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8 Dec 2005 : Column 1497W—continued

Non-depleted Uranium Ammunition

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on progress with introducing the new non-depleted uranium ammunition for Challenger 2 tanks. [32683]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence is investigating the feasibility of new non-depleted uranium ammunition for Challenger, and initial de-risking work is being undertaken by BAE Systems.
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Remembrance Day Poppies

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department (a) was consulted by and (b) offered advice to the Royal British Legion on the risks of pinning Remembrance Day poppies onto the clothing of purchasers. [26871]

Mr. Touhig [holding answer 14 November 2005]: So far as I am aware, the Ministry of Defence was neither consulted nor offered advice on this matter.

Shropshire Light Infantry

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel from the Shropshire Light Infantry are serving in Iraq. [33419]

Mr. Ingram: There are currently 14 members of the Shropshire Light Infantry serving in Iraq.

UK Military Airfields (Arrests)

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether UK military police have lawful authority to arrest individuals suspected of criminal offences who are on board aircraft which transit through UK military airfields; and if he will make a statement. [33938]

Mr. Ingram: The United Kingdom military police have lawful authority to arrest an individual suspected of a criminal offence if that person is subject to UK military law. This power is set out in the Service Discipline Acts.

Veteran Medal

Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many veterans in Paisley and Renfrewshire, North constituency have applied for veteran medals in the last five years. [28959]

Mr. Touhig: Records of applications are not broken down by geographical area, however a total of 21 badges have been issued since April 2005.


Business Regulation (Kettering)

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will visit Kettering to discuss reducing the level of regulation on business. [34969]

Mr. Jim Murphy: Cabinet Office Ministers currently have no plans to visit Kettering. However, businesses can submit suggestions to Government for areas where regulations are placing an unnecessary burden on them through the web portal. Departments will be obliged to respond to proposals within 90 working days.

Civil Service Pensions

Mr. Mudie: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what estimate he has made of the annual amount which would be raised if civil servants were required to pay a 6 per cent. contribution to their pension scheme. [35592]

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Mr. Jim Murphy: The Government have not made any estimate of the annual amount that would be raised if civil servants were required to pay a 6 per cent. contribution to their pension scheme. Civil servants currently pay contributions of either 1.5 per cent. or 3.5 per cent. of pensionable earnings depending on which section of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme they belong to. The total of these member contributions for the year 2004–05 as disclosed in the Civil Superannuation Resource Accounts was £256 million.

Nos. 10 and 11 Downing Street

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans there are to refurbish Numbers (a) 10 and (b) 11 Downing Street; and if he will make a statement. [36053]

Mr. Jim Murphy: I have nothing further to add to the answer given on 6 June 2005, Official Report, column 302W by the then Chancellor of the Duchy, my right hon. Friend the Member for Barrow and Furness (Mr. Hutton).


Brownfield/Greenfield Land

Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1)how many acres of brownfield land there are in each London borough; and how many such sites are of half an acre or less; [33305]

(2) how many acres of (a) brownfield and (b) greenfield land there are in England, broken down by local authority. [33306]

Yvette Cooper: The National Land Use Database of Previously-Developed Land provides estimates of the amounts of previously developed vacant and derelict land in 2004. A table with this information has been made available in the Library of the House. The estimates include an allowance for the contribution from small sites but these are not generally recorded separately and no count is available. The table also shows the amounts of land not in built-up areas (greenfield). The built-up areas are those with a population of 1,000 or more and are for 2001. They include green spaces if they are within the built-up area.

Catalyst Corby-North Northants Together

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister in what month he expects a decision to be made on the appointment of a new chairman and chief executive for the merged Catalyst Corby-North Northants Together. [34101]

Yvette Cooper: Following Baroness Andrews' provisional approval last month, the two bodies have just launched, on 2 December, a public consultation on the proposed merger. The merger aims to build on the considerable success of Catalyst Corby and the promising early work of North Northants Together and draw on the expertise of both organisations in driving and managing the delivery of sustainable growth in North Northamptonshire.
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Responses to the consultation are invited by 27 January. Subject to the results, it is planned that the new organisation will start operations on 1 April 2006. Formal appointments to the board and of the executive staff will be made after the close of consultation, subject to final ministerial approval of the merger in the light of comments received.

Council Tax Revaluation

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 23 November 2005, Official Report, columns 2062–63W, on council tax revaluation, how many of the 1,794,709 dwellings fall into each value significant code. [33742]

Mr. Woolas: Work on the collection of value significant codes is incomplete.

Departmental Research

Bob Spink: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what research projects commissioned by his Department are being undertaken; and what the publication arrangements are in each case. [33004]

Jim Fitzpatrick: A list of all research projects commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is available from the Research Management Database (RMD) at:

Under the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Publication Scheme, we are committed to publishing research project reports within six months of project completion or, at the latest, when quality checks, including relevant peer review, are completed or when a policy decision based on its findings is publicised. Information on the project completion date is contained in the Research Management Database.

There are agreed publication timetables for a number of statistical research projects. This information is regularly updated and available at:

Designated Growth Areas

Anne Main: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 21 November 2005, Official Report, columns 1688–89W, on designated growth areas, (1) what evidential factors will be used to determine mainstream funding in each designated growth area in England; [31851]

(2) how much additional grant funding will be made available by his Department for designated growth areas within England; [31849]

(3) what estimate his Department has made of the amount of private funding that will be used within (a) the Milton Keynes growth area and (b) each other designated growth area towards infrastructure costs; and if he will make a statement. [31848]

Yvette Cooper: Mainstream Government funding is, by its nature, determined by the relevant Government Departments based on their own procedures for allocating funding towards meeting their objectives under their Public Service Agreement. For most Government programmes, this is covered by the
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periodic spending reviews. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has been working with Departments towards ensuring that growth is given due consideration in the allocation of funding. In a number of cases this would follow in the ordinary course, simply because funding levels are based on (among other factors) population. In other cases, specific mechanisms are available to safeguard rapidly growing areas.

To give an example from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's own departmental expenditure, population is an important factor in the allocation of revenue support grant (RSG) to local authorities. As a result of recent changes to the formula for allocating RSG, namely the abolition of ceilings" and (as from 2006–07) the use of forward-looking population data, local government funding will be more responsive to the relatively rapid population growth associated with growth areas.

By way of example from another Department, capital funding from the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) for new schools places responds formulaically to local authorities' estimates of pupil numbers. Local authorities in the growth areas should therefore be taking account of growth plans in their submission to DfES. Nonetheless, a safety valve" mechanism has been put in place to allow exceptional needs resulting from unanticipated factors (which could include growth in pupil numbers) to be taken into account. A number of growth locations have accessed funding under this mechanism.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has made grant funding available exclusively in support of projects in the growth areas. The total amount of such funding, up to and including 2007–08, is around £1.25billion. This does not include the £200 million to be made available to the growth areas by Department for Transport under the community infrastructure fund. Expenditure beyond 2007–08 will be subject to the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review. This expenditure will lever in funding from other sources. For example, it was estimated that the initial round of ODPM funding (amounting to just over £600m) would lever in funding of over £3 billion from other public and private sector partners (not including Department for Transport funding).

Private sector investment will respond to opportunities presented by the growth areas, e.g. investment by the privately owned utilities in water, wastewater and electricity supply infrastructure. In addition, housing developers will be expected to contribute to the infrastructure costs associated with housing development through Section 106 contributions. A good example of this is in Milton Keynes, where the local delivery vehicle Milton Keynes Partnerships Committee has been negotiating a standard charge of over £18,000 per house from developers in the east and west expansion flanks. This will generate approximately £300 million of funding to complement circa £900 million of funding from public sources in support of infrastructure to facilitate construction of 15,000 houses to 2016.

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