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Partnership Investment Programme

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what steps he is taking to offer alternative funding to local authorities which had planned to use the Partnership Investment Programme. [38053]

Ms Keeble: The Partnership Investment Programme was only available for use by English Partnerships and has never been available to local authorities.

Following its closure in 1999, significant extra resources were made available to RDAs to help compensate for the loss of PIP: 60 million in 2000–01, rising to 150 million in 2001–02; thereafter, land and property funding would form part of a new single RDA economic development and regeneration budget, with increases of 350 million in 2002–03 and 500 million in 2003–04.

In addition, we have introduced five new land and property regeneration schemes which partially replace PIP. The new schemes will enable RDAs and English Partnerships to support a wide range of land and

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property regeneration projects, including projects which can be taken forward in partnership with the private sector.

Travel Methods

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what proportion of journeys were made by (a) public transport, (b) bicycle and (c) on foot as the main method of travel in (i) St Helens, South, (ii) the North West and (iii) England in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [38271]

Ms Keeble: The latest available data relate to the three-year period 1998–2000. The National Travel Survey, from which estimates are derived, does not allow disaggregation of data below county level. At county level, estimates for bicycle use are based on very small numbers and should be regarded with caution.

The proportion of journeys made by (a) public transport, (b) bicycles and (c) on foot as the main method of travel for residents of (i) Merseyside, (ii) the north-west and (iii) England are given in the table: 1998–2000

MerseysideNorth West and MerseysideEngland
Public Transport13109
Bicycle112
Foot252426

Departmental Minutes

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will place in the Library copies of departmental minutes recording conversations between Sir Richard Mottram and Mr Martin Sixsmith. [38449]

Mr. Byers: Under Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information it is not the practice to disclose details of internal meetings. I refer the hon. Gentleman to the statement made by Sir Richard Mottram, the permanent secretary of my Department, on Monday 25 February, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the departmental minutes for which Sir Richard Mottram was responsible since he became permanent secretary of the Department. [38446]

Mr. Byers: It is not the usual practice to disclose details of internal communications and meetings in accordance with Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Departmental Development

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how often the Department has applied the special urgency provisions in paragraph 22 of Circular 18/84 (Development by Government Departments) to a development by the department; and if he will make a statement. [38713]

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Ms Keeble: The Department does not maintain a record of cases where it has relied on the special urgency provisions set out in Circular 18/84. Development by the Department generally has to go through a tendering procedure; in these circumstances it is unlikely that the Department would have to use the special urgency provisions.

Job No: 713438 Folios: 2029

Shoreham Port Authority

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list (a) members of the Shoreham Port Authority appointed in the last 30 years, (b) their dates of appointment and length of office and (c) the nominating bodies where appropriate. [39240]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 28 February 2002]: The information requested can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Hackney Carriage Licences

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the criteria local authorities should consider when assessing the application for a Hackney carriage licence.[39488]

Ms Keeble: A hackney carriage must have fewer than nine passenger seats; any further criteria for determining whether a vehicle is suitable for licensing as a hackney carriage are formulated by individual local licensing authorities.

Learner Drivers

David Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he plans to consult on measures to improve the safety of novice drivers. [40054]

Mr. Jamieson: As stated in the Government's Road Safety Strategy Tomorrow's Roads—Safer for Everyone, we want to ensure that new drivers have a broader and more extensive experience of driving conditions before they take the practical driving test. We have therefore published today a consultation document Introducing a More Structured Approach to Learning to Drive. This sets out a wide range of options for improving the safety of newly qualified drivers. Comments have been requested by 7 June 2002. All the views received will be considered carefully before any decisions are taken on the way forward.

Copies of the document have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Job No: 713438 Folios: 2030

Pensioner Bus Passes

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he plans to introduce a nationwide pensioner bus pass.[39690]

Ms Keeble: We have no immediate plans to pursue such a scheme.

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Historic Cities

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the impact of urban capacity studies on housing development and the character of historic cities. [39372]

Ms Keeble: Local planning authorities are responsible for undertaking the urban housing capacity studies required by Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 Housing (PPG3). We expect these studies to lead to updated development plans that given priority to reusing brownfields for new housing in preference to greenfields. We have research underway to consider the implementation of PPG3 and this will report the progress made by local authorities in carrying out urban housing capacity studies. The research is considering the influence of capacity studies on housing development but will not report specifically on their impact on the character of historic cities.

ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

Environment Council

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on (a) matters discussed and (b) decisions taken at the European Union Environment Council on 29 to 30 October, indicating on which matters votes were taken and how, in such instances, the United Kingdom voted. [14272]

Mr. Meacher: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, on 28 January 2002, Official Report, column 94W.

Job No: 713438 Folios: 2031

End of Life Vehicle Directive

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action she has taken with regard to the European End of Life Vehicle Directive; and if she will make a statement.[31586]

Mr. Meacher: The EC Directive on End of Life Vehicles (ELV) passed into European law in October 2000 and requires member states to transpose the Directive into national legislation by 21 April 2002. The Department for Trade and Industry leads on the implementation of the majority of the Directive, however my Department leads on the implementation of improved treatment facility standards under Article 6 and Annex I of the Directive. An initial Consultation paper was issued last year, and a further paper is expected to be issued shortly.

Refrigerators and Freezers

Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will place in the Library details of information and advice given by her Department to consumers about purchasing refrigerators and freezers from May 2001 to date.[34840]

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Mr. Meacher [holding answer 11 February 2002]: Copies of the advice leaflet for householders were placed in the Libraries of both houses on publication in December 2001. The leaflet was produced by DEFRA, DTI and the Environment Agency.

Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many occasions in 2000 and 2001 UKREP were requested to establish the understanding of other EU states on its applicability of EU Regulation 2037/2000 to matters connected with the disposal of refrigerators and freezer insulating materials. [38867]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 28 February 2002]: My officials and those from EU Member States met regularly during 2000 and 2001 to discuss EC Regulation 2037/20000 at meetings of the Management Committee on the implementation of the Regulation. Officials also contacted colleagues in other Member States informally regarding the issue of implementation. The Department therefore did not request UKREP to take up this matter separately.

Job No: 713438 Folios: 2032


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