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Community Energy Programme

Mr. Colman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when bids will be invited under the Government's new Community Energy programme. [30735]

Mr. Meacher: The opening 'Pathfinder' bidding round for the £50 million Community Energy programme is being launched today. We expect to allocate around

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£5 million under this initial round for schemes that will provide carbon savings; help to alleviate fuel poverty among householders, and reduce fuel costs for hospitals, universities and other community buildings.

I am placing copies of the programme documentation in the House Library.

PIU Energy Review

Mr. Pound: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what format a

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further period of consultation following the publication of the PIU energy review will take. [28981]

Mr. Wilson: I have been asked to reply.

The PIU have yet to publish their report and may make recommendations for taking the report forward. As such, Ministers have not yet decided the format of any consultation follow up to the report.

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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the advertising campaigns which he and his predecessors have commissioned since May 1997, showing for each (a) its objectives, (b) its beginning and end dates, (c) the media used, (d) criteria adopted to judge its effectiveness, (e) the extent to which effectiveness criteria were met, (f) agency involvement and (g) its cost. [26660]

Dr. Whitehead [holding answer 11 January 2002]: For details of the costs of my Department's advertising campaigns, the media used and effectiveness, I refer the hon. Member to the reply by the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Stretford and Urmston (Beverley Hughes), to the hon. Member for Hertsmere (Mr. Clappison) on 20 December 2000, Official Report, columns 168–69W.

Final outturn figures for 2000–01 and provisional outturn figures for major advertising campaigns in 2001–02 and advertising agencies involved are:

£ million

Road SafetyAMV/BDDO; D'Arcy7.89.5
Fire SafetyEuro(15)2.9
Foot and mouth public information Ogilvy01.2
Are you doing your bit?AMV/BBDO5.6(16)

(14) Provisional

(15) Home Office responsibility

(16) DEFRA responsibility

Activity on road and fire safety is ongoing and objectives are to reduce deaths and injuries. Advertising to support traveline commences in March 2002. Objectives are to increase awareness and promote use of the line. The foot and mouth public information campaign ran during March/April 2001 and provided guidance for visitors to the countryside. "Are you doing your bit?", launched in March 1998, was designed to motivate individuals to take simple actions to protect the environment.

Number Plates

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if the new Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) regulations will allow European number plates with a national identifier in the UK. [27411]

Mr. Spellar: Motorists will be able to make a choice. They will be able to display either the European circle of stars with GB as the UK national identifier or they will be able to display one of the four flags, (Union Jack, Cross of St. George, Saltaire or Welsh Dragon) with any one of a number of identifiers, for example UK or GB, "Eng" for England, "Sco" for Scotland or "Cym" for Wales.

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Starter Home Initiative (Probation Officers)

Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if probation officers are counted as key workers for schemes set up under the Starter Home Initiative in London. [27859]

Ms Keeble: A wide range of workers, including probation officers, are eligible for help under the Starter Home Initiative, although priority is being given to teachers, police, nurses and other essential health workers. Among those benefiting from round one of the initiative in London are social workers, fire fighters and transport workers. None of the successful bids in London targeted probation officers. The second round of funding of £20 million is being allocated to housing hot spots outside London.

Regulatory Impact Assessments

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many regulatory impact assessments have been produced by his Department since August 2001; and if he will list those produced (a) following initial consultation with affected parties about the most appropriate methodology for assessing costs and other impacts and (b) which set out full commercial impacts, including profitability, employment, consumer prices and competitiveness, as recommended in "Good Policy Making". [28411]

Dr. Whitehead: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley (Mr. Leslie) on 17 January 2002, Official Report, column 483W.

Slam-door Trains

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the circumstances in which he would delay the phasing out of slam-door trains. [28556]

Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the provisions of the Railway Safety Regulations 1999. These require the removal of Mark I rolling stock unless the Health and Safety Executive make an exemption. Under section 6(2) of the regulations there is a requirement on the HSE to consult on any exemptions they propose.

Council Tenants

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what percentage real terms increase in each year he predicts for formula rents for council tenants in each individual local authority until 2011. [28368]

Ms Keeble: In 2002–03, we predict that the average rate of increase in real terms for formula rents for council tenants will be 1 per cent. Taking into account the policy that Registered Social Landlord rents increases should be limited to RPI plus 0.5 per cent. a year, it is likely that average council rents will have to rise by about an average of about 1.5 per cent. a year in real terms over the next 10 years to achieve Ministers' intention that similar rents should be charged for similar council and housing association properties by 2012. This is about half the average rate of council rent increases over the last 10 years.

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However, the precise path of social rents over the next 10 years will depend, among other things, on the outcomes of future Spending Reviews and the decisions taken by individual landlords who retain responsibility for rent setting.

Clean Fuels

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what estimate he has made of the number and percentage of (a) cars, (b) buses and (c) lorries which (i) run on LPG or similar clean fuels and (ii) are adapted to run on conventional and clean fuels. [28579]

Mr. Jamieson: There are estimated to be around 50,000 LPG cars in the UK. Motorists are converting to LPG at an increasing rate, with the number expected to increase by about 25,000 over the next year, prompted by the Government grants available, and the fact that low-cost LPG fuel is now available in all areas of the country.

DVLA data provide more disaggregated information on alternative fuel use as follows:

Vehicle classDedicated gasPercentage of total fleetBi-fuelPercentage of total fleet

But this understates the number of vehicles because not all conversions to alternative fuelling are notified to DVLA.

DVLA statistics do not distinguish between liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and natural gas vehicles. However, cars and light commercial vehicles tend to use LPG, while heavier vehicles use natural gas.

Although DVLA does not keep statistics on the number of battery electric cars, my Department estimates that

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there are approximately 400 of these in the UK. In addition, DVLA statistics show that there are 484 hybrid petrol/electric cars.

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