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Fishing Vessels (Safety)

Mr. Nicholls: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he will publish the Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Fishing Vessels; if he will deposit in the Library the draft Code; if he will list the consultees to the Code; what representations he has received on the draft Code; and if he will make a statement. [152093]

Mr. Hill: The Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Fishing Vessels will be formally published later this month as an integral part of a Merchant Shipping Notice reference MSN 1756 (F). The Merchant Shipping Notice will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and will also be available on the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) website.

The MCA is sending a copy of the Merchant Shipping Notice including the Code to every owner of under 12 metre fishing vessels to advise them of the effect of the code.

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The list of consultees has been placed in the Libraries of the House. As part of the consultation process the MCA received various representations on the Code.

Construction Industry (Health and Safety)

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what discussions he has had with representatives of the construction industry concerning health and safety issues in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [152604]

Mr. Meacher: I met with major industry employers and trade union representatives at the construction summit on 27 February, jointly organised by the Health and Safety Commission and my Department. DETR Ministers also met with employers and unions in the run up to the summit. The summit set targets and a number of action plans to improve health and safety standards in the industry which we intend to ensure are carried forward as soon as practicable.

Transport Schemes

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what public consultation will be required on the appraisal summary tables for major road schemes included in full local transport plans where (a) they were given provisional approval and (b) more work was considered necessary before the Government make a decision on whether to fund them. [152642]

Mr. Hill: There is no requirement for the public to be consulted on appraisal summary tables. However, local transport plans are themselves subject to public consultation and there is also an opportunity for the public to comment on major road schemes as they go through the statutory approval process.

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many of the appraisal summary tables for major schemes in full local transport plans included an assessment for traffic generation. [152643]

Mr. Hill: Advice on assessment for traffic generation was issued by the former Department of Transport in 1994 following publication of the report "Trunk Roads and the Generation of Traffic" by the Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment and is contained in Volume 12 of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges. Assessment for traffic generation should be an integral part of the traffic modelling for major schemes. The expected level of generated traffic should be assessed and taken into account in the traffic forecasts that underlie the impacts set out in the appraisal summary tables. There is no requirement for the assessment of traffic generation to be recorded on the appraisal summary tables for major schemes.

Mobile Telephone Masts

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he will issue new guidelines to planning authorities on the health risks associated with mobile phone masts. [152831]

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Ms Beverley Hughes: My right hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning wrote to Council Leaders in June 2000 to explain the action the Government had in hand to take forward the planning recommendations of the Stewart report ("Mobile Phones and Health") published in May 2000. The letter said that health considerations and public concern can in principle be material considerations in determining applications for planning permission and prior approval. Whether such matters are material in a particular case is ultimately a matter for the courts. It is for the decision-maker (usually the local planning authority) to determine what weight to attach to such considerations in any particular case. It is the Government's view that if a proposed development meets the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) on limiting public exposure to electromagnetic fields, it should not be necessary for an authority, in processing an application, to consider health effects further.

This was repeated in the draft of Planning Policy Guidance note 8 (PPG8) issued for consultation on 31 July 2000. The consultation exercise, which also sought views on possible changes to the planning laws relating to mobile phone masts, ended on 31 October 2000. The Department is currently considering the responses. We shall announce our conclusions as soon as practically possible.


Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) to what extent his Department's headquarters building in London uses hydrofluorocarbons for (a) refrigeration and (b) air conditioning; what amounts of hydrofluorocarbons have been purchased by his Department in each year since 1995; and what plans he has to phase out his Department's (i) purchase and (ii) use of hydrofluorocarbons; [153048]

Ms Beverley Hughes: (a) Two of DETR's London headquarters buildings use hydrofluorocarbons as refrigerants in their air-conditioning systems.

(b) The amount of hydrofluorocarbons purchased in each year since 1995 is:


(6) Buildings not occupied

Our policy is to switch, where possible, from hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorobutane and sulphur hexafluoride to environmentally preferable substitutes and to ensure that we do not buy any products which contain

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chlorofluorocarbons, halons, carbon tetrachloride, 111 trichloroethane, or hydrochlorofluorocarbons where suitable alternatives exist.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the buildings and premises (a) owned and (b) leased by his Department which use (i) chlorofluorocarbons and (ii) hydrochlorofluorocarbons for refrigeration and other energy needs; and if he will give details of such use and the reasons for it. [153046]

Ms Beverley Hughes: Property management is delegated to the Department's local property centres and such details are not recorded centrally. Of the three London headquarters buildings only Great Minster House has an HCFC refrigerant (R22). We are evaluating the options for replacing this. My Department's policy is to ensure that we do not purchase any products which use chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons where there are suitable alternatives.

IMO Building, Albert Embankment

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what recent representations he has received relating to the International Maritime Organisation building at 4 Albert Embankment; and if he will make a statement. [153022]

Mr. Hill: No recent representations relating to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) building have been made to Ministers. However, officials in the Department maintain a regular dialogue with the IMO. Discussions cover a range of issues including those connected with the building itself. The Department owns the building, and leases it to the IMO, and has responsibilities under the terms of the lease for its maintenance and upkeep.

Regional Development Agencies

Mr. Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the total budget for regional development agencies in 2001-02 and how it is to be allocated between the nine agencies. [153474]

Ms Armstrong: The table sets out the total budget for 2001-02 showing the distribution between Regional Development Agencies. The total figure represents in effect an increase of 15 per cent. on the 2000-01 budget.

Except for ring fenced administration and rural funding, RDAs will also have the flexibility to transfer up to 20 per cent. of budgets to other programmes, which together with the facility to create a strategic programme to progress initiatives which do not fall conveniently within existing programme rules, offers significant improvements for RDA financial management.

The considerable extra funding, and these additional flexibilities for 2001-02 (the transitional year before the single budget) will help RDAs to deliver their regional priorities and targets for the year.


ProgrammeOne North EastNorth West DAYorkshire ForwardEast Midlands DAAdvantage West MidlandsEast of England DASouth East of England DASouth West RDALondon DATotal
Land and Property45,70085,00043,70030,90041,10018,20023,60034,90048,100371,200
Single Regeneration Budget100,169159,915147,42538,39892,44622,12758,23728,156225,955872,828
Rural Development3,5781,9914,2374,5882,6254,0182,4779,388032,902
Skills Development Fund2,7466,4484,7924,1955,6645,0536,5314,2757,24646,950
Skills Administration2073262682382852593232593352,500
Inward Investment1,7651,4931,5151,1241,4541,1651,1651,6041,14512,430
Regional Innovation Fund8,9007,40010,0004,3006,3003,5003,2004,7005,80054,100
Grand Total(7)173,168276,617221,92691,231158,66760,158102,17692,381298,0511,474,375
Land and Property Capital-11,610-10,230-4,660-7,360-8,730-2,280-6,100-20,520-20,270-91,760
Rural Development-236-270-453-590-183-145-142-5750-2,594
Land and Property-11,667-9,400-4,650-1,900-880-486-98-3,175-639-32,895
Current Total Receipts-23,513-19,900-9,763-9,850-9,793-2,911-6,340-24,270-20,909-127,249
Net Total (7)149,655256,717212,16381,381148,87457,24795,83668,111277,1421,347,126

(7) This does not include the budget for notional resource items

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Valerie Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what action he proposes to take to ensure that the regional chambers have sufficient resources to meet their duty to monitor the work of the Regional Development Agencies. [153491]

Ms Armstrong: I am today announcing proposals to establish a new fund for supporting the regional chambers, worth £5 million a year in total. This will enable the chambers to enhance their capacity to scrutinise the work of the Regional Development Agencies, as they progress towards their targets and delivery of their regional strategies, and to develop their role as a strategic focal point for their regions. Details of my proposals are contained in a consultation paper inviting views from the chambers and other interested parties, copies of which have been place in the House Library.

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what targets he has set the Regional Development Agencies for the single budget from 2002-03. [153512]

Ms Armstrong: Challenging high level objectives and outcome targets will be set for each Regional Development Agency (RDA), as part of the framework of targets for the single budget from 1 April 2002. These are set out in the table. We expect these targets to be delivered by the RDAs in exchange for the greater flexibility they will have under the single budget. Additional flexibilities for the RDAs for the 2001-02 transitional year are being set out in the 2001-02 allocations announcement today.

The objectives will provide the overall context for all activity undertaken by the RDAs. The high level outcome targets add measurability to these objectives, and will be used to measure the direct impact of RDA activity on the regions. Each RDA will be expected to contribute to the high level targets. In due course, detailed output targets will also be negotiated separately with each RDA.

Objectives--applying throughout urban and rural areasOutcome targets (by 2004-05 unless otherwise stated)
To promote economic development and regionally balanced growth.1. Provide the strategic framework to improve the sustainable economic performance in each region measured by the trend in growth of GDP per capita, while also contributing to the broader quality of life in the region.
To promote social cohesion and sustainable development through integrated local regeneration programmes.2. Regeneration: Work with local strategic partnerships (LSPs) to tackle poverty and social exclusion through promoting economic development in the most deprived areas by reducing deprivation by 10 per cent. in those wards that are currently in the bottom 20 per cent. of the region as identified by the Indices of Multiple Deprivation.
3. Urban: Working with the LSPs, contribute to the renaissance of towns and cities so that negative current population trends in key urban areas are reversed and the numbers living and/or working there are increasing.
4. Rural: In line with Rural White Paper objectives, regenerate Market Towns in or close to Rural Priority Areas, and achieve increases in employment, skills and new business formation levels in priority rural areas comparable with those being achieved elsewhere in the Region.
5. Physical development: Work with partners to ensure that 60 per cent. of new housing is provided on previously developed land and through conversion of existing buildings by 2008. Ensure that brownfield land will be reclaimed at a rate of over 1,100 hectares per annum by 2004 (reclaiming 5 per cent. of current brownfield land by 2004 and 17 per cent. by 2010).
To help those without a job into work by promoting employment and enhancing the development of skills relevant to employment.6. Employment: Work with Employment Service and Learning Skills Councils (LSCs) to increase employment over the economic cycle--by increasing the ILO employment rate by 2004.
7. Skills: Work with LSCs to increase by 3 percentage points by 2004 the number of 19-year-olds achieving a qualification equivalent to NVQ level 2 compared to 2002. Improve the levels of qualifications of the work force in order to meet future learning targets.
Promote enterprise, innovation, increased productivity and competitiveness8. Productivity: Work with regional partners to enable an increase in productivity measured by Gross Value Added (GVA) per hour worked in the region and in particular increase productivity.
9. Enterprise: Work with Small Business Service to help build an enterprise society in which small firms of all kinds thrive and achieve their potential, with an increase in the number of people considering going into business, an improvement in the overall productivity of small firms, and more enterprise in disadvantaged communities.
10. Investment: Make the region an attractive place for investment to maintain the UK as the prime location in the EU for foreign direct investment, particularly by providing effective co-ordination of inward investment activities of local partners and sub regional agencies.
11. Innovation: Make the most of the UK's science, engineering and technology by increasing the level of exploitation of technological knowledge derived from the science and engineering base, as demonstrated by a significant rise in the proportion of innovating business citing such sources.

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