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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The UK has committed over £31 million, including our share of European Commission activities, to humanitarian de-mining operations since 1991. We remain committed to an active programme of humanitarian mine clearance, focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable. We wish to help develop de-mining capacity in affected countries as part of our efforts to support poverty eradication.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We have insufficient information to be able to verify the quantity of experts referred to by my noble friend. We take seriously all reports of violations of sanctions against Iraq. We remain committed to maintaining these sanctions.
The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Simon of Highbury): BT has commercial freedom as to how it prices its ISDN services provided they are not offered on anti-competitive or unduly discriminatory terms or conditions. Although BT has gone some way towards lowering its prices, encouraged by OFTEL, there remains scope for further reductions. OFTEL will therefore continue to encourage BT in this direction. ISDN provision in the UK is set to become more competitive with the introduction of radio-fixed access services and emerging competition from the cable companies.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sewel): The Government's proposals, including those for criminal and other legislation, will be set out in the White Paper to be published on 24 July.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): The Government are pledged to an independent review of the medical evidence behind the approach to the assessment of noise induced hearing loss in War Pensions. We hope that the review will provide a conclusion which is clear and unambiguous.
Baroness Hayman: The depth of contamination on the site to be occupied by the Greenwich Experience varied widely. The majority of contamination was contained within the surface layer, which varied between 2 and 4 metres in depth. In isolated instances the contamination extended up to a maximum of 14 metres. The treatment applied to each part of the site has depended on the type and depth of the contamination. No part of the site has been treated to a depth of less than 2 metres and in places the treatment has extended to 14 metres. In order to minimise the quantity of material that requires off-site disposal, techniques such as screening, and possibly soil washing, are being used to reclaim materials which are acceptable for reuse on the site. A limited amount of excavated soil is being taken to a variety of licensed waste disposal sites.
The approach to the treatment of the site has been approved by both the Environment Agency and the Environmental Health Department of the London Borough of Greenwich. It is also consistent with government policy on contaminated land and its commitment to the "suitable for use" approach as part of a sustainable development strategy.
Whether they will list any current rights or obligations of British Gas in respect of the Greenwich Millennium site both now and after the Millennium.
Baroness Hayman: English Partnerships acquired British Gas's interest in the Greenwich Peninsula for £20 million. An average payment equating to 7.5 per cent. of the gross proceeds of any land sales is also payable to British Gas. In respect of the southern third of the site, the minimum payment due is £4.3 million.
|Year of tender||Number of contracts|
Contracts are normally awarded for five years. Some older contracts were extended when a full tendering programme was compiled prior to the privatisation of London Transport's bus operating subsidiaries.
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