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Strategic Rail Authority

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list (a) the SRA's expenditure for the last year, including their provisions for liabilities and charges and (b) the SRA's budget for 2002–03, including budgeted provisions for liabilities and charges. [66597]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 2 July 2002]: The SRA's expenditure for 2001–02 will be set out in its annual report which will be laid before the House in due course. The Government's 2002–03 spending plans for railways are summarised in the 2002 annual report for the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions.

Halcrow

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what fee was paid to Halcrow for the SWARMMS report. [66755]

Mr. Jamieson: The total cost of the London to South West and South Wales Multi-Modal Study (SWARMMS) is £1.812 million (excluding VAT). This figure includes the cost of producing the final report.

Rural Transport

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the Government have met their target to have a rural transport partnership in every rural county in England. [66823]

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Mr. Jamieson: A rural transport partnership has now been established by the Countryside Agency in every predominantly rural county and unitary authority in England.

Risk Assessments

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans the Government have (a) to ensure that UK companies comply with the terms of the European framework directive 89/391 and (b) to remove the proviso, as far as is reasonably practicable in respect of risk assessments from the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. [66683]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 2 July 2002]: The Government will continue to take a range of measures to ensure compliance with the framework directive, including guidance on the legislation implementing the directive, and enforcement of the legislation in proportion to risks to people's health and safety.

The term


Car Use

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures he is taking to encourage workers to make less use of their cars to travel to work. [66866]

Mr. Jamieson: In February 2001 we awarded 111 bursaries to 84 local authorities at a cost of £9 million over three years, to fund travel plan co-ordinators to work with schools and businesses on the development of local measures to reduce reliance on the car. We have also set up a programme of free site-specific advice from a panel of consultants to assist schools, businesses and other organisations in developing their travel plans. We also commission guides, seminars and other forms of advice and support. In addition local authorities have powers under the Transport Act 2000 to introduce a levy on work place parking, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State.

Public Transport Costs

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average cost of (a) community transport and (b) public bus services was in (i) 1991, (ii) 1994, (iii) 1997 and (iv) 2000, broken down by region. [66786]

Mr. Jamieson: Information on community transport schemes is not held centrally.

On public local bus services the average cost to the passenger, in terms of pence per journey in each of the years, in each Government Office Region, is summarised.

Pence per passenger journey(1)
Government region 2000–011997–981994–951991–92
London50505046
East93908788
South East88848485
South West93808073
East Midlands75727162
North East70626151
North West73706660
Yorkshire and the Humber70725955
West Midlands59565753

(1) At 2000–01 prices


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Committee Mandates

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the mandate of the Advisory Committee on the development and reconversion of regions is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if he will list the items currently under its consideration; if he will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if he will make a statement. [56770]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 15 May 2002]: I have been asked to reply.

The mandate for this Committee is set out in Article 48 of Council Regulation (EC) 1260/1999 laying down general provisions on the Structural Funds. The Committee acts as a Management Committee and deals with issues arising from the implementation of the Structural Funds and particularly the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under 12/60/1999 and related Regulations. The Committee is also mandated to act as a consultative committee to establish and revise the list of areas eligible under Objective 2, discuss the Community Support Frameworks and Single Programming Documents for Objectives 1 and 2, and discuss issues arising from the allocation of technical assistance to the programmes.

The Committee has met nine times over the last 12 months. My Department, which has co-ordinating responsibility for the Structural Funds in the UK, sends one representative to the Committee. Other Departments with responsibility for the ERDF, and the Devolved Administrations, are also invited. On average the UK's representation is three officials. It is not possible to calculate the cost to public funds of the Committee without incurring disproportionate cost.

The Committee is currently discussing a range of issues linked to implementation of the Structural Funds, particularly simplification of administration while retaining accountability and transparency.

Together with member states, the Commission is currently conducting a review to bring existing legislation on the conduct of comitology committees into line with Council Decision 1999/468/EC, to


As an obligation to this decision, the Commission undertook to publish an annual report on the working of the Committees. The first report was deposited in the Libraries of both Houses on 26 February (COM(2001)783 Final).

As part of the review process, the UK Government have encouraged the Commission to produce and maintain an electronic database of every comitology Committee, its agendas and recent actions, to be accessible through its web site.

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Housing Benefits

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints about housing benefits were received by the local government ombudsman in 2001–02, broken down by area. [64122]

Mr. McNulty: I have been asked to reply.

Housing benefit complaints received by the local government ombudsman in 2001–02 broken down by Government regions were;


The distribution of these cases between offices of the local government ombudsman was as follows:


TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Campaigners for Fair Trade

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many representations she has received from Campaigners for Fair Trade since 19 June; and if she will make a statement. [64559]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 3 July 2002]: The creation of a free and fair trading system is at the heart of the Government's international trade policy. My Department has received 242 representations on fair trade since 19 June.

General Agreement on Trade in Services

Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her Department's policy is on the inclusion of water in the General Agreement on Trade in Services. [64718]

Ms Hewitt: In principle, my Department believes that no service sector should be excluded from the General Agreement on Trade in Services a priori. This includes water collection, purification and distribution services. Water as a natural resource is not a service and is not covered by the GATS.

Export Credits Guarantee Department

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of the guarantee put up by the ECGD for investment in the power generating sector (a) was used fully, (b) was recovered by the ECGD, (c) is still owed to the ECGD and (d) is counted as foreign debt; and which countries have had that debt in each year since 1992–93. [63096]

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Ms Hewitt: The following table lists for financial years 1992–93 onwards; the countries where ECGD has supported projects recorded in the civil power and civil energy sectors, the original value of the guarantee(s), the amount of those guarantee(s) still at risk, and claims outstanding in respect of those projects. Amounts at risk are not owing to ECGD but represent amounts which have not yet fallen due for payment.

£ million

CountryGuarantee amountResidual amount at risk 31 March 2002Claims outstanding 31 March 2002
1992–93
China34.77.8
Greece67.30
Hong Kong895.5281
India101.630.8
Indonesia2.30
South Africa7.70
Turkey2.50
1993–94
Bangladesh30
Canada30
China38.912.9
Dubai80
Germany11.70
Hong Kong314.20
India87.423.6
Indonesia9233.712.4
Lesotho7.83.8
Morocco31.65.3
Oman69.50
Pakistan60
Singapore181.835.2
United States11.60
1994–95
Argentina70
Canada5.10
China15.31.6
Ghana2.90
Hong Kong23.40
India142.458.5
Indonesia83.360.5
Lebanon52.721.1
Oman29.611.4
Saint Kitts and Nevis0.70
Singapore29.67.9
South Africa00
Thailand17.111.7
Turkey3.60
1995–96
China196.40
India63.430.2
Indonesia112.626.75.8
Japan4.40
Lebanon7.20
Lesotho7.20
Philippines444.6376.5
1996–97
China143.72.4
Hong Kong2.40
India78.70.8
Lesotho1.40
Oman40.30
Pakistan0.30
Qatar199.2184.2
Romania0.50
Turkey48.945.3
1997–98
Brazil71.835.9
India00
Indonesia60.240.13.4
Lebanon173.7
Oman521.60
Romania0.10
Russian Federation43.231.3
South Africa57.54.7
Thailand6.41
Zimbabwe8.55.71.5
1998–99
Anguilla10.3
Brazil6527.3
China421.3412.7
Columbia34.226
Cyprus7.41.3
India22.920.6
Malaysia018.6
Mexico14.78.1
Saint Kitts and Nevis8.75.4
Turkey2515
United Arab Emirates7.70
Venezuela52.350.3
1999–2000
Hong Kong12.411.3
India96.641.5
Malaysia773.1718.7
Mexico101.562.7
Philippines83.376.7
Taiwan136.7136.7
Vietnam23.823.8
2000–01
Bangladesh7.95.7
China1.41.4
Dominican Republic24.524.5
Mexico8.97.3
Taiwan17.617.6
Thailand3.63.6
Turkey67.363.7

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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what work is being carried out by (a) the Government and (b) external organisations on behalf of the Government concerning the Export Credits Guarantee Department that quantifies the value of contracts entered into by the ECGD on (i) an option pricing approach and (ii) a pricing model using the approach commonly used to price credit derivatives. [66552]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 3 July 2002]: With a view to following best practice, ECGD reviews regularly its approach to measuring, modelling and pricing risk, with advice from external organisations where appropriate, but has no plans to engage in work corresponding to the areas specified in the question.


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