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Rent officers have not been employed by individual Local Authorities since 1 October 1999. From that date, rent officers have been employees of The Rent Service (TRS), which is now an executive agency of Department of Work and Pensions. The figures shown in the table are from 1 October 1999 only, as we do not hold information prior to this date.
As TRS covers England as a whole, its organisational structure does not match local authority boundaries. However, in the spirit of your question, I have provided the average number of rent officers by TRS operational areas.
Mr. Woolas: Over the whole life of the Standards Board for England, the average time taken by officers of the Board to complete investigations into allegations that the code of conduct for local authority members has been breached is seven months.
Mrs. May: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many cases the Standards Board for England has investigated since its establishment relating to (a) county councils, (b) district councils, (c) metropolitan borough councils, (d) unitary authorities, (e) parish councils and (f) town councils. 
Authority to which the
|Number of allegations investigated by officers of the Standards Board|
|Metropolitan borough council||172|
|Parish and town council(3)||1,858|
Dr. Ladyman: All the schemes for the upgrading the A21 have been referred to the regions for their advice on priorities. On receipt of this advice a programme for the delivery of the schemes will be produced. Draft orders for each of the schemes will be published to meet this programme.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)'s estimate of the number of UK leisure passengers who flew without financial protection in 2004; and if he will bring forward legislation to ensure that affected UK passengers can be repatriated by the CAA in the event of a major airline failure. 
The Department is aware of the trend for consumers to make their own travel arrangements, rather than buy package holidays that are protected by the ATOL scheme. The Civil Aviation Authority has provided advice to the Government on a range of options, including an extension of the scope of financial protection to cover passengers on all flights. We are currently considering that advice and will then decide whether to bring forward appropriate legislation.
4 Jul 2005 : Column 16W
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 27 June 2005, Official Report, column 1259W, on air travellers (financial protection), what the timetable is for formal consultation on his proposals; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Buck: There is no post designated as aviation Minister". My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had responsibility for all forms of transport, including aviation, since the formation of the Department on 29 May 2002. He has been supported by other members of his ministerial team.
Mr. Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of microwave technologies for deflecting shoulder-fired missiles in the civil aviation sector. 
Ms Buck: There are a number of technologies capable of defeating shoulder-fired missiles of which microwave-based is one. The Government are considering whether such systems could be realistically applied to civil aviation.
Ms Buck: The coming into force earlier this year of EU Regulation 785/2004 obliged almost all UK operators of non-commercial aircraft to meet minimum requirements for passenger and third party insurance. In some cases aircraft operators have had to raise their level of cover, which has resulted in an increase in premium. We are aware of only one case where this has caused difficulty in relation to classic aircraft, but through the efforts of the' insurance industry and a commercial sponsor, this problem has been resolved. The European Commission is aware of the difficulties faced by some owners of classic aircraft and has agreed to consider an amendment to the Regulation.
The Department for Transport values the role that community transport plays in delivering transport services to communities and individuals who would otherwise be socially excluded. We support their activities in a wide variety of ways.
4 Jul 2005 : Column 17W
The Department funds the information and advice service provided by the Community Transport Association. The CTA provides an extensive service to community transport operators and local authorities on a range of legal and operational issues. The following is the funding given by the Department to the Community Transport Association from 199798 financial year onwards.
|Total to date||835|
A substantial proportion of the total of 400 projects awarded funding since 1998 under the Rural and Urban Bus Challenge competitions involve support for community transport services. Prior to this there was no specific bus funding in support of community transport schemes.
Over 800 community transport schemes have been granted eligibility to claim Bus Service Operators Grant since the broadening of the scheme in 2002 to include these schemes. Amounts of grant claimed under this scheme by community transport operators are as follows.
|Grant claimed (£ million)|
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