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Newbridge-on-Wye: Proposed Wood-burning Power Plant

Lord Williams of Elvel asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: The Department of Trade and Industry is gathering information to enable a decision to be made on whether to launch an investigation into the allegations that have been made regarding the proposed biomass power plant at Newbridge-on-Wye. The scope of any investigation would be to consider whether the generator knowingly or recklessly made, "any statement which he knows to be false in a material particular." It would not be appropriate to make conclusions as to the completeness or truthfulness of answers given in advance of that decision or any such investigation.

The award of a contract under the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation does not confer any special privilege in the planning approval process, which must be carried out in the normal way.

Kosovo: Municipal Elections

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Following the municipal elections, responsibility for municipal affairs will be transferred to elected municipal councils. The UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) will oversee the councils and will have wide-ranging powers to take action against maladministration. This transfer of responsibilities to locally elected officials will require them to be accountable to the electorate. Our goal remains the participation of all communities in voter registration and municipal elections; we support UNMIK's efforts to encourage minorities to register. Our efforts are being frustrated by Milosevic's refusal to allow displaced Kosovo Serbs in Serbia to register. We are encouraging countries with lines to Belgrade to urge the authorities there to reverse their policy, in the Serbs' own interest.

19 Jun 2000 : Column WA10

Ethiopia/Eritrea Conflict

Lord Rea asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In view of the military offensive launched by Ethiopia against Eritrea on 12 May, what was the source of information which led Baroness Scotland of Asthal to state on 5 April (H.L. Deb., col. 1409) that "we understand that the government of Ethiopia are now in a position to accept the OFU peace package and that a peaceful solution may be in sight".[HL2743]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The statement I made to noble Lords was based on diplomatic reporting at the time. Both sides have indicated on several occasions their readiness to accept a negotiated solution. But this has not yet delivered a firm peace agreement. We continue to work for that.

The "Third Way"

Lord Patten asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which policies developed since the last general election exemplify their Third Way approach.[HL2598]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): The Government in their manifesto promised that "in each area of policy a new and distinctive approach has been mapped out, one that differs from the old left and the Conservative right". This is what we have done.

Maternity Care and Ethnic Group Data

Lord Patel of Blackburn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What comparative data are available on (a) levels of maternity care and (b) length of hospital stay among patients of different ethnic backgrounds, in particular from areas with a high ethnic population.[HL2712]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Data are available on both maternity care and ethnic group from the Hospital Episode Statistics in England. The latest available data for 1998-99, aggregated at health authority level to provide comparative information, have been placed in the Library.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: Surveillance Unit Annual Report

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will publish the eighth annual report of the National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit.[HL2915]

19 Jun 2000 : Column WA11

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit's eighth annual report has been published. Copies have been placed in the Library. The report documents the unit's findings in relation to sporadic, familial, iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and also variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease up to 31 December 1999.

NHS Clinical Negligence Claims

Lord Colwyn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many claims for clinical negligence against Hospital Trusts in England and Wales were outstanding at the end of March 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 respectively; what proportion of these claims concerned National Health Service dentistry; and what effect they expect the recent Court of Appeal judgment on the 10 personal injury cases to have on future claims.[HL2713]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The National Health Service Executive collects data on the costs of clinical negligence claims, rather than the number or types of claims. It is therefore not possible to say how many claims were outstanding at the end of March for each of the years requested, or which relate to NHS dentistry. In relation to general dental practitioners, no information is collected on the number of claims, as claims are made against individual practitioners and not through the NHS.

The recent Court of Appeal judgment about the level of general damages in personal injury cases means that this element of awards in future cases will not be decided on the basis set out in that judgment. The judgment also applies to all current outstanding claims and so has meant an immediate increase in costs to the NHS. However, these increases are not as significant as would have been the case if the Court of Appeal had decided to accept the recommendations on general damages levels made in the Law Commission's Report (No. 257) on this issue.

Departmental Cars

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 8 June (WA 173) what type and make of cars are used by the Department of Health.[HL2838]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The information requested is given in the table.

Makes and Models of DH Vehicles in all Schemes as of 15/6/2000

MakeModelNumber
Alfa Romeo1561
Total1
AudiA34
A45
Total9
BMW3187
3163
3231
5201
Total12
CitroenXantia4
Xzara4
ZX Advantage2
Relay1
ZX Volcane1
Total12
FiatBravo2
Total2
FordEscort2
Focus14
Galaxy3
Mondeo10
Puma2
Fiesta2
Scorpio1
Total34
HondaAccord2
Civic3
CRV2
Total7
HyundsiCoupe2
Total2
Land RoverDiscovery1
Freelander1
Total2
Mazda3231
MX31
Total2
Mercedes C Class2
Sprinter Van1
Total3
NissanPrimera1
Total1
Peugeot2065
3064
4052
4068
Total19
Renault Laguna21
Megane11
Total32
Rover2163
2141
2001
2202
751
252
4001
4162
4202
6001
8201
Total17
SeatAlhambra3
Ibiza1
Total4
SkodaOctavia1
Total1
SubaruImpreza2
Total2
ToyotaCarina1
Corrolla1
Avensis1
Total3
VauxhallAstra21
Calibra1
Vectra24
Cavalier1
Corsa6
Total53
VolkswagenBora2
Golf15
Passat18
Polo5
Lupo1
Total41
VolvoV701
V401
5701
Total3
Total262

19 Jun 2000 : Column WA14



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