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Business Aviation in the South-East

Lord Acton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: The report on Part 2 of the study of business aviation in the south-east which we commissioned last year, The Economic Impact of Business Aviation, has been published today and copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Part 1 was published in July last year. As policy decisions arising from the study of airports issues in the south-east of England and the east of England, announced by the Government on 11 March, may impact on business aviation, work on the final part of the study, Future Capacity for Business Aviation, will not be finalised until the south-east airports study has reported. At that time, we shall consider the implications for the work which has been done so far on future

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capacity for business aviation, and whether further work is needed.

Northern Ireland Community Attitudes Survey

Lord Blease asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Policy, Planning and Research Unit (PPRU), which is undertaking a community attitudes survey and which issued a first results report (occasional paper no. 26) on 19 May 1994, will now publish the results of its latest findings.[HL1539]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Dubs): Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Statistics and Research Agency under its Chief Executive, Mr. Edgar Jardine. His reply is given below.

Letter to Lord Blease from the Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, Mr. Edgar Jardine, dated 22 March 1999.

I have been asked in my capacity as Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency to reply to your question about the publication of the results of the Community Attitudes Survey. The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) subsumed the functions of the former Policy, Planning and Research Unit on 1 April 1996.

The Community Attitudes Survey measures, on a continuous basis, the attitudes of a representative sample of adults aged 16 and over in Northern Ireland towards crime, policing and the courts. The survey is currently in its seventh year. The results of the previous five years of the survey were published as PPRU Occasional Papers Nos. 20 and 26 and NISRA Occasional Papers No. 1, No. 7 and No. 9. The results for the most recent year (November 1997 to October 1998) are currently being analysed and will be published within the next month.

Assisted Areas Map

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the maps of United Kingdom assisted area status and Objective 2 status have to be submitted by the Government to the European Commission.[HL1574]

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Simon of Highbury): Under the European guidelines a new assisted areas map for the UK must operate from 1 January 2000. Changes to the assisted areas map must be agreed with the Commission, and it has asked for proposals from member states by 31 March.

The Commission has not yet set a deadline for the submission of proposed areas for Objective 2 status. It has indicated provisionally that it is likely to be June. The proposed areas would have to be agreed by the Commission; this is unlikely to be before September.

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Arms Procurement

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will introduce legislation making it a criminal offence for any person within the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom or British dependencies to procure arms from another country other than in accordance with a licensing procedure, using the same criteria as if the arms were being exported from the United Kingdom,[HL1543]

Lord Simon of Highbury: The Government already impose controls on trafficking and brokering under the United Nations Act 1946 where this is necessary to implement a binding United Nations decision.

Section 3.3 of the White Paper on Strategic Export Controls, which was published on 1 July 1998, contains proposals to extend controls on trafficking and brokering to countries subject to other types of embargo, whether as a result of non-binding decisions of the UN or decisions of the EU, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe or the UK Government; certain types of equipment, the export from the UK of which has been banned because of evidence that goods of the same type have been used in torture; missiles capable of a range of at least 300 km.

The proposals in Section 3.1 of the White Paper to extend current controls on weapons of mass destruction also include trafficking and brokering activity.

The Government are currently reviewing the proposals contained in the White Paper in the light of responses received and are committed to introducing legislation as soon as time is available in the legislative programme.

Electricity Generation

Baroness Miller of Hendon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the average cost per unit of generating electricity in existing coal-fired power stations and in existing gas-fired power stations; and [HL1602]

    What is the highest cost per unit and what is the lowest cost per unit of generating electricity in existing coal-fired power stations; and [HL1603]

    What is the highest cost per unit and what is the lowest cost per unit of generating electricity in existing gas-fired power stations; and [HL1604]

    What is the estimated cost of production of electricity in new coal-fired power stations currently being erected or being planned.[HL1605]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The costs of generating electricity from different power stations reflect a number of technical and commercial factors and such information is not available through official sources. However, in paragraphs 5.26 to 5.42 of the Government's October 1998 White Paper, Conclusions of the Review of Energy Sources for Power Generation and Government

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response to fourth and fifth Reports of the Trade and Industry Committee (Cm 4071), the cost estimates for coal and gas-fired generation provided by respondents to the June 1998 Consultation Document, Review of Energy Sources for Power Generation, are discussed.

The range of estimates provided by respondents for the annual avoidable cost of existing coal-fired generation, assuming baseload operation, was 1.4 to 1.95 p/kWh. Several estimates were close to 1.6 p/kWh. Estimates for the retrofitting of flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) equipment, if that were necessary to meet targets for reduction in sulphur emissions, lay in the range of an extra 0.3 to 0.5 p/kWh.

With regard to the costs of generation from existing combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) stations, paragraph 5.37 of the White Paper states that,



    "On balance, it would appear that in most circumstances existing gas plant is cheaper to operate than existing coal plant but that this may not always be the case and that the balance could change in future if the cost of gas, relative to that of coal, were to increase". For open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) stations, some respondents felt that at baseload operation the costs of generation would be around 2.0 p/kWh, though this figure may be optimistic.

Many respondents estimated the cost of new coal-fired generation to be close to 3.0 p/kWh, with a range from 2.6 to 3.25 p/kWh.

The White Paper also discusses how costs may vary according to the load factor at which stations are operated.

Baroness Miller of Hendon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What limits there are at present or contemplated on the use of foreign coal in existing or future coal-fired powered stations.[HL1606]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Government's policy on fuel sources for power generation is set out in the White Paper of October 1998, Conclusions of the Review of Energy Sources for Power Generation and Government response to fourth and fifth Reports of the Trade and Industry Committee (Cm 4071).

Paragraph 8.32 of the White Paper makes it clear that the choice of coal sources for power generation is a commercial matter for the generating companies concerned and as such the Government impose no limits on this choice.

Equine Viral Arteritis

Lord Rowallan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many equine viral arteritis (EVA) infected stallions or mares there are in the United Kingdom[HL1582]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Donoughue): Equine viral arteritis is a notifiable disease in stallions and in mares served either naturally or by artificial insemination within the previous 14 days. There are currently two stallions either suspected or confirmed as

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infected in the UK and these have been published under the EVA order. There are currently no mares reported under the terms of the EVA order.

Lord Rowallan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why there is no equine viral arteritis (EVA) test done on imported stallions and mares from other European Union countries; and[HL1583]

    Why frozen horse semen is not tested for equine viral arteritis (EVA) when imported from other European Union countries[HL1584]

Lord Donoughue: Intra-Community trade in horses and equine semen is subject to harmonised rules under Council Directive 90/426/EEC (as amended) and Council Directive 92/65/EEC respectively. These do not require post-import testing of stallions and mares or of semen for EVA.

Under Council Directive 90/426/EEC (as amended), an imported horse must show no clinical sign of disease at an inspection carried out less than 48 hours prior to departure and must not have been in contact with equidae suffering from any infectious or contagious disease during the previous 15 days.

Under Council Directive 92/65/EEC semen may only be collected from a donor stallion which during the 30 days prior to collection has been kept on holdings where no equidae showed clinical signs of EVA. The donor stallion must have had either a blood test for EVA antibody with negative results or a virus isolation test carried out on a sample of semen. These tests must be carried out at least 14 days after arriving on an approved collection centre in the case of a continuously resident stallion and at least at the beginning of each breeding season.

Semen may also be collected from stallions which are not continuously resident on a collection centre. In that case either the EVA blood test must be carried out no more than 30 days before semen collection or the non-carrier status of the stallion must be confirmed by a negative virus isolation test carried out on a sample of semen no more than one year before semen collection.

Alternatively, in the case of frozen semen, the EVA blood test or virus isolation test on semen may be carried out during the mandatory pre-export storage period for frozen semen and not less than 14 days after collection of semen, irrespective of the residence status of the stallion.

In addition to these controls, the Horserace Betting Levy Board codes of practice provide a framework under which the industry may protect itself against the introduction and spread of EVA virus from imported horses and semen.


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