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Euratom Treaty

Llew Smith: To ask the Solicitor-General what steps Her Majesty's Government intend to take in respect of the reply by the European Commission on 3 September to written question number E-1828/OIEN rejecting the judgment of the British court case, dated 29 March on whether the Euratom Treaty covered military nuclear activities. [17940]

Mr. Hoon: I have been asked to reply.

An Appeal Court hearing is due to take place shortly in respect of this case (Regina v. Environment Agency ex parte Marchiori). The Government note the Commission's views, but their position remains that the Euratom treaty does not apply to military activities.


Fair Trade

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what fairly traded products, other than tea and coffee, have been purchased by his Department in each of the last five years; and what was their value. [17557]

Mr. Paul Murphy: My Department has very limited requirements for goods which are subject to fair trade schemes and since coming into existence on 1 July 1999 has not purchased any.

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the value of fairly traded (a) tea and (b) coffee used in his Department in each of the last five years. [17556]

Mr. Paul Murphy: My Department has purchased no fairly traded tea or coffee. It has fewer than 50 staff and does not provide snack or canteen facilities.


Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many letters his Department received from right hon. and hon. Members between 20 June and 20 July. [18571]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I received three letters from Members of Parliament in this period.

3 Dec 2001 : Column: 12W

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many and what proportion of letters received by his Department between 20 June and 20 July were replied to (a) in under 15, (b) in under 20, (c) in under 30, (d) in under 40 and (e) in over 40 working days. [18595]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The information is set out in the table:

DaysCorrespondence answered
Under 1510
40 or more1


Plastic Baton Rounds

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish the phase II report by the steering group appointed to lead the research programme aimed at finding an acceptable, effective and less potentially lethal alternative to the plastic baton round. [20400]

Jane Kennedy: After consultation with ministerial colleagues in the Home Office and the Ministry of Defence, I have today placed in the Library of the House a copy of the second report compiled by the steering group. The group was set up to take forward two recommendations in the Patten report.

This report concludes the second phase of a four-phase research programme. It is the most comprehensive analysis of the issues yet published. It reflects both the commitment and the urgency with which Government are progressing the programme aimed both at finding an acceptable, effective and less potentially lethal alternative to the plastic baton round and a broader range of public order equipment.

The report clearly sets out the priorities in this wide-ranging programme and the timetable for the next phase. It includes work seeking less lethal options as an alternative to the police use of firearms, and the Government are grateful to the Association of Chief Police Officers for its leading role in this area.

In publishing the report, I am inviting comments on it from interested parties. We shall work closely with the Northern Ireland Policing Board in taking the programme forward.

Murder Campaigns

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what (a) ethnic and (b) religious murder campaigns have taken place in Northern Ireland since 1971. [11058]

Jane Kennedy: Paramilitaries from both communities in Northern Ireland do carry out acts of violence and intimidation not only against the other community but also against individuals and groups within their own

3 Dec 2001 : Column: 13W

community. Police investigations of such offences are often hampered when victims generally decline to make a formal complaint.

It is therefore important that members of communities, within which these attacks are taking place, notify the police if they have any relevant information. They may do so in strict confidence using the Crimestoppers line.

The Government regularly keep themselves apprised of these acts of paramilitary intimidation and support any measures taken by the police to bring these to an end. These on-going acts of intimidation are symptomatic of the situation prevailing within Northern Ireland.

The Government have a duty to protect the whole community from the threat of violence from whatever quarter and in whatever form. The Government utterly condemn any form of intimidation by groups on either side of the community.

3 Dec 2001 : Column: 14W



Local Government Finance

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the allocation of central Government funds to (a) Aylesbury Vale district council and (b) Buckinghamshire county council in each of the last four years. [14215]

Dr. Whitehead: Full details of all central Government allocations to county and district councils could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The principal kinds of funding that this Department has provided to Aylesbury Vale district council and Buckinghamshire county council between 1998–99 and 2001–02 are shown in the tables. These include grants and borrowing approvals for revenue and capital expenditure.

Aylesbury Vale district council

Nature of funding1998–991999–20002000–012001–02
Revenue support grant (£ million)3.0752.8022.4683.058
Income from national non-domestic rates (£ million)4.9695.3826.0126.026
Housing investment programme (£ million)8891.0332.968(1)5.512
Management and maintenance allowance (housing revenue account subsidy)(2),(3)753.11(2),(3)765.08(2),(3)792.24(2),(3)796.44
Capital receipts initiative (£ million)1.4131.247n/an/a
Cash incentive scheme (£ million)0.10n/an/a

(1) £0.995 million Housing Investment Programme and £4.517 million Major Repairs Allowance

(2) Management and Maintenance allowance allocations are a more reliable indicator than the amount of subsidy paid which is demand lead and fluctuates according to the number of dwellings in the HRA and the number of tenants entitled to housing benefit

(3) Per dwelling

Buckinghamshire county council

£ million
Nature of funding 1998–991999–20002000–012001–02
Revenue support grant102.324101.35395.891111.397
Income from national non-domestic rates96.628105.481119.63117.618
Rural bus challenge grant(4)0.1000.9850n/a
Rural bus subsidy grant(5)0.2650.5610.4890.716
Transport supplementary grant1.9541.3810.0667.5
Transport annual capital guidelines1.9541.3810.2160
Transport supplementary credit approval0.9461.6156.02913.035

(4) Rural Bus Challenge figures represent awards—actual spend profiles for the schemes awarded funding may cover more than one year. 2001–02 awards will be announced shortly

(5) RBSG figures represent Grant totals actually paid to the authority. 2001–02 figure represents allocation

Channel Tunnel

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 17 July 2001, Official Report, column 97W, on the channel tunnel, whether the draft directives and guidance published on 13 July retain the specific goal to increase freight traffic by 80 per cent. [12976]

Mr. Jamieson: Yes.

London Underground

Ms Bridget Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many delays have been caused by signal failures on the Jubilee line since January; and what is the total length of time, in hours, lost as a result. [15571]

Mr. Jamieson: Detailed in-year operational information of this nature is a matter for London Underground and I understand that information is not collated in exactly the form requested. However, London Underground advise that, between 7 January and 13 October (the latest date for which figures have been collated), signal failures caused 75 delays of 15 minutes or more on the Jubilee line. The total initial delay resulting from these incidents was 51 hours.

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 23 November 2001, Official Report, column 493W, on London Underground, for what reason the final assessment will be completed under Treasury Investment Appraisal guidelines; if it is his policy to ask Ernst and Young to conduct Monte Carlo simulations as

3 Dec 2001 : Column: 15W

an element of their robustness assessment; if the final agreement with Ernst and Young specified an end date of 17 December; and if he will make a statement. [19870]

Mr. Jamieson: London Underground—a publicly owned company—is negotiating contracts to put in place the Government's plans for modernising the Tube. It is clearly appropriate for London Underground to evaluate these contracts in line with Treasury Investment Appraisal guidelines. The answer given to the hon. Member for Hendon (Mr. Dismore) on 23 November 2001, Official Report, column 493W, made clear the terms of reference for Ernst and Young's review of London Underground's value for money evaluation of the contracts for the Tube modernisation plans.

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