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To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) how many times during the (a) Italian, (b) Irish and (c) Dutch
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presidency of the EU the Committee on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data met; when and where these meetings took place; what UK Government expert was present; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how many times during the (a) Italian, (b) Irish and (c) Dutch Presidency of the EU the Group on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data met; when and where these meetings took place; what UK Government expert was present; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Leslie: During the period of the presidencies identified in the questions, the Committee established under Article 31 of the Directive 95/46/EC met 10 times, in Brussels, when the relevant departmental policy official of the UK Government was present. During thesame period, the working party established under Article 29 of the Directive 95/46/EC met 13 times, in Brussels, when either the UK Information Commissioner or a representative of the Commissioner's Office was present.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what market research, opinion polling and focus group research the Government undertook in relation to the formulation of the question providing for a referendum on the treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe as set out in the European Union Bill; what its cost was; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Leslie: There has been no opinion polling, market research or focus group research on the question providing for a referendum on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for the European Union. The question was drafted bearing in mind the Electoral Commission's guidelines which are designed to ensure a question is intelligible. The Electoral Commission's views on the question in Lord Blackwell's Private Member's Bill of July 2004 were also taken into account.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission (1) pursuant to his answer of 15 December 2004, Official Report, column 1140W, on polling and research, if he will place copies of the research in the Library; 
(2) pursuant to his answer of 15 December 2004, Official Report, column 1140W, on regional government, if he will place in the Library copies of research, focus group and opinion poll material held by the Electoral Commission relating to the referendum on an elected regional assembly in the north east. 
These will inform the Commission's statutory report on the north east referendum, expected to be published by the autumn. The Commission intends to place details of the supporting research in the Library of the House when the report is published.
Mr. Heald: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what (a) advice and (b) guidance the Electoral Commission has issued relating to holding a (i) nationwide referendum, (ii) mayoral referendum and (iii) local issues referendum under the Local Government Act 2003 at the same time as a (A) local election, (B) general election and (C) devolved Parliament or regional assembly election; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Viggers [holding answer 1 February 2005]: Under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 the Electoral Commission has a number of responsibilities relating to UK-wide referendums, referendums held in one or more of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and regional referendums in England. It does not have statutory responsibilities in relation to mayoral referendums or local issues referendums under the Local Government Act 2003.
The Commission has, however, on two occasions commented on suggestions for combining elections and referendums. In July 2002 the Electoral Commission issued a statement regarding the possibility of elections to the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales, and English local government elections, being combined with a referendum on the adoption of the single currency. In February 2004, it responded to the ODPM's consultation on combining regional and local referendums and on local referendum rules.
On both occasions, the Commission expressed concerns about the possibility of combination, reflecting its view that on balance it is disadvantageous for elections to be combined with referendums. I understand that the reasons it advanced included concern that cross-party campaigning at the referendum could be confusing for the electorate.
Andrew George: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues in the Cabinet Office in respect of the funding requirements of (a) local authorities and (b) the Council of the Isles of Scilly to meet their obligations and duties under the (i) Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and (ii) other civil protection regulations. 
The Government have more than doubled their contribution to the cost of local authorities' civil protection activities in England to
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£38,437 million per year in 200506a 121 per cent. increase. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Cabinet Office have regular discussions on a range of issues, including the distribution of civil protection funding for local authorities. As a result of these discussions, the civil protection requirements of all local authorities in England have been considered and local authorities were notified in December 2004 of their funding allocation for 200506.
|Regional Housing Pot and predecessor|
|Arms Length Housing Management|
|Disabled Facilities Grant||112||114||104|
|Homelessness/B and B||89||122||81|
|Other housing programmes||618||440||455|
|Housing Market Renewal Fund||70||151||284|
|Community Infrastructure Fund||0||0||0|
|Local Environment / liveability (inc. skills)||39||76||78|
|Regional Development Agencies||1,524||1,456||1,487|
|European Regional Development Fund||273||292||185|
|Other Urban Programmes||18||29||19|
|Planning (including Planning Delivery Grant)||56||143||183|
|Neighbourhood Renewal Fund||400||450||525|
|New Deal for Communities||247||271||273|
|New Ventures Fund||106||96||82|
|Regional Housing Pot and predecessor|
|Arms Length Housing Management|
|Disabled Facilities Grant||121||121||572|
|Homelessness/B and B||86||94||471|
|Other housing programmes||471||471||2,455|
|Housing Market Renewal Fund||336||451||1,292|
|Community Infrastructure Fund||50||150||200|
|Local Environment / liveability (inc. skills)||80||90||364|
|Regional Development Agencies||1,570||1,598||7,635|
|European Regional Development Fund||254||254||1,259|
|Other Urban Programmes||19||44||128|
|Planning (including Planning Delivery Grant)||154||144||678|
|Neighbourhood Renewal Fund||525||525||2,425|
|New Deal for Communities||277||246||1,313|
|New Ventures Fund||94||94||471|
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