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Division No. 2

CONTENTS

Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E. [Teller]
Bridgeman, V.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Dundee, E.
Fookes, B.
Hamwee, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Kingsland, L.
Laird, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Montrose, D.
Northbrook, L.
Norton of Louth, L.
Redesdale, L.
Renton, L.
Roper, L.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Wakeham, L.
Walmsley, B.

NOT-CONTENTS

Ahmed, L.
Andrews, B.
Borrie, L.
Brennan, L.
Brookman, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Crawley, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grantchester, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Layard, L.
Lockwood, B.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Pendry, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rogan, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

9 Mar 2004 : Column 1230

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, I beg to move that further consideration on Report be now adjourned.

Moved accordingly and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

Mersey Tunnels Bill

Bill reported from the Select Committee without amendment and a special report made; the Chairman of Committees directed pursuant to Private Business Standing Order 121(1)(b) that the Bill be not recommitted to an Unopposed Bill Committee; it was ordered that the special report be printed.

        House adjourned at seven minutes past ten o'clock.
Tuesday, 9 March 2004

Written Statements

9 Mar 2004 : Column WS67

Afghanistan: International Counter-narcotics Conference

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The Afghan Government, United Kingdom (UK) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) co-hosted an international counter-narcotics conference on Afghanistan in Kabul on 8–9 February to support implementation of the Afghan national drug control strategy. My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under–Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Bill Rammell) was, in the event, unable to attend, due to planes being unable to land in Kabul because of adverse weather conditions. He was represented by Her Majesty's Ambassador, Rosalind Marsden. Over 300 Afghan and international delegates attended, including 18 Afghan governors and 32 police chiefs as well as officials from all the key Afghan Ministries, representatives from 18 countries, the European Commission, World Bank and Asia Development Bank. President Karzai opened the conference, which was also addressed by Afghan Ministers.

The Government welcome the success of this event, which was the first time that Afghans had gathered at such a high level and in such large numbers to discuss implementation of the Afghan national drug control strategy. The plenary meeting and working group sessions were all chaired by Afghans. Active participation from Afghans from the floor demonstrated increased commitment to the counter narcotics agenda from all parts of the Afghan Government.

The Government fully share the view of those members of the Afghan Government who spoke out forcefully against drugs and agree with President Karzai, who stressed that the drugs trade was damaging Afghanistan's efforts to develop into a secure, stable democracy with a prosperous economy; that it was in the interests of all Afghans to fight against drugs; that Afghanistan needed the help of the international community to win the battle but the Afghan Government were committed to tackling the drugs problem with their own resources also. International speakers also delivered the message that urgent action was required, including tackling corruption.

Conference participants discussed draft action plans in five areas: law enforcement, judicial reform, alternative livelihoods, public awareness and demand reduction. These action plans have been finalised and form part of a final report of the conference to be published by the UNODC and circulated in Afghanistan and beyond. They include work to: increase interdiction activity, for example by increasing the numbers and effectiveness of the

9 Mar 2004 : Column WS68

counter-narcotics police of Afghanistan and mobile detection teams tackle corruption and involvement of officials and commanders in the drugs trade increase resources for programmes with maximum alternative livelihoods impact and support the design and implementation of programmes to fill existing gaps, for example in pro-poor agricultural livelihoods, rural finance, off farm activities and micro/small enterprise development.

The UK remains fully committed to supporting the Afghan Government in implementation of their national drug control strategy, which will in part be secured through delivery of the agreed action plans in key areas. We have committed £70 million over three years for this purpose and will also encourage the participation of other international partners to take on specific activity.

Growth Areas Fund

The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker): Creating sustainable communities: Making it Happen: Thames Gateway and the Growth Areas published in July 2003 announced outline plans for a £164 million package for the three newer growth areas of Ashford, Milton Keynes/South Midlands, and London/Stansted/Cambridge/Peterborough. Commitments were made then to fund individual schemes to a total value of £88 million, and a further £63 million was announced on 14 January this year.

My right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister is announcing today a further £22 million of funding, which will support sustainable growth in the London/Stansted/Cambridge/Peterborough growth area. We are providing these resources to help site assembly and remediation of brownfield land, additional affordable housing and essential infrastructure in the growth area. The inclusion of Peterborough in the area takes into account its history of successful growth and its potential for contributing to the growth area as a whole.

A full list of the further projects that we are supporting will be made available in the House Libraries. They include over £10 million for redevelopment and to enable the more rapid delivery of at least 2,000 new homes in Peterborough. It also includes almost £500,000 to open up the River Roding in Ilford as a green space and improve the local ecological environment, and £1.8 million to kick start a major development at Tottenham Hale, including remodelling the major transport interchange. Other projects will include over £1.2 million for unlocking and improving access to development sites in Walthamstow to provide potential for 500 new homes and jobs.


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