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Prime Minister

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Western European Union (UK Delegation)

The Prime Minister (Mr. Gordon Brown): The hon. Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway) has been appointed as a full member of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Assembly of Western European Union in place of Baroness Hooper. Baroness O’Cathain OBE has been appointed as a substitute Member in place of the hon. Member for Ryedale.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Shaun Woodward): I confirm that the Prime Minister has received Sir Peter Gibson’s review of Intercept Intelligence material available to the Security and Intelligence Agencies in relation to the Omagh bombing and how any material was shared.

As the Prime Minister made clear when Sir Peter Gibson was asked to carry out his review, a statement to Parliament will be made as soon as possible after the Government have considered the Report.


Airport Security

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Geoffrey Hoon): In her statement of 16 July 2008, my predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, West (Ruth Kelly), in conjunction with the Home Office, announced the launch of a consultation on aspects of proposed legislation designed to deliver more effective policing and security planning arrangements at airports.

The consultation sought views on the proposed new security planning process which requires the majority of airports in the UK to agree a local airport security plan with their key stakeholders based upon threat and risk analysis. The process also allows any agreed dedicated policing element of this plan to be charged to the airport operator.

I am grateful to our stakeholders from the aviation sector and police for their considered responses to the consultation. I have carefully considered the views that were expressed and have consequently asked that legislative proposals be enhanced to provide for ministerial determination of disputes. The draft legislation has also
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been enhanced to ensure that it is sufficiently flexible and scalable to apply to airports whatever their size.

The new security planning process was also shaped by stakeholder views in other ways, in particular, through a programme board which included senior representatives from our key stakeholder groups. Feedback provided at various local stakeholder events and the views aired at our national stakeholder event in November have also been important considerations.

These proposals will now be taken forward in the Policing and Crime Bill which will be introduced in the House today.

The response to the consultation will be published on the Department for Transport’s website shortly and copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Transport Governance Reviews

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Clark): The effect of section 96 of the Local Transport Act 2008 is to empower the Secretary of State to issue guidance on the carrying out by local authorities of reviews of transport governance arrangements in their area and on the establishment of Integrated Transport Authorities.

This guidance will be published shortly, and will be available on the Department for Transport’s website, Copies will also be placed in the Library of the House.

Local Transport Plans

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Clark): I am announcing today a consultation on draft Guidance for Local Transport Plans (LTPs). Local transport authorities in England—excluding London—are required to have regard to guidance when preparing such plans.

The guidance sets out how Government expects local transport authorities to plan and deliver better transport from 2011 onwards. It enables local transport authorities to prepare LTPs that meet their own needs, integrating transport closely with wider local priorities and key services. It sets out the importance of regional and national transport goals, such as supporting the economy, reducing transport’s emission of greenhouse gases, and promoting greater health, equality of opportunity and quality of life.

The guidance explains the changes to the statutory framework for local transport plans brought about by the recent Local Transport Act 2008, which amends the Transport Act 2000.

Consultation will last 16 weeks, finishing on 9 April 2009. It is available at Stakeholders will continue to be involved throughout the consultation period and final Guidance will be published in summer 2009.

I have placed copies of the new guidance in the Libraries of both Houses.

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