Chewing Gum as Litter
Lord Colwyn asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether in view of the continuing public disregard of the law governing the proper disposal of litter, including chewing gum, they will (a) estimate the annual cost of cleaning pavements in major cities in the United Kingdom; (b) confirm that it is an offence to drop chewing gum on the pavement; and (c) consider legislation to make manufacturers of chewing gum partially liable for the cost of its removal.
Baroness Hayman: Information on the cost of cleaning pavements in major cities in the United Kingdom is not collected centrally. The estimated cost of street cleansing for London Boroughs, the City of London and English Metropolitan Districts in 1997-98 is £158 million.
It is an offence under Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to drop anything in a public place which causes the defacement of that place by litter. It is for the courts to decide in the circumstances of the case whether the dropping of chewing gum constituted a littering offence.
The Tidy Britain Group, which is largely funded by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, is currently working with a major chewing gum manufacturer to establish both effective cleansing methods and ways of reducing the problem in the first place. We have no plans for the kind of legislation which the noble Lord has suggested.
Marine Special Areas of Conservation
Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:
When they will publish the criteria which were used to identify existing marine Special Areas of Conservation.
Baroness Hayman: Annex III to the Habitats Directive contains the criteria to be applied to the selection of sites. The list for consultation published in March 1995 contained an account of the way these criteria have been applied in the UK. Both documents are available in the Library. Further explanatory material will be published in due course.
Discharges of Dangerous Substances into Controlled Waters
Lord Carmichael of Kelvingrove asked Her Majesty's Government:
What plans they have to introduce further environmental quality standards for the discharges of dangerous substances into controlled waters.
Baroness Hayman: A consultation paper proposing environmental quality standards for 13 dangerous substances, as defined in Directive 76/464/EEC on
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pollution caused by certain dangerous substances discharged into the aquatic environment of the Community, was issued by the department in March. It is planned to bring regulations containing these standards before the House shortly. In addition, we have today placed in the Library of the House a consultation paper proposing standards for a further 21 dangerous substances. These substances are:
2, 4 D(ester and non ester)
Partnership for Peace Exercises: Funding
Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many of the exercises conducted by NATO under the Partnership For Peace programmes are funded in whole or in part directly by the United States and not through NATO channels, and what oversight does NATO have of the proposed participants, scenarios and related matters.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): NATO-directed Partnership for Peace (PfP) exercises are open to all Allied and Partner nations. Exercise proposals and plans are approved by NATO. Costs are borne by participating nations, and by NATO common funding. Twenty-three such exercises are planned for this year.
In addition, there are a wide range of activities "in the spirit of" PfP. These will not be open to all Allies and Partners. Funding, planning and conduct are the responsibility of participating nations. There are likely to be about 20 such activities this year, many of which are made possible by the generous support of the United States.
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Gulf War Illness: Group Captain Coker's Findings
Baroness Park of Monmouth asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether the original research paper containing Group Captain Coker's findings that was submitted to the Gulf War inquiry on posting will be published; and, if so, whether they will place a copy of the paper in the Library of the House.
Lord Gilbert: Group Captain Coker published a paper on the results from the first 284 patients seen by
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the MoD's Medical Assessment Programme (MAP) in the Summer 1996 edition of the Journal of the Royal Naval Medical Service (A Review of Gulf War Illness J roy nav med Serv 1996; 82: 141-146). In late 1996 he prepared the first draft of a paper concerning the results from some 500 MAP patients. Work on this draft paper was never completed.
However, doctors at the MAP have now seen 1,435 patients and the Government have undertaken to publish detailed results from the programme later this year. Group Captain Coker will be closely involved with this work, which will supersede his earlier draft paper. A copy of this will be placed in the Library of the House when completed and published.