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Housing (Stoke-on-Trent)

Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what resources for housing investment have been allocated to Stoke-on-Trent in each year since 1990–91. [101908]

Mr. McNulty: The information requested, is in the table:

£ million

The figures cover housing annual capital guidelines (which include an element to be financed from authorities' capital receipts); the major repairs allowance; support for disabled facilities grants; the Capital Receipts Initiative; and ring-fenced support for a number of housing schemes, e.g. Cash Incentive Schemes. Estate Action scheme funding is excluded. The reduction in 2003–04 mainly reflects a change in the local government capital finance system, which means the allocations no longer include an element assumed to be financed from authorities capital receipts.

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Key Worker Housing

Alistair Burt: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much of the money to be made available for key worker housing will be available for housing further education lecturers. [101050]

Mr. McNulty: Funding is being provided through the Starter Home Initiative, and the Challenge Fund in 2003–04, for key worker housing. The priority groups for assistance are teachers in the statutory sector, police, nurses and other essential health workers.

From 2004–05 funding for the provision of key worker housing for rent and home ownership will be integrated into the Housing Corporation's main affordable housing programme. Funding will be allocated for this in the light of advice from Regional Housing Boards. The Housing Corporation expects to invite bids for key worker housing schemes at the same time as bids for other affordable housing schemes, around September 2003.

Park Homes

Mrs. Browning: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what action has been taken by the Government subsequent to the Government Response to the Recommendations of the Park Homes Working Party in November 2001; and if he will make a statement. [82518]

Mr. McNulty: The report on the Economics of the Park Homes Industry was published in October 2002, following the Working Party's recommendation that independent research be conducted to provide a comprehensive examination of the economics of the industry, and to consider options for change to the payment system. I am meeting the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Welfare of Park Home Owners on 4 December 2002.

A sub-group of the Park Homes Working Party is reconvening a week later to discuss a number of other outstanding issues.

Parliamentary Questions

Mrs. Browning: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he will answer question No. 82518, tabled by the hon. Member for Tiverton and Honiton on 19 November 2002. [102426]

Mr. McNulty: The parliamentary question the hon. Member refers to was answered on 25 November 2002. However, it did not appear in the Official Report for this date. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has contacted the Official Reporter and arranged for the answer to appear in the bound and electronic volumes of Hansard. I attach a copy of the answer for the Member's information. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister liaises regularly with the Official Reporter to ensure that all parliamentary questions are answered accurately and on time.

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Public Housing

Norman Baker: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what funds, in each of the last five years, have been provided to local authorities to make provision for replacement or repair of (a) leaking piping and (b) lead piping within public sector housing. [101680]

Mr. McNulty: The resources provided to local authorities to help fund work on repairing, renovating or improving council housing are not linked to specific items of expenditure.

Telecommunications Masts

Mr. Steen: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister on how many occasions Articles (a) 4(1) and (b) 4(2) of the Permitted Development Order have been invoked by local authorities in Devon in each of the last three years in relation to telecommunications masts and telecommunications towers; and how many were approved by the Secretary of State to protect an interest of acknowledged importance. [102037]

Mr. McNulty: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister knows of no Article 4 Directions issued by Devon local authorities on these types of development over the last three years. None have been sent to my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister for confirmation.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will discuss with Network Rail the location of the telecommunications mast planned to be erected in front of a historic monument in Totnes. [102038]

Mr. McNulty: Railway undertakers have permitted development rights for development on their operational land, required in connection with the movement of traffic by rail. If, however, the local planning authority believe that such development should not take place without specific planning permission, it is open to them to apply to my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister for approval of a direction under Article 4 of the General Permitted Development Order.


Ms Drown: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans the Government has to include proposals for (a) increasing provision of official traveller sites and (b) a system of charging fees for site usage of traveller sites in the Housing Bill. [101813]

Mr. McNulty: The information is as follows:

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Urban Areas

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the 1991 Census definition was of urban areas; and what proportion of (a) the land area and (b) the population falls within such areas in each local authority. [101649]

Mr. McNulty: The data requested for England and Wales has been placed in the Library of the House.

The basis of the 1991 definition of urban area (developed by the then Department of Environment (DoE) and the Welsh Office), is land use that is irreversibly urban in nature and extends for 20 hectares or more with a minimum population of 1000. Separate urban areas of land are linked if less than 50 metres apart.

Further information is available at rural.asp


Animal By-products

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received in support of a requirement to stain low risk animal by-products prior to disposal. [100813]

Ms Blears [holding answer 4 March 2003]: I am advised on matters of food safety by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

In response to a public consultation on FSA proposals to require the staining or sterilisation of 'high risk' poultry by-products, carried out between December 2001 and January 2002, a number of representations were received from enforcement organisations and consumer groups in support of compulsory staining or sterilisation of 'low risk' animal by-products. At the same time representations were also received from businesses and industry organisations that were opposed to the compulsory staining or sterilisation of 'low risk' by-products.

Following this consultation, the FSA Board reviewed the arguments for and against the staining or sterilisation of 'low risk' animal by-products. The Board concluded that 'low risk' animal by-products should remain outside the requirements for staining/sterilisation, as this would be disproportionate, and that little public health benefit would be achieved.

More recently, the FSA has received further representations from two local authorities in support of a requirement to stain 'low risk' animal by-products.

Genetically Modified Food

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the Food Standards Agency are spending on the GM public debate. [100863]

Ms Blears: I refer my hon. Friend to the response I gave my hon. Friend, the Member for Nottingham, South (Alan Simpson) on 9 December 2002, Official Report, column 146W.

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