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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the projected requirements are for public subsidy to the train operating companies over the period of the 10 year plan. 
Mr. Jamieson: The reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Lynne Jones) on 23 January 2002, Official Report, columns 87172W, outlines the estimated profile of available Government
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resource (revenue) support. It is impossible to place precise figures on how much of this will be received by the train operating companies in advance of future commercial negotiations through the refranchising process.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions which organisation has responsibility for taking the lead in establishing the national rail academy. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority has the lead responsibility in establishing the national rail academy with the active involvement and support of the Rail Industry Training Council, the national training organisation for the rail industry.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his oral statement of 14 January 2002, Official Report, columns 305w, what progress has been made in establishing the national academy for the railways, with special reference to the training of engine drivers. 
Mr. Jamieson: A cross-industry task force is being established to define the scope, aims, funding and modus operandi of a national rail academy. The training of drivers will figure in this work along with the other skills needs of the industry.
Mr. Jamieson: A cross-industry task force is being established to define the scope, aims, projected modus operandi and the funding requirements of national rail academy. This will provide the basis for full consultation with the industry with a view to operations commencing as soon as is reasonably practical.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what representations he has made to the German Government about access to the German marketplace for low-cost airlines. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many stations would require alteration works to enable Britain to comply fully with European interoperability directives. 
Mr. Jamieson: Existing stations are only required to comply with the interoperability directives when work is being undertaken on them. No assessment can be made of the alterations required, such as platform lengths and heights, until the technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs) for the conventional rail network have been drafted. This process has only just begun and is not expected to be completed before 2004. The UK is
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Mr. Jamieson: Payment of port charges is a condition of the public right to use any harbour for which there is a statutory harbour authority. The level of such charges has not required the approval of Government since the Harbours Act 1964 and central records of charges are not kept. However, the 1964 Act does require that charges in particular ports are advertised in the harbour by the harbour authority.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will review Knowsley borough council's proposals for St. Kevin's playing fields in Kirkby following changes to the earlier proposals which he has considered. 
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what information he has collated on the average (a) market value based on right to buy sales, (b) adjusted vacant possession value and (c) value for stock transfer purposes of council houses in Birmingham. 
Ms Keeble: The values requested are not for comparable transactions. The price payable under the Right to Buy is the open market value of the house, less a significant discount based on the number of years the purchaser has been a local authority tenant. Tenants who buy their home through RTB are subsequently free to sell the house on the open market. The value of transferring stock is determined by what is known as tenanted market value. This reflects that the property is sold with sitting tenants and with an obligation for the properties to be retained for social housing tenants. Tenanted market value is based on the income from rents the landlord will receive, less an estimate for the cost of management and repairs for the next 30 years.
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Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment has been made by the Government of the administrative requirements on voluntary and community organisations applying to the Neighbourhood Renewal Community Chests. 
Ms Keeble [holding answer 24 January 2002]: The Neighbourhood Renewal Community Chest will provide funding to stimulate and support community activity in deprived areas. The Community Chest programme is administered through local voluntary sector organisations who are best placed to ensure that local groups are not prevented from applying because of administrative constraints. The Government want to rationalise and simplify access to funding for community and voluntary groups and are undertaking a number of initiatives aimed at achieving this. Where appropriate we will revise the Community Chest to reflect the outcome of these initiatives.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what powers he has to intervene in planning proposals in cases where he has already made a determination on outline proposals but detailed later proposals are at variance with those already considered. 
Ms Keeble: The Secretary of State's power to call in planning applications for his own decision extends to applications for the approval of reserved matters. However, his policy is to be very selective about exercising his call-in powers. He will, in general, take this step only if planning issues of more than local importance are involved. Each case is considered on its individual facts.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to issue new guidance on road signage to (a) the Highways Agency and (b) other highway authorities. 
Mr. Jamieson: We are currently consulting on draft revised guidance on the provision of traffic signs to tourist attractions and facilities on trunk roads and local roads in England, which we expect to publish in the summer. We are also preparing updated and revised Traffic Signs Regulations for publication later this year, and will be issuing guidance for all highway authorities on the changes made to the 1994 regulations, as well as publishing revised chapters 4 and 5 of the Traffic Signs Manual on the design and use of warning signs and road markings.
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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what his policy is on help towards debt breakage costs for urban stock transfers; and what plans he has to change it. 
Ms Keeble: The Department requires local authorities to meet the debt breakage costs incurred on repayment of housing attributable debt subsequent to a housing stock transfer. At present there are no plans to change this policy.
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