|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many public appointments he has made since 7 June 2001; and if he will list the names of the persons appointed. 
4 Feb 2002 : Column 733W
|Non-departmental public bodies|
|Hazel Duffy(24)||Advisory Panel on Standards for the|
|Anthony Prior(24)||Planning Inspectorate|
|Mike Hodgkinson||Commission for Integrated Transport|
|Sir Roy McNulty|
|Stephen Richards||Parliamentary Boundary Commission for Wales|
|John Bowen(25)||Audit Commission|
|Victor Benjamin||Commission for the New Towns and English Partnerships|
|Janet Putman||Housing Action Trust, Castle Vale|
|Geraldine Huka||Housing Corporation|
|Richard Bowker||Strategic Rail Authority|
|Liane Farrier||Rent Assessment Panel, Southern|
|Jane Perrett||Traffic Area, North Eastern|
|Jane Perrett||Traffic Area, North Western|
|David Ibbs||Valuation Tribunal, West Midlands West|
|Sir Roy McNulty||Civil Aviation Authority|
|Charlie Watson||Advisory Panel on Standards for the Planning Inspectorate|
|Kenneth George||Parliamentary Boundary Commission for Wales|
|Judith Curson(25)||Audit Commission|
|Yvonne Hutchinson||Housing Corporation|
|Pen Kent||Strategic Rail Authority|
|Maldwyn Chapman||Rent Assessment Panel, London|
|Donald Perry Cooke||Rent Assessment Panel, Southern|
|Patrick Mulvenna||Traffic Area, North East|
|Patrick Mulvenna||Traffic Area, North West|
|Richard McFarlane||Traffic Area, Scottish|
|Alan Jenkins||Traffic Area, West Midland and Wales|
|Colin Senior||Civil Aviation Authority|
(24) These appointments are made jointly with the First Minister for Wales
(25) These appointments are made jointly with the Secretaries of State for Health and Wales
Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what measures have been introduced since 1997 to improve the safety of seamen involved in merchant shipping and fishing. 
Mr. Jamieson: The United Kingdom is a signatory to all international maritime Conventions, a number of which have been updated since 1997 to enhance the safety of seafarers. In particular we will have fully met our international obligations with respect to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 as amended in 1995, by the date of its implementation on 1 February 2002. The Convention requirements will apply to all officers and crew serving on UK registered merchant ships and includes the introduction of mandatory safety and up- grade training for certificate of service holders and fishermen serving on certain categories of merchant ships.
4 Feb 2002 : Column 734W
Fishing Vessel Personnel, and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is closely liaising with the fishing industry with respect to implementation.
Additionally a joint UK/EU funded programme for safety training for fishermen was introduced on 1 April 2001. This programme will run for three years and introduces a 'safety awareness course' as an additional requirement to the Fishing Vessels (Safety Training) Regulations 1989 and allocates funding for this and other basic training.
Mr. Jamieson: Our primary concern is with the safety of those who crew and travel on ships, and with the protection of the marine environment. Analysis suggests that some open registers have a better safety and environmental performance than some of the more traditional maritime flags. We are working with like-minded states within the International Maritime Organisation, including the more reform-minded open registers, to raise the level of flag state performance. The wider shipping industry is also making a helpful contribution within the context of the international Quality Shipping Campaign.
Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the importance of the marine industry; and what support the Government have provided. 
Mr. Jamieson: Britain is a natural maritime nation, so shipping is vitally important to us. 95 per cent. of our trade by weight arrives or leaves by sea, and the UK shipping industry is one of our biggest service-sector exporters. The UK industry was, however, in decline until we introduced our new shipping policy. A central element of our new policy is the tonnage tax, which brings certainty and clarity about tax liabilities, which are related to the tonnage of the ship operated rather than to actual profits made. Shipping companies are not obliged to enter the tonnage tax regime or to register their ships in the UK, but the new climate created by the tonnage tax, together with reforms at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, has helped to bring about significant increases in the UK registered fleet.
A key feature of the tonnage tax, unique to the UK, is a minimum training obligation. This requires each shipping company opting for the tonnage tax to recruit and train one officer trainee each year for every 15 officer posts in its fleet and also give consideration to employment and training opportunities for ratings. The Government provide financial support for seafarer training through the Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) scheme. Following a review of SMarT in autumn/winter 2000 and the receipt of EU State Aid clearance, additional courses will be included in the scheme and levels of funding will be increased.
4 Feb 2002 : Column 735W
Mr. Jamieson: The Department monitors traffic speeds and traffic levels at about 130 sites on different types of road throughout Great Britain. The information comes from automatic traffic counters, which are generally situated away from junctions, hills or sharp bends, at locations where traffic is likely to be free flowing. Thus in principle they provide information on the speeds at which drivers choose to travel when their behaviour is not constrained by congestion or other road conditions.
Results are published annually. The latest available results relate to 2000 and were published in 'Vehicle Speeds in Great Britain: 2000', in July 2001. A copy is in the House of Commons Library. Results for 2001 will be published when they are ready later this year.
Mr. Jamieson: Recruitment and retention are matters for the individual shipping companies themselves. There are Government measures, however, to assist and encourage the training and employment of British seafarers. We provide financial support for seafarer training through the Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) scheme. Following a review of SMarT in autumn/winter 2000 and the receipt of EU State Aid clearance, additional courses will be included in the scheme and levels of funding will be increased. We introduced the Tonnage Tax option as part of the Finance Act 2000, a key feature of which is a minimum training obligation. This feature is unique to the UK, and requires each shipping company opting for the tonnage tax to recruit and train one officer trainee each year for every 15 officer posts in its fleet and also give consideration to employment and training opportunities for ratings.
Roger Casale: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of Ordnance Survey's progress in facilitating the work of Government by collaboration with other data providers. 
Ms Keeble: A specific assessment has not been made of Ordnance Survey's progress in facilitating the work of government by collaboration with other data providers. However, it is clear that a number of initiatives by Ordnance Survey in recent years has increased other data providers' input to the national topographic database.
One initiative has been the CODES project, Collection of Data from External Sources, where data from architects, house builders and construction companies has been taken into the database. Commercial terms have been agreed for the use of these data such that Ordnance Survey costs have reduced and customers in both the public and private sectors have benefited from more up-to-date mapping being available sooner. The inclusion of this type of data will increase further in the coming months.
In addition, Ordnance Survey has developed its policies on working with data providers following responses to Information Paper 13/1999 'Joined-up geography for the new millennium' and Consultation paper 1/2000 'Digital
4 Feb 2002 : Column 736W
National Framework'. Both of these documents are within the public domain and can be found on the Ordnance Survey website.
The launch of OS MasterMap in November 2001, with its system of unique referencing for every individual map feature, provides new opportunities for data providers and customers to link their own information to Ordnance Survey data. Ordnance Survey actively promotes the benefits of such data association and integration among its customers and partners. Some additional layers of OS MasterMap are already being taken forward in collaboration with other data providers.
The continued growth of licensed partners and their development of new and innovative products is at the heart of Ordnance Survey's business model. These products draw on Ordnance Survey's own data and data from other providers.
Roger Casale: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what operations Ordnance Survey carries out in partnerships with private sector bodies; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: Ordnance Survey works with a range of private sector bodies in support of the delivery of its products and services. A wide range of activities are currently conducted in conjunction with the private sector including aerial photography, cyclical revision and the IT infrastructure.
Ordnance Survey is in the process of negotiating a new long-term strategic agreement, Contract 2002, with a small group of private sector organisations. This agreement will operate in the spirit of partnership to deliver urban and rural cyclical revision work and other associated data collection activities.
All such commercial agreements are regarded by both Ordnance Survey and our partners as being strictly commercial in confidence. However, it would be both inappropriate and a breach of confidentiality publicly to disclose details of any of these arrangements.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|