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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when an announcement will be made on the future of the Dome; and what the monthly cost of the Dome is to the Exchequer. 
Ms Keeble: On-going market testing is exploring all avenues, and on the basis of professional advice we are in discussion with a small number of serious contenders. To reveal details of the discussions would not be conducive to a successful conclusion and would be against the public interest. The aim is to secure a sale as quickly as possible, consistent with value for money, securing a worthwhile and sustainable future for the Dome and a deliverable outcome.
From 1 July 2001, when the lease of the New Millennium Experience Company ended, English Partnerships, the Government's regeneration agency, has been incurring an average of £240,000 per month on Dome maintenance and management related costs. English Partnerships also expects to incur expenditure in the order of £9.75 million this year on decommissioning the Dome contents in preparation for a future use and about £1.7 million in relation to the current sale process. Any money spent on these will be recovered from sale proceeds so the cost will not fall to the taxpayer.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what advice he has received on the level of payments on debt that would (a) be required annually if the rating of the successor organisation to Railtrack were credit rated at (i) BBB and (ii) single A and (b) be required if it were able to borrow at the rate of Government gilts; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Jamieson: In relation to the proposal that the Government intend to put to the administrator for a company limited by guarantee, we will be targeting a long-term credit rating of A/A2 or higher, to reflect the financing capacity requirements of the rail infrastructure business. We are confident that this would allow the CLG to raise new debt and service existing debt on an efficient and cost-effective basis.
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many planning inquiries there have been into applications for telecommunications masts over 15m by commercial operators that seek to replace a mast owned by Railtrack plc with one of their own. 
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Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions for what reason the Highways Agency no longer takes responsibility for the surfaces of major roads in London; what sum was specifically transferred for this purpose to Transport for London; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: On 3 July 2000 the Highways Agency's responsibilities for all of its roads in London except for the stubs of the M1, M4 and the M11 were transferred to Transport for London. The Government pay the Greater London Authority Transport Grant to support the whole range of Transport for London's responsibilities. This grant rises from £714 million in 200102 to over £1 billion in 200304.
|Year||Doncaster metropolitan borough council||Barnsley metropolitan borough council|
DTLR Housing Activity P1(B) quarterly returns
Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many new social rented houses were built in (a) Doncaster and (b) Barnsley in each of the last 10 years. 
Ms Keeble: The numbers of new social dwellings, both houses and flats, built in Doncaster metropolitan borough council area and Barnsley metropolitan borough council area in each of the last 10 years are given in the table. Social dwellings include those built for registered social landlords as well as those built for the councils.
|Year||Doncaster (MBC)||Barnsley (MBC)|
13 Nov 2001 : Column: 616W
Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions at what date the 1 per cent. rise in levels above the rate of inflation will commence under his restructuring proposals for local authority rent levels; if it will apply equally to all local authorities; and whether mitigation will be introduced to dampen the effect where high-level rents are instituted in high-value areas. 
Mr. Byers: Rents for local authority properties are set by the responsible authorities and depend upon decisions taken locally. The proposed 1 per cent. real terms increase in rents is the assumption for the purposes of calculating housing subsidy in England for 200203 which was announced at the end of the 2000 spending review. It is independent of our policy on rent restructuring. Ministers are considering how it will apply to each local authority in the light of responses to the consultation on proposals for subsidy changes and will make an announcement soon. We expect rent changes as a result of rent restructuring to be limited to a maximum of £2 per week in any year above normal inflation-related increases. We are considering whether there should also be a cap on the rents of high-value properties which would otherwise attract high rents.
Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what his estimate is in relation to his proposals for the restructuring of local authority rent levels, of average rents for (a) London and (b) Inner London on the former Inner London education authority boundaries (i) at April levels, (ii) for the initial restructured levels and (iii) in subsequent years; 
Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions under his proposals for the restructuring of local authority rent levels, what account the restructured levels will take of the (a) nature and condition of an estate on which the property is located and (b) broad property values of the overall area. 
Mr. Byers: Under restructuring, social rents will be based on a formula that includes local earnings, property size and relative property value. The property value will reflect the size, location and condition of the property.
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Ms Keeble: Access from Morecambe and Heysham Port to the M6 is the responsibility of Lancashire county council. They have recently conducted a public consultation on the two proposed routes for a Heysham to M6 link road. When the position on the Lancaster district local plan is resolved, it is a matter for the council whether to submit a bid for funding from central Government.
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