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John Healey: Ministers and civil servants have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals as part of the process of policy development and analysis. As with previous Administrations, it is not this Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings. All such contacts are conducted in accordance with the Ministerial Code, the Civil Service Code and Guidance for Civil Servants: Contact with Lobbyists.
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referred to in paragraph 6.47 of the pre-Budget report 2003, was spent on each category; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) how much of the annual spend on hospitals, schools and police forces referred to in paragraph 6.47 of the pre-Budget report 2003 is spent on each category; 
(4) what assessment he has made of the cost to the private sector of the (a) policy, (b) funding and (c) regulation activity which impacts on the private sector as referred to in paragraph 6.47 of the pre-Budget report 2003; and if he will make a statement; 
(5) how the £11 billion of payments for transactional services referred to in paragraph 6.46 of the pre-Budget report 2003 is composed by (a) sector, (b) benefits, (c) tax collection, (d) tax credits and (e) other services. 
Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what account public sector pay review bodies take of rates of (a) staff turnover and (b) vacancies in assessing benefit packages offered by public sector bodies in different regions and localities. 
Mr. Boateng: Pay Review Bodies are independent bodies. They weigh the evidence they receive from interested parties and their own independent research to formulate recommendations on the remuneration of their remit groups. The Terms of Reference for each Review Body differ and are available from the Office of Manpower Economics, the secretariat to the Review Bodies.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) homebuyers and (b) businesses in Leyton have benefited from the exemption from stamp duty on premises purchased in disadvantaged areas since the exemption was introduced; and if he will make a statement. 
Ruth Kelly: Between the introduction of the exemption at the end of November 2001 and the end of October 2003, there were 133 residential transactions and two commercial transactions recorded as taking place in the ward of Leyton which benefited from the exemption. In the same period there were 398 residential transactions and nine commercial transactions recorded as taking place in all exempt wards in the Leyton and Wanstead parliamentary constituency.
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(b) major airlines on the proposals which will form the basis of the forthcoming consultation on a new night noise regime at (i) Heathrow, (ii) Gatwick and (iii) Stansted. 
Mr. Darling: As yet, no discussions have been held with any interested parties to assist in drawing up proposals for the next consultation on a new night restrictions regime for Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted. We expect the consultation to commence in the first half of this year.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether local authority grant financing will be available to local authorities who own airports in the South East to develop those airports. 
Mr. McNulty: Under the new prudential capital finance system, which comes into force on 1 April 2004, a small amount of local authority airport investment will attract revenue support grant. In allocating this investment approval, the Department will give priority to health, safety, security and environmental projects required by the regulatory authorities. Local authorities will be free to make their own decisions on additional borrowing for airport development purposes, providing they can afford it. A further option would be to seek a private sector partner.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will use his statutory powers to control the (a) time and (b) volume of night flights in and out of East Midlands Airport. 
Dr. Howells: The Government consider that existing measures to control noise from night flight operations at East Midlands Airport are adequate. Their policy towards night noise and East Midlands Airport is set out in the Government's White Paper, "The Future of Air Transport", chapters 3 and 9 respectively.
Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions he estimates have been saved as a result of the liquid petroleum gas duty rebate; and at what cost to public funds. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Department estimates that favourable duty rates for LPG since 1996 have saved around 343.3 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide at a cost of around £160.7 million in terms of duty forgone. This estimate assumes that all LPG has replaced petrol and not diesel.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many responses were received to the consultation paper, "On the Move: By Foot"; and when the Government will arrive at their conclusions. 
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Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many convictions there have been in each of the last five years for contraventions of (a) section 51, (b) section 56, (c) section 58, (d) section 60, (e) section 66, (f) section 67 and (g) section 71 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991; and what the (i) maximum and (ii) average fines were imposed for each category of offence. 
Mr. Jamieson: Comprehensive information is not held centrally on the number of offences or level of fines. Based on information collected by local authorities, the Regulatory Impact Assessment for the Traffic Management Bill showed that the number of prosecutions under the 1991 Act has been small, less than 200 over the 10 years since the Act came into force, and that the average fine has been less than half the maximum permitted, the latter being £1,000 for all the categories listed.
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many deaths in road traffic accidents involved (a) the use of hand held mobile phones and (b) drivers smoking in (i) 2000, (ii) 2001 and (iii) 2002. 
Mr. Jamieson: Research has shown that using a mobile phone while driving is distracting and drivers are four times more likely to have an accident if they do so. While many other activities may also be distracting, we are not aware of a similar risk from the effects of smoking while driving.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will set out the minimum qualifications which will be required by persons seeking appointment as traffic officers under the Traffic Management Bill. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Highways Agency is placing significant importance on appointing the right people to traffic officer posts. Persons applying for a position as a traffic officer will be required to have two years of relevant experience or one year of relevant experience with a minimum of 5 O Levels/GCSEs at grade C or above.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list by police authority the number of police officers that will be displaced as a result of the provisions of the Traffic Management Bill, and the proposed timescale for such displacement. 
Mr. Jamieson: Once implemented, the provisions within the Traffic Management Bill will free up police time from some traffic management duties. While the police will still patrol the network, they will be able to spend more time and resources dealing with vehicle, road and other crime including detection and enforcement against bad driving, vehicle theft and licensing offences.
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The plans for Highways Agency Traffic Officers will free up the equivalent of more than 500 police officers, as they are phased in over a period of three years. The information is not broken down by police authority. The effect of civil enforcement of further traffic offences by local authorities will depend on the take up of the new powers and the level of current enforcement activity in respect of those offences by the police. The manner in which any resources released are re-deployed will be a matter for the police.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many convictions there have been in each of the last five years for offences under section 36 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 for failing to comply with the indication given by a traffic sign; and how many convictions there were in respect of traffic signs that would be subject to civil enforcement under the Traffic Management Bill. 
Mr. Jamieson: Supplementary tables to annual Home Office Statistical Bulletins on offences relating to motor vehicles give numbers by offence type that were the subject of police action in England and Wales. The number of fixed penalty notices and convictions for "neglect of traffic directions", the offence type which includes failing to comply with the indication given by a traffic sign, in the last five years for which statistics have been published were as follows:
|Fixed penalty notices||Magistrates court findings of guilt||Crown court findings of guilt|
A detailed breakdown of these numbers by the types of traffic signs contravened is not held centrally, but the figures include fixed penalties and prosecutions for traffic light offences detected by cameras. They accounted for a quarter of the fixed penalties and convictions for neglect of .traffic directions over the five years. Traffic light offences will not be subject to civil enforcement under the powers contained in the Traffic Management Bill.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what proportion of police time in 200203 expended on traffic duty on motorways and trunk roads is represented by 550 full-time equivalent police officers; 
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up the equivalent of about 540 full-time equivalent police officers. Based on figures from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary of 6,540 designated roads police in 200102, the report estimated that a transfer of non-core police activities to the Highways Agency enabled approximately 8½ per cent. of police time to work on other key tasks. Resources will be freed up over a period of about three years as Highways Agency Traffic Officers are phased in across all motorways and some key trunk roads.
Calculations for the number of police officers to be released by each police force were made at a national level and have not been translated into resources for individual police authorities. The manner in which resources are redeployed is a matter for the police and will depend on, among other things, the current resources available and policing priorities. This does not mean that police will stop patrolling the network, instead they will be able to spend more time dealing with vehicle, road and other crime.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many regional control centres will be established under the Traffic Management Bill; what their annual cost will be; and how many new positions will be created. 
Mr. Jamieson: While the Traffic Management Bill proposes that each local traffic authority will be required to appoint a traffic manager, it is for each authority to decide who should carry out the role and precisely what duties they should have. The traffic manager could be an existing member of staff and/or could have other duties as well, so there could be no increase in costs. Taking the Bill measures as a whole, the Government consider that, on average, there should be no net cost to authorities.
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