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Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what funding has been made available to Railtrack to repair unsafe railway bridge structures in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hill: In the past five years, the only grant paid direct to Railtrack was £34 million towards the cost of maintaining level crossings, paid in 1995-96 when the company was still in the public sector. Since its privatisation in 1996, the company has recovered that cost, and other costs including the cost of repairing unsafe railway bridge structures, through access charges paid by passenger train operating companies and freight operating companies. So, although no grant has been paid direct to
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the company since 1996, its profitability is contingent on public money. Some 90 per cent. of its income is paid to it in access charges, a substantial proportion of which are supported by public money.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what contacts (a) he and (b) his officials had with the Hinduja family and their business associates during his visits to India in March and December 1999. 
Ms Beverley Hughes [holding answer 2 February 2001]: My right hon. Friend's visits to India in March and December 1999 promoted Indo-British bilateral relations, business and trade co-operation, and the sharing of experience on environment and urban issues. On both visits my right hon. Friend met the Indian Prime Minister, other Indian Ministers and a number of British and Indian business men and women. This included a courtesy meeting between my right hon. Friend, accompanied by officials, and Messers. G. P. and S. P. Hinduja in Mumbai in March 1999.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what the total expenditure and the breakdown of expenditure was in his Department for the financial years (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99 and (d) 1999-2000, and what the planned expenditure and breakdown of expenditure for 2000-01 is on (i) public opinion research, (ii) television, radio and newspaper advertising and (iii) direct mail. 
Ms Beverley Hughes [holding answer 8 February 2001]: The Department's financial year starts 1 April and runs to 31 March. For each financial year from 1996 the advertising and public opinion research spend are set out. There was no expenditure on direct mail.
|Other Advertising (eg posters, leaflets)|
|Total Advertising Spend|
|Public Opinion Research|
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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what initiatives embarked upon since May 1997 have benefited Pendle; and if he will make a statement. 
Under the Government's first comprehensive spending review, Pendle received significantly more resources for housing. For the years 1998-99 and 1999-2000 the authority received more than £1.5 million over and above its normal HIP allocation through the capital receipts initiative (when resources distributed under the CRI were identified separately) and in the current year the authority's total allocation rose again by a further 27 per cent. Following the spending review 2000, the amount allocated to the authority for housing next year totals over £3.7 million. This compares to a figure of £2.015 million which had been allocated in 1997-98.
Also in 2000, measures were announced enabling authorities to support the renovation and improvement of private sector housing in a more targeted way. We also announced our intention to proceed with more
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fundamental reforms to the legislation to give authorities more effective powers to turn around areas of low demand and unpopular housing. Single Regeneration Budget:
A six-year strategy to arrest decline caused by contraction of the manufacturing industry. The two main themes are for developing business opportunities and developing people. With diversification the aim is to create a stronger, less vulnerable economy. A private sector-led partnership with involvement of the community.
A seven-year scheme to tackle low educational attainment and high unemployment among 16-24-year- olds in Pendle by working with local employers to identify skill needs. It will provide dedicated training and assistance in accessing jobs.
A seven-year scheme targeting Central Nelson and Brierfield. It aims to support planning housing improvements in Nelson with a package of measures to improve health, reduce crime, improve the local environment and encourage new small business.
(14) These figures are for Lancashire County Council's Transport Policies and Programmes allocation.
(15) This figure is from Lancashire County Council's Provision Local Transport Plan settlement.
It is not possible to determine exactly how much of these amounts has been spent on the Pendle constituency. The constituency has benefited from Lancashire County Council's integrated transport policies. European Funding
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a range of business support and vocational training activities. Pendle was a significant beneficiary of this overall resource.
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