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Maidenhead Flood Alleviation Scheme: Transport of Gravel

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Donoughue: I understand that the Environment Agency has investigated the environmental advantages and disadvantages of using either road or rail for transporting the gravel generated by the construction of

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the Maidenhead, Windsor and Eton flood alleviation scheme. The agency will take full account of both environmental and economic factors in selecting the preferred option.

Scallops: Conservation

Lord Davies of Oldham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans have been made to introduce measures to secure scallop stock conservation.[HL191]

Lord Donoughue: Following issue of a consultative paper in June this year and careful consideration of the responses, it has been decided to proceed with the introduction of specific licensing arrangements for over 10-metre vessels fishing for scallops using mechanical dredging gear.

Permission to fish for scallops with mechanical dredging gear will be granted where vessel owners can demonstrate that they currently hold licences with a history of having caught a minimum of 1 tonne of scallops by this method in any calendar year during the period 1 January 1994 to 31 May 1998. The users of mechanical dredging gear will be required to complete a logbook for all fishing trips during which scallops are caught. Where licences are aggregated, the permission to fish for scallops with mechanical dredging gear will only be given if all the donor licences carried that permission.

These arrangements are planned to take effect from 1 April 1999 and will be reviewed after two years in the light of experience. The review will take account also of progress towards the development of more precisely targeted conservation measures.

A number of respondents to the consultation exercise proposed that scallop licensing should be introduced for vessels of 10 metres and under. This will be considered as part of broader management arrangements for these vessels. However, I should make it clear that if scallop licensing were to be introduced in this context, the reference period for determining eligibility would also be 1 January 1994 to 31 May 1998.

Fisheries departments will be writing to all owners of over 10-metre vessels setting out the criteria for qualification for a licence and inviting applications. The letter will also deal with the arrangements for considering applications from those who do not meet the qualifying criteria but who have made a financial commitment to invest in a scallop vessel, gear or licences for aggregation onto a scallop vessel prior to 31 May 1998.

Foresight Programme

Lord Graham of Edmonton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have for the development of the Government's Foresight Programme.[HL330]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): I am delighted to announce that the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has published today the blueprint for the next round of Foresight, which will start in April 1999. Copies have been filed in the Library.

The next round of Foresight will have a broader focus than before. The work will be taken forward through 10 sectoral panels and three thematic panels looking at the ageing population, crime prevention and the future of manufacturing. Associate programmes will be run by professional institutions and other organisations, working closely with the Office of Science and Technology.

There will be many avenues for participation, with a particular emphasis on involving young people. An Internet-based Knowledge Pool will provide a unique resource to support Foresight participants and promote widespread debate on emerging results and conclusions.

The Government's vision is to put the future on Britain's side. We have the talent to exploit the opportunities of the future. The forthcoming Competitiveness White Paper will set out a framework for the Government's role in helping British business to achieve this. Foresight is a central part of that framework.

Algeria: Export Credit Guarantee Indebtedness

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the total amount owed by Algeria under Export Credit Guarantees at the most recent date.[HL148]

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Simon of Highbury): The total amount owed by Algeria at the end of November 1998 was £174 million.

Public Art Collections: Commercial Loans

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether living artists who have given works of art to public collections are entitled to a share of the profits when their works are leased to private commercial organisations.[HL202]

Lord Simon of Highbury: Under copyright law, artists are granted rights which generally allow them to authorise or prohibit rental or lending of originals or copies of their works to the public. This is as required by Directive 92/100 EEC, which was implemented in the UK by the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 1996. Artists therefore have legal rights to obtain benefits from leasing of their works, including to commercial organisations. However, any benefits artists derive when they donate a work to a public collection will depend on what arrangements they have made with the collection, including whether they have assigned their rights.

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Chancellor's Gate: Granite Setts

Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe asked the Chairman of Committees:

    With reference to the granite setts outside Chancellor's Gate:

    (a) which firm undertook the work;

    (b) how they were selected;

    (c) whether the selection followed public advertisement;

    (d) what was the cost of the work; and

    (e) whether the setts are of British origin. [HL234]

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The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham):

    (a) The small trial area of granite setts at Chancellor's Gate was undertaken by Rochford Paving Ltd.

    (b) Rochford Paving Ltd. offered the best value for money.

    (c) No. Public advertisement is not appropriate for such small parcels of work.

    (d) £2,300.

    (e) The setts were of French origin.

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