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Departmental Policies

(Blackpool, North and Fleetwood)

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will set out, including statistical information, the effect on the Blackpool, North and Fleetwood constituency of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [150715]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The constituency of Blackpool, North and Fleetwood has benefited from a range of Government initiatives since 2 May 1997. The information given is based on local authority boundaries in some cases, as it not possible to break down the information to the constituency boundaries.

Capital allocations for housing--Blackpool

£ million
1997-982.9
1998-99(5)4.8
1999-015.06
2000-017.2
2001-028.3

(5) Including capital receipts initiative


The resources made available from Government to support the authority's housing capital investment programme will have nearly trebled in 2001-02 compared to 1997-98.

Wyre (includes Fleetwood)

£ million
1997-981.3
1997-991.6
1999-20001.7
2000-011.5
2001-021.1

Wyre is a large scale voluntary transfer authority which transferred all its stock to Wyre housing association in 1996 and subsequently became debt free.

Neighbourhood Renewal Fund

Blackpool will receive the following indicative funding over the next three years:

Neighbourhood renewal fund

£ million
2001-021.5
2002-032.3
2003-043.0

Single Regeneration Budget

These schemes cover the Blackpool, North and South areas.

SRB Round 2--Blackpool Challenge Partnership

This is a seven year strategy to halt decline of an area of need in the town centre behind the Promenade. This scheme is linked to the opportunity to create employment parks.

SRB total is £19.4 million.

26 Feb 2001 : Column: 324W

SRB Round 6--Blackpool Challenge Partnership

This seven year scheme will start in April 2001. This scheme links support for growth of the tourist industry and improving the quality of life for Blackpool's most deprived communities. It has been allocated £20 million SRB funding.

Local transport plans

£ million
1997-98(6)9.5
1998-990.4
1999-20000.9
2000-011.2
2001-022.9

(6) This figure is for Lancashire county council before Blackpool became an unitary authority. Of the £9.5 million, £240k was allocated specifically for the Blackpool tramway, although other money would have gone into Blackpool.

Note:

All other figures are for the whole of Blackpool.


Local Government Finance Settlement

The following figures show the Government Grant to Blackpool borough council, Lancashire county council and Wyre borough council as part of the local government finance settlement.

Lancashire county council was reorganised in April 1988 when Blackpool became a unitary authority.

Blackpool

£ million
1997-9815.6
1998-9993.2
1999-200097.2
2000-01102.5
2001-02105.3

Lancashire

£ million
1997-98696.8
1998-99578.2
1999-2000601.8
2000-01628.2
2001-02644.5

Note:

Lancashire county council was reorganised in April 1988 when Blackpool became a unitary authority.


Wyre

£ million
1997-986.0
1998-995.9
1999-20006.3
2000-016.6
2000-026.8

European Funding:

North West of England Objective 2 ERDF Programme 2000-07

This programme is still under consideration by the European Commission but it is expected this will be agreed soon and start in March/April 2001. Some wards

26 Feb 2001 : Column: 325W

of both Blackpool and Wyre are fully eligible areas for Objective 2 funding and will be able to bid for funding from £400 million.

European Community Initiative--PESCA

In 1997, two ERDF projects in Fleetwood were approved to a total grant value of £354k. This initiative finished in 1999. Its main aim was to help areas diversify away from the declining fishing industry.

Millennium Dome

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representations he has received from Sain Quintain plc and Grosvenor Estates in relation to the purchase of the site for the Dome. [150640]

Ms Armstrong: A consortium including Quintain Estates and Grosvenor wrote to the Deputy Prime Minister in January, in relation to proposed development on the Greenwich Peninsula, including the Dome. As the Government were in negotiations with Legacy plc as the preferred bidder at that time, this was forwarded to English Partnerships, which had been asked to register all such expressions of interest.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representations he has received from (a) Mr. P. Y. Gerbeau and (b) Nomura in relation to their proposed interest in the purchase of the Dome site. [150636]

Ms Armstrong: Since Dome Europe's withdrawal from the competition in September 2000, the Government have received unsolicited expressions of interest both from P. Y. Gerbeau and Nomura International plc. These submissions were outside the terms of the competition. English Partnerships registered them while exclusive negotiations continued with Legacy plc.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what inquiries have been made by the Government in relation to the occupying of space in the Dome by (a) Sun Microsystems, (b) BT, (c) 3com, (d) NTL, (e) Imperial College and (f) the Open University. [150634]

Ms Armstrong: During the period of the preferred bidder status, it was for Legacy plc to assure the competition team about occupancy of space in the Dome had the contract been finalised. Advice was provided to the Government by the competition team on this issue.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions under what circumstances the sole bidder status enjoyed by Legacy plc in relation to negotiations for the purchase of the Dome site expires. [150638]

Ms Armstrong: I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 15 February 2001, Official Report, column 221W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Stockton, South (Ms Taylor).

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many meetings he has attended with representatives of (a) Legacy plc and (b) Treasury Holdings, to discuss the sale of the Dome site. [150641]

26 Feb 2001 : Column: 326W

Ms Armstrong: The Deputy Prime Minister attended a small number of meetings with the representatives of Legacy plc to discuss the sale of the Dome site, but none specifically with Treasury Holdings.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representations he has received from English Partnerships in relation to the proposed sale of the Dome to Legacy plc. [150637]

Ms Armstrong: English Partnerships have provided advice to the Government throughout the sale process, including on the offer from Legacy plc.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what inquiries have been made by (a) the Government and (b) their advisers of Westminster City Council in relation to its dealings with (i) Happy Badge Ltd. and (ii) other companies associated with Mr. Robert Bourne. [150635]

Ms Armstrong: None.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many approaches his Department has received from parties potentially interested in the purchase of the Dome site since 1 January [151275]

Ms Armstrong: Between 12 September 2000, when Dome Europe withdrew from the competition and 14 February 2001, when Legacy plc's preferred bidder status expired, English Partnerships registered, on behalf of the Government, 72 unsolicited expressions of interest, of which five were received after 1 January 2001.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if the deadline of 14 February set out for the negotiations with Legacy plc was specified in the letter setting out the terms of preferred bidder status; [151274]

Ms Armstrong: The preferred bidder letter, agreed by Legacy plc, required Legacy plc to meet several requirements to be delivered by 14 January 2001, and indicated that the Legacy team would work with the competition team with a view to exchanging contracts no later than 14 February 2001.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions at what time and on which day the decision to end the preferred bidder status of Legacy plc for the purchase of the Dome site and to reopen the competition was made. [151460]

Ms Armstrong: The position is set out in my reply of 15 February 2001, Official Report, column 221W to my hon. Friend the Member for Stockton, South (Ms Taylor).

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what contacts he, members of his Department or the competition team have had with potential new investors in Legacy plc. [151276]

Ms Armstrong: A small number of calls were received from parties wishing to know if they could join the Legacy team within the rules of the competition. They were advised of the rules, which permitted augmentation

26 Feb 2001 : Column: 327W

if the bidder so wished, and they were advised that any such proposal would have to be agreed with Legacy, and that neither Ministers or the competition team could play any part in that process. Legacy plc introduced representatives of Teesland to the competition team and government representatives on Monday 12 February.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what advice he has sought on the credentials of Teesland plc as participants in the development of the Dome site. [151272]

Ms Armstrong: Appropriate advice was sought from and provided by the competition team, as is normal practice in a matter of this nature. The competition team advised on bids and bidders throughout the process and continued to do so while negotiations were ongoing with Legacy plc.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when his Department last met executives of (a) Teesland plc, (b) Mr. Kevin McCabe and (c) the housebuilding company, Fairbriar; and for what purpose. [151271]

Ms Armstrong: Officials from my Department accompanied Lord Falconer and the competition team when they met Mr. McCabe and other representatives of Teesland plc, along with other members of the Legacy team, on 12 February to discuss their bid. No meeting has been held with Fairbriar.


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