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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 10 April 2001

WALES

Foot and Mouth

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions (a) he and (b) staff in his Department had with officials of the National Assembly concerning possible outbreaks of foot and mouth disease, prior to 19 February; and if he will make a statement. [154825]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I regularly meet the First Secretary to discuss a range of issues affecting Wales, including agricultural matters. My officials and officials within the Assembly are also in frequent contact about agricultural issues.

However, prior to the 19 February, these discussions did not include the possible outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what additional resources are being made available to the National Assembly for Wales to help agricultural and tourism-related businesses to survive the financial effects of the consequences of foot and mouth disease. [154840]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The Assembly is involved in the decisions being made on assistance for rural businesses affected by the consequences of foot and mouth disease. Any additional funding for the Assembly would be provided under the funding arrangements for the devolved Administrations, which were set out in the Statement of Funding Policy in July 2000.

GM Crops

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on what date he received notification from the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions of its recent decision to license GM crop sites in Wales; and if he will make a statement. [157986]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I was aware, as were Assembly Ministers and officials, that sites across the UK were being sought for the second year of the Farm Scale Evaluations programme.

The decision on locations for the trials was taken by the Scientific Steering Committee for the programme, on the basis of advice from the Research Consortium and information about the availability of sites from the Supply Chain Initiative on Modified Agricultural Crops (SCIMAC).

DETR officials informed relevant officials about the three GM maize sites proposed for Wales once they had themselves been notified of the exact locations by SCIMAC. DETR then announced the sites on Tuesday

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3 April and wrote to county and community councils in Wales with proposed sites in their areas to provide information about the Farm Scale Evaluation programme.

Any further information on the detail of the announcement would be a matter for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

SOLICITOR-GENERAL

Jay Abatan

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will review the decisions taken by the Crown Prosecution Service following the fatal attack on Jay Abatan in Brighton in January 1999, following the findings of the review by Essex police into the handling of the case in Sussex. [157143]

The Solicitor-General: The aim of review by the Essex police into the fatal attack on Jay Abatan was to examine the conduct of the investigation by Sussex police officers. The review was commissioned by the Sussex police. The Crown Prosecution Service in Sussex has not yet received a copy of the review but remain willing to consider any findings relating to the way the CPS dealt with the prosecution of the case.

I explained in a detailed written answer on 24 May 2000, Official Report, columns 528-31W, when responding to a question put down by the hon. Member, that the decisions made by the Sussex Crown Prosecution Service were entirely satisfactory, given the evidence produced by the initial police investigation. I am willing to reconsider that conclusion in the light of any findings of the review.

Sussex police have appointed a new investigation team. Consistent with this fresh start, the Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Sussex made arrangements for a senior lawyer from Hampshire Crown Prosecution Service to deal with any prosecution which may result from the new investigation.

ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORT AND THE REGIONS

Child Road Deaths

Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will publish a breakdown of the main reasons for child road deaths in each of the last three years. [157095]

Mr. Hill [holding answer 5 April 2001]: Statistics on the main contributory factors in child road fatalities are not available. However, the main road user types of child fatalities can be identified as follows:

Child fatalities aged 0-15: Great Britain

199719981999
Pedestrians138103107
Cyclists333236
Car occupants746471
Others1077
All road users255206221


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Single European Sky

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what topics are under discussion in relation to the proposed Single European Sky for report to the Gothenburg European Council in June. [157336]

Mr. Robert Ainsworth: The European Commission is still working on its Single Sky proposals which it intends to elaborate in a second Communication on Single Sky. Until the Communication has been formally presented to the College of Commissioners it is not possible to determine what precise proposals are to be put forward. The issue is expected to be discussed at the Gothenburg Council in June in general terms.

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Departmental Policies (Leeds, Central)

Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to (a) Leeds, Central parliamentary constituency and (b) the City of Leeds, the effects of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [157442]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The principal funding that this Department has provided to City of Leeds local authority in 1997 to present is shown in the table. This includes grants and borrowing approvals for revenue and capital expenditure.

It is not possible to determine how much of this money has been spent on Leeds, Central constituency. It is for the local authority to decide where within its boundary these resources are applied.

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£ million

Nature of funding 1997-981998-991999-20002000-01(1)2001-02
Housing Investment Programme(2)13.58112.42113.792(3)36.442(4)49.785
Housing Revenue Account Subsidy £853.30 per dwelling------£958.02 per dwelling
Capital Receipts Initiative2.8789.70210.111n/an/a
Neighbourhood Renewal Funding--------4.198
ERDF funding----------
Transport Supplementary Grant4.8354.5013.4900.2452.250
Transport Annual Capital Guideline4.7854.8023.6530.5350
Transport Block Supplementary Credit Approval5.6704.1634.2189.6832.250
Rural Bus Challenge Grant00000
Rural Bus Subsidy Grant00000

(1) Where known

(2)1997-98 HIP allocation inherited from the previous Government's spending plans. Present Government introduced CRI from 1997-98.

(3) Single Housing Pot introduced from 2000-01 resulting in CRI being merged with HIP.

(4) Resource accounting has resulted in a change to the way capital resources are allocated for 2001-02, with the introduction of a new Major Repairs Allowance (MRA) to cover the cost of maintaining local authority housing in a sound condition. The Leeds MRA allocation for 2001-02 is £35.656 million and, for comparison purposes, is included in the 2001-02 HIP allocation above.

Note:

Leeds' overall capital allocation of £49.785 million represents an increase of 266.7 per cent. on the inherited 1997-98 allocation.


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Further transport figures:

In addition, the following funds have been allocated to the West Yorkshire PTA, some of which have been/will be spent in the Leeds CC area.

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£ million

Nature of funding1997-981998-991999-20002000-012001-02
Transport Block Supplementary Credit Approval003.0002.500(5)57.607
Rural Bus Challenge Grant000.3640.2090.917
Rural Bus Subsidy Grant00.5560.5560.5560.710

(5) This figures has yet to be split between the five West Yorkshire authorities.


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The Leeds Initiative SRB Round 1 scheme: Removing barriers--creating opportunities

The programme consists of a package of employment and job creation measures designed to reduce unemployment and crime in inner city areas. The scheme is focused on four Community Priority Areas (CPAs):





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Lifetime total SRB funding is £16.48 million which is expected to lever in an additional investment of £26.5 million from other public and private sector sources over a seven year period commencing 1995-96.

The Leeds Initiative SRB Round 2 scheme: Rebuilding our communities

The programme aims to build on Round 1 activities by investing in physical regeneration in the East Bank area of Richmond Hill and by capitalising on training, employment and business growth opportunities in the East Bank and Chapeltown/Harehills, Hyde Park/Burley and Beeston Urban Renewal Areas. The scheme is primarily

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housing led and aims to stimulate local business and employment growth through major housing investment programmes.

The scheme has attracted a lifetime total SRB funding of £12.5 million which is expected to lever in an additional investment of £55.7 million from other public and private sector sources over a seven year period commencing 1996-97.

Community action and support against crime--SRB Round 2 scheme

A three year scheme commenced 1996-97 and targeted on the Chapeltown and Harehills area of Leeds. The scheme provided a local focus for tackling high crime rates by strengthening community resolve to fight crime and overcome the fear of crime. It mixed target hardening and property marking with increased community participation in Neighbourhood Watch, enhanced victim support services, diversionary activities for youth and drugs counselling. The SRB contribution totalled £200,000.

The Leeds Initiative SRB Round 3 scheme: Leeds partnership with young people

The scheme proposes to tackle deprivation by providing assistance to young people aged nine to 25 living in the four most deprived electoral wards in the city: Burmantofts, Chapel Allerton, Harehills and the University.

The lifetime total SRB funding is £23.9 million which is expected to lever in an additional investment of £49.1 million from other public and private sector sources over a seven year period commencing 1997-98.

The Leeds Initiative SRB Round 4 scheme: Investing in the community

This scheme is targeted at the communities of Beeston Hill and Holbeck. The overall objective is to develop a sustainable regeneration strategy for the target area that will provide the local communities with an improvement to the quality of their lives.

The scheme has attracted a lifetime total SRB funding of £7.4 million which is expected to lever in an additional investment of £16 million from other public and private sector sources over a seven year period commencing 1998-99.

The Leeds Initiative SRB Round 5 scheme: Better neighbourhoods and confident communities

A seven year scheme, commencing 1999-2000, targeted at the most socially excluded neighbourhoods in Leeds. Its focus cuts across the range of SRB Objectives and seeks to address issues of neighbourhood decline in the following four main areas of concern:





The overall lifetime funding package totals £61.164 million, of which the SRB contribution is £24.864 million.

The Leeds Initiative SRB Round 6 scheme: Aire Valley employment area

The overall objective of this seven year scheme, commencing 2000-01, is to transform the area, which forms the region's largest industrial site, into a high quality, sustainable employment base for the people of

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Leeds (particularly deprived communities in the east and south of the city) and the Yorkshire and Humberside region as a whole.

The overall lifetime funding package totals £46.4 million, of which the SRB contribution is £11.6 million.

European Funding

Leeds was not eligible for Objective 2 funding under the 1997-99 programme. However, it was eligible for support under the KONVER Community Initiative (to support diversification of economic activities in areas dependent on the defence sector). Projects in the area received offers of support totalling nearly £860,000 via ERDF measures and £234,000 via ESF.

The Chapeltown/Harehills area was also eligible for support under the URBAN Community Initiative (to support the development of urban areas in crisis). Projects in the area received offers totalling some £2.2 million via ERDF measures and £300,000 via ESF. The initiative was actually managed by a Board/Committee made up of local authority and local community representatives.

For Objective 3 (ESF), Leeds had £2.86 million in 1997, £4.1 million in 1998 and £8 million in 1999-2000.

For Objective 4 (ESF), it had £105,000 in 1998 and £1.5 million in 1999.


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