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Written Answers

Friday, 7th December 2001.

Patient Information Advisory Group

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will establish the Patient Information Advisory Group under Section 61 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001.[HL1911]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Patient Information Advisory Group has now been established. The membership of the advisory group is as follows:

Chairman:Professor Joan Higgins
Members: Dr Michael Catchpole Professor Sir Cyril Chantler Dr Tricia Cresswell Mrs Helen Darracott Professor Andrew Haines Mr Michael Hake Ms Barbara Meredith Ms Helen Miller Ms Julia Palca Professor Sir Denis Pereira Mrs Shahwar Sadeque Ms Karen Thomson Dr Michael Wilks

The first meeting of the advisory group will take place on 10 December, and it is intended that the meeting will focus on applications to support activities related to communicable disease control, the work of disease and other registries, and occupational health and safety, but will also consider a range of possible support for much wider research and public health activity. It is also intended that the first applications for Section 60 support will be subject to consultation.

Railways: Professional Advice

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answers by Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 16 October (WA 90), 30 October (WA 155-156) and 14 November (WA 91), in respect of each contract for professional advice valued at over £250,000 for work undertaken in the last two years and let by either the Strategic Rail Authority, the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority or the Office of Passenger Franchising, what is the name of the company, the scope of the work, the value of the contract and the timetable.[HL1461]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Since November 1999 the following

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contracts for professional advice with a value over £250,000, have been let by these organisations.

ConsultantProject Contract value (excluding VAT) Time table
LazardStrategic Financial advice Retainer basis and individual project negotiated fees. Total value approximately £1,000,000 Current contract
AEATPerformance Renegotiation £389,000 Ended March 2001
KPMGFinancial adviser to the SRA £5,500,000 On going
Booz Allen & HamiltonTranspenine Technical consultants£344,000 On going
Arup transport consultingWales & Borders Technical consultants£310,000 On going
Booz Allen & HamiltonConnex South Central Renegotiation consultants £475,000 On going
BabtieCTRL Technical advisers >£50,000 On going
BabtieEast London line project extension £1,238,000 Ends April 2002
Booz Allen & Hamilton1st Great Western Rolling stock study>£50,000 On going
Booz Allen & HamiltonWest Coast Route Modernisation £525,000 Ends approx 2005
MantixOrganisational Development £270,000 Ended March 01
InterfleetMark 1 Replacement£109,000 YTDOn going

NMEC: Cardew & Co

Lord Northbrook asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the sole shareholder of the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) first became aware of payments by that company to Cardew & Co; and what payments have been made by NMEC to Cardew & Co (a) before 31 December 2000 and (b) since 31 December 2000.[HL1530]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The appointment of Cardew & Co is a matter for the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC). I was made aware by NMEC on 19 October 2000 of the arrangements for the use of Cardew & Co. Payments made to Cardew & Co total £207,591 to the end of the year 2000 and £132,064 to 30 September 2001.

National Air Traffic Services

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What consideration they are giving to the position of National Air Traffic Services in the light of the revenue crisis experienced by airlines since

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    11 September; and what action, if any, they will be taking.[HL1614]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and the Airline Group are finalising their assessment of the impact of the events of 11 September on NATS's business. The Government are about to receive NATS's business plan and we shall consider any financial proposals it may contain.

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are confident that National Air Traffic Services is able to operate effectively without additional government funding or without renegotiating agreements made at the time of privatisation.[HL1723]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and the Airline Group are finalising their assessment of the impact of the events of 11 September on NATS's business. The Government are about to receive NATS's business plan and we shall consider any financial proposals it may contain.

Railtrack: Infrastructure Maintenance

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action has been taken to ensure Railtrack is devoting sufficient management and staff resources to maintenance and renewal of the infrastructure while it is in administration.[HL1739]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The management of Railtrack plc during administration is a matter for the administrator. The Government are providing adequate funding to enable the administrator to discharge his responsibilities and have stressed to him the importance they place on these matters.

Pedestrian Protection

Viscount Simon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What responses they have had to their consultation document on pedestrian protection and from which organisations; what proportion of the responses favoured each of the solutions; and what were the criteria they used to make their choice.[HL1791]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: There were a total of 42 formal responses to the consultation exercise. A list of those who responded, together with a summary of the responses, has been placed in the Library. The full responses can be viewed, by prior appointment, at the DTLR Library, Ashdown House, 123 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6DE (telephone 020 7944 6107).

The consultation paper sought views on issues arising from the European Commission's proposal to make a negotiated agreement on pedestrian protection

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with car manufacturers. Other solutions were not examined. Of the consultees who commented on the principle of the negotiated agreement, some 52 per cent were generally in favour, while 34 per cent were not.

We have decided to support the negotiated approach because we believe it offers the quickest route to introducing worthwhile pedestrian protection into car design.

Foot and Mouth: Illegal Movement of Animals

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many cases of foot and mouth disease were traced to illegal movement of animals; how many prosecutions for illegal movement of animals were instigated; and how many of these prosecutions were successful during the recent outbreak.[HL1580]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs receives regular reports from local authorities on enforcement activity relating to the foot and mouth outbreak. Information for the period up to 10 October indicates that there have been 18 convictions obtained by local authorities across Great Britain for offences involving the illegal movements of animals. The courts have imposed penalties in the form of fines of varying amounts on those responsible. These figures do not include cases which have not yet reached a conclusion through the courts, or where prosecutions were brought and no conviction obtained, or which were dealt with by the local authority by means other than prosecution; for example, by formal or informal cautions for which DEFRA does not have statistics.

Aarhus Convention

Lord Harrison asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their response to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters (the Aarhus Convention).[HL1626]

Lord Whitty: The Government strongly support the Aarhus Convention and signed the treaty when it opened for signature in 1998. The three underlying principles of transparency, participation and access to justice are central to achieving sustainable development. The majority of the convention is already implemented in the UK although some

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legislative amendments will be necessary, in particular to the public access to environmental information regime. The Government intend to ratify the convention as soon as possible although the exact date is dependent on the legislative timetables of the devolved administrations.

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