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Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will issue guidance to highway authorities emphasising the importance of salting and clearing snow from roads following the ruling of the House of Lords. 
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if the Government will bring forward legislation to amend the Highways Act 1980 to require highway authorities to produce winter road maintenance plans for salting and snow clearance. 
Mr. Hill: No. Local highway authorities are already strongly recommended to prepare comprehensive detailed plans for winter maintenance in the Local Authority Code of Good Practice for Highway Maintenance, which has been in place since 1989.
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Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what guidance he is giving to highway authorities regarding salting and clearance of snow from roads following the recent House of Lords ruling. 
Mr. Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on his policy with respect to the licensing of private landlords in deprived areas. 
Mr. Raynsford: Our proposals for selective licensing of private landlords are aimed at areas of low housing demand, which are being further destabilised by the unscrupulous and sometimes criminal activities of certain landlords. As we indicated in our Housing Policy Statement, we aim to consult on detailed proposals in the spring.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will place in the Library the offer document for the millennium dome issued to potential bidders between March and December 1998. 
Between March 1999 and December 1999 two documents were issued to potential bidders in the competition to find a sustainable long-term use for the dome. These were the Preliminary Information Memorandum and the Information Memorandum. I am arranging for copies to be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on Government policy on the appointment of members to the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment. 
Mr. Meacher: Members of the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) are appointed in accordance with the "Guidance on appointments to public bodies" from the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. A copy of this Guidance may be found in the House Library.
ACRE is a statutory advisory committee under section 124 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The main remit of the committee is to advise Ministers, including the devolved Administrations, on the risks to human health and the environment from the release of genetically modified organisms. ACRE members are appointed purely for their science and technical expertise and do not represent particular stakeholder groups.
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ACRE was last appointed in June 1999, when approximately half of the members were appointed for three years and the remainder for four years. The next appointments to the committee will therefore be in June 2002. Further details about ACRE and the current members can be found in the committee's annual report, a copy of which is available in the House Library. The report includes the committee's full terms of reference, pen pictures of all members and their declared interests.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 23 January 2001, Official Report, column 528W, if consignments of imported crop seeds have been tested for the adventitious presence of GM varieties by the officials of a UK statutory body during 2000. 
Mr. Meacher: Further to my previous reply of 23 January 2001, Official Report, column 528W, the GM inspectorate at the Central Science Laboratory (CSL) conducted audits of seed importing companies to confirm whether they were operating proper checks and procedures to ensure that no unauthorised GM material was being imported. Under section 115 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, inspectors may carry out tests and take samples from premises but the inspectors must have reason to believe that unauthorised GMOs are being kept or had escaped. The evidence that the GM inspectorate examined satisfied them that no unauthorised GM material was present, and so no additional tests for GM presence needed to be undertaken.
A table showing the percentage of the Local Schools Budget delegated to schools (and hence the percentage retained centrally) by each LEA was published on 29 June 2000 by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, and has been placed in the Library.
Janet Anderson: National digital radio services are provided on the BBC multiplex and on Digital One's commercial multiplex. In addition, nine local multiplexes are now on air, carrying commercial and BBC programme services. A further three local multiplexes are soon due to launch and are presently conducting test transmissions.
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Janet Anderson: The scheduling of news bulletins is a matter for the BBC and the Independent Television Commission. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has expressed his misgivings to the broadcasters about the main evening news bulletins on the BBC and ITV going head to head. His main concern is that this could lead to a decline in the quality of the news programmes.
Mr. Olner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much revenue has been raised through the control of radio licensing by each of the regulatory bodies which are to be replaced by the proposed Ofcom in each of the last three years for which figures are available; and what percentage of this income in each year has been raised through auctions. 
Janet Anderson: Certain radio and television licences are awarded after a process of competitive tender under the Broadcasting Act 1990, but not by auction. Revenue is raised through additional payments in respect of cash bids and qualifying revenue and through any receipts in respect of financial penalties,
|Radio Authority Licensees||10.5||8.9||8.1|
|Independent Television Commission Licensees||419.9||479.0||439.1|
Mr. Olner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport under what powers the regulatory bodies which will be succeeded by the proposed Ofcom will issue general authorisations for communications operators. 
Janet Anderson: We shall at the earliest opportunity bring forward legislation to establish Ofcom with the powers necessary to implement the proposals in our White Paper, "A New Future for Communications", including powers necessary to authorise and license providers of communications services.
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Mr. Olner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the regulatory burdens on communications operators caused by individual licensing; and if he will make a statement. 
Janet Anderson: The policies set out in our White Paper, "A New Future for Communications" include proposals for reducing the regulatory burden upon communications operators by using general authorisations rather than individual licences wherever possible. Details of the new systems are being developed and the benefits will be quantified and made available in due course as part of the regulatory impact assessment.
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