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Regional Development Agencies

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is (a) the annual cost, (b) the number employed and (c) the total expenditure of (i) the integrated regional office and (ii) the regional development agencies in (1) Yorkshire and Humberside, (2) the Northern Region, (3) the North West and (4) all English regions in (A) 1997, (B) 1998 and (C) 1999, respectively. [114903]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The first table shows the Regional Development Agencies' gross expenditure on their administration for the 1998-99 financial year when the agencies were being set up; and their allocations for administration and programmes for 1999-2000 at the start of the financial year. It also shows staff-in-post figures for 1 April and 30 September 1999, the latest data that are available.

The second table shows the relevant data for Government offices. Information on programme expenditure in 1999-2000 is not available yet.

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Regional Development Agencies

Administration (£000) Programme (£000)Staff numbers
1998-991999-20001999-20001 April 199930 September 1999
Yorkshire Forward4038,036152,203174.5211
One North East2,3959,771139,039203232
North West32712,131212,595182199
East Midlands4067,15560,193107132
Advantage West Midlands3847,678114,764118.5147
East of England3504,80328,9573871
South East4115,48682,8506095
South West4617,48846,509143171
Total (all RDAs)5,13762,548837,1101,0261,258


Staff numbers are full time equivalents except North West RDA which is staff-in-post

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Government Offices

Running costs (£000)Programme costs (£000)Staff numbers
Grand total86,3845,210,530
Grand total84,8645,349,820
Grand total87,484


1. GO-Merseyside and GO-NW merged during 1998-99

2. Running cost figures shown are final out-turns for 1997-98 and 1998-99; and budgets for 1999-2000

3. Programme costs 1997-98 and 1998-99 for GO-WM exclude European Programme payments covering period 1994-99 of total value £627.9m and £762.6m respectively; for 1997-98 GO-L excludes London Transport Funding

4. Staff numbers are staff-in-post averages (not full time equivalents) taken over the course of the year

5. GO-CU is the Government Offices' Central Unit

Aircraft Safety

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will require commercial airlines to make available sufficient leg room to ensure that all passengers can adopt the brace position in the event of an emergency. [114937]

Mr. Mullin: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has set minimum requirements relating to the spacing of passenger seats for aircraft on the UK register. This is

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because, in the event of an emergency, it is one of a number of factors which can have an effect on the evacuation of an aircraft. We are not aware that any other country has a similar requirement.

The CAA has also conducted extensive research into passenger brace positions and published its preferred brace position in a Notice to Air Operator Certificate Holders in 1993. This requires that the upper body is bent forward as far as possible with the head touching the back of the seat in front. However, it is recognised that there is not a seat pitch at which people from both extremes of the height range will be able to achieve this position. Where the preferred brace position cannot be adopted passengers should adopt a position as close as possible to it as the circumstances allow.

Landfill Tax

Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representations he has made to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the return to local authorities of the full value of the Landfill Tax to fund schemes for reduction, re-use and recycling of waste; and if he will make a statement. [114888]

Mr. Mullin: None. The revenue raised from Landfill Tax is general Government revenue, not earmarked for particular purposes.

The local government settlement for 2000-01 provides an additional £2.9 billion (5.8 per cent.) for councils' total revenue spending. The Government are considering the question of resources for local authority waste management as part of the overall year 2000 Spending Review.

Heathrow Slots

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what EU legislation governs the allocation of departure and arrival slots at Heathrow to British airlines which merge with non-EU airlines; and if he will make a statement. [115226]

Mr. Mullin: Slot allocation at Heathrow is governed by EC Regulation 95/93, which was transposed into UK law by the Airports Slot Allocation Regulations 1993 (SI 1993/1067). Under these regulations, an independent co-ordinator has been appointed to allocate slots. He is charged with carrying out his duties in a neutral, transparent and non-discriminatory manner. No account is taken in the slot allocation process of the nationality of applicant airlines. However, European and national competition authorities have in the past had regard to the number of slots that would be controlled by a single operating entity, and any possible resultant detrimental effect on competition, when considering proposed mergers and acquisitions.

Private Zoos

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many private zoos there are in the UK; and how many reported accidents involving (a) animals and keepers and (b) animals and the public resulted in (i) hospitalisation and (ii) death in the last five years. [115118]

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Mr. Mullin: Official statistics about the ownership of zoos are not kept.

The table shows the breakdown of injuries and death in zoos in Great Britain for the years 1994-98. These figures are reported to local authorities under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) and relate to accidents arising out of work activities at zoos.

Injured by animal
Severity of injury1994-951995-961996-971997-98Total
Over 3 day--2114
Member of public

Water (Kent)

Mr. Rowe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what forecasts he made of water availability in Kent prior to deciding on the number of new homes to be built in the county. [115338]

Ms Beverley Hughes: I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which my hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning gave on 13 March 2000, Official Report, column 35W. The Secretary of State has made no decision on the number of new homes to be built in Kent. Details of our proposed changes to regional planning guidance in the South East will be published on 27 March 2000. These will include an illustrative breakdown of housing within the region to county level, including an annual rate of provision for Kent. We will be consulting SERPLAN and others on the distribution of housing within the region. Water availability will be one of the factors to be taken into account.

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