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7 Nov 2002 : Column 612W—continued


Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what were the administrative costs of (a) regional development agencies, (b) government offices for the regions and (c) regional chambers, in each region, this year; what the projected costs are for the next financial year; and if he will make a statement. [79669]

Mr. Raynsford: The available estimates for 2002–03 are in the table below.

The figures for the voluntary regional chambers show only Government grant. The remainder of their costs is a matter for the chambers themselves.

Projected costs for 2003–04 are not available, except for voluntary regional chambers which will continue to have available Government grant of #600,000 each.

RegionalRegional Development AgencyGovernment OfficeVoluntary Regional Chamber
North East#16,722,000#8,658,690#600,000
North West#19,921,000#13,852,480#600,000
Yorkshire &
the Humber#14,750,000#9,520,690#600,000
East Midlands#10,467,000#7,395,220#600,000
South West#13,975,000#9,418,630#600,000
East of
South East#12,839,000#9,249,800#600,000

7 Nov 2002 : Column 613W

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many written representations he has received in the last 12 months expressing support for elected regional assemblies; and if he will make a statement. [79668]

Mr. Raynsford: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for St. Ives (Andrew George) on 23 October 2002, Official Report, column 389W.

Further to that reply, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has now received over 1,200 individual responses to the White Paper Your Region, Your Choice, which we published on 9 May. I will write to the hon. Member once our analysis of these responses has been completed. In the six months prior to the publication of the White Paper we also received a number of letters and other enquiries about the Government's policy on elected regional assemblies.

Overseas Visits

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list each overseas visit undertaken by himself and his Ministers along with the cost of each trip. [79598]

Mr. Leslie: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 24 July 2002, Official Report, column 1374–75W.

Fire Service

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many discussions ministers have held with (a) Sir George Bain and members and officers of the Bain Inquiry since September and (b) representatives of the Fire Brigades Union since January; what was discussed at each; when each took place; and who participated. [79588]

Mr. Raynsford: Ministers have had several discussions with Sir George Bain, and members and officers of the Independent Review of the Fire Service (IRFS); and with representatives of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU). Subjects discussed included the working arrangements of the IRFS; the progress of negotiations on the FBU pay claim and the availability of striking members of the FBU in the case of a life-threatening emergency. Discussions have involved a variety of participants, including Ministers and senior officials.

Ms Walley: To ask the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the commencement date of each review undertaken in respect of the Fire Service; and in each case, whether (a) the findings have been published and (b) they have been placed in the Library. [79402]

Mr. McNulty: The Tables below set out the reviews of aspects of the fire service in England and Wales which have been started since May 1997. They do not include

7 Nov 2002 : Column 614W

research projects. On 5 September the Government announced an Independent Review of the Fire Service under the Chairmanship of Professor Sir George Bain. The Independent Review is in progress.

ReviewReview commencedFindings publishedIn Library
Inquiry into the
Machinery for
Determining Firefighters' Conditions of ServiceOctober 1999March 2000Cmd 4699
Fire Pensions Review1994Consultation Document March 1998Yes
Fire Cover ReviewJune 1998Report to be
considered at next
meeting of the
Central Fire Brigades
Advisory Council.No
The Future of Fire
Service Control Rooms and CommunicationsAnnounced October 1999Summary of report
circulated May 2000Yes

In addition Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate have undertaken the following thematic reviews of aspects of the Fire Service.

Thematic ReviewReview commencedFindings publishedIn Library
Equality and Fairness in the Fire ServiceNovember 1998September 1999Yes
Fit for DutyMarch 1999February 2000Yes
Making a DifferenceJuly 1999November 2000Yes
Reducing False
AlarmsJuly 1999March 2001Yes
Bridging the GapSeptember 1999May 2001Yes

I will ensure that copies of those reports that are not already in the Library are placed there in due course.


Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many(a) homeless priority acceptances, (b) people living in temporary accommodation, (c) people living in bed-and-breakfast accomodation and (d) children living in homeless households there were in each year since January 1977, broken down by region. [79676]

Mrs. Roche: I will write to the hon. Member as soon as the information is available.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his estimate is of the number of homeless (a) individuals and (b) families accommodated in (i) bed and breakfast and (ii) hostels in each London borough; and what advice he is giving borough council's on the use of such facilities. [79659]

Mrs. Roche: The following numbers of homeless families are reported to have been in bed and breakfast and hostel accommodation as at 30 June 2002:

FamiliesB&B IndividualsTotalFamiliesHostel IndividualsTotal
Barking & Dagenham152338n/an/a36
Hammersmith & Fulham32027159112812141
Kensington & Chelsean/an/a383n/an/a38
Kingston upon Thames5712326597
Richmond upon Thames202848501868
Tower Hamlets15117132213417
Waltham Forest261137701888

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The Government have committed that by March 2004, local authorities will ensure that no homeless family with children will be in bed and breakfast hotels other than in an emergency and even then for no more than 6 weeks. Advice to local authorities on the use of accommodation for homeless individuals and families is contained in the Homelessness Code of Guidance which was issued jointly by my Department and the Department of Health in July 2002.

The figures referred relate to individuals and families who are statutory homeless i.e. the number of applications to local authorities.

Ministerial Discussions

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many discussions Ministers have held with (a) councillors, (b) devolved Administrations and (c) the Mayor of London since May; what subjects were discussed at each; when they took place; and who participated. [79589]

Mr. Leslie: My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministers from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister have regular meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals, including Councillors, members of the Devolved Adminstrations and the Mayor of London. As with previous Administrations it is not practice to provide details of all such meetings.

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