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Regional Government

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his policy is on the imposition of a regional assembly upon a shire county if a majority of its population rejected it in a referendum. [60236]

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Mr. Raynsford: I have been asked to reply.

Whether an elected regional assembly is established in any region will depend on the vote of the region as a whole.

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make it his policy that the people of Hertfordshire will be able to choose the region they wish to be a part of in his plans for regional governance. [60235]

Mr. Raynsford: I have been asked to reply.

No. As set out in chapter 6 of the White Paper "Your Region, Your Choice", we do not propose to depart from the existing boundaries used by the Government offices for the regions, regional development agencies and other bodies.

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate his Department has made of the impact on employment in the East of England region should an existing tier be abolished as outlined in his plans for regional governance. [60234]

Mr. Raynsford: I have been asked to reply.

It is not possible to make accurate estimates of the impact on employment of any future local government reorganisation in the east of England region, as this will depend on the unitary structure recommended by the Boundary Committee for England. More generally, we expect that an elected regional assembly would help to increase employment in the region by enhancing regional economic competitiveness and performance.

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what minimum participation level will be required in referenda to determine the establishment of a regional assembly. [60233]

Mr. Raynsford: Our proposals for referendums are set out in chapter 9 of the White Paper, "Your Region, Your Choice."

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister on what basis his Department estimates the cost of running a regional assembly. [60237]

Mr. Raynsford: Cost estimates have been based on a number of factors, including the number of staff working on relevant policy functions in the regions at present, the expected number of assembly members and support staff, and comparable costs for other tiers of Government, adjusted to take account of the specific features of regional assemblies.

Neighbourhood Wardens

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions in what areas neighbourhood wardens operate; and what access other areas have to opportunities to develop such schemes. [59173]

Mr. McNulty: I have been asked to reply.

Neighbourhood wardens operate throughout England and Wales. A list showing the schemes funded by my Department follows. Continued Government funding will

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be dependent upon the outcome of the spending review, although any area may develop a scheme if they can secure the necessary support.

Neighbourhood warden schemes

Town/areaWardens
Aldershot1
Avon and Somerset parishes2
Balsall Heath20
Barnet4
Barnsley5
Benchill7
Birmingham3
Bolton2
Bolton2
Boston9
Burnley6
Bury2
Caernarfon1
Caerphilly3
Canterbury6
Cardiff1
Coventry1
Dacorum1
Darlington3
Derby3
Doncaster2
Everton12
Exeter4
Gateshead4
Gorton5
Gosport1
Guildford2
Hackney4
Hastings4
Havering4
Hillingdon6
Horsham2
Hounslow6
Hull6
Huntingdon3
Islington6
Kidderminster2
Kirklees6
Knowsley8
Leeds10
Leicestershire (north west)1
Lewisham7
Liverpool1
Longridge and Shaw Heath Estate4
Manchester12
Manchester (north)12
Merthyr Tydfil2
Merton3
Middlesbrough3.5
Milton Keynes1
Mullion1
North Tyneside7
Norwich2
Nottingham2
Oldham2
Pontefract5
Portsmouth8
Rotherham6
Sale West6
Salford3
Sedgefield1
Sheffield3
Sheffield4
Skelmersdale12
Slough5
South Tyneside6
Southwark9
Stevenage9
Stockton on Tees8
Stoke on Trent6
Sunderland3
Sutton4
Swansea council3
Tower Hamlets4
Trafford5
Trafford5
Vale of White Horse2
Walsall10
Wansbeck20
Wigan4
Wilmslow1
Wirral4
Wolverhampton3
Workington4
Wyre4

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Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he expects to announce the next round of bidding for neighbourhood warden schemes; and if he will make a statement on the eligibility for entitlement to neighbourhood warden schemes for urban areas outside inner cities. [59958]

Mr. McNulty: I have been asked to reply.

This year we are introducing 123 Street Warden Schemes throughout the country. A £5 million extension of the existing 84 Neighbourhood Warden Schemes to the year 2003–04 has already been announced. Decisions on future funds will be dependent upon the outcome of the spending review. Warden schemes are found in all parts of the country from small rural places through to towns and large cities.

Local Government

Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions which local authorities have debt-free status and have retained their housing stock. [58996]

Mr. McNulty: I have been asked to reply.

The following local authorities with council housing as at 30 September 2001 were debt-free in 2001–02:


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Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) whether the announcement of proposals for the reform of local government funding will include indicative figures on the impact of local authorities grant positions of the proposals; [59163]

Mr. Leslie: I have been asked to reply.

The Government will consult over the summer on options for the new system of revenue grant distribution to local authorities. We will make an announcement on the precise form of that consultation in due course. We intend our conclusions on the way forward to be announced in late November or early December, when we set out the proposed grant distribution to local authorities for 2003–04.

Fires

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) how many domestic fires were recorded by each fire authority in each of the past 10 years; [59202]

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Mr. Moss: (4) how many (a) deaths and (b) serious injuries caused by domestic fires were recorded by each fire authority in each of the past 10 years. [59203]

Mr. Leslie: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested is contained in the tables which have been placed in the House Library.

Mrs. May: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many house fires there were in which people were (a) killed, (b) injured and (c) both, broken down by (i) deliberate and (ii) accidental fires, in the last three years. [60436]

Mr. Raynsford: I have been asked to reply.

The following table shows the number of accidental and malicious (ie deliberate) dwelling fires attended by local authority fire brigades in the United Kingdom that resulted in deaths and injuries for the years 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Number of dwelling(64) fires
199819992000(65)
Accidental
Total fires57,71858,36656,655
Fires with deaths only309293268
Fires with injuries only8,8298,7568,315
Fires with deaths and injuries1067889
Malicious
Total fires13,35913,86214,242
Fires with deaths only343130
Fires with injuries only1,1771,1951,296
Fires with deaths and injuries141817

(64) Dwellings are defined as buildings occupied by households, excluding hotels, hostels and residential institutions. They also include caravans, houseboats and other non-building structures used solely as a permanent dwelling

(65) Data for 2000 are provisional. Death figures have not been estimated to take account of revisions likely to occur once further information from inquests and death certificates confirming cause of death is received.



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