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The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): This is not a matter for Her Majesty's Government. The operation of the Russian Embassy Consular Division and the requirements of Russian nationality law are matters solely for the Government of the Russian Federation.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Government welcome the Report of the Home Affairs Committee's Inquiry into Alternatives to Prison Sentences. We believe that the courts should have available to them an effective range of sentencing options and the Committee's report contributes towards realising this aim.
My right honourable friend the Home Secretary and I are considering all the Committee's recommendations very carefully and when we have done so we shall publish our response. Many of the recommendations endorse action which the Government are already taking.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Institute for Public Policy Research is a registered charity. As such, it is exempt from tax on its charitable activities and can claim tax relief on its charitable donations. Donors can also claim further relief when they are eligible.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): The cost to public funds to date of the Earl Soham development has been £120,000 and the abstraction licence, effectively the date of completion, was authorised in February 1998. Two hundred and sixty thousand cubic metres of water were abstracted from the borehole in the first six months of operation. The borehole has been operated intermittently
Lord Whitty: Protection of land from inappropriate development is provided for by the land use planning system. National planning policy in England in respect of protection of the countryside is set out in Planning Policy Guidance Notes 2 (green belts), 7 (the countryside) and 9 (nature conservation) and guidance is similarly issued in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Lord Whitty: The Government share the CPRE's wish to promote more sustainable development as set out in their publication, Hungry Housing. The Government have set a national target that, within 10 years, 60 per cent. of new homes should be built on previously developed land. We are revising planning policy guidance on housing and transport with the aims of making better use of land resources and encouraging less dependence on car usage. We have consulted widely in advance of publishing a revised Sustainable Development Strategy and our consultation has specifically addressed the need for more sustainable construction. We have also recently issued a consultation document about the continued conservation of our most important wildlife sites. These are only some of the measures which the Government have taken which address the CPRE's concerns.
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