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Executive Agency Visits (Costs)

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what hourly rate is charged to business for visits by the (a) HSE and (b) Environment Agency. [146380]

Mr. Meacher: The hourly rates charged to business to ensure adequate management of the risks created by their operations are for inspection and safety case assessment by:




The rates recover the full economic costs of these functions.

Departmental Surveys

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list for (a) 1992-93, (b) 1993-94, (c) 1994-95, (d) 1995-96, (e) 1996-97, (f) 1997-98, (g) 1998-99, (h) 1999-2000 and (i) 2000-01, (I) his Department's total spending on quantitative and qualitative surveys of policy issues by focus groups, opinion polling, task forces or other means and (II) the cost of each individual project. [146596]

Mr. Hill: In line with modernising government principles, my Department actively canvasses outside views on its main policies. Where public opinion research is used it is subject to the usual strict rules that spending must represent good value for money and must not be used for party political purposes. The results of research are made widely available. However, information on each project is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Nuclear Waste

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he plans to publish the consultation paper on the management and disposal of nuclear waste; and if he will make a statement. [146733]

Mr. Meacher: Radioactive wastes should be managed in ways that protect the safety of the public, the work force and the environment, now and in the future. This is a complex issue and the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations will publish a consultation paper setting out detailed proposals as soon as they are ready. This will begin the process leading to the implementation of a radioactive waste management policy that can attract widespread support across the UK.

Carbon Trust

Sir Sydney Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if he will publish the names of the selection panel who will finalise the long list for the appointment of the Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust; [146907]

25 Jan 2001 : Column: 678W

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 24 January 2001]: A sift panel met on 15 January to prepare a long list of candidates for the post of Chief Executive Officer of the Carbon Trust. The panel included two representatives of the Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment, who have been working with Government on the design and constitution of the Carbon Trust.

The members of the panel were:





The Government intend to announce the chairman of the Carbon Trust shortly, and we expect the chairman to make proposals on the Trust's membership and the board as soon as possible thereafter.

Ilminster By-pass

Paddy Ashdown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what his estimate is of the number of (a) accidents, (b) injury accidents and (c) fatalities on the A303 Ilminster by-pass in each year from 1990, including 2001 to date; and if he will make a statement. [145956]

Mr. Hill: The following table shows the number of injury accidents and fatalities between 1990 and 2000. Figures for 2001 are unavailable and total accident numbers are not available, since damage-only accidents are not reported to the police.

Accidents on the A303 Ilminster by-pass(8): 1999-2000

Accidents/casualties
YearInjury(9) accidentsFatal casualties
199081
199141
199240
199340
199420
199510
199660
1997120
199851
199971
2000(10)90

(8) Stretch of the A303 between the junctions with the A358 (Chard) and South Petherton

(9) All accidents in which one or more person was killed or injured

(10) Provisional data--subject to change


Millennium Dome

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what independent valuations of the Millennium Dome have been undertaken on his behalf; and what constraints have been identified in the report which would affect the sale value of the land. [147177]

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Ms Armstrong: A pre-sale valuation of the dome site has been undertaken in the context of the competition to identify a sustainable long-term use for the dome. The Government estimate of the financial value of the site, and the issues affecting that value, are commercially confidential while the process to secure a buyer continues.

Urban Regeneration

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will provide details of the budgets of each of the RDAs for funding urban regeneration projects in (a) the current and (b) the next financial year. [147236]

Ms Armstrong: Urban regeneration projects are included in both the Land and Property Programme and Single Regeneration Budget run by the RDAs. In 2000-01 this element of their approved budgets is as follows:

£ million
One NorthEast 129.2
Northwest Development Agency 165.3
Yorkshire Forward 156.3
East Midlands Development Agency 53.7
Advantage West Midlands 104.1
East of England Development Agency 22.4
South East Development Agency 64.6
South West Development Agency 72.9
London Development Agency275.7
Total1,044.2

We have not yet approved budgets for the RDAs for 2001-02.

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if he will make a statement about the participation of SEEDA in the next round of SRB bids; [147238]

Ms Armstrong: As already announced by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister the Single Regeneration Budget will be brought into the Regional Development Agencies' (RDAs) Single Budget from April 2002. Detailed arrangements for the transitional year 2001-02 are being considered and an announcement will be made very shortly. All RDAs, including SEEDA, will be invited to administer these arrangements.

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what his policy is on meeting the shortfall caused by RDAs overspending on urban regeneration projects. [147237]

Ms Armstrong: There is no reason to believe that any RDA's approved overall budget for 2000-01 is being overspent. I have allocated an extra £60 million of current resources to the RDAs for funding existing Single Regeneration Budget partnerships, but this is met by an equal reduction in SRB capital expenditure.

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what budget was

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allocated for the current financial year by SEEDA for regeneration projects; how much has been spent to date; and how much remains unspent. [147235]

Ms Armstrong: Within South East Development Agency's (SEEDA) approved budget for 2000-01, £67.3 million has been allocated to three main regeneration programmes: Rural Development, Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) and Land and Property. SEEDA reports that £24.0 million has been spent to date leaving up to £43.3 million to be spent, a very large proportion of which is committed.


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