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EU Directives

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment the Government have made of the cost to British farming of the Vibrations Directive. [45700]

Dr. Whitehead: The Health and Safety Executive's Regulatory Impact Assessment of the Vibration Directive is available in the House of Commons Library. It assesses the cost of the Directive to industry as a whole; no assessment has been made of the costs to individual sectors.

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment the Government have made of the impact of the noise directive on small manufacturers. [45701]

Dr. Whitehead: The Health and Safety Executive's Regulatory Impact Assessment of the Physical Agents Noise Directive is available in the House of Commons Library. It includes an assessment of the impact of the Directive on small firms.

Human Rights Act

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what monitoring his Department undertakes on local authorities to ensure compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998 when undertaking best value reviews of services. [45812]

Dr. Whitehead: The Department does not monitor compliance with the Act. The DETR, along with Home Office and the LGA published the document XA New Era of Rights and Responsibilities—core guidance for public authorities" in October 2000, to draw authorities' attention to the requirements of the legislation. Beyond this, compliance is a matter for the individual authority.

Wembley National Stadium

Mr. McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the proposals for car parking arrangements and public transport contained in the planning application for Wembley National Stadium, with specific reference to (a) the requirements for a 90,000 seat world class sporting venue, (b) the transport and environmental needs of the Brent area and (c) the Government's vision for a 21st century transport system. [46323]

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Ms Keeble: It is for Brent Council to form a view of the content of the planning application.

Fatal Farming Accidents

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many fatal farming accidents there were in England and Wales in the last 12 months. [45209]

Dr. Whitehead: Figures for fatal injuries in farming for 2001–02 will be available by September 2002. The provisional figures for 2000–01 show 38 work-related fatal injuries in farming in England and Wales.

Football Stadium

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when the public inquiry into the redevelopment of Odsal Stadium will start. [45478]

Mr. Byers: The planning application was called in on 19 February 2002. The Planning Inspectorate is making the inquiry arrangements in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2000. The target is to arrange inquiries within 22 weeks of the date of call-in.

Asbestos-related Illnesses

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) if he will make a statement on the criteria for compensation for asbestos-related illnesses contracted at work; [45206]

Dr. Whitehead: The recent judgment of the Court of Appeal in the Fairchild case has the effect of preventing people suffering from work-related mesothelioma who worked for more than one employer from seeking compensation through the courts. On 13 February 2002, Official Report, column 401W, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced that my Department will use the compensation scheme that the Department administers under the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers' Compensation) Act 1979 to make payments to people affected by the Fairchild judgment, provided that they meet the other conditions of eligibility under the scheme.

The House of Lords will hear an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal on 22–23 April. We will determine whether we need to act further in the light of the outcome of the appeal.

Care Homes

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many appeals for (a) the demolition and (b) the

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conversion of nursing and residential homes the Planning Inspectorate has considered in the past 12 months. [45296]

Ms Keeble: The provision of information on planning appeals is the responsibility of the Planning Inspectorate. I have asked the Inspectorate's Chief Executive, Mr. Chris Shepley, to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Chris Shipley to Mr. Chris Grayling dated 26 March 2002:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your Question about planning appeals involving the demolition or conversion of nursing and residential homes.
The Planning Inspectorate does not record the existing land use of a site that is subject to appeal; just the proposed one, together with the development description give at the time of the planning application. To identify any appeals that fall into the categories you require, we have had to rely on the description also including existing usage.
We can identify a total of 13. Four included the demolition of a home, all of which were dismissed. Of the nine involving converting a home to another use, five were allowed and four dismissed.

North West Regional Assembly

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the annual cost is of the North West Regional Assembly. [45343]

Dr. Whitehead: The North West Regional Assembly is a voluntary body which receives funds from a number of sources. It is responsible for its own budget and publishes its accounts annually. The Department has made available #0.5 million for the Assembly in this financial year and proposes to make available #0.6 million in 2002–03.

Urban Renewal

Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on recent inner city regeneration initiatives. [45377]

Ms Keeble: The Urban White Paper Implementation Plan issued in March 2001 sets out how a wide range of initiatives across Government are supporting the objectives of the White Paper to deliver an urban renaissance. The Implementation Plan and six-monthly Implementation Bulletin (due to be re-issued in March 2002) provide an account of progress to date, as well as the key objectives we aim to deliver on over the next two years. Both documents can be found on my Department's website: www.regeneration.dtlr.gov.uk.

We are working closely with 24 towns and cities across the country to take forward the urban agenda. These efforts will feed into the Urban Summit 2002. This will take place on 31 October and 1 November at the ICC in Birmingham. The Summit will reconfirm the Government-wide commitment to urban renaissance, celebrate success in bringing about change and identify where further action is needed, and evaluate the recommendations in the White Paper.

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The Government's vision for neighbourhood renewal was set out in the Neighbourhood Renewal National Strategy Action Plan, launched by the Prime Minister in January 2001. It aims to deliver economic prosperity, safe communities, high quality schools, decent housing and better health to the poorest parts of the country.

This approach focuses Government programmes explicitly on deprived areas, many of which are located in inner cities, and requires local people and the public and private sectors to work in partnership. Government departments, local government and other public service providers are expected to bend their mainstream budgets to meet better local needs in deprived neighbourhoods. Departments have been set a series of minimum standards known as floor targets—for the first time they will be judged on the areas where they are doing worst and not on the national average.

Extra resources are being directed to the 88 most deprived local authority areas to kickstart the strategy, including the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, worth #900 million over three years.

The strategy is co-ordinated and driven forward by the cross-cutting Neighbourhood Renewal Unit based in DTLR. Further information on the National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal, including updates on progress, can be found on the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit website: www.neighbourhood.gov.uk.

Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list, in date order from June 1997, the Government (a) reports and (b) white papers relating to urban renewal and social inclusion. [45376]

Ms Keeble: Government reports and White Papers relating to urban renewal and social inclusion, in date order, are as follows:

















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