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Mr. Jamieson: The Highways Agency announced on 1 December 2004 that the strategic road network would in future be considered as consisting of two categoriesroads which are key trade routes of predominantly national and international importance and routes of predominantly regional rather than national importance.
The document 'Devolved Decision Making: a consultation on regional funding allocations' issued by
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HM Treasury on 2 December 2004 proposed that the criteria for determining routes of national importance should be as follows:
Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2005, Official Report, column 839W, on trunk roads (Bristol), which of the major trunk roads listed are core trunk roads of strategic national importance. 
The consultation paper explained that the proposed regional transport funding allocations would initially bring together capital funding projected for major schemes (generally costing over £5 million each) under the Local Transport Plan (LTP) system and for major Highways Agency schemes, except for those on routes of strategic national significance where decisions will continue to be taken nationally.
The consultation paper proposes that the other roads listed in the previous Answer should be regarded as routes of regional significance, for the purposes of future regional decision-making. The proposals for regional funding allocations will give regions a far stronger base on which to plan, and will enable them to contribute to decisions that better reflect regional priorities.
34. Paul Flynn: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission how many times in the last year fire alarms have operated in 1 Parliament street; on how many of those occasions the fire brigade attended; and what percentage involved fires causing serious damage. 
Sir Archy Kirkwood:
In the year since 1 April 2004, the fire alarm has sounded 22 times in 1 Parliament street. The fire brigade attended 11 of these incidents. None of the 22 incidents involved fires causing serious damage, thanks to the timely intervention of staff. Every effort is being made to reduce the number and frequency of false alarms, which is above what is regarded as an acceptable level.
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35. David Taylor: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission what role the Commission has in setting the pay and conditions of people employed to clean the parliamentary estate. 
Sir Archy Kirkwood: The House of Commons Commission is responsible for the pay and conditions of the 58 cleaning staff who are directly employed by the Refreshment Department, the Department of the Serjeant at Arms and the Library. They are not directly responsible for the pay and conditions of a further 121 cleaners who are employed by contractors.
36. Ms Coffey: To ask the Leader of the House what representations he has made to the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on giving more emphasis to Parliament in the school citizenship syllabus. 
37. Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Leader of the House if he will propose to the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons that it examines the arrangements for programming of legislation. 
38. Mr. Kidney: To ask the Leader of the House if he will propose to the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons that it examine the merits of a cross-cutting question time in Westminster Hall on an EU theme. 
Mr. Woolas: My right hon. Friend's memorandum to the Modernisation Committee last year suggested that an option would be to use the facility for cross-cutting questions sessions in Westminster Hall for questions on European matters, perhaps on a regular and established basis. I understand that the Committee hopes to report its conclusions shortly.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Leader of the House how many times he has met (a) the Law Lords and (b) Lord Lloyd of Berwick, as former Chairman of the Security Commission, to discuss the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Bill. 
6. Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next expects to meet representatives of small business organisations in Scotland to discuss central Government support schemes in Scotland. 
11. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the Scottish Executive on the transfer of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi from Barlinnie to Greenock prison. 
Mr. Darling: I have not had any discussions with the Scottish Executive on the transfer of Mr Al Megrahi and have nothing to add to the reply on this matter which my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, gave on 9 March 2005, Official Report, column 1885W.
The claimant count unemployment rate for the Highlands and Islands fell from 6.2 per cent. in 1997 to 2.9 per cent. in 2004, below the Scottish average of 3.5 per cent., and there are around 6,400 fewer people in the area claiming unemployment-related benefits compared to 1997. This demonstrates the success of the Government's strategy of making work pay in every region through initiatives such as new deal, the national minimum wage and working tax credits.
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