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The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): The question whether Law Commission Bills should be included in the Government's legislative programme is for government. The Government value the work done by the independent Law Commission highly but law reform proposals must be assessed against wider legislative priorities. The Government are, however, content to bring forward legislation on two topics covered by Law Commission reports, namely Law Com 220, Delegation by Individual Trustees and the first part of Law Com 227, Restitution for Mistake of Law: Ultra Vires Public Authority Receipts and Payments, when time permits. Other reports remain under consideration and the Government's decisions will be announced in due course.
The Lord Chancellor: It is a matter for each High Court Judge, in consultation with their Head of Division, to determine their duties as they see fit, including such duties as those imposed by appointment as an Inspector under the Companies Act 1985.
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): Child care vouchers are issued during recesses in respect of any days on which a recipient member of staff is required to work. The vouchers may be used to defray costs of child care for children of pre-school age and attendance at holiday playschemes for children up to the age of eleven. There has been no change in practice.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington): The Government have already made a significant investment into direct patient services and away from bureaucracy, in line with our commitment to ensure that more of every pound spent in the NHS goes into frontline patient services. We have also honoured our commitment to increase NHS income in real terms by providing an extra £1.2 billion for 1998-99.
Our legacy from the previous administration is record numbers waiting for treatment and longer waits. The action the Government are taking now will deliver our manifesto commitment to treat an extra 100,000 patients from the NHS waiting lists during this Parliament.
Baroness Jay: We have received the report, and copies have today been laid before both Houses of Parliament in accordance with the requirements of Section 5(2) and 5(3) of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1921. Copies have also been placed in the Library.
Bound volumes have been placed in the Library containing the 1996 reports of the Medicines Commission, the Committee on Safety of Medicines, the Advisory Board on the registration of Homoeopathic Products, the British Pharmacopoeia Commission and the Veterinary Products Committee.
We are glad to acknowledge the valuable work done by the distinguished members of the Medicines Act Advisory Bodies and thank them for the time and effort dedicated in the public interest to this important work.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Donoughue): The European Commission formally notified the Government of its concern over alleged illegal exports of UK beef on 2 July, the same day that it made its suspicions public. Government officials have been involved in investigations into the allegations, in co-operation with officials from some other member states and the Commission's anti-fraud unit, since May.
Lord Donoughue: At the request of the United Kingdom, a safeguard measure was adopted last year by the European Commission prohibiting the import into the UK and Ireland of all live salmonids and requiring all imported salmonid eggs to be disinfected. While the risk of introducing gyrodactylus salaris on angling equipment or clothing is very low, we also advise all those fishing abroad to ensure that any such equipment or clothing is either thoroughly dried or is disinfected before or on return to the UK.
Lord Donoughue: The Government yesterday published their response to the conclusions and recommendations of the Agriculture Select Committee's report on these agri-environment schemes. Copies of the publication have been placed in the Library of the House.
Lord Donoughue: The department's officials, in conjunction with officials from other member states, the Commission's Anti-Fraud unit and DGXXIV, are pursuing investigations in this country and elsewhere into allegations of the illegal export of UK beef. It will be some time before those investigations are complete. Criminal proceedings will be instigated if sufficient evidence of illegal activity is found. All allegations of illegal exports of beef are urgently and rigorously investigated.
In the light of recent events my right honourable friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has undertaken a thorough review of the measures currently in place to implement the ban on the export of UK beef imposed by EC Decision 96/239, as amended by EC Decision 96/362, and has concluded that those measures should be enhanced and extended. He has yesterday informed the European Commission that he intends to:
The UK is under an obligation to implement and enforce the export ban firmly and effectively for as long as it is in place. Only in this way will we regain the trust of our European partners, which is an essential prerequisite to an early lifting of the export ban.
|January to December 1992||January 1993 to April 1994||May 1994 to April 1995||May 1995 to April 1996||May 1996 to April 1997|
|Cormorants||Number of applications received||0||102||117||93||108|
|Number of licences granted||4||25||35||50||47|
|Number of birds shot||13||82||99||152||147|
|Goosanders||Number of applications received||0||11||28||24||12|
|Number of licences granted||0||7||0||5||1|
|Number of birds shot||0||39||0||2||3|
|Herons||Number of applications received||6||4||11||16||18|
|Number of licences granted||4||3||2||4||6|
|Number of birds shot||1||4||0||3||5|
Prior to 1994, figures were collated on a calendar year basis.
January to December 1993 January to December 1994 January to December 1995 January to December 1996 January 1997 to date
Total number of applications received for piscivorous birds 33 36 32 48 31
Total number of licences granted for piscivorous birds 33 36 30 41 24
Number of licences granted Cormorants 30 33 22 37 20
Goosanders 19 20 16 21 14
Herons 1 0 0 2 1
Number of birds shot Cormorants 248 205 208 280 173
Goosanders 456 305 339 468 403
Herons 0 0 0 7 8
January to December 1993 January to December 1994 April 1995 to March 1996 April 1996 to March 1997 April 1997 to date
Total number of applications received for piscivorous birds 3 16 12 10 1
Total number of licences granted for piscivorous birds 0 9 12 10 0
Number of birds shot Cormorants 0 3 8 10 0
Goosanders 0 11 13 5 0
Herons 0 0 0 0 0
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