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Abandoned Vehicles

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when his review of policies relating to abandoned vehicles is expected to report. [8900]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 19 October 2001]: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 18 October 2001, Official Report, column 1318W.

Summer Recess (Departmental Publications)

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many (a) press notices and (b) consultation documents were issued by his Department during the summer recess. [9224]

Dr. Whitehead: The total number of (a) press notices and (b) consultation documents issued by DTLR (C) during the summer recess (20 July 2001 to 15 October 2001) is as follows:



Standard Spending Assessment

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what his estimate is of the standard spending assessment for highways and transport per kilometre of (a) principal and (b) non- principal road in each shire county in England in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [7963]

Dr. Whitehead: A table showing the standard spending assessment for highway maintenance per kilometre of principal and non-principal road in each shire county in England is as follows. The highway maintenance SSA is determined mainly by an authority's length of roads together with the average traffic flow for that authority.

Highway Maintenance SSA per km
Local authority Principal roadsNon-principal roads
Cornwall4,3193,308
Cumbria4,6903,446
Gloucestershire5,0543,950
Hertfordshire12,0078,548
Lincolnshire4,7743,260
Norfolk5,1773,848
Northamptonshire8,2536,536
Northumberland5,0843,563
Oxfordshire6,5335,499
Somerset4,7593,502
Suffolk5,5643,999
Surrey12,3189,105
Warwickshire6,3924,807
West Sussex8,4446,513
North Yorkshire5,2263,598
Bedfordshire8,3016,612
Buckinghamshire7,4785,992
Derbyshire7,5425,101
Dorset4,6213,827
Durham6,8665,197
East Sussex7,3815,384
Hampshire7,3395,718
Leicestershire6,8115,683
Staffordshire7,4195,137
Wiltshire5,3374,269
Cambridgeshire6,4835,412
Cheshire6,6365,109
Devon4,3873,142
Essex9,7397,685
Kent8,0535,661
Lancashire8,3866,010
Nottinghamshire7,9996,308
Shropshire4,6633,265
Worcestershire6,4414,930
Isle of Wight Council6,8404,718

23 Oct 2001 : Column: 199W

It is not possible to provide a similar table for the other transport elements (concessionary fares and bus support outside London) included in the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services block as these elements are not separately identifiable within this block.

Terminal 5

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what studies have been made in the last five years of the effect of the proposed Terminal 5 at Heathrow on flooding in the area. [8305]

Ms Keeble: The Terminal 5 Inquiry Inspector heard and received evidence during the inquiry on drainage and flooding issues, including the potential flood risk from Terminal 5. The Inspector's report is currently being considered together with the results of the recent consultation on BAA's revised proposals for the diversion of two rivers around the proposed Terminal 5 site and other post-inquiry representations.

Civil Aviation Authority

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he has appointed a new chairman to the Civil Aviation Authority; and if he will make a statement. [10064]

Mr. Spellar: Following an open competition in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointment's guidance, the Government have appointed Sir Roy McNulty to the post of Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority. Sir Roy succeeds Sir Malcolm Field, who retired from the authority on 16 September.

23 Oct 2001 : Column: 200W

Sir Roy's appointment is for three years. For the first six months, he will work three days per week at a salary of £90,640 per year. Thereafter, he will work two days per week at a salary of £60,427 per year. The appointment is pensionable and, with the consent of the Treasury, an employer contribution will be made to Sir Roy's personal pension of up to 20 per cent. of his actual salary in respect of this appointment. Additional member contributions of 4 per cent. of actual salary will also be payable. As this is a personal pension, the details of the arrangement are a matter for Sir Roy and his pension provider.

Sir Malcolm Field made a substantial contribution to the CAA during his term of office, not least in taking the CAA through the establishment of the public/private partnership for National Air Traffic Services Ltd. and the subsequent reorganisation of the CAA itself into a specialist regulatory body. Sir Roy faces the future challenges of establishing the CAA as the UK's aviation regulator; of ensuring that the CAA continues to promote, in an efficient and cost-effective way, high standards of safety in all aspects of civil aviation; of bedding in the regulatory framework for the provision of air traffic services, and of maintaining good communications with Parliament, the aviation sector both in the UK and abroad, and the public. The Government are confident of Sir Roy's ability and commitment to fulfilling these expectations.

I have written to Sir Roy, giving him guidance on the aims and strategic direction which the Government wish him to pursue during his term of office. A copy of that letter has been placed in the Library of the House.

Central Railway Project

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will place in the Library a copy of the Strategic Rail Authority's report on the Central Railway project. [9198]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 22 October 2001]: The Strategic Rail Authority does not intend to publish its high level review or the consultants' report which informed that review on Central Railways' proposals. It will, however, be advising Ministers and is giving consideration to publishing an Executive Summary of the consultants' report.

Strategic Rail Authority

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he plans to announce the successor to Sir Alistair Morton as Chairman of the SRA. [8695]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 22 October 2001]: We expect to make an announcement shortly.

LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Libel Laws

Norman Baker: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will make a statement on the compatibility of the libel laws and Articles 6 and 10 of the Human Rights Convention. [9104]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government believe that the law of libel is consistent with Article 6 (right to a fair trial) and Article 10 (right to freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

It is the task of the courts to apply and develop the law of libel in a manner consistent with the convention rights. They are also under a duty themselves to act compatibly with these rights, as public authorities under the Human Rights Act 1988, which was introduced by this Government. Additionally, they are under a duty, under section 12 of the Act, to have particular regard to the importance of the convention right of freedom of expression, if they are considering whether to grant any relief which would affect the exercise of that right.

Summer Recess (Departmental Publications)

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many (a) press notices and (b) consultation documents were issued by her Department during the summer recess. [9228]

Ms Rosie Winterton: During the summer recess period (21 July to 15 October 2001 inclusive) my Department issued 83 press notices and six consultation papers. All press notices and public consultation papers are published on the Lord Chancellor's Department website:www.lcd.gov.uk.

Children Act

Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will review the Children Act 1989 to grant automatic parental responsibility status to unmarried fathers; and if she will make a statement. [8683]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government recognise the wide range of relationships outside marriage and that increasing numbers of children are being born to unmarried couples. The Adoption and Children Bill, as drafted, introduced on 19 October 2001, will have the effect of amending the Children Act to allow unmarried fathers who jointly register a child's birth with the mother to acquire parental responsibility without further formality. The new provisions will not apply retrospectively. Information will be made available to assist parents to understand the implications of joint registration.


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