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12 Mar 2002 : Column 924W
ref. 38443, what criteria are used to determine (a) unacceptable numbers of applicants accepted as homeless and (b) numbers accommodated under the legislative provisions by a local authority. 
Ms Keeble: There are no criteria for determining that the level of applicants accepted as statutorily homeless is unacceptable. A range of information about local housing authorities' activities under the homelessness provisions of the Housing Act 1985 and the Housing Act 1996 is submitted quarterly by authorities to the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions. A summary of this is published by the Department in a quarterly statistical release. The data published include the number of households being accommodated in temporary accommodation, pursuant to a duty under the homelessness provisions, at the end of the relevant quarterly period.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2002, Official Report, column 93W, ref. 38444, if he will publish the guidance used to determine the trigger point at which he should intervene to secure an authority's compliance with its statutory duty to house the homeless. 
Ms Keeble: We have agreed a protocol with the Local Government Association that sets out the key principles and procedures for the use of the best value intervention powers. The protocol has been published as Annexe D of the Department's Circular 10/99. Copies of the circular have been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what steps he takes to ensure that maximum weight limits on local bridges are enforced; and if he will make a statement on the penalties applicable to those in breach of those limits. 
The police are responsible for enforcing these limits. Weight limits on bridges are notified by traffic signs, and failure to comply with such signs is an offence under section 36 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine not exceeding £1,000 plus a three point endorsement.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how he plans to respond to the London Development Agency/ London Underground report on the options for increasing capacity at Wembley Park underground station. 
Mr. Byers: I welcome this report, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House. It demonstrates that it should be possible to make real improvements to capacity and accessparticularly for disabled peoplewithout the need to rebuild Wembley Park Station.
While the report's proposals are significantly less expensive than rebuilding the station, they cannot be accommodated within the £20 million which the Government have already agreed to make available for infrastructure improvements. In the light of this new
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evidence, I have now decided that if the stadium development proceeds, I should make available additionally up to £7 million from my transport provision. This would make it easier for people travelling to the new stadium, as well as those living and working in the area. I understand that the Mayor of London has also agreed to make available a similar sum.
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 drafting of legislation for the regulation of HMOs. 
Mr. Byers: The Government are committed to introducing a national licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and we consulted on our proposals in 1999. We remain committed to legislating for this at the earliest possible opportunity.
The Government are also currently supporting my hon. Friend for Brighton, Kemptown's Home Energy Conservation Bill. This Bill would introduce reforms to the current discretionary HMO registration regime, most notably by making it mandatory and providing for a revised definition of an HMO.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 4 March 2002, ref. 37622, on reputational externalities, what is the size of the adjustment made for reputational externalities in the calculations underlying the final assessment report; and if he will make a statement. 
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many appointments to public bodies have been made through his Department (a) from April 2000 to March 2001 and (b) since 31 March 2001; and how many of these were (i) men and (ii) women. 
Ms Keeble: Ministers in this Department have appointed or reappointed (a) 116 people in the year April 2000 to March 2001 (i) 82 of whom are men and (ii) 34 women and (b) 100 people since 31 March 2001 (i) 58 of whom are men and (ii) 42 women.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions whether a Scottish Executive Minister will be a member of the UK delegation to the forthcoming Transport and Telecommunications European Union Council of Ministers meeting on 2526 March; and what information is being provided by his Department to guarantee effective pre-council scrutiny by the European Committee of the Scottish Parliament. 
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In developing the UK position, there is regular contact between Ministers and officials of the Department and the Scottish Executive on those issues in which there is a Scottish interest, as required by the memorandum of understanding between the UK Government and the three devolved Administrations. The then Transport Minister in the Scottish Executive attended the Transport Council on 28 June 2001 as part of the UK delegation.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what proportion of (a) district, (b) county and (c) Metropolitan councils he estimates will be judged as coasting. 
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to move to a system of continuous registration of all motor vehicles; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: A proposal to introduce continuous registrationunder which the keeper of a vehicle would retain a statutory responsibility to license it until DVLA was notified of a change of keeperwas one of a number of proposals set out by the Government in its consultation document on abandoned vehicles in October 2001. My right hon. Friend intends to make an announcement on the outcome of the consultation shortly.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what arrangements his Department has made to celebrate (a) St. Patrick's Day, (b) St. George's Day, (c) St. Andrew's Day and (d) Her Majesty the Queen's Golden Jubilee; and how his Department celebrated St. David's Day. 
Dr Whitehead [Holding answer: Monday 11 March 2002]: The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions has fully supported the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in making suitable arrangements for Her Majesty the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations. Details of those events may be found on the Golden Jubilee website at www.goldenjubilee.gov.uk.
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