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The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): Consultation on Who Decides? closed on 31 March 1998. The Government will be considering the responses carefully. It is too soon to give any indication about the timing of any legislation which might result from this consultation or that conducted recently in Scotland.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): The small arms bullets used by UK forces during the Gulf conflict did not contain depleted uranium (DU) and, as far as the Ministry of Defence is aware, neither did the bullets used by any of our Coalition partners.
Some Royal Navy ships were equipped with 20mm ammunition containing DU for the Phalanx close-in weapon system, which was not used during the Gulf conflict except for some rounds fired for proving purposes. The British Army's Challenger tanks were equipped with CHARM 1 120mm armour-piercing rounds which had a DU core, and the MoD's current assessment is that fewer than 100 such rounds were fired during the land campaign in which 1 (UK) Armoured Division successfully engaged and destroyed a number of Iraqi formations.
Lord Gilbert: Training has been provided in the UK to members of the Turkish armed forces, as is normal practice between NATO nations. Currently, there are 12 members of the Turkish armed forces on courses in the UK, at a cost of some £200,000.
Lord Gilbert: I am pleased to announce that, together with Germany and France, we intend to develop and produce a family of armoured utility vehicles to meet the requirements of all three nations. The UK needs these vehicles to replace FV430, Saxon and Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) utility vehicles. We plan to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the joint programme, known in the UK as the Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle, MRAV, covering development and initial production of a total of 600 vehicles. Subject to the completion of the national approvals processes in Germany and France and the negotiation of satisfactory contract terms and conditions, it is intended to place a contract with Eurokonsortium, a consortium including GKN Defence Ltd from the UK, Krauss-Maffei/Wegmann and MAK from Germany, and GIAT from France.
This programme will be managed within the quadrilateral Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation, known as OCCAR, and represents a major collaboration with our European allies. Collaboration will bring a number of benefits, including improved interoperability and financial savings, through sharing of development costs and economies of scale in production. The project also offers UK industry the opportunity to strengthen its links with the leading companies in the European armoured vehicles industry.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given today by the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr. Doug Henderson, to a Private Notice Question asked in another place by Mr. Robert MacLennan MP.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman): We have decided to restructure the London Transport Board, bringing in a part-time non-executive chairman. The present chairman of London Transport (LT), Peter Ford, who is a full-time executive chairman, has therefore been asked to vacate the chairman's job. Mr. Ford will therefore leave LT today.
We would like to pay tribute to the commitment Peter Ford has shown to London Transport over the past three and a half years. His period as chairman has seen a marked increase in the number of passengers using the Underground and the London buses, reaching record levels. There has also been a major improvement in the financial performance of both businesses, and of LT as a whole, such that LT now makes a substantial contribution to its investment programme. Peter Ford has been an untiring advocate for London Transport, and his contribution to thinking and debate about the future has been significant. We are grateful to him, and wish him well for the future.
The changes we are making will cover the period during which we will be implementing the London Underground Public Private Partnership which was announced last month, and the run up to the creation of the Greater London Authority. We have concluded that the best arrangement will be to move to a new senior management structure. We shall be announcing new appointments to the LT Board in due course. Mr. Brian Appleton, currently non-executive vice-chairman of the LT Board, has agreed to act as chairman until a permanent appointment can be made.
Baroness Hayman: "Willingness to pay" is a useful concept which can provide valuations of environmental impacts or other changes for which there is no readily observed market price. In some cases it underpins the
Baroness Hayman: The information requested is shown in the following table. The figures include all casualties and accidents occurring at, or within 20 metres of, the junction of the A.5, Edgware Road with the B.461, Whitchurch Lane and the A.5100, Station Road.
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