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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to the answers of 23 January 2002, Official Report, columns 86667W, on London rail termini and Waterloo, if it is his policy to permit the new proposed Wessex franchise to operate services into Waterloo. 
Mr. Jamieson: The review of whether services using Waterloo should continue to be controlled by a single operator has not yet been commenced by the Strategic Rail Authority. Statutory consultees will be involved by the authority in this review.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the status is of the Ireland/UK/Benelux road link in the Essen list, with particular reference to the proposed route west of the M6 motorway. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Ireland/UK/Benelux road link is one of the 14 transport trans-European network (TEN) projects to which the Essen European Council attributed particular importance. There are no plans to change this status. Decision 1692/96/EC provides guidelines for the development of the TEN and Annex 1 to the Decision contains a map of the TEN road network in the UK. The European Commission has recently published proposals to amend the guidelines and in negotiations the Government will seek to ensure that all routes on the
30 Jan 2002 : Column 326W
UK road mapincluding the one west of the M6 motorwayare, if appropriate, updated to reflect current circumstances.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many multi-modal studies (a) have been completed and (b) will be completed during 2002. 
Mr. Jamieson: The following list shows the multi-modal studies that have reported.
A list of the multi-modal studies expected to report in 2002 are set out as follows:
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many people have not paid council tax in each local authority in descending order for 200001. 
Dr. Whitehead: Central Government does not collect information on the number of people who have not paid council tax.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions which local authorities have been rate-capped in each of the last 10 years. 
Dr. Whitehead: I am able to provide information on English local authorities only. Local government finance is a devolved matter and capping in Wales is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales.
For the financial years 199192 to 200102 the following English local authorities were capped for the purposes of the community charge and council tax:
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Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the level of rent arrears was by local authority in descending order in 200001. 
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Ms Keeble: A table showing the level of rent arrears as reported by each local authority in England at the end of the financial year 200001 has been placed in the Libraries of the House. The local authorities are shown in descending order of total arrears.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many households were in mortgage arrears by region, expressed as (a) a percentage and (b) the total number, ranked in descending order according to percentage figures, in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Ms Keeble: This information is not collected by my Department. Data are compiled by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, but only for the United Kingdom as a whole and not for individual regions. The number of UK households in mortgage arrears of three months or more in 2000 were as follows:
|Length of arrears||Number of households||As percentage of all households with mortgages|
|Over 12 months||20,820||0.19|
|All with arrears of 3 months plus||163,900||1.47|
Council of Mortgage Lenders
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many housing benefit officers were employed by local authorities in each of the last 10 years. 
Dr. Whitehead: The information requested is not available.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many court repossessions of property there were in each of the past 15 years. 
Ms Keeble: The numbers of properties in the United Kingdom repossessed by mortgage lenders in each of the past 15 years is estimated to have been as follows:
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Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what his estimate is of the number of households that are officially described as overcrowded by region according to (a) percentage figures and (b) total number, ranked in descending order according to percentage figures in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Ms Keeble: No estimates are available based on the statutory definition of overcrowding in the Housing Act (1985). The information provided in the table is based on the 'bedroom standard', which is a well established statistical measure of overcrowding.
|One or more bedrooms per household below the standard|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||33||2|
(1) 'Bedroom standard' is used as an indicator of occupation density. A standard number of bedrooms is allocated to each household in accordance with its age/sex/marital status composition and the relationship of the members to one another.
Survey of English Housing, DTLR
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