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Earl Peel asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): Article 11 of the Berne Convention requires contracting parties to control strictly the introduction of non-native species. But grey squirrels have been present in Great Britain since the end of the 19th century and were already widespread by the time the UK ratified the convention in 1982.

Article 8(h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity indicates that contracting parties should "as far as possible and as appropriate . . . " prevent the introduction of, control and eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats and species. Decision VI/23, agreed at the sixth conference of the parties to CBD, recommended that parties incorporate invasive alien species considerations into national biodiversity strategies and action plans. The most serious impact of the grey squirrel on native biodiversity is covered in the species action plan for the red squirrel. Targeted control of grey squirrels to protect threatened populations of red squirrels is part of the recommended actions of the UK Red Squirrel Group, set up as a partnership to lead the species action plan.


Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: While it is not possible to provide an accurate estimate of the cost to the national and local economy of the traffic accident on the A34 near Oxford on 14 December, using the Department for Transport's transport analysis guidance it is estimated that the cost of delays to the travelling public on the A34 was approximately £250,000.


Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

13 Jan 2005 : Column WA81

Lord Davies of Oldham: The new six-lane dual carriageway sections of the A13 are inside London and form part of the Greater London Authority road network — now known as the Transport for London road network — and are the responsibility of the Mayor and Transport for London. This includes the setting of speed limits. Further information concerning the speed limits on the road may be obtained from:

13 Jan 2005 : Column WA82

Cabinet Committee on Public Health

Baroness Howe of Idlicote asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: As the Prime Minister announced to Parliament on 18 November 2004, (Official Report, col. 105 WS) the current list of Cabinet committees, their membership and terms of reference are available in the Libraries of both Houses and on the Cabinet Office website. The terms of reference of the Ministerial Committee on Public Health (MISC 27) are:

"To oversee the development and implementation of the Government's policies on public health and reduce health inequalities."

We do not disclose information relating to the proceedings of the Cabinet and its committees.

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