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27 Nov 2002 : Column 268Wcontinued
Mr. Collins : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimates he has made regarding the changes to recovery times if the possible consolidation of the Portland sea helicopter rescue operation to Lee-on-Solent goes ahead. 
Mr. Jamieson: A risk assessment has been made on the effect of relocating the Portland area helicopter to Lee-on-Solent which indicates that the national criteria for UK Search and Rescue helicopters will continue to be met both in terms of response and recovery times.
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Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will allow a private company to purchase and lease back to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency the hangar for the Portland Sea helicopter rescue operation. 
Mr. Jamieson: A range of options for the future of the hanger at Portland are being considered by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) appropriate to operational requirements for now and in the future.
Mr. Collins : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the risk to lives caused by the changes to a 60 minute limit on rescue times in medium to high risk areas. 
Mr. Jamieson: The national criteria for UK Search and Rescue helicopters, which includes the response to incidents in medium to high risk areas was established by the UK Search and Rescue Operators Group under the aegis of the UK Search and Rescue Strategic Committee and implemented in April this year following the endorsement of Ministers. The operators group has experienced representatives from all UK Search and Rescue providers including the Department for Transport (DfT), Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), Ministry of Defence (MOD), Home Office, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Police, Fire, Ambulance and Mountain Rescue, together with the Association of Lowland Search and Rescue, teams in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The group considered an operational analysis of the risk assessment which introduced the national criteria.
Regulations under section 74 of the New Road and Street Works Act came into force in April 2001. These allow highway authorities to charge utilities up to £2000 a day for works which overrun an agreed deadline. Over 120 authorities in England are using these powers which should encourage utilities to carry out their works more quickly and reduce disruption. We have appointed consultants (Halcrow) to monitor the effectiveness of these powers.
Further Xlane rental" powers under the Act are also being tested in pilot schemes. These allow authorities to charge utility companies Xlane rental" charges of up to £750 for each of their works, regardless of whether these overrun or not. These pilots are running in Middlesbrough and Camden and Halcrow are also monitoring their results in order to decide whether these powers should be applied throughout England.
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Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (1) what assessment she has made of the workings and implementation of the sections of PPG8 which relate to telecommunications operators consulting with the public; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) if she will take measures to ensure that the sections of PPG8 which relate to telecommunications operators consulting with the public are consistently implemented; and if she will make a statement. 
In August 2001 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister introduced improved planning arrangements for telecommunications development. These included improved requirements for consulting local people, backed by tougher guidance in Planning Policy Guidance Note 8. The mobile phone network operators also published last year their Ten Commitments to best siting practice for new development. A key objective is to improve dialogue and consultation with local communities in developing mobile phone networks.
A Code of Best Practice on Mobile Phone Network Development, produced jointly by representatives of central and local government and the mobile phone industry, was published on 11 November 2002. Copies of which can be found in the House Library. It builds on Government guidance and operators' commitments and provides clear and practical advice to ensure the delivery of significantly better and more effective communication and consultation between operators, local authorities and local people. Standardised practice will promote greater consistency of approach and aid the transparency of the process for all concerned.
The Federation of the electronics industry has commissioned a review by Deloitte and Touche to thoroughly assess the implementation of the ten commitments including the commitment related to improved consultation with local communities. The review has not yet been completed, but we expect to see the results by the end of 2002.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many abandoned cars each local authority in England and Wales stated in their submissions to the Municipal Waste Survey in each year since 1997. 
Alun Michael: As indicated in the reply on 22 October 2002, Official Report, column 176W, to the hon. Member for Gordon (Malcolm Bruce), the question on abandoned vehicles was asked for the first time in the 200001 Municipal Waste Management Survey. Figures from the survey show that 288 local authorities in England and Wales, out of a total of 376, responded
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to the number of abandoned vehicles question. The authorities and the numbers of abandoned vehicles removed and destroyed reported are listed as follows:
|Authority||No. of vehicles|
|Barking and Dagenham||2,761|
|Basingstoke and Deane||780|
|Bath and NE Somerset||796|
|Brighton and Hove||4,000|
|City of Bristol||2,590|
|City of Kingston-upon-Hull||717|
|City of London||0|
|County of Herefordshire||368|
|East Riding of Yorkshire||227|
|Epsom and Ewell||360|
|Forest of Dean||186|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||1,430|
|Hinckley and Bosworth||353|
|Isles of Scilly||0|
|Kensington and Chelsea||195|
|King's Lynn and West Norfolk||271|
|Kingston upon Thames||739|
|Newark and Sherwood||289|
|North East Derbyshire||70|
|North East Lincolnshire||267|
|North West Leicestershire||267|
|Nuneaton and Bedworth||183|
|Oadby and Wigston||58|
|Reigate and Banstead||718|
|Richmond upon Thames||1,201|
|Shrewsbury and Atcham||86|
|Telford and Wrekin||1,332|
|The Vale of Glamorgan||264|
|Tonbridge and Malling||557|
|Vale of White Horse||464|
|Weymouth and Portland||85|
|Windsor and Maidenhead||488|
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