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4 July 2006 : Column 928W—continued

Safety Cameras

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many speed cameras have been vandalised in the past 12 months. [82310]

Dr. Ladyman: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 15 February 2006, Official Report, column 2054W, to the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans).

Seat Belts

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 26 June 2006, Official Report, column 37W, on seat belts, what representations his Department received between 1976 and 1983; and if he will make a statement. [82632]

Dr. Ladyman: There would have been many representations in the years mentioned when seat belt wearing in front seats was being made compulsory. Over 20 years later, I have no statement to make.

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Thames Gateway

Mr. Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether there is an overall plan for the development of transport links for London commuters as the Thames Gateway is redeveloped; and who has overall responsibility for developing transport in the Thames Gateway area; [79284]

(2) what public transport links are to be developed across the Thames Gateway region in order to support the Government’s target for jobs to be created by the project. [79290]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department of Communities and Local Government are producing a Strategic Framework for the Thames Gateway, in collaboration with other Government Departments, regional and sub-regional partners.

This will assist Government in determining the strategic transport requirements to support housing and economic growth in the Gateway. It will also continue on from the programme of work already set out in ‘Creating Sustainable Communities—Delivering the Thames Gateway (March 2005)’. This sets out the Government’s aim to regenerate and develop the Gateway and identified the strategic locations and key housing sites with the necessary transport infrastructure that will be required.

Mr. Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of the planned transport expenditure for the Thames Gateway redevelopment is to be used to improve (a) buses, (b) trains, (c) car sharing, (d) underground and (e) other public transport services. [79316]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department for Transport has delivered or is committed to deliver direct investment of £1.6 billion in transport in the Thames Gateway area. That figure includes £700 million on public transport measures and £900 million on both strategic and local roads.

Transport Finance (South-West)

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been made available to (a) Yeovil constituency, (b) Somerset and (c) the South West region in local transport plan funding for each year since 1997. [82186]

Gillian Merron: The information setting out the amounts of funding that have been made available to Somerset county council and to other local authorities in the south west region for local transport plans for each year since 1997 has previously been placed in the Libraries of the House. The information is also available under the February Freedom of Information responses sections on the Department for Transport website (

The Department does not allocate most local transport plan funding to individual constituency areas. It is up to Somerset county council where it allocates the fund support provided for the county according to its local priorities.

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Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many Vehicle and Operator Services Agency teams are based at UK ports; how many foreign vehicles were found to be committing infringements in 2005-06; what actions were taken against non-UK vehicles and their drivers; and how many prosecutions have followed stops in 2005-06. [82007]

Dr. Ladyman: There are no Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) teams based at British Ports. The majority of enforcement is carried out by intercepting traffic on arterial roads leading to/from a port. By agreement of an individual Port Authority VOSA do visit some ports but this activity is not similar to the statutory presence of Customs and Special Branch officers who are located directly at the port.

The number of foreign vehicles found to be committing infringements during 2005-06 and the action taken is given in the table:

Roadworthiness prohibitions issued
Number issued

Heavy goods vehicles


Passenger service vehicles


Traffic enforcement prohibitions issued
Drivers hours and Tachograph records Overloading

Heavy goods vehicles



Passenger service vehicles



No foreign drivers or operators were prosecuted by VOSA in 2005-06.


CPS Targets

Mr. Amess: To ask the Solicitor-General who in the Crown Prosecution Service is responsible for progress on each of the targets set out on pages 16 to 22 of Cm 6821, the Law Officers’ departmental report 2006; to whom each person reports; what discussions he has had with stakeholders about implementation of each target; and if he will make a statement. [78600]

The Solicitor-General: Peter Lewis, Director of Business Development has responsibility for the targets of increasing the number of offences brought to justice, and John Graham, Director of Finance has responsibility for the targets on improving public confidence, delivering efficiencies and value for money. Both report to the Chief Executive.

Regular consultation on the PSA and criminal justice system (CJS) targets is conducted with CJS colleagues and other stakeholders through the work of the National Criminal Justice Board and Local Criminal Justice Boards. The Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Chief Executive are all members of the National Criminal Justice Board, and play a full and positive part in its work.

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Mr. Amess: To ask the Solicitor-General (1) which Government Bills sponsored by the Law Officers remain to be introduced during the 2005-06 Session; [77850]

(2) which Government Bills he has bid for in the next Session of Parliament; and if he will make a statement. [77851]

The Solicitor-General: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) on 16 June 2006, Official Report, column 1431W.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Commonwealth Institute

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much the Government contributed to the maintenance and running costs of the Commonwealth Institute building in each year between 1996 and 2000. [81167]

Dr. Howells: Figures for calendar years are not available. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) paid the Commonwealth Institute:

The severance arrangements agreed between the FCO and the Commonwealth Institute in January 2000 provided for the payment of a further £8 million, about half of which was ring fenced for property maintenance.

East Timor

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Cynon Valley of 5 June 2006, Official Report, column 315W, on East Timor, in what way the UK has expressed concern about impunity for those responsible for human rights abuses in Timor-Leste, with particular reference to abuses committed in 1999; at what level and in which forums concerns were raised in each year since 1999; what the outcomes were in each case; and if she will make a statement. [81719]

Mr. McCartney: The UK has often expressed concern about impunity for those responsible for the human rights abuses in East Timor and we note the decision of the Government of East Timor to pursue these issues with Indonesia through their bilateral Commission for Truth and Friendship.

We have expressed these concerns on a number of occasions at various levels and in different fora. However, we are unable to provide the information requested by the hon. Member as this could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government will consider the forthcoming referendum in Gibraltar to approve the new constitution to be an act of self-determination by the people of Gibraltar. [82615]

Mr. Hoon: As my right hon. Friend the then Foreign Secretary (Mr Jack Straw) set out in his written ministerial statement of 27 March 2006, Official Report, columns 44-46W, the new constitution provides for a modern and mature relationship between the UK and Gibraltar. I do not think that this description would apply to any relationship based on colonialism. The constitution confirms the right of self-determination of the Gibraltarian people. The realisation of that right must be promoted and respected in conformity with the provisions of the UN Charter and any other applicable international treaties. Gibraltar's right of self-determination is not constrained by the Treaty of Utrecht except insofar as Article X gives Spain the right of refusal should Britain ever renounce Sovereignty. Thus independence would only be an option with Spanish consent. Her Majesty's Government recognise that the act of deciding on their acceptance of the new constitution in the forthcoming referendum will be an exercise of the right of self-determination by the Gibraltarian people in that context.

The new constitution does not in any way diminish British sovereignty and gives Gibraltar much greater control over its internal affairs and that degree of self-government compatible with British sovereignty and the UK's continuing international responsibilities. If the new constitution is agreed the UK will retain its full international responsibility for Gibraltar, including for Gibraltar's external relations and defence, and as the member state responsible for Gibraltar in the EU. The UK's long standing commitment that the UK will never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their wishes will be unchanged. This is also set out clearly in the Despatch which will be published at the same time as the Gibraltar Constitution Order and the draft of which I will place in the Library of the House. I will also send a copy to my hon. Friend.

It has also been the UK's long standing view that none of its remaining overseas territories, including Gibraltar, should remain on the UN list of non self-governing territories, despite the different circumstances affecting Gibraltar, namely the application of the Treaty of Utrecht as noted earlier. However, the criteria used by the UN are outdated and fail to take account of the way that relationships between the UK and its overseas territories have been modernised. The UK does not, therefore, engage formally to seek the removal of any of the overseas territories from the UN list.

Gurkha Regiment

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the requirements are for ex-servicemen of the Gurkha regiment to be issued with visas to visit the UK. [81511]

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Dr. Howells: Gurkhas serving in the British Army are exempt from immigration control as are other Foreign and Commonwealth personnel serving in HM forces. Upon discharge, when they cease to be exempt, they may apply for settlement and subsequently naturalisation in the UK.

If ex-servicemen of the Gurkha regiment wish to visit the UK, they need to meet the visit visa requirements of the immigration rules. The requirements to be met by a person seeking entry clearance as a visitor are that he/she: is genuinely seeking entry as a visitor for a limited period as stated by him/her, not exceeding six months; and intends to leave the UK at the end of the period of the visit as stated by him/her; and does not intend to take employment in the UK; and does not intend to produce goods or provide services (including the selling of goods or services direct to members of the public) within the United Kingdom; and does not intend to study at a maintained school (exchange students may be treated exceptionally) and will maintain and accommodate him/herself and any dependants adequately, and can meet the cost of the return or onward journey. Further information on visit visa requirements can be found on the UKvisas website at:


Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Indonesian Government on compensation for the families of victims killed in the bombings in Bali in 2002. [82104]

Mr. McCartney: Our embassy in Jakarta sent a diplomatic note to the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 2 June 2003, stating that


Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what military equipment has been provided by the UK to Iran to assist in counter-narcotics operations in the last three years. [58244]

Margaret Beckett [pursuant to the reply, 21 March 2006, Official Report, c.334-35W]: I regret that an inaccurate answer was given to part of the right hon. Member's question. The answer given states that the then Foreign Secretary, Lord Hurd, and the then Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister, Tony Lloyd, gave statements on 1 March 1993 and 28 September 1998 respectively. The statements were in fact written answers to hon. Members and the reply given by my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Central was made on 28 January 1998.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will assess the (a) likelihood and (b) likely effectiveness of placing sanctions on Iran in case of a breakdown of negotiations. [81579]

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Dr. Howells: We remain deeply concerned that, despite repeated requests by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors and the United Nations Security Council, Iran is continuing uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activity that will enable it to develop the capability to produce fissile material suitable for use in nuclear weapons, and is not co-operating fully with the IAEA.

On 1 June, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and her French, German, US, Russian and Chinese colleagues and Javier Solana, EU High Representative, agreed a way forward that would give Iran everything it needs to develop a modern civil nuclear power industry, as well as bringing Iran far reaching political and economic benefits, while meeting international concerns. We hope that Iran will respond to these proposals soon and take the positive path offered. Ministers also agreed on 1 June that if Iran decides not to engage in negotiation, further steps would have to be taken in the Security Council.

Our efforts remain focused on securing an early, positive response to the proposals. But we cannot rule out measures against Iran, including sanctions, at some point if they become necessary to ensure that Iran complies with its obligations and takes steps to establish the peaceful intentions of its nuclear programme.

As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said in the House on 23 May 2006, Official Report, column 1314:

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