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Lord Williams of Mostyn: The number of asylum seekers from the former Yugoslavia currently awaiting an initial decision is 9,580, which is 15 per cent. of all applications outstanding. The figure for Rwanda is 295, which is less than 1 per cent.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman): Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimates, the cash limit for Class XI, Vote 1 (Hospital, community health, family health and related services,
Overall the NHS Trusts' External Financing Limit has decreased by £63,206,000 from £121,920,000 to £58,714,000. The Medicines Control Agency External Financing Limit has been increased by £6,800,000 from £700,000 to £7,500,000.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: As a Crown body, the Royal Parks Agency enjoys Crown immunity and in most cases does not require planning consent from the local planning authority for development of its own land.
The Government are committed to the removal of this exemption for Crown bodies, and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions will be taking this matter forward when an opportunity in the legislative programme arises.
Crown bodies do, however, follow the parallel procedure set out in Department of the Environment Circular 18/84, which requires consultation with the local planning authority before proceeding with development which would otherwise require planning permission; any unresolved objections from the authority would be referred for resolution to my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Manchester 2002 Limited has not yet finalised a budget for the staging of the Commonwealth Games. The sports programme is still under review and this decision will have considerable impact on costs, ranging from what facilities will need to be built to how many athletes can be expected. Also yet to be concluded is any agreement over broadcasting rights. These rights are expected to generate a large proportion of the Games' revenue, allied with sponsorship which has yet to be put in place. Once Manchester 2002 Limited has these matters in place, it will be in a clearer position in relation to any funding surplus or gap.
My honourable friend the Minister for Sport takes a close interest in the Commonwealth Games and last met Manchester City Council in September. He also meets regularly with the Commonwealth Games Federation both formally and informally; the last formal meeting was 23 November. He will be meeting stakeholders in the Commonwealth Games, including the City Council, on 3 March in Manchester. Officials from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have observer
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): The terms of reference of the independent panel that oversees the MoD's research programme into the possible adverse health effects of the combination of vaccines and tablets given to troops during the Gulf conflict to protect them against biological and chemical warfare agents were discussed and accepted at its first meeting, on 18 December 1997, with one minor amendment relating to the panel's responsibility to ensure that the research results arising from the programme were published appropriately. At the panel's second meeting, on 24 February 1998, a newly appointed member, who had not attended the previous meeting, questioned the scope of the panel's remit. It was explained that the panel had been called together specifically to oversee the interactions research programme and to consider the merits of other proposals in the same area. The expertise of individual panel members reflected this requirement. It was also explained that MoD receives general scientific advice and guidance on Gulf veterans' illnesses issues from the Medical Research Council, which has established a Gulf Health Steering Committee. We understand that the panel member who raised the issue of terms of reference at the meeting of 24 February, subsequently wrote to the panel chairman about this and a number of other matters. However, this correspondence was not copied to the MoD and I cannot, therefore, comment further.
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