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Written Answers to Questions

Friday 17 July 1998

DUCHY OF LANCASTER

Correspondence

Mr. Ian Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans his Department has to correspond electronically with (a) hon. Members and (b) members of the public. [49812]

Dr. David Clark [holding answer 13 July 1998]: A variety of different methods of replying electronically to Written Parliamentary Questions is being tested in consultation with the authorities of both Houses of Parliament. These tests are continuing, and we will report on the conclusions as soon as possible.

PRIME MINISTER

Lord-Lieutenants

Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will list the 10 longest-serving Lord-Lieutenants; [50258]

The Prime Minister: On my advice, Her Majesty has appointed 3 Lord-Lieutenants.

The ten longest serving Lord-Lieutenants are:


Sir Thomas Dunne, KCVO (Herefordshire and Worcestershire)
His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensbury KT VRD (Roxburgh, Ettrick & Lauderdale)
The Earl of Leven and Melville (Nairn)
The Viscount of Artbuthnott KT CBE DSC FRSE (Kincardineshire)
Sir Richard Hanbury Tenison KCVO (Gwent)
Colonel Sir Michael McCorkell KCVO OBE TD (County Londonderry)
The Right Honourable Lord Kingsdown KG (Kent)
Sir David Mansel Lewis KCVO JP BA (Dyfed)
Sir Timothy Colman KG (Norfolk)
Lieutenant Colonel James Stirling of Garden CBE TD (Stirling and Falkirk).

PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL

Correspondence

Mr. Ian Bruce: To ask the President of the Council what plans she has to correspond electronically with (a) hon. Members and (b) members of the public. [49881]

Mrs. Ann Taylor [holding answer 13 July 1998]: Under plans for the development of the Government Secure Intranet (GSI), my office expects to be in a position to correspond electronically with hon. Members

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and the general public by the Autumn. I would also refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster gave today, Official Report, column 315.

LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Notarial Services

Mr. Hurst: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what representations he has received concerning the Scriveners Company and the provision of notarial services in central London. [50131]

Mr. Hoon: My Department wrote to interested parties on 29 May to ask for their views on whether the Government should seek to abolish the current statutory requirement that public notaries can practise in the City of London and the surrounding three miles only if they are members of the Scriveners Company. Representations on this subject have been received from a number of individuals and from:


Messrs. Hartwig;
Messrs. John Venn & Sons;
The Association of Solicitor Notaries in Greater London;
The Faculty Office of the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury;
The Law Society of England and Wales;
The Notaries' Society;
The Office of Fair Trading;
The Scriveners Company;
The Society of Public Notaries of London.

The Lord Chancellor hopes to announce the Government's decision in due course.

Magistrates

Mr. Levitt: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to modify his Department's restrictions on deaf people serving as magistrates. [50073]

Mr. Hoon: There is no absolute prohibition on deaf people serving as magistrates. The Lord Chancellor welcomes applications for the magistracy from deaf people who have the capacity, whether with technical aids or otherwise, to follow court proceedings and carry out the range of magisterial duties.

MINISTER WITHOUT PORTFOLIO

Millennium Experience

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Minister without Portfolio what meetings he has held with individuals, companies or other organisations regarding sponsorship of zones within the Millennium Dome; if he will list them; and who was responsible for taking the notes at each meeting. [51276]

Mr. Mandelson: I attend meetings with individuals, companies and other organisations on sponsorship of the Millennium Experience on a regular basis in the course of my Ministerial duties.

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ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORT AND

THE REGIONS

Vulnerable Road Users

Mr. Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how he plans to reduce the injury rate amongst (a) cyclists, (b) pedestrians and (c) motorcyclists in London; and if he will list his Department's advisers on accident reduction. [48191]

Dr. Strang: The emphasis in London, as for the rest of the country, will be on a continuing programme of initiatives co-ordinating education, enforcement and engineering.

The Government are funding the London boroughs, the Highways Agency and the Traffic Director for London, to implement safety schemes. In addition, they are seeking ways to achieve further understanding of the causes, and co-ordinate that knowledge to promote good practice for the reduction of accidents among vulnerable road users, by working with the Association of London Government and the London Accident Analysis Unit. We will be bringing forward further measures to improve the safety of vulnerable road users as part of our new road safety strategy.

The Department has the following external advisers on road accident research:


Eur.Ing Robert Watson, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
Ms Clare Holman, Environmental Consultant
Professor Margaret Galer-Flyte, Loughborough University of Technology
Professor Richard Allsop, University College London
Mr. Geoff Maycock, Transport Research Laboratory
Mr. Richard Lowne, Transport Research Laboratory
Mr. Geoff Day, Freight Transport Association
Mr. Edward Chorlton, Devon County Council
Professor Mike McDonald, University of Southampton
Professor Derek Elsom, Oxford Brookes University
Mr. M. Sadeghi, Cranfield Impact Centre Limited
Professor James Reason, University of Manchester.

In addition, in drawing up our new road safety strategy, we are taking advice from a wide range of representatives of local government, the police, voluntary organisations and individual experts. The following external advisers and road safety research are members of the Road Safety Targets and Strategy Steering Group or Sub-Groups:


Hugh Alford, Association of Chief Police Officers
Henry Marks, British Motorcycling Federation
John Moss, Cheshire County Council
Mike Hayes, Child Accident Prevention Trust
Alan Silver, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
Stuart Reid, Cyclist Public Affairs Group
David Harvey, Derby County Council
Bob Doughty, Despatch Association
John Partridge, Local Authority Road Safety Officers Association
Wendy Broome, Local Authority Road Safety Officers Association
Rosemary Welch, Local Authority Road Safety Officers Association
Kevin Kelly, Motorcycle Training Association

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Rob Gifford, Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety
Dave Rogers, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
Fiona Murray, Scottish Road Safety Campaign
Kristine Beuret, Social Research Association
Bob Watson, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
Bill Carcary, Stirling University
Supt Alistair Anderson, Strathclyde Police
Lynn Sloman, Transport 2000
Chris Lines, Transport Research Laboratory
Richard Lowne, Transport Research Laboratory
Heather Ward, University College London
Professor Richard Allsop, University College London
Jeremy Broughton, Transport Research Laboratory
David Lynam, Transport Research Laboratory
Vince Christie, Local Government Association
Chris Kay, Local Authority Road Safety Officers Association.

Correspondence

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he expects the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Salisbury, dated 22 May, about delays on the A316 in Twickenham. [49873]

Dr. Strang: The Chief Executive of the Highways Agency replied on 6 July. I apologise for the length of the delay in replying to the hon. Member's letter.

Vehicle Fuel

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many £500 grants have been made for the conversion of vehicles to cleaner fuels. [50332]

Dr. Strang: As announced in the Budget, on 17 March 1998, Official Report, columns 1097-1112, the Government intend to introduce from 1 January 1999, concessionary rates of vehicle excise duty (VED)--worth up to £500--for lorries and buses meeting stringent emissions standards. Thus no vehicles have yet benefited from this concession.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what grants the Government propose to make available for the conversion of taxi cabs to use road fuel gas. [50965]

Ms Glenda Jackson: The Government are funding the Energy Saving Trust's Powershift programme which provides grants towards the conversion of vehicles to run on alternative fuels. The duty on road fuel gases has been frozen for two successive Budgets with a commitment in the July 1997 Budget to maintain the differential that existed at that time between the duty on road fuel gases and the duty on diesel.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will introduce a pilot scheme to monitor the benefits of taxi cabs running on road fuel gas. [50966]

Ms Glenda Jackson: My Department has already been involved in research on the environmental benefits of running a taxi on road fuel gases and we will continue to monitor developments in this area. In addition, the Public

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Carriage Office is working with manufacturers to encourage the development of alternative greener engines and fuels. The Cleaner Vehicles Task Force has also set up a sub-group to consider the merits of the potential for wider use of alternative fuels. The Energy Saving Trust's Powershift programme, funded by Government, provides grants towards alternatively fuelled vehicles, and the costs and performance of vehicles purchased under the scheme will be monitored and evaluated.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what measures he proposes to assist the conversion of buses to use road fuel gases. [51034]

Ms Glenda Jackson: The Government are funding the Energy Saving Trust's Powershift programme which provides grants towards the conversion of vehicles to run on alternative fuels. Operators of eligible bus services also receive 100 per cent. rebate on the duty they pay on road fuel gases. The Chancellor announced at the last Budget on 17 March 1998, Official Report, columns 1097-1112, that operators of buses and HGVs, meeting stringent emission standards, would receive a rebate of up to £500 on VED.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will introduce pilot schemes to monitor the advantages and disadvantages of converting buses to use road fuel gases. [51035]

Ms Glenda Jackson: My Department has kept closely in touch with the work that some operators have done on the advantages and disadvantages of converting buses to use road fuel gases, including a number of tests carried out by London Transport Buses.


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