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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many planning applications for developments involving the loss of green belt land were (a) notified to him and (b) called in for his own decision in each year since 1992. 
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when the revised guidelines governing the planning process for mobile phone base stations will be published. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: The consultation exercise seeking views on possible changes to the planning laws relating to mobile phone masts and associated guidance ended on 31 October 2000. The Department is currently analysing the responses. We shall announce our conclusions as soon as possible.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representations have been received in response to his Department's consultation on the scope of possible changes to the planning process for mobile phone base stations. 
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Ms Beverley Hughes: In response to the recent consultation exercise seeking views on possible changes to the planning laws relating to telecommunications masts and associated guidance my Department received 365 responses from hon. Members, members of the public, local authorities, mobile phone companies and associated businesses, and other interested organisations.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when his policy strategy integration division was established; which of its reports are placed in the public domain; how many departmental or non-departmental special advisers participate in its work; how many regular (a) non- departmental and (b) departmental staff participate in its work; and how many of these work for the unit on a full-time basis. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: The policy strategy integration division was established in September 1998. It presently has a full-time staff of seven, including one secondee from a local authority and one agency secretary. No special advisers participate in its work. The aim of the division is to facilitate a cross-cutting approach to issues which span policy areas, both within DETR and between DETR and others, rather than to produce reports. It has, however, led a review of the organisation of transport safety, and an account of the consultation and of the review group's analysis was placed in the House Libraries and made available on request. Also in the Libraries is a report which the division prepared on transport links between the UK and Ireland for the British-Irish inter- parliamentary body. A memorandum on DETR's role in relation to public health was co-ordinated by the division and sent to the Health Committee in January this year.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many accidents occurred on farms in Lancashire involving the (a) death and (b) injury of a (i) farm worker and (ii) member of the public in each year since 1995. 
|Employment status||Fatality||Major/non fatal injury||Over 3 day injury||Total|
|Members of the public||0||1||(12)--||1|
|Members of the public||0||0||(12)--||0|
|Members of the public||1||0||(12)--||1|
|Members of the public||1||3||(12)--||4|
|Members of the public||0||(11)--||(12)--||0|
(10) To 31 December 2000--highly provisional
(11) Not available
(12) Not applicable
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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what research his Department has commissioned into the factors considered by consumers when choosing whether to buy standard unleaded petrol or low sulphur petrol. 
Mr. Hill [holding answer 13 February 2001]: My Department has not commissioned any specific research into consumer purchasing decisions concerning cleaner specifications of petrol. However, market research by oil companies and consumer organisations--confirmed by the experience of introducing ultra-low sulphur diesel--indicates that most road users will not choose a cleaner specification of fuel if it has a higher retail price then the conventional specification.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what incentives the Government have provided to consumers to buy low sulphur petrol in preference to standard unleaded petrol. 
Mr. Hill [holding answer 13 February 2001]: A 1 p/l fuel duty differential for ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULSP) relative to conventional unleaded petrol was introduced in October 2000. The Chancellor announced in the November 2000 pre-Budget report that this duty differential would be increased to 3 p/l in the 2001 Budget, subject to oil companies ensuring nationwide availability.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what discussions he has had in the EU about proposals for new taxes on (a) aviation fuel, (b) airport departures and landings and (c) air traffic movements. 
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: Possible measures to encourage the reduction of emissions from aircraft, including the possibility of a fuel tax, have been discussed in the EU within the last two years. No proposals have been tabled on this, nor have new taxes been proposed on the other aviation activities cited.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what criteria he will use in determining the selection of urban regeneration companies; and what timetable has been adopted. 
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Ms Beverley Hughes: New criteria are being drafted to set out the principles guiding the effective structure and operation of urban regeneration companies (URCs). These criteria have been issued in draft to the regional development agencies (RDAs) and others and will be finalised shortly taking into account comments received. The criteria are based on the lessons identified from the monitoring and evaluation of the three pilot URCs in Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield. RDAs and their partners will use the criteria and accompanying guidance to consider whether a URC might be appropriate for key regeneration areas within their regions. Proposals for new URCs will be considered by the Department against these criteria. The urban White Paper announced a rolling programme of around 12 new URCs over the next two to three years.
Mr. Bob Russell: To ask Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if he will list the organisations to which he gave grants for the support of those killed as a result of road crashes, and the amount per organisation, for each of the last three years for which figures are available; 
Mr. Hill: Section 40 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 gives the Secretary of State for Transport powers to grant-aid bodies, other than local authorities, to promote road safety. The legislation does not provide powers for the Secretary of State to give grants to support those affected by deaths or injuries as a result of road traffic accidents.
Paddy Ashdown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what the extent is of delays for the installation of new central heating systems under the home energy efficiency scheme; what the reasons are for such delays; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: The new home energy efficiency scheme (HEES) for England was launched on 1 June 2000. It is managed by two regional scheme managers who are responsible for marketing the scheme and surveying homes to identify the improvements required. Once these are agreed with the householder, a works order is placed with local contractors. The time taken between the date of survey and the actual installation of gas central heating systems varies across the country, although in most parts it is less than three months.
The reason for the delay is the national shortage of qualified heating engineers which has severely affected the rate at which central heating systems are being installed under HEES. To address the problem, scheme managers both continue to seek additional qualified heating installers and to encourage existing installers to increase the number of installation teams dedicated to HEES.
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While these efforts have cut waiting times, the referral-based nature of the scheme means that this period can change rapidly. For example a large number of applications from a locality can substantially increase waiting times in the area. Both scheme managers continue to advise local groups of the period of delay in each area, and to display this information on their websites.
The longer-term solution to the problem is to increase the number of trained gas engineers. In conjunction with Transco plc and the gas industry national training organisation, we have introduced training programmes to provide an additional 400 gas engineers each six months to work under HEES. As these engineers become available, so the present delays should be reduced substantially and the scheme be better able to cope with short-term fluctuations in demand.
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