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1992 - PMQT Written Answers 2nd March 1992

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 2nd March 1992.


PRIME MINISTER:

Lord Chief Justice

Mr. Mullin : To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will describe the procedure whereby the Lord Chief Justice is appointed;

(2) if he will list the parties consulted before the nomination of the new Lord Chief Justice was submitted;

(3) what consideration was given to the custom and practice that an outgoing Government should not seek to bind its successors before appointing the new Lord Chief Justice.

The Prime Minister : As with other senior appointments to the judiciary, the Lord Chief Justice is appointed by Her Majesty the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister following confidential consultations in appropriate quarters. It has never been the practice to list the parties consulted nor to reveal the nature and source of any advice or recommendations received.


Secondees

Mr. McAllion : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the external secondees among the personnel of the efficiency unit, the "next steps" unit and the citizens charter unit, together with the seconding organisation or company where appropriate.

The Prime Minister : The external secondees working in these areas are :

                  |Seconding organisation        |Location

------------------------------------------------------------------------

N. R. Cribb       |Unilever         |Efficiency unit

Dr. I. V. Howell  |British Petroleum|Efficiency unit

B. R. Ross        |Bass             |Efficiency unit

C. Purbrook       |Ernst and Young  |Next Steps unit


Alice Hyde

Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Prime Minister how he proposed to respond to the petition from Alice Hyde.

The Prime Minister : I have acknowledged Alice Hyde's petition on the effect of the proposed east London river crossing on Oxleas wood and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment will arrange for a full reply to be sent shortly. It will confirm that the impact of the road on the wood was carefully considered at the public inquiries held in 1985 and 1986, and subsequently by the Secretaries of State for Transport and the Environment before they approved the line of the road.

The route has been aligned to preserve the largest part of Oxleas wood intact. The slopes of the cutting through the wood, and the new area of open space to be given in exchange for that required for the road, will be landscaped to recreate, as far as possible, the woodland habitat that existed before the road was built.

The Government place much weight on environmental matters. However, we have to balance the environmental impact of measures associated with road schemes with the benefits of those schemes in order to reach decisions that are in the best interests of the community as a whole. We believe that the right decision was made in this case.


Mirror Group

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has received from the committee representing the staffs of Mirror Group Newspapers in regard to the recovery of pension assets from the banks which are holding them; if at an early date he will meet a deputation from the committee; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : I have recently received a request to meet a deputation and it will be considered in the usual way. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security, and other ministerial colleagues met representatives of trustees of all Maxwell pension schemes on 6 February.