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Lord Carter asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Davies of Oldham: Bioethanol from ligno-cellulosic feedstocks offers the prospect of greater environmental benefits than bioethanol from conventional sugar or starch-based crops because the feedstocks can potentially be produced and processed using lower levels of agricultural and energy inputs. The potential to exploit lower-value feedstocks, including waste-streams, also promises a low-cost alternative to conventional biofuels production, as well as offering an environmentally sustainable way of dealing with waste that might otherwise be landfilled or incinerated.

Lord Carter asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What discussions they have held with companies which have the resources to produce in the United Kingdom the amounts of biofuels necessary to meet the European Union guidelines for 2005 and 2010.[HL3900]

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government regularly meet stakeholders with an interest in the development of a biofuels industry in the UK, including representatives of companies with a direct involvement in biofuels production.

Motorways: Congestion and Sensitive Lorry Miles

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Statement on transport investment by the Secretary of State for Transport on 9 July (HC Deb, col. 1175), what is the congestion category attributed to the following motorway sections in the Strategic Rail Authority's Sensitive Lorry Miles; results of analysis, May 2003 and accompanying documentation—(a) M11, junctions 8–9; (b) M1 from M25 to Milton Keynes; (c) M1, M62, A1(M) and M18 in South and West Yorkshire; and (d) M25 three-lane sections.[HL3940]

Lord Davies of Oldham: The congestion categories are:

    (a) low congested; (b) mixture of medium and high congested; (c) predominantly low congested, although stretches of medium and high; and, (d) predominantly medium and high congested. Precise details of the stretches of congestion identified for the sensitive lorry miles on the UK motorway network can be found on the SRA's website,, at:–05–13/motorway–links.xls

Car Insurance

Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the question by the Baroness Oppenheim-Barnes on 23 June (HL Deb, col. 7), whether they will take steps to compel car owners to display a disc certifying that their cars are insured.[HL4004]

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Lord Davies of Oldham: Requiring vehicles to show evidence of being insured by means of a windscreen insurance disc has drawbacks. UK law requires the driver to be insured, rather than the vehicle, and such a disc would not necessarily guarantee that the person behind the wheel was insured to drive that vehicle or was complying with policy conditions. Furthermore, it would be evidence only that somebody had insurance cover for the use of the vehicle when the disc was issued. Such insurance cover is necessary in order to renew the vehicle excise duty disc which is already required to be displayed.

Scottish Peerage Claims: Ministerial Responsibility

Lord Hughes of Woodside asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which Minister now has responsibility for the handling of pre-Union Scottish Peerage claims.[HL4078]

Lord Evans of Temple Guiting: These functions have been exercised by the Secretary of State for Scotland since being transferred from the Home Secretary in 1977. The Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor is now responsible for matters relating to hereditary peerages, and it has therefore been agreed that the non-statutory functions in relation to claims to disputed or dormant pre-Union peerages of Scotland currently held by the Secretary of State for Scotland will transfer to the Lord Chancellor with immediate effect.

The functions include receipt of petitions to the sovereign about claims to uncertain or disputed peerages of Scotland, and petitions for regrant, and reference of such petitions to the appropriate Law Officers for advice.

The role of the Advocate-General for Scotland as the appropriate Law Officer remains unchanged.

Post-16 Full-time Students

Lord Quirk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    With respect to each of the following in England and Wales:

    (a) comprehensive schools;

    (b) secondary modern schools;

    (c) grammar schools;

    (d) independent schools;

    (e) sixth form colleges; and

    (f) further education colleges what is the percentage (and what is the total number) of post-16 full-time students attending.[HL3894]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The numbers and percentages of 16 to 18 year-olds participating in full-time education by

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institution type, for end 2001 in England (provisional figures; as at end of calendar year), are set out in the table.

Participation in full-time education by 16 to 18 year-olds in England, end 2001

Institution TypeNumberPercentage (of population)
All schools407,10021.9
Secondary modern7,0000.4
Sixth form colleges116,6006.3
Further education colleges377,50020.3
Higher education institutions131,5007.1

(2) Includes special schools and technical schools.

Source: DfES statistical first release 16/2002 and annual schools census (January 2002).

Note: Population data do not include any revisions following the 2001 Census.

The information requested for Wales is a devolved matter for the Welsh Assembly.

Government Economic Services: Salary Costs

Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord McIntosh of Haringey on 23 June (WA 5), why the annual salary cost of the 800 economists employed by the Government Economic Services is not held centrally.[HL3945]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey): The Government Economic Service does not hold the information centrally because there is no operational need to do so. Economists are employed by individual government departments and their salaries are determined by their departments.

European Capital of Culture 2008

Baroness Nicol asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made in building on the ideas submitted as bids in the competition for European Capital of Culture 2008.[HL4153]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Further to the Prime Minister's response to the honourable Member for Cardiff North, in another place on 4 June, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and her ministerial colleagues have now visited or met all the cities that were shortlisted in the bidding process for the title of European Capital of Culture 2008 and discussed their plans with them. We want to build on the momentum generated by the Capital of Culture process and it is clear there is considerable interest in the cities in doing so. Yesterday, my right honourable friend discussed ideas

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with representatives of all 12 cities that took part in the bidding. We had hoped to make a ministerial statement on detailed proposals before the summer recess but the cities indicated that they would like more time and my right honourable friend will now make the statement in the autumn.

Council for Science and Technology: Quinquennial Review

Baroness Hilton of Eggardon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the outcome of the quinquennial review of the Council for Science and Technology.[HL4083]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The Office of Science and Technology undertook a quinquennial review of the Council for Science and Technology in 2002. I received the final report of the review in December 2002.

The Government broadly accept the recommendations of the review. Further work was however needed to decide how it should be followed up. That work is now complete. Copies of the final report of the review, together with details of the Government's plans for CST's future, have today been laid in the Library of the House and published on OST's website (

Among other things, the Government have revised CST's terms of reference to make clearer the broad, cross-cutting nature of its remit. CST's new terms of reference are:

To advise the Prime Minister 1 on the strategic policies and framework for:

    sustaining and developing science, engineering and technology (SET) in the UK, and promoting international co-operation in SET;

    fostering the practice and perception of science, engineering and technology as an integral part of the culture of the UK;

    promoting excellence in SET education;

    making more effective use of research and scientific advice in the development and delivery of policy and public services across Government; and

    promoting SET-based innovation in business and the public services to promote the sustainable development of the UK economy, the health and quality of life of UK citizens, and global sustainable development.

The council will work on cross-cutting issues of strategic importance, taking a medium to longer-term approach. In developing its advice it will take into account the cultural, economic, environmental, ethical and social context of developments in SET.


    And possibly the First Ministers of the Devolved Administrations, depending on the outcome of discussions with those Administrations.

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