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Mr. Davey: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his policy is on mobile phone operators sharing telecommunications masts; what steps he has taken to encourage operators to do so; and if he will make a statement. 
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.
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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 10 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.
On 4 April, it was announced that the Government will be commissioning research to identify the future direction of mobile phone technology and the future need for mast developments. The research will also look at the potential for increased sharing of masts.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what investigation his Department has undertaken into the fees charged by local planning authorities for planning applications for mobile telephone telecommunication masts; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: Research was undertaken by Arup for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in 2003 to investigate the costs of handling planning applications in general. Using this as a basis, in September 2004 we issued a consultation document entitled Changes to the System of Planning Fees in England" and in December 2004 we published a second consultation document entitled Further Proposed Changes to the System of Planning Fees in England". Both these documents asked about the fees charged by local planning authorities for planning applications for mobile telephone telecommunication masts.
Yvette Cooper: Total negative subsidy in 200405 was £620,543,656. The equivalent figure, representing the total negative housing element for 200304 was £706,268,335. Negative subsidy generated by some councils is captured so that it can be redistributed to other authorities with an assumed deficit. It is not retained by central Government
The definition of negative subsidy was changed by the Local Government Act 2003, which came into force on 1 April 2004. The figures given are directly comparable, though the terminology changed between the financial years.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what percentage of new build residential properties in (a) England and (b) London have been purchased by (i) individuals not normally resident in the UK and (ii) companies not based in the UK. 
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the average price of a new build residential property excluding social housing in (a) England, (b) London, (c) Westminster and (d) Barnet was on the latest date for which figures are available. 
|Area||Median price (£)|
Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what resources have been (a) spent on and (b) allocated to the New Dimension programme for improving capacity in the rescue services; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government have announced funding for the New Dimension programme of up to £188 million in capital and committed to meeting the resource consequences of that investment. To date the Government have invested £116 million in capital in the programme, and announced up to £16 million per year to meet the crewing costs of that investment.
Anne Milton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what powers the South East England Regional Assembly has (a) to amend, (b) to delete and (c) to review (i) green belt designation, (ii) area of outstanding national beauty designation and (iii) site of special scientific interest designation. 
Yvette Cooper: The South East England Regional Assembly may propose changes to the green belt as part of their responsibility for preparing a draft new Regional Spatial Strategy for the South East (known as the South East Plan). All aspects of the South East Plan will be subject to public consultation and may be tested at public inquiry, before being finalised by Government. The Assembly have no powers to amend, delete or review Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
Paul Goggins: The UK, as lead nation, is supporting the Afghan Government in the implementation of their comprehensive National Drug Control Strategy. We are working with others to increase activity in all areas of their strategy over the coming year.
As well as coordinating the activity of international partners, the UK is providing substantial financial and practical supportthe Government will spend more than £50 million this year on counter narcotics work in Afghanistan, including £30 million on alternative livelihoods. In the last financial year we ran seven training courses on intelligence and investigation techniques for the Afghan Counter-Narcotics Police; supported five major seizures of opiates; provided a mobile forensic laboratory; and helped to establish regional law enforcement offices in seven provincial centres outside Kabul.
At our borders Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs deploy staff at ports and airports to cover high-risk arrivals. Officers use risk assessment techniques and specific intelligence, gathered from a variety of sources, to ensure that the resources available are utilised to best effect. They also use a range of equipment, such as drug detection scanners, to assist them.
The number of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts ("ABCs") made in the Tamworth area is not known as this information is not collected centrally. ABCs are voluntary agreements with no statutory basis and can be entered into by various local services such as
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local authority social services or housing departments, Youth Inclusion and Support Panels or the police. They are therefore unsuitable for central data collection.
A recent survey carried out by the Home Office and sent to all Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships estimated that 5,383 ABCs were made between October 2003 and September 2004.
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