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Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if SRB Round 6 funds can be used to gap-fund projects. 
Ms Keeble: Following a ruling by the European Commission in December 1999 that the operation of the Partnership Investment Programme outside the Assisted Areas contravened state aid rules, the Department took the precautionary measure of disallowing gap funding schemes under SRB Round 6.
SRB funds to assist commerce or industry are permissible within the regional aid ceilings published by the European Commission.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when the Government will respond to the South-east Manchester Multi-modal Transport Study. 
Mr. Jamieson: I am currently considering this report and the North-west Regional Assembly's recommendations and hope to make an announcement shortly.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he intends to publish draft regulations in connection with taxi regulation for all vehicles. 
Ms Keeble: We have powers under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to introduce regulations setting standards of access for taxis in the same way as we have already done for trains and for buses and coaches. We are discussing with industry and our statutory advisers the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) how to implement the requirements most effectively. We need to ensure that our proposals meet the needs of disabled people for taxi services but also protect the viability of the trade. We will consult when we have finalised our proposals.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the reason for the delay in the publication of the (a) aviation and (b) regions White Papers. 
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Mr. Byers: There is no delay. Our manifesto commitment is to produce plans this year for aviation and airports over the next 30 years, and that remains our intention. As to the regions, we remain similarly committed to taking forward proposals on elected regional government and will publish a White Paper as soon as it is ready.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will bring pilotage back under public jurisdiction. 
Mr. Jamieson: Responsibility for the provision of pilotage services was assigned by the Pilotage Act 1987 to competent harbour authorities who have statutory powers in relation to the regulation of shipping movements and the safety of navigation. We have no plans to change this arrangement.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions to whom a competent harbour authority is ultimately accountable. 
Mr. Jamieson: The term "competent harbour authority" is used in the Pilotage Act 1987 for harbour authorities who have more general statutory powers in relation to the regulation of shipping movements and the safety of navigation. The Act extended these powers to include the provision of pilotage services. Harbour authorities are fully accountable for the exercise of their powers, as the prosecution of the Milford Haven Port Authority, following the Sea Empress grounding, has shown.
The purpose of the Department's Port Marine Safety Code has been to establish an agreed national standard as a measure by which a harbour authority can be more openly accountable to a wide range of interests for the policies and procedures adopted to ensure that the harbour is run safely.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what method of arbitration replaced the temporary procedure for resolving disputes on terms of employment contained in the Pilotage Act 1987 after the three-year expiry period. 
Mr. Jamieson: The temporary arbitration procedure was a transitional provision to enable new arrangements to be established between previously licensed pilots and competent harbour authorities following the transfer of pilotage functions to those authorities under the Act. It is now spent.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many civil servants in his Department have used the services of Cendent or its subsidiaries (a) to relocate in London and (b) to be housed in London since May 1997; what the name was of the company employed in each case; and what were the dates on each occasion. 
Dr. Whitehead: Since May 1997 my Department has used the services of Cendent on one occasion to relocate a member of staff from Bristol to London in April 2001.
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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions which relocation companies his Department has used when relocating civil servants since May 1997; which relocation companies hold contracts with his Department for the relocation of civil servants; when the contracts were last renewed; where the contracts were advertised; and what the length and value of each contract is. 
Dr. Whitehead: My Department has used two companies for the relocation of civil servants since May 1997.
ARC, who later merged to become ARC/Phoenix in October 1999 was awarded a contract from 5 October 1995 to 31 March 2000. This contract was superseded by a three-year contract from April 2000 with Bradford and Bingley Relocation Services Ltd. Cendent subsequently acquired the company in September 2000.
Both contracts were advertised through OJEC. The approximate annual value of the contract is £35,000 but fluctuates from year to year.
Mr. Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to raise the limit on the expenditure which the Electoral Commission can incur on promoting awareness of electoral and democratic systems; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Whitehead: I have today laid before Parliament an Order, under section 13(6) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, setting a limit of £7,500,000 on the total expenditure in any one year which the Electoral Commission can incur on promoting public awareness of the matters specified under section 13(1) of that Act. The Order has been made with the consent of the Treasury, as required by the legislation.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 4 March 2002, Official Report, column 91W, on research documentation, for what reason the Department does not hold this information centrally. 
Mr. Jamieson: The information is not currently available centrally without disproportionate cost because responsibility for DTLR research is devolved to individual policy areas and programmes are not managed centrally. However, the Department is developing a central research database facility which is currently being populated with data. This should enable more information on research to be made available from a central source in future.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his reply of 4 March 2002, Official Report, column 89W, on RIAC membership, (a) by whom and (b) when the review of RIAC was conducted; what conclusions were reached; by whom the role of the RIAC was refocused; and what form the strategic advice to the HSC (i) has taken and (ii) will take. 
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Mr. Jamieson: The review of the Railway Industry Advisory Committee (RIAC) was carried out in early 2001 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), at the request of the Health and Safety Commission (HSC), and as part of a general review of their industry advisory committees. Copies of the conclusions of the review and RIAC's revised terms of reference have been placed in the Libraries of the House.
The HSC considered these following publication of part 2 of Lord Cullen's public inquiry report, and implemented a key review conclusion through the replacement of the Chief Inspector of Railways as Chair by an independent member of the HSC (Margaret Burns) in November 2001. RIAC agendas and HSC minutes are available on the HSE website and indicate areas on which RIAC has advised the HSC.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 25 February 2002, Official Report, column 785W, on financial investigations, what areas of his Department are involved; what the aggregate sum of money is; when they are expected to be completed; and if he will publish the results. 
Ms Keeble: Since the investigations in question are still taking place, there is nothing I can add to my earlier answer at this stage.
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