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6 Nov 2002 : Column 320Wcontinued
Mr. Jamieson: In connection with the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, the Secretary of State had (and continues to have) rights under a Property Agreement entered into with Railtrack plc to buy from the company any land owned by the company which is needed for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, and certain rights of access.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the distance is from the mean low water mark on the OS map to the edge of the four runway Cliffe Airport Option at the nearest point; and whether the four runway Cliffe Airport Option would be built past the mean low water mark at any point. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Cliffe option boundary, as published in the The Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom: South East consultation document, is around 1300 metres from the general Mean Low Water (MLW) line (excluding inlets and streams) and would not require building past the MLW mark.
The precise location of this, and all other published options, should be considered as indicative only. If any option is supported in the air transport White Paper more detailed design and project definition will be required.
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Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the distance is from the proposed edge of the four runway Cliffe Airport Option to the borough constituency boundary for Castle Point, at the closest point. 
Mr. Jamieson: As published in The Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom (South East) consultation document, the Cliffe option lies about 2.5 kilometres from the Castle Point borough boundary, at the closest point.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how high above the River Thames, at low tide, (a) the runways and (b) the highest buildings would be in the Cliffe Airport four runway option. 
Mr. Jamieson: The South East and East of England Regional Air Services study (SERAS) analysis indicates that the runways associated with the Cliffe option would be between 12 and 15 metres above mean sea level. The analysis did not include either a calculation against low tide levels or the design of airport buildings and associated infrastructure.
Mr. Jamieson: The Cliffe option published in The Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom (South East) consultation document has a main east-west runway length of around 4000 metres. The diagonal runway is 3000 metres long. Both include an allowance for runway end safety areas.
Mr. Shepherd: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many members of the Metropolitan Police Fire Section are based within the precinct of the Palace of Westminster; and if he will list (a) their duties and (b) the equipment available for use in an emergency. 
Mr. Kirkwood: There are 21 Metropolitan Police Fire Officers based on the Parliamentary Estate. Their duties include fire prevention, response to alarm calls, patrols of the estate to ensure fire safety measures are in place, together with initial response to fires. In the event of Fire Brigade Officers attending a fire, the role of the Metropolitan Police Fire Officers is to liaise, brief and
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Mr. Shepherd : To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, if, in the absence of a fire certificate for Portcullis House, the certificate of employers' liability insurance issued to hon. Members remain valid; and if the (a) fire safety doors, (b) alarm systems and (c) evacuation procedure meet British safety standards. 
The fire strategy for Portcullis House, which encompasses safety doors, alarm systems and evacuation procedures, conforms to British safety standards and the terms of relevant legislation. I will arrange for the hon. Gentleman to be supplied with further details if he wishes.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Solicitor-General what actions she proposes to take to respond to representations from RoadPeace following their meeting with Ministers on 10 October, and if he will make a statement. 
The Solicitor-General: The Attorney and I recognise that fatal road traffic crashes have a devastating effect on the family and friends of the victim. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is committed to ensuring that such cases are dealt with sensitively and are reviewed by prosecutors with requisite experience. The Attorney and I will continue to ensure the CPS implements its commitment under the Victim's Charter and the Direct Communication with Victim's initiative to provide support to victims and those who have been bereaved as a result of road traffic offences.
The CPS has, since the meeting with RoadPeace, re-issued nationally to its staff a reminder to implement, so far as is possible, guidance provided in various cases, on how best to deal with situations where inquests and criminal proceedings arising out of the same incident are pending.
The CPS brings to the Law Officers' attention, in appropriate cases, sentences passed by the Crown Court for us to consider a referral to the Court of Appeal as an Unduly Lenient Sentence. Since the beginning of this year we have referred to the Court of Appeal 6 cases involving either death by dangerous driving or death by careless driving when over the prescribed limit for alcohol.
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Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans he has to transfer responsibility for the granting of drinks licences in Northern Ireland from magistrates to local government authorities. 
Mr. Browne: Northern Ireland has its own law on liquor licensing as contained in the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996. There are no plans to transfer responsibility for the granting of drinks licences from magistrates to local authorities in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Browne: Northern Ireland has its own law on gaming machines which is included in the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985. While this is broadly in line with the equivalent legislation in Great Britain, there are significant differences which take account of local circumstances in Northern Ireland. I have no plans to change this arrangement.
Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many representations in each of the last five years he has received recommending an increase in the speed with which planning applications for wind farms are considered. 
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