Previous Section Index Home Page

22 Oct 2002 : Column 291W—continued

Millennium Dome

Mr. Evans: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the monthly running costs of the Millennium Dome were in the last six months. [73802]

22 Oct 2002 : Column 292W

Mr. McNulty: The total running cost* expenditure on the Dome incurred in the six months up until the end of July 2002 (the last month for which final figures are available) was #1.618 million. This is made up according to the following monthly breakdown:



* Monthly costs include rates, utilities, security and maintenance, and English Partnerships' staff costs on management and maintenance of the Dome. Costs are calculated on an accruals basis and may be subject to reassessments, by the relevant authorities, of rates or other charges included in the cost of managing and maintaining the Dome.

These costs, and other costs incurred by English Partnerships since they took ownership of the Dome on 1 July 2001, will be recovered from sale proceeds.

Mr. Evans: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total cost of the Millennium Dome to public funds has been. [73801]

Mr. McNulty: The New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC), which was responsible for building the Dome and running of the Millennium Experience, was allocated #628 million of National Lottery funds from the Millennium Commission for the Millennium Experience, which included the associated national programme of events across the UK as well as the Dome at Greenwich. NMEC is currently in solvent liquidation and it is expected that some #25 million of this grant facility will not be required.

Up to the end of July this year, English Partnerships (EP) had incurred a total cost of #21.4m. This includes, from 1 July 2001—when EP took over the ownership of the Dome—#3.3m for the management, maintenance and security of the Dome; #6.5m for decommissioning the contents of the Dome and its site in preparation for the future long term use; and #4.9m in connection with the sale process. It also includes #6.7m for the previous competition to find a long-term use for the Dome. All of these costs incurred by EP in relation to the Dome will be recovered from sale proceeds.

22 Oct 2002 : Column 293W

Second Homes (Council Tax)

Andrew George: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the responses given to his Department's consultation exercise on second homes and council tax. [76087]

Mr. Leslie: An analysis of the responses to the consultation exercise is already available on the website of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and I have

22 Oct 2002 : Column 294W

now placed a copy of this analysis in the House Library. I hope to be able to announce our decisions on the way forward shortly.

Public Service Agreements

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list for each year since 2000 the public service agreements made by his Department. [76175]

Mr. Raynsford: Listed below are details of the Local Public Service Agreements signed by this Department and the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions since 2000.

2000No agreements signed
2001Agreements signed withBirmingham City Council
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
Cambridgeshire County Council
London Borough of Camden
Coventry City Council
Derbyshire County Council
Kent County Council
London Borough of Lewisham
Middlesborough Council
Milton Keynes Council
Newcastle City Council
London Borough of Newham
Norfolk County Council
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Sheffield City Council
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
Sunderland City Council
Surrey County Council
Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council
Warwickshire County Council
Buckinghamshire County Council
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Leeds City Council
Peterborough City Council
2002Agreements signed withBarnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
London Borough of Bromley
Cheshire County Council
London Borough of Croydon
Derby City Council
Devon County Council
Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
Durham County Council
Essex County Council
London Borough of Greenwich
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
Halton Borough Council
Hampshire County Council
Herefordshire County Council
Kirklees Metropolitan Council
Leicester City Council
Lincolnshire County Council
Liverpool City Council
Manchester City Council
Medway Council
Portsmouth City Council
Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council
Salford City Council
Slough Borough Council
London Borough of Southwark
Staffordshire County Council
Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Suffolk County Council
London Borough of Sutton
Swindon Borough Council
Telford and Wrekin Council
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Warrington Borough Council
Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council
Wiltshire County Council
Worcestershire County Council
York City Council

22 Oct 2002 : Column 295W

Property Prices (Taunton)

Mr. Flook: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the effects of the change in property prices in Taunton since 1999; and if he will make a statement. [74110]

Mr. McNulty: According to the Department's Survey of Mortgage Lenders, house prices in south-west England rose by 31.8 per cent. during the three years 1999 to 2001. According to HM Land Registry figures the average price of residential property sold in Taunton Deane was #85,097 in 1999 and #109,530 in 2001.

Homeownership is affordable for most people. Homeowners are benefiting from low interest rates, low unemployment and robust income growth. For people purchasing a home in south-west England during 2001, total mortgage payments averaged 17.44 per cent. of their income. This compares to 28.42 per cent. of income in 1990, and is lower than 1999 (17.91 per cent.) and 2000 (19.43 per cent.).

However, we are well aware that there can be serious problems for many first time buyers in areas of high demand. We are committed to improving people's housing choices, and to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity of a decent home. Our aim is to deliver new affordable housing where it is needed most, in more sustainable forms.

Data Protection

Harry Cohen: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister in relation to communications data as defined in RIPA, how many officials from his Department he estimates will be authorised to seek access to communications data; how many times officials have sought access to such data from communications providers including Internet service providers under the Data Protection Act 1998 in the last year; and if he will make a statement. [74588]

Mr. Leslie: No officials in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister or its Agencies are engaged in law enforcement activities requiring them to be authorised to access communications data as defined in Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Parish Councillors (Model Code of Conduct)

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has to request parish councils to indicate how many of their parish councillors have been resigned in response to the introduction of the Model Code of Conduct for Parish Councils. [74229]

Mr. Leslie: We have no plans to request such information from parish councils.

22 Oct 2002 : Column 296W


Jane Griffiths: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what measures he proposes to introduce to prevent personation for the local elections to be held on 1 May 2003. [74760]

Mr. Raynsford: We have no evidence to suggest that personation will be a significant problem at local elections in May 2003, and have no plans to introduce any new specific measures to prevent personation.

In our prospectus, issued in September 2002, inviting councils to propose pilot voting schemes in the May 2003 local elections, we have made clear that such schemes would need to ensure that any new method of voting is at least as secure, if not more secure, than conventional electoral practices. The Electoral Commission will, as required by statute, be consulted before any pilot schemes are approved. The programme of pilots itself will be looking at new ways to incorporate specific measures to test security and fraud.

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the (a) national budgetary contribution to, (b) role of and (c) national representation to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities; when he last met representatives from that group; and if he has made representations on this body to the Foreign Office in the context of the Convention on the Future of Europe. [73861]

Mr. Leslie: Member states of the Council of Europe (CoE), including the UK, make no direct budgetary contribution to the Congress of local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE), which is a consultative body within the CoE consisting of local and regional elected representatives from each of the 44 member states. CLRAE is funded through the CoE's ordinary budget as provided by member states and as agreed by the CoE's Committee of Ministers.

CLRAE has a Regional and a Local Chamber, membership of which is on the basis of nomination by member states' governments according to the requirements of the CLRAE founding charter. The UK has 9 full and 9 substitute seats in each Chamber. The UK's nomination procedure provides for a balanced representation of local and regional interests; all UK appointees must hold an electoral mandate in a UK local authority, the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, the Northern Ireland Assembly, or the GLA.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister met the leader of the UK's CLRAE delegation at the recent World Environment Conference in Johannesburg. Within the Central Local Partnership my right hon.

22 Oct 2002 : Column 297W

Friend the Minister for Europe and I regularly meet representatives of local government, including members of the UK CLRAE delegation, to discuss European issues, including the work of the Convention on the Future of Europe.

Next Section Index Home Page