|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will calculate the proportion of (a) United Kingdom residents and (b) council tax payers who do not have the right to vote in local authority elections; if he will calculate the total amount of council tax revenue received from residents who do not have the right to vote in local authority elections; and if he will list the 20 local authorities in receipt of the highest proportion of revenue from residents not entitled to vote. 
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to make voting from overseas easier for UK diplomatic staff, with specific reference to voting by post; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Whitehead: Regulations, approved by Parliament, were introduced in February 2001 to allow all overseas voters, including those serving in British diplomatic posts, to vote by post if they so wish.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to amend departmental guidance in relation to the recruitment and retention of people with diabetes as firefighters to take account of EU Council Directive 2000/78/EC. 
Dr. Whitehead: My Department is reviewing the existing guidance to the fire service on the employment of people with diabetes as firefighters. Key interest groups will be consulted, and the review will take account of all relevant legislation.
7 Mar 2002 : Column 571W
Dr. Whitehead: Provisional outturn against departmental expenditure limits for 200001 is published in the Public Expenditure 200001 Provisional Outturn White Paper (Cm 5243), which is available in the Library. Final outturn against departmental expenditure limits for 200001, adjusted to take account of machinery of government changes in 200102, will be published in May 2002 in the Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 200203.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 26 February 2002, Official Report, column 1169w, on safety training for railway employees, what information is collated by the (a) Health and Safety Executive and (b) individual railway companies on the number of railway employees who hold certificates of competence to work on railway tracks; what information about this was collected by British Rail prior to privatisation; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: Regulation 3(1) of the Railways (Safety Critical Work) Regulations 1994 requires employers to keep adequate records of any assessments undergone by safety critical employees. The Health and Safety Executive does not collate such information itself.
7 Mar 2002 : Column 572W
employees are required to hold a certificate of competence or to show that they have completed appropriate training before being allowed to perform their job; and if he will state the type of certificate or qualification which is required in each case. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Railways (Safety Critical Work) Regulations 1994 require employers to ensure that all employees carrying out work vital to the safe operation of the railways are competent and fit to carry out that work. The types of activities considered safety critical are described in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance to these regulations. This is available on the HSE website at www.house.gov.uk. Specific requirements for demonstrating competence are not set down in the regulations.
Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on how many occasions since 1 May 1997 (a) departmental and (b) non-departmental special advisers have travelled abroad in an official capacity; and if he will list the total cost, including (i) travel, (ii) accommodation and (iii) subsistence allowance, for each occasion. 
Dr. Whitehead [holding answer 27 February 2002]: Between 1 April 2000 and 31 March 2001, special advisers in the former Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions travelled abroad on six occasions, at an average cost of £4,000 per trip. The countries visited were Japan, USA, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, China and the Netherlands. Information for the period 2 May 1997 to 31 March 2000 is already in the public domain. All travel by special advisers is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code and the Civil Service Management Code.