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Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who will hold the annual budget for liquid-based cytology consumables in England and Wales referred to in paragraph 14 of NICE's appraisal of liquid-based cytology. 
Yvette Cooper: Three pilot sites have now begun using liquid-based cytology (LBC) techniques as part of the National Health Service cervical screening programme in England, as recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). The United Kingdom National Screening Committee, which advises Ministers on all aspects of screening policy, is sponsoring the pilot. The LBC arm of the pilot will report in early 2002, and will be reappraised by NICE in May 2002.
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If recommended by NICE, LBC will be rolled out across the NHS cervical screening programme over two to three years. Details of the funding mechanisms will be determined nearer the time in the light of NICE recommendations and the experience of the pilot.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the National Assembly concerning the use of private management in the health service in Wales. 
Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what priority will be given in the NHS Plan to improving links with local government in environmental health, housing and transport. 
Ms Blears: The NHS Plan builds on the Government's existing major programme to improve public health, address health inequalities and tackle the deep-rooted causes of ill health, including environmental factors. The NHS plan recognises that the role of the NHS, working in partnership across the community, is to prevent as well as treat sickness and ill health.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many veterinary practices there were in the UK on (a) 1 May 1997, (b) 1 May 1998, (c) 1 May 1999, (d) 1 May 2000 and (e) 1 May 2001; and what estimate she has made of the number of veterinary practices that will be operating on 1 May 2002. 
Mr. Morley: I am informed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) that the number of veterinary practices registered with them on the dates specified were as follows:
|As at 1 May||Number|
They further inform me that veterinary practices are not under any obligation to register with the RCVS, so it is possible that these figures do not represent the true number of practices in the UK.
The RCVS is unable to estimate the number of veterinary practices that will be operating on 1 May 2002.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations
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she has received concerning the 20-day standstill rule; what proposals she has to change it; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: We have received a very large number of representations from a wide range of organisations. These responses are being taken into account in considering a range of issues surrounding the movement of livestock both during, and after, the current foot and mouth disease outbreak. An announcement on our conclusions will be made in due course.
Mr. Curry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will issue guidance on the operation of pick-your-own businesses in areas affected by foot and mouth disease outbreaks. 
Mr. Morley: Pick-your-own businesses that fall within an infected area and are in close proximity to livestock will be affected by the foot and mouth restrictions. A veterinary risk assessment is being prepared as a matter of urgency and will be placed on the Department's website http://www.defra.gov.uk/.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the expenditure incurred in introducing the title of his Department. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To date, the net expenditure incurred in introducing the title of the new Department is approximately £7,200.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which of his Ministers has responsibility for visa applications. 
Mr. Straw: My hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Bradshaw).
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the implications for UK foreign policy of the recent meeting between President Bush and President Putin; and if he intends to raise the issue of human rights abuses in Chechnya with them. 
Peter Hain: We welcome the dialogue between Presidents Bush and Putin at their Summit in Ljubljana on 16 June. A constructive US/Russia relationship is important for a range of international issues. The UK will continue to pursue a policy of critical engagement with Russia--President Bush's approach confirmed that open discussion combined with frank talking on areas of difference can yield results. We will continue to raise our concerns about human rights abuses in Chechnya at every appropriate meeting with Russia.
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Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's position regarding (a) Sino- US relations and (b) Sino-Taiwanese relations. 
Mr. MacShane: We believe it is important that the US and China maintain a constructive dialogue. The US and China have strong trade and economic links which should be enhanced by Chinese accession to the World Trade Organisation. We monitor developments across the Taiwan Straits closely. We believe that the future of Taiwan is a matter for the Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits to decide among themselves. We look to both sides to pursue a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan question through negotiation.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to visit (a) Sierra Leone, (b) China and (c) Zimbabwe. 
Mr. Straw: I am currently considering proposals for visits to a number of countries. The House will be informed when decisions have been made.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in the House of Lords will be responsible for arms trade to (a) Indonesia and (b) Sierra Leone. 
Mr. Straw: Individual Ministers handle export licence issues in respect of the countries within their geographical area of responsibility. The Minister responsible for Indonesia is my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Bradshaw). The Minister responsible for Sierra Leone is Baroness Amos. My hon. Friend the Member for Exeter also has additional responsibility within the FCO for overall policy on arms export licensing.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has had made to the Chinese Government about human rights abuses in Tibet. 
Mr. MacShane: The British Government remain deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Tibet. It is a focus of our human rights engagement with the Chinese authorities both at ministerial level and through the regular UK/China and EU/China human rights dialogues. We use these dialogues to raise a wide range of concerns including key issues such as the freedom of religion, expression and association, the harsh treatment of dissidents and the erosion of Tibetan culture and traditional practices. We also raise individual cases of concern including that of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the Dalai Lama's choice as the 11th Panchen Lama.
We continue to urge the Chinese authorities to enter into a sustained dialogue with the Dalai Lama on a political solution for Tibet.
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Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the areas of responsibility that have (a) been transferred from his Department to other Departments and (b) been transferred to his Department from other Departments since 8 June. 
Mr. Straw: The information is as follows:
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