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During my stay, I will also meet the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (Mrs. Mary Robinson), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Mr. Rudd Lubbers), the Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (Dr. Peter Piot), and the Director-Generals of the International Labour Organisation (Mr. Juan Somavia), the UN Office at Geneva (Mr. Vladimir Petrovsky), the International Organisation of Migration (Mr. Brunson McKinley) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (Mr. Paul Grossrieder).
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responsibilities that have been allocated to the Minister for Europe since 1 May 1997, indicating the dates of, and the reasons for, the changes. 
On 7 May 1997, the Minister for Europe, then my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North (Mr. Henderson), was allocated responsibility for Europe, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
On 29 July 1999, my right hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Hoon) was appointed Minister for Europe. He was allocated responsibility for Europe, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union, the Balkans and Defence.
My hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Vaz) was appointed Minister for Europe on 12 October 1999. He was allocated responsibility for Europe, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Balkans, Defence and Entry Clearance.
Mr. David Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what occasions the enfranchisement of citizens of Gibraltar for European parliamentary elections has been raised at meetings of the European Council in the last two years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vaz [holding answer 16 March 2001]: The enfranchisement of Gibraltar for European parliamentary elections has never been raised at European Council. However it has been raised at General Affairs Council and remains on the agenda of the relevant Council working group.
HMG unequivocally accepts the obligation, arising out of the Matthews judgment, to secure the European parliamentary franchise for Gibraltar. We are carefully considering all possible options for achieving this objective before the 2004 European parliamentary elections.
Mr. David Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Spain on the enfranchisement of citizens of Gibraltar for European parliamentary elections. 
Mr. Vaz [holding answer 16 March 2001]: The Foreign Secretary last raised the issue of the enfranchisement of Gibraltar for European parliamentary elections with the Spanish Foreign Minister, Sr. Pique, in London on 24 January.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what communications he has received from the Holy See concerning discussions with Catholic bishops in Northern Ireland on the future of the Police Service in Northern Ireland. 
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Mr. Vaz: The Government have had discussions with the Catholic Bishops about policing arrangements in Northern Ireland and believe that this is consistent with the Good Friday agreement, which calls for new arrangements to be
Mr. Prescott: Safety barriers on roads are designed to contain and then deflect along the line of the barrier a typical car colliding with it at a shallow angle. The safety barrier at Great Heck was 42.7 metres long. The minimum standard required is 30 metres at full height. Pending the report of the police into the tragic accident at Great Heck near Selby on 28 February, I have asked the Highways Agency to review the standards for safety barriers.
Mr. Hill: This is now a matter for the Mayor of London and the relevant local highway authorities. My Department allocates an annual transport grant to the Greater London Authority to help maintain and improve transport in London. Over the next three financial years, this grant will amount to some £3.2 billion.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: The Government launched their new road safety strategy for Great Britain, "Tomorrow's Roads--Safer for Everyone", in March 2000. This included targets to reduce overall deaths and serious injuries by 40 per cent. and to reduce child deaths and serious injuries by 50 per cent. by 2010, compared with the average for 1994 to 1998, together with details of many policies and initiatives that will help to achieve them.
33. Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make further funds available to enable the provision of additional traffic calming road safety schemes. 
Mr. Hill: We have made £8.4 billion available for local transport improvements over the next five years with £2.8 billion available for small-scale measures. In 2001-02 the total allocation, from which spending on traffic calming could be made, is £559 million. It is for individual
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Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what action he will take to reform the local government grant system to reflect the importance of the services provided by local authorities. 
Ms Beverley Hughes [holding answer 19 March 2001]: Ensuring the availability of high quality services is a primary objective for local authorities depends in part on the resources each authority receives through the grant system.
Last September's local government finance Green Paper consulted on options for making the current grant distribution system for local authorities fairer. A White Paper will be published later this year setting out our decisions on the way forward.
Mr. Hill: Authorities submitted their first full Local Transport Plans last July. In December we announced an £8.4 billion package for local transport improvements over the next five years to help deliver what local people want. Authorities will be submitting their first annual progress reports later this year and we shall be closely monitoring the delivery of schemes on the ground.
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