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Mr. Jamieson: The contract for the construction of the A6 Rothwell/Desborough bypass was awarded on 13 February. Depending on how quickly the Contractor can set up his site and mobilise his work force, work could start on site shortly after Easter.
13. Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the impact of the proposed terminal 5 at Heathrow on the air services of the nations and regions of the UK. 
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inspector states that he does not consider that regional airports would be harmed if Terminal 5 were provided. The Secretary of State's reasons for his decision on Terminal 5 are set out in his decision letter of 20 November.
14. Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to review his strategy for airport development in relation to local council borrowing. 
Mr. Jamieson: Our proposed air transport White Paper will provide a framework within which airports can plan for the future with greater certainty. Meanwhile soundly- financed local authority airport companies are already free to invest without public sector borrowing controls.
The HSC published an action plan in November 2001 on how each of the recommendations in part 1 of Lord Cullen's report would be taken forward. The HSC intend to publish shortly a detailed progress report on the implementation of these recommendations in the six-month period to 20 December 2001.
The HSC are currently consulting the industry about implementing the recommendations in part 2 of Lord Cullen's report. They intend to issue a progress report in April 2002 for the period to 8 March 2002.
16. Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what changes he proposes to introduce to the performance assessment for local authorities. 
25. Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to introduce a more coherent and integrated system of local government performance measures. 
Dr. Whitehead: In our White PaperStrong Local Leadership-Quality Public Serviceswe announced that the Audit Commission would develop, in consultation with central and local government, a comprehensive performance assessment framework for local government. This will bring together the range of existing assessment processes to provide a coherent overall performance profile for each authority.
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authorities. It will provide Government, councils and the public with a clear performance profile for each council. This information will allow a proportionate action plan to be agreed with each authority to address areas of concern, better inform negotiation of targets and provide a robust basis for action to tackle poor performance.
17. Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what discussions he has had with the Environment Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales on improving road links between mid-Wales and the west midlands. 
18. Angela Watkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what percentage of the debt of the PPP deal for London Underground will be guaranteed by the Government. 
London Transport is currently consulting the Mayor and Transport for London on proposed contracts. The draft contract provides that in certain circumstances, should a private sector infrastructure company persistently breach the contract and should no alternative contractor be found, London Underground would take control of the infrastructure company and ensure that 95 per cent. of approved third-party bank and bond debt was repaid. None of the finance provided by the shareholders would be repaid, providing a strong incentive on them to meet contractual obligations to improve performance.
Mr. Jamieson: I understand that London Underground intends to make information on the cost of capital on each contract publicly available following completion of the competitions. This information has already been made available to the Mayor and Transport for London by London Underground as part of the statutory consultation process.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he or his Department is due to make a recommendation on the arbiter for the PPP of London Undergound; what the date, or timing, related to their appointment is; what early expressions of interest have been received; what the bidding process required with respect to their appointment is; and what discussions there have been to date regarding their appointment. 
Mr. Jamieson: Section 225 of the GLA Act 1999 provides powers for the Secretary of State to appoint a PPP Arbiter. It also requires the Secretary of State to make such an appointment if requested in writing by a party to a PPP Agreement.
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London Underground is currently consulting the Mayor and Transport for London. Following this consultation, the Board of London Transport is expected to take a final decision on whether to proceed with the PPP contracts. If the LT Board confirms its decision of 7 February that it is minded to sign contracts, and subject to the Secretary of State's statutory decisions in relation to the PPP agreements, it is the intention of the Secretary of State:
Given the requirements for making public sector appointments, this will necessarily take some time. However, the Secretary of State recognises the need to prepare the Arbiter's office and ensure continuity with the negotiation of the PPP contracts. The Secretary of State therefore intends to take steps to put in place interim staff before a permanent appointment can be made.
Mr. Spellar: All potential bidders for Railtrack will need to take account of the guidelines issued in response to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Vernon Coaker) on 31 October 2001, Official Report, columns 66971W. The guidelines specify, among other things, that bidders must satisfy the Secretary of State on their proposals for creating, at regional level, relationships with railway passenger and freight service operators and other stakeholders. They should also provide evidence of the confidence of relevant industry stakeholders to their proposals.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if the Strategic Rail Authority has notified his Department of valuations of rail assets in the United Kingdom carried out by the Authority. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority has not carried out any valuations of rail assets. It has, however, estimated the cost of enhancing the network to the levels that would be needed to meet the Ten-Year Plan targets for the railways. This information is published in the Authority's Strategic Plan.
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(3) what work his Department has undertaken to estimate the total value of railway assets held by (a) Railtrack and (b) other rail-related organisations. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, (1) pursuant to his answer of 25 February 2000, Official Report, column 783W, ref 36311, if he will list the reasons for the administrator's additional funding request; and how much is being requested for each area of need; 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions whether the guarantees that he will provide to secure commercial funding for the Railtrack administrator are time-limited by the recent ruling of the European Commission on state aid. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 25 February 2002, Official Report, column 782W, ref 30239, whether the Ford Motor Company is being paid for his services. 
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