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Mr. Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list those registered social landlords in the London Borough of Greenwich who have imposed rent increases over the rate of inflation in the last two years. 
Mr. Mullin: Twenty registered social landlords (RSLs) owned stock in Greenwich in both 1998 and March 2000. The percentage increase in average rent in March 2000 compared with March 1998 was higher than the rate of inflation over that period for eight of these RSLs. They were:
Mr. Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many appeals have been made against rent increases approved by the rent officers in each of the last four years; and how many have resulted in a higher rent being imposed for (a) private landlords and (b) registered social landlords. 
The results of these appeals (the percentage of appeals that lead to lower, unchanged and higher rents) are published in "Rent Officer Statistics" but without a separate split by private landlords and registered social
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landlords. Analysis of the 1998-99 appeals against fair rents shows the following figures:
|Private landlords||Registered social landlords|
|Percentage of appeals resulting in:|
Mr. Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what reasons have been given by rent officers in the London Borough of Greenwich for approving rent increases for tenants of registered social landlords above the level of inflation. 
Mr. Mullin: Rent officers are required to determine rents for properties with a registered fair rent in accordance with the rules set out in the Rent Act 1977. This requires them to take into account a number of criteria including age of dwelling, its state of repair, character and locality but to disregard any premium resulting from a scarcity of similar accommodation in the area.
In addition, on 1 February 1999, the Government introduced the Rent Acts (Maximum Fair Rent) Order 1999 which had the effect of limiting most fair rent increases to RPI plus 7.5 per cent. or RPI plus 5 per cent. The Order was quashed in a judgment of the Court of Appeal in January but was declared lawful in a judgment by the House of Lords on 7 December. The effect of the judgment is that the Order has been in force continuously since 1 February 1999 and all applications for registered fair rents since then must comply with it.
Mr. Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the (a) rent increases for each registered social landlord in the London Borough of Greenwich that were applied for in the last two years; and (b) increases that were approved by the rent officers. 
Mr. Mullin: Registered social landlords (RSLs) only apply to rent officers for approval in "fair rent" cases. Figures on applications by individual RSLs for registered fair rents are not held centrally.
Mr. Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what has been the average rent increase for tenants of registered social landlords in the last two years (a) in the London borough of Greenwich, (b) in London and (c) nationally. 
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Mr. Welsh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions which EU regulation stipulates that the national identification symbol on number plates must be that of the member state. 
Mr. Hill: Council Regulation (EC) No. 2411/98 of 3 November 1998 provides for the recognition of specified distinguishing signs on number plates as an alternative to the requirements set out in Annex 3 to the Vienna Convention of 1968. The Regulation defines the distinguishing sign as a set of one to three letters indicating the member state in which the vehicle is registered. The use of such signs on number plates for vehicles registered in the United Kingdom will be voluntary.
Mr. Meacher: This is one of the issues that will be addressed by the Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive in taking forward the recommendations following from the Commission's recent Gas Safety Review. In particular, the Commission will develop with industry a strategic research plan that will cover the contribution of technological developments, including safety devices, to the safe use of gas in residential premises. The Commission and the Executive will review the safety case for the fitting of excess flow valves, whether as a legal obligation or as recommended good practice, when the results of this further research are available.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is his most recent estimate of the amount of carbon saved each year by 2010 as a result of the introduction of the climate change levy. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 12 December 2000]: Our most recent estimates of the levels of carbon saved were published in the UK's climate change programme on 17 November 2000. The programme shows that the climate change levy is estimated to save 2 million tonnes of carbon equivalent (MtC) each year by 2010. The climate change agreements which are being negotiated with energy intensive sectors are estimated to save a further 2.5 MtC by 2010. Additional energy efficiency measures using levy receipts and the establishment of the Carbon Trust are estimated to save a further 0.5 MtC. This means that the climate change levy package as a whole is estimated to save 5 MtC per annum by 2010.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what targets have been set for improvements in energy efficiency on the Government estate; and what progress has been made in achieving them since May 1997. 
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Mr. Meacher [holding answer 12 December 2000]: The target is a 20 per cent. improvement on the 1990-91 levels by the end of 1999-2000. By March 1997, overall progress was 16.0 per cent.; by March 1999, it had risen to 18.9 per cent. Results for FY 1999-2000 should be available in 2001.
I am placing in the Libraries of both Houses a revised set of tables of Government estate energy efficiency results. These supersede the tables deposited in the House on 13 November. However, the headline figure of 18.9 per cent. overall progress to the 20 per cent. target is unaffected.
Mr. Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how much additional funding will be available for local authority recycling schemes as a result of SR2000; and if he will make a statement. 
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