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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 7 March 2005


Asian Tsunami

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with countries affected by the Asian tsunami regarding the sexual exploitation of children left (a) orphaned and (b) otherwise vulnerable, by the disaster; and what assistance the Government have given to help combat sexual exploitation of vulnerable children. [219717]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: DFID has talked at length with affected governments and humanitarian agencies operating on the ground to ensure that the needs of all vulnerable groups are adequately met. In particular, DFID is supporting programmes through the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). This includes £2,250,000 to UNICEF's Child Protection programmes in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. This programme includes assessments of the needs of children, the monitoring of vulnerable groups and advocacy on behalf of children with the relevant government bodies. DFID has also provided £400,000 to the Save the Children Fund's programme in Sri Lanka that includes child protection activities.

DFID continues to monitor the situation, and its country offices are retaining strong links to non-governmental organisations and United Nations agencies as we move into the recovery phase.


Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations he has
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received from the Malawi Government on the time scale for commencement of funds for the six-year health programme. [218045]

Hilary Benn: DFID has been clear that UK aid under the new six-year programme will be available from the beginning of the UK 2005–06 financial year. No representations have been received about the time scale for the commencement of payments. DFID spending on health in Malawi in financial year 2004–05 on existing commitments to Government and NGO programmes will be £11 million and is expected to increase by 50 per cent. with the new programme in 2005–06 and subsequent years.

DFID signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Health and other collaborating partners, Norway/SIDA and the World Bank on 29 October 2004, and an exchange of letters on DFID's health sector support on 9 December 2005. An initial disbursement of funds into the Donor Pool to support the Sector Wide Approach was made in December by Norway/SIDA. DFID is due to add its disbursement into this pool on 1 April 2005, once agreement is reached on a plan of action to reform Central Medical Stores.


Metrolink (Manchester)

Mr. Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will determine the bid for the upgrading of phases 1 and 2 of Manchester's Metrolink. [220394]

Mr. McNulty: We are discussing the bid in detail with the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive and will make a decision as soon as we are able to.

Transport Projects

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what major transport projects have been approved in the last year, broken down by parliamentary constituency. [215839]

Mr. Darling: The major local authority schemes (outside London) listed in Table 1 were approved fully during the course of 2004:
Table 1: Full approval

Rugeley Eastern BypassCannock Chase
A167 Chilton BypassSedgefield
A158 Partney BypassLouth and Horncastle
Cradley Heath Town Centre StrategyHalesowen and Rowley Regis
Sunderland Southern Radial RouteSunderland S
Barnstaple Western BypassNorth Devon
South Lowestoft Relief RoadWaveney
A429 Barford BypassWarwick and Leamington
Stoke Hammond and Linslade Bypass, BucksBuckingham
South West Bedfordshire
Northfield Regeneration Route, BirminghamBirmingham Northfield
West Midlands Red RouteWolverhampton North East
Wolverhampton South West
Wolverhampton South East
Walshall North
Walshall South
Dudley North
West Bromwich West/ East
Birmingham Perry Barr
Birmingham Erdington
Sutton Coldfield
Dudley South
Halesowen and Rowley Regis
Birmingham Edgbaston
Birmingham Ladywood
Birmingham Hodge Hill
Birmingham Yardley
Birmingham Sparkbrook and Small Heath
Birmingham Northfield
Birmingham Selly Oak
Birmingham Hall Green
North West TauntonTaunton
Primelines (Coventry quality bus network)Coventry North West
Coventry South
Coventry North East
Wolverhampton Centre access InterchangeWolverhampton North East
Wolverhampton South West
Wolverhampton South East
Derby Inner Ring Road MaintenanceDerby North
Derby South
Plymouth A386 Northern Corridor Improvements, Park and RidePlymouth Sutton
Plymouth Devonport
Salisbury Integrated Transport PackageSalisbury

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The major local authority schemes (outside London) listed in Table 2 were provisionally approved during the course of 2004. These schemes are approved with conditions, the main ones being that costs do not increase, statutory and consultative procedures are completed satisfactorily and their designs and appraisal do not change significantly.
Table 2: Provisional Approval

Edge Lane West, LiverpoolLiverpool Wavertree
Liverpool West Derby
Bexhill To Hastings Link RoadHastings and Rye
Bexhill and Battle
Sittingbourne Northern Developer RouteSittingbourne and Sheppey
Watford JunctionWatford
Castle ford InterchangePontefract and Castleford
Copnor Bridge, PortsmouthPortsmouth South

The schemes listed in Table 3 were added to the Highway Agency's targeted programme of improvements during 2004.
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Table 3

A27 Southerham to BeddinghamEastbourne
M1 J21–30Loughborough
North West Leicestershire
Nottingham North
North East Derbyshire
Leicester West
M25 J1b-3 WideningDartford
Bexleyheath and Crayford
M25 J5–7 WideningSevenoaks
East Surrey
M25 J16–23 WideningHertsmere
St. Albans
South West Hertfordshire
M25 J23–27 WideningEnfield North
Epping Forest
Welwyn Hatfield
Hemel Hemstead
M25 J27–30 WideningThurrock
Chipping Barnet
Chingford and Woodford Green
A21 Kippings Cross to LamberhurstBexhill and Battle
BypassHastings and Rye
Tunbridge Wells
A23 Handcross to WarninglidCrawley
Mid Sussex
A453 Widening (M1 J24 to A52North West Leicestershire
Nottingham South

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Decisions on road projects in London have been devolved to the London Mayor.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (a) how many and (b) what types of unmanned aerial vehicles have been licensed to operate over land in civilian airspace by the Civil Aviation Authority in each of the last five years. [220167]

Charlotte Atkins: To date, the Civil Aviation Authority has not issued any Certificates of Airworthiness to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).


Business Regulatory Costs

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to review the cost of regulation to businesses. [217347]

Nigel Griffiths: Previous budgets have taken measures to reduce the costs of regulation to business. For instance our flat rate VAT scheme has helped cut payments for up to 700,000 businesses.

Our raising the mandatory audit threshold has helped up to 219,000 businesses save up to £270 million per annum. Our abolition of automatic fines for VAT have helped too—in 1996–97 this cost business £99 million.

Future budgets can be expected to provide further help.

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