|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Jamieson: Options for dealing with the problems on the M6 between junctions 11 and 16 are currently the subject of the MIDMAN multi-modal study on which the final report will be made later this year. It would be premature to make any statements on widening before the report is complete.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the signals passed at danger incidents at Shenfield in the last two years. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advise that there has been only one SPAD incident at Shenfield in the last two years. This occurred on 9 November 1999, when a First Great Eastern passenger train over-ran signal L487 by three yards. The cause of this incident was linked to driver misjudgment of the trains braking.
3 Jul 2001 : Column: 118W
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the process is of allocation of funds from (a) the Railway Development Fund and (b) the Freight Strategy. 
Mr. Jamieson: The concept of the Railway Modernisation Fund is outlined in the Strategic Rail Authority's Strategic Agenda. Further details will be provided in its Strategic Plan, to be published in November.
Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority's Freight Strategy is designed to deliver growth over the period of the Government's 10-Year Plan but also looks to provide sustainable growth beyond the 10-year horizon.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make it his policy to allow local authorities a discretionary power to levy 100 per cent. council tax on long-term empty homes within their area; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Whitehead: In the Rural White Paper last November, we set out proposals to consult on giving local authorities discretion on applying the 50 per cent. discount for second homes. We are considering whether the principle of greater local discretion could be extended to long-term empty homes as well.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what representations his Department has received in the last 12 months concerning planning permission for the construction of new municipal incinerators; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: Some 1,304 representations (including 237 as signatures on a petition) concerning 14 sites, either where planning permission has been granted or there are proposals for future development, have been received. Two of the sites relate to applications for waste to energy incinerators at Belvedere and Edmonton, in the London boroughs of Bexley and Enfield respectively, where the applications have been made to my right hon. Friend the
3 Jul 2001 : Column: 119W
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the estimated administrative cost was of the merger of the Departments of the Environment and Transport in 1997. 
Dr. Whitehead: The costs and benefits of the merger in 1997 of the Department of the Environment and the Department of Transport were set out in the DETR Merger Group Report published by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions in August 1997. Estimates of expenditure, including those elements designed to modernise the working methods and service delivery of the new Department and to take advantage of best practice, for example in IT and financial management systems, are set out in the table.
|Expenditure area||£ million|
|Measures to link office automation systems||0.10.2|
|Measures to move to a single office automation system||36|
|Measures to move to a single financial management and accounting system||69|
|Conversion of parts of an HQ building to provide flexibility||0.35|
|Measures to co-locate Ministers and supporting staff||0.2|
|Co-location of Finance divisions||0.05|
|Co-location of Personnel divisions||0.050.08|
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans (a) he and (b) his Ministers have to (i) address and (ii) visit the EU Committee of the Regions. 
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans the Government have to change the electoral system (a) in the Greater London Authority, (b) for the election of directly elected mayors and (c) for the election of local councillors. 
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the electoral system planned for the election of regional assemblies in England outside London. 
Mr. Raynsford: As my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister announced on 2 July 2001, Official Report, column 80W, the Government intend to publish a White Paper on regional government in England. This will include proposals on the electoral system for regional assemblies.
3 Jul 2001 : Column: 120W
Ms Keeble: Figures showing the level of empty council housing need to be seen in the context of local authorities' overall strategies for addressing deprived areas, and areas of low demand. In this respect an increase in properties awaiting demolition may be a relevant factor. It is clearly important that local authorities turn round empty properties which are available for letting, whether immediately or after minor repairs, as quickly as possible.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans his Department has to give an equity stake to residents in (a) council housing and (b) non-municipal social housing; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: The Government are committed to examining the ways in which social tenants might gain a stake in their homes. A range of options for how this might be done and the issues that these raise are now being considered. The current intention is to consult more widely once this work is further advanced, probably in the autumn.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many civil servants were employed by the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions in April 2001; and how many it is anticipated will be employed by the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions once departmental restructuring is completed. 
Dr. Whitehead: At 1 April 2001 the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Central) (DETR (C)) employed 4,044 staff. We estimate that once restructuring is complete, the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (Central) ((DTLR (C)) will employ approximately 3,400 staff subject to final decision on the number of support staff to transfer. This figure also takes account of staff movements between DTLR, Home Office and Department of Trade and Industry which follow from Machinery of Government changes made after the election. Neither figure includes staff employed by DTLR in Government Offices.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the estimated administrative cost is of the recent changes to the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. 
Dr. Whitehead: Costs incurred so far on changing the Department's name amount to £25,250. No major systems costs associated with machinery of government changes have been incurred. Work of a short-term nature to implement the transfers of responsibilities is in hand, involving staff at various levels and in a number of
3 Jul 2001 : Column: 121W
different areas of the Department. No central record is kept of the time spent and no estimate of the staff cost is therefore available. However, these costs are not significant.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|