|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the Sovereign base areas which would be defended under the terms of the Strategic Defence Review; and what plans there are to withdraw from these bases. 
16 Jul 2001 : Column: 8W
Mr. Ingram: It is too early to know what caused the fatal accident on Salisbury Plain, but a full investigation has begun. Clearly all our thoughts are with the families and friends of the two soldiers who died in the accident.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Solicitor-General what action the Attorney General proposes to take to assist in ensuring that Turkey complies with its obligations to the Loizidou case as a consequence of the resolution of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers of 26 June. [R] 
Richard Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the impact of the Mayor of London's proposed congestion tax on retailing within the proposed congestion tax area. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 3 July 2001]: The Mayor's congestion charging proposals are his responsibility, not the Government's. However, in 2000, before the Mayor was elected, a Government-sponsored report was published entitled "Road Charging Options for London: a Technical Assessment". This was a report by an independent group consisting of transport experts from the academic, professional and public sectors. Chapter 5 on "Impacts and Effects" discusses how the illustrative charging scenarios included in the report would affect different groups including retail businesses. The impacts on businesses are discussed at paragraphs 5.3.79 to 5.3.82. Copies of the report are available in the Library.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will provide the figures for the fourth quarter of 200001 of service disruptions due to failures in trains, signals, points and track. 
16 Jul 2001 : Column: 9W
Mr. Jamieson: Railtrack figures show that the average daily delays from all causes to services run by the franchised passenger train operators during the 12 week period beginning 7 January 2001 totalled 76,647 minutes. Around 18,500 trains ran each day under the winter timetables.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the need for additional capacity on the Cotswold railway line between Worcestershire and Oxford; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority has met the Cotswold and Malvern Line partnership who are preparing a bid for funding from the Rail Passenger Partnership scheme to improve this stretch of the line. When the bid is submitted it will be assessed against the authority's planning criteria.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what evaluations his Department has conducted into the advantages of extending southwards the railway line from Chessington South. 
Mr. Jamieson: No evaluations have been made by my Department or the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA). I understand that evaluations have been made by Stagecoach, the franchisee of South West Trains, and that the proposal is supported by the local authority. If funding were required from Government it may be available through the Rail Passenger Partnership scheme (RPP), administered by the SRA. The SRA will assess any bids on value for money grounds against their published planning criteria. Bidding guidance has been sent to all local authorities.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will establish a method of independent oversight to ensure the study promised by GoVia into the viability of reopening the Lewes-Uckfield line is undertaken properly. 
Mr. Jamieson: The study will be carried out by a consultant in accordance with terms of reference agreed by the Strategic Rail Authority and GoVia. The authority will consider the results of the study against planning criteria approved by Ministers. It would neither be practicable nor appropriate to introduce further parties into the evaluation process.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what representations he has received about the full value for money analysis in respect of London Underground proposals; what has been the response to them and by whom; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: In addition to occasional questions in the House, my Department receives a small amount of correspondence from time to time about the value for money analysis of the Government's proposals for London Underground.
A report of the Environment, Transport and the Regional Affairs Committee published in July 2000 recommended that the National Audit Office should evaluate the public sector comparator used in the value
16 Jul 2001 : Column: 10W
for money analysis before contracts were signed. The National Audit Office produced a report into the financial analysis of our proposals for the London Underground in December 2000.
The Select Committee also recommended that the results of the comparator tests should be published before the letting of any contracts. Our response to all such representations has been that the results of the full value for money analysis will be made publicly available once contracts have been signed. To publish the results any earlier would undermine London Underground's commercial position and damage its ability to achieve best value for the taxpayer.
Mr. Coleman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions by what amount his Department intends to reduce the level of public subsidy to housing over the next 10 years expressed as (a) a total figure and (b) a figure per week for each tenant. 
Ms Keeble: The Government's proposals for the new Housing Revenue Account subsidy system will not lead to any change in the overall level of subsidy in 200203 from that announced in the 2000 Spending Review. Thereafter the future level of subsidy will be determined as part of the general decisions in the Spending Reviews on future public expenditure.
>Mr. Sanders: Mr. Sanders--> To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will publish the criteria under the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 governing the use by local authorities of housing investment programme allocations for social services staff redundancy packages; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: Housing investment programme allocations, together with those for a number of other capital programmes, are issued in the form of Basic Credit Approvals. Authorities are free to use these for any capital purpose.
Expenditure for capital purposes is defined in the 1989 Act, but the Act also provides, in section 40(6), for the Secretary of State to make a direction that expenditure normally defined as revenue be treated by the authority concerned as expenditure for capital purposes. Directions are not normally issued unless the expenditure:
Applications for capitalisation of redundancy costs, and similar lump-sum costs such as severance or premature retirement payments, are normally considered against test (b) as stated. In those cases, directions are not usually given unless the expenditure to be capitalised exceeds both:
16 Jul 2001 : Column: 11W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|