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Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker:

DatePlace
Dates of Ministerial visits to the North West
4 November 2003Warrington
1 December 2003Liverpool
22 January 2004Manchester
29 January 2004Speke and Sefton
25 February 2004Bolton
4 March 2004Blackburn
5 April 2004Liverpool
15 April 2004Kendal
22 April 2004Preston
5 May 2004Barrow
15 June 2004Crewe and St Helens
18 June 2004Warrington
15 July 2004Runcorn and Blackpool
Dates of Ministerial visits to Yorkshire and the Humber
3 November 2003York
4 December 2003Barnsley, Leeds and Wakefield
23 January 2004Leeds
18 March 2004Sheffield
1 April 2004Hull
22 April 2004Halifax
23 April 2004Ripon
18 May 2004Scunthorpe
18 June 2004York
28 June 2004Scarborough
Dates of Ministerial visits to the North East
3 November 2003Durham
13 January 2004Durham County Council
23 January 2004Newcastle
4 March 2004Berwick
25 March 2004Newcastle
22 April 2004Middlesbrough
18 June 2004Durham
31 August 2004Morpeth
9/10 September 2004Sunderland, Newcastle, Corbridge, Middlesbrough

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The referendums for Yorkshire and the Humber and the north-west are being rescheduled, so preparation for them has been and still is necessary. Some of the preparations are common to all three regions. The main costs incurred by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister relate to the "Your Say" campaigns in the north-west and Yorkshire and the Humber, which are detailed in a further answer given to the noble Baroness [HL4119]. The Boundary Committee's review of local government in those regions remain valid until June 2005.

11 Oct 2004 : Column WA27

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their intention with regard to the moneys previously allocated towards the north-west and Yorkshire and the Humber regional referendum campaigns; and what is the amount in question for each region.

Lord Rooker: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister originally proposed a budget for the "Your Say" information campaign across all three regions of £5 million. This was allocated as follows:

North-west£2.2 million
Yorkshire and the Humber£1.6 million
North-east£1.2 million

Following the decision to postpone referendums in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber, we suspended the campaign in these regions, diverting £210,000 of the spend into our Fire Safety campaign. The final breakdown across the regions is:

North-west£1.07 million
Yorkshire and the Humber£0.95 million
North-east£1.22 million

The balance of £1.55 million remains in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's budget and has yet to be reallocated. The total sum spent on the "Your Say" campaign is £3.24 million.

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What discussions they have had with the Scottish Executive in regard to the possible creation of a north-east regional assembly.

Lord Rooker: Her Majesty's Government have not had any discussions with the Scottish Executive in regard to the possible creation of a north-east regional assembly. However, we have kept the Scottish Executive informed about the evolution of the Government's proposals to establish elected regional assemblies in those English regions which vote in a referendum to have one.

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which printers have been contracted to provide ballot papers for the north-east regional referendum; and what is the financial value of each contract awarded.

Lord Rooker: Her Majesty's Government have not been involved in negotiations with printers regarding contracts to provide ballot papers for the north-east regional referendum. This is a matter for the Chief Counting Officer. The Chief Counting Officer is Ged Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council, who was appointed by the Chairman of the Electoral Commission. The Electoral Commission is therefore better placed to answer this question.

11 Oct 2004 : Column WA28

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are confident that the all-postal ballot for the north-east regional referendum will be free from the problems highlighted in the Electoral Commission's report of 27 August.

Lord Rooker: As the Electoral Commission commented in its report of 27 August, there is extensive experience of all-postal voting in the north-east and there have been no allegations of fraud in that region. In addition, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is confident that the Chief Counting Officer, Ged Fitzgerald, the Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council, will take all the necessary steps to ensure a successful referendum. Additional assistance and delivery points will be provided to enable electors to receive help and vote in privacy.

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What discussions they have had, and with whom, as to the possible location for a north-east regional assembly.

Lord Rooker: The location of the north-east regional assembly is a matter for that regional assembly to decide once it has been elected.

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    For each ministerial visit connected with the regional referendum campaigns in (a) the north-west; (b) Yorkshire and the Humber; and (c) the north-east, which individuals or groups were met.

Lord Rooker: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not keep a comprehensive list of the large numbers of individuals who attended the information campaign events, and data protection prevents us from providing those names we have. Where possible, lists of organisations/types of organisations, which were either invited to attend, or registered to attend various information campaign events, have been made available in the Library of the House. These lists should be treated only as a guide to attendance.

Planning Permission

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many appeals against English local authority determinations (refusals or conditions) of planning permission have been outstanding for more than 12 months; how many for more than 18 months; and how many for more than two years since (a) the issue of the decisions; and (b) the conclusion of public inquiries.

11 Oct 2004 : Column WA29

Lord Rooker: The information requested is in the table below.

Planning Appeals Outstanding in England as at 31 August 2004

More than 12 monthsMore than 18 monthsMore than 2 years
Since issue of Local Authority Decision544170616
Since closure of public inquiry000

The appeal process commences with the receipt of a valid appeal by the Planning Inspectorate and from this point our performance is normally measured.

The table below shows the same information based upon the appeal start date rather than the date of the local authority decision.

Planning Appeals Outstanding in England as at 31 August 2004

More than 12 monthsMore than 18 monthsMore than 2 years
Since start of the appeal process21494547


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