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Lord Donoughue: Research has shown that great care must be taken in attributing to fish sensations similar to those experienced by humans or other mammals. Nevertheless, we are keen to ensure that those involved in angling are aware of the need to avoid unnecessary harm and minimise any stress caused to fish. Guidance and advice on a wide range of aspects, such as how best to handle and hold fish is readily available from angling organisations and the Environment Agency.
Lord Donoughue: The review recommended a number of additional appointments to the Committee, including an expert from the Institute for Animal Health and a representative of the public interest. My right honourable friends the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries
Professor Roy Anderson FRS;
Professor Anne Ferguson;
Dr. Peter Goodfellow FRS;
Mrs. Harriet Kimbell, Representative of the public interest;
Dr. Christopher Bostock, Representative of the Institute for Animal Health.
Professor Fred Brown FRS, Dr. Richard Kimberlin, Mr. David Pepper and Dr. William Watson, who have served on SEAC for more than six years, a further one year;
Professor William Hueston, who has served on SEAC for more than four years, a further two years.
an observer from the Health and Safety Executive; and
an observer from the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) Research and Development Funders' Co-ordination Group, which represents the major funders of TSE research.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): Wales has its own individual approach to mental health provision based on Mental Illness--A Strategy for Wales, issued
Papua New Guinea
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Government welcome the Chief Inspector's report on his inspection of Canterbury prison. While the Chief Inspector did not make any specific recommendations in his report about
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman): The Government have issued today their consultation paper setting out proposals for giving people greater access to the open countryside in England and Wales. Copies have been placed in the Library of both Houses.
Our proposals have the potential to benefit the millions of people who already enjoy, or who will in future enjoy, walking in the countryside. Current arrangements for access to areas of open countryside, rather than rights of way, have not been used extensively and are not generally well understood. In many cases, people are understandably confused about the areas of land on which they are entitled to walk or the circumstances under which they may do so. We need to secure more and better quality access with greater clarity and certainty for all concerned.
Our proposals are about giving greater access to open countryside, not to developed or cultivated land. Our first priority is to increase access to mountain, moor, heath, down and registered common land. In total these cover no more than 12 per cent. of the land in England and Wales. We also wish to see more access to other areas of open country such as woodland, cliffs and foreshore, and will introduce measures to encourage this if necessary.
In developing our proposals, we intend to ensure that a proper balance is struck between the rights and responsibilities of those who will benefit from greater access and of others affected by it. We are determined that those who will enjoy greater access should be responsible: the countryside and people's property and livelihoods must continue to be respected and properly protected. The Government recognise the need for sensible restrictions on the freedom of access to take account of the genuine needs of owners and other users of the land. Similarly, we recognise that access to some areas or at some times needs to be limited for reasons of health or safety, nature conservation, or archaeology.
We are keen to ensure that the consultation process provides a genuine opportunity for all those interested to put forward their own ideas and views. We shall be allowing three months for consultation, ending on Friday 5 June. As well as considering written responses to the paper, we plan to hold meetings with organisations representing walkers, farmers and other owners and occupiers, and others with an interest. We shall also be drawing on the experience and expertise of the relevant statutory agencies and local authorities in firming up our ideas, and may need to consult further on some issues before announcing our conclusions, which we hope to do later this year.
How many disabled people who will have to pay the fee for first registration of vehicles had to seek help from the Drivers Fund and Mobility Equipment Fund to meet part of the cost of acquiring and adapting a vehicle in 1996-97.[HL664]
It is our intention to exempt from the fee any vehicle registered in the "disabled exempt" tax class, entry to which is open to disabled drivers (or appointed nominees) in receipt of DLA at the higher rate and in possession of a VED certificate of entitlement. Therefore, there will be no cost to the Drivers Fund and Mobility Equipment Fund.
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