|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if RDAs are notified by the British Railways Board of its intention to dispose of former railway land; if their consent for disposal is needed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hill: Before the British Railways Board disposes of former railway land, the marketing process requires the Board to notify rail industry parties, local authorities, local transport operators and Passenger Transport Executives of its intention. The British Railways Board has confirmed that it includes Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) in this notification process. The consent of RDAs is not a prerequisite for disposal but their views are taken into account before a final decision is taken.
Mr. Hill: This is a matter for the Mayor of London. However, as the Government's 10 year plan for transport indicates, the Government will provide resources which could deliver at least two new tram/guided bus schemes in London.
20 Jul 2000 : Column: 256W
Mr. Flight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what his reasons were for delegating to the Government Office of the South East the response to Horsham District Council's letter of 31 May regarding regional planning guidance. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: The Government Office for the South East, who lead on the work on Regional Planning Guidance, have received over 900 responses to consultation on the draft Regional Planning Guidance for the South East (RPG9). In the case of such consultation exercises it is normal practice for the Secretary of State to delegate to officials the task of collating, analysing and acknowledging responses.
Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on measures to increase rural bus services in Shrewsbury and Atcham. 
In 1999-2000 the Council used its allocation to fund 58 services, of which 28 served Shrewsbury. Of the services serving Shrewsbury, 10 were entirely new and 18 were improvements to existing services. The County Council have also introduced a bike bus between Ellesmere and Shrewsbury, funded through the 1999 Rural Bus Challenge Competition, and on 11 July we invited bids for the 2000 Rural Bus Challenge Competition.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what reports he has received on the hearing held by the European Parliament's Transport Committee in June on the transport of nuclear waste and other radioactive materials. 
Mr. Hill: I have not received any reports of the public hearings held by the European Parliament's Committee on Regional policy, Transport and Tourism on 21 June into the Transport of Radioactive Material in the European Union at this time. I understand that information on these hearings, including any reports, will be made available on the internet website http://www.europarl.eu.int/ when they are published.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if he will request from the European Commission more time for the European Transport Workers' Federation to consult its members on the Commission's proposals on Access to the Port Service Market; [R] 
20 Jul 2000 : Column: 257W
(3) if Ministers will meet dock and maritime trade union representatives prior to formulating the United Kingdom response to the proposals of the European Commissioner for Energy and Transport made on 26 May in respect of ports competition and which are now the subject of consultation; and if he will make a statement. [R] 
Mr. Hill [holding answer 18 July 2000]: The European Commission has not yet published formal proposals on port services and state aid, but we understand that proposals are planned for later this year. Officials are continuing to keep in touch with the Commission on these issues. We shall consult widely on any specific proposals that the Commission brings forward, and I would be happy to meet representatives of the dock and maritime trade unions in due course.
Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when his officials last met representatives of Border Biofuels; and what discussions they had concerning the construction of a power station at Carlisle. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: There have been no meetings between the Secretary of State's officials and Border Biofuels to discuss their planning application, but I understand that the company has been in discussion with the Environment Agency about related (IPPC) authorisations.
Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the Scottish port authorities consulted by his Department regarding the inclusion of indirect fees for port waste management facilities into the harbour dues, proposed by the European Parliament in the Draft Directive on Port Waste Reception Facilities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hill [holding answer 19 July 2000]: Throughout the process of working up the Government's policy on port waste management planning, we developed our proposals through consultation with the Marine Pollution Advisory Group, which includes representatives of central and local government, the ports, shipping and waste industries and environmental non-governmental organisations. Because the provision of adequate port waste reception facilities is an international obligation under the MARPOL Convention, we need a national strategy. That strategy takes account of the interests of ports in all parts of the UK.
The EC Directive substantially mirrors the UK's own port waste management legislation and practice. The UK has been involved at every stage of the Directive, and--while we have not consulted, or received representations from, any individual ports--we have consulted closely with the representative bodies of the UK ports industry on specific issues associated with the Directive.
20 Jul 2000 : Column: 258W
Ms Beverley Hughes: Under the Building Act 1984, local authorities are responsible for enforcing building regulations in the areas, subject to provisions in the Act for private sector approved inspectors to carry out building control in cases where the person carrying out the work opts for this alternative. Local authorities' building control services are subject to the duty of Best Value, and are periodically inspected by the Audit Commission.
Under the approved inspectors regulations persons or bodies wishing to become approved inspectors must apply to the Construction Industry Council which is the body designated by the Secretary of State for the purpose of approving inspectors. The CIC carefully scrutinises applicants' qualifications and experience. Approved inspectors' terms of approval last for five years, and those wishing to continue must apply to the CIC for re-approval.
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what written guidance he has given to BNFL on ensuring its commitments under the OSPAR Sintra agreement are met in respect of discharges from Sellafield. 
Mr. Meacher: BNFL is aware of the Government's policy that there should be progressive reductions in radioactive discharges. The Government will shortly publish for consultation a draft of the statutory guidance that it proposes to issue to the Environment Agency on the setting of radioactive discharge authorisations under the Radioactive Substances Act. The draft guidance will reiterate the requirement that there should be progressive reductions in radioactive discharges. The guidance will also ensure that discharge authorisations granted by the Agency are consistent with the Government's radioactive discharges strategy, a draft of which was published for consultation on 21 June. The strategy sets out how the Government are going to meet the commitments entered into at the OSPAR meeting in Sintra in 1998 to reduce radioactive discharges.
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he has received a copy of the resolution passed by the Isle of Man Tynwald on 21 June in respect of the OSPAR convention and Sellafield; and if he will place a copy in the Library. 
Mr. Meacher: Yes. I understand that the text of the resolution can be found in the Tynwald Votes and Proceedings on the Tynwald website www.tynwald.isle-of-man.org.im. I will place a copy in the Library.
20 Jul 2000 : Column: 259W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|