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Vehicle Excise Duty: Exempt Historic Vehicles

Lord Brabazon of Tara asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: The figures are as follows:

Exempt historic vehicles

NumberCost of exemption (£)
1995 120,00026,760,000
1996 278,00061,994,000
1997 326,00072,698,000
1998 352,00078,496,000
1999 354,00078,942,000


Numbers licensed at the end of year in the exempt historic tax class.

Cost of exemption is based on average licence levels for 1999.

The totals are cumulative i.e. many vehicles will appear in the figures for more than one year.

Lord Brabazon of Tara asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: Vehicle licensing data are supplied to DETR on a quarterly basis by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. The most recent available data are for the end of June 2000. The number of vehicles first registered in each year and which are currently licensed and paying vehicle excise duty is as follows:

    1973 22,780

    1974 21,575

    1975 22,016

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Regional Government

Lord Patten asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they intend to create elected regional assemblies in England. [HL4582]

Lord Whitty: The Government remain committed to move to directly-elected regional government in England, where there is a demand for it, as demonstrated in referendums.

Trunk Road Improvement

Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in the light of the substantially increased investment levels set out in their 10-year plan, they will announce further additions to the targeted programme of trunk road improvements. [HL4365]

Lord Whitty: At the time of the Roads Review in July 1998 we decided to take forward consideration of the A63 Melton Grade Separated Junction in Yorkshire. We can now confirm that following further work, including a full appraisal, and consultation with the regional planning body, the scheme has been added to the targeted programme of improvements. By removing three existing junctions the scheme will improve safety and reduce delays. It will also facilitate access to enable regeneration of a large area of brownfield land to the south of the A63 on the banks of the Humber. Draft orders for the scheme were published on 17 October.

Further additions to the programme will in general depend on the outcome of studies commissioned as a result of the Roads Review and priorities identified in the course of development of regional transport strategies within the context of regional planning guidance.

However, if the objectives of investment in trunk roads under the 10-year plan are to be delivered, it is important that we make some immediate progress. Therefore, we have initiated consultations with regional planning bodies to consider possible targeted improvements to tackle problems on those parts of the core trunk road network not being considered within a study. As part of this exercise we will also consider whether decisions can be taken on taking forward some targeted improvements within the areas covered by studies without prejudicing the strategic context of the study in question or the emerging regional transport strategy. Specific proposals for improvements will be evaluated using the new approach to appraisal to ensure they are consistent with our transport criteria of safety, economy, environmental impact, accessibility and integration. We will make an announcement about the outcome of this exercise in the spring.

We can also confirm that work on the programme of 100 early action schemes to tackle localised safety and congestion problems on the trunk road network announced at the time of the 10-year plan has begun.

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Copies of a leaflet showing the locations of these schemes have been placed in the Library.

Conjoined Twins: Medical Procedures

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the statement issued by St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, that "despite all the efforts of the medical team" to save the life of the conjoined twin, Mary, they were unable to do so, whether they will say what these efforts consisted of. [HL4578]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): In view of issues around patient confidentiality together with the wishes of the parents, I will write to the noble Lord setting out the information he has requested.

Tate Gallery: Spoliation Advisory Panel

Baroness Anelay of St. Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What advice they have received from the Spoliation Advisory Panel with regard to the progress the panel has achieved. [HL4557]

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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The panel has considered the evidence put to it by both the Tate and the claimant and is in the course of finalising its recommendation to Ministers. It is anticipated that this should be completed early in December.

House of Lords: Standards of Conduct Report

Lord Tomlinson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect to receive the Seventh Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life. [HL4691]

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): I am pleased to announce that the Seventh Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, entitled Standards of Conduct in the House of Lords, is published today by the committee. Copies are available in the Printed Paper Office, and the Libraries.

The recommendations in the report are for the House to consider. The Government welcome the report and hope and expect that the House of Lords will give it the serious consideration that it deserves.

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