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29 Mar 2006 : Column 1049W—continued

Council Tax

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to his answer of 9 March 2006, Official Report,
 
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column 1640W, on council tax, how many cameras the Valuation Office Agency purchased for use in the council tax revaluation in Wales. [62235]

Mr. Hain: No cameras were bought specifically by the Valuation Office Agency for use in the council tax revaluation in Wales. All cameras purchased by the Agency are used across all areas of its business.

Energy and Transport Policy

Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what procedures he has put in place to ensure those aspects of energy and transport policy not devolved to the Welsh Assembly are delivered in a way compatible with the energy and transport strategies of the Welsh Assembly. [60621]

Mr. Hain: I have regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues and Welsh Assembly Government Ministers about both devolved and non-devolved matters affecting Wales.

Concordats are also in place between the Assembly and the Department for Transport and the Department of Trade and Industry. These set out a framework for working relationships and communications between the parties.

Energy/Water Efficiency

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proportion of the Department's building programme budget was allocated to (a) energy self-generation and (b) water recycling measures in the 2004–05 financial year. [58756]

Mr. Hain: None. The Wales Office is taking steps to reduce both energy and water consumption in partnership with the Carbon Trust, and Thames Water.

Flood Defences (Welsh Coast)

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what funding has been allocated in flood defence works by each local authority along the South Wales coast between Newport and Llanelli in each year between 1995 and 2005. [59993]

Mr. Hain: Capital expenditure since the existing structure of local authorities was established in 1996, is set out in the following tables.
Land drainage and flood prevention

£000
Local authority1996–971997–981998–991999–20002000–012001–022002–032003–042004–05
Carmarthenshire317112050273671
Swansea801392421771104431219
Neath Port Talbot284131968723721921738078
Bridgend5594214263446195137114511
Vale of Glamorgan318112
Cardiff43310765
Newport222,145

Coast protection

£000
Local authority1996–971997–981998–991999–20002000–012001–022002–032003–042004–05
Carmarthenshire567510311302527
Swansea272802691972062715591
Neath Port Talbot2,59438
Bridgend61665057115425133
Vale of Glamorgan4343249
Cardiff
Newport

 
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Small Firms

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Waleswhat definition the Department uses of a small firm. [59279]

Mr. Hain: There is no single definition of a small firm with terms such as small firm" and SME" (small and medium sized enterprise) used interchangeably. However, two of the most common definitions are those provided by the European Commission and the Companies Act 1985. These definitions can be found at:

Wales Office has no policy or operational responsibility for support schemes to businesses. In Wales, these are administered by the Welsh Assembly Government. The Assembly Government use the definition agreed by the European Commission.

Young People

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what funds he plans to make available in Wales (a) to offer young people evening sports and (b) to tackle antisocial behaviour. [61711]

Mr. Hain: The United Kingdom Parliament votes the necessary provision for Wales to the Secretary of State; he makes payments to the devolved administrations. The block grants (or assigned budgets) are contained within the devolved administrations' Departmental Expenditure Limits. Changes to these budgets are generally determined by the Barnett formula. The allocation of public expenditure between the services under the control of the devolved Administrations is for the devolved Administrations to determine.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

Concessionary Travel

Mark Hunter: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the extent to which funding provided through the revenue support grant to Stockport metropolitan borough council to provide free off-peak bus travel for older and disabled people is sufficient to cover its contribution to the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority to implement the scheme. [60333]

Mr. Woolas: Government support for concessionary fares is funded via the revenue support grant settlement. Revenue support grant is an unhypothecated block grant. This means that authorities are able to spend the grant on any service. It is not therefore possible to say how much grant an authority received for a particular service.
 
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Cost of Fire Sub-group

John McDonnell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he intends to reconvene the cost of fire sub-group to re-examine the cost of fire in England. [61059]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The cost of fire sub-group was an ad hoc working group. The need for, and timing of, any future meetings of such a group will be considered when appropriate.

English Cities

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will publish an errata slip for the publication English Cities to acknowledge the existence of the boroughs of Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley and Sandwell. [61309]

Mr. Woolas: The existence of Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley and Sandwell is already acknowledged in the State of the English Cities Report. Appendix 2 to Volume 2 of the report lists all of the local authority districts that comprise each of the 56 Primary Urban Areas (PUAs) used for analytical purposes. The four boroughs referred to, plus Solihull and Birmingham, are all shown as included in the Birmingham PUA.

PUAs were used as a tool for analyses rather than local authority areas in order to better reflect the boundaries of physically built-up areas. Section 2.3.5 of the main Report explains that PUAs are not co-terminous with local authority boundaries, although the names are sometimes the same.

The detailed data from the State of the English Cities report will be publicly accessible on the ODPM website at a range of spatial scales, including local authority and neighbourhood levels, from early summer 2006. It will then be possible for individual local authorities to carry out in-depth analyses for their own areas.

Fire and Rescue Authorities

John McDonnell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many contacts have been received since 1997 by the fire and rescue authorities in England from employers in compliance with their duties under Regulation 4(2)(b) of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997, as amended. [61055]

Jim Fitzpatrick: This information is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

John McDonnell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many enforcement notices have been issued by the fire and rescue services in England in accordance with Regulation 13 of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997, as amended, in each year since 1997. [61056]


 
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Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of Enforcement Notices served since 1998–99 by fire and rescue services in England is presented in the following table. Information prior to 1998–99 is not held centrally.
Enforcement Notices served under Section 13(1) of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997: England

Number
1998–9982
1999–2000175
2000–01661
2001–021,036
2002–031,079
2003–041,364
2004–05 (provisional)984




Source:
ODPM Performance and Management Information database




John McDonnell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what guidance his Department has offered to the business community and their associations on the move to integrated risk management plans by fire and rescue services; and what assessment his Department has made of the impact on insurance premiums payable. [61057]

Jim Fitzpatrick: No formal guidance has been offered by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to the business community and their associations on the move to integrated risk management plans (IRMP) and no assessment has been made on the impact of insurance premiums payable. However, the business community will be consulted by fire and rescue authorities as required under any IRMP, and advice and clarification on any proposal provided where requested.

While it is the responsibility of every business to ensure good fire safety and business continuity plans are in place, we also recognise the need to remain fully engaged with the business community and their associations on IRMPs. Therefore, the business community are active participants in the Business and Community Safety Forum and we have invited a number of key representatives, including the Fire Protection Association and the CBI, to participate in an IRMP steering group. Discussions on the need for further IRMP guidance and what form that guidance should take will be had within that group and recommendations brought before Ministers if appropriate.

John McDonnell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what information is required to be supplied to his Department by the Fire and Rescue Authorities in England under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 (as amended) and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended). [61892]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Fire and rescue authorities in England are requested to complete a series of annual fire safety returns. The relevant ones are summarised in the following table:
Form numberLegislationInformation requested
FSR1a&b1971 ActNumber of inspections, re-inspections and consultations by fire safety staff, and number of staff hours by type of premises
FSR2a&b1971 ActNumber of inspections, re-inspections and consultations by operational staff, and number of staff hours by type of premises
FSR4A1971 ActNumber of certificates issued and progress of applications by type of premises
FSR4C1971 ActNumber of exemptions from the requirement to have a fire certificate by type of premises
FSR4D1971 ActNumber of appeals under section 9 of the Act by type of premises
FSR4E1971 ActNumber of prosecutions and contraventions by type of premises
FSR4F1971 ActNumber of prohibition notices under section 10 by type of premises
FSR4G1997 RegulationsNumber of enforcement notices served under Section 13 (1)

 
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