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The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): As I said in my Written Answer to the noble Lord, Lord Peston, on 23 October (WA 215), the Government hope to issue a consultation paper seeking views on the recommendations contained in the Law Commission Report on Mental Incapacity by the end of this year.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): We would expect NATO allies to concert their positions closely before a meeting with Russia, as before meetings with other third parties. Mrs. Albright's statement made on 10 July to the United States Foreign Relations Committee was in connection with the NATO/Russia Founding Act.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The NATO/Russia Founding Act, signed in Paris on 8 May by all members of NATO and Russia, provided a new framework for consultation with Russia. The NATO/Russia Joint Council gives Russia a strong voice in European security but not a veto in Alliance matters.
Baroness Hayman: The Civil Aviation Authority has responsibility for the economic regulation of airports and made its decision on the future level of airport charges at Manchester Airport in the light of consultation on its proposals based on the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's (MMC) report. The MMC has taken full account of the airport's capital investment programme. The price cap is a matter for the CAA and Ministers therefore have no plans to meet Manchester Airport on this issue.
Baroness Hayman: To date, we have received some 900 representations, of which the majority are pre-printed duplicates. In the consultation document, we informed consultees that we might, if asked, divulge a summary of their responses, but not the actual text. We will not therefore be making the actual responses publicly available. In the light of this undertaking and given the large number of responses, it does not seem appropriate to place copies in the Library but once the response have been analysed we will write to the noble Earl with details of amendments proposed by consultees to the proposals on which we consulted.
Baroness Hayman: A system of single vehicle approval for kit and replica cars has already been provided for under the Motor Vehicles (Approval) Regulations 1996. When these enter fully into effect, each kit and replica car will need to be inspected and approved individually before it is registered and used on the road, whether it is similar to a previous kit or replica car, or whether it is a new design.
It is already an offence under Section 76 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 to supply defective or unsuitable vehicle parts. The standards for vehicle parts are, in turn, prescribed in the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 and the Road Vehicles (Lighting) Regulations 1989. These regulations include the standards required for vehicles subject to Single Vehicle Approval.
Baroness Hayman: We are aware of only one instance where a vehicle was declared in a published document to have been SVA-tested when it had not been examined by the Vehicle Inspectorate. The publisher of the document was informed and took corrective action. Because Single Vehicle Approval requires each example to be tested individually, it is not possible to pass judgment on claims about compliance with the SVA standards until a vehicle has undergone the examination; we shall make this clear if such claims are drawn to our attention.
Baroness Hayman: There are no general statutory controls which apply specifically to the disposal of playing field land for development. However, specific controls may apply in particular circumstances; for example, where a local authority wish to dispose of land under planning or local government legislation at less than the best consideration that can reasonably be obtained, and, in the case of school playing fields, where regulations prescribe minimum area and quality standards.
Bristol City Council submitted an application to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, on 22 October 1997, seeking approval to the disposal of part of the playing fields under Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972. It is for the council to ensure that they comply with any relevant statutory requirements. In particular, they will need to advertise the disposal of open space and to consider objections received before the Secretary of State can consider the application.
Baroness Hayman: The Government are pleased to announce that the Air Quality Regulations 1997 have been laid today. These regulations will set the National Air Quality Strategy objectives in statutory form and initiate the system of local air quality management under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995. My right honourable friend the Minister for the Environment also announced in July that this Government would initiate an immediate review of the National Air Quality Strategy. This review will look at all aspects of the strategy, including the objectives themselves and the measures required to meet them.
At what level they would have expected the organophosphate fenitrothion to have been present in the tent tested by the Laboratory of the Government Chemist (referred to in the letter to the Countess of Mar from the Assistant Private Secretary to the Minister for the Armed Forces dated 9 October 1997) at the time of the tent's purchase in 1993, assuming that it had not been exposed to the elements since the application of the chemical, and at what concentration the chemical would originally have been applied.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): Organophosphate compounds which have been applied to any surface will normally break down over a period of years. The rate at which this process takes place depends on many factors, such as moisture levels, temperatures, acidity or alkalinity, and sunlight. The breakdown process may be delayed if the compounds are used on material that has been treated with a wax finish, as was the case for the tent section tested by the Laboratory of the Government Chemist.
In the absence of any data concerning environmental factors, it is not possible to provide an accurate assessment of the levels of fenitrothion that would have been present on the tent in 1993, or to estimate at what rate fenitrothion would break down under the conditions given in the examples described. There is no evidence, however, that either in 1993, or during the Gulf conflict itself, the health of any individuals has been damaged by their having come into contact with pesticide residues on these tents.
The formulation of the fenitrothion-based pesticide which was made available to British troops during the Gulf conflict was a 40 per cent. emulsion concentrate. One part of this concentrate was diluted with 40 parts water and, when applied to tentage, the diluted solution was used at a rate of approximately 4.5 litres per
100 square metres.
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