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Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is his policy on the provision of accommodation for homeless young single people who do not have family support. [110139]

Mr. Mullin: Local authorities currently have a duty under the Housing Act 1996 to accommodate unintentionally homeless people in priority need, which includes those who are vulnerable.

The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions' revised Code of Guidance on the Allocation of Accommodation and Homelessness, due to be published later in the year, will recommend that authorities treat 16 and 17-year-olds who have no back-up support as vulnerable, because of their age and circumstances, and therefore in priority need.

The revised Code of Guidance will recommend that authorities develop strategies for co-ordinated working between agencies, including the value of exploring joint assessments at an early stage for those with multiple needs. The Guidance will also explicitly refer to the need for this approach when assessing homelessness applications from vulnerable people and when dealing with the needs of young people between the ages of 16-18. The forthcoming Housing Green Paper is likely to include proposals for reform of the homelessness legislation to provide further protection for unintentionally homeless people in priority need.

Sustainable Waste Management

Mr. Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what funding he has made available to local authorities for recycling, composting and other sustainable waste management initiatives for each financial year since the introduction of the landfill tax. [110030]

Mr. Mullin: There has been no specific funding for such initiatives by authorities, but schemes for new waste management facilities can be eligible for funding under the PFI. To date, 7 such schemes have been endorsed and will receive a total of £316.7 million of PFI credits.

As we said in the draft National Waste Strategy, "A way With Waste", we recognise that the move to more integrated, sustainable waste management could incur costs to local authorities. We are therefore considering options for providing more resources to local authority waste management as part of the current Spending Review.


Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what Remploy products his Department has purchased in the last three years. [109934]

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Ms Beverley Hughes: The Department purchased from Remploy office desking and pedestals during the period 1 January 1997 to 31 October 1997 after which the contract with the Department of Transport expired.

The value of this furniture was £39,561 and was purchased by the Central Services Unit of the Department of Transport and the Vehicle Inspectorate Executive Agency (VIEA).

Rent Assessment Panels

Mr. Lepper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the organisations which have been invited to respond to the consultation paper, entitled "Rent Assessment Panels: Financial Management and Policy Review". [109927]

Mr. Mullin: My Department invited the following organisations to respond to the consultation paper published on 18 November 1999:

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My Department also invited comments from the following organisations who requested a copy of the consultation paper:

    Advice Information and Mediation Service for Private Retirement Housing

    Association of London Government

    Brent Private Tenants' Rights Group

    Brighton, Hove and District Leaseholders' Association

    Bromford Housing Group

    Independent Housing Ombudsman

    Liverpool Federation of Council Tenants and Residents' Associations

    Local Government Association

    Private Tenants' Rights Project

    South East Landlords' Association Group.

RAF Base, Little Rissington

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions in relation to the Planning Inspector's report on the application for change of use for the hangars at the former RAF base at Little Rissington, Gloucestershire, when (a) the inspector's hearing was concluded, (b) the inspector submitted her report to Ministers and (c) the Minister made a decision. [110227]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The public inquiry concluded on 7 January 1999 and the Government Office for the South West (on behalf of the Secretary of State) received the Inspector's report on 2 August 1999. The decision in this case has been delayed in large part to the complexity of the issues and the changing status of the development plan. The case will be ready to submit to the Secretary of State in the very near future.


Strategic Defence Review

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which programmes set out in the Strategic Defence Review have been (a) cut, (b) delayed and (c) cancelled as a result of the costs incurred by the Kosovo deployment. [108743]

Mr. Hoon: The costs of the Kosovo deployment have had no impact on programmes set out in the SDR. However, the Kosovo deployment has meant that we have not yet been able to implement as much of the SDR as we would have liked at this stage. Some force elements, particularly those in the Army's Formation Readiness cycle, whose training has been disrupted by the deployment to Kosovo, will not be at full readiness levels as soon as planned.

Tracer/FSCS System

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last discussed the Tracer/FSCS system with his United States counterpart; and what conclusions were reached. [109859]

Dr. Moonie: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence has not had any specific discussions about Tracer with his US counterpart.

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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions his Department has had with the Norwegian Government about the possible purchase of the Eurofighter; and if he will make a statement. [109799]

Dr. Moonie: Discussions with the Norwegian Government are continuing and cover various aspects of governmental support, such as training, to assist in this important marketing campaign. Ministers of the Eurofighter nations have agreed to accept Norway as a member of the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency should she choose to buy Eurofighter.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what impact the production of the Meteor Missile in the United Kingdom will have on the missile selection process for the Eurofighter; and if he will make a statement. [109523]

Dr. Moonie: We are currently evaluating the bids we have received from two companies, Matra BAe Dynamics and Raytheon Systems Ltd., to meet our requirement for a Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile for Eurofighter. Our assessment will take into account the industrial issues associated with each bid together with a wide range of other factors including missile performance, cost, technical risk and overall value for money.

Cruise Missiles (Kosovo)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Cruise missiles launched from UK submarines during the Kosovo conflict. [109837]

Mr. Hoon: The Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) fired from HMS Splendid made a highly effective contribution to the NATO air campaign in Kosovo. They provided a major step forward in UK capability, enabling precision attacks at long range against selected targets. Tomahawks were particularly valuable during periods of poor weather when fewer manned aircraft were able to operate.

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