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20 Jun 2007 : Column 1786W—continued

We are very concerned that, as the UN has reported, about 400,000 people have been displaced and more than 1,000 may have been killed. The UK is particularly concerned about obstacles to access for humanitarian workers wanting to give help to those
20 Jun 2007 : Column 1787W
who most need it. We have raised this in international forums such as the EU, the UN and the International Contact Group on Somalia, which met most recently in London on 5 and 6 June, and we have made our views very clear.

The UK was the Second largest humanitarian donor in Somalia in 2006. Since January, we have committed a further £6.3 million over and above our pre-budgeted funding to seek to help those worst affected by the fighting and the ongoing humanitarian needs.

The UK condemns the recent violence from whichever quarter it comes. We believe the Ethiopians should leave as soon as is practicable. They have told us they want to do so. But for them to leave before an effective alternative security force is in place would risk leaving a dangerous security vacuum and worsening the humanitarian situation still further.

Ms Butler: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support the UK is giving to the process of national reconciliation in Somalia. [143685]

Mr. McCartney: The UK strongly supports the process of national reconciliation in Somalia. This process is a pre-requisite for lasting security in Somalia. We believe that the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) is the only body that can bring stability across Somalia, as envisaged by the Transitional Federal Charter, but it must be more inclusive and develop a broad base of clan acceptance if it is to succeed in this.

We believe the TFG should reach out to all Somalis who reject violence, regardless of clan, and that the National Reconciliation Congress (NRC), now scheduled to start in mid July, represents an excellent opportunity to do this. My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, made this point in person to President Yusuf when he visited the UK in February and to the Somali Foreign Minister in London on 7 June. The meeting of the International Contact Group in London on 6 June sent the same strong message to the TFG through the Somali Foreign Minister. We will continue to work for this and are calling on all groups in Somali society to reject violence and to work together for national reconciliation.

The UK is providing financial support for the NRC, both bilaterally (over £250,000 for the initial stage) and through the EU.

Ms Butler: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations her Department has made to (a) the Government of Ethiopia and (b) the Somali Transitional Federal Government on the situation in Somalia. [143686]

Mr. McCartney: The UK has had frequent contact with both the Government of Ethiopia and the Transitional Federal Government on the situation in Somalia, particularly on security and on humanitarian issues.

Sudan: Darfur

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who will represent the UK at the forthcoming international conference in
20 Jun 2007 : Column 1788W
France on Darfur; and what representations she is making to further the attendance of a representative of the Sudanese Government at the conference. [143230]

Mr. Hoon: My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, will represent the UK at the international conference on Darfur to be held in Paris on 25 June. Our ambassador in Khartoum has raised with the Sudanese Government their attendance at the meeting. However, the Sudanese Foreign Minister has made it clear that the Sudanese Government will not attend.

Suharto

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will recommend to Her Majesty the Queen that the honorary knighthood (GCB) conferred on the former Indonesian dictator Suharto in 1974 be withdrawn. [143267]

Mr. McCartney: We have no plans to do so.

Venezuela: Press Freedom

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the freedom of the press in Venezuela. [143220]

Mr. Hoon: Along with EU partners, the UK has been closely monitoring recent events in Venezuela. We are concerned at the Venezuelan Government’s decision not to renew the broadcasting licence for the private media organisation RCTV. The UK strongly supported the EU presidency’s robust statement, which noted with concern the Venezuelan Government’s decision, and recalled undertakings made by the Venezuelan authorities to hold an open competition for the successor licence.

My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, raised our concerns on freedom of expression and freedom of the press with the Venezuelan Vice-Minister for European Affairs on 14 June, noting the non-renewal of RCTV’s licence. My noble Friend Lord Triesman stressed that the UK wanted to see as many broadcasters operating in Venezuela as possible, with as few restrictions as possible.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely, in consultation with our EU partners.

Transport

Bus Services: Peterborough

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions officials from his Department have had with Peterborough City Council on the (a) establishment and (b) cancellation of bus routes in Peterborough; and if he will make a statement. [144252]


20 Jun 2007 : Column 1789W

Gillian Merron: The Department for Transport does not meet with local authorities on a regular basis to discuss the establishment or cancellation of particular commercial bus routes. However, the Government Office for the East of England regularly meets with Peterborough city council to discuss local transport performance and monitoring in relation to the Local Transport Plan, including bus patronage and bus punctuality targets.

Cycling

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has spent on cycling infrastructure in each of the last 10 years. [144303]

Mr. Tom Harris: We have no data prior to 2001-02. I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 29 March 2007, Official Report, columns 1688-9W given to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Lynne Jones) where the amount provided by the Department on cycling infrastructure for subsequent years can be found.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the proportion of people in each region for which his Department holds records who (a) owned a bicycle and (b) cycled regularly in each of the last 10 years. [144304]

Mr. Tom Harris: The information requested is in the following tables. These are based on data available from the National Travel Survey.

Table 1 shows data for 2000-01 to 2005 on the percentage of individuals aged five and over in each
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Government office region and country of Great Britain who own a bicycle. Data on bicycle ownership were not collected before 2000.

Table 2 shows data for 1999 to 2001, 2003 and 2005 on the frequency with which people in each Government office region and country of Great Britain use a bicycle. No data are held for other years in the specified time period.

Table 1: Percentage of individuals aged 5 and over who have their own bicycle, by region: 2000-01 to 2005
Percentages/number
2000-01 2002 2003 2004 2005

North East

33

37

32

34

29

North West

38

36

37

37

41

Yorkshire & the Humber

36

37

40

37

42

East Midlands

40

48

46

46

46

West Midlands

36

38

41

39

39

East of England

48

51

50

49

51

London

28

26

29

28

32

South East

42

51

49

48

50

South West

49

48

48

47

51

England

39

41

42

41

43

Wales

36

41

37

39

40

Scotland

39

36

39

37

40

Great Britain

39

41

41

40

43

GB sample size (individuals)

17,560

19,584

20,602

20,250

21,281

Source:
DfT National Travel Survey


20 Jun 2007 : Column 1791W

20 Jun 2007 : Column 1792W
Table 2: Frequency of bicycle use by region: 1999 to 2001, 2003 and 2005
Percentages/number
At least once a week Less than once a week, at least once a month Less than once a month, at least once a year Less than once a year or never All Sample size (individuals)

1999 to 2001

North East

15

7

7

72

100

1,190

North West

15

6

8

71

100

3,128

Yorkshire & the Humber

13

7

7

73

100

2,197

East Midlands

16

9

9

67

100

1,776

West Midlands

14

7

7

72

100

2,262

East of England

16

10

10

64

100

2,404

London

10

6

5

78

100

3,177

South East

15

10

9

66

100

3,730

South West

17

11

9

63

100

2,332

England

14

8

8

70

100

22,196

Wales

10

9

8

73

100

1,398

Scotland

16

8

7

70

100

2,278

Great Britain

14

8

8

70

100

25,872

2003( 1)

North East

12

7

5

75

100

902

North West

15

6

7

71

100

2,417

Yorkshire & the Humber

15

9

7

69

100

1,808

East Midlands

17

10

10

63

100

1,490

West Midlands

13

7

8

72

100

1,905

East of England

17

10

10

63

100

1,959

London

11

5

5

79

100

2,680

South East

15

11

10

64

100

2,708

South West

15

10

10

65

100

1,789

England

14

8

8

69

100

17,658

Wales

13

7

8

72

100

1,015

Scotland

14

9

7

70

100

1,927

Great Britain

14

8

8

69

100

20,600

2005( 1)

North East

10

6

4

80

100

934

North West

16

7

7

70

100

2,545

Yorkshire & the Humber

16

6

8

70

100

1,890

East Midlands

16

7

10

67

100

1,538

West Midlands

13

7

7

73

100

1,961

East of England

18

9

11

62

100

2,083

London

13

7

6

75

100

2,649

South East

16

10

10

63

100

2,763

South West

18

8

10

64

100

1,813

England

15

8

8

69

100

18,176

Wales

14

7

7

73

100

1,103

Scotland

13

6

7

74

100

2,002

Great Britain

15

8

8

69

100

21,281

(1) Excludes children aged under 5 from 2003 onwards.
Source:
DfT National Travel Survey

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