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Overseas Embassies

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made in invoicing the number of scientific attachés in overseas embassies. [33431]

Mr. MacShane: I have been asked to reply.

The £3 million expansion of the FCO's Science and Technology (S&T) network over the three financial years from April 2001 is being implemented on schedule. New S&T staff have already taken up duties in Berne, Boston, Moscow, New Delhi, Ottawa, San Francisco, Shanghai, Taipei, Tel Aviv and The Hague. A further 22 new or upgraded slots will be filled, as planned, by April 2003. This will reinforce the network in key technology centres and more than double its geographical coverage. The expansion and management of the network are being co-ordinated by the FCO's Science and Technology Unit, established in April 2001.


Mr. Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what consideration she has given to making e-Government accessible for disabled people; and what actions have been taken as a result. [36242]

Mr. Leslie: I have been asked to reply.

Since December 1999 with the publication of the Guidelines for UK Government websites, Government web managers have been advised on how to make websites accessible to people with disabilities or impairments. On 1 February 2001 the then e-Government Minister the Minister for Pensions, my right hon. Friend the Member for Makerfield (Mr. McCartney), announced that all central Government websites should conform to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) recommendations. The recently revised Guidelines for UK Government Websites

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support WAI recommendations and will give detailed guidance on how to conform to these internationally recognised recommendations.


Equal Pay

33. Mr. Anthony D. Wright: To ask the Minister what steps she is taking to promote best practice in industry on equal pay. [33828]

Ms Hewitt: The Government have taken a number of steps already. As well as a questionnaire procedure for use in equal pay cases and other provisions in the Employment Bill, the Fair Pay Champions and the Castle Awards, created by my predecessor, are helping to spread good practice on equal pay. We are also taking forward recommendations from the Kingsmill report aimed at further reducing the pay gap. I have written to my Cabinet colleagues' union and will soon be writing to FTSE 100 companies, to gather examples of their good working practices, so that we can help spread these more widely.

Sex Discrimination Act

34. Mr. Edwards: To ask the Minister if she will propose legislation to make the Church of England and Church in Wales subject to the Sex Discrimination Act 1975. [33829]

Ms Hewitt: There are no plans to review the relevant section of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, relating to organised religions generally.

Unmarried Mothers

35. Mr. Connarty: To ask the Minister what assessment she has made of the impact of the enactment of the Relationships (Civil Registration) Bill on unmarried mothers in long term partnerships. [33830]

Ms Hewitt: The Government are taking forward a cross-departmental exercise to examine all the issues relevant to civil partnerships in detail. It would be premature for the Government to commit themselves to making any changes in these areas before undertaking a comprehensive analysis of all the implications.

Flexible Working Practices

36. Mrs. Betty Williams: To ask the Minister what steps she is taking to encourage flexibility at work for women. [33831]

Ms Hewitt: The Government's Employment Bill will give mothers, and fathers, of young children a right to request to work flexibly and set out the procedure that employers will have to follow to ensure applications are considered seriously. This new right will apply from April 2003.

The Government's work-life balance campaign encourages all employers to introduce working practices, particularly flexible working arrangements, to enable mothers, and other employees, to balance better their work with other responsibilities. The fourth round of the Work-Life Challenge Fund, which provides consultancy

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support to employers looking to adopt such policies, is currently under way and employers are invited to submit applications by the closing date of 8 March.

Women in Public Life

37. Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Minister what consultations she has had on the departmental action plans for public appointments of women. [33832]

Ms Hewitt: We are determined that women should hold half of all public appointments. The Minister for Women in the Cabinet Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Mrs. Roche), has discussed with ministerial colleagues in other Departments efforts towards this, and other diversity targets. The Government's overall action plan, together with individual departmental action plans, will be published later this month.

Women Scientists

38. Hugh Bayley: To ask the Minister what steps she is taking to increase the number of women scientists working in the United Kingdom. [33833]

Ms Hewitt: I recently allocated funding to ensure that the Promoting SET for Women Unit will continue to be in existence for another five years to stimulate progress. I have asked Baroness Greenfield to lead a new high-level group to report with recommendations for a stronger strategic approach to increase the participation of women in science and engineering. I have also recently published the report "Maximising Returns to Science and Engineering Careers".



Departmental Leave Entitlements

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what has been the average annual leave entitlement of staff in his Department in each of the last four years. [31744]

Dr. Whitehead: The annual leave entitlement for all DTLR(C) staff outside of the senior civil service is 30 days, and has been in each of the last four years.

The annual leave entitlement for all members of the senior civil service within DTLR(C) is currently set by the Cabinet Office at 30 days, and has been for the last four years.

Public Appointments

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the people he has appointed to official bodies and non-departmental public bodies coming under the aegis of his Department in the last three years; and who they were. [33350]

Ms Keeble: Information about the numbers and remuneration of ministerial appointments to public

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bodies, including the names of chairpersons, is included in the annual Cabinet Office publication, "Public Bodies". Copies are available in the Libraries of the House and also published on the Cabinet Office's website at The next edition of "Public Bodies", which will include information on appointments as at 31 March 2001, will be published shortly.

A list showing people appointed by Ministers in the last three years has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

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Public Bodies (Chairmen)

Mr. Forth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the appointments made by his Department since 1 May 1997 of chairmen of (a) non-departmental public bodies, (b) commissions, (c) inquiries, (d) agencies and (e) task forces; and if he will list their (i) term of office, (ii) salary and (iii) known political affiliation (A) past and (B) present. [33887]

Ms Keeble: Ministers in my Department have appointed or reappointed chairs since 1 May 1997 as follows:

Name(i) Term of office(ii) Salary (£)
(a) Non-departmental public body
Audit CommissionDame Helena Shovelton(2)17 December 1998 to 30 November 200134,880
Castle Vale Housing Action TrustRichard Temple Cox (reappointed)30 June 1999 to 29 June 200232,680
Urban Regeneration AgencyLord Walker (reappointed)10 December 1997 to 30 September 19980
Commission for the New TownsDr. John Bradfield (reappointed)1 April 1998 to 30 September 199837,223
English PartnershipsSir Alan Cockshaw(3)1 October 1998 to 30 September 200150,000
Housing CorporationBaroness Brenda Dean6 November 1997 to 31 March 200143,131
(reappointed)1 April 2001 to 30 September 2003
Health and Safety CommissionBill Callaghan1 October 1999 to 30 September 200493,021
Liverpool Housing Action TrustPaula Ridley (reappointed)8 February 1999 to 31 March 200432,680
Stonebridge Housing Action TrustTony Wade (reappointed)27 July 1997 to 31 October 199728,765
Ivan Weekes1 November 1997 to 31 October 2000 (resigned 31 March 2000)30,828
Caroline Pickering7 July 2000 to 16 July 200332,680
Tower Hamlets Housing Action TrustSheila Drew Smith1 July 1999 to 30 June 200432,680
Waltham Forest Housing Action TrustJohn Chumrow (reappointed)10 December 1997 to 31 December 200132,680
Standards Board for England (body created in 2001)Tony Holland7 February 2001 to 6 February 200450,000
Strategic Rail AuthoritySir Alastair Morton(4)15 January 2001 to 31 March 2002 (resigned 30 November 2001)137,917
Richard Bowker1 December 2001 to 30 November 2006250,000
Civil Aviation AuthoritySir Malcolm Field (reappointed)1 June 1999 to 31 May 2002 (resigned 16 September 2001)79,149
Sir Roy McNulty17 September 2001 to 31 August 200490,640
Advisory Panel on Standards in the Planning InspectorateMichael FitzGerald (reappointed)2 August 1998 to 1 December 20000
Corinne Swain1 February 2001 to 31 January 20040
Building Regulations Advisory CommitteeJack Anderson (reappointed)1 January 1998 to 31 December 19990
Pat O'Sullivan1 January 2000 to 31 December 20010
Michael Finn1 January 2002 to 31 December 20040
Commission for Integrated Transport (body created in 1999)David Begg30 March 1999 to 29 March 200226,497
Disabled Persons Transport Advisory CommitteeJane Wilmot1 January 1999 to 31 December 20010
(reappointed)1 January 2002 to 30 June 20030
Local Government CommissionMalcolm Grant (reappointed)1 July 1999 to 30 June 200221,400
Property Advisory GroupRobin Broadhurst1 July 1998 to 30 June 20030
Rent Assessment Panel EasternBruce Edgington1 October 1998 to 30 September 200231,406
Rent Assessment Panel LondonSusan Lloyd (reappointed)1 April 1999 to 31 March 2002 (resigned 19 July 2000)56,670
Siobahn McGrath (reappointed)1 December 2000 to 31 January 200357,201
Rent Assessment Panel MidlandJohn Bettinson (reappointed)1 January 2000 to 14 October 200231,406
Rent Assessment Panel NorthernMartin Davey (reappointed)1 April 1999 to 31 March 200447,110
Rent Assessment Panel SouthernRobert Long (reappointed)1 October 1997 to 30 September 200247,110
Traffic Area EasternGeoffrey Simms1 June 1998 to 2 August 2006(5)68,000
Traffic Area North EasternTom Macartney28 February 2000 to 30 June 2012(5)68,000
Traffic Area North WesternBeverley Bell10 April 2000 to 7 December 2024(5)68,000
Traffic Area South Eastern and MetropolitanChris Heaps4 January 2000 to 15 November 2007(5)69,100
Traffic Area West Midland and WelshDavid Dixon1 May 1998 to 3 April 2007(5)68,000
Traffic Area WesternPhilip Brown9 May 2000 to 16 April 2018(5)68,000
(b) Commission
Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental CommissionJohn Henes4 January 2000 to 31 December 2002Daily fee based on standard senior civil service rates
Commission for Local AdministrationAnthony Redmond12 November 2001 to (6)132,603
(c) Public inquiries
Thames Safety InquiryRight Hon. Lord Justice ClarkeAppointed 09/09, report published January 2000No salary from the inquiry
Marchioness/Bowbelle Formal Investigation and Public Inquiry into the Identification of Victims following Major Transport AccidentsRight Hon. Lord Justice ClarkeAppointed February 2000, final reports published March 2001No salary from the Formal Investigation
Reopened Formal Investigation into the loss of the MV DerbyshireHon. Mr. Justice ColmanAppointed April 2000, report published November 2000No salary from the Reopened Formal Investigation
Reopened Formal Investigation into the loss of the FV Gaul Mr. Justice SteelAppointed May 2000, currently adjourned. Likely to reopen late February/early MarchNo salary from the Reopened Formal Investigation

(2) A new chair is currently being appointed to the Audit Commission. The deputy chair has been acting chair since Dame Helena stood down last November.

(3) In May 1999, during Sir Alan Cockshaw's chairmanship, the Urban Regeneration Agency and Commission for the New Towns came together as a single operating entity with the name English Partnerships. A new chair is currently being appointed, the deputy chair has been acting chair since Sir Alan stood down.

(4) Sir Alastair was appointed chair of British Railways Board—one of Strategic Rail Authority's predecessor bodies on 1 April 1999.

(5) The Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 provides for appointment of Traffic Commissioners until their compulsory retirement at age 65.

(6) This post runs concurrently with the tenure of Mr. Redmond's appointment as a Commissioner for Local Administration. Commissioners may be relieved of office at their own request or may be removed from office on the grounds of incapacity or misbehaviour and shall vacate office on completing the year of service in which they attain the age of 65.

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(d) This Department does not designate a chair to head its agencies.
(e) Information on the number, remit and membership of task forces, ad hoc advisory groups and reviews has been published by the Cabinet Office on a regular basis. The first report was published on 11 January 2000 and gives information for the period between 1 May 1997 to 31 October 1999. A second report was published on 27 July 2000, and covered the period 1 November 1999 to 30 April 2000. A third report was published on 13 December 2000 covering the period 1 May 2000 to 31 October 2000. The most recent report, "Task Forces, Ad Hoc Advisory Groups and Reviews," issued in October 2001, covers the period of the financial year 2000–01. Copies of these reports have been placed in the Libraries of the House.
(iii) Information on chairs political affiliation is not collected.

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