26 Apr 2002 : Column 463W
The Prime Minister: I have approached the Chairman of the Liaison Committee with a view to appearing before Select Committee Chairmen to discuss domestic and international affairs every six months. Further discussions will continue with the Liaison Committee and the House Authorities to work out the precise details. These sessions will be held in public and will give Select Committee Chairmen the opportunity to ask me a range of in-depth questions. I will of course continue to account to Parliament weekly on the issues of the day during Prime Minister's Questions on a Wednesday.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Prime Minister how many digital radios are owned by his Department for use in departmental buildings from which Ministers work; and what the (a) cost and (b) date of purchase of each radio was. 
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will list the magazines and periodicals subscribed to by his Office, stating for each subscription (i) the number of copies taken, and (ii) the annual cost; 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office to the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) on 12 February 2002, Official Report, column 188W.
26 Apr 2002 : Column 464W
The Prime Minister: Guidance is issued in relation to the conduct of Government business in pre-election periods. Decisions on announcements during pre-election periods will be taken in accordance with the guidance.
Guidance specific to the forthcoming elections to local government on 2 May was published on 21 March 2002. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House, and are also available from the Vote Office.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the lost income from empty council housing was broken down by local authority in England, in each of the last three years. 
(a) I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 11 February, Official Report, column 32W concerning the lost rental income from empty council dwellings in 200/01. The figures for 1998/99 and 199/00 have been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on the provision of social and affordable housing in villages; and how proposals in the planning Green Paper would affect this. 
Ms Keeble: Our planning policies encourage the provision of affordable housing on allocated sites in villages and through the "rural exception policy". The exception policy is a special provision that applies only to rural areas and to sites, within or adjoining a village, where permission would not otherwise be given for new housing development. We have proposed to replace the present system of negotiated planning obligations with a tariff set by local authorities which will widen the type of developments contributing to affordable housing. The tariff would be spent in line with the priorities set out in local development plans, based on local and regional assessment. We expect the provision of affordable housing to be a high priority.
26 Apr 2002 : Column 465W
Ms Keeble: The Government issued "Guidance on Councillors" Allowances, Tax and Social Security Benefits" to local authorities, including passenger transport authorities, in August 1997. In April 2000 the Department issued an appendix to Joint Circular 1/86 setting out the maximum rates of travel and subsistence allowance which may be paid to members of local authorities, including passenger transport authorities.
Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the status is of each of the 100 new bypasses aimed at reducing congestion and pollution outlined in the 10 year transport plan; what the (a) start and (b) completion date is of each project; and what the date is on which each of the 11 multi-modal studies outlined in the 10 year transport plan will be completed and published. 
Mr. Jamieson: On (a) I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Reading, East (Jane Griffiths) on 18 April 2002, Official Report, column 1098W. In regard to (b), of the 11 Tranche 1 Multi-Modal Studies outlined in the Ten-Year Transport Plan, four have already reported as indicated below:
|Multi-Modal Study & Location||Reported|
|Access to Hastings||December 2000|
|Cambridge to Huntingdon (A14)||August 2001|
|South East Manchester (Stockport,|
|Manchester Airport Link West, Poynton)||September 2001|
|West Midlands Area (M5/M6 & M42|
|between M40 and M6)||October 2001|
The timetable for the remaining seven Tranche 1 Multi-Modal Studies that are currently in progress is set out in the following table:
|Multi-Modal Study & Location||Date Expected to Report|
|West Midlands to North West (M6)||May 2002|
|North/South Movements in the East Midlands|
|(M1 Junctions 21 to 30)||May 2002|
|London to South West & South Wales|
|(A303, M4)||May 2002|
|South & West Yorkshire Motorway Box|
|(M1 J30 to A1 West Yorks/M18 & A1(M)||June 2002|
|Tyneside Area (A1/A19)||June 2002|
|A453 (M1 to J24 (Nottingham))||June 2002|
|ORBITTransport Solutions Around|
|London (M25)||Autumn 2002|
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the sub-groups of the Urban Sounding Board, the membership of each group and their terms of reference. 
26 Apr 2002 : Column 466W
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many telecommunications masts are located in areas of outstanding natural beauty, world heritage sites and other conservation areas; and what these locations are. 
However, the Radiocommunications Agency have made information available to the public via their website (www.radio.gov.uk). The database, called "Sitefinder", gives details about all operational mobile phone base stations and their emissions. Sitefinder employs a "user-friendly" map-based facility indicating the location of cellular phone base stations. More information on a particular base station is available by simply clicking on the position indicator for the base station in question.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what measures are being taken to minimise the number of telecommunications masts that are sited in areas of outstanding natural beauty, world heritage sites and other conservation areas. 
Ms Keeble: Proposals to install telecommunications masts are for the Local Planning Authority to determine in the first instance, taking account of local planning policies and national planning policy guidance. Current planning guidance on telecommunications is set out in Planning Policy Guidance note 8 (revised) (PPG8). Advice on proposed development in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks is given in PPG7The Countryside. Advice on proposed development in world heritage sites and conservation areas is given in PPG15Planning and the Historic Environment.
The Government attaches great importance to minimising the impact of telecommunications development on the environment. Our policy is to encourage mast and site sharing and to make good use of existing buildings and other structures for the siting of antennas. The mobile phone industry has pledged to provide local planning authorities with annual rollout plans for each authority's area. We strongly encourage the use of pre-rollout discussions based upon these plans and collaboration between the operators and authorities as a means of overcoming potential technical and environmental constraints, particularly in designated areas. These discussions should also provide an early opportunity to explore possible alternative approaches,
26 Apr 2002 : Column 467W
particularly the opportunities for mast and site sharing and also in terms of the location and alternative design of the apparatus.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|