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Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 544G:


After Clause 325, insert the following new clause--

CONSULTATION ABOUT AVIATION NOISE

(" .--(1) A person who provides air navigation services shall consult the Mayor about the matters specified in subsection (2) below where it is reasonably practicable to do so.
(2) Those matters are--
(a) the proposed alteration by that person of any route used regularly by civil aircraft before arrival at, or after departure from, any aerodrome;
(b) the proposed addition by that person of any route to be so used;
(c) any substantial alteration proposed to be made by that person to procedures used for managing the arrival of civil aircraft at any aerodrome,
where the proposed alteration or addition will have a significant adverse effect on the noise caused by civil aircraft in Greater London.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) above the reference to a route used regularly by civil aircraft includes a reference to the altitude at which such aircraft regularly fly.
(4) In this section--
"aerodrome" has the meaning given by subsection (1) of section 105 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982;
"air navigation services" shall be construed in accordance with that subsection;
"noise" includes vibration.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 544G I should like to speak also to Amendment No. 544H. These two additional clauses are designed to implement the commitment in the White Paper that the mayor will have the right to be consulted about any change in departure or arrival routes, or capacity, at airports that may have significant environmental effect, and for his or her views to be taken into account.

Providers of air navigation services will be under a duty to consult the mayor where the carrying out of these services would have a significant adverse effect on noise or vibration caused by civil aircraft in Greater London.

The mayor will be added to those organisations to be consulted by aerodromes which have been designated under Section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982. Amendment No. 544G is a clause to introduce a duty on providers of air navigation services to consult the mayor. Amendment No. 544H will amend Section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 to provide the designation by order of any aerodrome to the same effect.

As my noble friend said earlier, clearly the air navigation system is responsible for air movements. The amendments provide the mayor with a means of influencing decisions which relate to the strategy on air traffic over London. I beg to move.

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, perhaps I should declare an interest, living in west London, directly under the main flight path into Heathrow. However, it is an interest shared by many people who feel disturbed by aircraft noise in that sector of London. I express disappointment that the clause is relatively narrowly drafted. I should have liked to have seen a somewhat

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tougher provision. At times, the existing noise level is pretty unbearable. People do not feel affected simply by alterations and additions.

As I understand the clause--no doubt the Minister will correct me if I am wrong--the provision is merely a right to be consulted. The mayor has no powers which can be brought to bear. Can the Minister also confirm that the clause does not extend to additional movements on a specific route. The amendment refers to the addition of a route. A reference to "new route" might make the provision easier to understand. However, extra volume of traffic on a route is not covered. I hope that I have misread the amendment. I look forward to the Minister's clarification.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, the Government recognise the concerns about aircraft noise across London. We are determined to do whatever is practical to reduce the amount of aircraft-induced noise, in particular from Heathrow. After the phasing out of Chapter II traffic, which will be a major improvement, that becomes more difficult and there are uncertainties. We are doing all we can in relation to that.

However, it would not be appropriate to give the mayor direct powers in this area, as was made clear by a number of noble Lords and myself in Committee. Clearly the managers of Heathrow would need to take seriously the mayor's views as regards the development of Heathrow.

The mayor has the right to be consulted about any changes in departure or arrival routes, or any addition to those routes, and any change to the capacity at the airports. Therefore the mayor has some rights to influence over the volume as well as over the direction of aircraft. But it does not mean that the mayor is a party to decisions on the number of aircraft on a particular route at any given time. However, he has the ability to influence those strategic decisions.

Earl Bathurst: My Lords, is the Minister satisfied that the mayor will have control over the height of aircraft? The noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, referred to numbers, as did the Minister. Much of the noise involves the height of aircraft. Has the mayor the chance to regulate at what height aeroplanes come in over which area of London or elsewhere? Height is not mentioned.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, because the mayor has no direct powers in this respect, the answer is no. That is covered by the civil aviation Acts. There are strict regulations. The noble Earl may feel that they are not always observed. Sometimes heights are deceptive. Nevertheless, there are strict regulations over heights under the Civil Aviation Act and the regulations thereunder. It is the responsibility of the Secretary of State and the CAA in that regard.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 544H:


After Clause 325, insert the following new clause--

CONSULTATION AT AERODROMES

(" .--(1) Section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 (facilities to be provided by certain aerodromes for consultation with bodies representing local interests) shall be amended as follows.
(2) After subsection (2) (persons or bodies to be consulted) there shall be inserted--
"(3) The reference in subsection (2)(b) above to any local authority includes in relation to the area of Greater London a reference to the Mayor of London acting on behalf of the Greater London Authority.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 545 and 545A not moved.]

Schedule 25 [The Cultural Strategy Group for London]:

9.15 p.m.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns moved Amendment No. 546:


Page 342, line 29, at end insert--
("( ) In sub-paragraph (4) above "such bodies" shall include bodies with knowledge and experience of the needs of disabled people.").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 546, with the leave of the House, I shall speak to Amendments Nos. 548 and 552. I have grouped these amendments together because there is a common purpose behind them.

I wish to ask the Government what they believe should be the role of the authority, the mayor, and his or her cultural strategy group with regard to the promotion of good practice as it affects access to culture, media, sport and tourism in Greater London--access by those people who have special individual needs.

I am sure that all noble Lords would agree that everybody loses out when disabled people do not have a chance to contribute to society. As the Royal National Institute for Deaf People pointed out to me,


    "So often the omission of references to disabled people (in legislation or regulations) arises from pure oversight; and yet if they are not explicit, the obligations to develop precise mechanisms for consultation and inclusion are not there".

The RNID goes on to say,


    "Such mechanisms often save money in the long run because they reduce the need for expensive changes later on".

There was a passing reference in our debate at Committee stage to the matter of access. I believe that this month is a particularly appropriate one in which to discuss such matters. It was at the beginning of October that the second stage of the Disability Discrimination Act came into force. The Act makes it illegal to discriminate against a disabled customer. However, the regulations that kicked in this month require providers of public services to take reasonable measures to change practices, policies and procedures which make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to use a service.

There are two other new obligations. The first is that one should provide auxiliary aids and services. The second is that one should provide the service by a

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reasonable alternative where there is a significant barrier to access--something as common sense as reading out a menu to a customer who has problems with sight or reading.

When I read the August issue of Hospitality Matters, which is the magazine of the British Hospitality Association, I learned that:


    "While some major groups [of hotels and restaurants] have recognised the implications of this, many hospitality businesses are unaware of what action they need to take both now and by 2004 when the Act is fully implemented".

I note that they are not unwilling to make the changes. It is a matter of not knowing about them. I pay tribute, of course, to all hospitality businesses that have been working so hard to comply with the Act and the changes that came into effect this month.

The basic problem remains that many businesses in London are simply unaware of the new requirements. I suppose it is hardly surprising, since the hospitality industry itself is necessarily made up of a vast number of small businesses, often family run, who will not have the Disability Discrimination Act on their bedside table as late night reading, or indeed a human resources department to help them.

My general question behind this group of amendments is: what does the Government expect the authority, the mayor, the cultural strategy group to do about it? For the record, I will very briefly explain the effect of each amendment.

Amendment No. 546 refers to the way in which the mayor appoints the members of the cultural strategy group. Paragraph 2(4) of Schedule 25 provides that when the mayor appoints members, he or she must first consult such bodies or persons as he or she considers appropriate. My amendment would make it clear that the bodies to be consulted should include those bodies that have knowledge and experience of the needs of disabled people.

Amendment No. 548 refers to the draft strategy presented by the cultural strategy group to the mayor. My amendment would introduce a new requirement in Clause 329, the clause which states that the cultural strategy group shall put together a draft cultural strategy and present it to the mayor. My amendment would make it a requirement that the draft strategy should promote good practice among service providers to ensure that disabled people are not excluded from the enjoyment of culture, media and sport in Greater London. I claim no virtue out of choosing the wording. I have simply lifted it from the Access Survey which is currently being carried out nationwide by Scope, the organisation for people with cerebral palsy. I felt that if they had got it right, it must be right.

The final amendment in this group, Amendment No. 552, inserts into Clause No. 331 a duty upon the authority


    "to promote good practice among businesses and community leaders to ensure that disabled people are not excluded from the enjoyment of tourism facilities in Greater London".

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I commend the amendment to your Lordships.


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