Previous Section Index Home Page



Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if his Department's annual report on timber procurement to the Committee of Green Ministers will be published. [152106]

Mr. Battle: My Department will provide information on timber procurement to DETR as part of the Green Ministers' Committee reporting process.

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much certified timber has been purchased by his Department over the past six months; and what proportion of total timber purchases this represents. [152146]

Mr. Battle: Figures on timber procurement are not readily available. The interdepartmental timber working group is working to develop a common reporting template which will form the basis for future reporting on timber procurement. New FCO guidance has been issued to help buyers to work to ensure that timber procurement is in accordance with international agreements such as CITES and bought from sustainable legal sources.

Science and Technology

Mr. Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to increase the resources his Department devotes to international science and technology work. [152947]

Mr. Battle: As part of their contribution to the Government's competitiveness agenda, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office funds and manages a Science and Technology Network currently based in 10 countries. As a result of the 2000 Spending Review they can now allocate an additional £3 million to Science and Technology work over the next three Financial Years (2001-04). This will mean doubling the number of countries in which our diplomatic posts have specialist Science and Technology staff, and the creation of a dedicated Science and Technology Unit in the FCO.


Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings he has had with representatives of the Commonwealth regarding the situation in Zanzibar. [151693]

7 Mar 2001 : Column: 237W

Mr. Wilson: We remain in close touch with the Commonwealth Secretariat over the situation in Zanzibar. We have encouraged the Commonwealth Secretary General to become personally engaged in the search for a solution to the continuing political impasse on the islands. We have reiterated our support for the implementation of key provisions of the Commonwealth brokered agreement between the parties, which we continue to see as the best way of achieving a durable solution.

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government have taken to ensure that the Government of Tanzania discontinue the harassment of opposition politicians on the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. [151694]

Mr. Wilson: We were shocked by the killings, mass arrests and other human rights abuses carried out by the security forces on Zanzibar at the end of January against civilians exercising their democratic right to peaceful assembly.

We believe that progress can be made only through serious dialogue between the Government and the Opposition.

When I saw the Tanzanian Foreign Minister on 15 February I urged him to ensure that the security forces acted with restraint and that the Governments of Tanzania and Zanzibar entered into dialogue without preconditions with the Opposition.

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is in respect of the elections held in Zanzibar in 2000; and if he will press for a re-run of the elections. [151695]

Mr. Wilson: The organisation of the elections on Zanzibar in October and November 2000 was inadequate. International observers noted numerous irregularities, including the excessive use of force by Government forces against opposition supporters.

A re-run of the elections in the same circumstances would be unlikely to advance the cause of democracy in Zanzibar. The only way forward is through the establishment of serious dialogue between the Government and the Opposition, to enable needed reforms to the Zanzibar electoral and judicial systems to be discussed and implemented. I made this point to the leader of the Zanzibar Opposition when I saw him on 1 February and also discussed it with the Tanzanian Foreign Minister at my meeting with him on 15 February.

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken to prevent human rights abuses on the islands of (a) Zanzibar and (b) Pemba, following the arrests and deaths of political opponents of the Government of Tanzania. [151696]

Mr. Wilson: Following the shocking incidents in Zanzibar and Pemba over the weekend of 27-28 January 2001, the EU issued a statement condemning the actions of the security forces and calling on the Government of Tanzania to ensure respect for human rights. We also raised our concerns with the Government of Tanzania and pressed for swift humanitarian access to those injured and detained on both islands. The ICRC have since been given access to Zanzibar and Pemba.

7 Mar 2001 : Column: 238W

I reinforced these concerns when I saw the Tanzanian Foreign Minister on 15 February. We believe the Tanzanian Government have a duty to find a peaceful solution to the political impasse on Zanzibar that respects the human and democratic rights of all Zanzibaris.

EU Council of Ministers

Mr. Swinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many technical committees and working parties of the EU Council of Ministers have been (a) attended and (b) led by Scottish Executive officials in a UK capacity since 1 July 1999. [152354]

Mr. Vaz: This information is not held centrally, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


Stem Cell Research

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information his Department collects on companies involved in (a) germ line therapy, (b) stem cell techniques and (c) transgenic technologies. [146859]

Yvette Cooper: Stem cell techniques are very widely used in human and animal cell research. During 2000 over 4,000 scientific papers were published in peer-reviewed journals. Applications for stem cell research involving the use of embryos require a licence from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. No companies have applied for a licence.

Transgenic techniques are used in many areas of scientific research including work with plants and animals. All transgenic techniques involving animals and plants fall under the definition of "genetic modification" as defined in the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2000. This includes germ line therapy in animals. All premises where genetic modification is undertaken have to be notified to the competent authorities (CA) under these Regulations. Where the genetically modified animal or plant poses a greater risk to humans than the non modified animal or plant, the activity must be notified to the CA. For England and Wales the CA comprises the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Secretary of State and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. For Scotland the CA comprises the HSE and Scottish Ministers.

When transgenic techniques are used in humans these are for the purpose of gene therapy. A list of all United Kingdom gene therapy trials is published in the annual report of the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee, copies of which are available in the Library.

Germ line therapy is not permitted in humans.


Mrs. Roe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the hon. Member for Broxbourne will receive a reply to her letters of (a) 5 October 2000, (b) 31 October 2000, (c) 22 November 2000, (d) 29 November 2000, (e) 9 January and (f) 8 February relating to her constituent, Mr. S. Russell of Wormley. [150335]

7 Mar 2001 : Column: 239W

Mr. Denham [holding answer 13 February 2001]: A reply to the hon Member's letter was sent on 5 March 2001.

Serco Contracts

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the contracts that exist between Serco

7 Mar 2001 : Column: 240W

and the Department, its executive agencies and associated public bodies; and if he will list those which have existed in the last three years. [151345]

Mr. Denham: NHS bodies with contracts for goods or services provided by Serco since May 1997 are:

7 Mar 2001 : Column: 239W

PeriodValue (£)Coverage
Leicestershire Royal Infirmary (University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust)August 1996-July 200340 million over seven yearsAll non-clinical support services
Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS TrustApril 1994-March 199920 million over five yearsFull Facilities Management contract (catering, estates, portering, transport, switchboard, domestic). Contract partially cancelled July 1998 except catering and domestic which continued until the end of the contract in March 1999
Norfolk and Norwich Health Care NHS TrustJanuary 1999-December 2001 (option to extend to December 2003)7.5 million over two yearsDomestic, portering and ward beverage service. Contract is for existing hospital
August 2001-July 200611.1 million per annumSoft services within the PFI new hospital Services include grounds maintenance, domestics and portering, catering, waste disposal, laundry, car parking and security, non-emergency transport and utilities dealt with as they pass through
Premier Health NHS TrustOctober 1999-September 2002(a) £48,000 (b) £22,000(a) Wheelchair modification (b) Preventative maintenance
Mid Staffordshire General HospitalsOctober 1999-September 2002 (a) £69,000 (indexed) per annum for repair (b) £33,000 (indexed) per annum for annual inspectionWheelchair services
Birmingham Specialist Community HealthApril 1994-September 2001130,000 per annumWheelchair repair service
Worcestershire Community and Mental HealthApril 2000-March 200367,000 per annum plus £13.65 per hour for modificationsRepair service for all wheelchairs and minor modifications
Rampton Hospital AuthoritySeptember 2000-August 2001Estimated at £2,000. Time charge basis as and when requiredAuthorising Engineer Services for three disciplines--high voltage, low voltage, pressure systems
University Hospitals of Leicester (LRI, Leicester General and Glenfield)August 1996-July 20037.2 million per annumFull facilities management comprising of: Estate service, catering, domestic, car parking, switchboard, portering, security, reception, linen service, post room service.
North East Essex Mental Health1998-ongoing10,000 per annumSerco subcontract gardening services from the trust to fulfil contract with new possibilities
New Possibilities NHS TrustRolling Contract500,000 per annumAll non-clinical services
Southend HospitalJanuary 2001-ongoing6,000 per annumMedical Records Storage
Ashford and St. Peters Hospitals NHS Trust/Sussex Ambulance NHS TrustApril 1994-March 199920 million over five yearsFacilities and Estates Management
Sussex Ambulance NHS TrustRolling contract1,000 per annumWheeled Bin Collection Service for commercial waste
Eastbourne Hospital NHS Trust1 June 1995-7 September 199833,543.28Trust contract van hire
1 April 1996-10 March 1999104,862.31ECS contract van hire
30 April 1998-11 May 19995,585.89Contract van hire and excess mileage charge
Hastings and Rother NHS TrustRolling contract until 5 March 20014,222.40 per annumRefuse disposal at Bexhill Hospital and Rye Clinic
Medway NHS TrustRolling contract since 19957,500 per annumStaff discount scheme at local leisure centre
Kent Ambulance ServiceRolling contract since 1997100 per annumWaste Collection--Herne Bay
Rolling contract since 1997200 per annumWaste Collection--Canterbury
Parkside Health NHS TrustApril 1999-March 2004 (option to extend to 2006)574,000 per annumWheelchair maintenance
South West London NHS TrustApril 2001-March 2006430,000 per annumWheelchair maintenance

7 Mar 2001 : Column: 241W

7 Mar 2001 : Column: 241W

The Department, its agencies and associated public bodies, have also used Serco for a number of very small one-off payments.

Next Section Index Home Page