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I informed the House last year, Official Report 29 October 2009 c. 28WS-29WS, that an independent advisory panel would be set up to scrutinise the Transport for London (TfL) investment programme.
Yesterday, 24 March 2010, the Mayor announced the appointments of the first six members of the panel from a shortlist agreed with me. TfL have informed me that they expect the panel, now known
as the Investment Programme Advisory Group (IPAG), to be up and running by May 2010. Further details can be found on the TfL website:
The IPAG will provide additional reassurance to the Mayor, and to tax payers and fare payers, that the TfL investment programme is being delivered economically and efficiently.
Following consultation with the Mayor of London, I have today determined the Greater London Authority Transport Grant for 2010-11 at £2,871,589,000.
This is a block resource grant provided by the Government to Transport for London to support and improve transport services in London, including London Underground.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Chris Mole): The Highways Agency's business plan for 2010-11 has been published today. It sets out the Agency's budgets for the financial year and how that funding will be spent. The plan contains twelve key performance targets against which the Agency's performance will be measured. These are set out in the table below:
|Key Performance Deliverables||Business Plan Targets for 2010-11|
* To allow for expected year-on-year fluctuations in casualty levels, the HA will be deemed to have met the target if the reduction achieved is no more than 5 per cent. above the milestone target figures.
Carbon: By the end of 2010-11, achieve a 3 per cent. reduction in our carbon* emissions from our direct energy and fuel usage, our network energy, and our business travel, when compared with 2008-09, in line with the UK carbon reduction target.
CustomerSatisfaction: Improve road user satisfaction by at least 0.2 percentage points compared with the level achieved in 2009-10. Develop and agree a new customer satisfaction measure and target to be implemented for 2011-12.
Efficiency (Administration): Deliver our programme within the allocated administration budget over the CSR07 period, which requires cumulative efficiency savings of 17.2 per cent. in real terms by the end of 2010-11
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Mr. Sadiq Khan): In January 2009, my right hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Hoon) the then Secretary of State for Transport announced the launch of a second round of Kickstart bus funding. I am pleased to announce today the provisional successful bidders from the competition. A list of these has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The scheme was launched with funding of £25 million, this has been revised to £15 million. The successful bids represent the best possible value for money for the Department. I have written today to the provisional successful bidders, asking them to confirm their interest in the scheme.
Kickstart is targeted at schemes which have the potential to become successful but which initially might be more marginal in commercial terms and require some financial help to start them off, or which are currently marginal schemes that with some extra support could be made more successful.
Through Kickstart, we are looking to pump-prime bus services which will contribute to the Department's overall objectives of increasing bus patronage, and in particular developing bus services as an alternative to car use, bringing with it a reduction in congestion and benefits to the environment. It will also contribute to objectives on improving accessibility and social inclusion. This round focused on schemes which make use of the new bus powers in the Local Transport Act 2008. We hope this will allow us to build up good practice on the use of these powers to promulgate to other local authorities and operators.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Clark): I am making this statement with my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Borders and Immigration, the member for Oldham East and Saddleworth (Mr. Woolas), as part of a joint programme of work between the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the United Kingdom Border Agency under the auspices of the immigration enforcement strategy "Enforcing the Deal".
We are today announcing an administrative change, under the existing legal framework, in the way DVLA considers applications for UK driving licences from non-EEA nationals. There is already strong operational co-operation between DVLA and the UK Border Agency to prevent identity and immigration fraud by foreign nationals. The Government's strategic objective is to move to a position where possession of an identity card for foreign nationals issued under the UK Borders Act 2007 becomes a qualifying criteria for non-EEA nationals wishing to obtain a UK driving licence.
As a preliminary measure, I am informing the House that from today those applying for a provisional as well as full driving licence will have to demonstrate that they are lawfully resident in the UK, not simply lawfully present, in order to qualify for a driving licence. Those who are present in the UK on temporary permission or temporary release under the Immigration Act 1971 will not be considered eligible for a driving licence. Those granted leave to enter or remain in the UK for at least 185 days will continue to be able to apply for a licence while their leave is extant, provided they otherwise qualify.
It is right that those whose status remains undecided and those without leave should not be seeking to establish the benefits of ordinary settled life in the UK, including access to driving licences. Transitional provisions will apply to those with an outstanding licence application at DVLA.
Ms Jeannie Drake is appointed as deputy chair of the NEST corporation. Her appointment will take effect from 1st April 2010, initially as deputy chair designate until the NEST corporation is established on 5 July, at which point Ms Drake will take on the full duties of deputy chair. Ms Drake is currently acting chair of the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority (PAD A) and will retain this role until PADA is wound-up on 5 July 2010.
Ms Drake brings a deep knowledge of the objectives of NEST and the wider agenda for pensions. As deputy chair, Ms Drake will provide an excellent continuity of knowledge and will be able to make an immediate contribution to the running of NEST.
Mr. Tom Boardman
Mr. Laurie Edmans
Dr. Dianne Hayter
Mr Chris Hitchen
Mr. Julius Pursaill
Ms Sue Slipman
Their appointments will be as members designate from 1 April 2010 until the NEST corporation is established on 5 July. These individuals will bring a breadth of knowledge and expertise to the NEST corporation.
The NEST corporation will be a non-departmental public body, responsible for launching and running NEST, a new low-cost pension scheme for moderate to low earners who are not currently served by the private sector. NEST will ensure all employers have access to a suitable pension arrangement in order to fulfil their forthcoming duties under the Pensions Act 2008.
In the long-term, we expect NEST to have between 3 million and 6 million members, and hundreds of thousands of participating employers. Developing and delivering a scheme of this scale is a significant challenge, and these appointments demonstrate the ongoing Government commitment to ensuring NEST succeeds.
NEST will be established when the National Employment Savings Trust Order 2010 comes into effect on 5 July. The order will be supplemented by the NEST rules, both of which will be published today. Together, the order and rules set out the scope and parameters for the operation of NEST. An explanatory note will be published with the rules, to set out the changes following consultation in April 2009.
Copies of the rules and the explanatory note will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The order will be published and made available through the OPSI website: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2010/uksi_20100917 _en_1