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Her Majesty's Government does not wish to remove people from Montserrat by force. On medical advice, approximately 20 people with special needs have been evacuated since August, and a specially chartered aircraft with 33 others will arrive in the United Kingdom on 7 November. In addition, we are contributing towards new facilities for the elderly and infirm on the island and improving the psychiatric care available.
Sir Kenneth Calman, Chief Medical Officer, noted in his recent report that there was no risk in the north of silicosis from past exposure. Ash levels are affected by rainfall, the level of volcanic activity and wind direction. Falls in the north have been increased since the beginning of August due to explosive activity.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The United States and other sponsors accept that equipment given under the Train and Equip Programme must be consistent with the agreements on transparency and arms control negotiated under Articles II and IV of Annex 1B of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have underlined
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman): Yes. The declaration identifies the objectives of the various interested parties. British Waterways, as navigation authority, is working hard to balance those interests by agreeing a comprehensive management plan with those that have an interest in the canal.
Whether they will delay a decision on ratification of the Port of London Authority's proposals on Pilotage Direction No. 5 until after the review of the Pilotage Act 1987, as it could be seen that items in the proposals are relevant to the review; and
Whether they are aware of the increased risk that the proposed Pilotage Direction No. 5 of the Port of London Authority will place upon the safety and environment of the Thames estuary, particularly in light of the recent incident at the Thames Barrier involving the "Sand Kite".
Baroness Hayman: The Pilotage Act 1987 does not require directions proposed to be made by the Port of London Authority to be ratified by the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. It is for the authority to decide when the directions should come into force. The accident involving the "Sand Kite" is being investigated by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. The authority will no doubt consider whether it has any implications for the Pilotage Directions. I understand that this vessel is already subject to compulsory pilotage while in the authority's jurisdiction, and would continue to be if the new directions are made, and that its master and first mate
Colliery closure areas have benefited from funding from many government and EU regeneration programmes. In particular, the Urban Programme, City Challenge and the Single Regeneration Budget Challenge fund have made significant contributions to those areas seriously affected by colliery closures.
Funding targeted particularly at former coalfield areas includes £120 million from the EU RECHAR programme, and the previous administration's £200 million package of training, employment and regeneration measures aimed at alleviating the effects of the closures announced in 1992. These projects are expected to generate substantial private sector investment.
In 1996, English Partnerships, the Government's regeneration agency, took over 56 former British Coal sites and has announced a 10 year plan of area-wide regeneration, environmental improvement and long-term job creation. It is expected that this will generate over £1 billion of private finance.
The Deputy Prime Minister has recently set up a Coalfields Task Force to take forward his initiative to help former mining communities in England hit by pit closures. The purpose of the task force is to identify and develop a specific programme of action to assist coal
Baroness Hayman: The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) is carrying out a full review of existing mining health and safety legislation under Section 1(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Once the legislative review has been completed, HSC will evaluate the effect of the changes made as a result of the legislative review.
The Traffic Director's office is chairing a group to share traffic data on the effects of the closure. The indications are that traffic appears to have been displaced mainly to routes over the adjacent crossings. The group has found that there is only a limited record of measured flows before the closure. Some guide figures are set out below but information providing a similar comparison for the other specified roads is not available.
|Bridge||Autumn 1994||Autumn 1995||Autumn 1996||March 1997|
|Chiswick||49,715||no data||no data||51,352|
Highway Authority one week counts.
Which category of Benefits Agency employees are not on performance related pay.
10 Nov 1997 : Column WA4
All staff are covered by a performance related pay scheme which directly relates pay increases to individual annual appraisal ratings. These ratings reflect individual work objectives and competencies, which are agreed at the beginning of each appraisal year and which support the business objectives of the Benefits Agency. In addition, junior administrative and support staff are, for their first three years' service, guaranteed to receive increases of at least 5 per cent. as long as their performance is judged to be at least satisfactory.