|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list by region for each of the next 10 years the planned change in electrical power available to power electric train units. 
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he list by region for each of the last 10 years the electrical power available to power electric train units. 
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, (1) pursuant to the answer of 29 November 2001, Official Report, columns 109495W, on rate relief (village businesses), what was the (a) total number and (b) proportion of sole village pubs and petrol stations of a rateable value of £9,000 or less that have received rate relief since April, 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on what date the most recent head count of rough sleepers took place; and what requests were made by her Department to shelter providers to extend the nights in shelter over the period of the head count. 
Ms Keeble: The street count figures were placed in the Library of the House on 3 December 2001 and show the dates that street counts took place. Local authorities in partnership with local charities organised the latest round of street counts in England, which took place from 19 September 2001 to 29 November 2001.
6 Dec 2001 : Column: 445W
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what consideration he has given to the future pension costs of English fire authorities; if he will list the total costs for the three financial years up to 200001; and what he estimates those costs to be in each of the three succeeding years. 
In its report for the period 200102 to 200304 the local authorities' Fire Service Expenditure Forecasting Group provided the following estimates of pensions expenditure under the Central/local Partnership process.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) if he will list those local authorities that have failed to sell assets at best value within the last 10 years; and what discussions his Department and its predecessor have had with them on this subject; 
Ms Keeble: The Department does not maintain a central record of those local authorities that have sold assets at less than the best consideration reasonably obtainable. Local authorities do, however, have discretionary powers under Part VII of the Local Government Act 1972 to dispose of land at an undervalue with the Secretary of State's consent. The Secretary of State has issued general consents for particular classes of disposals of land, for less than the best consideration that can reasonably be obtained, without needing specific ministerial consent.
6 Dec 2001 : Column: 446W
This consent regime is one of a number under review with a view to abolition. The Secretary of State has had several discussions with the Local Government Association in central/local partnership meetings about the review in the context of broader deregulation.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what discussions he has had with the National Association of Local Councils on the subject of developing partnerships; and whether this includes new funding arrangements. 
Dr. Whitehead: My Department works closely with the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) on a number of issues including: best value, quality parishes, accounting and audit regulations and a national training strategy for town and parish councils.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what discussions he has had with the National Association of Local Councils on the question of restoring a share of the uniform business rate to (a) parish and (b) town councils. 
Dr. Whitehead: We have had no discussions with the National Association of Local Councils on this issue. Parish and town councils have never had a share of the revenue from the national non-domestic rateor uniform business ratesince its introduction in 1990. Their main source of funding is the council tax.
Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what financial help his Department is giving to local authorities who grant (a) mandatory and (b) discretionary rate relief to community and amateur sports clubs. 
Dr. Whitehead: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport announced on 30 November 2001 Official Report, column 1150W, that Community Amateur Sports Clubs may now apply for charitable status. The Charity Commission has said that they will now recognise the following activities as charitable purposes: the promotion of community participation in healthy recreation by the provision of facilities for the playing of a particular sport; and the advancement of the physical education of young people not undergoing formal education. Those community sports clubs which meet the criteria for charitable status can benefit from mandatory rate relief of 80 per cent., which is already available for all premises used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes and is fully funded by central Government. Local authorities have discretion to increase the amount of rate relief to 100 per cent. in these cases, with central Government meeting 25 per cent. of the cost of this element of rate relief.
6 Dec 2001 : Column: 447W
Local authorities also have discretion to give rate relief of up to 100 per cent. to other non-profit making bodies, including community amateur sports clubs whose activities are not regarded as charitable. Central Government contribute 75 per cent. of the cost of rate relief in these cases. To qualify, the organisation must be philanthropic, religious, or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts, or the property must be occupied by a non-profit making body and wholly or mainly used for the purpose of recreation.
Mr. Jamieson: The Galileo global satellite navigation system is a joint initiative by the European Community and the European Space Agency and the UK participates through its membership of both organisations. But the UK has a number of concerns about the project, including its costs and how these could be funded through a viable public-private partnership, and the benefits that the system would provide to users. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the European Commission published only on 22 November reinforces these concerns.
The Transport Council at its meeting on 7 December is scheduled to consider the release of Community funds and the establishment of a Joint Undertaking to manage and procure the development and validation phase of Galileo. We will seek a deferment of the decisions on the basis that further work as highlighted by the study should be carried out.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|