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FURTHER UNANSWERED QUESTIONS OVER MEALE - TORIES

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Shadow environment minister Simon Burns has stepped up the pressure for an explanation of the conduct of environmen...
Shadow environment minister Simon Burns has stepped up the pressure for an explanation of the conduct of environment minster Alan Meale over his involvement in a number of planning applications. He said:

'We have not yet had a credible explanation into his involvement in two planning applications. At the weekend, we learnt of Barnet Football Stadium. With the new revelations on Tuesday that there are unanswered questions into Belmont Riding Centre, the matter is now deeply unsatisfactory. Alan Meale must give a full account of his activities to parliament.

'I have now tabled five parliamentary questions and an Early Day Motion so that the full information can be brought out into the open.

'I look to the department of the environment, transport and the regions to make a full disclosure of all papers and minutes of meetings over these matters, so that this can be cleared up.

'For a government that believes in open government, it is reprehensible that we have to drag information out of them on this issue.'

Notes

The text of the questions and the Early Day Motion are attached.

Early Day Motion:

'That this House expresses serious concern about the lack of a credible explanation of the interference by the Hon Member for Mansfield, the former Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions and the current Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at that Department in planning applications in areas 140 miles outside his constituency; questions whether it is normal practice for Parliamentary Private Secretaries to take up issues in other Hon Members constituencies and on subjects covered by the Department for which they are a Parliamentary Private Secretary; and urges a full disclosure by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions of all papers, minutes of meetings and discussions concerning the Barnet Football Stadium and Belmont Riding Centre planning applications and a full investigation of this deeply unsatisfactory situation.'

Notices of Questions: 27 November 1998

36.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, what correspondence written by the honourable Member for Mansfield about the Barnet football stadium planning application was put before the planning inquiry inspector; and who submitted the correspondence to the inspector. (57540)

37.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions which (a) ministers of his Department and (b) parliamentary private secretaries (i) have seen papers (ii) were present at meetings, concerning the impact of the Barnet football stadium (1) on traffic on the M1 and A1 within the M25 area and (2) on the local environment. (57558)

38.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, if he will make a statement on those government departments or agencies which were consulted with regard to the Barnet football stadium planning application; and which government departments or agencies made representations to the public inquiry. (57560)

39.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, if he will publish the correspondence and notes of meetings between the honourable Member for Mansfield, Ministers of the Crown, civil servants and government agencies relating to the Barnet Football stadium planning application. (57539)

40.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, what representations the honourable Member for Mansfield has made to (a) Ministers and (b) officials of his Department on planning applications outside his constituency area since 1st May 1997; and if he will identify the nature of each application. (57559)

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