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Mr. Jamieson: The number of currently licensed vehicles registered to keepers in the Buckingham constituency at December 2000 was 90,207. More than one vehicle may be registered to the same keeper and it would not be possible to establish the number of individual keepers without a special exercise at disproportionate cost.
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Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many applications, of what total value, were received in each region of England under the street warden scheme; and of these, how many were successful, and with what total value in each region. 
|Region||Applications||Value (£)||Successful applications||Value (£)|
|Yorkshire and Humber||19||6,663,159||12||2,310,216|
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what subsidies have been paid to (a) Connex South Central, (b) Go Via/Goahead and (c) Thameslink to assist them with the purchase of new trains; when these payments were made; what each company is required to do as a consequence of accepting these payments; how many confirmed orders for new trains each company has informed his Department it has made; and how many trains each company has accepted. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 22 November 2001]: The following table provides details, for Connex South Central and Thameslink and for each year from franchise commencement to 200001, of net outturn payments (or receipts) in cash prices by the Franchising Director and, since 1 February 2001, by the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA):
|Year||Connex South Central||Thameslink|
Ownership of the South Central franchise was transferred from Connex to GoVia on 26 August 2001. Franchise support for South Central and Thameslink is the Franchising Director's and the SRA's contribution to funding all those companies' expenditure under their franchise agreements, including any expenditure on new trains.
Under its franchise agreement, Thameslink has no commitment to order new trains. The South Central franchise agreement included a commitment by Connex to replace its Mark I rolling stock by 1 January 2005, as required by Health and Safety Executive regulations. On
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26 August that commitment was passed to GoVia, which has subsequently ordered 240 new vehicles that are due to start entering service on its South Central franchise in 2002. Further orders are expected to be placed shortly.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 15 November 2001, Official Report, column 832W, on homelessness, if he will specify what provisions exist within the Homelessness Bill to ensure housing authorities take a more strategic, multi-agency approach to (a) the prevention of homelessness and (b) the re-housing of homeless households; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: The Homelessness Bill includes a requirement for housing authorities, with the assistance of social services authorities, and in consultation with other bodies including registered social landlords and voluntary organisations, to:
formulate and publish strategies for tackling and preventing homelessness problems based on the results of those reviews;
publish the first strategy within 12 months of the coming into operation of these provisions; and
publish a new strategy thereafter within five years of the previous strategy having been published.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 15 November 2001, Official Report, column 832W, on homelessness, if he will specify what measures exist within the Homelessness Bill to ensure housing authorities provide the (a) timely and (b) suitable rehousing of homeless households. 
Ms Keeble: The Housing Act 1996 requires local housing authorities to secure that suitable accommodation is available immediately for a housing applicant, pending completion of their inquiries, if they have reason to believe that he or she may be homeless, eligible for assistance and have a priority need for accommodation. That duty continues until the authority decides whether a substantive duty is owed. The Homelessness Bill will amend the 1996 Act so that, in all cases where the authority decides that the applicant is eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and falls within a priority need group, they must secure that suitable accommodation is available until a settled housing solution can be found.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will launch a road safety campaign aimed at reducing the number of HGV drivers of vehicles with a maximum loaded weight of over 7.5 tonnes driving in the offside lane of motorways with three or more lanes in England and Wales. 
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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what fairly traded products, other than tea and coffee, have been purchased by his Department in each of the last five years; and what was their value. 
Dr. Whitehead: The Department does not directly purchase these products, but within the last two months the staff restaurant contractor has introduced Fair Trade chocolate and cereal bars for sale to staff in the main staff restaurant. No figures are available on the value of these purchases.
Dr. Whitehead: Local authorities are independent and autonomous and responsible within the law for making their own decisions on procurement matters. In doing so they will no doubt consider the case for purchasing Fair Trade products on their merits with regard to the need to achieve value for money in making their decisions.
Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what was (a) the cost of establishing, (b) the running costs since it was established and (c) the costs this year of the South East England Regional Assembly. 
Dr. Whitehead: The South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) has been established regionHighland voluntarily by bodies representing the interests of the south-east region. Their expenditure and start-up costs are a matter for the assembly and its members. The Government have however, allocated £500,000 this year to SEERA to help the assembly to establish a stronger strategic and scrutiny role within the region. The Government office for the south- east will be monitoring that part of SEERA's expenditure which relates to the £500,000 grant.
Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many people have been employed by the South East England Regional Assembly (a) this year and (b) in each year since it was established. 
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Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many firefighters are (a) in active service and (b) on long-term sick leave in East Sussex Fire Brigade this year; and what the figures were for each of the last four years. 
Dr. Whitehead: In east Sussex this year there have been 416 whole-time firefighters in active service and 11 on long-term sick leave. Due to technical difficulties, information for previous years is not currently available. East Sussex are in the process of installing a new central personnel computer system. The information requested will be available from April 2002 for the two previous years.
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