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Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: In general, programmes covering National Assembly business have good audiences. I assume that the low viewing figures for "The Point" on 17 February were a comment on the content and possibly the timing of that particular programme rather than on the devolution settlement in Wales.
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: All rights, liabilities and interests in Bute House which belonged to a Minister of the Crown were transferred to Scottish Ministers on 1 July 1999 by virtue of paragraph 3 of the Transfer of Property etc (Scottish Ministers) Order 1999 (SI 1999 1104). All matters relating to the terms under which Bute House is held and contact with the Bute House Trustees and the National Trust for Scotland are, therefore, for Scottish Ministers.
The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The Government are fully committed to a policy of openness. In pursuing this, the Competition Commission has been looking at ways of increasing transparency. In addition, the Director-General of Fair Trading is considering ways of publishing his advice to the Secretary of State for
However, the Government do not anticipate publishing advice from officials to Ministers on mergers. Disclosure might prejudice the free and frank provision of advice, as well as the free and frank discussion of it within government. Such advice is exempt from disclosure under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, and the Freedom of Information Bill proposes similar protection.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Government are not involved in Territorial Employment Pacts (TEPs). The areas concerned deal directly with the European Commission. The Commission publishes regular progress reports on the pacts. The most recent report was SEC (1999) 1932, dated 26 November 1999, a copy of which has been placed in the Library. However, it does not appear to contain the information requested. Further information on this matter can be obtained directly from the Commission.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Government have been briefed on a number of occasions in relation to the circumstances surrounding the shut-down of reactors of Hinkley Point "A" in April and December 1999. As long as Hinkley Point "A" continues to meet essential safety and environmental standards, its future operation is a matter for the operator. However, the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate will not allow either reactor to start up unless it is satisfied that an adequate safety case has been provided by Magnox Electric, the licensee of the site.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Yes. In 1999, the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate published its review of intermediate level radioactive waste (ILW) storage in the UK. This review concluded that there were no immediate safety problems for the storage of ILW at Hinkley Point "A" power station.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: There is no defined time limit for storage of nuclear waste at a licensed nuclear installation. All waste stored on a licensed site is regulated and controlled by the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate under the conditions which attach to the nuclear site licence. The conditions require the preparation of an adequate safety case by the licensee for all operations which may affect nuclear safety. These operations include the storage of radioactive waste.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The European Court of Justice has from time to time found that member states have breached the EC Treaties. Details are contained in the European Commisson's 16th Annual Report on monitoring the application of Community law 1998. A copy of the report, which was submitted to Parliament on 20 September 1999, is available in the Library of the House.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Extremist elements on both sides have been involved in the recent disturbances in Mitrovica. Part of the strategy agreed by UNMIK and KFOR has been to tighten control on the boundary between Kosovo and the rest of Serbia to prevent Serb extremists entering northern Kosovo.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The UN international police (UNIP) have responsibility for criminal investigations. Given their limited resources, they have to prioritise, which means concentrating on investigations relating to current criminal activity. The protection of religious and patrimonial sites in Kosovo is seen as important by KFOR and UNMIK. KFOR provide armed guards to protect churches and monasteries.
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