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12 Jun 2007 : Column 906W—continued

The Department is unable to identify those COPD claims which include a pneumoconiosis element. However, under the Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis Scheme (CWPS) we have received 83,759 claims, 82,595 of which have been settled by payment, denial or withdrawal.

We have realised that there was an error in the answer given to the parliamentary question tabled on the 6 June 2007, recorded in Hansard on 23 May 2007, Official Report, column 1351W, regarding the figures for pneumoconiosis under CWPS. I have written to you about the error and will place copies of the letter in the Libraries of the House.

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Leeds United Football Club

Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will assess the implications of Leeds United Football Club's move into administration for the effectiveness of the regulation relating to companies entering administration where a party involved in the decision to initiate the process has a commercial interest in the assets of the company. [141250]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 11 June 2007]: I should state at the outset that the Secretary of State has no powers to impede a company moving into administration as this process is commenced by way of a court order or as a result of a qualifying floating charge holder, company or its directors filing a Notice of Appointment at court.

Administrators, as licensed insolvency practitioners, are regulated professionals and are obliged by law to perform their functions in the interests of the company's creditors as a whole. Accordingly, where there is a sale of assets to a connected party of the company in administration, the administrators will need to have satisfied themselves that they are not only achieving the best possible price in the circumstances but that it is an arm's length transaction. Such a sale is sometimes the best option for delivering value for creditors. The Secretary of State has no power to stop a sale and even if he did, such a power could harm the interests of creditors of the company, many of whom have already lost considerable sums as a result of the failure. It is only a creditor or member of a company in administration that can apply to the court if they consider the administrator is acting, has acted, or proposes to act so as unfairly to harm the interests of the applicant (whether alone or in common with some or all members or creditors).

I believe it is important to emphasise that in the specific case mentioned, the administrators agreed to the sale of assets on the condition that it would be approved by the body of creditors as part of a proposal to put the company into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) and that this arrangement was approved on 1 June by more than 75 per cent. of creditors in value.

This Government want to promote an effective framework for corporate activity, to give confidence to investors, business and other stakeholders. Within that framework it is essential that we have an insolvency regime, which, while encouraging enterprise and reducing the stigma associated with failure, deals fairly and effectively with financial failure and at the same time deters fraud and misconduct. I can assure you that we are fully committed to tackling abuse and misconduct and that we have in place, and in use, mechanisms to deal with that abuse.

You may be interested to know under the Insolvency Act 1986 (before it was amended) the only option to floating charge holders would have been to have put the company into administrative receivership. Under this procedure the administrative receiver's main duty was to the appointing floating charge holder. Under the provisions of the Enterprise Act this was amended to give the option of administration so that now the interests of the creditors as a whole are taken into
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account. The Insolvency Service is undertaking an evaluation to assess to what extent the provisions introduced by the Enterprise Act meet the policy objectives. The final evaluation reports will be published later this year.

I am therefore content that the existing regulatory framework is sufficiently robust to prevent abuse.

Northern Ireland

Magilligan Prison

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects to announce the decision on the replacement of Magilligan prison, County Londonderry. [141632]

Paul Goggins: I announced on 21 February that I had tasked the Prison Service to provide me with a comprehensive options appraisal by the end of this summer. This is intended to enable me to announce the decision on the location of the replacement to the existing Magilligan prison before the end of the year.


Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to pilot in Northern Ireland the North Somerset pilot project of permitting parents to know if known paedophiles are residing nearby. [133030]

Maria Eagle: We will be carefully studying the recommendations in the Child Sex Offender Review and how they could be applied in Northern Ireland. Some are likely to be subject to pilot schemes in England and Wales and we will await the outcome of those trials before decisions are taken on the way forward.


Aircraft: Prime Minister

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made with purchasing a new aeroplane for use by the Prime Minister; what the cost of purchasing the aeroplane will be; and by what date he expects the purchase to be complete. [141271]

Gillian Merron: On 23 May 2007, the Secretary of State for Transport announced the launch of the formal procurement process and a Prior Information Notice to potential suppliers was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 25 May 2007.

Sir Peter Gershon's Independent Air Travel Review, copies of which are available in the Library, set out the estimated cost and timescale for delivery of this service.

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Eddington Report

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 17 April 2007, Official Report, column 149, on the Eddington Report, which carriages will be available on the rail network by the end of 2008; and on which routes they will be available. [141037]

Mr. Tom Harris: I anticipate that orders for additional carriages will be placed between now and 2010, the first of the carriages becoming available on the network by the latter part of 2008, with a view to completing delivery between 2009 and 2013. The precise phasing of the orders will reflect where crowding relief is most urgently needed; Network Rail's timetable for any platform-lengthening or increase in power supply which is required to accommodate longer trains; and the capacity of the suppliers of rolling stock.

It is too early to say where precisely the additional rolling stock will be used. The deployment of the new rolling stock will be agreed with the industry following the publication of the High Level Output Specification and the long-term rail strategy this summer, in accordance with the periodic review timetable set out in the Office of Rail Regulation's advice to Ministers published in February 2007.

Park and Ride Schemes

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list the park and ride schemes which made a loss during the last 12 months for which figures are available; and what the amount of the loss was in each case; [142081]

(2) if he will initiate a nationwide audit of park and ride schemes to assess their worth and the on-going cost to public funds of their operation. [142083]

Gillian Merron: Local authorities are responsible for funding most park and ride schemes and for monitoring their financial results. The Department for Transport does not request or require returns from local authorities about the financial performance of these schemes.

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many grants his Department gave for park and ride schemes in each year between 2000 and 2006. [142084]

Gillian Merron: Most park and ride schemes are implemented by local authorities at their discretion from the general transport funding provided by Government. In addition, the Department provides project-specific funding for the construction of larger transport schemes. Between 2000 and 2006, nine of these schemes have included elements of park and ride.

Funding for each scheme may span a number of years. The following table shows a breakdown of the nine schemes according to the year their funding began.

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Park and Ride Schemes: Bridlington

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria were used by his Department in approving a park and ride scheme for Bridlington. [142082]

Gillian Merron: The Bridlington Integrated Transport Scheme, which includes a park and ride element, was given an initial approval (Programme Entry) by this Department in July 2006.

The decision to fund the scheme was based on the Department's assessment of East Riding of Yorkshire Council's business case. This assessment looks, in particular, at the strategic case, value for money, deliverability, and financial and commercial aspects. The value for money assessment takes into account economy, safety, integration, environment and accessibility.

All new major local authority schemes for which project-specific funding is sought are assessed according to these criteria.

Parking: Cycleways

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will ban the parking of cars in bicycle lanes. [141414]

Gillian Merron: Cycle lanes are marked on the carriageway. There are two types:

As with any section of carriageway, parking in cycle lanes may be prohibited by yellow line restrictions subject to a traffic regulation order made under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

Public Transport: Crimes of Violence

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many incidents of violent behaviour were reported to the British Transport Police in each police authority area in each of the last five years; [141035]

(2) how many violent offences were dealt with by the British Transport Police in each police authority area in each of the last 12 months; [141036]

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(3) how many crimes were reported to the British Transport Police in each police authority area in each of the last five years; and how many of these crimes were solved; [141052]

(4) how many people were convicted of violent behaviour on the rail network and subsequently sentenced to a prison sentence in each of the last 12 months. [141058]

Mr. Tom Harris: This information is not held by the Department for Transport but by the British Transport police who can be contacted at: British Transport Police, 25 Camden Road, London NW1 9LN, E-mail:

Public Transport: East Sussex

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding the local transport authority in East Sussex received (a) in total, (b) per mile of road and (c) per head of population in each year since 1997. [138057]

Gillian Merron: The following table shows the total funding allocated to East Sussex council in the local transport capital settlements in each year between 1997-98 and 2006-07 (inclusive) in terms of (a) totals (b) per mile of road and (c) per head of population.

East Sussex Council
Total funding (£000) Funds per mile (£000) Funds (£ per head)









































The Government also support local transport authorities through the general revenue support and councils do spend some of this support on highways and transport services according to their own priorities. In addition, the Government are providing record levels of funding for railways infrastructure through the passenger franchises and by direct grant to Network Rail. This funding is not classified by local authority area, but all local authorities have benefited from work by Network Rail to address the rail infrastructure renewals backlog. Additional support for public transport over this period has seen East Sussex being awarded a total of £3,671,920 for eight bus project schemes which include both rural and urban bus challenge schemes and for 2007-08 they received £953,263 in rural bus subsidy grant. In addition East Sussex receives Bus Service Operator Grant (BSOG) and funding for concessionary fares (through the revenue support grant).

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