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Regional Assemblies

Mr. Patrick Hall: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the process for deciding which regions will be the first to hold a referendum on establishing an elected regional assembly. [73682]

Mr. Raynsford: I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 5 July to the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale, West (Mr. Brady). When the announcement is made, a copy will be put in the Library.

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Planning Appeals (Castle Point)

Bob Spink: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many planning appeals relating to Castle Point were successful in each of the last five years for which statistics are available. [73031]

Mr. McNulty: The number of planning appeals allowed in Castle Point in each of the last five years were:

Number of planning appeals

Town Planning

David Wright: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what consultations will take place with relevant former new town local authorities on which sites and projects will be designated as strategic under stage two of the review of English Partnerships. [70793]

Mr. McNulty: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that the Deputy Prime Minister gave today to a question from my hon. Friend, the Member for Gravesham (Chris Pond), announcing a number of sites on which English Partnerships will concentrate.

There will be consultation, in due course, with the relevant local authorities and other interested parties about the way forward for the sites announced today and over the remaining portfolio

Ministers (Compensation)

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much his Department paid in compensation to Ministers from the former Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions who left Government in June; and if he will make a statement. [70747]

Mr. Leslie: Under the terms of section 4 of the Ministerial and other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, all Ministers (except my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor) are entitled to a severance payment equal to one quarter of their final ministerial salary on leaving office, provided that the individual has not attained the age of 65 or been appointed to another paid office within a period of three weeks. The salaries of Ministers who left the Government in June are already in the public domain.

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Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the (a) dates, (b) location and (c) sources were of attributable (i) articles, interviews or contributions for the media, books or other journals and (ii) speeches or presentations made in the public domain, by departmental special advisers since March 2001; who in his Department authorised the activity; and on what date this activity was recorded with the departmental Head of Information. [72246]

Mr. Leslie: All special advisers' contacts with the media, speeches and presentations must be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers. All civil servants, including special advisers are expected to keep departmental heads of information informed of contacts with the media. Details of such contacts are for internal purposes only.

Parliamentary Answers

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) for how long he retains documents referred to in parliamentary answers on his Department's website; [72289]

Mr. Leslie: My office aims to be as helpful as possible in responding to hon. Members' questions. Where it is helpful to refer hon. Members to other documents as part of the substantive reply, this may be done by making hard copies of documents available in the Libraries of the House, or by reference to material available on the office's website.

Minimum requirements for the type of documents which should be published on Government websites are set out in guidance issued by the Office of the E-Envoy, 'Guidelines for Government Websites' (Illustrated Handbook for web management teams section 2.2 'What content should be on your website?' and section 2.3 'Cross-government requirements'). In addition to setting out guidelines on documents for inclusion, the guidance explicitly requires Departments to ensure that content of the site as a whole is up to date and current, and where it is necessary to update the content of individual documents, to show the latest date of amendment clearly on the document concerned. Section 1.2.7 deals with the issue of Record management and the Office of the e-Envoy currently has a consultation paper out on archiving websites. The purpose of this draft annexe to the Illustrated Handbook is to provide government website managers with a framework towards developing within their website management policy suitable procedures and systems to assist in the management, appraisal and preservation of electronic records. A copy of this draft is available online at webguidelines.htm

A copy of the Guidelines for UK Government websites is available at webguidelines.htm

Crichel Down Rules

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has to bring forward proposals to change the Crichel Down rules. [72770]

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Mr. McNulty: The Government's policy statement entitled "Compulsory Purchase Powers, Procedures and Compensation; the way forward", published on 18 July, made it clear that there will be a consultation exercise on the details of a revised set of rules which we envisage will then form the basis for the formulation of statutory rules in due course.

Double Glazing

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many council homes in the UK do not have double glazing; and what is being done to ensure that modernisations to council housing take place as soon as possible. [72858]

Mr. McNulty: We estimate that approximately 1.3 million council homes (45 per cent.) did not have any double glazing in 2001. This estimate comes from 1996 English House Condition Survey, which showed that two million council homes did not have any double glazing (about 60 per cent. of all council homes), updated by data provided by local authorities on the works they carried out between 1996 and 2001. Final 2001 estimates will be available when the 2001 English Housing Condition Survey results are published later this year.

A target was set in the 2000 Spending Review to bring all council houses, and those owned by housing associations, up to a set standard of decency by 2010. The commitment to meet this target was reaffirmed in the Deputy Prime Minister's statement on the 2002 Spending Review.

Millennium Dome

Mr. Rammell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which Minister will be responsible for taking decisions related to planning applications in respect of the Dome and surrounding developments on the Greenwich peninsula. [73450]

The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: Taking account of the constituency interests and other policy responsibilities of Ministers in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), and in order to ensure that the advice set out in the "Guidance on Propriety Issues in the Handling of Planning Casework" is followed, I have decided that any planning matters arising in respect of the Dome and related developments should be dealt with by Christopher Leslie MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State).

Lord Rooker will be responsible within ODPM for policy issues related to the Dome.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what representations his Department has had regarding the fitness of Anschutz Entertainment Group to proceed with the deal to hand over the Millennium Dome; and if he will make a statement; [72515]

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Mr. McNulty: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has received no representations about the fitness of Anschutz Entertainment Group to proceed with the deal that was signed on 29 May, other than a number of press inquiries.

The Anschutz Entertainment Group is part of one of the largest private companies in the United States, and has extensive expertise and experience in delivering world class entertainment facilities. It is, therefore, an eminently suitable partner for the development of the Dome and the continued regeneration of the Greenwich peninsula.

English Partnerships, which is the contracting party on behalf of the Government, has carried out full due diligence on all relevant counterparties, as is the normal practice for a commercial transaction of this nature.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of progress with the deal to hand over the Millennium Dome to Anschutz Entertainment Group; and if he will make a statement. [72516]

Mr. McNulty: Following the exchange of contracts between English Partnerships and Meridian Delta Limited (MDL) on 29 May, MDL and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) are continuing to work up their proposals and to consult with stakeholders. They expect to embark on a public consultation exercise early next month, and to submit a planning application in the autumn.

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