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Mr. Cousins: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proposals he has (a) to protect the interests of staff over the age of 40 and (b) for a transitional scheme, in changes to the local government pension scheme. 
The proposals to amend the Local Government Pension Scheme, on which the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister consulted earlier this year, are planned to come into effect in April 2005. They fully protect all members rights accrued up to that time. Those members who reach 60 years or over by 31 March 2013, and whose age and membership of the Scheme when added total 85, will also continue to accrue membership to that date on the same basis as they did prior to April 2005. In these circumstances, further transitional arrangements are not required.
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Bob Spink: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) if he will make it his policy to require all park home sites to provide individual fire protection for each residence rather than communal fire points; 
(2) what regulations there are regarding fire protection on park home sites; and what plans he has to amend these. 
The relevant statute for the licensing and control of residential park homes is the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960. Section 5 of the 1960 Act provides local authorities with the power to regulate fire precautions on park home sites, by enabling the local authority to impose conditions on the site licences issued to site owners. The Act enables the First Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister to issue model standards. My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister has exercised this power most recently in 1989, in Circular 14/89: "Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960Model Standards". The model standards represent the standards that are normally expected as a matter of good practice on sites for residential mobile homes or static holiday caravans, or both. The local authority must have regard to the model standards in issuing or reviewing the conditions of a site licence. In addition, the Act provides that a local authority is required to consult with the fire authority for the park as to the extent to which the model standards relating to the fire precautions are appropriate to the land. Ultimately, it is up to the local authority on what conditions they apply to site licences. As part of the on-going park home reform, the model standards are currently being revised and an informal consultation is
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taking place with stakeholders and a formal consultation paper will be published in the summer of 2005.
Bob Spink: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the councils and fire authorities which require individual fire extinguishers for park home residences rather than fire points within 30 metres of each residence; and if he will make a statement. 
Section 5 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 gives local authorities the responsibility for the regulation of fire precautions on park home sites, by enabling the local authority to impose conditions on the park homes site licences the authority issues. The local authority must have regard to Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister's model standards in issuing or reviewing the conditions of a site licence. In addition, the Act provides that a local authority is required to consult with the fire authority for the park as to the extent to which the model standards relating to the fire precautions are appropriate to the land, and if the conditions (if any) are found to be unsuitable, the local authority must consult with the fire authority about the conditions that ought to be attached to the licence instead. Ultimately though, it is matter for the local authority to decide upon the appropriate conditions to apply to site licences and there is no requirement that information about a site licence is provided to central Government.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 1 September 2004, Official Report, columns 74244W, from the Deputy Prime Minister, which Government Department has responsibility for overseeing the expenditure of the regional observatories. 
|London borough||Supporting People programme grant 200405 (£)|
|Barking and Dagenham||4,997,640|
|City of London||741,115|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||13,932,752|
|Kensington and Chelsea||12,205,258|
Keith Hill: Section 1:36 of the Stewart Report recommends that telecommunication development should be subject to the normal planning process. The Stewart Report made this recommendation in order to improve local consultation. The arrangements the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister put in place following the Stewart Report provide for the same consultation on mobile phone masts up to 15 m in height as is required by full planning permission.
Derek Conway: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what representations he has received from local planning authorities on the recommendations of the Stewart Report on permitted development of masts at 15 metres or below. 
Keith Hill: Since the publication of the revised Planning Policy Guidance Note 8: Telecommunications in August 2001 10 local planning authorities have made representations about the Government's response to the recommendation of the Stewart Report on permitted development of masts up to 15 metres in height.
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether, in the light of the recent statement by Sir William Stewart, Chairman of the Health Protection Agency and the National Radiation Protection Board on whether Tetra had any harmful effects, he plans to remove the permitted development rights granted to licensed
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telecommunications operators under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (Part 24 of Schedule 2). 
Keith Hill: The Government currently have no plans to remove the permitted development rights granted to licensed telecommunications operators under Part 24 of the "Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995".
The National Radiological Protection Board's (NRPB) independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) published a report on "Possible Health Effects from Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA)" in 2001. The report noted that the signals from TETRA base stations, like their mobile phone counterparts, are not pulsed. NRPB advise that there is no reason to believe that signals from TETRA base stations should be treated differently from other base stations.
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