|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 17 December 2001, Official Report, column 800W, on Enron, if new ownership of the former Enron power station at Teesside qualifies for investigation. 
Dr. Whitehead: The change of ownership of a company is not, normally, a prompt for an investigation by Health and Safety Executive Inspectors. Any consideration and decision concerning whether or not to carry out an inspection or investigation would depend on the circumstances of the change of ownership including the likely effect on the operation of the plant.
9 Jan 2002 : Column: 859W
employed by his Department and its predecessor since 1997, indicating the subject area and campaign they worked on in each case. 
The Forster Company: Noise Awareness day
Charles Bailey: Mayor and Assembly for London
Central Office of Information: Fire safety.
D'Arcy: road safety, focussing primarily on education for children
WCRS: Mayor and Assembly for London
BDH TWBA: Quality Mark scheme
The Leith Agency: Rough Sleepers Unit's Change a Life campaign
Ogilvy and Mather: Foot and Mouth Public information
Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper: Fire Safety.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what is the average length of time taken by district auditors to respond to complaints by councillors in the latest year for which figures are available; 
Mr. Byers: The Audit Commission does not distinguish in its monitoring of matters raised with auditors either between statutory objections and other matters, nor between those raised by councillors and members of the public. The total number of matters raised with, and disposed of by, auditors in any one year is in excess of 100. The majority of all such matters tend to relate to small sums of money in local councils. The Audit Commission does monitor complex and high-value audit cases. There are currently 11 such cases. In six of these the auditors' investigations have been ongoing for more than two years. In the other five cases, the investigation has been on-going for less than two years.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the impact of the GLA precept on the council tax of London boroughs in reaching the local government settlement for (a) 200102 and (b) 200203. 
9 Jan 2002 : Column: 860W
From next spring, council taxpayers in London will be able to see clearly by how much their council tax has changed for their borough and for the GLA. This will be shown up-front on the bill, not hidden away in the leaflet.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, (1) pursuant to his oral answer of 10 December 2001, Official Report, column 137, what impact the change in grant to shire districts will have on the overall local government settlement; and from which budget the additional funding required will be taken; 
(3) pursuant to his oral answer of 18 December 2001, Official Report, column 137, if he will list (a) the alternative baseline for 200102 for each shire district, (b) the increase in grant based on 2.3 per cent. increase on the (i) original baseline and (ii) revised. 
Mr. Byers: In my answer of 18 December 2001, Official Report, column 137 I announced that I would introduce an alternative baseline for 200102 which, in effect, adjusts only for the transfers of service for which shire districts are responsible and that, in order to guarantee a minimum 2.3 per cent. increase for shire districts, I would ensure that all shire districts received a minimum grant increase of whichever increase is the greater2.3 per cent. on the original baseline, or 2.3 per cent. on this alternative baseline.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his oral statement of 4 December 2001, Official Report, column 168, if he will set out his reasons for introducing a minimum level of grant increase for the Greater London Authority; and what assessment he has made of the impact of that decision. 
Mr. Byers: In both 200001 and 200102 the Greater London authority was guaranteed a minimum level of grant increase of 0 per cent. under the Central Support Protection Grant scheme, as were other authorities without education and social services responsibilities.
For 200102 we replaced the Central Support Protection Grant for authorities with education and social services responsibilities by the floor and ceiling damping mechanism which operates directly on the amount of Revenue Support Grant payable to an authority.
For 200203 we have extended floor and ceiling damping to cover all local authorities who are entitled to receive Revenue Support Grant, and have also raised the minimum level of grant increase for authorities without education and social services responsibilities from 0 per cent. to 2.3 per cent.
9 Jan 2002 : Column: 861W
Providing a minimum level of grant increase, based on a like-for-like comparison of grants in 200203 with what they would have been in 200102 if the transfers and responsibilities applying in 200203 had been in place in 200102, provides stability and so helps local authorities to plan effectively. The floor and ceiling damping mechanism is fairer and more transparent than the damping previously provided through the Central Support Protection Grant scheme.
HSE's Utilities National Group, is represented on Water UK's national health and safety committee and contributed to "Water Ahead" a joint strategic plan for improving health and safety in the industry.
HSE is also working with Water UK on "Clearwater 2010", the industry's project to improve occupational health over the next 10 years. This forms a part of this industry's contribution to the Government's initiatives to reduce accidents and occupational ill health problems over the next 10 years, namely "Revitalising Health and Safety" and "Securing Health Together".
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will encourage police and highways authorities to post on their websites details of the location of speed cameras; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Handbook of Rules for entry to the netting-off camera funding scheme provides advice on publicising all aspects of camera operation locally. The development and use of local websites is one recommended local communications vehicle.
Mrs. Betty Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what progress has been made by the Social Exclusion Unit to reduce the number of rough sleepers. 
Ms Keeble: The Rough Sleepers Unit was established in April 1999 following a recommendation of the Social Exclusion Unit in their 1998 report into rough sleeping. The unit was tasked by the Prime Minister to reduce the number of people sleeping rough in England to as near to zero as possible and by at least two thirds by 2002.
The Rough Sleepers Unit published its strategy on tackling rough sleeping, "Coming in from the Cold", in December 1999. The strategy outlined a raft of new policies and services to deliver the target, which are now all in place across England. These services include helping people sleeping rough on the streets with drug, alcohol and mental health problems; helping former rough sleepers rebuild their lives through education, training and
9 Jan 2002 : Column: 862W
employment; and preventing a new generation of rough sleepers particularly those leaving care, the armed forces and prison.
The Prime Minister announced on 3 December 2001 that his target had been met and figures show that there are now 532 people sleeping rough in England, compared with around 1,850 in June 1998. This represents a reduction of 71 per cent.
The success has been due to the RSU's strategy and the hard work of key partners in central and local government and the voluntary and private sector. The RSU's second progress report, published in summer 2001, shows the significant impact the "Coming in from the Cold" strategy has made to individual lives.
My noble Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning announced on 3 December that a new Homelessness Directorate would be established in January to bring together and invigorate exiting work to help homeless people and to develop new work to prevent homelessness and investigate its underlying causes. The directorate will also continue to help vulnerable people sleeping on the nation's streets to come inside, help people to rebuild their lives and prevent tomorrow's rough sleepers from hitting the streets in the first place.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|