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Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to her answer of 6 November 2001, Official Report, column 94, if she will make a statement on the outcome of her meeting with senior representatives of the Civil Aviation Industry. 
Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 23 November 2001]: The meeting which I hosted yesterday allowed the airlines, the airport operators, business representatives and development agencies, to express their views on the current climate for business for the aviation industry in Scotland and beyond, and also the best way in which the industry can go forward.
Mr. Foulkes: The Government are committed to maintaining a national network of post offices and foresees them helping customers to access a wide range of public services both electronically and over the counter. I am informed by Post Office Ltd. that historical data on the numbers of post office openings and closures are not maintained separately. During the period April 2000 to March 2001 the number of net post office closures in Scotland was 55. This is very close to the average for the UK during the same time period.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many sub-post offices have closed in (a) Scotland, (b) Dumfries and Galloway and (c) Galloway and Upper Nithsdale constituency in each year since 1990. 
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Mr. Foulkes: The Government are committed to maintaining a national network of post offices. It is especially keen to prevent all avoidable closures of rural post offices because they are the focal point for community life in rural areas. Various rate relief schemes apply to many rural post offices. The Government foresee post offices helping customers access a wide range of public services both electronically and over the counter. I understand that Post Office Ltd. do not keep records of the number of post office closures in each parliamentary constituency and consequently such information as the hon. Member requested cannot readily be compiled. During the period April 2000 to March 2001 the number of net post office closures in Scotland was 55. This is very close to the average for the UK during the same time period.
Mrs. Liddell: All revenues from the aggregates levy will be recycled back to business via a cut in employers national insurance contributions and a new sustainability fund. Scotland stands to benefit from some £3 million raised by the aggregates levy, and it will be for the Scottish Executive to decide how to use this money.
Mrs. Liddell: In 1999 there were 2,667 people employed in mineral extraction in Scotland. This information is taken from the National Statistics publication, Mineral Extraction in Great Britain (Business Monitor PA1007).
The Advocate-General: This is a matter for the Scottish Executive and not for my Department. I know that the Lord Advocate and the Minister for Justice and their officials are actively engaged in considering this.
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Mr. Stephen Twigg: I understand that the Chairman of the House of Lords Appointments Commission has since his appointment on average devoted seven days a month to his duties. He was recruited on the basis that the time commitment for the Chairman was expected to settle down to around 810 days a year, although in the first few months, as the Commission established its working practices, it was expected to be more than this. The Chairman has waived his entitlement to remuneration from public funds.
52. Kevin Brennan: To ask the President of the Council if he will take powers to provide for compulsory redundancy of life peers as part of his plans for the reform of the House of Lords; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: The White Paper "The House of LordsCompleting the Reform" suggests that the Royal Commission recommendation that current life peers should retain their membership of the House of Lords for life be accepted. Life peers would, however, be enabled to retire if they wished and the Government have said that they welcome views on the possibility of some sort of winding-up and resettlement grant for those peers who choose to take advantage of this new facility.
50. Mr. Heath: To ask the President of the Council to ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, if the House of Commons Commission has consulted the Select Committee on Standards and Privileges on the workload and future staffing requirements of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. 
David Winnick: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, if he will make a statement on the duties of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. 
Receiving and investigating complaints about the conduct of Members (whether related directly to alleged breaches of the Code or not) and reporting the results of investigations to the Committee.
Maintaining and monitoring the operation of the Register of Members' interests.
Preparing guidance and providing induction courses for new Members on matters of conduct, propriety and ethics.
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54. Ms Buck: To ask the President of the Council what proposals he has made to the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons to improve the scrutiny of Government by Select Committees. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: My right hon. Friend confirmed on 6 November 2001, Official Report, column 197W, that he intends to present a strategy paper to the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons in the very near future.
I shall be putting proposals to the Modernisation Committee next week on the wider agenda of reform, including more effective scrutiny of legislation. The intention is that these proposals will be available to all Members in order that their views can inform the work of the Modernisation Committee in preparing recommendations for the House.
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