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Death Penalty

Mr. Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs at what stage it is Her Majesty's Government's policy to make representations against the use of the death penalty in cases of British nationals being tried overseas. [151836]

Mr. Wilson: Our overriding objective is to avoid the execution of British nationals. We will now express our opposition to the death penalty and its use on a British national at whatever stage and level is judged appropriate from the moment when the imposition of a death sentence on a British national becomes a possibility. Our previous policy was to make these representations only when the judicial process had been exhausted.

We have already taken action under the new policy in the case of Krishna Maharaj. Baroness Scotland, the Minister responsible for Consular matters, has written to the Florida State Attorney setting out the UK's opposition to the death penalty and requesting that the death sentence not be pursued in his case.


Chemical Industry

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Prime Minister what meetings he has had with representatives of the chemical industry in the last 12 months; and what future health and environment legislation was discussed at them. [151298]

The Prime Minister: I have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals. As with previous Administrations, it is not my practice to provide details of such meetings.

Downing Street

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Prime Minister what the total expenditure on 10 Downing street and the Prime Minister's office was, in (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99 and (d) 1999-2000; and what his estimate is for 2000-01. [151372]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave to the hon. Member for Lewes (Mr. Baker) on 21 July 2000, Official Report, column 347W and on 2 November 2000, Official Report, column 575W. The cost for the full year 1997-98 was £7.3 million. The cost of my Office from 1 April 2000 to 31 December 2000 was £8.3 million.

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As a result of a change in accounting policy, figures before 1997-98 and after 1 April 1997 are not exactly comparable, but for completeness, the recorded cost of the Prime Minister's Office in 1996-97 was £7 million.


Departmental Policies (North-East Derbyshire)

Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the North-East Derbyshire constituency, the effect on North-East Derbyshire of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [150885]

Mr. Wills [holding answer 26 February 2001]: Details of the effects of a range of the Department's policies on the North-East Derbyshire constituency and on Derbyshire LEA have been placed in the Library.



Mr. Quinn: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent guidance has been offered to Government Departments on issues relating to devolution. [151646]

Marjorie Mowlam: I am today placing in the Library two further Devolution Guidance Notes which have recently been completed: DGN5--"The Role of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Post-Devolution"--and DGN9--"Post-Devolution Primary Legislation Affecting Wales". These guidance notes will be made available on the Cabinet Office internet site at

Departmental Expenditure Limit

Mr. Pound: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what plans she has to change the 2000-01 departmental expenditure limit or running costs limit for the Cabinet Office. [151199]

Mr. Ian McCartney: Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimates:

The Departmental Expenditure Limit for Cabinet Office (Class XVII. Vote 1, Vote 3, Vote 4) will be increased by £1,290,000 from £260,259,000 to £261,549,000 and the gross running costs limit will be increased by £6,440,000 from £113,754,000 to £120,194,000.

This is mainly to take account of the following changes:

(a) A transfer payment from Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Class x, Vote 2) (£470,000) for digital certificates; a payment from Home Office (Class IV, Vote 1) (£559,000) for the News Co-ordination Centre and associated contingency arrangements; a payment from Ministry of Defence (Class VI, Vote 1) (£4,000) and Foreign Office (Class VII, Vote 1) (£52,000) for BBC monitoring service; and a payment to Privy Council Office (Class XVII, Vote 5) (£20,000) towards 2 Carlton Gardens.

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(b) In addition to these changes additional income from the Confiscated Assets Fund towards the cost of setting a Unit to assist with anti-drugs co-ordination internationally (£225,000).

The increase will not add to the planned total of public expenditure.



Mr. Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many times in each of the last five years there have been claims for unpaid pension contributions to company pension funds from the redundancy fund set up under the Employment Rights Act 1996. [150698]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The table shows the numbers of workers for whom claims for pension scheme contributions have been made against the National Insurance Fund.

Year Number

I regret that corresponding figures are not available for earlier years.

Telehouse West Building

Mr. Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when a decision will be taken on standby generation for the proposed Telehouse West building in the East India Docks. [151776]

Mr. Hain: I have today given clearance under Section 14(1) of the Energy Act 1976 to Telehouse Europe. Telehouse have been progressively developing their facilities at East India Docks. This standby facility, of around 30 MW, will supply the electricity needs of the proposed Telehouse West building in the event of a supply interruption. Such standby facilities are designed to ensure continuity of electricity supplies in the event of a partial of total interruption.

Copies of the press notice and decision letter are being placed in the Library of the House.

Chemical Weapons Convention

Mr. Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will make appointments to the Chemical Weapons Convention National Authority Advisory Committee. [151779]

Dr. Howells: I have appointed Dr. T. D. Inch, formerly Secretary-General of the Royal Society of Chemistry, as chairman of this committee for a further period of four years.

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I have also re-appointed four members and appointed three new members to the committee, as follows:


Local Radio Stations

Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will relax ownership rules for local radio stations. [151550]

Janet Anderson: The White Paper "A New Future for Communications", which the Government published for consultation in December, states that we will consider, with the Radio Authority, the possibility of devising a new regime for radio ownership to replace the current rules. We will decide how to proceed in the light of responses to the White Paper.

Channel 4

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the proceeds that would be realised from privatising Channel 4. [151547]

Janet Anderson: We have not estimated the proceeds that might be realised from privatising Channel 4.

Television Licences

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people who were previously entitled to a £5 television licence have applied for the free television licence introduced in November 2000. [151447]

Janet Anderson: Applications for free television licences for people living in accommodation which qualifies for the Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) concessionary licence scheme are made by housing managers when existing ARC licences fall due for renewal, rather than by individual residents. Information provided by the BBC, which is responsible for the administration of both concessionary schemes, indicates that since November 2000 applications have been received from about 10,500 residential and nursing homes and sheltered housing schemes. A number of these applications have still to be processed but approximately 44,500 residents have so far benefited from a free TV licence. The renewal cycle for ARC licences is spread across the year, on a monthly basis, and the BBC expects approximately 500,000 residents to qualify in total.

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