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Air Traffic Control

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions which EU member states have privatised their air traffic control facilities in the last five years. [121295]

Mr. Mullin: No state in Europe has privatised its main air traffic control service provider. However, a number of states are, like the UK, looking at ways to commercialise their service providers and at how to introduce new management expertise and financing into the provision of air traffic control.

Noise Mitigation Schemes

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will instruct the Highways Agency to add to the list of possible noise mitigation schemes, published in the Official Report on 11 November 1999, columns 681-83W, (a) the A46 at Harvington and (b) the M5 at Whittington. [121313]

Mr. Hill: No. Neither location meets the criteria established in the announcement of 22 March 1999 to determine whether the need for noise remedial measures should be studied in further detail. The A46 at Harvington carries far less traffic than would generate a roadside

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noise level of 80dB (A). The M5 at Whittington was improved more recently than 1988 and noise mitigation measures were provided in accordance with current standards.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will review the criteria for potential road noise mitigation schemes published on 22 March 1999 to include roads built or widened after 1988. [121314]

Mr. Hill: The purpose of the policy is to focus attention on cases where people may not have had the benefit of noise mitigation measures provided in accordance with current standards. These standards were introduced in 1988 and it is not appropriate to review schemes where noise mitigation was designed within those standards.

Camping

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what powers he has to recover the cost to the community of site clearance and waste disposal caused by unauthorised camping. [121297]

Mr. Mullin: Under section 59(8) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Environment Agency or local authority is entitled to recover its costs incurred from any person who made, or knowingly caused or permitted, the illegal deposit of any waste.

Housing (Multiple Occupation)

Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he will introduce licensing legislation in respect of houses in multiple occupation in England and Wales. [121776]

Mr. Mullin: We will introduce the necessary primary legislation as soon as Parliamentary time can be found. Key conclusions and a summary of responses to our 1999 consultation paper for England will be published in due course.

European Research Area

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what communications he has received on the proposed establishment of a European research area; and how much money the Community has spent in the United Kingdom for research projects chosen by the European Community. [121633]

Ms Hewitt: I have been asked to reply.

The Commission issued a Communication "Towards a European Research Area" [COM (00)6] on 18 January 2000. An explanatory memorandum on this Communication was deposited in the House of Commons and House of Lords on the 17 March 2000. It is expected that at its meeting on 15 June the Research Council will adopt a Council Resolution as a formal response to this Communication.

The European Community's main instrument for funding scientific research and development is the Framework Programme. This is administered by

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the European Commission. As a matter of policy the Commission do not publish data showing the amount of funding awarded on a country-by-country basis.

PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMISSION

Electronic Data Systems

Mr. Field: To ask the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission if the National Audit Office has (a) a contract and (b) a framework agreement with Electronic Data Systems. [121790]

Mr. Sheldon: The National Audit Office has neither a contract nor a framework agreement with Electronic Data Systems.

CABINET OFFICE

Public Opinion Research

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when guidance on public opinion research will be published. [122308]

Mr. Ian McCartney: Guidance on Government Research into Public Attitudes and Opinions is being published today. A copy of the guidance has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Ministerial Red Boxes

Mr. Gray: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to her answer of 2 May 2000, Official Report, column 88W, what is the guidance concerning the carrying of Ministerial Red Boxes on trains; and of what breaches of that guidance she has been notified in the last six months. [121135]

Marjorie Mowlam: Ministerial Red Boxes generally contain official papers or other material which may be sensitive or valuable. Due care therefore needs to be given to their protection when carried on any form of public transport, as set out in the general rules governing the control of such material. There is no requirement to notify me of breaches of the guidance.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Athletics Facilities

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funding is available from his Department for facilities for the provision of athletics in the area of Bridgnorth District Council. [121355]

Kate Hoey: Funding for athletics is available from a variety of sources. The National Lottery provides funding for facilities across a wide range of different sports, including athletics. The Lottery Sports Fund provides around £200 million to distribute each year. Funding may also be available from other sources including local authorities, Sportsmatch (the Government's business incentive scheme for sport) and the Foundation for Sport and the Arts.

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National Lottery

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what data he has collated on differential rates of spending on the National Lottery by different social classes (a) in absolute terms and (b) as percentages of income; if he will publish this data; and if he will make a statement. [120626]

Kate Hoey: The National Lottery Commission supports a social research programme on participation in the National Lottery. Report No. 1 of this programme, published in May 1999, contains data on participation by social class and income category. Copies of this report are being placed in the Libraries of the House today.

Public Library Services

Mr. Geraint Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what guidance he proposes to issue to library authorities about the public library services they should be providing. [122346]

Mr. Chris Smith: I am publishing draft public library standards on Monday 15 May, a day which already marks the celebration of 150 years of public libraries, and I shall be placing copies of those draft standards in the Libraries of the House that morning. Following a wide consultation with library authorities, users, key organisations and other interested people, I hope to publish final standards later in the year and intend that they should then take effect from 1 April 2001.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Ethically Produced Food

Dr. Marek: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement about her policy on ethically produced food in developing countries, with particular reference to (a) animal welfare standards, (b) employment practices and (c) consequences for the environment. [121840]

Clare Short: The Government support ethical approaches to business and trade, which have an important part to play in promoting sustainable development and in bringing benefits to poor people in developing countries. We take account of animal welfare standards, employment practices and consequences for the environment.

My Department has developed detailed guidelines on the use of animals for any purpose, agricultural or otherwise. These guidelines govern animal welfare standards in all our programmes and projects. They reflect the broad guiding principles that use must be humane and that harms of a certain degree or kind ought under no circumstances to be inflicted on an animal. A copy of these guidelines is being placed in the Library of the House.

We encourage British retailers to examine their global supply chains to ensure they comply with the Core Labour Standards, as set internationally by the ILO within the Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights to Work, or can be bettered by voluntary codes of conduct such as SA 8000 or the base code of the Ethical Trading Initiative, which is supported by my Department.

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We also Promote better environmental management as a contribution to eliminating poverty. Environmental considerations are integrated throughout our programmes. All projects are screened at the design stage and monitored during implementation for their impact on the environment. My Department supports work to develop and implement a wide array of technologies and approaches that mitigate the impact of food production on the environment in developing countries. We also support efforts to encourage the private sector in developing countries to integrate environmental concerns into decision making by assistance to industry organisations, promotion of industry codes of conduct and environmental auditing standards.


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