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Mr. Jason Pope

Lord Evans of Watford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: As an exception, and for the humanitarian purpose of obtaining information about the whereabouts and welfare of Jason Pope, we have sought and obtained an exception to paragraph 12(a) of Security Council Resolution 1173. The United Nations Angola Sanctions Committee has granted this exemption to enable our Embassy in Luanda to contact UNITA in areas of Angola not under state administration. A full report of these contacts will be supplied to the Committee.

Our Embassy in Luanda is already in contact with UNITA representatives in Luanda for the same purpose. We have also authorised our Embassy in Washington to approach the UNITA representative in Washington for assistance. Such contacts are not prohibited under UNSCR 1173.

Human Rights Declaration: Fiftieth Anniversary Commemoration

Baroness Turner of Camden asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Five decades on, the Declaration remains a common standard of achievement for all nations and all people. There can be no better way of commemorating the 50th Anniversary than reaffirming our commitment to speak up for the rights it sets out. Those rights are universal. They apply equally to all people--women, children and men.

Together with many non-governmental organisations, we have taken part in many events throughout the year,

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including: conferences, seminars and projects to raise the awareness of human rights issues:

    the Foreign Secretary delivered a keynote speech at Amnesty International's Human Rights Festival in October, in which he announced a number of important initiatives, including a worldwide lobbying campaign against the use of torture.

    the Minister of State (Tony Lloyd) addressed a Foreign Office-sponsored Anniversary seminar at Wilton Park with over 60 participants from some 30 countries.

We are also taking a full part in today's celebrations to mark the Anniversary throughout the world:

    the Foreign Secretary attended a national commemoration service in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal at Westminster Abbey earlier this afternoon;

    the Minister of State (Tony Lloyd) hosted a reception this afternoon to mark the anniversary;

    the Development Secretary is in New York to address a special session to the UN General Assembly today;

    the Minister of State (Joyce Quin) is attending today's EU commemorative event in Vienna, where the Presidency will issue a Declaration, including a joint UK/German proposal to publish an annual EU Human Rights Report.

Independent Schools: Registration and Inspection

Baroness David asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What arrangements there are for independent schools when they first seek registration; and how often on average existing independent schools are inspected.[HL196]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): Independent schools in England which provide full time education for five or more pupils of compulsory school age must register provisionally with the Department for Education and Employment within one month of opening. They are inspected by HMI from OFSTED, by the fire brigade, and by the local authority social services department in the case of a boarding school, to ensure that they meet the statutory requirements for final registration. Thereafter, finally registered schools are inspected by HMI on a five to six year cycle, unless signs of failings necessitate more frequent monitoring. New arrangements will apply from 1999 for regular inspection with published reports for schools which are members of an Independent Schools Council association.

There are some differences in the registration and inspection arrangements for independent schools elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

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Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct: Annual Report

Baroness Goudie asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct intends to publish its seventh annual report.

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): The Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct has today published its seventh annual report, and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Roads Review: Targeted Programme of Improvements

Lord Graham of Edmonton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether progress has been made since the roads review on the targeted programme of improvements and the programme of studies.[HL271]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): I am happy to announce today that we are able to provide further details of the construction programme for the schemes included in our targeted programme of improvements listed in A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England.

As previously stated by my right honourable friend the Minister for Transport (Official Report, Commons; col. 1738, 31 July 1998), all the schemes listed in the TPI will definitely start within the next seven years, subject only to the completion of any outstanding statutory procedures.

For those schemes where all the statutory procedures have been completed, the following are the planned start of works dates. Final confirmation of individual start dates within each year will be subject to the satisfactory completion of the necessary contract process.


    A1 Willowburn-Denwick

    A6 Great Glen Bypass

    A27 Polegate Bypass

    A41 Aston Clinton Bypass

    A43 Silverstone Bypass

    A43 Whitfield Turn-Brackley Hatch Improvement

    A1033 Hedon Road, Hull Improvement


    A5 Nesscliffe Bypass

    A6 Clapham Bypass

    A6 Rothwell-Desborough Bypass

    A6 Rushden and Higham Ferrers Bypass

    A10 Wadesmill-Colliers End Bypass

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    A11 Rounham Heath to Attleborough

    A21 Lamberhurst Bypass

    A23 Coulsdon Relief Road

    A43 M40-B4031 Improvement

    A46 Newark-Lincoln Improvement

    A63 Selby Bypass

    A66 Stainburn and Great Clifton Bypass

    A120 Stansted-Braintree

    A500 Basford/Hough/Shavington Bypass

    A650 Bingley Relief Road


    M25 J 12-15 Widening


    M60 J 5-8 (formerly M63 J 6-9 Widening)

We propose to take forward the following five schemes under design, build, finance and operate (DBFO) contracts. These provide bidders with the flexibility to decide their own start dates as a means of producing better value for money. In line with our new objectives for trunk roads the proposed payment mechanisms for these schemes will incentivise efficient road operation and will include rewarding improved safety and good service to buses and lorries. We will further keep under review the scope for additional public private partnerships to implement the TPI.

The DBFO schemes are:

    Contract Award Date


    A1(M) Ferrybridge to Hook Moor

    A1(M) Wetherby to Walshford

The following three schemes, which we propose taking forward under DBFO contracts, are still subject to statutory procedures. The next statutory procedures for these schemes, together with the planned dates, are:


    A249 Iwade-Queenborough Improvement (Public Inquiry)


    A2 Bean-Cobham Widening Phase 2 (Public Consultation)

    A2 (A2/A282 Dartford Improvement (Order Publication)

I am not yet in a position to announce the final start of works dates for the remaining schemes listed in the TPI. I am, however, able to announce the next statutory procedure for the remaining schemes where applicable.


    A303 Stonehenge (Public Consultation)


    A6 Alvaston (Order Publication)

    A34 Chieveley/M4 J13 Improvement (Order Publication--revised CPO)

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    A2 Bean-Cobham Widening Phase 1 (Public Consultation)

    A500 City Road/Stoke Road Junctions (Order Publication)


    A5 Weeford-Fazeley Improvement (Order Publication)

    A14 Rookery Crossroads Grade Separated Junction (Order Publication)

    A421 Great Barford Bypass (Order Publication)

At the same time as the TPI was published, a further seven schemes were listed which were not sufficiently advanced to be considered for the TPI but which are to be progressed through their statutory procedures and, if endorsed as a result of the regional planning guidance procedure process, will be taken forward without delay, subject only to the availability of funds. They are, with dates of the next statutory procedure:


    A30 Bodmin-Indian Queens Improvement (Public Consultation)


    A11 Attleborough Bypass (Public Consultation)

    A11 Fiveways-Thetford Improvement (Public Consultation)

    A63 Melton Grade Separated Junction (Order Publication)


    A45/A46 Tollbar End Improvement (Public Consultation)

    A57/A628 Mottram-Tintwistle Bypass (Order Publication)

    A66 Temple Sowerby Bypass & Imp. at Winderwath (Order Publication)

In A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England we also proposed a programme of studies to address the most urgent problems on the trunk road network not addressed by schemes in the TPI. My department is today beginning a consultation exercise with regional planning bodies to agree the study programme and to seek views in particular on the timing of the studies. The provisional programme of studies is as follows:

    Tranche one multi-modal studies: West Midlands to North West Conurbation; London Orbital; South West Yorkshire Motorway box; Tyneside; West Midlands Area; Access to Hastings; London to South West and South Wales; North-South Movements in East Midlands; and South East Manchester.

    Work to begin in spring 1999.

    Tranche two multi-modal studies: Cambridge to Huntingdon, A453 (M1-Nottingham); Southampton to Folkestone; Hull; London to South

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    Midlands; West Midlands to Nottingham; London to Reading.

    The start date for these studies will depend on the progress of tranche one studies in each region.

    Roads-based studies: A1 Bramham to Barton; Norwich to Great Yarmouth; A5 Shrewsbury to Welsh Border; A38 Derby Junctions; M1 Junction 19; A3 Hindhead; Deeside Park Junctions; M40/A46 Longbridge roundabout; A419 Blunsdon; A66 Safety study.

    We intend to begin these within the next two years.

A copy of the consultation document will be placed in the Library.

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