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7 Sept 2004 : Column 1162W—continued

Departmental Accounts

Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when his Department's resource accounts for 2004–05 will be published; and if he will make a statement. [187565]

Phil Hope: The accounts preparation is progressing according to timetable and publication will be before the statutory deadline of 31 January 2005.

Departmental Travel

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the cost of (a) air travel by and (b) overnight accommodation for his Department's officials on departmental business was in 2003–04. [186594]

Phil Hope: In 2003–04 the cost of (a) air travel was £356,500 and (b) overnight subsistence and accommodation was £1.437 million.

Derelict Homes

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate has been made of the number of derelict homes; what proportion of these are council owned; what proportion of these are in (a) urban areas and (b) in the south east region; and if he will make a statement. [187328]

Keith Hill: The information requested is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Designated Accommodation

Bob Spink: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many rooms are set aside for (a) the use of smokers, (b) worship, broken down by religion and (c) nursing mothers and pregnant women in each building and set of offices for which his Department is responsible. [187320]

Phil Hope: The data requested is set out in the following table for the buildings occupied by officials of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. As indicated, a number of the rooms are shared with other Government Departments (OGDs).
NameNumber of rooms for smokingNumber of rooms for WorshipNumber of rooms for Nursing mothers and pregnant women
26 Whitehall—London1—Shared with OGD1—Shared with OGD1—Shared with OGD
Ashdown House—London1—Shared with OGDs1—Shared with OGDs1—Shared with OGDs
Eland House—London111
Portland House—London01—Meeting room1—First aid room.
Exchange Tower—London2—Shared with OGD0—(under discussion with OGD)1—First aid room—Shared with OGD
Ashdown House—Hastings3—Shared with OGDs1—"Drop in" room available—shared with OGDs2–1 "Drop in" room and 1 Medical room can be used—shared with OGDs
Hempstead House—Hemel Hempstead1—Shared with OGD1—Room available on request0
Fire Experimental Unit—Moreton-in-Marsh000
Fire Service College—Moreton-in-Marsh01—Muslim Prayer Room 1—multi-denominational chapel1
Fire Statistics and Research Division—BRE Garston01—Room available on request1—Room available on request
Housing Care and Support Division—Glossop01—Quiet room available on request1—Quiet room available on request
Emergency Fire Service—Marchington1—External Smoking Shelter01—First aid room.
Temple Quay House—Bristol100
QEII Conference Centre—London11—private room available on staff request1—private room available on staff request
Government Offices82—dedicated (multi-faith) 3—Meeting rooms (can be used for prayer)7—First aid rooms in 7 locations

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The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to providing an environment in which staff are able to work in safety and with religious tolerance.

Although the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has overall responsibility for the buildings occupied by Government Offices, they carry out functions on behalf of 10 Departments.

East of England

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what percentage of the East of England was classed as urban area (a) 30 years ago, (b) 10 years ago, (c) five years ago and (d) at the most recent date for which figures are available. [187212]

Keith Hill: The following information is available for land area designated for urban settlements with an associated population of 1,000 or more in the East of England.
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These figures relate to built-up areas, irrespective of administrative boundaries.

Empty Properties

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many empty properties there were in each tenure sector in each authority in Tyne and Wear, according to the latest returns available. [186955]

Keith Hill: The latest available information on empty properties in Tyne and Wear is tabled below. This data has been provided from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Housing Investment Programme returns.
Number of vacant dwellings in Tyne and Wear (Met County) at 1 April 2004

Local authorityRegistered social landlordOther public sectorOther private sectorTotal dwellings
Newcastle upon Tyne1,4133503853,0205,168
North Tyneside40419661,7452,351
South Tyneside4494809221,419
Tyne and Wear2,7912,0893989,80815,086

ODPM's Housing Investment Programme (HIP) returns.

EU Groups/Committees

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the working groups and committees at European Union level upon which his Department sits; and if he will list the current agenda of each. [187324]

Phil Hope: The working groups and committees at European Union level upon which the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister sits together with their current agendas are listed in the following table.
Name of working groupCurrent agenda
European Working Group on Land-Use Planning in the context of Article 12 of the Seveso II Directive 1To provide guidance on the implementation of Article 12 of the Seveso II Directive addressing the issue of land-use planning in the vicinity of establishments handling dangerous substances.
National EIA and SEA experts CommitteeTo provide updates and exchange examples of good practice in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA).
Raw Materials Supply GroupTo discuss a wide range of issues concerning the extractive industries with European industry trade associations. The Group examines improvements to industry environmental performance, such as restoration and aftercare, and other initiatives which may impinge in this sector and its competitiveness.
Working Group of the Environment Council on the proposed EU Directive on management of waste from the extractive industriesTo debate and negotiate proposals for new European environmental legislation, and to forward dossiers to the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper).
Energy Performance of Buildings Directive CommitteeTo assist the Commission in the implementation of the directive.
Standing Committee on Construction (SCC)To examine any questions posed by the implementation and the practical application of the Construction Products Directive (CPD).
Eurocodes National Correspondents GroupTo assist in the implementation of the structural eurocodes.
The Committee on the Development and Conversion of Regions (CDCR)To implement Structural Funds Regulations, as required under Article 48 of EU Regulation 1260/1999. It considers issues such as the simplification of funding rules, and other policy issues affecting funding programmes.
The Structural Actions Working GroupTo address the reform of the Structural Funds for the next round of funding (post 2006), in the light of the "Report on the Economic and Social Cohesion of the EU". The committee will be negotiating the terms of the draft Structural Funds Regulations from September, which are likely to be finalised in the second half of 2005.
Urban Environment Expert GroupThe current agenda is the Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment, which is part of the 6th Environmental Action Plan.

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