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Disabled People: Help with Motoring Costs

The Earl of Listowel asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): The Government recognise that many disabled people are highly dependent on the car for transport, and help with their motoring costs is already provided through the mobility component of the disability living allowance. Recipients of the allowance's higher mobility rate also pay no vehicle excise duty on their

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cars and can benefit from favourable car leasing arrangements under the government-sponsored Motability scheme. These measures, taken together, substantially reduce the cost of motoring for disabled people.

Railway Vandalism

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list, for each region and for each of the last five years:


    (a) the number of acts of vandalism; and


    (b) the number of convictions for acts of vandalism, against the railway.[HL3261]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston . The data provided below by the British Transport Police (BTP) cover acts of criminal damage/malicious mischief, arson and graffiti. The DTP does not hold any information on the number of convictions for these offences but has provided information for detections. "Detections" are where a person has been identified with the crime and either charged, cautioned or no prosecution has occurred.

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Vandalism Offences on the Railways (Including London Underground)

BIP AREA 1995-96 1996-971997-98 1998-99 1999-2000
ReportedDetected ReportedDetected ReportedDetected ReportedDetected ReportedDetected
London North1,2131431,1691811,002181846123810100
North East6299546597478974539738879
Scotland1,160801,143779921068358281361
North West1,8031101,5691221,06413582310285992
Midlands95160959588474775680842114
South West1,1159463957549944795752873
London South2,6531982,4032921,4932151,6662991,889309
London Underground978191780187836336715173697135
Force Total10,5029719,1271,0717,2611,2116,5731,0136,826963

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Tributylin Anti-fouling paint

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether in the absence of a world-wide prohibition on the use of tributylin (TBT) anti-fouling paint on commercial vessels, they will support such a prohibition on all ships entering European ports.[HL3280]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: Her Majesty's Government banned the sale, supply, storage and use of tributylin anti-fouling paint on vessels under 25 metres in length in 1987. In view of the current progress at the International Maritime Organisation to introduce a world-wide ban on their use, we do not consider that separate European action is appropriate.

M25/A13 Junction

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether in view of the difficulties and dangers for traffic attempting to leave the M25 to join the A13, they will arrange for traffic lights to be installed at the M25/A13 road junction.[HL3213]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr Peter Nutt, to write to the noble Lord.

Letter from the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr Peter Nutt, dated 17 July 2000.

The Transport Minister, Lord Whitty, has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the problems for traffic attempting to leave the M25 to join the A13 at Junction 30.

We are aware of the difficulties at this junction. The M25/A13 junction carries a large flow of traffic during peak and off peak periods and generates traffic queues during peak periods. The junction also has a poor accident record.

I am pleased to tell you that preparation of a scheme to install traffic signals at the M25/A13 junction (M25 Junction 30) is already underway. This scheme will reduce queues, reduce accidents and increase the

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capacity of the junction. Design and procurement of specialist equipment will be completed in Spring 2001. Works are planned for the 2001-02 financial year.

House Prices

Lord Jacobs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord McIntosh of Haringey on 28th June (WA 88), how much has the price of owner-occupied homes appreciated (a) since May 1985 and (b) since May 1950. [HL 3295]

Lord Whitty The latest available figures published by my department, of the UK all lenders mix-adjusted house price index, show an estimated rise of 192 per cent between the second quarter of 1985 and the first quarter of 2000. This is equivalent to an average annual rate of 7.5 per cent.

The rise in owner-occupied house prices from 1950 to the first quarter of 2000 is estimated at 4,750 per cent. This is equivalent to an average annual rate of 8.1 per cent.

NHS Device Decontamination Practices

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action they propose to take in response to the recent review by NHS Estates of device decontamination practices. [HL3231]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): A high-level steering group, chaired by Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pat Troop, has been set up to consider the report when it is received and to determine what action is needed in the light of its findings.

Patient Information and Data Protection Act

Baroness Seccombe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, under the terms of the Data Protection Act, National Health Service hospitals are prevented from communicating the details of a patient's condition to the patient's family by telephone. [HL3228]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Data Protection Act 1998 prevents National Health Service hospitals from disclosing confidential information, such as a patient's condition, to any third party by telephone or other means where this would represent an unlawful breach of confidence.

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The Monarchy: Ministers' Responsibilities in Media Interviews

Lord Lamont of Lerwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In what circumstances Cabinet Ministers are allowed to express personal views not reflecting government policy about the Monarchy. [HL3092]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Section 8 of the Ministerial Code sets out Ministers' responsibilities in relation to media interviews.

Millennium Dome: End-of-year Celebration

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State at the Cabinet Office on 23 June (WA50), whether the sole shareholder of the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) will now answer the question whether he would support the organisation of an end-of-year celebration in the Dome.[HL3129]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The organisation of an end-of-year celebration in the Dome is a matter for the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC). NMEC is considering what, if any, celebrations there should be, and I look forward to hearing its plans in due course.

NMEC: Solvency

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State at the Cabinet Office on 23 June (WA48), whether the sole shareholder of the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) is satisfied that the company can continue to trade solvently until 31 December 2000, in view of the weekly reports on the trading performance of the NMEC.[HL3132]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) is working to a revised budget of 6 million paying visitors, which has been approved by the Millennium Commission. The revised budget is achievable and with careful monitoring I am confident that NMEC will continue to trade solvently until 31 December 2000.

Dome: Opening Hours

Baroness Seccombe asked Her Majesty's Govenrment:

    Whether the sole shareholder of the New Millennium Experience Company is aware of any proposition to reduce the opening hours of the Dome in any one week or to reduce the number of

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    shows per day; and, if so, when he anticipates that the implementation of such a proposition may be necessary.[HL3145]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton : The New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) has no plans to reduce the opening hours of the Dome in any one week, nor has it any plans to reduce the number of shows per day.


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