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2 Apr 2003 : Column 709Wcontinued
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many jobs are expected to be created in England and Wales by the (a) construction and (b) operation of the Robin Rigg windfarm in the Solway Firth. 
Mr. Wilson: While it is too early in the project's development for contracts to have been awarded for the Robin Rigg project, it is my understanding that such a project is likely to involve the creation of around 100 jobs during construction and 10 during operation. The location of the jobs will depend on the contracts.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate the Government have made of the costs to (a) the haulage industry and (b) the UK economy of implementation of the Working Time Directive. 
Alan Johnson: The Department of Trade and Industry published a consultation document containing a draft impact assessment on 31 October 2002. According to this, the original cost of implementing the Working Time Directive was £2.4 billion. Included in this was the cost of applying the Horizontal Amending Directive (2000/34/EC), which will extend working time law to the transport sector from 1 August 2003. This was estimated at £100 million per annum; it was not possible to break this down further into individual transport sectors. This figure will be revisited following comments received from the consultation exercise that closed on 31 January 2003.
The Department for Transport will consult both sides of industry on the likely impact of the directive for mobile workers in the road transport sector (2002/15/EC). A draft regulatory impact assessment will be published later this year, alongside a formal consultation document on their proposals.
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Mr. McNulty: The Communities Plan announced by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister on 5 February sets out the key challenges facing Somerset and the South West region. It provides a clear and coherent summary of the way the Government's policies will address these. The new responsibilities of the Regional Housing Board will be crucial in delivering more effective housing and planning policies in Somerset.
Mrs. Roche: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is still receiving responses about the level of interest in each English region in holding a referendum on an elected regional assembly. To date we have received about 5,000 responses. We will announce our decisions after the Regional Assemblies (Preparations) Bill has received Royal Assent.
Mr. Raynsford: New localism embraces the enhanced role that we wish to see for local councils in leading their communities, engaging more fully in innovation, taking more responsibility for their own decisions and using greater freedom to shape services to meet local needs.
Mr. McNulty: Officials have met the New Town Special Interest Group on a number of occasions to discuss the implications of our developing sustainable communities agenda. The most recent, with the Group Secretariat, was on 27 January.
14. Andrew Selous: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the number of responses received to, and how much support there was for, the Government's proposal for a referendum on a regional assembly for the East of England. 
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Mr. Leslie: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has so far received approximately 5,000 responses to our soundings exercise about the level of interest in each English region in holding a referendum about an elected regional assembly. We have identified just over 200 responses from the East of England.
15. Mr. Borrow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what representations he has received from organisations representing disabled people in connection with the consultation on the establishment of a single equality body. 
Mrs. Roche: We received nearly 300 written responses to the consultation on the future of Great Britain's equality institutions that finished last month. These included a significant number of contributions from groups representing disabled people. During the consultation period I also met several groups with particular needs, such as people with learning difficulties, to hear their views in person.
Mr. Leslie: A full council tax bill assumes that at least two adults have their sole or main residence in a dwelling. There is a 25 per cent. discount for a dwelling that is the sole or main residence of only one person. Service personnel are treated in the same way as anyone else who is working away from home when determining their sole or main residence. When a person is employed overseas, the dwelling in which their spouse lives remains the main residence unless it can be shown that there has been a change of sole or main residence. A single person discount will not therefore apply.
Mr. Raynsford: Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue attended 1,650 genuine false alarm calls and 468 malicious false alarm in 200102 (the latest year for which data are available). Data for 2002 are not yet held centrally.
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Mr. Raynsford: Information about sick absences at each fire station and the number of firefighters on long-term (more than 28 days) sick leave is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. On the basis of the annual return for 200102, the following information about the numbers of shift/days lost to sickness by regular firefighters in Buckinghamshire is available and tabled.
|Duty system||Short-term sickness||Long-term sickness||Total|
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