HC Deb 19 April 2000 vol 348 c969
7. Mr. Elfyn Llwyd (Meirionnydd Nant Conwy)

What representations he made to his Cabinet colleagues on the second report of the Welsh Affairs Committee Session 1999–2000 on "The Transport Bill and its Impact on Wales" (HC 287); and if he will make a statement. [118440]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. David Hanson)

1 have discussed this matter with ministerial colleagues. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Transport, whose Department has responsibility for the Bill, is replying to the Committee on behalf of Government. The Wales Office has been consulted on the content of this reply.

Mr. Llwyd

I thank the Minister for that reply. He will know that the Select Committee on Welsh Affairs canvassed the views of the National Assembly for Wales on the Transport Bill. It said that it wanted at least two Welsh members on the Strategic Rail Authority pro tem. We understood that the protocol was that the Minister would take the matter forward with Cabinet Ministers. Why is nothing happening?

Mr. Hanson

The Wales Office has taken forward a number of issues that the Select Committee on Welsh Affairs has raised. We have taken on board the duty to consult the Assembly on the SRA member and on policies. We have also taken on board other issues. Wales has one member out of 15, which is on a par with Scotland. Anne Hemingway, who has been appointed, has been welcomed by the Assembly's Secretary with responsibilities for transport. I hope that the hon. Gentleman recognises that it is important now that the SRA gets on with the business of managing and supporting our railways, and that he is happy with, and supportive of, the member who has been appointed in consultation with the Assembly.

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