§ Mr. Leslie
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what progress has been made on the finance, management and policy review of the Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards. 
§ Mr. Meacher
My Department has completed the first stage of the review, and we have decided to continue to sponsor the Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards. In the light of new evidence emerging on the effects of air pollution, and of growing interest in pollutants not yet covered by the Panel, we believe that the need for expert advice on these issues remains. The Expert Panel is best placed to provide that advice. The Expert Panel has served the Department extremely well over the last five years, and we are grateful for its very significant contribution to the development of air quality policy over the last five years.
The Department will now review how the Panel should operate in future, looking at all aspects of its management, including its membership and working procedures and at its work programme for the next five years.