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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The five countries that have reached Decision Point under the enhanced HIPC Initiative and demonstrated their commitment to poverty reduction, (Bolivia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda), have received 100 per cent relief on their debts owed to ECGD. This relief amounts to approximately £18 million in the case of Bolivia, £6 million in the case of Uganda, £115 million in the case of Tanzania, £7 million in the case of Mauritania and £11 million in the case of Mozambique. All these countries had previously received debt cancellation of £150 million from ECGD under the terms of the previous Paris Club agreements.
When they expect the Millennium Bridge to re-open to the public; and[HL2945]
What studies were made of the safety issues at the Millennium Bridge by the Health and Safety Executive prior to its opening; and[HL2946]
What guarantees or indemnities were provided by the architects and the builders of the Millennium Bridge in relation to safety issues.[HL2947]
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Millennium Bridge Trust announced on 12 June that the bridge would be closing from 10 pm that night due to its excessive movement. The various bodies associated with the project are currently discussing the problem and the possible solutions. Once they have reached their conclusions then they will be in a better position to decide who, if anyone, is liable to pay for work or who might be approached for support. It would be premature to speculate about how much it will cost to rectify the problem, who will pay for what, or when the bridge will open.
The Millennium Commission is not a party to any contracts between the project managers and the architects and builders for the project and I cannot, therefore, provide any information on any indemnities provided in relation to safety issues.
The Health and Safety Executive's remit was to make random checks and enforce site safety during the bridge's construction. Once the bridge had opened, it was treated as a public highway and was therefore subject to Southwark Borough Council's powers over highways.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): We are pleased to announce that the Government's response to Sir Ronald Waterhouse's report into the tragic events in North Wales has been published. The response is called Learning the Lessons and copies have been placed in the Printed Paper Office and the Library.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Many hundreds of injectible medicinal products authorised for use in Europe and the United Kingdom contain material of bovine origin or use such material in their preparation. Each new application for authorisation is assessed individually by the Medicines Control Agency for national authorisations and by the relevant scientific rapporteurs for European authorisations to ensure that they comply with the European guidelines on
The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): The roles and responsibilities of the chairman and individual board members of the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) are detailed in Appendix 3 to its Annual Report and Accounts for the period ended 31 March 1999. The report was placed in the Libraries of the House in July 1999. There has been no change to the roles and responsibilities of the chairman following the resignation of Robert Ayling.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 6 June (WA 149), who were the members of the New Millennium Experience Company board with whom the sole shareholder met on the afternoon of 23 May; and[HL2802]
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 6 June (WA 150), what was the subject of the conversation or conversations the sole shareholder of the New Millennium Experience Company had with Mr Michael Grade on 23 May.[HL2804]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): The term used by the Government is "managed realignment". As defined in the recent Project Appraisal Guidance, this is "the management of a process of establishing a new line of defence, often set back from the existing position, with the aim of improving the long-term sustainability of the defence, or contributing to other aims such as habitat creation". This would normally involve a deliberate breach of any existing defence so that inundation, or erosion, takes place up to a new line of defence, which may be natural or man-made.
It is necessary to recognise that the entire coastline of the UK has over centuries been subject to the natural process of erosion and deposition. This process may be increased by rising sea levels caused by climate change and long-term geological "tilt" which is increasing sea levels still further in the south and east of the country. The response cannot automatically be to build new and ever higher coastal defences to protect against flooding and erosion. Sustainability is a key criterion and the operating authorities need to consider a range of options, including "managed realignment" of the coastline.
The decisions on whether or not to continue defending a particular area will depend on a range of considerations, using benefit:cost analysis. Important factors will be the type of assets, both natural and man made, that are currently defended, and any loss or gain of important nature conservation habitat as a result of a decision to defend or not. Where no man-made defence currently exists, a decision whether or not to defend a particular area will be based on similar considerations.
Managed realignment needs to be considered as an option on all parts of the coastline. However, given the benefit:cost approach to decision making, such an approach is more likely where low value assets lie behind the existing defence which do not justify the investment necessary in maintaining or improving the existing defence.
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