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UK Sport

Mr. Faber: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will place in the Library minutes of his meeting with UK Sport on 30 November 1999. [115233]

Mr. Chris Smith: Minutes of discussions between Ministers, civil servants, and third parties who have been invited on a confidential basis, are taken for internal use and record and it is not possible to make them public. I can however confirm that the conclusion of the meeting on 30 November 1999 was that relocating athletics would provide better value for public money than proceeding with the platform design.

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Science Museum

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) when his Department will announce the Government grant to the Science Museum for 2000-01; [115325]

Mr. Alan Howarth: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to the Chairman of the Science Museum with details of the Museum's funding allocation for the years 1999-2001 on 14 December 1998. The amounts are as follows:

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Free entry--for children (1999) and over 60s (2000)997,0001,424,000
Extra funds1,000,0001,400,000
Purchase and refurbishment of RNAY WroughtonUp to 1,000,000400,000

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For 1998-99, the Science Museum was allocated £20,281,000.

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what was the increase in funding last requested by the Science Museum in order to fund free admission for adults. [115327]

Mr. Alan Howarth: The increase in funding last requested by the Science Museum was for £5.83 million to implement free adult admission from 28 June 2000 to 31 March 2001. Of this, £2 million relates to loss of adult admission income, £1.91 million in compensation for loss of recoverable VAT input tax on operating income and £1.92 million for VAT on capital activity. Similar figures for the National Railway Museum are £1.11 million, of which £700,000 relates to lost adult admission income, £210,000 for VAT on operating income, and £200,000 for VAT on capital activity.


RUC (Crest)

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the dimensions of the RUC crest on police cars in Northern Ireland. [114896]

Mr. Ingram: When applied, the size of the crest is normally 284mm x 166mm on a white panel of 305mm x 186mm.

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the reasons for the RUC crest being removed from police cars in Northern Ireland. [114897]

Mr. Ingram: The decision to adopt a new livery was taken after the Royal Ulster Constabulary considered the future livery and the visibility of police vehicles at the scenes of incidents, especially on busy main roads. This work was commissioned by the Association of Chief

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Police Officers (ACPO) from the Police Scientific Development Branch (PSDB) which recommended the adoption of a livery, commonly known as Battenburg, based on highly reflective large blue and yellow checks which cover the sides of the vehicle and red and yellow chevrons on the rear. It was a specific recommendation of the PSDB that, for safety reasons,

Having considered the Health and Safety implications of this report and the desire to create a clear, consistent and highly visible image for police vehicles, the Chief Constable decided that the Royal Ulster Constabulary crest would not in future be displayed on the sides of liveried police vehicles. The change does not affect existing non-Battenburg liveried vehicles, many of which carry an RUC crest.

Mrs. Rosemary Nelson

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the cost of the police investigations into the death of Mrs. Rosemary Nelson; how much of this is in respect of the costs of RUC officers; and how much is in respect of police officers from Great Britain. [114895]

Mr. Ingram: I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave the hon. and learned Member for North Down (Mr. McCartney) on 22 February 2000, Official Report, column 96W.


Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) clinical and (b) medical oncology consultants there are per 100,000 population for each health authority in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. [115189]

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Mr. George Howarth: In Northern Ireland, clinical and medical oncology services are provided by Eastern Health and Social Services Board.

Currently there are 0.65 clinical oncology consultants per 100,000 population, and 0.12 medical oncology consultants per 100,000 population.

The Campbell report on the reorganisation of cancer services in Northern Ireland set a target of 13 oncology consultants by 2005. This target has already been reached.



Mr. Rammell: To ask the Solicitor-General what is the average time from police referral to (a) decision to prosecute and (b) decision not to prosecute in the case of accusations of assault, in each of the last three years. [115597]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service holds no central records on the time required to complete particular stages of the prosecution process in respect of particular offences, nor does it hold such records in respect of offences generally.

Judicial Reviews

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Solicitor-General what is his policy on the employment of Queen's Counsel in applications for judicial review. [115969]

The Solicitor-General: Whenever a Government Department in England and Wales wishes to brief counsel to appear in court on a civil matter, including judicial review proceedings, they must first consider whether it is appropriate to use one of the junior barristers included on the Panels of approved counsel. The procedure for selecting counsel to be included in these panels has recently been revised to make sure that the selection process is fair and transparent. Government Departments are therefore required to use the approved junior counsel in all but the most exceptional cases. If the lawyer handling the case believes that the hearing merits the instruction of a Queen's Counsel then they must seek a nomination of a particular Queen's Counsel with the appropriate expertise. Each such nomination has to be approved personally by the Law Officers before instructions can be sent. In considering whether the use of Queen's Counsel is necessary in a particular case factors such as the importance of the case, the complexity of the legal issues involved, whether the case will decide a point of principle of general application and the amount of money at stake are taken into account.

Crown Prosecutors

Dr. George Turner: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will make a statement regarding the Code for Crown Prosecutors. [115906]

The Solicitor-General: On 24 November 1999, Official Report, column 105W, I announced that the Code for Crown Prosecutors would be reviewed to take account of the Human Rights Act 1998. The aim of the review is to ensure that the Code for Crown Prosecutors is relevant, clear and accessible, properly considers the rights and

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interests of victims, and reflects the exercise of the statutory functions of Crown Prosecutors. The review will take into account legislative changes since 1994, particularly the Human Rights Act, changes to the structure of the CPS, and procedural changes to the criminal justice system.

The review team has now been established, and will be writing to organisations and individuals with an interest in the Code, asking for comments. The review team also invite views from the general public, who may write to their local Chief Crown Prosecutors, or write to, or e-mail CPS Headquarters. Information on the Code and the review can be found on the CPS website at

It is important that the Code supports the CPS' commitment to excellence of decision making, improving victims' and witnesses' experiences of the criminal justice system, and pursuing a partnership approach within the criminal justice system while maintaining its independence in decisions on casework.

The Attorney-General and I welcome this review, and will be taking a close interest both in its progress and any major issues that may arise.

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