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21 Jun 2010 : Column 39Wcontinued
Alistair Burt: As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made clear in his statement to the House on 2 June 2010, Official Report, columns 437-39WS we are seriously concerned about the seizure of British nationals in international waters, and that aspect of the Israeli operation must form a key part of the investigation into events. But until we know the facts of what happened we cannot comment further.
The announcement by the Government of Israel of an independent public Commission, including international observers, is an important step forward. Clearly the Commission must provide a full, credible, impartial and independent investigation that the international community can respect. We will be better able to judge whether this standard has been met as its work develops. It is important that the Commission is able to proceed swiftly, transparently and rigorously.
Stephen Mosley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that the forthcoming elections and referendum in South Sudan are free of violence and human rights violations. 
Mr Bellingham: The Government are concerned about the human rights abuses and violent incidents which were associated with the elections held in Sudan in April 2010. We made clear our concerns to the Sudanese authorities and we regret that more was not done to address these.
We will remain closely engaged and provide strong support including on security issues, in the run-up to the Referendum on Self-Determination for South Sudan in January 2011. We continue to emphasise the need for the Sudanese authorities to ensure a credible and peaceful process. We will be providing significant assistance to this end and we will urge the UN Mission in Sudan to play a central role.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has received representations on the report by Philip Alston to the UN Human Rights Council on the use of drone planes. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: The UK is mentioned in a list of 12 countries who either use drones or are looking to acquire the capability immediately. We do not expect to have to respond to the report as it does not criticise the UK. In the debate of the report at the Human Rights Council, the UK was not mentioned by name and we have received no representations.
Andrew Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer of 8 June 2010, Official Report, column 137W, on Government departments: reviews, what reviews her Department is undertaking; and what the (a) purpose and (b) timescale of each is. 
Mrs Gillan: My Department is not currently undertaking any reviews.
Owen Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment she has made of the effects on the local economy of the transfer of jobs out of the South Wales valleys to Cardiff. 
Mrs Gillan: It is tragic that parts of the South Wales Valleys continue to have the highest levels of unemployment in Wales.
The coalition Government are committed to helping the poorest communities in Wales to develop strong and sustainable growth by attracting targeted private sector inward investment. We also need to ensure that those out of work or on benefits are not trapped there by a system which has left too many better off on benefits than they would be with a job.
Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment she has made of the effect on the creative industries in Wales of the removal of the two year £12 million support for the independently funded new consortia pilot agreed by the last Government; and if she will make a statement. 
Mrs Gillan: The coalition Government consider that for the Government to subsidise news consortia would be an inappropriate use of scarce public funding. This kind of funding intervention-to prop-up expensive commercial regional news formats-would send the wrong message and would not provide a commercial incentive.
To remain competitive we must adapt to the considerable changes within the sector and in particular to recent technological advances. Consumers are moving across the variety of platforms-TV, mobile phone, internet. We need to encourage this by ensuring the right regulatory framework that allows these services to be provided on a commercial basis.
During his key note speech on 8 June, the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport set out his vision for local media, which included reforming local cross-media ownership rules to relax the rules on local newspapers owning local radio stations or setting up local TV stations. He has asked Nicholas Shott-head of UK Investment Banking at Lazard-to examine the potential for commercially viable local television stations within the local media landscape across the UK. Mr Shott will report back on this exercise in the autumn and then we will be in an informed position to deliver a full local media action plan.
These exciting proposals will also provide new opportunities for the creative industries to help deliver such content in new and innovative ways.
Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many times she has met ITV Wales managers since her appointment; and what matters were discussed at each such meeting; 
(2) how many times she has met S4C representatives since her appointment; and what matters were discussed at each such meeting; 
(3) how many times she has met representatives from the Wales Live consortium since her appointment; and what matters were discussed at each such meeting; 
(4) how many times she has met BBC Wales managers since her appointment; and what matters were discussed at each such meeting. 
Mrs Gillan: I have had no formal meetings with these organisations since my appointment but intend to have meetings with Welsh broadcasters in the near future.
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received on the effect on the flow of other motor traffic of road narrowing schemes to create bus priority lanes; and if he will make a statement. 
Norman Baker: The Department for Transport has not received any such representations.
The design and installation of bus lanes, including any monitoring of such schemes, are matters for local highway authorities.
Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department's policy is on the extension of Crossrail from Abbey Wood into Kent. 
Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport's current priority is to continue to progress the committed Crossrail scheme while maintaining its focus on affordability and value for money. The route from Abbey Wood to Gravesend and Ebbsfleet is safeguarded under the terms of the Safeguarding Direction of October 2009 and I expect this to continue. However, any extension would require a strong business case.
Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many vehicles used the Dartford Crossing in each of the last 24 months; 
(2) how much revenue accrued from vehicles using the Dartford Crossing in each of the last 24 months. 
Mike Penning: The Dartford Crossing encompasses both the tunnels and the bridge and charging occurs in both directions.
The figures in the following table cover the Dartford Crossing as a whole. It shows how many vehicles used the Dartford Crossing in each of the last 24 months and also how much revenue was accrued in each month, including revenue for escorts of abnormal loads.
|Month||Total traffic count (number)||Charging revenue (£)||Abnormal load escort revenue (£)||Total (£)|
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