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What are the journey time and capacity benefits of the proposed West Coast Main Line Stafford bypass; and what are the estimated costs and benefits of the alternative schemes being considered. [HL1903]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Work continues to determine an optimum solution to the present constraint on capacity at Stafford on the West Coast Main Line. A preferred option has yet to be agreed with Network Rail, which is still working on a range of options. These all have varying costs and benefits, although the priority issue is to provide capability to meet the longer-term growth in both passenger and freight traffic on this trunk route.
In the light of the postponement of an agreed scheme for the development of the A303 past Stonehenge, whether they maintain the commitment given in November 2004 by the then Secretary of State for Transport to support the main outcome of the south-west area multimodal study and develop a second strategic route to and from the south-west of England; and [HL1775]
Further to the decision in November 2004 to develop the A358 from Ilminster to Taunton as part of a second strategic route to and from the south-west of England, when they intend to carry out this investment. [HL1776]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Following our decision to give regions a greater role in determining priorities for major transport schemes within indicative funding allocations, it is for the south-west region to advise on the relative priority of proposed improvements to the A305/A358, including on the A358 from Ilminster to Taunton, alongside other schemes in the region. The region advised us in 2006 that funding for these improvements should not be prioritised until the latter end of the period to 2015-16.
The region is currently considering the implications for the A303 /A358 route of our decision in December
19 Feb 2008 : Column WA50
In relation to the 23 primary schools in the Isle of Wight under threat of closure under the best case scenario, what was the conclusion of the latest Ofsted report on the island's other primary schools. [HL1812]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): The Isle of Wight is consulting on three options for school reorganisation. Under the option that would have the least effect on primary schools, 21 schools would not be closed. The outcome of the most recent Ofsted report on each of these primary schools is shown in the table below.
|School||Date of last Ofsted report||Grade|
|* Inspected before 1 September 2003 when a grading system was introduced|
|** For schools inspected between 1 September 2003 and 1 September 2005 the grading system used was: excellent (grade 1); very good (2); good (3); satisfactory (4); unsatisfactory (5); poor (6); very poor(7)|
|*** For schools inspected since 1 September 2005 the grading system used is: 1 outstanding; 2 good; 3 satisfactory; 4 inadequate.|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): On 8 February 2008 there were 44 trainees at Oakhill Secure Training Centre. Oakhill's full capacity is 80 places, but the Youth Justice Board has currently capped occupancy at 58 places.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Youth Justice Board has currently capped the maximum occupancy of Oakhill at 58. On no occasion during the period in question (1 November 2007 to 31 January 2008) has the number of staff on site been below that required for the number of young people in residence.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The table below, based on data provided by the Youth Justice Board, shows the number of social workers (full-time equivalents) at Oakhill between 1 November 2007 and 31 January 2008.
|November 2007||December 2007||January 2008|
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The table below, based on data provided by the Youth Justice Board, shows the total number of restraints and those involving pain distraction techniques for the period October to December 2007. Figures for January 2008 are not yet available.
Whether there are plans to install weather radar in the Shetland Isles; and whether the former Royal Air Force site Saxa Vord has been secured by the Ministry of Defence pending a decision on this matter. [HL1603]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): Due to the high costs involved, the Met Office always seeks partners willing to share the expense of installing and running new weather radar. The Met Office has advised local interested parties that if a partner or partners were found willing to make significant contributions towards the capital and operating costs of a weather radar on the Shetland Islands, it could undertake a feasibility study to establish more definite costs of the proposal.
Under planned legislation to bring into effect Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, there will be a requirement for ships to retain samples of fuel oil to demonstrate compliance with fuel quality standards in that convention. These samples and associated documentation may then be reviewed by inspectors when vessels enter port.
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