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Structural Funding

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many projects submitted under the Merseyside Objective 1 2000 to 2006 Programme have been passed to the relevant section of DTI for clearance under European Commission state aid rules. [143848]

Ms Beverley Hughes: Thirty-three such projects have been referred to the Department of Trade and Industry for an opinion.

Modernising Government White Paper

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the number, purpose and total value of contracts with external consultants and advisers that (a) have been let and (b) are due to be let, by his Department to further the implementation of the Modernising Government White Paper indicating those contracts that relate specifically to management consultancy. [143705]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The cost of implementing the White Paper on Modernising Government by my Department is not separately identified within the resources allocated in the Comprehensive Spending Review and the Spending Review 2000. The plans for my Department along with others are set out in the respective White Papers, "Modern Public Services for Britain", Cm 4011 and "Public Services for the Future", Cm 4181; and Spending Review 2000, Cm 4807 and Cm 4808. The Department's individual spending plan is set out in the Public Expenditure Outturn White Paper for 1999-2000, Cm 4812.

Energy Efficiency

Mrs. Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if he will make it his policy to require that the sellers' packs, proposed in the Homes Bill, will include (a) an energy efficiency rating for the property, (b) advice on

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cost-efficient energy saving measures that could be taken in the property and (c) the consequent savings due to these measures; [143189]

Mr. Raynsford: The Homes Bill establishes the requirement for a person marketing a residential property to compile a seller's pack, and enables the Secretary of State to prescribe by statutory instrument the contents of the seller's pack.

The pilot study carried out in Bristol earlier this year tested some of the potential components of a seller's pack. This pack included an energy efficiency assessment incorporating an energy rating using the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), the Government's recommended system for energy rating of homes. It also included generic advice on measures to improve energy efficiency. The inclusion of such information was well received by home buyers, although some concerns were expressed about the format of this information and the accompanying advice. We are looking into these points further.

It is currently intended that Regulations prescribe the inclusion of an energy report in the seller's pack, and that this will include generic advice on measures to improve energy efficiency, and an indication of the cost and pay back period of each of those improvements.

As regards new homes, all new dwellings must comply with Part L of the Building Regulations, Conservation of Fuel and Power. We are currently reviewing Part L. In addition, through the Energy Efficiency Best Practice programme, we encourage housebuilders to build and promote highly energy efficient dwellings which would deliver a Standard Assessment Procedure energy rating of 80 or more on the 1-100 scale (the SAP 80+ initiative). Under an amendment of the Building Regulations taking effect from 1 January 2001, builders will have to post up notices of SAP ratings in new homes.

Ministerial Travel

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list, for each year since 1995, the number of flights, including helicopter flights, taken by Ministers within his Department for UK and overseas visits; on how many occasions (a) charter flights were used and (b) first and club class tickets obtained; and who accompanied the Ministers on each trip. [143873]

Ms Beverley Hughes: Ministers are under a duty to make efficient and cost-effective travel arrangements. This Government has given a commitment to publish an annual list of visits overseas by Cabinet Ministers costing more than £500 as well as an annual figure on spend by all Ministers on overseas visits. The list for 1999-2000 was published on 28 July 2000, Official Report, column 969W.

Detailed information in the form requested is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

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Mr. Colman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, if he has made a decision on the proposals for changes to the preferential use of Heathrow's runways at night; and if he will make a statement. [144168]

Mr. Mullin: I have concluded that it would not be fair and equitable to maintain the current Westerly Preference at night. It would be irrational to maintain in operation a noise mitigation measure that no longer serves the purpose for which it was originally intended. Indeed, it now has the perverse effect at night of adding to the sum of the disturbance that may be caused.

It makes no sense for the Westerly Preference to be operated at times when there are few or no take-offs, because it does not serve as a noise mitigating measure, and it is incompatible with the Government's aim to minimise the impact of the airport on the local environment.

I have considered carefully the arguments put forward for introducing and easterly preference at night, because I recognise this would provide the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people, but it would not provide a fair and equitable outcome. Everyone, whether they live in a densely populated area or otherwise, is entitled to the same consideration and respect.

I have decided that the current Westerly Preference should be replaced at night by a weekly rotation between westerly and easterly operations whenever weather conditions permit.

I expect the new arrangements will be introduced in the spring, but full implementation will not be possible until the completion of runway resurfacing work in 2002-03.

No changes are being made to the night restrictions regime introduced in 1999.


Supply Teachers

Mr. Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to amend the policy in respect of working holidaymakers employed as supply teachers. [144125]

Mrs. Roche: The purpose of the working holidaymaker scheme is not to meet skills shortages, or enable teachers to secure employment in the United Kingdom, but as a concession to the normal arrangements working holidaymakers who are qualified teachers are allowed to undertake supply teaching during their stay. In keeping with the ethos of the scheme, any teaching work should be incidental to a holiday and they should not be working for the whole of their time here.

For those non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who wish to engage in full-time teaching employment in the United Kingdom there are already provisions under the work permit scheme, and provisions in the Immigration Rules enabling approved exchange schemes for teachers and language assistants.

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I have nonetheless considered representations about the particular staffing difficulties and disruption faced by schools when supply teachers in their employ leave during the course of a school term because their leave to enter or remain as working holidaymakers has expired. In the interests of schools and their pupils, and in the light of the unique considerations which apply to the completion of school terms, I have agreed to amend the policy instructions in respect of working holidaymakers. This change will enable a short extension of leave to remain in the United Kingdom to a working holidaymaker who is already employed as a supply teacher, and whom the school wishes to retain, to enable them to complete the school term during which their leave to remain as a working holidaymaker has expired. Such leave will be granted on an exceptional basis outside the Immigration Rules in order to benefit those whose leave will expire during the course of a term but will not permit extensions to cover a whole term or more. Schools wishing to employ working holidaymakers as supply teachers will be expected to take account of the date upon which such a teacher's leave to enter or remain is due to expire when planning the coverage of vacant posts over the school year.

Football Disorder

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many hooligans have received football banning orders since the enactment of the Football (Disorder) Act 2000; what impact the Act is having on the behaviour of English football fans overseas; and when the working group on football disorder will report its findings. [144127]

Mr. Straw: The courts have imposed 122 football banning orders under the measures contained in the 2000 Act. While there are no grounds for complacency there has been no significant disorder involving English football supporters overseas since the Act came into force. The early indications are that the new measures are helping to deter disorder and encouraging the vast majority of travelling supporters to rid English football of its hooligan reputation. A copy of the interim report of the Working Group on Football Disorder has today been placed in the Library. It outlines the group's provisional findings and the work upon which it has embarked. The group has been tasked to produce by April of next year a collective and cohesive plan for improving the image of English football, the behaviour of its followers and the role of football at all levels in promoting social inclusion. Measures aimed at tackling the racist and xenophobic attitudes that so often prompt football violence and disorder will feature in the plan.

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