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Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what advice he has issued to local authorities on the provision of burial places for the Muslim community. 
Ms Keeble: No specific advice has been issued. However, under Article 5(1) of the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1977, burial authorities are empowered to set aside for the use of a particular denomination or religious body any part of a cemetery, which has not been consecrated. In addition, Planning Policy Guidance note 12Development Plans, requires local authorities to consider the social needs of their area when preparing local plans and to make provision for community facilities, which could include cemeteries and crematoria.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many (a) new miles of track and (b) new stations have been opened within the heavy rail network in each year from 1980. 
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what proposals there are to improve the roads and environment around Waterloo station; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: This is a matter for Transport for London and Lambeth borough council. For further information contact Derek Turner, the Director of Street Management at Transport for London, Windsor House, 4250 Victoria street, London, SW1H OTL, or Michael Bridgland, Head of Transportation and Highways, London borough of Lambeth, Blue Star House, 234244, Stockwell road, Brixton Hill, London SW9 9SP.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he will complete his review of the electoral systems used in the last European parliamentary elections. 
Dr. Whitehead [holding answer 16 July 2001]: A Home Office review of the 1999 European parliamentary election was published in May 2000 and a copy placed in the House of Commons Library. It is also available on the Home Office website.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what action he has taken to change the use of his powers under the Local Government Act 1974 to achieve compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998; and if he will make a statement. 
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Dr. Whitehead: The Local Government Act 1974 makes provision for the Commission for Local Administration in England. We have taken no action to change the use of the Secretary of State's powers in relation to these provisions, since we see no case to do so.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what information his Department has collated on the differential difficulties in (a) recruitment, (b) market rates of pay and (c) retention of essential public services staff in (i) the south-east and (ii) the north-east; and if he will make a statement on continued area cost adjustments in local government finance. 
Dr. Whitehead: We receive information from other Government Departments, in particular the Department for Education and Skills, the Department of Health and the Home Office, about the recruitment and retention of teachers, social services staff and police officers.
The present Area Cost Adjustment mechanism used in the local government revenue grant distribution system is based on differences in labour costs and rates costs in different parts of England. Information on labour costs is taken from the New Earnings Survey. This enables us to calculate the market rates of pay in different areas of the country and to reflect the higher costs of certain areas in the funding provided to local authorities. The current system does not include specific factors for differential recruitment and retention rates, as these issues should already be reflected in the prevailing pay levels in an area and therefore captured within the earnings data.
It is generally accepted that the grant distribution system needs to reflect higher labour costs in parts of the country. Our current review of the system includes a review of how exactly that should be done.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what proportion of children live in a home that is not defined by the English House Conditions Survey as decent at the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to alter targets for train operating companies in future franchise negotiations with the Strategic Rail Authority relating to (a) punctuality, (b) levels of overcrowding, (c) numbers of standing passengers, and (d) age of rolling stock. 
Mr. Jamieson: Where the Strategic Rail Authority have negotiated replacement franchises an ultimate target of 15 out of 16 trains arriving punctually has been set. The existing method of monitoring overcrowding through the passengers in excess of capacity mechanism has been maintained. There are no target dates for the age of rolling
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stock, but the Government have made regulations requiring that slam-door Mark 1 stock must be removed from the network by the end of 2004.
Our draft franchising policy statement issued on 16 July asks the Strategic Rail Authority to take a fresh look at what can be achieved within existing franchises to drive up safety, punctuality and comfort across all franchised services.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the condition of track on Britain's railways in (a) each year since 199596 and (b) each month since April 1995. 
Mr. Jamieson: Assessment of track condition is not susceptible to presentation in the form requested. However, the Rail Regulator in April this year amended Railtrack's network licence to require from April 2002 an annual report on the performance and condition of their network over the previous year.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many broken rails there were on Britain's railways in (a) each year since 199596, and (b) each month since April 1995. 
Mr. Jamieson: Details on broken rails can be found in HM Chief Inspector of Railways' annual reports on railway safety, copies of which are placed in both House Libraries. The number of broken rails on Britain's railways since 199596 are also shown in the table. Providing the monthly number of broken rails since 199596 can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
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200001 data are provisional and subject to possible change.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the punctuality statistics for each train operating company for each month since April 1995. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority and its predecessor Opraf have produced regular statistics on train operator performance in its Performance Bulletin and since June 2000 in its "On Track" publication. Copies of these are available in the Library of the House. These publications are also available on the SRA's website: www.sra.gov.uk.
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of journeys on which maximum levels of overcrowding were exceeded and (b) the average number of standing passengers per journey in (i) each year since 199596 and (ii) each month since April 1995. 
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the average age of fleet for each train operating company (a) was for each month since their franchise was awarded, (b) was for each year since their franchise was awarded and (c) is projected for each year under the remainder of their franchise agreement; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The information is not available in the form requested. However, the table shows the current life expiry of existing rolling stock on the network. The Government have made regulations requiring the removal of Mark 1 slam-door stock by the end of 2004. Since privatisation, over 3,300 new passenger vehicles have been ordered of which nearly half are in service or expected to enter service by the end of 2001.
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