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Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, what budget was allocated to the Standards Board for England in each of the last two years; and how many staff were employed by the Standards Board for England in each of those years. 
|Grant paid to the Standards Board for England (£million)||Number of staff employed by the Standards Board for England at the end of the year|
Keith Hill: The then Department of Environment Transport and the Regions commissioned The Impact of Large Foodstores on Market Towns and District Centres, published in September 1998, which looked specifically at the impact of large edge-of-centre and out-of-town foodstores.
Together with Marks and Spencer plc and the British Council for Shopping Centres Educational Trust, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister funded research by the National Regional Planning Forum on secondary shopping areas. The report, The Role and Vitality of Secondary Shoppinga New Direction by CB Richard Ellis, published earlier this month, includes an assessment of the impact of superstores on the secondary shopping areas of large towns as well as district centres and small town centres.
The Government's objectives for town centres and retail development, include sustaining and enhancing the vitality and viability of town centres and maintaining an efficient, competitive and innovative retail sector. The Government are strongly committed to ensuring that town centres act as the focus of development, so as to provide easy access to a wide
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range of facilities and services by a choice of means of transport but it is for the market to determine what form that investment takes.
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