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Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not separately classify or record events as being ethnic minority events. However, since 7 June 2001 the Lord Chancellor has attended one event and his Ministers have attended 17 events where an ethnic minority issue was integral to the purpose, identity and character of the event.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Following a public opinion survey which we will shortly be conducting in England and Wales, the Lord Chancellor will issue a consultation paper containing proposals on possible alternatives to the current modes of court dress for judges, lawyers and court staff. The Lord Chancellor is in regular contact with the Lord Chief Justice and the other Heads of Division and has kept them informed on the progress of the project.
Yvette Cooper: A number of recent initiatives are under way that will impact on timeliness in youth court cases, for example, measures are being developed to admit in evidence digital photographs, which have been used instead of a physical identification parade. My Department is also working with the Home Office, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Law Society and others to increase the use of technology to transmit documentation electronically and to present digital images in court.
Mr. Alexander: For details of my Department's spend on staff training and development for the years 199798 to 200001, I refer the hon. Member to the answer my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley (Mr. Leslie) gave to the hon. Member for Buckingham on 15 May 2002, column 715W.
|Core Cabinet Office||1,603|
|Central Office of Information||(25)588|
|Government Office for the regions||1,666|
|Centre for Management and Policy Studies||168|
(25) Includes training partly funded by the Civil Service Modernisation Fund
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when the final draft consultation on Manufacturing and Storage of Explosives Regulations will be completed; when the regulations will be published with supporting evidence; under what powers the regulations will be implemented; and whether they will comply with the Health and Safety Executive's Mission Statement. 
24 Jun 2002 : Column 713W
In March, the Health and Safety Commission published a consultation document setting out its proposals for new regulations on the manufacture and storage of explosives. The consultation period has just ended. The Health and Safety Executive will be considering the responses to the proposals before making recommendations to the Health and Safety Commission. If it approves the revised proposals, the Health and Safety Commission will then make recommendations to me.
It is for the Health and Safety Commission to decide if and when to make recommendations to me, however I understand that it is hoped to submit the proposals to the Health and Safety Commission in the first half of next year.
The regulations will be made under Section 1 of the Health and Safety at Work (etc.) Act 1974. Section 1 (2) gives the Health and Safety Commission remit to replace existing legislation such as the Explosives Act 1875 with regulations and Approved Code of Practice "designed to maintain or improve the standards of health, safety and welfare established by or under those attachments". I am sure that there is absolutely no question of the Health and Safety Commission making recommendations to me that were not fully in line with its remit or with its Mission Statement to ensure that risks to people's health and safety from work activities are properly controlled.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how the planned manufacturing and storage of explosives regulations will improve safety for (a) the general public and (b) those that handle explosives; what scientific advice he has received and how the regulations will apply to that advice; and what (a) explosives site controls and (b) explosives frequency controls the regulations will include. 
The Explosives Act 1875 has been successful in securing a high level of protection both for the public and for workers employed in the manufacture and storage of explosives. However, over the years the Act has been overlaid with a large number of items of secondary legislation. The proposals are intended to further improve the safety record by: simplifying the existing legislation and making it easier for dutyholders and enforcers to understand; updating the regulatory framework to take account of changes in the industry and technology; and taking the opportunity to incorporate industry best practice.
anyone manufacturing or storing explosives must have a licence from HSE or the local authorityor be registered with the local authority;
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The proposals have been subject to extensive and very detailed consultation with employers, trade unions and local authorities as well as with the Ministry of Defence and other interested bodies such as professional associations. They were also subject to scrutiny from the HSC's Advisory Committee on Dangerous Substances.
The proposals on separation distances take full account of extensive explosion tests conducted by the Ministry of Defence. They are the product of work by a working group that includes internationally-respected experts on explosives and risk assessment and control. The report of their work has been published by the Health and Safety Executive, copies will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his policy relating to the acceptable level of danger of uncontrolled risk to the public relating to the storage and manufacture of explosives; and if he will list (a) serious injuries and (b) deaths caused by explosives in each of the last five years, broken down by (i) domestic and (ii) commercial premises. 
The Health and Safety Commission published a consultation document in March setting out proposals for regulations on the manufacture and storage of explosives. I expect to receive its recommendations for new regulations in the course of next year. The regulations will include requirements on those manufacturing or storing explosives to take appropriate measures to prevent explosions including revised requirements on separation distances to be maintained around explosives sites. Under no circumstances should the risks be uncontrolled.
The revised proposals are designed to ensure that the maximum level of risk to someone living or working in the vicinity of explosives factory or store is one in a million. This level is generally accepted as the benchmark for the broadly acceptable level of risk to members of the public from industrial activities.
HSE has not received any reports during the last five years of accidents involving either the manufacture or storage of explosives that have resulted in death or serious injury to members of the public.
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