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Aarhus Convention

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if he will list the changes to procedures adopted by his Department and its agencies following the Government's signing of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Environmental Information; [91817]

Mr. Meale: We intend to ratify the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the 'Aarhus Convention') as soon as we have all the necessary measures in place to implement its provisions.

Like most of the other European Union member states, the UK expects to be in a position to ratify by the end of 2000. To date, only the Republic of Moldova has ratified.

Implementation of the Convention is through a mixture of administrative actions and legislative measures. In a great many respects, the UK already fulfils the provisions of the Convention. However, new legislation will be required to implement some of the provisions on environmental information and the consultation paper on the draft Freedom of Information Bill stated that current environmental information regime would be revoked and replaced with provisions in the Bill.

In the past year, we have continued to promote activities relevant to the Convention. For example, the Environment Agency issued a consultation paper on its proposals for extended public consultation on selected

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licence applications on 16 July, draft Planning Policy Guidance Note 12 on Development Plans promotes active public participation in the preparation of a development plan and the Environment Agency has published a new Pollution Inventory on the internet.

Non-UK Driving Licences

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what estimate he has made of the number of people who have been driving regularly in the United Kingdom with non-UK driving licences in each of the last five years. [92023]

Ms Glenda Jackson: This information is not collected.

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many and what proportion of road accidents have involved people driving with non-UK driving licences in each of the last five years. [92022]

Ms Glenda Jackson: No information is collected nationally on the country of issue of licences held by drivers involved in road accidents.

Rail Use (London)

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what estimate he has made of the number of passengers using rail transport (a) to commute into London and (b) to travel around London in (i) 1995-96, (ii) 1996-97, (iii) 1997-98 and (iv) 1998-99. [92398]

Ms Glenda Jackson: The estimated number of people from 1995 onwards entering central London by rail during the morning peak period between 7 am and 10 am on an average weekday is as follows:

Thousand

Surface rail (1)LUL and DLR only
1995395348
1996399361
1997435373
1998447395

(1) Includes transfers to LUL and DLR


The estimated numbers of annual passenger journeys by rail in London from 1995-96 onwards are as follows:

Million

Surface rail (2)LULDLR
1995-9676178415
1996-9780077217
1997-9884683221
1998-9989286629

(2) Surface rail data covering the London area are not available--these figures refer to passenger journeys in the former Network South East area.


Development Agencies

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what guidance has been provided to members of development agencies as to circumstances in which conflict of interest might exist and the action which should be taken when such guidance is ignored. [91465]

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Mr. Meale: The letters of appointment sent to members of the North West Development Agency provided guidance on potential conflicts of interest and the responsibility to declare any such interests.

The Codes of Conduct, which have been drawn up by the agencies in accordance with guidance produced by the Cabinet Office, cover the issue of members' interests. Agencies are required to maintain a Register of Interest of their members. Board members have attended a training course on their roles and responsibilities as members of non-departmental public bodies. The issues of conflicts of interest and propriety were among the issues covered.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Bosnia

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the level of misuse of international aid sent to Bosnia; and if she will make a statement. [91719]

Mr. Foulkes: We have made no assessment of the level of misuse of international aid to Bosnia, although we monitor the general effectiveness of international development programmes to which we contribute. We have no evidence to suggest that international aid is being misused in Bosnia.

Somalia

Mr. Alan Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what steps her Department has taken to promote the inclusion of Somalia within the ACP group of countries for development purposes; [91928]

Mr. Foulkes: Somalia is an ACP member. I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Argyll and Bute (Mrs. Michie) on 14 July 1999, Official Report, column 224.

New Deal (Young People)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many individuals his Department has recruited under the New Deal for Young People. [91896]

Mr. Foulkes: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office to the hon. Member for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart) on 25 May 1999, Official Report, column 116.

Two New Deal appointees are expected to join the Department by the end of July. We also expect to submit approximately six further vacancies to the Employment Service in the remainder of 1999 with a continuing annual programme of 10 to 12 New Deal appointments thereafter.

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Appointments (Quangos)

Mr. Singh: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many appointments to quangos she made between (a) 1 June 1997 and 31 May 1998 and (b) 1 June 1998 and 31 May 1999; and in each case of those how many were members of Britain's (i) Asian and (ii) ethnic minority communities. [92140]

Mr. Foulkes: Between 1 June 1997 and 31 May 1998 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State made 41 appointments to quangos. Six of the appointees were members of Britain's ethnic minority communities, of whom five were from the Asian community.

The number of appointments made for the period 1 June 1998 to 31 May 1999 was 15, of which none were from the ethnic minority communities.

We are committed to achieving by the end of 2002 a target of 10 per cent. of the public appointments for which we are responsible to be held by members of the ethnic minority communities.

Official Documents

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will publish a list of all those official documents of the last Administration which have been seen by (a) her, (b) other Ministers in her Department, (c) special advisers in her Department and (d) non-career civil servants appointed since May 1997 in her Department. [92177]

Mr. Foulkes [holding answer 20 July 1999]: A large number of official documents were generated during the period of the previous Administration, many of which were published or put in the public domain. Since May 1997, the Department has been guided by the convention governing access to the papers of a previous Administration, as set out in the then Prime Minister's reply to a written question on 24 January 1980, Official Report columns 5-7.

Kosovo

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development by what criteria the Government will decide what proportion of the costs incurred by her Department during the Kosovo crisis between and including March and July will be met from Treasury Contingency Reserve and what proportion from her Department's budget; and if she will make a statement. [92230]

Mr. Foulkes: The Government have already decided that £30 million of the £56 million cost incurred by DFID on the Kosovo crisis between and including March and July should come from the Reserve.


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