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13 Jan 2005 : Column 582W—continued


Building Regulations

Mr. Syms: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the potential effects of the new Part P of Building Regulations on the number of deaths caused by substandard electrical work; and if he will make a statement. [202119]

Phil Hope: The Part P Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) published on 22 July 2004 indicates that the annual average number of electrical fatalities in dwellings between 1990 and 1999 was 43. The number of fatalities that will be avoided each year by introducing Part P of the Building Regulations is estimated to be eight. The RIA also indicates that over the same period there were around 2900 injuries each year requiring hospital treatment, and that the number that will be avoided is 548.

Community Housing Task Force

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the previous experience of each member of the community housing task force, with particular reference to experience in (a) the private sector and (b) council house administration. [207020]

Keith Hill: A copy of the information requested has been made available in the Library of the House.

Document Costs

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many copies of the document Creating Better Places and Lives have been printed by his Department; what the costs of (a) design, (b) printing and (c) distribution were; and how many copies were posted unsolicited to individuals and organisations. [208231]

Yvette Cooper: The publication to which I think the hon. Member is referring is "Creating better places to live—a guide to the planning system in England".

The cost of the design (design, artwork and photography) for this publication was £20,135.17, and the cost of printing was £18,000 for 100,000 copies.
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The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister distributed 7,260 copies of the guide by post to interested parties at a cost of £1,170. A further 500 copies were sent to each of the nine Government Offices for the Regions.

Freedom of Information

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many staff in his Department were employed to deal with Freedom of Information Act 2000 issues in (a) 2001, (b) 2002, (c) 2003 and (d) 2004; and how many staff are budgeted to deal with Freedom of Information Act 2000 issues in (i) 2005 and (ii) 2006. [205046]

Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was created in 2002 and provided a common Freedom of Information (FOI) service to both the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Department for Transport until 2003. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has employed the following numbers of full-time equivalent staff to deal with Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) issues: three in 2002, five in 2003, and seven in 2004. This includes two staff involved in project management and support for the FOI Implementation project in 2003 and 2004. In 2005 and 2006, 5.5 full-time equivalent staff are budgeted to deal with FOI and EIR issues.

Beyond those staff directly involved in the ongoing implementation and application of FOI within a Department, it is difficult to identify precisely the number of officials who will be dealing with Freedom of Information issues from 1 January 2005, since it is potentially part of every civil servant's role to respond to Freedom of Information requests.

Land Classifications

Norman Baker: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many hectares were classified as (a) urban and (b) suburban in each year since 1990, broken down by region. [208222]

Keith Hill: Available data from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's definition of 1991 and 2001 Urban Settlements provide a comparable classification of urban land use with an associated population of 1,000 or more. There are no estimates available for suburban land.

The following table shows urban land use in hectares broken down by region in England.
Area of urban land (hectares)
North East57,20060,200
North West153,100160,300
Yorkshire and the Humber114,100121,000
East Midlands92,300100,900
West Midlands122,700129,200
East of England124,200134,900
South East190,100205,100
South West103,000116,700

1991 and 2001 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Urban Settlements definition

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Living Spaces Programme

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the grants made through the Living Spaces programme broken down by local authority area; and what (a) the value of the grant, (b) the title of the scheme and (c) the objective of each scheme was in each case. [208232]

Phil Hope: 703 grants have been made through the Living Spaces programme since it was launched in May 2003. The information requested for each project is set out in the table which has been placed in the Library. This information will be made available in due course on the Living Spaces website:

Telecommunications Masts

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what measures have been taken to encourage dual or multiple use of mobile telephone masts. [207993]

Yvette Cooper: Planning Policy Guidance Note 8, "Telecommunications" (PPG8), makes clear the expectation that developers should provide evidence to local planning authorities that they have carefully considered the use of existing masts, buildings and other structures before seeking to erect any new mast, regardless of size. The authority may be justified in refusing prior approval or planning permissions if it considers the evidence regarding the consideration of such alternative sites is not satisfactory.

Ministers in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister meet regularly with the Mobile Operators Association to discuss a range of issues including the operators' progress in meeting their ten commitments which includes a commitment on site sharing. The UK network operators have established a cross-industry Site Share Working Group and have developed a database to facilitate the exchange of information on site sharing opportunities. The Association also sends statistics relating to site sharing to the Planning Minister every quarter.

Motorway Services

Mrs. May: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) when his Department received the Inspector's Report on the proposed motorway services areas at Great Hazes, Great Wood and Junction 8/9 on the M4; [208263]

(2) when he expects to give his decision on the proposed motorway service areas at Junction 8/9, Great Wood and Great Hazes on the M4, references APP/CO305/A/96/266283, APP/TO355/V/01/1073114 and APP/TO305/A/011070069. [208264]

Keith Hill: The Inspector's report into six proposals for motorway service areas at Great Hazes, Great Wood and Junction 8/9 on the M4, New Barn Farm on the M25, and Mount Hill Farm and Burtley Wood on the M40 was received by the Office on 12 January 2005.

Consideration will now be given to the Inspector's report, and his recommendations, and decisions will be issued as soon as that consideration is completed. However, given the very recent receipt of the report in the Office, it is not possible at this stage to give an
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indication of when those decisions will be made. I am happy to write to the hon. Member when we have a clearer indication of a timeframe for decision.

Neighbourhood Renewal Funding

Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the balance in the use of neighbourhood renewal funds in Islington is between the most deprived and the least deprived wards in the borough; whether it is his policy that such funds should be primarily targeted at areas of deprivation; and what discussions he plans to have with the borough council about this issue. [208242]

Yvette Cooper: Neighbourhood Renewal Funding (NRF) was announced in 2000 to provide £900 million over three years to 88 of the most deprived areas of the country as measured by the Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2000. Decisions about where and how the money is spent are taken locally based on Local Strategic Partnerships' knowledge and understanding of local need.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not collect information on the allocation of Neighbourhood Renewal Funding (NRF) to specific wards, and could only provide it at disproportionate cost.

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