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Israel: Defence Links

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe): My right honourable friend's visit to Israel provided an opportunity for discussions on a number of issues, including the bilateral defence relationship. Our defence links with Israel are limited but progress in the Middle East Peace Process has allowed the development of contacts of the kind which we would expect to have with any friendly country.

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RAF Bentwaters Site: Chris Parker Group

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have satisfied themselves that the Chris Parker Group Ltd. would have the financial resources to complete the purchase of the RAF Bentwaters site and whether there have been any occasions in the past when companies of which Mr. Chris Parker was a director have gone into liquidation.

Earl Howe: My department has made appropriate inquiries and is satisfied that the necessary financial resources are available to complete the purchase and that Mr. Parker has a sound and well researched business plan for the site.

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have taken into consideration the report of Dun & Bradstreet International on the Chris Parker Group Ltd., incorporated in 1994 under Company Registration Number 2993477, in view of their current negotiations to sell the RAF Bentwaters site to this group.

Earl Howe: Yes.

Yorkshire Regional Health Authority: NAO Report

Lord Dean of Beswick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the National Audit Office report on irregular expenditure by the former Yorkshire Regional Health Authority (HC Paper 280), whether the District Auditor has reported to them on subjects raised by the report; and, if so, whether they will place in the Library a copy of the District Auditor's report.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): The District Auditor for the former Yorkshire Regional Health Authority has not reported on any matters following publication of the National Audit Office Report.

Track Safety Work: London to Dollands Moor

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect British Rail to submit an investment case to the Department of Transport for the funding for the track safety work necessary for the Class 92 electric locomotives to operate between London and Dollands Moor via Tonbridge and Redhill; and

    Whether they will state, in respect of the track safety work necessary for the electric locomotives to operate between London and Dollands Moor via Tonbridge and Redhill:

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    (a) the original planned completion date of the works to enable the locomotives to operate on this route;


    (b) the estimated cost of the work;


    (c) the expected date of the commencement of the work;


    (d) the expected date of completion of the works; and


    (e) the reasons for the delay in starting and completion.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): Decisions on further investment in Railfreight Distribution will be taken in the light of a recent review by the BR Board and the Department of Transport of the financial position of this business and the prospects for privatisation. No plans for the work on the route via Tonbridge and Redhill have been submitted to the Government.

Non-UK Registered HGVs

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much additional revenue per year would be received from a vignette charge of £1,000 per year per non-UK registered HGV for operation on UK roads.

Viscount Goschen: It is not possible to make this calculation, as the number of such vehicles which enter the UK is not known.

Central Railways plc: Proposed Rail Route

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Pursuant to the Answer given by Viscount Goschen on 23rd May (WA 104), whether they will arrange for a copy of the application and supporting documentation for an order under the Transport and Works Act 1992 to be placed in the Library of the House.

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Viscount Goschen: Central Railways plc's application for an order under the Transport and Works Act 1992 and supporting documentation are now available for inspection in the Library of the House.

Freightliner: Track Access Grants

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the value, on a year by year basis, of the track access grants included in the recent sale of Freightliner.

Viscount Goschen: This information, in the form requested, is commercially confidential. Track access grant of up to £75 million will be available to Freightliner over the next five years.

Freightliner: Sale Price

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the price for which the Government recently sold Freightliner.

Viscount Goschen: Proceeds of individual sales by British Rail are not disclosed where this could prejudice disposals still to be completed.

Vehicle Number Plate Colours

The Marquess of Ailesbury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is a European Union directive that requires British vehicle number plates to be yellow or white.

Viscount Goschen: No. The requirements for British number plates are contained in the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 1971.



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