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6 Dec 2004 : Column 346W—continued

Ministry of Defence Land

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what role English Partnerships is playing in the disposal of Ministry of Defence land; which sites are involved; and if he will make a statement. [200034]

Keith Hill: English Partnerships and Defence Estates announced on 10 November the agreement of a framework document setting out arrangements to work closely together on the future use of surplus defence land. These joint working arrangements are intended to allow Defence Estates to deliver its disposal programme and for English Partnerships to help deliver the objectives set out in the Government's Sustainable Communities Plan (February 2003).
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Following the publication of the Communities Plan, the Government have put in place arrangements through English Partnerships to make better use of surplus public sector land, including setting up a Register of surplus land held by central government bodies.

The agreement between English Partnerships and Defence Estates covers sites that are or will become surplus to Defence requirements. The use of these sites to help deliver the Government's Sustainable Communities Plan will now be considered before they are put on the open market. This is in line with arrangements established for the Register of surplus public sector land and procedures set out in Government Accounting.

Official Visits

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list each foreign country he has visited on an official visit since 1997, broken down by date. [202574]

Phil Hope: The Government publishes a list of all visits overseas by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500 on an annual basis. The list for the period 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004 was published by the Prime Minister on 22 July 2004, Official Report, column 465W. The next list for the period 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005 will be published at the end of the financial year.

Regional Assemblies

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether his announcement on 1 November of new transport powers for elected regional assemblies represented an addition to the powers set out in the Draft Regional Assemblies Bill. [201961]

Mr. Raynsford: This announcement was made by the Labour Party and made clear that an elected regional assembly would have a significantly greater role and say in transport issues than the present regional chamber.

My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister confirmed in a statement to the House on 8 November 2004, Official Report, columns 587–89, that the Regional Assemblies Bill would not be introduced in this session of Parliament.

Regional Government

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total cost was of the activities performed by the Electoral Commission in connection with (a) the regional referendum in the North East and (b) preparation for the referendums in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber. [201812]

Mr. Raynsford: Questions on the Electoral Commission's expenditure should be directed to the Commission itself.

South West Regional Spatial Strategy

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the cost was of producing and publishing, "What will the South West be like in 2026? Regional spatial strategy for the South West 2006–2026", issued by the South West Regional Assembly. [201958]

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Mr. Raynsford: The consultation document on the Regional Spatial Strategy was produced as a result of South West Regional Assembly's role as the designated regional planning body.

The document starts the consultation process for the statutory Regional Spatial Strategy which will set the framework for development in the South West between 2006 and 2026 and supersede County Structure Plans.

The total cost of producing and publishing the Regional Spatial Strategy Options consultation documents was in the order of £12,000. This comprises £4,300 for producing the executive summary, £4,700 for producing the technical document, and £3,000 for distribution.

Street Cleanliness

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, what steps his Department is taking to promote business-community partnerships to tackle graffiti, litter and street cleanliness. [200604]

Mr. Raynsford: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 1 December 2004, Official Report, column 124W.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has put in place the necessary legislation to enable businesses to vote to improve their trading environments by becoming business improvement districts (BIDs). The additional services or activities that would be funded by a BID levy will be decided by local businesses.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will also publish guidance to the BIDs regulations in spring 2005, which will incorporate the good practice and lessons learnt from the 22 pilot BIDs in the Association of Town Centre Management's National BIDs Pilot project.


Bassetlaw Primary Care Trust

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much Bassetlaw Primary Care Trust has received in each year of its existence. [201086]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The information requested is shown in the table.
Allocation for Bassetlaw primary care trust

Increase in real termsIncrease in cash terms
£ millionPercentagePercentage

Department of Health 2003–04 to 2005–06 primary care trust revenue resource limits exposition book


Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the varying provision which local authorities make for assisting carers. [202914]

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Dr. Ladyman: It would be short sighted of councils not to support their carers. Councils should be taking the needs of carers into account when planning and commissioning all services. To encourage councils to improve carers' services further we are in discussion with Social Care Institute of Excellence to develop a good practice area on the Department's carers website. We anticipate that it will serve as a benchmark for councils.

We have introduced a new carers' performance indicator, which will ensure that councils recognise that support for carers continues to be a priority for the Government.


Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will examine the research report by Martin Tondall and his colleagues, published in the British Medical Journal in November, on cancer incidence and the Chernobyl accident. [201185]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Departmental officials and National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) colleagues are aware of the report published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health by M. Tondall et al. The NRPB continues to monitor research in this area.

Child Health

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is proposing to control (a) obesity among and (b) alcohol consumption by children; and if he will make a statement. [200051]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The foundation for all future work to tackle childhood obesity will be taken forward through the recently published Government White Paper, "Choosing Health: making healthy choices easier", tackling the risk factors of diet and physical inactivity. The Government will publish a delivery plan for the White Paper next year. As part of this delivery programme, we will also publish national delivery plans focusing on nutrition and activity, including the food and health action plan and the physical activity plan.

The Government has also introduced a new public service agreement target, jointly owned by the Department for Health, Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to halt "the year-on-year rise in obesity among children under 11 by 2010 in the context of a broader strategy to tackle obesity in the population as a whole".

Regarding alcohol consumption by children, a social responsibility code is being developed with industry that will provide a code of best practice around manufacturing and sale of alcohol. One of its elements is to stop the sale of alcohol to children. The Department for Education and Skills, in consultation with the Department of Health and the Home Office, will use the findings of the blueprint research programme to ensure that future provision of alcohol education in schools addresses attitudes and behaviour as well as providing information.
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