|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to amend regulations concerning local authority powers for compulsory purchase of buildings to facilitate regeneration. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: The final report of the expert Advisory Group set up to undertake a fundamental review of the laws and procedures relating to compulsory purchase and compensation were published on 27 July 2000. Copies of the report were placed in the Library. The Group concluded that new legislation was needed to clarify and modernise CPO powers, procedures and compensation provisions, while retaining the present approach of ensuring that individual rights are protected. Comments on the Advisory Group's conclusions were invited by 13 October. We will now consider the proposals put forward by the Group, the comments made on them and all other suggestions made in the course of the review. I hope that we will be in a position to make an announcement on proposals for reform early in the new year. This will include consideration of local authority powers in relation to regeneration.
Ms Beverley Hughes: My hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning announced on 13 April 2000, Official Report, columns 249-50W, the publication of a consultation draft of a new Planning Policy Note 25, "Development and flood risk". This set out proposals to strengthen the existing policy, which seeks to avoid inappropriate development in areas of flood risk. The draft is currently being revised in the light of consultation responses as well as any lessons to be learned from the recent flooding incidents. The new guidance is expected to be published in December this year.
30 Oct 2000 : Column: 307W
Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) how many official journeys he has made on London Underground in the last (a) month, (b) three months and (c) six months; 
(3) how many official journeys he has made by bus in the last (a) month, (b) three months and (c) six months; 
(4) how many official journeys he has made by rail in the last (a) month, (b) three months and (c) six months; 
(5) what proportion of official journeys by his Department's ministers have been made by public transport in the last (a) month, (b) three months and (c) six months; 
(6) what annual target has been set by his Department for the proportion of (a) Ministerial official journeys that should be taken by public transport and (b) all official journeys undertaken for his Department that should be taken by public transport. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: We purchased a page of advertising in support of our 'are you doing your bit?' campaign. The campaign aims to encourage individuals to take actions to save energy and help the environment. As part of this campaign, we have placed advertising in several women's magazines. The cost of advertising in the November issue of "Voices" was £5,477.85 including VAT.
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many (a) reported accidents and (b) accidents resulting in fatalities involving vehicles on railway crossings have occurred in Britain in each of the past five years. 
30 Oct 2000 : Column: 308W
|Year||Number of trains running into animals, gates or vehicles at level crossings||Number of fatalities involving road vehicles on level crossings|
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will initiate a general review of the safety of barrier-less crossings of railway lines following the conclusion of inquiries into the fatal accident on the railway crossing at Porthmadog on 23 October. 
Mr. Hill: The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Railway Inspectorate Inspector visited the site after the accident and was satisfied that the crossing is working correctly. I understand that an independent check of the crossing lights controls and the audible warning devices was also conducted, and they were found to be in good condition. HSE's Railway Inspectorate are now assisting the British Transport Police (BTP) with their investigation. Once this investigation has been concluded HSE will consider whether any further action for this type of level crossing is required.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will instruct Railtrack to make the necessary infrastructure provision in order to establish a 30-minute service between Harrogate and York. 
Mr. Hill: No. The Secretary of State has no powers to instruct Railtrack. The provision of such infrastructure is a matter in the first instance for Railtrack and the train operating company, Northern Spirit. Condition seven of Railtrack's network licence requires it to maintain, renew, replace, improve, enhance and develop the network to meet the reasonable requirements of train operators and funders. The licence is enforced by the Rail Regulator.
Subsidy may be provided to the train operator through the franchise, and, subject to the Transport Bill currently before Parliament, the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) may procure schemes from Railtrack. To qualify for support a scheme would have to meet the SRA's Planning Criteria.
30 Oct 2000 : Column: 307W
30 Oct 2000 : Column: 309W
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will (a) place in the Library a copy of the recent study carried out for his Department comparing the earnings of barristers with other public sector professions and (b) make a statement on the conclusions of the study. 
Mr. Lock: Copies of the recent study into the comparison of barristers' income from public funds with other comparable professions in the public sector have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The study indicated that barristers were paid significantly more than members of other professions doing skilled and stressful jobs who were also paid from public funds. The conclusions of the research are being considered, together with other evidence available, in determining the level of rates payable to barristers for both publicly funded family and criminal work. The Lord Chancellor and I are currently considering the responses to proposals which have been made on such fees and will announce our conclusions shortly.
Mr. Lock: The Lord Chancellor welcomes the acknowledgement by the Law Society of the improvements in the judicial appointments system which he has introduced. He notes that the Law Society calls for the creation of an independent Judicial Appointments Commission. He has not ruled out further reform for the future but considers it appropriate to proceed with the implementation and evaluation of the changes recommended by Sir Leonard Peach in his scrutiny. As part of this programme of development, the post of the First Commissioner for Judicial Appointments has now been advertised.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what recent discussions the Lord Chancellor has had with senior members of the judiciary concerning reform of court dress; and if he will make a statement. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|