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Roads: Litter

Questions

Asked by Lord Marlesford

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Highways Agency cleared litter from the verges of the M25 between junctions 28 and 30 between 17 and 21 January 2009 and has been picking litter again since 9 March. This work is due to finish on 20 March 2009.

The Highways Agency has programmed to pick litter between these locations again in April 2009.

Thurrock Council is responsible for picking litter on the A13 between the M25 and Wennington. The litter on this section of road was last picked between 2 and 10 March 2009. Thurrock Council has programmed to pick litter again between 23 March and 2 April 2009.



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Transport for London is responsible for picking litter on the A13 between Wennington and Dagenham. The litter on this section of road is picked twice a week, with the last dates being 10 and 16 March 2009. Transport for London has programmed to pick litter at these locations again on 18 and 19 March 2009.

Asked by Lord Marlesford

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Local authorities have a legal duty to keep all public land and roads within their boundaries clear of litter and refuse with the Highways Agency having similar duties for the motorway network. These duty bodies make decisions on the numbers of staff required to deliver effective service.

Shipping: Employment

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The United Kingdom ports and shipping industries operate in a competitive international environment. The Government recognise the vital role that ports and shipping play in supporting the economy and delivering a sustainable transport system. They provide support to the sector by minimising regulatory burdens rather than promoting public sector initiatives.

Shipping: Irish Lights

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): My reply to the noble Lord on 12 January 2009 reported the position of salary levels for board members of Trinity House and the Commissioners of Irish Lights in post as at 31 March 2008.



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The General Lighthouse Fund annual report and accounts 2007-08 published subsequently relate to the whole financial year from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008. The 2007-08 report and accounts included an additional termination payment to a former board member of Trinity House who retired in May 2007.

Skin Microflora

Question

Asked by Lord Lucas

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Neither the department's National Institute for Health Research nor the Medical Research Council (MRC) is currently funding research into the use of probiotics to rebalance human skin microflora.

The MRC contributes to the Diet and Health Research Industry Club. This is a £10 million, five-year partnership between the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and a consortium of leading companies, aimed at helping the food industry to develop products that deliver enhanced health benefits for consumers. The MRC has committed to fund research projects that fall within its remit although to date none has covered probiotics.

Smoking

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting (Lord Carter of Barnes): Under current broadcasting arrangements, responsibility for what is broadcast on television and radio rests with the broadcasters and the organisations that regulate broadcasting—the Office of Communications (Ofcom), the BBC Trust and the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority (S4C). It is a long-standing principle that the Government do not interfere in programme matters, either on arrangements for scheduling or on content.

The depiction of smoking in television programmes is already strictly controlled. Section 1.10 of Ofcom's broadcasting code sets out the rules on the portrayal of smoking on television. Under these rules smoking must not be featured in programmes made primarily for children—unless there is strong editorial justification. Similarly smoking must generally be avoided and in any case must not be condoned, encouraged or glamorised in other programmes broadcast before the watershed, or in other programmes likely to be widely seen or heard by under 18s unless there is editorial justification.



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Terrorism

Questions

Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): We are continuing to consider how to meet the commitment to establish an independent commissioner for terrorist suspects.

Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones

Lord West of Spithead: The National Statistician and the Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser have professional responsibility for the quality of statistical information published by the Home Office. The report was postponed in the light of concern expressed to them in the final quality assurance process about the accuracy of some information included.

The bulletin will be published once these data have been verified.

UN: International Covenant on Enforced Disappearance

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Government are currently examining the potential impact of the convention against enforced disappearance on the law of the UK.

In particular, lawyers are analysing the extent to which common law provisions may need to be replicated in statute law, and the introduction of one or more specific criminal offences. If the Government decide to ratify the convention, these changes to the law would require primary legislation, which would be introduced when parliamentary time allowed. Decisions would also need to be taken in due course on whether the UK required any reservations or declarations upon ratification. These are complex issues requiring further consideration and analysis which will take some time to complete.


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