Previous Section Index Home Page


Cashpoint Machines

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what powers he has (a) to stop and (b) to regulate the application of charges for the use of ATM cash points in the LINK system. [113181]

Mr. Byers [holding answer 6 March 2000]: Under the new Competition Act the Director General of Fair Trading can investigate whether the LINK agreement on surcharges is in any way anti-competitive and he now has powers to impose severe penalties for infringements of the prohibitions of the Act.

Section 4 of the Prices Act 1974 gives me powers to make an Order requiring that charges are indicated for goods and services. If the banking industry does not reach a satisfactory voluntary agreement on the display of charges I will use my powers to require them to display prices transparently before the transaction takes place.

ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORT AND THE REGIONS

London Underground

18. Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he last travelled on official business on the London Underground. [112190]

Mr. Hill: My right hon. Friend travels by public transport on a regular basis on official visits and on journeys to his office.

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will call for a report from London Underground on (a) the reasons for the work on the second escalator at St. John's Wood Station taking longer than originally assumed, (b) when Baker Street Station will be re-opened for Jubilee Line passengers and (c) the reasons why at Westminster Station debris obstructs the walkway to the House, certain exits have not opened and the previously opened exit to Victoria Embankment has been boarded shut. [113126]

Mr. Hill [holding answer 6 March 2000]: These are operational matters for London Underground who have informed me that:


7 Mar 2000 : Column: 590W


    (b) Baker Street Station re-opened for Jubilee Line passengers on 3 March 2000 but closed to Jubilee passengers over the weekend of the 4-5 March due to a failed speed governor (a device which ensures that the escalator travels at a steady speed, controls the braking system and ensures that it comes to a controlled stop in an emergency). It re-opened this morning to the Jubilee Line passengers; and


    (c) Part of the Bridge subway at Westminster Station remains fenced off to allow contractors to complete installation of permanent lighting there; the final subway exit, linking the station to Victoria Embankment, adjacent to Westminster Pier, opened on 6 March 2000, although the staircase at the pier end of the Subway is not due to open until 31 March 2000; those exits previously opened and now shut have been closed to facilitate construction works at street level by the New Parliamentary Building team.

Council Tenants

19. Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the progress made in giving council tenants a greater role in running their own estates. [112191]

Mr. Raynsford: The introduction of best value and tenant participation compacts from 1 April 2000 will ensure that tenants can influence the way their homes are managed. Tenants can choose how and in what they are involved and this will be set out in the compact with their authority. Our new tenant empowerment grant programme, which I will launch on 31 March also helps tenants to get independent advice on options for involvement, including tenant management if they wish.

Council Housing (Inner London)

20. Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what proposals he has to encourage the building of council-owned homes in inner London. [112192]

Mr. Mullin: We are keen to encourage the building of the maximum number of affordable homes in Inner London by whatever means secures the best value for money. However, in most cases housing associations are able to build twice as many units than local authorities would have been able to do for the same amount of grant.

Regional Development Agencies

21. Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the cost to public funds of regional development agencies. [112193]

Ms Armstrong: The eight RDAs in England have a total budget of £900 million for 1999-2000. This comprises grant-in-aid of £737 million and retention of receipts from programmes.

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what are the names and addresses of the members of the boards of each of the regional development agencies who have rural expertise. [112819]

7 Mar 2000 : Column: 591W

Ms Armstrong: Members are not appointed to represent a particular sector, but in a personal capacity. Members typically have experiences and skills across a range of sectors and interests. The table shows both the

7 Mar 2000 : Column: 592W

names of those board members taking the lead on rural issues and the names of other members who also have some expertise in this area. The address of the RDA where board members can be contacted is also given.

7 Mar 2000 : Column: 591W

AgencyMembers appointed primarily for rural expertiseOther members with rural expertise
One North East, Great North House, Sandyford Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8NDPhillip HughesMiles Middleton
North West Development Agency, King's Court, Scotland Road, Warrington WA1 2FRJohn Dunning--
Yorkshire Forward, Westgate House, 100 Wellington Street, Leeds LS1 4LTPamela WarhurstLord Haskins
Michael Johnston
Advantage West Midlands, 2 Priestley Wharf, Holt Street, Aston Science Park, Birmingham B7 4BZAntony Harris--
East Midlands Development Agency, Apex Court, City Link, Nottingham NG2 4LABob MiddletonJane Bradford
Martin Doughty
East of England Development Agency, Compass House, Chivers Way, Histon, Cambridge CB4 9ZRMarie SkinnerVincent Watts
South West of England Development Agency, Sterling House, Dix's Field, Exeter EX1 1QAJonathon PorrittJeremy Pope
South East of England Development Agency, SEEDA Headquarters, Cross Lanes, Guildford GU1 1YASarah WardAllan Willett

7 Mar 2000 : Column: 591W

EU Structural Funds

22. Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of his Department's contribution to the future programmes of European Union objective 1 regions. [112194]

Ms Armstrong: My Department will continue to provide significant financial support to the new objective 1 regions through a wide variety of routes. These include the funds made available to the Regional Development Agencies; regeneration programmes such as the New Deal for Communities, as well as the resources provided to local authorities.

Integrated Transport Commission

23. Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the Commission for Integrated Transport. [112195]

Mr. Hill: We are very grateful to the Commission for Integrated Transport for all the valuable work it has been doing, which continues to make a real contribution to the transport debate.

Regeneration

24. Ms Rosie Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps the Government are taking to regenerate disadvantaged communities. [112196]

Ms Armstrong: A framework version of our national strategy for the regeneration of deprived communities will be published in the spring, with a final version emerging later in the year. Meantime, new ideas, new approaches and existing best practice are already being identified with our New Deal for Communities and other regeneration partnerships across the country.

7 Mar 2000 : Column: 592W

26. Mr. Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps he is taking to regenerate the economy in the north-west. [112198]

Ms Armstrong: This Government are taking many steps to regenerate the economy of the north west, including the establishment of the North West development agency to deliver the regional strategy. This includes the single regeneration budget which in round five alone is worth over £800 million.


Next Section Index Home Page