Previous Section Index Home Page


13 Mar 2003 : Column 424W—continued

Smoking

Chris Grayling: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what policy his Department has adopted on smoking in the workplace. [100936]

Mr. Leslie: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister operates a no smoking policy except in specifically designated smoking rooms.

Speed Cameras

Mr. Norman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many staff were employed by local authorities to operate and administer speed cameras in each year since 1997. [102230]

Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply.

This information is not held centrally.

Fire Authorities

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the authorities which benefited from the coastline factor in the fire service formula; and what proportion of the aggregate fire service FSS allocation was distributed on the basis of the coastline factor. [101549]

Mr. Raynsford: 1.5 per cent. of the aggregate fire service FSS allocation was distributed on the basis of the coastline factor. The following fire authorities benefited:


13 Mar 2003 : Column 425W

In addition the following authorities benefited on behalf of their combined fire authority:


Stratford on Avon District Council

Mr. Maples: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much total Government grant was (a) paid and (b) proposed to be paid to Stratford on Avon District Council in (i) cash and (ii) constant prices in each year between 1997–98 and 2003–04; and what the percentage increase in such grant in each of these years was at constant pricing. [102896]

Mr. Raynsford: The following table shows total formula grant which consists of redistributed business rates, revenue support grant and SSA reduction grant (SSA review) (where appropriate).

Over the period requested there have been many changes in the functions and funding of services to local government. To enable a like-for-like comparison between years, we calculate adjusted grants. The percentage change figures have been calculated on the basis of these like-for-like comparisons.

Until the introduction of Central Support Protection Grant in 1999–2000, there was no need to calculate grant on a like-for-like basis, and for this reason grant comparisons in the years 1997–98 and 1998–99 are not available. There were no changes in funding and function between 1998–99 and 1999–2000 that needed reflecting in adjusted grants for 1998–99 to allow a like-for-like comparison; the actual 1998–99 values have therefore been used in this case.

YearFormula grant (£ million)Formula grant at 2003–04 prices (£ million)Percentage increase in formula grant at 2003–04 prices
1997–985.6356.507Not available
1998–995.1675.807Not available
1999–20005.5166.0536.2
Adjusted 1999–20005.5166.053
2000–015.9796.4156.0
Adjusted 2000–01 6.0166.454
2001–026.0096.298-2.4
Adjusted 2001–025.8666.148
2002–036.1576.2952.4
Adjusted 2002–03 5.9686.102
2003–046.1646.1641.0


13 Mar 2003 : Column 426W

Telecommunications

Mr. Hunter: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what further measures he proposes to take to encourage mast sharing by telecommunication operators. [102095]

Mr. McNulty: The Code of Best Practice on Mobile Network Development was published on 11 November 2002. This firmly encourages mast and site sharing where that is the optimum solution in the individual circumstances. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has no plans to amend further the planning arrangements for telecommunications development at the present time.

Mr. Hunter: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what representations he has (a) made to and (b) received from local planning authorities in respect of telecommunication operators' commitment to participate in obligatory pre-rollout and pre-allocation consultation. [102094]

Mr. McNulty: The Government issued 'Planning Policy Guidance Note 8: Telecommunications' in August 2001 which strongly encourages telecommunications operators and local planning authorities to carry out annual discussions about rollout plans for each authority's area. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister also issued the 'Code of Best Practice on Mobile Phone Network Development' in November 2002, which includes more detailed recommendations for managing the relationship between mobile operators and local planning authorities and the process of public consultation. The Code also contained the Mobile Operators' Ten Commitments, which includes the commitments to participate in pre-rollout and pre-application consultation with local authorities and improved consultation with local communities.

The Government receive many representations on matters relating to the telecommunications industry but the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is not aware of any particular representations from local planning authorities on this subject.

Mr. Hunter: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what financial support the Government's independent scientific research programme on mobile communications health issues has received from telecommunication operators. [102096]

Mr. McNulty: The independent scientific research programme is costing £7.36 million of which private companies in the telecommunications sector are paying 50 per cent. (£3.68 million). More information about the research programme can be found at the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme website: www.mthr.org.uk.

Mr. Hunter: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what information his Department has gathered regarding the extent to which telecommunication operators have met their commitment to provide staff resources to respond to complaints and inquiries about radio base stations within 10 working days. [102097]

Mr. McNulty: The Mobile Operators Association have commissioned Deloitte and Touche to carry out

13 Mar 2003 : Column 427W

an independent review of the implementation of the Operators Ten Commitments. The results of the review will be made available to the public in due course.

Mr. Hunter: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to replace telecommunication operators' voluntary code of conduct with statutory regulation; and if he will make a statement. [102098]

13 Mar 2003 : Column 428W

Mr. McNulty: There are no plans to replace the mobile phone Operators' Ten Commitments with statutory regulation. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will, however, continue to monitor the implementation of the Commitments and will keep the situation under review in light of experience and any new developments.