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Local authorities have been classified as rural or urban according to definitions given by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. For further information on the DEFRA classification please see:
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what amendments the Government have made to (a) regulations and (b) legislation relating to local authority search fees since 1997. 
These rules specified the fees payable for local land charge services with effect from 1 June 1998.
These rules specified the fees payable for local land charge services with effect from 3 November 2003.
This Order transfers the Lord Chancellor's power, with the consent of the Treasury, for setting fees for local land charge services in Wales to the National Assembly for Wales.
This Act amends the Local Land Charges Act 1975. The amendments provide for the transfer to registering authorities in England, of the Lord Chancellor's power, with the consent of the Treasury, for setting fees for local land charge services, other than fees for personal searches, in England.
These amendments were brought into force by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (Commencement No. 5) Order 2006, (SI 2006 No. 1014) on 3 April 2006. The effect of the commencement order was modified by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (Supplementary Provisions) Order 2006, (SI 2006 No. 1693). This Order provides that from 3 April 2006 until 31 March 2007 the fees specified by registering authorities in England under section 13A Local Land Charges Act 1975 shall be those that were applicable immediately prior to 3 April 2006.
No amendments have been made to regulations relating to fees for other local authority search services since 1997.
The Office of Fair Trading made a number of recommendations to improve the operation of the property search market which we are working with other government departments to address.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar, of 16 May 2006, Official Report, column 928W, on security passes, how many security passes were issued by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in each previous year of its existence. 
Angela E. Smith: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was created on 29 May 2002. The total number of new and replacement permanent building passes issued for staff, contractors and consultants working in the London HQ buildings for each year since then up to the end of March 2005 is as follows:
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what publicly owned land in Kent has to be released to facilitate the implementation of the Thames Gateway project; and what the timetable is for that release. 
Yvette Cooper: A number of publicly owned assets are being released for development throughout the Kent part of the Thames Gateway. Government have contributed to the acquisition and reclamation costs for some of these sites from the Thames Gateway expenditure programme. Other sites are already owned by private sector landownwers and developers. All of these sites will play a crucial role in meeting aspirations for new housing and jobs.
The pace at which these sites will come forward for development depends partly on the planning process and partly on the market. In some cases this has already started. For example, the 264 acre Bridge development in Dartford is being developed in a joint venture between Dartford council and ProLogis developers. Elsewhere at Rochester Riverside in Medway, DCLG is funding Medway council and the South East of England Development Agency to create a development platform on their land for future release for developmentat least some of which is likely to be marketed within the next 12 months. Investment partners are also currently being sought elsewhere in Medway to help bring major reclaimed sites now into development.
All development on public and privately owned sites is subject to the planning process in the normal way. In Kent Thames Gateway this will be informed by the preparation of Local Development Frameworks in Dartford, Gravesham, Medway and Swale.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment has been made of the socio economic benefits from the release of (a) publicly owned and (b) Government controlled land in Kent to facilitate the Thames Gateway plans; and if she will make a statement. 
The economic and social benefits from the release of public owned land for development will be set out in each individual development brief, area masterplan, sustainability assessment, design code and other local strategies that are part of the planning process and subject to a public consultation process. These economic and social benefits will be considered prior to disposal of these assets, as part of planning
applications and as part of subsequent local planning decisions. In addition, individual organisations also approve their public investment through their relevant appraisal processes, which need to meet HMT Green Book appraisal standards.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which (a) officials and (b) representatives of Anschutz Entertainment Group and (c) other parties with an interest in the millennium dome site were present at meetings during his trip to the US in July 2005. 
The Deputy Prime Minister [holding answer 12 July 2006]: I refer the hon. Member to my letter of 4 July 2006, a copy of which is appended to the Memorandum from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to the Standards and Privileges Committee published on 21 July 2006.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether his Office (a) is committed to the achievement of environmental management to ISO14001 standard and (b) has been externally certified as in compliance with that standard; and if he will make a statement. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. Since 1999, the Government have published on an annual basis a list of all overseas visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500. Information relating to 2005-06 was published on 24 July 2006.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the itinerary was for his visit to the United States in July 2005; and what the cost of (a) his and (b) his accompanying officials travel was for each part thereof. 
The Deputy Prime Minister [holding answer 13 July 2006]: For details of my itinerary, I refer the hon. Member to the letter I wrote on 4 July 2006, a copy of which is appended to the Memorandum from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to the Standards and Privileges Committee, published on 21 July 2006. Since 1999, the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year and total costs of all ministerial overseas travel. Information relating to 2005-06 was published on 24 July 2006.
Joan Walley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his responsibilities are in relation to Government policy on post offices; what recent work he has undertaken in respect of this responsibility; and what meetings he has attended within the past two months relating to post offices. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: Responsibility for policy on post offices rests with the Department for Trade and Industry. I chair the Ministerial Committee on the Post Office Network (MISC33). The terms of reference of the Committee are to consider issues relating to the future of the Post Office network. I am therefore responsible for ensuring the Government take a coordinated approach to issues relating to the Post Office network. Information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees, including when they meet, is generally not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.
The Solicitor-General: CPS London South Sector was created in October 2003. The first HMCPSI Overall Performance Assessment report on the Sector covered 2004-05 and the Sector was rated Fair. This assessment reflected a significant improvement on previous performance. Since then the performance of the Sector has continued to improve against key national targets.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Solicitor-General how many (a) questionnaires, (b) statistical inquiries and (c) investigations have been carried out wholly or partly at public expense on behalf of or by the Law Officers Departments or public bodies for which he is responsible in each year since 1997; and what the (i) nature, (ii) purpose and (iii) cost was in each case. 
The Solicitor-General: I am answering on behalf of the all of the Law Officers Departments, the information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost, except the Treasury Solicitor's Department.
The Treasury Solicitor's Department has, since 2002, undertaken an annual client satisfaction survey. Its purpose is to enable better understanding of clients' views about the services provided to them by the Department and to identify ways to improve that service. The cost of these surveys is predominantly the time spent by TSol staff in administering and recording this information and is estimated at 3,000 per annum. Client satisfaction ratings are among the Service Delivery Agreement (SDA) targets agreed with the Attorney General.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what resources he has committed to support the health infrastructure reconstruction of Afghanistan over the next three years. 
Hilary Benn: DFID does not contribute to Afghanistans Health Sector bilaterally, but through funding of the Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), which helps fund the Governments recurrent costs. DFID has channelled £135 million through this since 2002. The ARTF covers much of the Governments wage bill, including the salaries of doctors and nurses. DFID has recently announced a further three year commitment to the ARTF which will fund the salaries of these key workers. Other donors such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank and the European Community take the lead in the health sector. DFID continues to support efforts to improve health services through multilateral funding.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to (a) encourage and facilitate the safe return of and (b) provide support for Afghan health workers who wish to return to Afghanistan. 
Hilary Benn: DFID does not work bilaterally in the health sector. DFID does contribute to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund; one of the activities financed through this trust fund is the Afghanistan Expatriate Programme which enables the return of qualified Afghans to assist in reconstruction and capacity building.
Hilary Benn: DFID officials have had no recent discussions with Afghan authorities on the provision of mental health services. The European Commission, 19 per cent. of whose funding is provided by DFID, supports a basic health package which includes the provision of mental health services.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to support the Afghan authorities in the provision of (a) comprehensive maternal and neonatal services, (b) midwifery and nursing training and (c) training for community health workers. 
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