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Temple Sowerby Bypass

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the progress of the Temple Sowerby bypass in Cumbria. [5339]

Mr. Spellar: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr. Tim Matthews, to write to the right hon. Member.

Letter from Tim Matthews to Mr. David Maclean, dated 20 July 2001:





A11

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he expects the safety study of the A11 to be completed. [5340]

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 525W

Mr. Spellar: There is currently no safety study on the A11 as a whole. However, there is a programme of individual studies along the A11 which will all report separately.

Absence

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many days on average were lost per employee in his Department because of sickness; and how many officials retired early from his Department in each of the past 10 years. [R] [5053]

Mr. Byers: As the Department has only existed since 8 June it is not possible to reply in the form requested.

A69

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the Government's plans to upgrade the A69 in Cumbria. [5262]

Mr. Spellar: I will write to the right hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Libraries of the House.

M6

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to widen that part of the M6 motorway which is in two lanes north of Carlisle. [5263]

Mr. Spellar: I will write to the right hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Libraries of the House.

Departmental Events

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what (a) national and (b) international awareness events the Department and its predecessors have participated in since June 1997 in the form of (i) sponsorship, (ii) departmental attendance, (iii) similar departmental activities and (iv) a message of support. [5041]

Mr. Byers: The Department engages in a wide range of awareness activities designed to help deliver its policies and programmes. Information on them is not held centrally.

Allocations (Wiltshire)

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list in (a) cash terms and (b) 2001–02 prices the SSA and AEF figures for (i) Wiltshire county council, (ii) West Wiltshire district council and (iii) Salisbury district council for each year since 1996–97. [5193]

Dr. Whitehead: The data requested are given in the table.

SSA Total external support(8)
Cash terms2001–02 pricesCash terms2001–02 prices
Wiltshire CC
1996–97(9)327.959370.499233.338263.605
1997–98237.116260.486164.162180.341
1998–99246.919263.725166.981178.347
1999–2000261.572273.154176.765184.592
2000–01276.154283.058186.137190.790
2001–02289.458289.458193.974193.974
West Wiltshire DC
1996–978.7649.9005.6926.431
1997–988.6489.5005.5596.107
1998–998.5229.1025.2785.637
1999–20008.7629.1505.3735.611
2000–019.0249.2495.4965.634
2001–029.5089.5085.6905.690
Salisbury CC
1996–9710.21211.5377.2518.192
1997–989.98710.9716.8037.474
1998–999.48610.1326.3316.762
1999–20009.77110.2046.3316.611
2000–0110.08110.3336.4026.562
2001–0210.49410.4946.5726.572

(8) Total external support comprises the sum of Revenue Support Grant, redistributed National Non-Domestic Rates, SSA Reduction Grant (SSA Review) and, from 1998–99 onwards, Central Support Protection Grant.

(9) The data for 1996–97 include an amount to cover the Thamesdown area. On 1 April 1997 Wiltshire was reorganised with Thamesdown borough council becoming a unitary council, Swindon borough council. Services previously undertaken by Wiltshire county council for this area became the responsibility of Swindon borough council. Data for 1997–98 onwards for Wiltshire county council do not cover the Swindon area.


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Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the methodology changes made since 1997 to the formulae for calculating the standard spending assessment and aggregate external finance figures for (a) Wiltshire county council, (b) West Wiltshire district council and (c) Salisbury district council; and if he will estimate the net financial effect of these changes. [5192]

Dr. Whitehead: There were 15 changes in the method of determining Standard Spending assessments (SSAs) for the 1998–99 Local Government Finance Settlement; and 20 changes for the 1999–2000 Local Government Finance Settlement.

In 1999–2000 the Government introduced a new damping grant, Central Support Protection Grant (CSPG), to ensure that no authority received less grant than the year before, and that authorities which had education and personal social services responsibilities received at least 1.5 per cent. more than the year before.

The July 1998 Local Government White Paper announced a three year review of Revenue grant Distribution. It said that the Government did not expect to make fresh changes to the method of calculation of SSAs except where there are changes in the functions of councils, or the funding of particular services.

In 2000–01 there were therefore only limited adjustments to SSAs to accommodate the establishment of the Greater London Authority and related changes, most notably those arising from the alterations to the boundary of the Metropolitan police district and the Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey police areas. CSPG was retained in 2000–01.

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In 2001–02 there was only one change in the method of determining SSAs to reflect the transfer of funding for nursery education for four year olds. CSPG was replaced for those authorities with education and personal social services responsibilities by floors and ceilings, which guaranteed that no authority would receive less than a 3.2 per cent. increase and that no authority could get more than a 6.5 per cent. increase.

Changes in the method of determining SSAs are contained in circular letters to local authorities, dated 2 December 1997, 2 December 1998, 25 November 1999

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and 27 November 2000, copies of which are in the Library. For convenience, copies of the relevant extracts have been placed in the Library.

The table shows the net percentage change in SSAs against adjusted SSAs for the previous year for Wiltshire, west Wiltshire and Salisbury over the period, together with the percentage change due to changes in methodology. It is inappropriate to compare actual SSA between years because of changes to the services financed by grants allocated using SSAs. Adjusted SSAs enable a like-for-like comparison between years.

Percentage

Wiltshire West Wiltshire Salisbury
YearChange against adjusted SSAsOf which change due to methodologyChange against adjusted SSAsOf which change due to methodologyChange against adjusted SSAsOf which change due to methodology
1998–992.01.8-1.5-0.9-5.0-5.7
1999–20005.9-0.62.8-0.93.0-0.4
2000–015.60.03.00.03.20.0
2001–024.80.04.50.03.10.0

Note:

It is not possible to perform a similar analysis for aggregate external finance.



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