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Satellite Launches and Non-proliferation Controls

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: No international non-proliferation agreement, including the Missile Technology Control Regime, is designed to impede civil space programmes. We believe that the exploration and peaceful exploitation of space are to the benefit of all nations.

We are concerned that the technology required for civil space launch vehicles is directly applicable to ballistic missile programmes. A small number of countries appear to be pursuing space launch vehicle programmes at least in part to provide a cover for ballistic missile programmes. It is often not possible to distinguish between a test launch for a ballistic missile and a space launch vehicle. We apply export controls, in line with our commitments as an MTCR Partner, on equipment and technology which can be used in ballistic missiles or space launch vehicles, and deny exports when we assess that there is a risk that they will be diverted to a ballistic missile programme.

SFOR Armoured Vehicle Spare Parts

Lord Orme asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are proposing to export spare parts for Canadian NATO Stabilisation Force (SFOR) armoured vehicles in Bosnia.[HL2485]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Government have granted a licence for the export to Bosnia of spare parts for armoured vehicles deployed by the Canadian NATO Stabilisation Force (SFOR). We were glad to approve this export licence in view of the need for SFOR to maintain its vehicles so that it can carry out its peacekeeping activities with the maximum degree of safety.

Civil Service Code and Devolution

Lord Grantchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they plan to make any amendments to the Civil Service Code to take account of devolution for Scotland and Wales.[HL2450]

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): There will continue, under the devolution settlements, to be a unified Home Civil Service whose members will serve their respective Administrations in accordance with the well-established principles of integrity, honesty, impartiality and objectivity. A revised Civil Service Code is being issued to all civil servants to reflect the changes brought about by devolution to Scotland and Wales. Copies of the code have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

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Learner Motorcyclists

Lord Graham of Edmonton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have to amend the licensing rules for learner motorcyclists.[HL2519]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): We have today issued a consultation paper that proposes to replace the two-year provisional motorcycle licence with arrangements that encourage all learner riders to be properly trained and tested within two years. These new arrangements would apply fairly to all learner riders, and should be simpler to understand and administer. Copies of the paper have been placed in the House Library.

Housing Act 1996 and Domestic Violence

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are yet able to evaluate the effect of the 1996 Housing Act on the rehousing of women escaping domestic violence.[HL2324]

Lord Whitty: The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, in association with the Women's Unit and the Department of Health, have commissioned a comprehensive package of research on "Accommodation and Support for Households Experiencing Domestic Violence". This study will examine a range of women's experiences of the accommodation and support provided in response to their needs, including those women who are assisted under the homelessness legislation. In addition, the project will review how local housing authorities and other social landlords in England are using new powers provided under the 1996 Housing Act to seek possession where a spouse or cohabitee has left a property because of violence or threats of violence by their partner. The results of this study will be available in summer 2000.

The Economic and Social Research Council's Research Programme on Violence is funding a three-year research project on "The impact of changing housing policy on women's vulnerability to violence". The research is being undertaken by researchers at the University of Nottingham, and will review local housing authorities' policies and practices towards women applying as homeless as a result of domestic violence under the Housing Act 1996. Results will be available in autumn 2001.

London Underground: Penalty Fares

The Earl of Clancarty asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the levying of the London Underground £10 penalty fare on an individual is a penalty incurred on account of that individual's intent to defraud.[HL2399]

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Lord Whitty: No. If a person fails to produce a ticket when requested to do so, he/she is liable to pay the penalty, regardless of whether or not there was an intention to defraud London Underground Limited. There is an exemption if there were no facilities for sale of a ticket at the station where the passenger commenced his journey on the train service. The liability to pay the £10 penalty fare on London Underground train services and in compulsory ticket areas arises under the London Regional Transport (Penalty Fares) Act 1992.

Action may be taken against a person without a ticket under the regulations of the Railways Act 1889 or the Underground by-laws, where intent would be relevant, but a person who has paid the prescribed penalty fare may not be prosecuted under those provisions as well.

The Earl of Clancarty asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proportion of people paying London Underground penalty fares had an intent to defraud.[HL2402]

Lord Whitty: Figures are not compiled on this basis. The liability to pay a penalty fare arises regardless of any intention to defraud.

The Earl of Clancarty asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much revenue per annum has been obtained by London Underground directly from the levying of penalty fares from their introduction in 1994-95 up to the present.[HL2400]

Lord Whitty: The sums collected by London Underground are as follows:

    1994-95: £1.1 million

    1995-96: £1.0 million

    1996-97: £1.5 million

    1997-98: £2.4 million

    1998-99: £3.3 million.

The Earl of Clancarty asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proportion of representations from members of the public received by the London Regional Passengers Committee relate to penalty fares.[HL2401]

Lord Whitty: The London Regional Passengers Committee received a total of 2,009 representations from 1 April 1998 to 31 March 1999. Forty-one point four per cent. related to penalty fares on London Transport, Docklands Light Railway and national railways within the area which is served by the committee in its role as a rail users' consultative committee.

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EU Funding Designation Area Changes

Lord Inglewood asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Following the decisions reached at the Berlin European Council, how much of the existing Objective 2 and 5b areas in England will lose their designation; and how much of that will be in the North West Region.[HL2387]

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Simon of Highbury): The population coverage for Objective 2 within the UK will be determined by a safety net which restricts any loss to one-third of existing Objective 2 and 5b population coverage. In the UK some 13.5 million people will be covered. Existing Objective 2 and 5b areas that lose their designation will benefit from transitional funding for up to six years.

The Government are presently consulting interested parties on the designation of eligible areas under Objective 2. The final date for comments is 25 May. All areas will be considered for inclusion equally on the basis of need and against common and consistent criteria, even if no specific representations are made.

Job Creation and the Single Market

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Simon of Highbury on 30 March (WA 32-33) on job creation in the Single Market, what are the organisations which have carried out the "various calculations" referred to; when those calculations were made; and in respect of which European Union member states.[HL2388]

Lord Simon of Highbury: My Written Answer on job creation in the Single Market, provided on 30 March, was drawn from the findings of the 1996 Single Market Review. That review was based on a total of 38 individual studies which were conducted by independent consultants, using source material from all 15 member states, and evaluated by the European Commission. For a full list of those who produced studies, I refer the noble Lord to The 1996 Single Market Review--Background Information for the report to the Council and European Parliament, which can be found in the Library of the House of Lords.

UK Exports to EU Member States

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the value in 1996 of the value-added component of British exports of goods and services (not including investment income) to the other 14 European Union countries.[HL2375]

Lord Simon of Highbury: I regret that the information requested is not available.

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