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31. Mr. St. Aubyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on the number of incinerators which convert waste into energy which are to be built over the next 10 years. 
The choice of waste facilities is a matter for local councils to take, in consultation with their local communities. The Government have no plan for any particular number of incinerators, but recognise that the recovery of energy from waste may have a role to play, alongside recycling and composting, in an integrated waste management plan.
32. Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will re-assess the needs of the North-East Derbyshire district council following the closure of the BCC pipeworks at Clay Cross. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: We continue to work with North-East Derbyshire district council, and other local partners in the BCC Response Group, to assess how best to meet the needs of those affected by the closure and its wider economic impact.
34. Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what recent representations he has received on the subject of bringing Railtrack back into (a) full public ownership and (b) part-public ownership; and if he will make a statement. 
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35. Mr. Ian Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how much Government funding has been given to the (a) south-west regional development agency and (b) Government office of the south-west in the 2000-01 financial year. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: The south-west RDA out-turn allocation for 2000-01 is £81.3 million. The Agency expects to generate income of £20.3 million during 2000-01, leaving net Government funding of £61.0 million. Running costs stand at £8.6 million.
Government office for the south west has funded a wide range of programmes in the 2000-01 year with a total value of £446.8 million. The running cost allocation to Government Office for the south west in 2000-01 totalled £8,721,830.
Ms Beverley Hughes: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 16 March 2001, Official Report, columns 748-51W by my hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning, in response to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Basildon (Angela Smith).
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how much has been spent by his Department on departmental and agency logos and associated branding since 1 May 1997. 
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Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps he takes to ensure that the environmental commitments of Her Majesty's Government through the Kyoto Protocol and the UK Climate Change Programme are reflected in the EU's determination of European standards for air conditioning equipment; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: European Standards (ENs) are determined by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). The British Standards Institution (BSI) is the United Kingdom member of that Committee and carries out public consultations on draft ENs. In developing any proposal for standards on air conditioning equipment, the Government would expect BSI, CEN and industry to take account of the commitments given by the UK Government and the European Union as a whole to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, responsibility for these standards and resolving any technical issues, ultimately falls to the BSI.
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what action he has taken since 1997 to improve services for passengers travelling into Euston from Hatch End, Headstone Lane, and Harrow and Wealdstone stations. 
Mr. Hill: On the route between Hatch End, Headstone Lane and Harrow and Wealdstone stations, there have been track renewals and drainage improvements, which helped to improve performance. The SRA are currently considering an extension to the Silverlink franchise, providing it offers tangible improvements for passengers and value for money.
The Government are committed to developing an integrated transport system. We have created the Strategic Rail Authority and announced our Ten Year Transport Plan which provides for long term investment in transport of £180 billion to cut congestion and modernise the nation's transport system. This includes £60 billion for railways.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he will (a) publish green and white papers on regional governance and (b) introduce referendums to allow the creation of directly-elected regional assemblies. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: We remain committed to move to directly-elected regional assemblies where there is support as demonstrated in referendums. As a first step, we would expect to undertake a public consultation exercise on the way forward.
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Ms Beverley Hughes: Local authorities have a broad new power which enables them to take action to promote or improve the economic, social or environmental well- being of their area, including establishing and supporting local community initiatives. In deciding how to exercise the power, authorities must have regard to their community strategy, which should reflect local communities' priorities and long-term aspirations. Local authorities must work through local strategic partnerships to develop and implement their community strategies, to integrate the work of the council with that of other public, private, voluntary and community organisations.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on Government policy on restoring the business rate to the control of local councils. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: In our White Paper, "Modern Local Government: In Touch with the People" (July 1998), we said that the present system of a national business rate had some advantages and we would therefore retain it. However we said that we would also give local authorities a limited freedom to vary the business rate in their areas. In our Green Paper, Modernising Local Government Finance (September 2000), we sought views on how this might work in detail. A summary of the responses to the Green Paper has been published on the DETR website. We will publish our conclusions in a White Paper later this year.
Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many council houses for rent were held on 21 April 1991 by each of (a) Cannock Chase, (b) East Staffordshire, (c) Lichfield, (d) Newcastle-Under-Lyme, (e) South Staffordshire, (f) Stafford, (g) Staffordshire, Moorlands, (h) Stoke-on-Trent and (i) Tamworth; and what the current figures are. 
Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many council houses for rent in each of (a) Cannock Chase, (b) East Staffordshire, (c) Lichfield, (d) Newcastle-under-Lyme, (e) South Staffordshire, (f) Stafford, (g) Staffordshire, Moorlands, (h) Stoke-on-Trent and (i) Tamworth local
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authorities were transferred by a large scale voluntary transfer in each authority before 1 May 1997 and after 1 May 1997. 
|Authority||Date||Number of dwellings(1)|
|Transfers before 1 May 1997|
|South Staffordshire||7 March 1997||5,273|
|Lichfield||19 March 1997||4,921|
|Transfers after 1 May 1997|
|Stoke-on-Trent||31 March 1998||(2)917|
|Newcastle-under-Lyme||31 January 2000||9,887|
|Staffordshire, Moorlands||26 February 2001||3,132|
(1) The number of dwellings specified in the consent letter includes dwellings held on long leaseholds (eg flats sold under Right to Buy provisions) where the authority had retained the freehold
(2) Partial transfer
In addition, East Staffordshire has sought the Secretary of State's consent to the transfer of its housing stock, which if granted, will enable the transfer of 5,637 homes at or before the end of this month.
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