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Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much county councillors with cabinet responsibility are paid (a) in Lancashire and (b) on average in the UK. 
Dr. Whitehead: My Department does not collect information from councils on the average allowances of council members. No statistics are available for the average special responsibility allowance paid to county councillors in Lancashire.
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The average special responsibility allowance for county councillors with cabinet responsibility in those councils which made the information available to the Improvement and Development Agency, as of 12 October 2001, is £11,643.
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will take steps to allow postal ballots for communities which have a parish meeting and are holding elections for parish councils. 
Dr. Whitehead: A postal vote is already available to any eligible elector who requests it for the election of parish and community councils. Postal votes are not currently available for parish or community polls demanded at parish or community meetings, but 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 issue of allowing postal voting.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) how many contracts have been let to Arthur Andersen by his Department since 1997 on (a) matters relating to the railways and (b) other matters; 
Mr. Byers [pursuant to his reply, 7 February 2002, c. 1097W]: I have further information on the number of contracts awarded to Arthur Andersen. The additional contract was for auditing work on the Railways Pension Scheme.
Threetwo are framework agreements (framework agreements do not guarantee work; each firm on the agreement has to bid for individual tenders). One housing research project was also completed in 1999.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the Government's proposals to encourage local government archaeological services in protecting and promoting the historic environment. 
The Government's policy statement on the Historic Environment, A Force for Our Future (December 2001), recognises that archaeological remains are an integral part of the historic environment. It acknowledges that the sites
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and monuments records maintained by local authorities are a valuable resource with potential to be a powerful educational tool, both for professional and academic users and also for the general public. The Government consider that the services offered by the records should be enhanced and integrated with other records relevant to the historic environment, and that access should be facilitated through the use of electronic media. Accordingly, we will publish a consultation paper covering a range of options in the summer.
The Government also recognise the role played by local government archaeologists in the effective implementation of PPG16, and welcome English Heritage's work in establishing the Archaeology Training Forum to develop an education and training strategy for these and other members of the archaeology profession.
Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what further plans he has to support economic regeneration in regions dependent on declining traditional industries. 
The Department is responsible for the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) in England. They have established regional economic strategies which consider, among other issues, the role of traditional industries and the measures which can be taken to modernise these and to broaden the region's economic base. In doing this, the RDAs work closely with sector directorates in my Department and in others with an interest and with the Small Business Service and Invest.UK. The total RDA budget is increasing from £1.3 billion in this financial year to £1.7 billion in 200304, and they are being given greater freedom in deploying this money.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many tower blocks have been (a) demolished and (b) constructed since 1997 in (i) Coventry and (ii) the UK. 
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the number of insurers prepared to accept the provision of insurance for fleets of buses in the United Kingdom; and if he will refer the insurance industry to the Office of Fair Trading for investigation of competition conditions in the transport insurance industry. 
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Insurance companies are responsible for determining the terms, conditions and price of their products, within a legal framework which aims at preserving a free and open market in which insurers can compete with each other in the provision of services.
Ms Rosie Winterton: There is the closest possible working relationship between the Northern Ireland Court Service and the Lord Chancellor's Department both at official and ministerial level. This reflects the fact that the Northern Ireland Court Service is a department of the Lord Chancellor's and undertakes similar policy and administrative responsibilities to those undertaken by the Lord Chancellor's Department in England and Wales.
The Northern Ireland Court Service contributes to the Lord Chancellor's Department report. It also publishes an annual report to the Lord Chancellor detailing performance against its strategic objectives as set out in the court service's corporate plan. In addition, the Northern Ireland Court Service provides routine briefing on current issues to the Lord Chancellor on a monthly basis. Other policy and administrative issues are brought to the attention of the Lord Chancellor or of the LCD Parliamentary Secretary, as appropriate, by way of regular submissions.
Officials of the Northern Ireland Court Service hold regular meetings on current issues with the Lord Chancellor, the LCD Parliamentary Secretary, and with the officials of the Lord Chancellor's Department and its agencies.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will list the statutory instruments issued by her Department in the last 12 months, indicating (a) the purpose of each and (b) the cost of each to (i) public funds, (ii) businesses and (iii) individuals. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: A list of statutory instruments has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. It includes those signed by or on behalf of the Lord Chancellor during the 12 months to 12 February 2002, and also Orders in Council made during that period for which the Lord Chancellor's Department was responsible. A list of Northern Ireland statutory rules signed by or on behalf of the Lord Chancellor is also included. The lists include a brief summary of the purpose of each instrument: further details will be found in instruments' explanatory notes.
Policy decisions implemented by secondary legislation may increase, reduce or have no effect on costs to others. It is not possible, save at disproportionate cost, to attribute specific cost increases or reductions to specific statutory instruments.
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