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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will publish a list of vacancies for retained firefighters at each (a) fire station in West Sussex and East Sussex and (b) fire brigade area in England and Wales. 
|(a) East Sussex Fire Brigade(21)|
|West Sussex Fire Brigade(21)|
|(b) Retained Establishment & Strength in England & Wales(22)|
|Bedfordshire and Luton||161||114.50|
|County Durham and Darlington||168||118.75|
|Hereford and Worcester||369||294.00|
|Isle of Wight||168||152.00|
|Isles of Scilly||34||34.00|
|Mid and West Wales||713||659.75|
|Tyne and Wear||24||17.50|
(20) In 24 hour units of cover (e.g. a firefighter contracted to provide 24 hour cover in any 24 hour period = one unit; or giving 12 hours = 0.50)
(21) At 31 January 2002
(22) At 31 March 2001
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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will introduce proposals to make (a) the developer and (b) the planning authority responsible for (i) flood defences and (ii) buildings on flood plains which are subsequently flooded. 
Ms Keeble: No. Planning Policy Guidance Note 25 issued in July 2001 already advises that flooding is a material planning consideration and that, where flood defences are needed because of a development, their provision and maintenance should be fully funded as part of the development. The report by the steering group for "The flood defence funding review" published on 13 February by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs concluded that it is difficult to justify replacing these arrangements before they have a chance to demonstrate their value.
Developers are advised to carry out an assessment of the risk of flooding to their proposed development and its impact on flooding elsewhere and to submit this with the application for planning permission. Advised as necessary by the Environment Agency, a local planning authority should consider that assessment alongside other material planning considerations in determining whether permission should be granted. It is for purchasers to make such inquiries as they consider necessary to determine whether a property they are considering purchasing is at risk of flooding.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions who will monitor maintenance levels of local authority roads following the completion of the detrunking programme. 
Mr. Jamieson: Maintenance levels of local authority roads are monitored by the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions. This will continue to be the case after the completion of the detrunking programme.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the future of English Partnerships and their responsibility for the coalfield regeneration programme. 
Ms Keeble: EPs' role and responsibility for the coalfields site programme is being considered along with their other functions as part of the review. An announcement will be made on the outcome of stage one of the review in the near future. However, there is no question of abandoning the proposed remediation of the 86 sites within the existing programme.
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Mr. Byers: It is not this Government's policy to set housebuilding targets. The new annual rates of regional housing provision and their distribution are set through Regional Planning Guidance. These are kept under regular review by the regional planning bodies.
The analysis carried out for the 10-year plan for transport included an adjustment to traffic levels, to reflect the expected impact of planning policies which aim to locate new development so as to reduce the need to travel.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the timing and structure of the proposed review of the new voting systems for the devolved administrations and the European Parliament and the report of the Jenkins Commission. 
Dr. Whitehead: In our manifesto, which sets out our intentions for this Parliament, we said we would review our experience of the new voting systems for the devolved Administrations, the European Parliament, and the London Assembly along with the recommendations of the Jenkins report to assess whether changes might be made to the electoral system for the House of Commons. That remains our intention. The timing and structure of any review has yet to be decided.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what the annual level of national housing revenue accounts load debt was in each year from 199798 to date; and what the capital financing costs of that debt were; 
Ms Keeble: Local authority debt is held and managed centrally within each authority. For the purposes of determining the Housing Revenue Account's (HRA) contribution to the cost of overall debt, a notional level of HRA indebtedness is calculated each financial year. This is known as the HRA credit ceiling. The table sets out the HRA credit ceiling at the start of each financial year, together with the associated capital financing costs, for financial years 199798 to 200102:
|HRA credit ceiling||Capital financing costs|
(23) No data available for 200102 at present, it is estimated to be £1,793 million.
26 Feb 2002 : Column 1184W
early redemption premiums, which will depend on the profile of each authority's own debt portfolio. It is therefore not possible to estimate the cost of repaying this debt.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the level of capital receipts from the sale of housing and other housing revenue assets was in (a) 199899, (b) 19992000 and (c) 200001. 
|Sale of Fixed Assets||1,514,214||2,133,840||2,310,956|
|Repayments of grants and advances||106,966||97,187||94,964|
(24) Figures for 200001 are provisional
Fixed Asset sales include housing stock sold under Right to Buy, and through Large Scale Voluntary Transfers (LSVTs).
Source: DTLR Capital Outturn Return (COR) forms.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to permit local authorities to redirect funds originating in their housing revenue accounts to (a) set up arm's length housing management organisations and (b) direct investment in municipally owned housing. 
Ms Keeble: It is a matter for authorities to determine how to use the resources available to them in their housing revenue account. Authorities which are proposing to establish an arm's length organisation (ALMO) to manage their stock may apply for additional resources. If they are successful and meet the necessary standard, those resources are expected to be targeted on investment in the authority's stock. We have provided resources to enable additional investment of £460 million by ALMOs over the next two years.
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