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Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police tells me that those fatal collisions occurring at or near traffic camera sites are not recorded separately. However, the Police Research Group's Cost Benefit Analysis of Traffic Light and Speed Cameras, August 1996, showed that overall collision levels fell by 28 per cent at speed camera sites and 18 per cent at traffic light camera sites.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: During the period 1963 to date, a total of 94 persons in England and Wales are known to have been killed by persons who had been previously convicted of homicide in England and Wales.
As with previous answers, the figure excludes persons who have been killed by those who may have been convicted outside England and Wales (for whom there is incomplete information) and persons who have been killed by those not previously convicted of homicide by reason of their mental state.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health has published the report of a Cabinet Office review of NHS procurement, which sets out a range of recommendations to develop NHS procurement. Copies have been placed in the Library. We have accepted the broad thrust of these recommendations and the Department of Health, NHS Trusts and the NHS Supplies Authority will now start to put in place the new arrangements to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of purchasing and supply in the NHS.
A key recommendation was to establish a supplies co-ordination body, drawn from the existing NHS Supplies Authority purchasing and strategy functions, to provide a stronger central focus for procurement work. We are announcing today our intention to establish an NHS purchasing and supply agency from 1 April 2000 to take this work forward in the Department of Health.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): Council Directive 85/337/EEC, as amended by 97/11/EC, on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment has been implemented by the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 for projects which are "development" within the meaning in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The regulations came into force on 14 March 1999 following three public consultation papers in July 1997, December 1997 and July 1998. In England, the specific provisions of the directive relating to "uncultivated land or semi-natural areas" which do not constitute "development" fall to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to implement.
Lord Whitty: In London, bus companies that operate services on behalf of London Transport Buses (LTB) are committed to the London Bus Passenger's Charter. They are expected to abide by LTB's own code of practice to deal with passenger inquiries and LTB audit company correspondence to monitor compliance with the code. In London companies are contractually obliged to display, within their buses, their address where passenger comments should be directed in the first instance. If a passenger has reported a grievance and remains dissatisfied with the company's response, he or she can take the matter further with LTB and then ultimately with the London Regional Passengers Committee whose addresses must also be displayed in the same way.
Lord Whitty: My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the honourable Member for Hampstead and Highgate, visited Estonia at the request of the Estonian Government on the 2 and 3 June 1999 to meet with the Estonian Foreign, Environment and Transport Ministers and to promote British business in Estonia.
Fruitful discussions were held over a variety of topics with the three Estonian Ministers, including trade and export promotion dossiers, environment and transport issues and Estonia's preparations for entry into the European Union. The ministerial meetings will be followed up by work at official level on strengthening contacts between the UK and Estonia in the fields of environment and transport and on assisting Estonia with its adoption of the EU acquis communautaire in these areas.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Donoughue): It is the responsibility of the occupier to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995 and the Specified Risk Material Regulations 1997 within a slaughterhouse. The Meat Hygiene Service has an independent supervisory and enforcement role and therefore cannot be held responsible for any failure to comply with these regulations on the part of the occupier.
Lord Donoughue: No. However, because scabbards can act as dirt traps their use is discouraged, other than for health and safety reasons (eg in carrying knives between work stations). It is considered good practice to sterilise a knife after removal from a scabbard and before use on fresh meat.
Lord Donoughue: It is the Government's policy to bring a prosecution for an offence under the Specified Risk Material Regulations 1997 in any case in which it is considered that the evidence is sufficient and that it is in the public interest so to do. Part of that consideration necessarily includes any defences or mitigation that the prospective defendant might advance.
Lord Donoughue: Specified risk material (SRM, which includes sheep's heads) is required to be stained in order to ensure that all such material is disposed of properly and cannot be diverted into the human food or animal feed chains. Such a control remains necessary where SRM is removed and incinerated on the same premises because there would still be a risk that SRM could be diverted before incineration actually takes place.
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