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East Midlands Regional Development Agency

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representations he has received from local authorities about the location of the Regional Development Agency for the East Midlands; what consideration he has given to these; on the basis of what criteria; and when he intends to make a decision. [24946]

Mr. Caborn: On 2 September 1997, the Under- Secretary of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Wallesey (Angela Eagle), met members of Leicester City Council and others wishing to promote the case for the East Midlands Development Agency to be located in Leicester. However, it is not for Government to decide where the Agency will be located. The Agency itself will be best placed to decide where its offices should be.

Regional Railways North East

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what reports he has received from (a) the Office of the Rail Regulator and (b) the Franchising Director on the performance of Regional Railways North East since privatisation. [25258]

Ms Glenda Jackson: No reports on the performance of Regional Railways North East have been received from the Rail Regulator or the Franchising Director. The Franchising Director is responsible for monitoring train operators' performance and publishes performance details in quarterly Bulletins. A copy of OPRAF's Bulletin is available in the House Library.

27 Jan 1998 : Column: 127

Landfill Tax

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will provide a regional analysis of moneys disbursed through the operation of the landfill tax environmental grant fund. [25257]

Angela Eagle: This information is not available by regions; however the UK figures for funds notified to Entrust at 31 December 1997 are:

£
England51,527,135.30
Scotland4,948,679.58
Northern Ireland1,415,247.21
Wales2,157,707.15

HGVs (Spray Suppression)

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what measures he plans to improve spray suppression from HGVs; and if he will make a statement. [25273]

Ms Glenda Jackson: The problem of spray from lorries is one that we would like to reduce. We had commissioned research in the hope of finding a better method of testing spray suppression equipment to ensure it is effective, but this has not led to useful results.

However, there is a meeting of EU Member States experts later this month at which we will be discussing what others are proposing and we hope that this will lead to proposals for improvements in the Directive which sets standards in this area.

BAA

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what recent discussions the Minister of Transport has had with BAA regarding its policy for London's airports; and if he will make a statement; [25521]

Dr. Strang: I have had three meetings with BAA since 2 May 1997. None of the meetings was arranged specifically to discuss London airports. Discussions covered a range of issues.

The Government are carrying out a fundamental review of transport policy leading to the publication of a White Paper later this year. Our aim in the White Paper is to establish the overall framework of an integrated transport policy within which policies relevant to specific modes, including aviation, can be developed. We believe that UK aviation and airports have an essential role to play within a fully integrated transport system.

Derbyshire Report

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he intends to publish the Second Report on the sinking of the Derbyshire. [25744]

27 Jan 1998 : Column: 128

Ms Glenda Jackson: The Assessors have submitted their report to Ministers for consideration. We expect to publish the report in March.

Walton Bridge, Shepperton

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he expects to hold the public inquiry into the plan to replace Walton Bridge at Shepperton. [25469]

Mr. Raynsford [holding answer 26 January 1998]: Surrey County Council have advised my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State that they are reviewing the scheme. The arrangements for the inquiry into the called in planning application are being held in abeyance until such time as the Council have decided whether or not they wish to pursue the scheme in its present form.

Allotments

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Mr. Hawkins) of 24 July 1997, Official Report, column 699, if he will update his list of (a) consents and (b) refusals of consent since 2 May under the Allotments Act 1925 for the disposal of allotment land or its use for other purposes. [25610]

Angela Eagle: The Secretary of State has given his consent, under section 8 of the Allotments Act 1925, for the disposal of the following statutory allotments sites since 2 May 1997;






























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There have been no refusals of consent under section 8 of the 1925 Act since 2 May.

Millennium Compliance

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he notifies potential purchasers of obsolete information technology equipment sold by his Department that such equipment may not be millennium compliant. [25615]

Angela Eagle: The Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions disposes of its surplus information technology equipment through either departmental contracts or the Ministry of Defence's Disposal Sales Agency. These contractors have not been informed by the Department that such equipment may not be millennium compliant.

Category C Prison, Morecambe

Miss Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he plans to announce his decision on the public inquiry into the establishment of a Category C prison at Middleton Sands, Morecambe; and if he will make a statement. [25099]

Mr. Caborn: The Secretary of State will endeavour to issue a decision as soon as possible.


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