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12 Mar 2007 : Column 22W—continued


Safety Belts

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the number of (a) fatalities and (b) injuries sustained in road crashes where the failure to wear a seat belt was a contributory factor. [124615]

Dr. Ladyman: Statistical data on failure to wear a seatbelt as a contributory factor is not collected. Research reported in the recently published “Second Review of the Government’s Road Safety Strategy” and “Road Safety Research Report No. 76: Trends in Fatal Car-occupant Accidents” both published on 26 February 2007, estimates that about a third of fatally injured car occupants were not wearing their seatbelts. For 2005 figures, it represents about 565 people, and it is estimated that about 370 people might have survived if they had been properly restrained. A research report giving further details has also been published by TRL limited. These three reports can be downloaded from the following links:


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Copies of the reports are also available from the Libraries of the House.

Shipping

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to improve short sea shipping in UK coastal waters. [126476]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department promotes coastal shipping where this makes sense and has provided over £34 million of grant support for water freight projects since 2000.

In 2005, we introduced the new Waterborne Freight Grant scheme to assist shipping companies with their operating costs where there are environmental benefits to be gained from modal shift.

On a day to day basis we look to Sea and Water, the industry-led organisation which has received Department funding of £120,000 per annum since its formation in 2003, to take the lead in promoting coastal shipping services.

Shipping: EC Action

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on the European Commission Green Paper on maritime transport policy. [126402]

Dr. Ladyman: The UK national consultation ended on 28 February 2007 and in total the Department has received 37 written responses to the consultation from interested parties.

Many of these are umbrella responses from trade associations and other membership bodies representing a wide range of stakeholders.

Southern: Rolling Stock

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress is being made in securing the early release by Southern of the class 319 trains for use on the Thameslink service; and if he will make a statement. [125994]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Department for Transport is continuing to work with First Capital Connect and other industry partners to try to find a solution which would enable Southern to release the remaining 12 of its dual-voltage Class 319 units in advance of the end of its franchise in December 2009.

Transport: Orders and Regulations

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring cost of implementing the Disability Discrimination (Transport Vehicles) Regulations 2005 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. [126642]


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Gillian Merron: The Disability Discrimination (Transport Vehicles) Regulations 2005 were accompanied by a full regulatory impact assessment, including one-off and recurring costs to business. A copy was placed in the House Library.

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his most recent estimate is of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring costs of implementing the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and the Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2005 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. [126645]

Dr. Ladyman: The total costs to industry estimated in the final regulatory impact assessment (RIA) were:

The cost to regulators was absorbed in the normal running costs of the Department.

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his most recent estimate is of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring costs of implementing Directive 2002/15/EC, on the working time of persons performing mobile and road transport activities to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. [126648]

Dr. Ladyman: The European Road Transport Working Time Directive 2002/15/EC is intended to help prevent “mobile workers” (mainly drivers and crew of HGVs, buses and coaches) from being forced to work excessively long hours. The directive also helps promote road safety and to ensure fair competition across Europe (by delivering a “level playing field” on working time).

The regulatory impact assessment (RIA) for the Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/639), which implemented directive 2002/15/EC in Great Britain, estimated a one-off cost to industry of £25 to £50 million and a recurring net cost of £280 to £565 million per annum. The RIA did not estimate a one-off cost for regulators but estimated recurring enforcement costs of £120,000-£217,000 per annum. Copies of the RIA are available in the Libraries of the House, but early indications suggest that the compliance cost to industry may have been overestimated.

The Government have begun a review of the UK’s implementation of the directive which will look at, among other things, the administrative burden placed on business by the implementing regulations.

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his most recent estimate is of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring cost of implementing the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2004 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. [126656]


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Dr. Ladyman: The total costs to industry estimated in the final regulatory impact assessment (RIA) were:

The cost to regulators was absorbed in the normal running costs of the Department.

Wales

Big Lottery Fund

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on the effect on lottery funding for projects in Wales of the allocation of funding from the Big Lottery Fund to projects being developed for the 2012 Olympics. [126306]

Mr. Hain: I have regular discussions with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on matters affecting Wales.

The Lottery has brought over £0.9 billion of awards to good causes in Wales since 1994. I, along with Cabinet colleagues and Assembly Ministers, am working to minimise the impact of the Olympics on Lottery funding for good causes in Wales.

I am determined, also, that Wales will make the most of the opportunities presented by the Games in terms of business opportunities, tourism, investment and participation in sport.

Leader of the House

Liaison Committee

21. Pete Wishart: To ask the Leader of the House if he will review the composition of the Liaison Committee. [126354]

Mr. Straw: I have no plans to propose to the House any changes to the principles underlying the composition of the Liaison Committee. These are that the Committee should comprise the chairmen of the other select committees of the House, with—at present—a senior former select committee chairman added to the Committee who serves as its chairman.

Citizenship Education

24. Mr. Marsden: To ask the Leader of the House what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on how public understanding of the workings and processes of Parliament can be improved by citizenship education in schools. [126357]

Mr. Straw: I have not held specific discussions on this issue.


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Communications Allowance

Mr. Heald: To ask the Leader of the House what the estimated level of the new communications allowance is; and whether the incidental expenses provision allowance will be changed once the new communications allowance has been introduced. [125710]

Mr. Straw: The Members Estimate Committee is currently considering this and is expected to make proposals imminently, which will be published in a report from the Committee.

Members’ Constituency Work

Mr. Heald: To ask the Leader of the House how much hon. Members were allowed to spend on publicity, literature and communications to constituents in (a) 1996-97 and (b) 2006-07. [125712]

Mr. Straw: Communications to constituents is ordinarily charged by hon. Members to their parliamentary allowances. Members can spend any amount on such items up to the relevant annual limit, provided the expenditure conforms to the rules and guidance published by the Department of Finance and Administration in the Green Book.

In 1996-97 the then office costs allowance (OCA) was set at £47,568, while the 2006-07 incidental expenses provision (IEP) is £20,440. The OCA also covered staffing costs as well as general office costs, whereas in 2006-07 there is a separate staffing allowance in addition to the IEP.

House of Commons Commission

Parking Spaces

20. Chris Bryant: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many drivers have parking spaces at the Palace of Westminster allocated to them by the House authorities. [126353]

Nick Harvey: There are 32 parking spaces allocated by the House of Commons authorities to drivers at the Palace of Westminster.

Lady Thatcher Statue

22. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many representations he has received about the statue of Lady Thatcher in Members’ Lobby. [126355]

Nick Harvey: The Advisory Committee on Works of Art has received two representations about the statue of Lady Thatcher in Members’ Lobby. I am not aware of any other representations to the Commission.

Hospitality: Dining Rooms

23. John Mann: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what estimate the Commission has made of the cost to the public purse of providing hospitality via the Commons dining rooms. [126356]


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Nick Harvey: After inclusion of purchase costs and the cost of staff directly engaged by the Refreshment Department in the booking and delivery of banqueting services, a net profit of over £960,000 was made from hospitality and other events held in the House of Commons private dining rooms in 2005-06.

This figure does not include overheads such as accommodation, procurement, utilities, staff training or pension costs which are not calculated separately.

House of Commons: St. George's Day

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what plans the House authorities have to celebrate St. George's Day. [125702]

Nick Harvey: Continuing its theme of celebrating the British Patron Saints’ Days, the Refreshment Department will celebrate St. George’s Day on 23 April by offering special dishes throughout its cafeterias and in the Members’ and Strangers’ dining rooms. Menus will showcase prime English meats, poultry, vegetables, cheeses and other seasonal produce, sourced by the Department's wholesalers from farmers and small producers throughout the English regions. Also, the Union flag will be flown from Victoria Tower on St. George’s Day.

Portcullis House: Flags

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if he will place in the Library a copy of the health and safety report into the access to the flagpole on Portcullis House. [122443]

Nick Harvey: A copy of the health and safety report will be placed in the Library.

Repairs and Maintenance

Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much the Commission spent on (a) acquisitions of office space, (b) refurbishment and (c) maintenance on the House of Commons estate in each year since 1990. [120445]

Nick Harvey: Since 1990 the main acquisition of office accommodation has been the construction of Portcullis House over a number of financial years at a capital cost of £234 million. Leasehold space was taken on at 7 Millbank during the 1990s; the annual rental is currently £4.7 million. More recently, additional leasehold space has been taken on a temporary basis at 4 Millbank at an annual rental of £0.7 million to provide decant space for use while core parts of the estate are refurbished. Major office refurbishments undertaken in the period have included:


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Care of the Palace of Westminster and the parliamentary outbuildings was transferred to Parliament by the Parliamentary Corporate Bodies Act in April 1992. Over the years the interpretation of maintenance and building activity, as well as the accounting regime used to record expenditure, has changed, making it difficult to give figures on a consistent basis. The published accounts show the following costs for accommodation services:

£ million

1992-93

21.9

1993-94

25.9

1994-95

22.1

1995-96

33.2

1996-97

20.9

1997-98

22.1

1998-99

23.3

1999-2000

27.2

2000-01

23.8

2001-02

35.8

2002-03

36.0

2003-04

24.3

2004-05

25.7

2005-06

24.7


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