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Air Passengers (Security)

Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he is making of the impact of low-cost airlines on the running costs of airports; and what impact this has had on the provision of security for passengers. [14335]

Mr. Jamieson: This is primarily a commercial decision for airlines and airports. The CAA as the economic regulator of airports can also consider complaints. Low cost airlines have no impact on the security of passengers as the security measures required by DTLR do not depend on whether an airline is low cost or high cost.

Homelessness (Greater London)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many homeless people there are in the Greater London area; and what the figure has been in each of the last three years. [14733]

Ms Keeble: Information reported to the Department by London boroughs on the number of households accepted under the homelessness provisions of the 1985 and 1996 Housing Acts as being eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, in each of the last three years, is as follows:


(1) First quarter


DTLR P1(E) housing returns (quarterly)

National and regional summaries of local authorities' activity, including a table presenting figures on homelessness acceptances as reported by each London borough, are provided in a quarterly Statistical Release published by the Department. Copies are available in the Library, and also via the Department's website. The latest edition, published on 12 September, presents statistics up to the end of June 2001.

Stagecoach Bus Service (Monmouth)

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if she will request (a) the Health and Safety Executive and (b) the Vehicles Inspectorate to undertake an assessment of overcrowding on the Stagecoach 69 bus service between Llandogo and Monmouth carrying pupils to and from school. [15243]

Ms Keeble: As I said in my answer of 6 November 2001, Official Report, column 138W, to my hon. Friend, the primary responsibility for ensuring that a bus is not overcrowded lies with the driver. The driver or conductor should not allow more passengers than the bus is certified to carry, and may limit the number of passengers below that if the number being carried at the time is detrimental to safety.

It is not the responsibility of the Health and Safety Executive to investigate overcrowding on buses. However, the Vehicle Inspectorate would follow up specific complaints or reports of known regular incidents

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of overcrowding. To do so they will need detailed information of the times, date and location and if possible the vehicle registration. This information on the case referred to in this instance should be forwarded to The Senior Traffic Examiner, Dave Rhys, at the Vehicle Inspectorate, School Road, Miskin, Pontyclun, Mid Glamorgan, CF72 8YR.

Port Health

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will give a breakdown of the spending on Port Health in each of the last three years for which centrally collected data are available. [15055]

Mr. Raynsford [holding answer 15 November 2001]: English local authorities have reported the following expenditure on Port Health:

Port Health net current expenditure by local authority: 1995–96 to 1997–98

Local authority1995–961996–971997–98
City of London1,8782,1732,191
Newcastle upon Tyne281621
North Tyneside442633
South Tyneside442633
Bristol UA958489
East Riding of Yorkshire UA3534
Hartlepool UA8010
Kingston upon Hull215n/an/a
Middlesbrough UA3800
North Lincolnshire UA350
Poole UA9719
Portsmouth UA769098
Redcar and Cleveland UA4141
Southampton UA340375258
Stockton-on-Tees UA384144
Blyth Valley404044
Ellesmere Port and Neston999
Great Grimsby25
Great Yarmouth101114
King's Lynn and West Norfolk810
Rochester upon Medway645
South Kesteven100
Suffolk Coastal196130-1
Vale Royal9910
Weymouth and Portland222828


1. Authorities are listed within class as follows:

(a) Shire counties

(b) Unitary authorities

(c) Shire districts

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The structure of local government has changed over the period, with the staged establishment of unitary authorities. Where these exist they took on, for their area, the function of the old shire county and district.

Where relevant, shire districts pre-reorganisation have been placed on the same line as the post-reorganisation unitary authority.

A dash denotes an authority did not exist during the financial year and a negative figure would represent a net income.

Airline Industry

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent representations he has received from the airline industry on levels of employment following the incidents of 11 September; and if he will make a statement. [15665]

Mr. Jamieson: We have received numerous representations from the airline industry and others on the effects of the events of 11 September.

The Government recognise the importance of the aviation industry to the UK economy and is therefore paying close attention to the industry's current problems. We moved quickly to underwrite, on a temporary basis, third party war risk insurance for UK airlines and service providers to the airline industry. The initiative has subsequently been widely copied elsewhere. The European Commission has set out guidelines on emergency aid measures which were endorsed at the meeting of European Transport Ministers on 16 October. We support the Commission's stance and are actively considering whether further aid should be paid to the British airline industry in accordance with the guidelines.

Housing Capital Resources

Geraint Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he

16 Nov 2001 : Column: 911W

will announce the results of the consultation exercise on the needs indices to be used in the allocation of 2002–03 housing capital resources to local authorities and registered social landlords. [15790]

Ms Keeble: Decisions have now been taken about the needs indices to be used in the allocation of housing capital resources for 2002–03. I am arranging for details of the indices to be placed in the Library of the House.

The Department issued a consultation paper in July seeking views on the development of the indices, including some specific proposals for changes to the indices for 2002–03. Some 80 responses were received. A list of the respondents is available in the Library of the House and individual responses can be viewed in the Department's Library.

The responses reflect the difficulty of striking the right balance over the differing housing needs around the country. Responses from London argued that the revised indices would not give sufficient weight to the need to provide additional affordable housing in areas of high demand; those from northern regions raised concerns that the proposed changes do not adequately reflect the problems of area renewal and housing market failure.

The Indices of Deprivation 2000 (ID2000) were adopted last year as the basis for the future allocation of resources to deprived areas. The consultation paper set out a proposal for moving to base the targeting of housing capital resources on the most deprived areas as identified in ID2000. We have decided to proceed with this change. ID2000 is a more up to date, broader based measure and is a clear improvement on the largely, 1991 Census-based Index of Local Conditions on which the targeting is currently based. Work is either planned or being undertaken to address the acknowledged weaknesses in the housing element of ID2000 and the absence of a crime measure.

Most LAs are unaffected by moving to use ID2000 but a small number of authorities face sizeable shifts in index shares. We will, as indicated in the consultation paper, apply transitional arrangements to phase the impact of this change in over three years.

We have also decided to proceed with the three other proposed changes—the introduction of a low demand indicator into the LA index; the increase in the share of the LA index accounted for by the LA stock indicator; and the revised basis for the index used to allocate Disabled Facilities Grant resources. The transitional arrangements will also apply to these changes.

The housing capital resources for LAs for 2002–03 will be allocated through the Single Capital Pot (SCP). The performance-related component (5 per cent.) within this is much less than has applied to housing allocations in earlier years (50 per cent.). The consultation paper indicated that we did not consider it right for the better performing authorities to face the whole impact of this in one year. The consultation paper proposed that the transitional arrangements should be applied in a way which also covered the reduction in the size of the performance element. We have decided to address this in a different way by allocating a part, one third, of the formulaic housing element of the SCP on the basis of performance assessments. This has the advantage of much greater transparency and it also reflects the latest

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performance assessments rather than being fixed on the 2000 assessments as would have been the case under the initial proposal.

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