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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 11 December 2001, Official Report, column 789W, what form this contact takes. 
Mr. Jamieson: My right hon. Friend maintains oral and written contact with the Rail Regulator.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement about Central Railway. 
Mr. Spellar: The Government are considering carefully Central Railway's proposals for a hybrid Bill. We will take a view on the issues raised by proposals, including the conclusions of the SRA's high level review, and respond to Central Railway in due course.
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what (a) procedure and (b) consultation took place in respect of the closure of the access to Ambassadors entrance to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; and how long he expects it to be closed; 
(3) what public right of way there is to the Ambassadors entrance to the Foreign Office. 
Mr. Spellar: Downing street is a public highway for which Westminster city council is the highway authority. The road at the Ambassador's entrance is owned by the Royal Parks Agency, and is not a public right of way.
Access to both roads is controlled by the police under common law powers which allow them to take reasonable steps to preserve the peace and prevent threats to it. The level of restriction by the police is constantly under review.
Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will abolish the best value regime. 
Dr. Whitehead: No. It is clear that many authorities have used best value to make substantial improvements in services and savings. We want to make it even better which is why my right hon. Friend initiated a three month review of best value in October. The review has brought
19 Dec 2001 : Column: 540W
in expertise and experience from a wide range of bodies with an interest in improving public services. We aim to produce new guidance in early 2002.
Sandra Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans NATS has to increase its prices to customers in line with other European countries following the events of 11 September. 
Mr. Jamieson: NATS has published its en-route charges for 2002 and in line with its regulatory requirements its element of the UK Unit Rate is to decrease by RPI3 per cent. with effect from 1 January 2002. Any review of the price cap relating to NATS' charges is the responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority.
Sandra Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions which centralised functions will go to Scotland as a result of the NATS facilities review. 
Mr. Jamieson: NATS is currently reviewing its accommodation requirements. No firm decisions have yet been taken. NATS is consulting widely on its Business Plan which assumes that the Manchester Area Control Centre is to be moved to Prestwick.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will call in for determination the appeals lodged in respect of the Jumbo Water Tower in Colchester; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble [holding answer 17 December 2001]: The Inspector's decision on these appeals has now been issued and the Secretary of State therefore has no further jurisdiction in this matter.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effect on the East Devon constituency of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. 
Dr. Whitehead: The principal funding that this Department has provided to East Devon district council and Devon county council in the years 199798 to 200102 is shown in the tables. These include grants and borrowing approvals for revenue and capital expenditure.
It is not possible to determine how much of this money has been spent on East Devon constituency. It is for the local authority to decide where within its boundary these resources are applied.
|Nature of funding||199798||199899||19992000||200001||200102||200203|
|East Devon district council|
|Revenue Support Grant(64)||2.510||2.173||2.086||1.742||2.063||(65)1.541|
|Income from National Non-Domestic Rates(64)||3.924||3.949||4.272||4.738||4.738||(65)5.385|
|Housing Investment Programme||(68)0.518||0.671||1.007||(69)1.715||(70)3.220||(71)1.204|
|Housing Revenue Account Subsidy||0||0||0||0||(74)1.383||n/k|
|Capital Receipts Initiative||0.162||0.495||0.000||n/a||n/a|||
|Single Capital Pot(66)||||||||||||0.477|
|Devon county council|
|Revenue Support Grant(64)||(67)266.389||155.634||158.924||150.930||166.866||(65)153.390|
|Income from National Non-Domestic Rates(64)||(67)205.912||138.460||151.558||173.050||170.054||(65)187.755|
|Local Government Reorganisation Supplementary Credit Approval||1.812||0.765||0||0||0|||
|Transport Supplementary Grant||1.738||1.238||1.861||0||0||0|
|Transport Supplementary Credit Approvals||0||0||0||0||1.350||1.000|
|Transport Annual Capital Guideline||1.738||1.238||1.861||0||0||(73)n/a|
|Transport Block Supplementary Credit Approval||2.560||1.214||2.842||10.281||20.703||(73)n/k|
|Rural Bus Challenge Grant(72)||0||0||0.640||0.300||n/k||n/k|
|Rural Bus Subsidy Grant||0||1.409||1.409||1.409||1.799||2.059|
|Capital Challenge (Supplementary Credit and Basic Credit Approvals)||2.694||2.257||1.554||0||0|||
|Single Capital Pot(66)||||||||||||40.498|
(64) The amounts of Revenue Support Grant and Income from National Non-Domestic Rates shown for 199798 and 199899 are the revised amounts allocated under""The Local Government Finance Report (England) 199798 Amending Report 1999" and "The Local Government Finance Report (England) 199899 Amending Report 2000" respectively.
(65) The amounts of Revenue Support Grant and Income from National Non-Domestic Rates shown for 200203 are provisional and are subject to change. Final figures will be available in February 2002.
(66) 200203 is the first year of the Single Capital Pot. It is a cross-service capital allocation mechanism incorporating funding for Transport, Housing, Education and Social Services. The funding is not ring-fenced for any particular service so Councils have flexibility to take national and local priorities into account in determining their investment plans. Education and Social Services allocations do not appear in the table for earlier years.
(67) Devon was subject to a Structural Change Order on 1 April 1998. The figures for Revenue Support Grant and National Non-Domestic Rates quoted for Devon county council for 199798 include an amount for the areas covered by The City of Plymouth and The Borough of Torbay. The figures for 199899, 19992000, 200001 and 200102 exclude the amount for the areas covered by The City of Plymouth and The Borough of Torbay.
(68) 199798 HIP allocation inherited from the previous Government's spending plans. Present Government introduced CRI from 199798
(69) Single Housing Pot introduced from 200001 resulting in CRI being merged with HIP
(70) Resource accounting has resulted in a change to the way capital resources are allocated for 200102, with the introduction of a new Major Repairs Allowance (MRA) to cover the cost of maintaining local authority housing in a sound condition. East Devon's MRA allocation for 200102 is £2.274 million and, for comparison purposes, is included in the 200102 HIP allocation above.
(71) HIP allocation only, MRA and Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) allocations for 200203 not yet announced. DFG included within HIP figures shown for all years 199798 to 200102.
(72) Rural Bus Challenge figures represent awardsactual spend profiles for schemes may cover more than one year. Awards for 200102 and 200203 not yet announced.
(73) Transport Annual Capital Guidelines are included in the Single Capital pot for 200203. Prior to 200203 and the introduction of the Single Capital Pot, the transport block was allocated through Supplementary Credit Approvals.
19 Dec 2001 : Column: 541W
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