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Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions under what conditions he will call in planning applications in an area of outstanding natural beauty. 
Ms Keeble: The Secretary of State's general approach is not to interfere with the jurisdiction of local planning authorities unless it is necessary to do so. Parliament has entrusted them with responsibility for day-to-day planning control in their areas. Local planning authorities are normally best placed to make decisions relating to their areas and it is right that, in general, they should be free to carry out their duties responsibly, with the minimum of interference.
There will be occasions, however, when the Secretary of State may consider it necessary to call in a planning application to determine himself instead of leaving it to the local planning authority. His policy is to be very selective about calling in planning applications. He will, in general, only take this step if planning issues of more than local importance are involved and if those issues need to be decided by the Secretary of State rather than at local level. Each case is, however, considered on its own facts.
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the conditions for granting industrial planning permission in an area designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. 
Ms Keeble: Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) note 7 sets out national planning guidance for the Countryside including areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs). It states that planning policies and development control decisions affecting AONBs should favour conservation of the natural beauty of the landscape, and that the environmental effects of new proposals will be a major consideration, though it will also be appropriate to have regard to the economic and social well-being of the area. PPG7 also states that major projects should be demonstrated to be in the public interest before being allowed to proceed.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many (a) fatalities and (b) injuries have occurred involving buses and (i) other buses, (ii) other road vehicles and (iii) pedestrians in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Jamieson: The information requested is shown in the tables which follow. Figures for 2001 are not yet available. The figures shown relate to accidents on public roads in Great Britain.
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1 Includes casualties in both vehicles involved but excludes pedestrian casualties.
In addition to those casualties shown in tables (i), (ii) and (iii) there were some bus or coach occupants casualties in single-vehicle accidents and additional vehicle occupant casualties in accidents which involved a bus or coach and more than one other vehicle. All of those have been included in the following table which shows all casualties in accidents which involved at least one bus or coach.
1 Includes pedestrians, bus and coach occupants and the occupants of other vehicles.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will estimate revenues from council tax and business rates (a) for the United Kingdom as a whole and (b) for each constituent nation of the UK in (i) 200102 and (ii) 200203. 
Dr Whitehead: The table gives the estimated net yield from business rates for 200102 and 200203 for England. In addition the estimated council tax net yield in England for 200102 is shown. This information is based on returns provided by English local authorities to the Department. No estimate of the council tax yield for 200203 is yet available.
|200102 ÿ billion||200203 ÿ billion|
|Business Rates (a)||14.223||14.857|
|Council Tax (b)||15.245||n/a|
(a) Net of reliefs but including allowances for losses in collection and cost of collection.
(b) Including council tax funded by benefit.
Figures are not available for the United Kingdom as a whole. Information on business rates and council tax in Wales and Scotland are a matter for the National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Executive respectively. Information on rates in Northern Ireland is a matter for the Northern Ireland Assembly.
28 Feb 2002 : Column 1522W
Peter Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what directions have been given to Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority regarding security measures since 11 September 2001; by whom; and why such directions were given. 
Mr. Jamieson: Officials from the Transport Security Division are responsible for interfacing with the railways industry on security requirements. These requirements are contained in the National Railways Security Programme. Further guidance is issued to the industry, including Strathclyde Passenger Transport, on a regular basis. This system establishes appropriate security standards for industry.
Further advice is issued in the format of Railway Security Circulars which provide a mechanism to update the National Railways Security Programme. These are sent to a nominated security contact within each railway-affiliated company, and are then disseminated internally to relevant parties.
Railway Security Circulars are usually issued on a monthly basis. However, since the attacks on the United States of America on 11 September, my officials have issued eight such Circulars to the industry. The content of the Circulars is restricted for obvious reasons but has included advice on issues as divergent as Driver Cab Security and Station Searches. The Circulars have been issued to advise the railways industry on the measures required to safeguard members of the travelling public, staff and the UK's rail infrastructure itself, from terrorist attack.
Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the outcome is of the accreditation of local strategic partnerships in the areas due to receive neighbourhood renewal funds for 200203; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: I am pleased to announce that 87 out of 88 Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) in England's most deprived areas will today be accredited. LSPs bring together local authorities, public sector agencies, local people, the voluntary sector and business, to identify local priorities and implement strategies to meet them. They lead efforts to close the gap in living standards and opportunities between the most deprived neighbourhoods and other areas, and are key to delivery of the Government's National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal.
Accreditation follows a process of self-assessment by LSPs and close working with Government Offices. It is only the first stage on the way to better local delivery and a number of partnerships have further work to do to ensure they are fully effective, inclusive and able to
28 Feb 2002 : Column 1523W
deliver better services on the ground. Government Offices will be writing to those LSPs setting out the areas of concern. They will continue to work with all LSPs to secure ongoing improvement, and we will monitor progress closely.
Walsall LSP has not yet made sufficient progress against the criteria and is therefore not recommended for accreditation at this stage. This will be subject to review on 28 March. Where accreditation has been deferred, Neighbourhood Renewal Funds (NRF) will be maintained at 67 per cent. of the 200203 NRF rate (the same level as funding for 200102). As soon as the LSP has undergone a successful review with the relevant Government Office the remaining amounts will be released. Details of NRF allocations for every LSP for 2002/03 are attached.1
|Local Authority Name||NRF Allocation 200102 (ÿm)||NRF Allocation 200203 (ÿm)||NRF Allocation 200304 (ÿm)||NRF Total Over 3 years (ÿm)|
|Barking and Dagenham||0.816||1.225||1.633||3.673|
|Blackburn with Darwen||2.168||3.251||4.335||9.754|
|Brighton & Hove||0.684||1.027||1.369||3.08|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||0.516||0.775||1.033||2.325|
|Kensington and Chelsea||0.54||0.811||1.081||2.431|
|Kingston upon Hull||3.754||5.630||7.507||16.892|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||3.422||5.132||6.843||15.397|
|Redcar and Cleveland||1.736||2.604||3.472||7.812|
2 Subject to the approval of the House of Commons.
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Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what were the administrative costs of the South West Regional Development Agency in the past three years. 
Alan Johnson: I have been asked to reply.
The administrative costs for the SW RDA for the past two years were as follows. The figures for 200102 are not yet available.
|Year||Annual Review ÿ000 (accruals outturn)|
28 Feb 2002 : Column 1525W
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