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Greater Manchester: New Deal for Communities

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: Detailed proposals for the New Deal for Communities are now being developed by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Chancellor, working closely with other key Ministers and the Social Exclusion Unit. No decisions have yet been taken about the location of pathfinder areas or the timing of further announcements.

Development in Conservation Areas

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: Proposals for development to, or in the grounds of, a listed building which would help secure the building's upkeep and use must be decided in accordance with development plans produced by local authorities, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Guidance on works affecting listed buildings is given in Planning Policy Guidance Note 15, Planning and the Historic Environment. This explains that, in considering whether to grant planning permission for development which affects a listed building, local authorities are under a duty to have special regard to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest. PPG15 also refers to the duty on authorities, when exercising planning functions, to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of a conservation area. We have no plans to amend this guidance.

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Motorway Fencing

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are still recommending the use of three or more wooden rails in motorway fencing; at what cost; and on whose advice this is based.[HL2011]

Baroness Hayman: The use of timber post and four rail fences is still recommended for motorway boundary fencing. It is preferred over other fence types because of its general appearance, long life span and relative ease of repair following damage. The average national cost as at the second quarter 1997 is £9.50 per linear metre. Historically, types of timber post and rail fences are derived from agricultural use and have been developed for motorways. They are specified in the Manual of Contract Documents for Highway Works, Volume 1, Specification for Highway Works, and detailed in Volume 3, Highway Construction Details. They broadly comply with the British Standard BS1722--Fences.

Youth Justice Measures: Pilot Schemes

Lord Plant of Highfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have identified areas to pilot the new youth justice measures and the procedural changes to reduce delays in youth and adult cases contained in the Crime and Disorder Bill.[HL2097]

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): We have identified nine areas in which, in principle, we would like to pilot the new youth justice measures contained in the Crime and Disorder Bill. These measures are the final warning scheme; the reparation order, action plan order, child safety order and parenting order; and youth offending teams.

Four areas have been identified to pilot all of these measures. This will demonstrate how the new powers operate together and how the youth offending team structure can best deliver the associated intervention work. The four areas are the London Boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster (jointly); Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight (jointly); Wolverhampton; and Sheffield.

Five areas have been identified to pilot the child safety order and parenting order, together with youth offending teams. This will ensure that we have sufficient information to evaluate the operation of these two orders. the five areas are the London Borough of Lewisham; Luton and Bedfordshire (jointly); Devon; St. Helens; and Sunderland.

We shall be undertaking further detailed work in these nine areas with a view to establishing a pilot project from October 1998. The pilots will operate for a period of 18 months. They will help develop good practice and allow us to assess the costs and savings which nation-wide implementation will involve. The pilots will

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inform decisions over the timing of full implementation of these measures.

We are also considering how we might best support other areas, including those others which expressed interest in taking part in the pilots, in planning and developing their arrangements for youth offending teams and the other youth justice measures.

In addition, six areas have been identified to pilot procedural changes recommended by the Review of Delay in the Criminal Justice System, some of which are contained in the Crime and Disorder Bill. These are expected to reduce delays in youth and adult cases. The pilots are being organised under the auspices of the Trials Issues Group and they will also be used to inform the setting of statutory time limits in due course for both youth and adult cases. The six areas are Tyneside; Croydon; Blackburn and Burnley; Northamptonshire; North Staffordshire; and North Wales. Two of these areas--Blackburn and Northamptonshire--will also operate the final warning scheme and youth offending teams, since these arrangements will have an effect on speed through the system and procedures in young offender cases.

Sir Iain Glidewell's Review of the Crown Prosecution Service supports the changes which are to be piloted and proposes some further changes which he recommends should be incorporated in the pilots. The Government will be considering how best to take this forward.

These pilots reflect the Government's determination to test innovative and effective ways of delivering services and programmes across government departments and agencies. Experience from these pilots and other area-based initiatives will help to ensure that new measures are implemented effectively at local level.

Who Decides?: Consultation Response

Lord Ashbourne asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many replies to the Consultation Document Who Decides? (Cm 3803) have been received from organisations, and how many from individuals.[HL2024]

The Lord Chancellor: Replies to Who Decides? have been received from 246 organisations and 4,104 individuals. Lists of those who have responded have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Grammar School Admission: Ballot Arrangements

Lord Desai asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What arrangements will be made, under the School Standards and Framework Bill, for the conduct of parental ballots on the admission arrangements of grammar schools.[HL2082]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The department has today issued draft regulations for

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consultation which detail how parents will be able to petition and ballot over the future of grammar schools' selective admission arrangements. We are issuing at the same time the associated draft order designating grammar schools. Copies of the draft regulations and order are being sent to all grammar schools, all local education authorities, and a number of representative national organisations, seeking comments by 31 July. Copies have also been placed in the Library.

EU Nationals: Medical Treatment in Other Member States

Lord Jenkin of Roding asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What effect, if any, the judgments of the European Court of Justice in the cases of Nicholas Decker v. Caisse de Maladie des Employes Prives (Case C-120/95) and Raymond Kohll v. Union des Caisses de Maladie, whereby it has been held that Community nationals may obtain medical treatment in another member state and be reimbursed by their home state, will have on NHS patients and private patients in the United Kingdom.[HL1938]

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington): These were judgments on two cases brought to the European Court of Justice concerning respectively the purchase of spectacles and access to orthodontic treatment in other member states by two persons insured in Luxembourg. The Luxembourg authorities refused to reimburse the litigants the costs involved, up to the levels applying in Luxembourg, on the grounds that a national law requiring prior authorisation by the national authorities had not been complied with. The Court found that the national legislation in question contravened the rights concerning free movement of goods and freedom to provide services contained in the Treaty establishing the European Community. Under European Community regulations, nationals of a European Union member state may already, under certain conditions, obtain medical treatment in another member state, and have the costs covered by their home country according to the terms applying in the host state. We are considering the implications of these two cases for these regulations and for United Kingdom practice.

HIV/AIDS: Advice to Government

Earl Baldwin of Bewdley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    On what basis they take community-based advice on HIV/AIDS from an organisation called the United Kingdom Coalition of People Living with HIV/AIDS; whether this organisation is not a coalition but a private limited company which represents only a small minority of diagnosed people; and what plans they have to take advice on HIV/AIDS from a wider spectrum of community-based expertise, including

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    those organisations which question the traditional view of aetiology and treatment.[HL1985]

Baroness Jay of Paddington: The Government take advice on HIV/AIDS from a wide range of organisations and individuals and value the contribution they and others have made to the fight against HIV and AIDS.

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