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NATO: Operations with Partners

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Future NATO-led operations may involve forces from partner countries, as they have in Bosnia, by agreement between NATO and the partner concerned. Command and control of any NATO-led operation rests with the NATO military authorities under the political/strategic guidance of the North Atlantic Council. NATO is developing a new framework for NATO-led operations so that partners can be involved in consultation and planning.

FCO Cash and Running Cost Limits

Lord Burlison asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimates, the following changes will be made.

The cash limit for Class II, Vote 1 (Overseas Representation) will be decreased by £10,541,000 from £588,004,000 to £577,463,000. This reduction takes account of negative overseas price movements of £10,500,000. There have also been two transfers from this vote: a transfer of £97,000 to the Department of Transport (Class VI Vote 7) for the provision of marine survey and certification services in the Dependent Territories and a transfer of £140,000 to Class II, Vote 3 to cover a shortfall in funding for the subscription to the BBC World Service Monitoring Service. These have been partially offset by three transfers in: £45,000 from the Cabinet Office (Class XVIII Vote 2), £125,000 from the DTI (Class VI Vote 1) to fund the Invest in Britain Bureau in Hong Kong and £25,000 from the Home Office (Class VII Vote 1) to fund the UK Special Drugs Representative. A token Supplementary of £1,000 has also been taken to increase expenditure and receipts.

The gross running costs limit on Class II, Vote 1 will be increased by £2,059,000 from £510,535,000 to £512,594,000. This increase has been fully offset by increased appropriations in aid.

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The cash limit for Class II, Vote 2 (Other External Relations) will be increased by £29,951,000 from £235,660,000 to £265,611,000. The increase is required to cover UK contributions to certain OSCE, United Nations and WEU Missions of £31,781,000. There are also transfers in of £100,000 from the Ministry of Defence (Class I Vote 1) in respect of their contribution to the Atlantic Council of the UK and £570,000 from the Home Office (Class VII Vote 1) towards certain overseas drug assistance programmes. These increases are partially offset by a reduction of £2,500,000 because of negative overseas price movements.

The cash limit for Class II, Vote 3 has been increased by £2,140,000 from £167,836,000 to £169,976,000. This increase consists of £2,000,000 take-up of capital end year flexibility as announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 14 July 1998 (Official Report, cols. 131 to 136) and a transfer of £140,000 from Class II, Vote 1, as detailed above.

The cash limit for Class II, Vote 4 has been reduced by £349,000 from £97,448,000 to £97,099,000 because of negative overseas price movements of £349,000.

The increases will be offset by transfers or charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.

UN Weaponry Convention

Lord Merlyn-Rees asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the United Kingdom will accept formally Amended Protocol II and Additional Protocol IV to the United Nations Weaponry Convention.[HL1008]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The United Kingdom's letter of acceptance of Amended Protocol II and Additional Protocol IV to the UN Weaponry Convention is being deposited with the UN Secretary General in New York today.

GLA Road Network

Lord Rea asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will announce which roads will make up the Greater London Authority road network for which Transport for London will be the highway and traffic authority; and what role Transport for London will have in relation to planning applications which affect Greater London Authority roads.[HL1005]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): Our White Paper, A Mayor and Assembly for London, made clear that we start from the presumption that the GLA road network should be based on the primary route and red route networks. This base network is made up of some 220 miles of trunk roads and 105 miles of borough roads. We issued a consultation document last summer on whether roads might be added to or deleted from this base network to form the GLA road network. We received 93 responses

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to this consultation exercise. A summary of the responses has been placed in the Library. Copies of individual responses are available from the library of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

We have carefully considered the representations received and we have concluded that there should be some adjustments to the network as envisaged by the White Paper. These are set out in the table below and shown on the two maps which have today been deposited in the Library. In outer London, there are some small adjustments primarily to reflect the construction of new roads. In central London, we propose the addition of roads which act as key distributor routes for the area within the Inner Ring Road.

The resulting network gives Transport for London a clear and coherent set of roads to manage. The Mayor's Integrated Transport Strategy will set the framework within which Transport for London and boroughs will work. It is important that the Mayor, through Transport for London, should be responsible for key roads to help facilitate improved co-ordination in the movement of people and goods. In particular, direct involvement in roads in the central area will help the Mayor ensure there is a balanced approach to accessibility and traffic management not only to and from the City and West End but also for the developing south bank of the Thames.

This GLA road network is broadly the same size as the base network and the transfer of about 220 miles of trunk roads from the Highways Agency to Transport for London represents a significant shift of responsibility from central government.

Subject to parliamentary procedures, we intend that the network will be formally defined by order to come into effect when Transport for London is brought into being. In defining the network, we are minded to include those small sections of side roads which are necessary to ensure that the main road is managed safely and efficiently.

We have looked carefully at the powers Transport for London should have as highway authority in relation to planning applications which affect GLA roads. Our conclusion is that Transport for London should be consulted by the local planning authority where the proposed development would materially affect the volume or type of traffic on a GLA road; require direct access to a GLA road or be likely to prejudice the improvement or construction of a GLA road. We do not envisage that the Mayor should have the power to direct the planning authority over highway related matters.

Additions to base networkDeletions from base network
Adjustment for new roadsNew A13 (West of Heathway to Wennington)Old A13 (West of Heathway to Wennington)
A12 (Hackney Wick-M11 link)A11 (Bow interchange-Green Man Roundabout)
A1203/A1261 (Limehouse Link/Aspen Way)A106 (Lea Interchange-A11 at Leytonstone)
A1020 Royal Docks RoadA117 Woolwich Manor Way (from A13 to A1020)
Deletions of primary routesA307 (Kew Green-Richmond Circus)
A308 (Hampton)
A503 (Waterworks Corner-Tottenham Hale Gyratory)
Additions within the Inner Ring RoadA201 Kings Cross-Elephant and Castle (via Blackfriars Bridge)
A200/A3200/A3036 Tooley Street, St. Thomas Street, Southwark Street, Stamford Street, York Road, Lambeth Palace Road, Albert Embankment
A3211 Tower Hill, Lower and Upper Thames Street, Victoria Embankment
Westminster Bridge
Lambeth Bridge, Millbank (from Vauxhall Bridge to Lambeth Bridge)

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Airline Passengers: Violent and Disruptive Behaviour

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will ask the working group on airline passengers' violent and disruptive behaviour to consider the desirability or otherwise of providing free on-board alcoholic drinks to airline passengers. [HL919]

Lord Whitty: The Government take the problem of violent and disruptive behaviour by airline passengers very seriously; it is not only very unpleasant for other passengers but also has the potential for putting the safety of the aircraft at risk. The first task of the working group is to establish a system to obtain reliable data on the scale and probable causes of disruptive behaviour. Once we have this information, we will be better placed to consider what action, if any, is necessary. However, it is already an offence to be drunk on board an aircraft, and airlines must ensure that their staff are adequately trained to ensure that passengers do not become drunk.

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