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Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions at what stage negotiations are with Meridian Delta over the sale of the Millennium Dome; when he expects negotiations to be completed; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, to my hon. Friend the Member for Eccles (Ian Stewart) on 18 December 2001, Official Report, columns 22021W. Negotiations are on-going between English Partnerships and Meridian Delta Ltd.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what financial assistance the Government have given to the World Health Organisation's study into deep vein thrombosis; 
(3) pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Vale of Glamorgan (Mr. Smith) of 16 January 2002, Official Report, columns 33637W, what representations he (a) has made and (b) plans to make to the World Health Organisation as part of their study into deep vein thrombosis. 
28 Jan 2002 : Column 58W
Mr. Jamieson: Officials from the Department of Health and from my Department have made a number of visits to the World Health Organisation in Geneva to discuss the scope and organisation of its proposed study into deep vein thrombosis. A further visit is planned shortly. A decision on funding will be made when those discussions are completed. The WHO estimates that the study will take approximately two and a half years to complete. Assuming the World Health Organisation secures the necessary funding in the early part of this year, the study should be completed by the end of 2004.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many letters his Department has received from residents of the Buckingham constituency (a) in favour and (b) opposed to the erection of mobile phone masts in the last year. 
Ms Keeble: The Department has received centrally five letters from members of the public in Buckinghamshire about the erection of mobile phone masts. All of these letters were either opposed to the erection of an individual mobile phone mast and/or requested clarification of our telecommunications planning policy.
However, the Radiocommunications Agency has made information available to the public via their website (www.radio.gov.uk). The database, called Sitefinder, gives details about all operational mobile phone base stations and their emissions. Sitefinder employs a "user-friendly" map-based facility indicating the location of cellular phone base stations. More information on a particular base station is available by simply clicking on the position indicator for the base station in question.
Ms Keeble: The Government's policy is firmly to encourage mast and site sharing where that is the optimum environmental solution in a particular case. Indeed, conditions attached to individual operating licences by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry include a requirement to investigate mast sharing before seeking to put up any new mast.
Planning Policy Guidance Note 8, "Telecommunications", makes clear our expectation that developers should provide the local planning authority with clear evidence that they have considered the use of existing masts, buildings and other structures before seeking to erect any new mast, regardless of size. The authority may be justified in refusing prior approval or planning permissions if it considers the evidence regarding the consideration of alternative sites is not satisfactory.
28 Jan 2002 : Column 59W
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he plans that English Nature should remain a statutory consultee on proposed regional spatial strategies, local development frameworks, action plans and planning applications; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: The consultation paper "Planning: Delivering a Fundamental Change" sets out the Government's proposals to overhaul the planning system. One option proposed is to clarify the status of statutory consultees and reduce their number. Decisions about which bodies might be in future be statutory consultees will be made in the light of consultation.
Ms Keeble: We hope shortly to reach a decision on the voluntary pilot tenancy deposit scheme and on such alternative options as there might be for safeguarding tenants' deposits from unjustified appropriation by landlords.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to extend to smaller lorries and vans the ban on parking overnight in residential areas; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: Control of parking on local roads is a matter for local traffic authorities using their powers under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. They are in the best position to address problems taking account of particular local circumstances. Generally, goods vehicles with a gross plated weight of more than 3.5 tonnes or an unladen weight of more than 1525kg have operator licensing controls on them, which require them to be kept at an operating centre specified in the licence when not in use. The Government have no plans to ban the overnight parking on residential roads of smaller lorries and vans.
David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions which organisations have made submissions to stage 1 of the English Partnerships review; and if he will place the submissions in the Library. 
Ms Keeble: Submissions have been made by the New Town Special Interest Group, the Coalfield Communities Campaign, Telford and Wrekin council, National Housing Federation, Harlow council, The Woodland Trust, and the Government office for the west midlands. The regional development agencies submitted a joint response. Further correspondence has been received from a number of individuals and organisations.
28 Jan 2002 : Column 60W
Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will review the eligibility of the merchant seamen who served while on convoy to Russia for a campaign medal; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: A 1946 Merchant Shipping Notice (M Notice) issued in 1946 gives information about the individual campaign medals which are issued to merchant seamen who served in the 193945 war and the qualifying conditions for their award. The M Notice specifically states that service covered by the 193945 Star includes voyages in the North sea, Baltic and Arctic ocean between Greenland and longitude 70.E. Similarly the Atlantic Star includes service convoys to the north of Russia; therefore the existing campaign stars cover the service in the Arctic Campaign.
There have been several requests over many years for a separate Arctic Convoy medal. However, this Government, in line with decision of previous post war Governments, continue to uphold the ruling given in 1946 by the Interdepartmental Committee on Honours, Decorations and Medals, that no further consideration would be given to awards for 193945 service.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what the total cost to his Department was of producing regional planning guidance for the English regions; 
Ms Keeble: Details of the costs incurred by all regional planning bodies in producing draft regional planning guidance are not available to the Department. These bodies, which range from local authorities acting collectively to voluntary regional chambers, are neither appointed by nor report to the Department but are recognised by it for the purposes of preparing and monitoring regional planning guidance. The Department contributes some £6 million a year to the upper tier local authorities on an unhypothecated basis towards the costs of producing and monitoring regional planning guidance. In addition it has an annual budget of approximately £1 million a year for running the public examinations and research. The annual staff costs of the Department and Government offices for this work are approximately £800,000.
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