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Culmore Landfill Site

Lord Moran asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Dubs): Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Environment and Heritage Service under its Chief Executive, Mr. Robert C. Martin. His reply is given below.

Letter to Lord Moran from the Chief Executive of the Environment and Heritage Service, Mr. Robert C. Martin, dated 18 March 1999.

As Chief Executive of the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) I am responsible for the operational aspects of nature conservation and environmental protection including statutory responsibilities under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995. I have been asked to take the lead in providing a reply.

Following a number of meetings between officials from the Department and Derry City Council, the Council agreed to forego its planning consent to extend its landfill site at Culmore on to mudflats that are within the Lough Foyle Area of Special Scientific Interest and are now also included in the area classified as a Special Protection Area.

By agreeing new profiles for existing landfilled areas it has been possible to offset the capacity that would be lost to the Council as a consequence of it ceasing to tip on the mudflats. The Council has agreed to this reconfiguration of the landfill site which ensures a facility for its domestic refuse while it reviews its long-term waste management strategy.

In due course EHS will explore with the Council the possibility of removing the bunds which are no longer required from the mudflats as part of the landfill site's closure plan. The Department is of the view that it does not have the authority to insist that the Council removes the bunds as they were constructed under a valid planning consent before the area became a European site under the meaning given in the Conservation Regulations.

Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty: Destruction of Nuclear Warheads

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Hoyle: Both the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, SALT 1, which entered into force in 1972, and SALT 2, which was signed in 1979 but never ratified, sought to limit long-range strategic ballistic missiles rather than warheads. They imposed no separate limits on the number of warheads themselves and there are, therefore, no provisions to account for the destruction of nuclear warheads by the United States, the then Soviet Union or Russia, whether under national initiatives or their bilateral arms control agreements. We are, however, confident that the US and Russia have dismantled a large number of nuclear warheads from their previous strategic and non-strategic nuclear arsenals. Both have declared very large amounts of surplus fissile material from this source in recent years. All the nuclear weapons deployed in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus on the collapse of the Soviet Union have been returned to Russia for destruction and these three states have joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon states.

Menwith Hill: US Forces

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether all United States activities carried on at Menwith Hill are in full accordance with (a) United Kingdom sovereignty and United Kingdom domestic law; (b) all relevant European Union law; (c) international law; and (d) United States domestic law, including law relating to data protection.[HL1293]

Lord Hoyle: The United States Visiting Forces authorities, including those at RAF Menwith Hill, are required to respect the laws of this country.

Iraq: Rules of Engagement

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have a new agreement with the United States and Turkey (as reported in the International Herald Tribune, 3 March) on "technical rules of engagement in the north of Iraq which will give pilots even greater flexibility to decide when to fire their weapons".[HL1419]

Lord Hoyle: The conduct of military operations is circumscribed by the provisions of international and national law. Rules of engagement (RoE) define the degree and manner in which force may be applied and are designed to ensure that such application of force is carefully controlled. My noble friend will understand why, in order to avoid providing Iraq with information that might make it easier to harm our service personnel, I am not prepared to divulge further details.

The RoE for coalition aircraft patrolling the northern and southern no-fly zones over Iraq have been tailored to reflect the escalation by Saddam Hussein in his systematic attacks and threats to coalition aircraft. They allow coalition pilots to defend themselves properly

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against Saddam's attacks by allowing them to target not just anti-aircraft batteries and missile sites but also other elements of the Iraqi integrated air defence system that directly control the attacks on our aircraft.

Millennium Experience: Ticket Prices

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What will the ticket prices be for the Millennium Experience at Greenwich.[HL1621]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): The New Millennium Experience company (NMEC) has today announced the pricing structure for entrance to the Millennium Experience at Greenwich. I have placed the full text of the NMEC's news release in the Libraries of the House.

Prices for the Millennium Experience at the dome were confirmed as:

Group Rates:
"Family Five" ticket: (2 adults + 3 children or 1 adult + 4 children)£57.00 @ £11.40 each
Senior Citizens Group (of 15 or more)£12.00 each
Adult Groups (of 15 or more)£17.50 each
Individual Rates:
Single adult£20.00 each
Children under 5Free of charge
Children ages 5 to 15 inclusive£16.50 each
Student card holders£16.50 each
Senior Citizens£18.00 each
J540 holders£12.00 each
Education Rates:
Student group/college group visits£14.50 each
School visits (all ages)£8.00 each
Education Tours Scheme for Schools (ages 8 to 16)Free of Charge*

* As part of the NMEC's pricing strategy, up to 1 million free tickets will be made available for children through the Education Tours Scheme for schools and attractive discounts will be available for families and groups.

The NMEC has announced the prices seven months ahead of tickets going on sale to the public to allow the travel industry to finalise its prices. The NMEC is also in detailed negotiations with rail and coach operators about discounted travel to the dome. National Express coach operators have confirmed that they are proposing to offer, subject to negotiation, a discount travel deal offering a combined return coach tickets and admission to the dome for £29.99 from anywhere in England, Scotland or Wales.

The Government agree with the NMEC that these prices represent value for money and will enable the company to achieve its forecast 12 million visitors to what will be the largest concentration of educational, inspirational and entertaining attractions under one roof anywhere in the world during 2000.

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Government Departments: Sponsorship

Lord Norton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which government departments do not use sponsorship to publicise and promote the Government's policies.[HL1377]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: This Government are keen to encourage the involvement of the private sector in sponsorship of government activities wherever appropriate. A decision on whether to seek private sector sponsorship for specific events is a matter for individual departments.

Scottish Parliament Election Campaign: Rules for Special Advisers

Lord Monro of Langholm asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What rules have been laid down for the special advisers to the Secretary of State for Scotland during the election campaign for the Scottish Parliament; and from what date they will apply.[HL1404]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Guidance has been issued to all civil servants, including special advisers, setting out the ground rules for their role and conduct during the run-up to elections for the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. The guidance comes into force on 13 April. Copies of the guidance have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Peers: Appointments to Public Bodies

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which Members of the House of Lords have been appointed to public bodies since the 1997 general election.[HL1492]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: This information is not held centrally in this format. The Public Appointments Unit maintains an Internet directory of public appointments (at, updated twice a year, which lists current members of public bodies.

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