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Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when (a) the Chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority, (b) the CEO of the Strategic Rail Authority, (c) the Chairman of Railtrack and (d) the Rail Regulator were appointed. 
Mr. Spellar: The Chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) was appointed on 1 December 2001. In accordance with the Transport Act 2000 the Franchising Director (who was appointed on 1 May 1999) was appointed as the Chief Executive of the SRA on 1 February 2001. He left the post on 17 December 2001. The Rail Regulator was appointed on 5 July 1999. The appointment of a Chairman of Railtrack is a matter for the company.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much, in cash and real terms, was invested in (a) track and signalling capital projects and (b) other capital projects in the railway industry each year from 199899; and of each, how much was met from public funds. 
Mr. Jamieson: Investment in the rail industry between 199899 and 200001 is shown in the table.
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|Track and signalling||1,012||1,315||2,126|
|Total(1) (200001 prices)||2,090||2,303||2,958|
Although rail investment in these years is almost wholly undertaken by the private sector, its finance is indirectly supported by Government support payments to the rail industry channelled through the franchised train operating companies. It is not possible to provide an estimate of the proportion of investment supported by public subsidy.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's answer of 12 December 2001, Official Report, column 889W, on capital assets, if he will place in the Library information on the accounting treatment of the public private partnership projects relating to (a) British Dartford Thurrock Crossing, (b) Second Severn Crossing, (c) Birmingham North Relief Road, (d) Midland Metro, (e) Northern Line Trains, (f) A69, (g) A50, (h) A19, (i) A417/419, (j) M40, (k) A30/35, (l) A1(M), (m) Manchester Metrolink, (n) Docklands Light Railway Extensions, (o) Croydon Tramlink and (p) M1/A1 Link Road; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Whitehead: The information requested has been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he has drawn up contingency plans for the company limited by guarantee if it fails to achieve a credit rating of A/A2; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: It is for the administrator to put a proposal for a transfer scheme before my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, based on any propositions he receives. The administrator and all potential bidders will need to take account of the guidelines issued in response to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Vernon Coaker) on 31 October 2001, Official Report, columns 66971W. The guidelines specify, among other things, that potential bidders should be able to demonstrate that their proposed successor company will have a sufficiently high investment grade credit rating to raise the necessary finance for its activities.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the likely rent levels for local authority tenants in each Greater London borough following the proposed rent re-structuring. 
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Ms Keeble: Individual local authorities retain responsibility for rent setting. Rents following restructuring will depend, among other things, on the outcome of future spending reviews.
Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what guidance he issues on who is given priority for council housing; and what priority is given to the homeless when they apply. 
Ms Keeble: Section 167(2) of the Housing Act 1996 requires that, in framing its allocation scheme, an authority shall ensure that reasonable preference is given to certain categories of persons. These are:
Section 167 also requires that additional preference be given to households consisting of or including someone with a particular need for settled accommodation on medical or welfare grounds who cannot reasonably be expected to find settled accommodation for themselves in the foreseeable future.
The Code of Guidance on Allocations and Homelessness, issued in 1996, gives guidance on how local authorities should discharge their functions under Parts 6 (allocations) and 7 (homelessness) of the Housing Act 1996. The code makes clear that it is for each authority to consider how to reflect the categories set out in s.167(2) in their allocations scheme, although generally they should ensure that greater preference is given to the more severe cases of need.
The Homelessness Bill will amend the reasonable preference categories. However, households who are owed a main homelessness duty will continue to be given priority for housing under the new provisions. We will be issuing a revised Code of Guidance to accompany the changes to the legislation.
Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many complaints have been reported in his Department under paragraph 11 of the Civil Service Code since 13 May 1999; and how many of them related to special advisers. 
Dr. Whitehead [holding answer 9 January 2002]: The procedures for making complaints under the Civil Service Code are set out in the Department's staff handbook. Civil servants are encouraged, in the first instance, to raise complaints made under paragraph 11 of the Civil Service
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Code with their line manager. If, for any reason, this is not felt to be possible, perhaps because the line manager is part of the complaint, individuals may take their complaint to a nominated official. It is not possible to provide a comprehensive figure for the number of complaints made within this Department under paragraph 11 of the Civil Service Code as there is no requirement for managers to report to the centre details of complaints made under the Civil Service Code which are resolved within the management line.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the legal status is of offer documents sent to council tenants prior to a ballot on stock transfer; and if plans within such documents are binding on new landlords. 
Ms Keeble: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave her on 9 January 2002, Official Report, columns 84849W.
Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Strategic Rail Authority and (b) Scottish Ministers regarding the re-opening of the Waverley rail route from Edinburgh to Carlisle. 
Mr. Jamieson: There have been no recent discussions. Last year Scottish Borders council announced that a detailed application for formal consent to construct the railway is likely to be lodged with the Scottish Parliament by March 2003. If work goes to schedule and plans are approved the railway could be re-opened in 2008.
Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what progress has been made in the conduct of a rail capacity study for East-Central Scotland, with particular reference to services to and from England. 
Mr. Jamieson: There are currently two reviews in progress. One study has been commissioned by the Scottish Executive to aid them in deciding upon their strategic priorities. The study consist of two phases, the first part of which reported in September last year and the main second phase which is due to report in May 2002. The Strategic Rail Authority has also commissioned Railtrack to undertake a study, also in two phases. The first part has recently been completed, the second phase has yet to commence.
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