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Waste Strategy

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representations he has received regarding the Government's draft waste strategy for England and Wales, "A Way with Waste". [101317]

Mr. Mullin: The Government published for consultation their draft waste strategy for England and Wales, "A Way With Waste", on 30 June 1999. We have received over 500 substantive submissions from a wide range of interested parties, and over 20,000 postcards urging higher recycling targets from members of the public. These views will also be taken into consideration as we develop the final strategy.

The final version of our sustainable waste management strategy--which we will publish early next year--will be a long-term strategy for handling the waste generated by businesses, service providers and households. The Government are committed to introducing and promoting

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sustainable waste management across the UK. This means using materials and resources efficiently, to cut down on the amount of waste we produce, and where waste is produced, dealing with it in a way that actively contributes to the economic, social and environmental goals of sustainable development.

Burscough Curves Railway Line

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what discussions he has had with Railtrack and the train operating companies on re-opening the Burscough Curves railway line between Southport and Preston. [101160]

Mr. Hill: None. However, the sSRA is engaged in discussions with Railtrack on service improvements to be delivered during its next charging period, 2001 to 2006. Re-opening Burscough Curve has been raised for consideration by Merseytravel. The sSRA will be sending to Railtrack shortly details of improvements it wishes them to cost in their next Network Management Statement.

Homelessness

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to commission research on the provision of temporary accommodation for and the resettlement support needs of young pregnant women and single parents. [101187]

Mr. Mullin: DETR has no plans to commission such research, but the research programme for the coming year has not been finalised yet.

The Teenage Pregnancy Unit in the Department of Health, which has been set up in light of the Social Exclusion Unit's report "Teenage Pregnancy", is in the early stages of drafting its research strategy and cannot say whether it will include anything on support for teenage mothers.

Following publication of the SEU's report, the Housing Corporation has invited bids from Registered Social Landlords to develop around 15 pilots to test alternative approaches to the provision of supported accommodation for 16-18 year old lone parents. Research, in the form of evaluation of both the pilots and existing projects providing supervised accommodation, will be initiated once the pilots are established.

Footpaths

Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many adjudications on the closure or diversion of footpaths he was called upon to make for each relevant authority in the last year for which figures are available; and in how many of these cases the local authority's view was overturned. [101152]

Mr. Mullin: The number of decisions made by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and

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the Regions on the closure and diversion of footpaths for each relevant authority between the periods 1 November 1998 and 31 October 1999 are as follows:

Order making authorityNumber of closures/ diversionsNumber of orders not confirmed (6)
Ashford Borough Council30
Babergh District Council20
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council10
Bath and North East Somerset Council10
Bedfordshire County Council50
Bolsover District Council10
Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council11
Broxbourne Borough Council22
Buckingham County Council10
Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council10
Cambridgeshire County Council30
Cherwell District Council10
Chichester District Council10
Cornwall County Council42
Cumbria County Council20
Darlington County Council60
Derbyshire County Council10
Devon County Council42
Durham County Council20
East Cambridgeshire District Council10
East Northants District Council10
East Riding of Yorkshire Council10
Epping Forest District Council11
Gloucestershire County Council11
Hampshire County Council10
Harborough District Council10
High Peak Borough Council11
Kent County Council60
Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council10
Lake District Special Planning Board40
Leeds City Council22
Lincoln City Council22
London Borough of Bromley11
London Borough of Hillingham10
London Borough of Newham21
Manchester City Council10
Mendip District Council11
Mid-Bedfordshire District Council21
Mid-Suffolk District Council10
North East Derbyshire District Council32
North Norfolk District Council11
North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council40
North Yorkshire County Council81
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council21
Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council21
Oxfordshire County Council10
Pendle Borough Council10
Plymouth City Council10
Portsmouth District Council11
Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council10
Reigate and Banstead Borough Council10
Rossendale Borough Council10
Rotherham Borough Council10
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead10
Runnymede Borough Council10
Sedgemoor District Council10
Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council10
Shropshire County Council31
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council21
South Bedfordshire District Council33
South Cambridgeshire District Council10
South Gloucestershire Council10
South Kesteven District Council21
South Norfolk District Council21
South Northants District Council30
South Somerset District Council20
St. Edmundsbury Borough Council20
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council11
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council11
Stroud District Council10
Surrey County Council41
Swale Borough Council10
Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council10
Taunton Deane Borough Council20
The Wrekin District Council10
Tonbridge and Malling District Council10
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council10
Wakefield Metropolitan District Council11
Warwick District Council10
Warwickshire County Council50
Watford Borough Council10
Wealden District Council11
West Dorset District Council22
West Wiltshire District Council10
Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council10
Wiltshire County Council21
Worcester City Council10
Worcestershire County Council20
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority10
Total16040

(6) Includes orders which where substantially modified before confirmation


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Local Government

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is the smallest district council area which will be covered by the proposed cabinet structure for local government. [101284]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The Local Government Bill, which was read a Second time in the other place on 6 December, includes provision for all district councils, including Watford Borough Council which has the smallest area among such councils, to adopt new constitutions including a separate executive.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what his proposed timetable is for the introduction of cabinet government into district councils. [101286]

Ms Beverley Hughes: Subject to Parliament enacting the Local Government Bill, all councils will be required to put forward proposals for new constitutions, including their proposed timetable for implementation. As our White Paper "Modern Local Government: In Touch with the People" (Cm 4014) made clear, should there be any cases where progress is not being made, it will be open to the Secretary of State to use his reserve power to intervene.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what exemptions he proposes from the planned cabinet government structure for district councils; and whether the criteria for exemption will include (a) size of district, (b) population and (c) number of councils. [101285]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The Local Government Bill provides that all district councils shall have a duty to bring forward proposals to move to one of the new forms of constitution involving a separate executive.

Mr. Casale: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what advice he has given local authorities which wish to introduce new local government structures before the Local Government Bill is enacted. [101978]

Ms Beverley Hughes: In March, we published the paper "Local leadership, local choice" (Cm 4298), which set out proposals for more efficient, transparent and

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accountable constitutions for councils and which included a checklist of steps that councils could take before legislation. The paper made clear that any new structure a council adopted should be what its local people wanted and therefore the council must consult its local community widely on all available options before making any change.


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