code of Practice, "Meeting the needs of Disabled Passengers", which is aimed at helping protect the interests of disabled users of railway passenger services and station services.

Railtrack is committed to ensuring that all stations are fully accessible to disabled people within 20 years to enable them to meet their DDA obligations. I understand they are currently developing and prioritising a detailed implementation programme in consultation with train operators, local disability organisations and local authorities.

Our 10-year transport plan, "Transport 2010", published in July, demonstrates the Government's continued commitment to improving accessibility. The rate and level of new investment will ensure that improvements in the accessibility of transport are brought

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forward more quickly. The plan is also clear that building in accessibility for disabled people in all investment is a condition of public money being spent.

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