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Departmental Initiatives

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 21 July 2000, Official Report, column 350W, if he will list all departmental initiatives between May 1997 and 18 July 2000 requiring bids from voluntary organisations and local authorities for funding, together with the total resources allocated to these initiatives, the number of successful bids and the proportion this represents of total bids received; and what data he collects on the average cost of preparing the bids for funding through each initiative. [133983]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The table lists and shows the spending on those Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions' initiatives that have required bids from voluntary organisations and local authorities to the Department for funding in 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01.

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£ million

Special grants (regeneration)
Rough sleepers15.217.524.930.6
Land reclamation(8)49.553.333.16.3
Community Investment Fund(8)
Estates Renewal Challenge Fund102.0146.0165.081.0
Single Regeneration Budget(9)458.8560.9181.40.0
New Deal for Communities0.00.248.5120.7
Rural bus challenge(10)
Transport supplementary grant194.9155.5158.021.8
Public transport facilities grant(11)
Industrial Development Act grant(11)
Transport credit approvals443.3367.9470.6777.9
Mobility Choice0.
Community transport0.
Environmental Action Fund3.
Capital Challenge Fund146.9246.5208.00.0

(6) Actual outturn

(7) Provision

(8) Partial funding obtained from Non Departmental Public Bodies

(9) On 1 April 1999 the administration of the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) outside London transferred to the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). Figures for 1999-2000 relate only to the SRB in London, responsibility for which transferred to the London Development Agency in July 2000.

(10) Allocations were £11.4 million in 1998-1999 and £16.8 million in 1999-2000

(11) Figures may include non-voluntary private sector bodies


European Regional Development Fund funding made available through the department was as follows: £191.5 million--£229.4 million--£278.0 million--£332.5 million.

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The other information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Housing Policy

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he

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has to require local authorities to publish written policies on housing people suffering (a) racial harassment and (b) domestic violence. [133820]

Mr. Mullin: My Department has made it clear in this year's Housing Investment Programme (HIP) guidance to local authorities that we will wish to see evidence that

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authorities have robust measures in place to tackle racial harassment. My Department is also working closely with the Home Office, the lead Department on anti-social behaviour, to take forward the recommendations made by the Social Exclusion Unit's Policy Action Team (PAT) 8 on anti-social behaviour. One of those recommendations is that all social landlords should adopt a non-harassment clause in their tenancy agreements, and make clear the action that will be taken if the clause is breached.

This year's HIP guidance also makes it clear that my Department expects local housing authorities to set out in their housing strategy statements a comprehensive approach to addressing the housing and support needs of all vulnerable groups in the community--and this includes victims of domestic violence. Several recent Government publications, among them "Multi-agency guidance for addressing domestic violence" (March 2000) set out key issues which all agencies need to bear in mind, when developing their strategies with regard to domestic violence.

The Supporting people programme, which comes into effect in 2003, will require local authorities to audit the housing care and support needs of all vulnerable groups in their communities, and publish their strategies to meet these needs. The DETR/DoH/Women's unit has commissioned research on the availability of accommodation and support services for women accepted as homeless as a result of domestic violence. This research will collect information for the first time ever on the accommodation and support services provided by women's refuge groups and other providers, and measure households' satisfaction with the different accommodation and support needs available . The research project will produce guidance for local authorities on the option for meeting the needs of these households. This research and guidance will inform local authorities' strategies for Supporting People.

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions by what means he intends to evaluate pilot schemes for introducing choice into the letting of social housing; and if the results of these evaluations will be made public. [133819]

Mr. Mullin: We propose to commission researchers to work alongside the pilot authorities to monitor and evaluate the schemes and produce good practice guidance for social landlords drawing from the lessons learnt from the pilot schemes. We will be publishing the research findings and good practice guidance after the pilots are complete. We also plan to keep people informed about the progress of the pilot schemes during the implementation and evaluation process and will be issuing regular newsletters.

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the consistency with which local authorities assess the vulnerability of homeless applicants under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996. [133821]

Mr. Mullin: Local housing authorities provide quarterly statistical returns to the DETR about statutory homelessness which include details of all applicants accepted as having a priority need for accommodation because they are vulnerable. These returns are monitored on a continual basis. The Department has also commissioned research into local authority policy and

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practice on housing allocation, transfers and homelessness. The research is due to be published later this year and includes some analysis of the consistency of local housing authorities assessment of the vulnerability of homeless applicants under Part VII of the Housing act 1996.

Transport Safety

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement in respect of safety protection required in the event of a frontal impact to (a) children and adults travelling on coaches and (b) children and adults travelling on a double or single decker bus if (a) sitting and (b) standing. [134186]

Mr. Hill: Other than the provisions for seat belts there are no specific safety requirements directed at frontal impact accidents in buses or coaches.

Seat belts must be available in coaches when groups of children are taken on organised trips. In coaches first used after 1 October 1988, whether adults or children are being carried, seat belts are required in the front passenger seats and in any rear seat which is not immediately behind a forward facing seat. Where a lap type seat belt is fitted to a seat the area in front must be soft or of other energy absorbing construction. Other than in these conditions the fitment and use of seat belts is optional. However, we recently consulted on the proposals to require seat belts to be provided in all new buses and coaches apart from those specifically designed to carry standing passengers. We plan that these requirements will take effect next year.


Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the sites of special scientific interest that he intends to introduce following their designation by the European Union for (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland. [134127]

Mr. Mullin: The selection of sites of special scientific interest is a devolved matter. In England statutory consultations on the notification or re-notification of 29 sites of special scientific interest (SSSI) are taking place in relation to possible special areas of conservation. These matters are being taken forward by English Nature to incorporate changes and additions in England to the UK list of candidate special areas of conservation transmitted, in accordance with the EC Habitats Directive, to the European Commission in July 1999. The sites are:

SSSI Administrative Area
Arnecliff and Park Hole WoodsNorth Yorkshire
Blackstone PointDevon
Bolton Fell MossCumbria
Braithwaite MossCumbria
Carricknath Point to Porthbean BeachCornwall
Dew's PondsSuffolk
Ewefell MireCumbria
Frome St QuintinDorset
Haggs BankCumbria
Hestercombe HouseSomerset
Humber Flats and Marshes: Upper HumberCity of Kingston upon Hull East Riding of Yorkshire
North Lincolnshire
Humber Flats and Marshes: Barton & Barrow Clay PitsNorth Lincolnshire
Humber Flats and Marshes: The GruesNorth Lincolnshire
Humber Flats and Marshes: Pyewipe and Cleethorpes CoastNorth Lincolnshire North East Lincolnshire
Kirk DeightonNorth Yorkshire
Little WittenhamOxfordshire
Lyppard Grange PondsWorcestershire
Mobberley and Oversley PondsCheshire
Peter's PitKent
River ItchenCity of Southampton
River Kent and TributariesCumbria
River MeaseDerbyshire
River Nent at BlagillCumbria
River TillWiltshire
Rochdale CanalRochdale
Sefton CoastSefton
St Austell Clay PitsCornwall
Whitesike Mine and Flinty FellCumbria
Windsor Forest and Great ParkBracknell Forest
Windsor & Maidenhead

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