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Lord Bowness asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: The £20 million will fund the Greater London Authority (GLA) itself--the Mayor and the Assembly--their support staff, and the GLA's common services. We estimate the core GLA will have about 250 support staff.

Lord Bowness asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: The White Paper proposes that the GLA will take over from the boroughs responsibility for a limited number of functions--strategic roads and some bodies such as the London Planning Advisory Committee and the London Research Centre which serve the whole of London. The GLA's transport arm, Transport for London, will take over the responsibilities of the Traffic Control Systems Unit, which looks after the co-ordinated operation of traffic lights across London and currently reports to the boroughs.

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Lord Bowness asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which functions of the Mayor and the Greater London Authority are to be financed from the estimated "3p per week at Band D" (A Mayor and Assembly for London (Cm 3897), paragraph 6.33).[HL1490]

Baroness Hayman: The contribution from London council tax payers, estimated at 3 pence per week on a band D council tax bill, will fund about 20 per cent. of the costs of new activities for which the Greater London Authority (GLA) will not inherit funding. These include the Mayor and his or her office, the Assembly and the Assembly Secretariat, and the GLA's common services. Further details are set out in paragraphs 3.38-3.44 of A Mayor and Assembly for London.

Jubilee Line Extension

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their estimate of the date, or dates, on which the Jubilee Line Extension will be open for use, showing separately as appropriate each section of line if it is intended that there will be a phasing of the opening.[HL1461]

Baroness Hayman: LT had planned a phased opening of the Jubilee Line Extension but now proposes instead to open the entire line (i.e. the existing Jubilee Line together with the whole of the Extension) at the same time, for full through services, in spring 1999.

A.12, Witham: Advertisement Hoardings

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    On what basis the large advertising hoardings displayed along the north side of the Witham bypass on the A.12 trunk road have been allowed to remain, given that the advice contained in the Planning Policy Note on Outdoor Advertisement Control makes it clear that advertising is out of place in the open countryside; and whether they regard it as satisfactory that the Braintree District Council, who own the site and derive revenue from the hoardings, should be allowed to give planning consent in this instance.[HL1465]

Baroness Hayman: Parliament has entrusted local planning authorities with the responsibility for advertisement control in their areas, and Braintree District Council's decisions to allow the hoardings which border the A.12 trunk road at Witham were properly arrived at after the council had taken into account all the material considerations, including the relevant government advice on the siting of outdoor advertisements. The hoardings at Witham are located on the edge of an industrial estate and not within open countryside, but the district council will be reviewing the suitability of the hoardings when the existing advertisement control consents expire early in 1999.

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Petrol Price Comparisons

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish in the Official Report a table showing the average price per litre of

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    (a) unleaded petrol; and (b) leaded petrol in-- (i) Great Britain; and (ii) United States, together with the amount of tax paid per litre in each case.[HL1089]

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Clinton-Davis): The latest available comparable information requested is in the table below. All data in pence/litre.

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United Kingdom(1) United States(2)
FuelDateRetail PriceOf which total tax(3)Retail PriceOf which total tax(4)
Unleaded petrolFebruary 199862.6149.6018.226.17
Leaded petrolFebruary 199868.6355.32Not available

Source:

Energy Trends, Digest of UK Energy Statistics. IEA Monthly Oil Market Report.

(1) Separate data for GB are not published by DTI.

(2) Converted from US dollars using the average exchange rate for the period shown.

(3) Includes duty and VAT.

(4) Includes State sales and gasoline taxes and Federal gasoline tax.


20 Apr 1998 : Column WA187

Multilateral Agreement on Investment

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the implications of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment for so-called "BioPiracy".[HL1457]

Lord Clinton-Davis: The Government believe that issues such as "BioPiracy" should be the subject of action at national level and within the appropriate international environmental agreements--for example, the Convention on Biological Diversity.

More generally, we are studying the report by the OECD Secretariat on the relationship between the proposed MAI and multilateral environmental agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the implications of the Multilateral Agreement on Investments for the protection and encouragement of national and regional cultural developments.[HL1458]

Lord Clinton-Davis: The MAI allows for policies to encourage national and regional cultural development which do not discriminate on the grounds of the nationality of an investor.

In the audio-visual sector, the European Commission is proposing that all member states and the Community take exceptions from the MAI's obligations so as to maintain their ability to take discriminatory measures for the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity. This would preserve the result of the 1994 General Agreement on Trade in Services in this sector. The Government support this approach.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the provisions of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment enforced by the World Trade Organisation and by other non-United Nations

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    international bodies are appealable; and, if so, how and to whom.[HL1459]

Lord Clinton-Davis: MAI dispute settlement provisions will be self-standing and separate from the WTO. The draft provisions do not include an appeals procedure, though the issue is under consideration.

Turkey: European Court of Human Rights Awards

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Government of Turkey have paid the sums of compensation awarded against them in recent judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (for example, the case of Ms Sukram Aydin, Mrs. Leila Zana and fellow parliamentarians, and of Ms Mentes, Ms M. Turhali and Ms S. Turhali); and, if not, what enforcement measures are in progress.[HL1375]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): We understand that following the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, the Turkish government has paid the sums due in compensation in the cases of Mr. Aydin and of Ms Zana and the other former parliamentarians. In the Mentes/Turhali case, we understand that costs have been paid by the Turkish government, but that the European Court of Human Rights has reserved judgment on the question of compensation.

Turkey: European Commission on Human Rights Opinions

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What information they have about progress in the cases before the European Commission on Human Rights in Aytekin v Turkey, Berktay v Turkey and

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    Aktas v Turkey; and when they expect these cases to be concluded.[HL1377]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: In the case of Aytekin v Turkey, the European Commission on Human Rights has delivered its Opinion, and the case is now before the European Court of Human Rights. We expect a judgment in the autumn of 1998.

In the case of Berktay v Turkey, the European Commission on Human Rights is expected to deliver its Opinion later this year.

In the case of Aktas v Turkey, it is not clear when the European Commission on Human Rights will deliver its Opinion.


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