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15 Feb 2001 : Column WA53

Written Answers

Thursday, 15th February 2001.

Millennium Dome: Sale

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether a decision has been reached on Legacy plc's preferred bidder status in the sale of the Dome.[HL818]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Legacy's preferred bidder status gave them exclusive negotiating rights up to 14 February. While their bid has made progress towards meeting the preferred bidder terms, they have not met them. Legacy's exclusivity has therefore expired and the Government have decided to terminate the existing competition.

During the period of Legacy's preferred bidder status, the Government have not sought any alternative proposals for the Dome. The Government would now like openly to test the market and will therefore ask English Partnerships to invite any interested parties to lodge with it expressions of interest for the Dome and the regeneration of the peninsula. The Government, like the Mayor of London and the London Borough of Greenwich, believe the Dome should be retained as part of the regenerated peninsula, and offers will be invited on this basis. There have been considerable expressions of interest from other parties which have been logged by English Partnerships.

Within this framework, Legacy will of course be able to put forward its proposals, which will be fully considered on merit alongside others.

Expressions of interest will be assessed by an advisory team, which will report to English Partnerships, who will shortly publish details of the arrangements and rules for this process.

Race Equality

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to publish the proposals for implementation of the duty to promote race equality under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, and the second annual report on progress implementing the Stephen Lawrence Action Plan.[HL820]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): We have today placed in the Library a copy of the document Race Equality in Public Services. The document sets out performance data in a number of key areas which are of interest to minority ethnic communities, and provides a quantifiable way of demonstrating the Government's progress in promoting race equality.

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Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to publish the second edition of the basket of race equality performance indicators which they have developed.[HL821]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The second annual report on progress implementing the Stephen Lawrence Action Plan and the consultation document on implementation of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 will be published on Thursday, 22 February 2001 to mark the second anniversary of the publication of the Report of the Lawrence Inquiry. Copies of these documents will be placed in the Library and the consultation document will be circulated widely amongst the public bodies that are likely to be affected and to other interested parties for comments.

The consultation document will provide information about timing of the implementation of the 2000 Act. It will, in particular, seek views on the introduction of a number of specific duties to help public bodies to better fulfil their obligations under the general duty to promote race equality. It will also seek views on extending the list of public bodies that are subject to the general duty to promote race equality.

Terrorism Act 2000

Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will bring the Terrorism Act 2000 into force.[HL822]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: In answer to a question in another place from the Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Mr Miller) on 31 October last year, House of Commons Official Report, col. 419W, my right honourable friend the Home Secretary indicated that the Government were working towards an implementation date for the Terrorism Act 2000 of 19 February 2001. I can now confirm that, by virtue of a Commencement Order made under the Act, the date of implementation will be Monday 19 February 2001. On that day, the Terrorism Act 2000 will replace the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 and the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1996. As a consequence of the new judicial extension of detention arrangements which will come into force on 19 February, the United Kingdom will be in a position to lift the derogations entered under Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and I can confirm that it is our intention to deposit notifications with the Council of Europe and the United Nations to this effect early next week. To take account of any detentions under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 made up to midnight on 18 February, these notifications will lift the derogations as of 26 February 2001.

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Criminal Records Bureau: Fees

Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will announce the registration fees to be charged by the Criminal Records Bureau.[HL823]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Applications to the Criminal Records Bureau for Standard and Enhanced Disclosures need to be counter-signed by a person registered in advance with the Bureau for this purpose. Often this will be the employer or voluntary organisation. We have concluded that the fee for registration should be a one-off payment of £300, with a one-off charge of £5 for each additional counter-signatory nominated by the registered person. These fees reflect the cost to the bureau of the processes in question. Regulations will be laid accordingly.

Strategic Rail Authority

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the Strategic Rail Authority plans to publish its Strategy, as required under Section 206 of the Transport Act 2000.[HL663]

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): The SRA plan to publish a Strategic Agenda shortly. The Strategic Plan will be published later in the year.

Rail Freight Grants

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What rail freight grants have been offered during the last 12 months.[HL664]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: Until an offer of grant has been accepted, negotiations remain commercially confidential. Since January 2000, the following companies have accepted offers of freight facilities grant or track access grant.

    European Metal Recycling Ltd

    Peter Colby Commercial

    Maurice Hill Transport Ltd

    Cleveland Potash Ltd


    Day Aggregates

    Hepworths Properties Ltd

    Carlisle Warehousing Ltd

    Jaguar Cars Ltd


    Lafarge Redland Aggregates

    James Kingsberry Ltd

    The Port of Boston

    Murco Petroleum Ltd

    The Port of Tyne

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    T J Thompson

    The Port of Sheerness

    Kent Wire Ltd

    The British Port Company

    English West & Scottish Railway Ltd

    Freightliner Ltd

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the total of rail freight grants paid for each of the last five years.[HL665]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The amount paid in grants are listed below:

YearTotal Money paid for FFG and TAG £ million


1. Figures for 1996-97 to 1999-2000 include payments for inland waterways grants which were recorded together with rail freight grants. Figures for 2000-2001 contain rail freight element alone.

London Underground: Escalator Replacement

Lord Lamont of Lerwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the length of time being taken to replace old escalators on London Underground is satisfactory.[HL679]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: Escalators are an important part of the service on London Underground, and it is important that across the system as a whole they work smoothly and consistently, but above all safely. The management of its escalators is a matter for London Underground (LUL) and they carry out rigorous, routine checks on all escalators as part of their continuous programme of safety monitoring. They have a planned forward programme of investing in new escalators where older ones need to be replaced.

LUL's escalators are subject to very heavy-duty usage, and in many cases they are specially built for each individual location and have to be installed piece by piece on site. The actual time for each renewal can therefore vary according to the location and the inherent difficulties such as space etc. However I understand from London Underground that over recent years the time taken to replace escalators has reduced because of improved practices.

Lord Lamont of Lerwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will commission a report from London Transport on the length of time the downward escalators have been out of action at Notting Hill underground station.[HL680]

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Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: This is an operational matter for London Underground (LUL); I understand from LUL that because these escalators are some of the oldest still in service on the network a major three-year project to replace all six escalators at Notting Hill Gate underground station is currently in progress.

There are six escalators at the station, historically numbered 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8. Works to numbers 3 and 6 have been completed and work is in progress on numbers 5 and 8. Actual and programmed completion dates for each machine are given in the following table:

StationEscalator No. Start DateCompletion DateDirection of Travel
Notting Hill Gate13 September 200115 March 2002Down
Notting Hill Gate226 August 200213 September 2002Up
Notting Hill Gate330 April 199920 July 2000Currently Up but normally Down
Notting Hill Gate59 September 200013 June 2001Currently being replaced
Notting Hill Gate64 January 200014 August 2000Currently Up but normally Down
Notting Hill Gate830 October 200028 July 2001Currently being replaced

The purpose of the project is to provide a better and more reliable escalator service at the station for the future.

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