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26 Oct 1998 : Column WA189

Written Answers

Monday, 26th October 1998.

Diabetic Pen Needles

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Jay of Paddington on 25 February (WA 99), when they will announce a decision on whether pen needles for diabetics are to be available on prescription.[HL3461]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman): We hope to be in a position to do so shortly.

Specialist Medical Training: Evaluation of Reforms

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Who, within the Joint Centre for Education in Medicine, has primary responsibility for the national evaluation of the Calman reforms of specialist medical training; and [HL3471]

    Whether they will publish interim reports of the national evaluation of the Calman reforms of specialist medical training.[HL3472]

Baroness Hayman: Professor Janet Grant, Director of the Joint Centre for Education in Medicine, has primary responsibility for the national evaluation of the Calman reforms of specialist medical training.

The Government have no plans to publish interim reports of the evaluation of the reforms. However the Joint Centre for Education in Medicine's final report to the Department of Health will be made widely available.

Gulf War Health Research Independent Panel

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many times the independent panel of the Ministry of Defence for interactions between vaccines and NAPS (Nerve Agent pre-treatment Sets) has met and when it last met.[HL3444]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): The independent panel set up to oversee the MoD's research programme investigating the possible adverse health effects of the combination of vaccines and tablets which were given to troops during Operation Granby to protect them against biological and chemical warfare agents has, so far, met on two occasions: on 18 December 1997 and on 24 February 1998.

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Archaeological Remains: Protection

Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their response to Monuments at Risk Survey of England 1945-95 recently published by Bournemouth University and English Heritage; and what is their reaction to the estimate that 24 per cent. of all monuments in South-East England have been destroyed over the past 50 years.[HL3361]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government take seriously the findings of the survey. It provides invaluable information about the state of England's archaeological heritage, and the threats it faces. English Heritage has responded very positively by publishing a number of measures which it is committed to implement. The Government's Planning Policy Guidance Note on archaeology and planning (PPG 16) sets out a framework for addressing the threat to archaeology caused by development, which the survey highlighted. PPG 16, and the possible need for additional legislative and financial measures, will be kept under review in the light of continuing discussions with English Heritage and other relevant government departments.

Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they are taking to enforce the law prohibiting metal-detection on scheduled ancient monuments and to prevent metal detecting in World Heritage areas.[HL3362]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Permission to use a metal detector on a scheduled ancient monument is granted only in rare circumstances, normally as part of a programme of authorised archaeological investigation under expert supervision. This applies also to scheduled ancient monuments within those World Heritage Sites which have archaeological importance.

Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proportion of England is covered by pilot schemes to promote the voluntary recording of archaeological finds by portable antiquities liaison officers; and whether the county of Sussex is currently served by such a liaison officer.[HL3360]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: At present the six pilot schemes to promote the voluntary recording of archaeological objects cover about one third of England; bids have been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund to extend the schemes to a further four areas within England and the whole of Wales from January 1999. Sussex is not at present served by a finds liaison officer, nor will it be included within the planned extension of the scheme.

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Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What advice they have recently given to Chief Executives of Councils in Sussex on council-owned land; and what advice the Department for Culture, Media and Sport sought from English Heritage, the Council for British Archaeology and from the Standing Conference on Portable Antiquities and the British Museum on this matter.[HL3359]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: In June the former Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Mr. Fisher, wrote to Chief Executives of councils in Sussex and Lincolnshire regarding their policies relating to the use of metal detectors on council-owned land and suggesting that they send representatives to a meeting with him to discuss the issue. Advice was obtained from English Heritage before the letter was sent; the issue was also raised in advance with the Council for British Archaeology's Portable Antiquities Working Group and the British Museum. Following responses received to the letter, the department will be giving further consideration to this issue before arranging any meetings.

Red Route Scheme

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish in the Official Report, for each red route scheme, the average speed before and after implementation of each scheme of:

    (a) all traffic

    (b) buses; and[HL3402]

    Whether they will publish in the Official Report, for each red route scheme, changes in traffic volumes from before and after the implementation of the scheme.[HL3403]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): The information is not available in the form requested. Monitoring the operation of the red route network is the responsibility of the Traffic Director for London, who was established under the Road Traffic Act 1991 to oversee the development and introduction of the red route initiative, which seeks to improve the operation of London's main roads. He has a duty under the Act to monitor the operation of the 320 miles of red route which the Secretary of State for Transport has designated. The monitoring seeks to identify statistically reliable network-wide changes in conditions arising from the introduction of the new measures; this is not undertaken on a link by link basis. The director annually publishes two reports, Retail Monitoring and Traffic Monitoring, copies of which have been placed in the Library.

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Synthetic Pyrethroid Pollution of Watercourses

Lord Onslow of Woking asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many cases of synthetic pyrethroid pollution of watercourses in England and Wales have been reported to the appropriate authorities since 1 January 1998.[HL3416]

Lord Whitty: Thirteen confirmed cases of pollution of rivers and streams in England and Wales by synthetic pyrethroids were reported to the Environment Agency in the period 1 January-16 October 1998. Final statistics for 1998 will be available early in 1999.

Parking Controls and Stolen Vehicles

Lord Brabazon of Tara asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in view of the increasing number of controlled parking zones being introduced in London and elsewhere, they will ensure that registration numbers of vehicles receiving parking tickets and other such notices are checked with the stolen vehicle register.[HL3406]

Lord Whitty: The police and local authorities in England and Wales issue some 5.8 million parking tickets each year. It would not be practical to check each of these vehicles against the stolen vehicle register. However, where a police traffic warden in London considers that a vehicle looks suspicious--from its condition, for example--then the necessary checks can be made. Outside London it is a matter for the relevant police authority and the few local authorities that have taken on decriminalised parking enforcement powers to develop their own policies in this area.

Jubilee Line Station Openings

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is still planned to open all stations of the Jubilee Line simultaneously in spring 1999; and, if not, whether they will give their estimate of the date of opening of the whole Jubilee Line, or sections of the line, and each station on the line.[HL3429]

Lord Whitty: The Jubilee Line is planned to open in three phases.

Phase one will open the extension between Stratford and North Greenwich in late spring 1999. This section includes four stations: Stratford, West Ham, Canning Town and North Greenwich.

Phase two will follow in late summer. This section will include six stations: Canary Wharf, Canada Water, Bermondsey, London Bridge, Southwark and Waterloo.

The third and final phase will complete the extended line by linking Waterloo with the existing line at Green Park in autumn 1999.

26 Oct 1998 : Column WA193

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