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Sefton Borough

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps he has taken to ensure that the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton has acted to meet the criticisms of the Local Government Commission concerning its efforts in serving the various communities within the borough. [144933]

Ms Beverley Hughes: As we made clear to Sefton when announcing our decision on the Commission's recommendations, it is for the council to improve its services throughout the borough and to ensure that it is more in touch with its local people.

With the enactment of the Local Government Acts 1999 and 2000, Sefton, as all other councils, are under a duty to obtain best value in their service delivery and to come forward with a new constitution ensuring more efficient, transparent and accountable decision taking.

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Beaches (Radioactivity)

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many beaches are regularly monitored for radioactivity in the North West Region. [144943]

Mr. Meacher: The Environment Agency monitors more than 70 publicly accessible sites along the North West Coast including beaches, mud flats, salt marshes and harbours. The results of this monitoring are published annually in the Agency's report "Radioactivity in the Environment". The latest report covering 1999 results will be published at the end of January. Copies will be placed in the Library of the House. The Agency requires nuclear site operators to undertake monitoring of the environment in the vicinity of their site. Monitoring is also undertaken by the Food Standards Agency and some local authorities.

Scrap Tyres

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what his Department's policy is on the land filling of scrap tyres; and if this activity will be prohibited from 2003 in line with the EC Landfill Directive. [144931]

Mr. Mullin: The Landfill Directive requires landfill sites opened after 16 July 2001 to cease accepting whole used tyres from 16 July 2003 and shredded tyres from 16 July 2006. For existing landfill sites the requirement is that they cease to accept whole used tyres and shredded tyres "as soon as possible" in accordance with the site conditioning plan agreed with the Environment Agency and, in all cases, no later than 15 July 2009. The Government intend to transpose these requirements into domestic legislation later this year.

Millennium Dome

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions which Ministers (a) discussed and (b) decided how the Dome sale should proceed. [144766]

Ms Armstrong [holding answer 11 January 2001]: The ministerial team considering the Legacy bid includes:

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport was involved during the early part of the competition, but on advice from officials he withdrew from any part of the consideration of the qualifying bids and from the subsequent decisions on shortlisting and granting of preferred bidder status for the reasons set out in his reply to an answer given to the hon. Member for East Surrey (Mr. Ainsworth) on 16 January 2001, Official Report, column 135W.

17 Jan 2001 : Column: 258W

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what discussions officials in his Department have had with representatives of (a) Lattice Properties and (b) British Gas with regard to the sale of the site of the Millennium Dome. [145418]

Ms Armstrong [holding answer 16 January 2001]: Officials from my Department were present at one meeting in November 2000 between English Partnerships and Lattice Properties, concerning the potential sale of the Dome and contractual issues related to such a sale. Those contractual issues relate to the original purchase of the land from British Gas by English Partnerships, and therefore will be matters for discussion between English Partnerships and Lattice Properties and/or British Gas.

May I also take this opportunity to inform the House about the respective roles of the New Millennium Experience Company and English Partnerships in selling the Dome.

Now that the Millennium Experience has finished, the prime focus of the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) is on discharging their outstanding obligations and achieving an efficient wind-up.

English Partnerships (EP) continues to manage, on behalf of Government, the process of selling the Dome, in close conjunction with NMEC.

To facilitate a smooth sale process, and rationalise the arrangements within the public sector, a new agreement was signed by NMEC and EP on 12 January, to vary the original agreement to lease between the two bodies.

The new agreement provides for NMEC to terminate its occupancy of the site after it has returned all items owned by third parties. English Partnerships will then carry out the remainder of the work necessary to sell the site.

The agreement reflects the Government's decision about how the proceeds from the sale of the Dome are to be divided. In making this decision the Government have had regard to the need to balance the reasonable interests of the taxpayer and the lottery player respectively. The Government expect to apply these principles to any future sale of the Dome, irrespective of whether the current negotiations with Legacy plc are successful. The proceeds are to be divided in the following way:

17 Jan 2001 : Column: 259W

Torbay Unitary Authority

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what funding has been provided by his Department to the Torbay Unitary Authority in each of the last three years. [144908]

17 Jan 2001 : Column: 260W

Ms Beverley Hughes: The principal kinds of funding which this Department has provided to the Torbay Unitary Authority in 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01 are shown in the table. These include grants and borrowing approvals for revenue and capital expenditure.

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£ million

Nature of funding1998-991999-20002000-01
Revenue Support Grant45.48946.70046.209
Income from National Non-Domestic Rates29.08731.36635.416
Local Government Re-organisation Supplementary Credit Approval5.6113.305--
Housing Investment Programme(25)1.1721.2422.463
Housing Revenue Account Subsidy1.470(28)1.287(29)1.299
Capital Receipts Initiative(26)0.7200.644--
Cash Incentive Scheme(27)0.075----
Loan Charges: Defective Housing0.007(28)0.007(29)0.007
Transport Supplementary Grant0.0420.329--
Transport Annual Capital Guideline0.0420.329--
Transport Block Supplementary Credit Approval0.0620.6981.272
Rural Bus Challenge Grant--0.143--
Rural Bus Subsidy Grant0.0080.0080.008
Capital Challenge (Supplementary Credit and Basic Credit Approvals)0.6001.016--

(25) Including Disabled Facilities Grant and Private Sector Renewal Support Grant

(26) Included in Housing Investment Programme from 2000-01

(27) No allocations made to local authorities under this scheme since 1998-99

(28) Provisional

(29) Estimated

17 Jan 2001 : Column: 259W

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