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Mr. Laws: To ask the Prime Minister what stocks of (a) antiques, (b) paintings and (c) fine wines are held by his office; if he will list such assets sold over the last three years together with the sale proceeds from such transactions; what plans he has to sell further such assets over the period of the current Comprehensive Spending Review; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Prime Minister if he will announce the composition of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Assembly of Western European Union. 
7 Nov 2001 : Column: 287W
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what estimate he has made of the impact of the working time directive proposals on the pay levels of haulage workers. 
Mr. Jamieson: The draft directive for mobile workers in the road transport sector is still subject to negotiation, so it would be very difficult to assess the likely impact of these proposals on levels of pay until the directive has been agreed. In any event, levels of pay for haulage drivers will remain a matter for negotiation between the employer and the employee.
7 Nov 2001 : Column: 288W
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment has been made of the impact of the Working Time Directive on the haulage industry; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: In March 1998, the Department of Trade and Industry published a regulatory assessment covering the costs and benefits of working time legislation. The assessment covered all sectors of employment in the UK, including excluded sectors such as the road haulage industry. A copy of the assessment was deposited in the Libraries of the House.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the effect of the working time directive proposals to increase night-time working restrictions on day time traffic congestion. 
Mr. Jamieson: From our regular meetings with industry, we are fully aware of the problem that an eight-hour limit for night workers is likely to have on daytime congestion. That is one of the reasons why the Government support the 10-hour figure included in the council's common position.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what changes have been made to the proposed plans for the new air traffic control centre at Prestwick, following the delay in construction; 
Mr. Jamieson: National Air Traffic Services (NATS) remains committed to investing in the New Scottish Centre (NSC) at Prestwick as part of its two-centre strategy. Following the downturn in demand for air travel arising from the events of 11 September, the Government have agreed to a proposal to delay construction of the NSC, though preparatory work on the building and system design will continue. It is not possible to be precise about the revised timing.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will place in the Library the terms of reference for evaluation of the PPP bids for the London Underground. 
7 Nov 2001 : Column: 289W
Mr. Jamieson: London Transport is carrying out a thorough evaluation of the value for money of the bids for the London Underground PPPs, in line with the relevant guidance produced by HM Treasury and Treasury Taskforce, copies of which are already in the House Library. London Transport is also working to ensure that when it evaluates final PPP bids it addresses the issues raised by the National Audit Office in its report "The financial analysis for the London Underground Public Private Partnerships".
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he has asked external (a) consultants and (b) organisations to evaluate the PPP bids for the London Underground once the final bids have been prepared; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Government's plans for a publicly run, privately built tube will deliver around £13 billion of investment to improve the underground's infrastructure over the next 15 years. The Secretary of State has made it clear that he will only be prepared for these plans to go ahead if he is content that they represent value for money.
London Underground is carrying out a thorough evaluation of all bids, assisted by its financial advisers PricewaterhouseCoopers and its engineering advisers Ove Arup. I understand that London Underground is also asking KPMG, its external auditor, to review the public sector comparators that London Underground has developed to guide its value for money evaluation.
In addition, Ernst & Young will be providing the Secretary of State with an independent opinion on London Underground's evaluation of the final PPP bids, focusing on the overall robustness of the value for money conclusions reached by London Underground and its advisers.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will place copies of the letters of comfort issued in relation to (a) Railtrack and (b) the London Underground PPP in the Library; and if he will make a statement. 
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what analyses of the impact of the discount rate on the value for money calculations on the London Underground PPP have been undertaken; and if he will place summaries in the Library. 
Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on 5 November 2001, Official Report, column 9W. The value for money evaluation of the London Underground PPPs will be placed in the House Library, but not until London Transport has concluded its negotiations with bidders. To publish the value for money evaluation any earlier would reveal London Transport's negotiating position and so undermine its ability to achieve best value.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the impact on London Underground fares of financing the tube improvements planned for the next 15 years by (a) PPP and (b) direct Government borrowing. 
7 Nov 2001 : Column: 290W
Mr. Jamieson: Fares for the London Underground are a matter for the Mayor. The value for money evaluation that London Underground is carrying out on PPP bids assumes that fares will do no more than keep pace with inflation whether tube improvements are financed under the PPPs or by direct Government borrowing.
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