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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The marketing brochure and information pack circulated to bidders makes clear that the successful bidder will be required to provide the following: an imaginative visitor experience for the presentation and interpretation of Stonehenge and its monumental landscape providing full information on Stonehenge and the heritage attractions of Wessex; an education and resource centre; a children's play area; a first aid centre; an outlet for English Heritage and National Trust to sell membership; a range of catering outlets including fast food restaurants and other beverage outlets; adequate toilet facilities; a range of retail facilities; adequate coach and car parking; and an environmentally sensitive transport link to take visitors from the visitor centre to the drop off points. The information pack contains further detailed requirements which the successful bidder will need to satisfy and additional supplementary guidance clarifying these requirements has recently been circulated to all the short listed bidders.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Ministers, and the public, have been shown pictures of what the Stonehenge World Heritage site will look like after completion of the proposed cut and cover tunnel in the Stonehenge master plan literature. There are no plans at present to produce any further such illustrations. There were no pictures created to show the effect of a long bored tunnel, as this is not an option under consideration by the Government.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The selection process is currently under way but it would be contrary to the normal arrangements for commercial confidentiality to release the names of the short-listed bidders at this time. English Heritage anticipates that the identity of the preferred bidder should be announced in January 2000.
The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): The primary benefit from civil court action is to the parties involved: it is therefore right that in the main they should bear the costs of using the court. However, the Government do not consider that these costs should be paid by the parties in every case. The taxpayer subsidises the costs of Children Act applications, adoptions and domestic violence applications. The taxpayer pays in full from the Legal Aid Fund the court fees of those eligible for legally aided representation. The taxpayer also pays in full the court fees of parties who are in receipt of working families tax credit or disabled persons' tax credit, where the amount to be deducted from the maximum award is not more than £70, or are in receipt of income support, or income-based jobseeker's allowance. The taxpayer pays in full or in part the court fees of those for whom payment of the fee would involve undue financial hardship. The policy of recovering the costs of the civil courts through fees ensures the best targeting of scarce public resources.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): There continues to be great uncertainty about the nature of variant CJD with relation to BSE and how susceptible people may be to infection. It is therefore not possible for the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) to estimate the statistical risk of contracting the disease as a result of consuming beef or beef products which have been cooked on the bone. In his recent advice to the Government, the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Liam Donaldson, concluded that a decision to lift the bone-in beef ban should, in his assessment, be informed by the fact that the additional risk to human health created would at this stage of the cattle epidemic be tiny and unquantifiable in any meaningful way.
Baroness Hayman: The summary of advice provided by the Joint Food Safety and Standards Group on the public health implications of the use of sewage sludge in French animal feed was published on 26 October. This concluded that there is no immediate public health risk from this practice.
Baroness Hayman: The Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) explanatory guide is published every year either as a completely new booklet, or as a supplementary booklet containing details of changes since the previous year. In addition there are also explanatory guides for the individual schemes administered under the IACS umbrella which include the Arable Area Payments Scheme (AAPS), the Beef Special Premium Scheme (BSPS), the Suckler Cow Premium Scheme (SCPS) and the Sheep Annual Premium Scheme (SAPS). The revised booklets clarify scheme rules as necessary and also give guidance on changes required by amendment to the European legislation.
The new guidance will be available in February 2000. Clarification on the guidelines concerning area measurement will be included in the explanatory guide to the 2000 Arable Area Payments Scheme which will be published at the end of November.
Baroness Hayman: Yes. Owners or managers of abattoirs and cutting plants may ask to inspect the documents of appointment of an official veterinary surgeon (OVS) to ascertain whether they have been appointed as the authorised officer to licensed premises. Without the necessary documentation an OVS does not have the right to demand entry to a premises and a manager or owner would have the right to refuse it.
Baroness Hayman: All quality managers employed by Messrs Eville and Jones are designated official veterinary surgeons (OVS) who hold warrants of authorisation appointing them as authorised officers to licensed premises generally. As such they are appointed as authorised officers to those premises at which OVSs for which they have line management responsibilities are deployed.
Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: The cost of publishing the latest editions of those statistics which appear in a glossy format was £81,683. The benefits of using this style are that it enhances the credibility and professionalism of the documents; helps to communicate the information in a clearer way; and is attractive and has a longer shelf life.
Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: The Government are fully aware of the serious difficulties facing all sectors of the agricultural industry in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK. Following their £150 million financial aid package to UK agriculture announced on 20 September 1999, which benefited primarily the beef and sheep sectors, the Government announced a further £5 million marketing assistance package on 28 October 1999, with the intention that the pig sector would benefit significantly from this new money. These measures represent a considerable commitment to the agricultural industry in the face of many other competing demands on the public purse. We are also doing everything to encourage the use of UK products and to ensure that people know the origins of the produce they are buying.
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