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Foyle Valley Railway Museum

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Although the museum is closed, security of the building has not only been maintained but increased.

The annual cost of these security provisions is expected to be £5,000.

Congestion Charging

Lord Howell of Guildford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): The Secretary of State does not have such powers. Individuals can make representations to the charging authorities and/or appeal to the adjudicator.

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Witham By-pass: Advertising Hoardings

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the advertising hoardings on the side of the Witham by-pass on the A12 have been raised in height; and whether they will arrange for a quarterly photographic record to be made of this site in order to detect any interference with the planting on land belonging to the Highways Agency.[HL1353]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The Highways Agency has not been notified of any change in height to the hoardings on the A12 Witham by-pass. They are aware that some of the hoardings were badly damaged in gales last autumn and were re-erected; any alteration in the height of the hoardings would have required planning permission. Inquiries have been made, and Braintree District Council has confirmed that no such application has been made and it is believed that no significant change was made to the height of the hoardings when reconstructed.

Photographs were taken of the site in November 2002 to compare against those taken in May 2002, and further photographs will be taken in March and May this year, to ensure that the planting is not disturbed during the spring growing season. The site is also visually checked on a weekly basis through routine trunk road inspections.

Road Vehicles: Department of Transport Exercise

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    To whom they have sent the Department for Transport's consultation exercise: Proposed Amendment to the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 and Regulation 37 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.[HL1364]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The list of people and organisations consulted is at the end of the consultation exercise document. This document can be found in the Libraries of the House.

Public Bodies 2002

Lord Tomlinson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will publish Public Bodies 2002.[HL1458]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: Public Bodies 2002 is the latest in a series of publications providing information on public bodies sponsored by

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government, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

In addition to giving details about the remit and expenditure of public bodies, the publication also gives information about the number of women, people from minority ethnic backgrounds and people with disabilities who sit on the boards of public bodies. I am pleased to announce that the proportion of those from minority ethnic backgrounds and those with disabilities holding public appointments have increased from 4.8 per cent to 6.2 per cent and from 1.5 per cent to 3.3 per cent respectively, although it is

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disappointing that the percentage of women holding such appointments, 34 per cent, has remained static. Departments will continue to work hard to encourage increased participation of women on the boards of public bodies.

Additionally, this year's publication includes information about the Government's task forces, ad hoc advisory groups and reviews. Previously these were reported on separately and to a different timetable. Including this data in one publication gives a more complete picture of the extended bodies and groups working to deliver government objectives.

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