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24 Feb 2004 : Column 388W—continued


EU Funding

Ann Winterton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 26 January 2004, Official Report, column 157W, whether the difference in the figures between already allocated EU funds and the total funding of Euro440 million for the North West, Euro136 million for the North East and Euro466 million for Yorkshire and Humber has yet to be allocated for the remaining period in 2000–06. [155045]

Mr. Raynsford: The figures tabled in the answer of 26 January related only to the European Regional Development Fund and did not include the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) or the

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Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG). Allocations, in euros, for all European structural funds in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber Government Office areas for Objective 1 and 2

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programmes are tabled as follows. All the funds have been allocated to programmes but some of the funds have still to be awarded to actual projects.

Allocation (Euro000)

North East Objective 2581,330135,67000717,000
North West Objective 1893,048434,3005,5000.4001,332,848.4
North West Objective 2808,330000808,330
Yorkshire and Humber Objective 1785,558363,84223,05001,172,450
Yorkshire and Humber Objective 2448,36069,48000517,840

Government Grants

Ann Winterton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister from which financial year the (a) £780 million Government grant for the North West, (b) £350 million grant for the North East and (c) £570 million grant for Yorkshire and the Humber referred to in the "Your Say" booklets is calculated. [155013]

Mr. Raynsford: The figures referred to in the "Your Say" leaflets for the North West, the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber were calculated on the basis of the 2002–03 financial year.

Local Government

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many responses have been received to date in response to the consultation on the future configuration of local government in the North West Region from residents of (a) Cheshire, (b) Lancashire, (c) Cumbria, (d) Greater Manchester, (e) Merseyside and (f) the North West Region; what the cost has been of the consultations; what costs have been incurred by (i) Vale Royal Borough Council, (ii) Chester City Council, (iii) Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council and (iv) Cheshire County Council in relation to this issue and the consultation exercise; and what rights of recovery of these costs councils have in the event of a no vote in a referendum on an elected North West regional government. [155627]

Mr. Raynsford: The Boundary Committee's consultation on its draft recommendations is a matter for that independent Committee.

Councils that respond to the Boundary Committee's consultation exercise do so on their own initiative and have no right to recover any costs they incur.

Public Funding

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what sources of public funding are available to local authorities other than Council Tax and central Government grant. [154920]

Mr. Raynsford: In addition to various forms of central Government grant, which includes National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR), local authorities are able to access other forms of grant such as European funding and lottery funding.

Regional Assemblies

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the size of central government grant to an elected regional assembly in (a) the North East, (b) the North West and (c) Yorkshire and the Humber in its first financial year. [155129]

Mr. Raynsford: Based on figures for 2002–03, and including European programmes, an elected regional assembly in the North East would be responsible for around £350 million a year, in the North West for £780 million and in Yorkshire and the Humber for £570 million. In addition each assembly will receive grant in respect of its Fire and Rescue responsibilities.

"Supporting People"

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the funding of "Supporting People" in Lancashire. [153719]

Yvette Cooper: The final "Supporting People" grant awarded to Lancashire in 2003–04 was £30,781,847. This was the full verified amount submitted to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister by the Lancashire team. The Lancashire "Supporting People" team also received £767,000 to help with the administration of the programme.

Thurrock Urban Development Corporation

Bob Spink: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister for what reasons greenfield green belt land has been included within the boundary of the area of the Thurrock Urban Development Corporation. [153857]

Yvette Cooper: The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) boundaries are coterminous with the boundaries for Thurrock Council's administrative area. This provides the UDC with the flexibility to consider development opportunities across the borough, to create new settlements and to improve the sustainability of existing communities. It also enables the UDC to undertake a detailed appraisal of current land-use within the borough and to develop strategic proposals for regeneration, housing and economic development, which will ensure balanced and sustainable growth across the borough.


Mr. Lilley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what (a) estimate and (b) provision he has made for expenditure by local authorities on opening sites for temporary accommodation by Travellers in the coming financial year. [155549]

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Keith Hill: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has made £8 million available for 2004–05 via the Gypsy Sites Refurbishment Grant. Bids for 2004–05 are currently being evaluated.

It is for local authorities to determine, based on an assessment of need, whether they will bid for funding from this grant, or make provision from their own resources.


Expert Witnesses

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, for the Home Department what proportion of criminal cases involved evidence from expert witnesses in each of the last five years; and what proportion of these witnesses were registered with the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners. [147187]

Mr. Leslie: The information is not collected centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Court Fees

Vera Baird: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) how the existence of the judicial power to waive or remit fees in the small claims track is publicised; [155377]

Mr. Leslie: There is no judicial power to waive or remit court fees. Court Service staff administer fees remissions on behalf of the Lord Chancellor. The provision for remission of court fees is publicised by way of posters displayed on public notice boards in court offices and also by cross-referencing in relevant forms and leaflets.



Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many Connexions Partnerships have established their working arrangements with voluntary youth services by way of a partnership agreement. [155646]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 23 February 2004]: Information on the number of working agreements between Connexions Partnerships and voluntary youth services is not collected centrally.

All Connexions Partnerships are encouraged to work with their local Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) partners to meet the needs of young people and there is strong evidence of such working relationships across the country.

From 1 April 2004 each Connexion Partnership must develop a clear and systematic local strategy for the involvement of the VCS in service design, planning, delivery and evaluation.

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Contingency Planning

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what terrorist contingency planning advice is available to schools and headteachers via the recently updated Teachernet website; [155677]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Specific detailed Government advice on terrorism is provided by the Home Office. The Teachernet website provides a link to their site. I refer my hon. Friend to Official Report, 5 February 2004, column 1033W for the cost of producing the emergency planning website on Teachernet. The purpose of the site was always to provide advice to schools, in one place, about drawing up an emergency plan for all types of emergencies and primarily on how to cope with the sudden death of a pupil. In an emergency, head teachers know that they should dial 999 and the emergency services will then take control of the situation. Local authorities have responsibility for emergency planning at local level and that includes schools.

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