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Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Hendon (Mr. Dismore) of 12 December 2001, Official Report, column 871W, on rents, if he will provide similar estimates to those he provided for Hendon for the real terms percentage changes in each year he predicts for formula rents for council tenants in (a) Selby and (b) York until 2011. 
It is possible to make estimates of how average "actual" rents might change in real terms between 200102 and 201112 if the national average local authority formula rent were to increase by an average of about 1.5 per cent. per year, and each local authority were to move its actual average rent to its average formula rent over that period
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(ignoring the impact of rent caps and the limit on annual rent changes for individual tenants). This was the basis of the figures given to my hon. Friend the Member for Hendon (Mr. Dismore) on 12 December 2001, Official Report, column 871W. On the same basis, the figures for Selby and York would be as follows:
|Estimated real increase|
|Estimated average real increase|
|200102 to 201112||1.8||1.3|
|Average real increase|
|199102 to 200102||3.1||4.3|
However, these figures are only estimates based on a number of assumptions. Ultimately the level of "actual" local authority rents over the next ten years is a matter for the local authority. The level will depend, among other things, on the outcomes of future spending reviews, changes in property values and the decisions taken by individual local authorities.
Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to review Health and Safety Executive regulations on (a) blue, (b), brown and (c) white asbestos. 
The Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983, which require most work with asbestos insulation, asbestos coating and asbestos insulating board to be carried out by an HSE licensed contractor, are soon to be subject to a routine periodic review by the HSC (next year). If amendments are proposed the HSC will consult upon them.
Proposals to amend The Asbestos (Prohibitions) Regulations 1992, which ban the marketing, supply and use of all types of asbestos, are currently being reviewed to consolidate them and ensure that they are fully consistent with EC Directives
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 25 February 2002, Official Report, column 813W, on research documents, what criteria the Department uses when defining a research programme; who within a programme is responsible for selecting the best method of publication; if he will list the types of publication available to programmes; and for whose needs availability on demand of programme details can be tailored. 
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Mr. Jamieson: The Department's research programmes are defined by the evidence needs of policy areas and listed in the Departmental website (annexe A of the DTLR(C) Research Overview). As previously indicated, publication methods for the dissemination of research results are chosen by the relevant research programme manager and the policy area responsible. Contact points for the individual programmes are also listed in the website.
There are many publication methods including formal Government publication routes, academic journals, and reports by private sector research contractors. Publications from individual programmes may be checked through their areas on the website or through the listed contact points. Methods may be specific to individual projects or follow standard practices developed for particular audiences (e.g. Local Transport Notes and traffic advisory leaflets, Road Safety research series, Building Regulations' Approved Documents and Housing's Research Summaries). Where targeted at specific groups of usersfor example road safety officers, local government officers, cycling groupsthe results of research may be distributed through advisory leaflets or best practice guidance.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 25 February 2002, Official Report, column 813W, on research documents, in which locations a record of research is held; on what date work started on improved database facility; what form it will take when completed; and on what date the improved database facility will be completed. 
Mr. Jamieson: Records of research are held within the policy divisions and their research management teams. The staff and records for DTLR(C) research programmes are largely accommodated in four London buildingsEland House, Ashdown House (Victoria), Great Minster House and Horseferry House. Some work is also undertaken at Moreton-in-Marsh. HSE and Agencieswho are located in other buildingshandle their own research.
Work started to improve access to records of research in the former DETR in March 2001. The aim was to provide a unified database of information about all research projects in the former Department. The work has been taken forward within DTLR. The initial development phase of the database software was completed last month. The extensive job of populating the database for the year 200102 is now under way aiming at completion within three months. A specification for further work to present this information in a form suitable for access through the DTLR website is in preparation.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 25 February 2002, Official Report, column 784W, on Railtrack, what action was taken by his Department in response to the examples of key areas of failure highlighted by the report of the Environment,
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Transport, and Regional Affairs Committee, 'Rail Investment: Renewal, Maintenance and Development of the National Rail Network'; and for what reason Railtrack was not placed into railway administration until October 2001. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Government's response to the main conclusions and recommendations of the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee's report was presented to Parliament by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 15 October 2001 (Cm 5283). The Government's response drew the Committee's attention to the reasons behind the placing of Railtrack plc into Railway Administration on 7 October 2001.
Mr. Jamieson: From 7 October 2001 to the end of February 2002, the cost of advisers working for my Department on the administration of Railtrack and on the process of exiting administration was about £5.6 million.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions from which organisation he has obtained legal advice about a possible challenge from Railtrack shareholders. 
At the end of December 2001, it was decided to extend Finsbury's involvement. They now work direct to the Department. The extension of Finsbury's involvement was by single tender in view of the knowledge and expertise they had accumulated at that stage.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many rail investment projects of over £5 million have been started by Railtrack in administration since the appointment of the administrator. 
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Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what estimate his Department has made of the cost to Government of underwriting the debt of the successor company to Railtrack in administration; 
Mr. Byers: Bidders for Railtrack will need to put forward their proposals for the financing of the successor company. These proposals will need to demonstrate how bidders will ensure that the successor company will have a sufficiently high investment grade credit rating to raise the necessary finance for its activities in an efficient and cost effective manner. They will also need to set out any proposals for Government support.
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