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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what his policy is on the European Union White Paper, "European Transport Policy for 2010: Time to Decide". 
Mr. Jamieson: The European Commission published its White Paper "European Transport Policy for 2010: Time to Decide" on 12 December 2001. The White Paper itself has no legislative or executive force at this stage but it indicates areas where the Commission intends to initiate action over the next few years.
The Government set out their initial view on the White Paper in an Explanatory Memorandum (11932/01) to the Parliamentary Scrutiny Committees. To help inform the Government's position further, the Department launched a formal consultation exercise on 1 November 2001, seeking views on the White Paper and its potential impacts upon the transport sector from the transport industry, the devolved Administrations and other interested parties. The deadline for responses is 31 January 2002.
Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many written representations he has received in the last 12 months from people in the Wealden constituency expressing support for an elected regional assembly in the South East of England. 
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Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the cost was of the development and piloting of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and of version 1 of the guidance between when the Legal Research Institute at the University of Warwick was commissioned to undertake this work; when the report on the system's development and the guidance were published; and what is the estimated cost of the further research projects designed to refine the system due to be completed during 2002. 
Ms Keeble: The development and piloting of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System cost about £740,000 including VAT from the appointment of the University of Warwick in January 1998 up to publication, in July 2000, of the Report on Development and Version 1 of the Guidance. The estimated cost of further research and evaluation from August 2000 until December 2002 is £560,000 including VAT.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the local authorities subject to capping in the local government finance settlement; the amount forgone by each of those authorities and the average reduction to all local authorities if the cap had not been introduced; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the methodology used to carry out corporate governance reviews of local authorities; and if he will make a statement. 
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collection of evidence from an assessment of key council documents, interviews with key personnel, group discussions with staff, the public and stakeholders. Inspections last one week or two weeks, in lower and upper tier authorities respectively and as with best value service inspections, councils are briefed throughout the inspection process and have the opportunity to respond to the inspection findings, presented to them shortly after the on-site phase has ended, and on the draft report.
Best Value Inspector (from the Audit Commission)
District Auditor/Audit Manager, or alternative financial specialist
Chief Executive (or ex-CEX), or senior manager in a council
Council Leader, or senior member
Benefit Fraud Inspector
Ofsted Inspector (in inspections of upper tier authorities)
Social Services Inspector (in inspections of upper tier authorities).
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list those local authorities who have (a) completed, (b) are undergoing and (c) will start in the year to the end of April 2002 a corporate governance review; and if he will make a statement. 
The Audit Commission is finalising its wider approach to the comprehensive assessment of performance in councils, initially for all 150 upper tier authorities in England, as required by the recent Local Government White Paper. It will use the experience from these early corporate governance inspections to develop an approach that enables inspectorsincluding experienced practitioners from local governmentto assess key features of corporate governance arrangements.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what arrangements are in place to ensure joined up working to deliver the social regeneration and economic regeneration in the most deprived communities; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: The Neighbourhood Renewal Unit (NRU) was established to spearhead delivery of the National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal and to bring a joined up approach to neighbourhood renewal. NRU's staff have been recruited from a range of Government Departments, as well as from the other parts of the public, voluntary, community and private sectors.
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At ministerial level, the work of the NRU is overseen by a Cabinet-level Ministerial Committee, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister. This Committee will work closely with a Steering Group of Permanent Secretaries.
At regional level, Government Offices (GOs) join up Government policy in the regions and act as a voice for the regions in central Government. GOs have particular responsibilities for neighbourhood renewal, including helping the NRU to oversee local renewal strategies in their region.
Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) are the Government's umbrella mechanism for linking local service providers with local authorities, business and the community and voluntary sector to provide a strategic view of local priorities. LSPs will prepare the local neighbourhood renewal strategy, which will clearly set out a local strategic framework for action that responds to neighbourhood needs and puts them in the context of the area as a whole.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make it his policy to restrict the subjects raised in parish polls to matters for which the council organising the poll has responsibility. 
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to increase the threshold of the numbers of voters required to request a parish poll in large parish and town councils; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Whitehead: As part of our initiatives, following the Rural White Paper (Cm 4909), to strengthen local democracy at parish level we will be reviewing the operation of parish polls including the threshold of the number of voters required to request a poll in large parish and town councils. Any change to the current requirements will require primary legislation.
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