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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what increases in resources have been given to local government since 1997; what additional resources have been given to local government for personal social services; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Whitehead: For the period from 199798 to 200203, the actual increase on a like-for-like basis in Government grant to local authorities is £11.3 billion. The actual increase on a like-for-like basis in personal social services provision (standard spending assessment increase plus earmarked grant increase) over the same period is £2.7 billion. These levels of increase are enough that all authorities should be able to deliver improvements to public services while sticking to reasonable council tax increases.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the decision of the Exmoor National Park Authority not to pursue its policy of restricting ownership, with particular reference to second home owners. 
Ms Keeble: Last year, Exmoor National Park Authority (ENPA) put forward proposals in the context of the National Park local plan review to tackle a shortage of affordable houses for the park community and what it perceived as excessive numbers of second homes.
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I understand that ENPA are still considering representations made on their deposited local plan and have not made any new decisions about policies, including those on second homes. The Government's position remains unchanged.
Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what advice is given to local planning authorities about the distance that Tetra masts should be sited from residential properties. 
Ms Keeble: Current Government planning policy for telecommunications is set out in Planning Policy Guidance note 8 (revised): Telecommunications. The guidance advises that all telecommunications operators have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 and the Management of the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to ensure that so far as is reasonably practicable, their work activitieswhich would include the installation and operation of their equipmentdo not expose people to risks to their health and safety.
Following publication of the Stewart report on mobile phones and health in May 2000, the Government accepted that, as a precautionary measure, the emissions from mobile phone base stations should meet the more restrictive International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines for public exposure (as expressed in the EU Council Recommendation of 12 July 1999 on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300GHz)). Most base stations already meet the ICNIRP guidelines and all new base stations will do so.
The Stewart report recommended the establishment of clearly defined physical exclusion zones around base station antennas, which delineate areas within which exposure guidelines may be exceeded, to prevent the public from exposure radio frequency radiation above the ICNIRP guidelines. These exclusion zones relate to an area directly in front of and at the height of the antenna. The report did not recommend the introduction of a minimum distance between masts and existing development and we have no plans to introduce such a requirement.
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Ms Keeble: TETRA mast development is subject to the normal telecommunications planning arrangements in place throughout England. Our revised Planning Policy Guidance Note 8 'Telecommunications' (PPG8) states the Government's policy on telecommunications development.
In particular, we attach great importance to minimising the impact of telecommunications development on the environment. Our policy is to encourage mast and site sharing and to make good use of existing buildings and other structures for the siting of antennas. We also encourage the use of sympathetic design and camouflage. Particularly in designated areas, the aim should be for apparatus to blend into the landscape.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many fishermen who have lost their lives at sea in UK waters in each of the past five years were (a) UK citizens, (b) crew of a UK-registered flag of convenience vessel and (c) crew of foreign vessels. 
Mr. Jamieson: The numbers of fishermen who have lost their lives in the United Kingdom's 12-mile territorial waters are recorded in the database of the Marine Accidents Investigation Branch. The record refers to the lives lost from UK and non-UK registered vessels and does not identify citizenship details of fatalities nor the nationality of the beneficial ownership of a fishing vessel.
|Deaths from UK registered vessels||Number of which are from vessels beneficially owned by foreign interests||Deaths from non-UK registered vessels|
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many (a) accidents at sea, (b) fishing vessels lost and (c) lives lost there were in the UK fishing industry during 2001. 
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Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the total number and value of grants made under the Road Haulage Modernisation Fund is, broken down by nation or region. 
In England £52 million has been allocated in the first two years of the fund to four areas; retrofitting vehicles through the Clean Up scheme, fuel efficiency advice, driver training initiatives and a self help pilot scheme.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what bids for starter home initiative funding have been received from organisations in Worthing and Adur since the start of the scheme. 
Ms Keeble: Two bids were submitted to help key workers in Worthing and Adur in response to the first bidding round for Starter Home Initiative funding. The bids proposed to help five key workers in Worthing and five in Adur and Horsham. Both bids were unsuccessful.
The Round 2 bidding guidance issued on 16 January invites bids by 14 March 2002 to administer the Starter Home Initiative equity loan scheme to help key workers in a number of high demand areas. Adur and Worthing are not specifically targeted, but bids are sought to help 33 police in Sussex.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions for what reason no starter home initiative bids from organisations within Worthing and Adur were successful in the recent round. 
Ms Keeble: Since the value of Round 1 bids far outweighed the available Starter Home Initiative (SHI) funding it was necessary to concentrate resources on the most cost effective bids in those areas where the need for the scheme was greatest. The main factors taken into account in making allocations were: the relative need for SHI based on house prices, incomes and assessments of recruitment and retention difficulties for key worker groups in different areas; and the cost effectiveness of competing bids. Taking into account all these factors, the two bids submitted for Worthing and Adur were unsuccessful.
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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what clinical evidence his Department has evaluated regarding mortality resulting from exposure to asbestos. 
Dr. Whitehead: Over the five years from 1996 to 2000 specialist chest and occupational physicians participating in the Surveillance of Work-related and Occupational Respiratory Disease (SWORD) and the Occupational Physicians Reporting Activity (OPRA) schemes for the surveillance of occupational respiratory diseases have seen an estimated 4,046 cases of mesothelioma and 434 of lung cancer which they attributed to asbestos exposure, virtually all occupational. Nearly all these cases will eventually have been fatal.
Not all such cases are seen by the SWORD/OPRA network, and the mesothelioma register records that a total of 7,123 people have died from this cause over the five years from 1995 to 1999 (data for 2000 not yet available). The epidemiological evidence suggests that almost all these will have been caused by asbestos
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if the Health and Safety Executive will produce confirmed pathology of mortality from handling asbestos cement in the UK in the last 30 years. 
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent estimate he has made of the likely cost involved in compliance with the EU ban on white asbestos. 
Dr. Whitehead: When the Health and Safety Commission consulted in 1998 on draft regulations planned to implement the European Commission Directive banning the marketing and use of all types of asbestos, it carried out a regulatory impact assessment of the costs and benefits entailed.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if the Health and Safety Executive will produce confirmed pathology for cases of mesotheliomas linked to white asbestos for persons aged (a) under and (b) over 60 years of age. 
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what independent scientific reports have been used by the Health and Safety Executive in formulating their policy toward white asbestos; and which independent scientists have advised the Health and Safety Executive about the dangers of white asbestos. 
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Dr. Whitehead: The Health and Safety Executive has over the years taken advice and commissioned research from a wide range of scientists working in this area. It has also kept the relevant scientific literature under review. In this context it has taken account of the conclusions of the following more recent key reports; Asbestos, Effects on Health of Exposure to Asbestos (Doll and Peto) 1995; Fibrous Materials in the Environment (Institute for Environment and Health) 1997; the 1998 World Health Organisation report on white asbestos; and the 2000 Hodgson and Darnton paper on the quantitative risks of mesothelioma and lung cancer in relation to asbestos exposure. All are published and copies of the report are available in the Libraries of the House.
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