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Aviation Industry

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he will make an announcement about the provision of new airport capacity in the south-east. [53925]

Mr. Jamieson: We intend to publish a consultation paper the outcome of which will inform the Aviation White Paper, which we hope to publish before the end of the year.

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what steps he is taking to encourage best practice in the types of airport consultation that are required under section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982. [54505]

Mr. Jamieson: The then Department of Transport produced Guidelines for Airport Consultative Committees in December 1987. These stand as the current DTLR advice, and copies are available free on demand. In the 'Future of Aviation' consultation, we invited and received various views on whether and how it would be useful to update this guidance, and a decision on this will be taken in due course.

Specific guidance is also available about airport transport forums and airport surface access strategies (including recommendations on consultation), on the Department's web site.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent assessment he has made of the implications of the

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practice of foreign airliner wet-leasing by United Kingdom airlines on the economic well-being of the domestic aviation industry; what representations he has received about the practice of foreign airliner wet-leasing by United Kingdom airlines; what proposals he has to introduce regulations to restrict wet-leasing of aircraft; and if he will make a statement. [54690]

Mr. Jamieson: Aircraft leasing by UK airlines is governed by European Community law. My Department continuously monitors wet-leasing applications to ensure compliance with Community law, including the requirement that UK airlines do not become excessively dependent on aircraft registered outside the European Economic Area. There are currently eleven passenger and thirteen freighter aircraft wet-leased to UK carriers for periods approaching a traffic season, of which five passenger and eleven freighter aircraft are registered outside the EEA. Five of these aircraft are in process of transfer to the UK register.

My Department's Transparent Procedures for handling leasing applications include provisions whereby interested parties can make representations about individual applications both to the Civil Aviation Authority and to my Secretary of State. In addition my Department receives regular correspondence on the subject of wet-leasing. I consider that the ability to wet-lease foreign registered aircraft within the constraints of Community law enhances the operational efficiency of UK airlines and contributes to the economic well-being of the UK aviation industry. I have no plans to pursue regulations, which could only be introduced at Community level, to place further restrictions on wet-leasing by UK airlines.

Transport Safety

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent guidance he has issued to the operators of public service vehicles in relation to reasonable precautions to be taken to ensure safety of passengers after they have entered a vehicle but before they have become seated. [54988]

Mr. Jamieson: The Public Service Vehicles (Conduct of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors and Passengers) Regulations 1990 require bus drivers and conductors (where present) to take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of passengers who are on, or who are entering or leaving, the vehicle.

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on his Department's review of the organisational arrangements for transport safety. [55479]

Mr. Jamieson: The review of transport safety was conducted in 1999–2000, in response to important recommendations from the Transport Select Committee. Copies of the report of the review group's analysis and the results of its related consultation were provided to the committee, and put in the Libraries of the House, on 9 June 2000. In a parliamentary reply, that same day, my hon. Friend the Member for Streatham (Keith Hill) advised the House that the Government had concluded that it would be wrong to take a view on possibly fundamental changes to the organisation of transport safety before Ministers had been able to consider the

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report of the public inquiry into the Ladbroke Grove crash, which was looking among other things at rail safety management, culture and regulation.

In part two of his inquiry report published in September last year Lord Cullen recommended that a Rail Accident Investigation Branch be established, noting that this would not conflict with a cross-modal accident investigation body if in due course the Government decided one should be pursued. We are very glad to have had the committee's thinking on more integrated arrangements for transport safety, for which there are arguments meriting careful consideration. We have taken the view that the emphasis in the first place should be on getting in place the new Rail Accident Investigation Branch and the new Rail Industry Safety Body. But we will then be returning to the question of new cross-modal safety arrangements, and considering further the views expressed by the committee and by others.

Channel Tunnel

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will bring an action against the French Government for their record in observing the free movement of provisions of the treaty of Rome with respect to freight movements through the channel tunnel. [53646R]

Miss Melanie Johnson: I have been asked to reply.

The Commission has already invoked the Free Movement of Goods Regulation in this case. We remain in close contact with France and the Commission about action to resolve the problems affecting rail freight traffic through the channel tunnel.

Planning Appeal, Willaton Work House

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he will determine the outcome of the appeal on the Workhouse in Willaton, Somerset. [52474]

Dr. Howells: I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has decided not to confirm the compulsory purchase order on the Willaton Work House, Somerset. A formal decision letter has been issued to Somerset county council and the owners of the building.


Policing Costs (London)

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what studies he has recently commissioned regarding the costs of policing the London metropolitan area; and what studies he has taken into account relating to cities of similar size abroad. [40284]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 4 March 2002]: I have commissioned no specific research but the Metropolitan police service have recently commissioned research from the London School of Economics to establish a list of major cities world-wide against which the MPS could be benchmarked.

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Government Funding

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for South-West Bedfordshire (Andrew Selous) of 25 January 2002, Official Report, columns 1185–86W, on Government funding of the voluntary sector, if he will list the grant schemes and other mechanisms by which (a) the Home Office, (b) the Youth Justice Board and (c) the Probation Service distributes funding to voluntary sector organisations. [51405]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 19 April 2002]: Information on the main grant schemes for Home Office, Youth Justice Board and Probation Service funding to the voluntary sector is detailed as follows.

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