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Mr. Flight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs, of 10 December 2001, Official Report, column 566W, on traffic congestion, whether the consultation exercise on fast-track procedures for building roads in excess of 30 kilometres has been undertaken; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: Our consultation paper "New Parliamentary Procedures for Processing Major Infrastructure Projects" covers a wide range of major infrastructure projects; including construction, on a new route, of a dual carriageway trunk road in excess of 30 kilometres in length. An announcement was made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to my right hon. Friend the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham), on 17 December 2001, Official Report, column 22W. Copies of the consultation paper were placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The deadline for responses is 22 March 2002.
Ms Keeble: The Green Paper "Planning: delivering a fundamental change" has proposed that all planning guidance, including that for minerals, should be reviewed. The consultation on the Green Paper will end on 18 March 2002 after which decisions will be taken, in the light of the responses, on the nature of future guidance and appropriate timetables for producing it. The Green Paper proposes that current minerals planning guidance notes
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(MPGs), including those on specific minerals such as MPG6 on aggregates, should become technical or system notes to support a statement of core policy in MPG1. Given that this could delay the present revision of MPG6, whatever form that might take, it has been decided that the quantitative national and regional guidelines for aggregates provision within MPG6 should be revised as a matter of urgency, ahead of the revision of policy in MPG1. Work is currently taking place on that basis and it is hoped that a consultation draft of this revision will be published in the late spring of this year.
Ms Keeble: The Green Paper "Planning: delivering a fundamental change" has proposed that all planning guidance, including that for minerals, should be reviewed, and that priority should be given, among the minerals planning guidance, to the headline guidance on mineral working and restoration in MPG1. The Green Paper proposes that these reviews should be time-tabled over the next two years. The consultation on the Green Paper will end on 18 March 2002 after which decisions will be taken, in the light of the responses, on the action to be taken on its proposals.
Mr. Ivan Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will assess the merits of making it compulsory for developers to install dropped kerbs at junctions in new building developments as part of the review of planning policy. 
Ms Keeble: The Green Paper, "Planning: delivering a fundamental change" is principally concerned with the operation of the planning process. The provision of dropped kerbs is a matter for highways authorities, who would normally be involved in discussions about new developments. My Department has issued guidance to local authorities to encourage the provision of dropped kerbs to assist people with impaired mobility, and those in wheelchairs or with prams, to cross the road.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if the Government will extend to all playing fields the procedural protection provided for school playing fields; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: I have no plans to extend the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Playing Fields) (England) Direction 1998 to cover all playing fields. Development or change of use of playing fields already requires planning permission from the local planning authority. In considering such applications, planning authorities must have regard to the policies in their own development plans and the guidance set out in Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) Note 17: "Sport and Recreation". PPG17 makes clear that playing fields should be protected unless there is an excess of provision.
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Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what progress has been made in implementing the Urban White Paper for neighbourhood renewal and its impact on the inner cities. 
Ms Keeble: The Urban White Paper "Our towns and cities: the future" set out the Government's vision of a better quality of life for all in urban areas. We have provided an account of progress to date as well as the key objectives we aim to deliver on over the next two years in a six-monthly Implementation Bulletin. The next edition is due to be issued in March 2002. We also have an Implementation Plan which tracks progress on all 198 new initiatives and policies in the White Paper. Both documents can be found at www.regeneration.dtlr.gov.uk/ policies/ourtowns/action.
The Urban White Paper promised that in 2002 Ministers across Government would host an Urban Summit. This will take place on 31 October and 1 November at the ICC in Birmingham. The Summit will provide the opportunity to establish and reconfirm the Government-wide commitment to urban renaissance, identify and celebrate progress by individual towns and cities, underline that there is much to do and identify where further action is needed and evaluate the recommendations of the White Paper.
The Government's vision for neighbourhood renewal was set out in the Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy Action Plan, launched by the Prime Minister in January 2001. It aims to deliver economic prosperity, safe communities, high quality schools, decent housing, and better health to the poorest parts of the country.
The approach will focus main Government Programmes explicitly on deprived areas, many of which are located in inner-city areas, and will require local people and public and private sectors to work in partnership. The strategy is being spearheaded by the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit, a cross-cutting unit based in DTLR and staffed by officials from across Whitehall and the public sector, with secondees from the private and voluntary sector. The Unit has started to roll-out the Government's 10 to 20-year commitment to turn round our most deprived areas.
Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to introduce transport legislation relating to safety this Session; and if he will make a statement. 
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Private Finance Initiative Credit for the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority integrated clothing project was rejected; and for what reason this funding is not provided as a statutory requirement. 
Dr. Whitehead: The indicative bid which London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority submitted on behalf of a number of fire authorities for an Integrated Clothing Project was not selected for support in the third round of the Private Finance Initiative for the fire service. The bids were assessed according to the criteria set out in Fire Service Circular 3/2001, a copy of which is in the Library. The Integrated Clothing Project did not score as highly as some of the other bids received. The unsuccessful bidders were given feedback on their bids.
As regards funding, statutory responsibility, under section 1(1)(a) of the Fire Services Act 1947, for securing the services of a fire brigade and its supporting equipment rests locally with the fire authority. The authority receives funding under the revenue support grant arrangements and has the responsibility for setting a budget which will allow it to meet its obligations.
Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list for shire counties the social services standard spending assessment for the elderly, divided by the number of pensioners, adjusted for inflation at current values, in the years 199091 to 200102 and projected for 200203. 
Dr. Whitehead: The Department does not keep data on people of pensionable age covering the entire period. A table showing the elderly personal social services standard spending assessment per person aged 65 and over, adjusted for inflation at current values, has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) if he will list for Cambridgeshire (a) the difference between the social services budget and that county's social services block SSA in each year from 199293 to 200203 and (b) that sum divided by the total population financed by that social services department, adjusted for inflation at current values; 
|SSA (£000)||NRE(52) (Outturn) £000||Difference (NRE-SSA) £000||Total population(53)||Difference per head (£)|
(51) Figures at 200102 prices using GDP deflators. NRE is expenditure funded by council tax, general Government grants and use of reserves.
(52) NRE is used to compare with SSA.
(53) SSA figures are based on population figures two years previous. For example 200001 population figures are used in calculating 200203 SSA figures and so the population figure recorded for 200203 in the table is actually the level of population at 200102.
(54) 199899 reorganisation of authority. Former authority included the current city of Peterborough.
(55) Budget figures.
(56) Expenditure figures are not available for 200203.
Sources: 19929319992000 Revenue Summary (RS) and Revenue Grant (RG) returns. 200001200102 General Fund Revenue Accounts Budget Estimate return (RA) and RA(SG) (Income from Specific, Special and Supplementary Grants).
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The authority provides figures on expenditure and grant income on the quoted sources. However, in the calculation of Net Revenue Expenditure, certain adjustments are made, which in particular include an estimate of Capital Expenditure Charged to Revenue Account (CERA). It is not possible to provide this analysis at the sub-block level. However, the authority does provide figures on Net Current Expenditure (NCE) separately for children and families, and for older people services. This includes expenditure funded by all specific grants inside aggregate external finance (AEF). It therefore can not be compared with SSA. The table gives the required breakdown by NCE.
|Childrens and families||Older people services||Total other PSS||Total PSS|
(57) NCE is running expenses plus employee expenses minus sales, fees and charges and other (non-grant) income. Figures at 200102 prices using GDP deflators.
(58) 199899 reorganisation of authority.
(59) Budget figures.
Sources: 199091200001 Revenue Summary (RS). 200102 General Fund Revenue Account Budget Estimate return, (NCE) column.
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Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list for shire counties, for the financial year 199091 to 200102, and projected for the year 200203, adjusted for inflation at current values (a) the total spending, (b) SSA spending and (c) under or over spending on social services for (i) the elderly, (ii) child protection and (iii) other categories. 
Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what is the standard spending assessment for social services for elderly people, per pensioner, for (i) Cambridgeshire and (ii) Suffolk in each year from 199091 to 200102, adjusted for inflation at current values; and what is the Standard Spending Assessment for social services for child protection, per child under the age of 18, for (i) Cambridgeshire and (ii) Suffolk in each year from 199091 to 200102, adjusted for inflation at current values. 
Dr. Whitehead: The Department does not keep data on people of pensionable age covering the entire period. The table gives the Elderly Personal Social Services (PSS) Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) per person aged 65 and over together with the Children's PSS SSA per child aged 0 to 17, adjusted for inflation at current values 1 , for Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. The SSAs have been averaged over the number of people for the period used in calculating the SSAs ie for 200102, the mid-1999 population estimates have been used.
|Elderly PSS SSA per person aged 65 and over||Children's PSS SSA per child aged 0 to 17|
(60) Deflated using the GDP Deflator, 200102 equals 100.
(61) The Cambridgeshire (City of Peterborough) (Structural, Boundary and Electoral Changes) Order 1996 came into force on 1 April 1998. Prior to this Cambridgeshire county council also provided services for the area now covered by Peterborough city council.
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