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Private Finance Initiative

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 16 July 2001, Official Report, column 19W, on PFI, what the average saving is under PFI contracts awarded; and in which projects his Department has identified mistakes in the calculation of the public sector comparator after a PFI contract has been signed. [8141]

Mr. Jamieson: PPP/PFI deals go ahead only where they demonstrate clear value for money against a public sector comparator. The last survey, which was carried out by Arthur Andersen and the LSE, identified 17 per cent. savings by PPPs against a conventional public sector procurement. However, specific information about savings in PFI contracts can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

London Underground

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he expects all London Underground trains to have air conditioning. [9115]

Mr. Jamieson: This is a matter for London Underground Ltd. Installing air conditioning on the Underground would be highly challenging, as most of the network is over

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100 years old and was not designed to accommodate the bulky equipment necessary. As well as work on trains, air conditioning would require equipping many stations. However, new technology is being explored and the case for air conditioning, or for other means to provide a better travelling environment, is being reviewed by London Underground. Until this work is completed it is not possible to announce a time scale for equipping trains with air conditioning. In the meantime, the modernisation contracts require all new and refurbished trains to have improved airflow and ventilation.

Best Value

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what information he has collated on the number of building and maintenance departments of local authorities which have been externalised since the introduction of best value; if he will list the local authorities concerned and indicate (a) how many employees are involved (i) in each case and (ii) overall and (b) the name of the contractor who has taken over the delivery of those services in each case; and if he will make a statement. [9113]

Dr. Whitehead: This information is not held centrally. Local authorities have to report the outcome of best value reviews in their Best Value Performance Plans, but no co-ordination of these references has taken place, either on building maintenance or on any other work. The Best Value Inspectorate of the Audit Commission will consider whether the outcome of any particular review is likely to represent best value.

Rail Projects

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he expects (a) Crossrail, (b) Thameslink 2000 and (c) the west coast main line to be completed. [8993]

Mr. Jamieson: The Government, with the Mayor and the Strategic Rail Authority, have commissioned project definition work on an east-west London rail link, often known as Crossrail. This is looking into possible routes and service patterns. At this stage it is too early to say when such a scheme, if it were to receive the necessary approvals, could be completed; the earliest date is late 2010.

The Thameslink 2000 proposal is dependent on powers being granted under the Transport and Works Act 1992. The public inquiry into the scheme finished earlier this year, and the Inspector's report is expected next spring. If the scheme is approved, the earliest date that it could be operational is late 2007.

At present, phase 1 of the west coast main line project is expected to be completed in 2002–3. Some elements of phase 2 of the project are dependent on powers being granted under the Transport and Works Act and are the subject of public inquiries. If powers are given for these elements of the project, the principal outputs of phase 2 could be completed in 2005, and the work could be fully completed by 2007. However, in recent discussions with Railtrack about its financial position, the company indicated that these dates are subject to some uncertainty.

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Rail Modernisation

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recommendations he has received from the Strategic Rail Authority about the level of investment needed to modernise the rail network. [8995]

Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority are due to publish their Strategic Plan by the end of November. The Strategic Plan will set out their priorities for enhancement to the network.

Working Time Directive (Bus Drivers)

Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what guidance he has issued to transport authorities regarding the safe number of hours for urban bus drivers to work without a break. [8671]

Mr. Jamieson: Most urban bus drivers are subject to the UK drivers' hours rules. These rules, including the break requirements, are explained in a guide book issued by my Department entitled "Drivers' Hours and Tachograph Rules for Road Passenger Vehicles in the UK and Europe (PSV375)" which can be obtained free of charge from the Area Offices of the Vehicle Inspectorate or downloaded from the Departmental website.

Central Trains

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent assessment he has made of the reliability and punctuality of train services between Worcester and Birmingham via Droitwich Spa; and if he will make a statement. [8985]

Mr. Jamieson: Performance statistics published by the Strategic Rail Authority show that 76.3 per cent. of Central Trains services arrived on time during the period 24 June to 21 July. This is a combined punctuality and reliability assessment. Services are deemed punctual if they arrived at their destination within five minutes of the timetable.

Greater London Authority

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what discussions his Department has had with the Greater London Authority in the last six months regarding (a) the financial settlement for London and (b) the GLA precept on council tax; and if he will make a statement. [8954]

Mr. Byers: I and my ministerial colleagues have regular meetings with the Mayor to discuss many issues about London, including the financial settlement for the capital. The level of precept levied by the Greater London Authority is a matter for the Mayor and Assembly to discuss in their budget setting process.

Houses in Multiple Occupation

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to introduce legislation to license houses in multiple occupation. [8717]

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Ms Keeble: The Government have a long-established commitment to legislate for the licensing of houses in multiple occupation. Our plans for legislation are well in hand following consultations on HMO licensing and a new Housing Health and Safety Rating System to replace the current fitness regime. We envisage that the proposed legislation will extend to the Selective Licensing of Landlords in areas of low housing demand—on which we have just issued a consultation document.

Local Government (Graduate Recruitment)

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what action he is taking to encourage graduate recruitment in local government. [8637]

Dr. Whitehead: Local government plays a key role in delivering our public services, and the quality of its staff is critical to successful outcomes.

The DTLR provides funding and support for the Local Government Employers' Organisation (EO) and the Local Government National Training Organisation (LGNTO). These organisations provide a number of products aimed at recruiting graduates, including:

We will continue to work with local government to identify key skill shortages and ways of addressing them. The Government's forthcoming White Paper on local government will reflect our conclusions.

Public Drinking

Mr. Lepper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list those local authorities which have byelaws which prohibit public drinking; how many interventions there have been by the police; and how many successful prosecutions arising from these interventions have been recorded in each of these local authority areas in each year since the introduction of the byelaw. [9108]

Dr. Whitehead: The local authorities that have bye-laws to regulate the consumption of intoxicating liquor in designated places are listed. Information as to police interventions or prosecutions is not held centrally.

Byelaws—consumption of intoxicating liquor in designated places (118 authorities have adopted the alcohol byelaw as at 8 August 2001)

Local authorityOperative date of bye-law
Alnwick district council27 June 1998
Amber Valley borough council11 May 2000
Barrow-in-Furness borough council8 July 1998
Basingstoke and Deane borough council1 October 1996
Bath city council15 March 1991
Bedford borough council15 July 1994
Berwick-upon-Tweed borough council10 June 2000
Bodmin town council5 May 1999
Bolton metropolitan borough council2 August 1993
Bournemouth borough council23 November 1995
Blackpool borough council1 June 1998
Blaenau Gwent county borough6 June 1997
Breckland district council14 January 2000
Brighton and Hove council23 August 2001
Calderdale borough council22 June 2001
Canterbury city council1 February 1998
Caradon district council4 August 1995
Caerphilly county borough council9 November 1998
Carrick district council30 December 1995
Cheltenham borough council1 August 1994
Chester city council26 April 1991
Conwy county borough council28 June 1999
Corby district council20 July 1992
Coventry city council1 November 1990
Derby city council7 August 1995
Devizes town council14 February 1998
Dover district council26 September 1999
Dunstable town council20 October 1997
Easington district council27 January 1998
10 August 2001
East Devon district council9 March 2000
22 June 2001
Eden district council31 August 2000
Edmundsbury borough council22 December 1997
Exeter city council1 April 1995
Falmouth town council30 December 1995
Farringdon town council6 March 2000
Gloucester city council4 August 2000
Guildford borough council9 April 2000
Halton borough council1 March 2001
Hastings borough council25 August 2000
Harlow district council6 March 2000
Hart district council2 March 1998
Hartlepool borough council14 August 1995
Hereford city council22 June 1992
Kennet district council1 November 1996
Kerrier district council30 October 2000
Kettering borough council13 August 1999
Lancaster city council12 May 2000
Leeds city council18 May 2001
Liverpool city council27 March 2000
14 July 2000
London borough of Lambeth1 February 1999
Ludlow town council1 August 1994
Luton borough council21 January 1999
Malvern Hills district council26 March 1998
Manchester city council4 August 2000
Market Lavington parish council20 April 2000
Market Raisen town council30 September 1996
Maulden parish council19 June 1997
Melbourne parish council8 July 1998
Mendip district council24 August 1992
Newbury district council5 February 1997
Newcastle city council9 August 2001
Newport county borough council3 November 1997
Nottingham city council8 January 2000
North Cornwall district council5 May 1999
North Devon district council19 May 1997
North East Lincolnshire district council6 October 1997
North Somerset council29 October 1998
North Tyneside borough council24 May 1993
North West Leicestershire district council2 January 1998
North Yorkshire county council7 August 1995
Norwich city council16 December 1996
Pembury parish council26 February 1998
Penwith district council1 February 1994
Peterborough city council15 January 1997
Plymouth, City of1 December 1997
13 June 2001
Pulloxhill parish council18 November 2000
Redcar and Cleveland borough council18 December 1996
Redditch borough council23 April 1997
Restormel borough council18 March 1991
Rhondda Cynon Taf county borough council21 January 1997
Rushmoor borough council14 November 1991
Salisbury district council1 July 1993
Scarborough borough council12 March 1991
Sevenoaks town council25 October 1993
Shrewsbury and Atcham borough council16 February 2001
Somerton parish council14 May 1999
South Bedfordshire district council20 October 1997
South Derbyshire district council1 August 1997
South Shropshire district council29 July 1998
South Tyneside metropolitan borough council29 July 1998
Southend-on-Sea borough council26 June 1997
South Hams district council24 August 1996
South Herefordshire district council1 January 1998
South Shropshire district council1 August 1994
South Lakeland district council1 December 1996
Slough borough council16 October 1999
Stockton-on-Tees borough council30 May 1991
Stotfold town council15 January 1998
St. Albans city council30 May 1998
Suffolk coastal district1 October 1997
Sunderland, City of24 March 1997
Tameside metropolitan borough council16 April 1999
Tamworth borough council10 July 1998
Taunton Dean borough council4 January 2000
Teignbridge district council7 September 1992
Torbay district council10 April 1995
Truro city council30 December 1995
Tynedale district council5 August 1999
Vale of White Horse district council4 February 2000
Warwick district council1 June 1995
West Wiltshire district council17 December 1999
Weymouth and Portland borough council5 June 2000
Windsor and Maidenhead, Royal Borough of20 March 2001
Wirral, metropolitan borough of3 December 1999
Woking borough council29 May 1998
Worcester city council17 May 1998
Wychavon district council1 February 1997
Yarm town council1 December 1995

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Where two dates are shown against an authority's name, two separate alcohol byelaws are in operation in that authority's area.

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