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Staff Secondments

Dr. Brand: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will list the private sector companies from which secondments have been made to his Department since June 1997. [133870]

Mr. Chris Smith: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Foster) on 28 July 2000, Official Report, column 1102W.

Secondments and attachments are part of the Interchange Initiatives which promote the exchange of people and good practice between the Civil Service and other organisations. Before an Interchange can occur all parties must be satisfied that no conflict of interest arises.

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Millennium Dome

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what accountancy firms audited and prepared the first two years of accounts for the Dome. [134174]

Janet Anderson: The New Millennium Experience Company's (NMEC) accounts for the first two years were audited and prepared by Ernst and Young.

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what fee was paid to PricewaterhouseCoopers for the report on the finances of the Dome; and when he intends to publish the report. [134173]

Janet Anderson: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) were paid £350,000 by the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) for the report on the Dome's finances, presented to the Board on 22 August. The PWC report was placed in the Libraries of the House on 2 October.

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which legal firm advised on the contracts with sponsors for the Dome. [134175]

Janet Anderson: The New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) employed Norton Rose and Harbottles to provide legal advice on contracts with sponsors.


Mr. Woolas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he will publish the guidelines he uses in assessing BBC commercial proposals. [134500]

Mr. Chris Smith: I intend to publish the guidelines tomorrow, and copies will be placed in the Library of the House.

Government Sports Strategy

Mr. Alan Keen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans he has to integrate the facilities provided by fitness clubs and leisure facilities into the Government's sports strategy. [134167]

Kate Hoey: The Government's Sports Strategy "A Sporting Future for All" is based on creating opportunities for all people to take part in sport. Work is being carried out as part of the implementation of the strategy to ensure that the role local, community-based and commercial fitness and leisure centres play is fully integrated into the overall strategy. The strategy implementation subgroup charged with this task is on course to report back to Ministers at the end of the year.


Hillsborough Papers

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Hillsborough papers considered by Lord Justice Stuart-Smith in his scrutiny will be available to the general public in the Liverpool Central Library. [134326]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Liverpool Central Library has completed the sorting and cataloguing of all the papers and they are now ready for public viewing.

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I understand that Liverpool City Council will give priority access, which I support, to the families of those who died in the disaster and to the survivors. The Lord Mayor made an announcement to this effect last Thursday during a conference organised specifically to discuss outstanding issues.

I am very grateful to the staff of both the House of Commons Library and the Liverpool Central Library for their efforts in this matter.

Entry Refusals

Mr. Paul Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what response he has received to the consultation paper on the refusal of entry into the United Kingdom of those with criminal convictions. [134327]

Mrs. Roche: I have received seven replies to the consultation paper. These were from the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association, the Law Society, my hon. Friends the Members for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mrs. Fyfe) and for Wolverhampton, South-West (Ms Jones), Sports Network and a member of the public. Copies have been placed in the Library.

The responses raised no fundamental objections to the proposals set out in the consultation paper. I therefore intend to implement these, taking account of the comments received so far as possible. The relevant amendments to the Immigration Rules will be laid before Parliament for approval in due course.

Fuel Blockades

Mr. Rammell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures have been taken to reduce the risk of disruption to the fuel supply in the event of further blockades [134328]

Mr. Straw: I have been chairing a Fuel Task Force, which comprises Ministers and representatives of the devolved Administrations in Scotland and Wales, the oil industry, the police, the trade unions and others. Members of the Task Force signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 29 September. This establishes more robust systems to avoid disruption of fuel supplies. It commits signatories to establishing practical arrangements aimed at maintaining continuity of oil supply. In particular, it commits relevant signatories to establishing joint early warning systems and co-ordinated contingency plans; to joint emergency management systems; and to reducing the potential for intimidation of tanker drivers. Copies of the Memorandum of Understanding have been placed in the Library.

The Task Force is continuing to oversee work in support of the Memorandum. As this concerns planning to respond to any future disruption, it would not be appropriate to give further details of this work.

Additionally, preparations are being made to ensure that properly trained and qualified military drivers would be available if required to help distribute fuel to essential users. If called upon, this would be provided under the normal arrangements for providing military assistance to ensure essential supplies and services are maintained.

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The events of last month demonstrated the importance of oil supplies to our economy and to our society. The economy relies on just-in-time supply chains. It benefits from their efficiency, but is vulnerable to disruption. It is not possible to eliminate all risk to oil supplies. Our aim has been the practical one of reducing the risk to the minimum.


A27 Polegate Bypass

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what status the roundabout to be built at Cophall as part of the A27 Polegate bypass will have; if the Order as made assumed that the A27 Folkington Link extension westwards would be built; and if he will make a statement. [133807]

Mr. Hill: Cophall roundabout is being built as part of the A27 Polegate bypass on which construction commenced earlier this month. It is being constructed by virtue of a Side Roads Order under section 14 of the Highways Act 1980. During this phase the roundabout will be subject to a Trunking Order which, if made, would make maintenance the responsibility of the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

The Line Order for the scheme allowed for a westward extension of the new A27, the Folkington Link. The bypass scheme was designed to allow for grade separation and for the A27 to continue underneath the junction.

Proposals to extend the A27 westwards from Cophall roundabout were excluded from the Targeted Programme of Improvements announced in 1998 and are now being considered as part of the Southampton to Folkestone multi-modal study, which commenced in July this year. In view of this the roundabout design has been amended to remove the bridges which would have carried the roundabout over the extension. The roundabout will also be lowered by 1-2 metres on its south eastern side and the adjacent screening enhanced to lessen further the impact on nearby housing. Notwithstanding the layout changes made, the new design does not preclude a westward extension being built at a later date, should such a decision be made in the light of the outcome of the multi-modal study.

2010 Horizon Plan

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on his policy towards not applying for participation in the European Communities 2010 Horizon Plan for Inland Ports and Inland Waterways, under the TEN project, as set out in OJ C228, Volume 43, 9 August 2000; and what funds are available to participating states. [134206]

Mr. Hill: The EU is now designating ports for inclusion in the transport trans-European network (TEN) and the Government's policy is that UK ports should be included wherever they qualify. The main criterion for inclusion in the TEN inland waterway network is the ability to take vessels 80m long and 9.5m wide. One non-tidal waterway in the UK--the Manchester Ship

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Canal--would qualify. However, we have proposed that Manchester and qualifying ports on tidal waterways should be included in the TEN as seaports. There are no TEN funds specifically set aside for inland waterways or ports and any bids for support from the TEN budget must compete against bids for support for road, rail, airport, and other transport infrastructure projects.

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