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Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the extent to which in-town trade diversion affects town centres; and whether this assessment will be taken into account in revisions to Planning Policy Statement 6. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Our Proposed Changes to Planning Policy Statement 6: Planning for town centres, published on 10 July 2008, make clear that a key consideration to take into account when considering the impact of proposals for retail and leisure development is whether there will be an impact on in-centre trade/turnover, taking account of current and future consumer expenditure capacity in the catchment area of the proposal.
In formulating our proposals we have taken account of a number of studies, particularly The Merry Hill Impact Study (DoE, 1993); The Impact of Large Foodstores on Market Towns and District Centres (DETR, 1998); and our research into The Policy Evaluation of the Effectiveness of PPG6 (ODPM, 2004).
We have also had regard to planning cases decided by the Secretary of State and Inspectors, as indicated in our consultation document. We have also drawn upon a number of other reports to inform our proposals, including:
(1) The Smaller Towns Report, published by the British Council of Shopping Centres in 2004; and
(2) Town Centre and Retailing Methodologies, published by One Scotland in 2007.
Mr. Iain Wright: Our Proposed Changes to Planning Policy Statement 6: Planning for town centres, published on 10 July 2008, set out a strong policy framework within which local authorities should plan for their town centres and retail development. Our proposals recognise the importance of achieving a broad range of retailer representation, both large and small, to improve the attractiveness of town centres and promoting competition and consumer choice. To achieve this we are asking local authorities to plan proactively for their town centres by making full and effective use of available tools such as their development plan policies, planning conditions, Local Development Orders and Article 4 Directions. We are also asking them to promote competitive town centre environments by, where appropriate, giving priority consideration to whether the established character and diversity of their town centres should be protected and enhanced.
Our proposed new impact test will also provide a more effective way of assessing the impact of unplanned proposals outside town centres by requiring applicants for such proposals to assess the extent to which a proposal will promote or undermine town centre vitality and viability, including the impact on local consumer choice and retail diversity in terms of the range, type and quality of goods.
Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she expects to issue revised Planning Policy Statement 6; and whether the revised version will incorporate the recent recommendations of the Competition Commission on competition in the retail sector. 
Whether our revised policy will incorporate a competition test for planning decisions on larger grocery stores, as recommended by the Competition Commission (CC), will depend on the outcome of the Tesco appeal to the Competition Appeal tribunal and our further consideration of the CC's proposals. As we said in the Government's response to the CC inquiry into UK groceries retailing in July, we will report more fully on our decision in the light of developments. Our published response can be viewed on the BERR website at:
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she has provided guidance to planning authorities on the potential impact of a Severn Barrage on flooding in the south west and south Wales. 
Mr. Iain Wright: A cross-Government study is assessing the feasibility of harnessing the tidal power of the Severn Estuary. Impacts of a power generation scheme on flooding issues are being addressed in the Strategic Environmental Assessment commissioned by the study. The feasibility study is scheduled to report during 2010. Given this, no planning guidance for authorities in the South West and Wales has been issued concerning the potential impact of any such development in the Severn Estuary.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what responsibilities the Homes and Communities Agency will have for assessing the risk of flooding arising from the construction of a Severn Barrage. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Homes and Communities Agency would have no role in relation to flood risk assessment for any Severn Barrage. This would be the responsibility of whoever builds it, with the Environment Agency taking a keen interest given its statutory role in relation to planning and flood risk.
HCAs role with regard to flood risk assessment would be that set out in PPS25: Development and Flood Risk. For any development it planned, it would have to carry out a flood risk assessment. The HCA will develop its own flood risk/flood adaptation policy building on EPs best practice guidance note covering PPS25 and building on EPs work on sustainable urban drainage systems.
HCA will also seek to develop strong and early relationships with the Environment Agency to ensure that they are involved at both a strategic level and locally where flood risk or water availability is an issue.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to whom a hard copy of the South-East Plan consultation document was distributed by her Department during the recent consultation in (a) Guildford borough, (b) Waverley borough and (c) Surrey. 
Mr. Khan: Hard copies were distributed to all south-east MPs and MEPs, participants at the Examination in Public, South East England Regional Assembly members, and local authority heads of planning. Public libraries and planning authority offices received copies for inspection.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much funding (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) Capacitybuilders has given to Action for Sustainable Living in the last 24 months. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what the average earnings of (a) males and (b) females are in the principal seaside towns in England and Wales. (234936)
Average levels of earnings are estimated from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and are provided for all employees on adult rates of pay whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence.
Estimates of levels of earnings are not available by town but are available by Local Authority. I attach a table showing the median gross weekly earnings for the Local Authority associated with each principal seaside town in England and Wales in 2007.
The ASHE, carried out in April each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom. It is a sample of employees who are members of pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) schemes.
|Median weekly payGross (£) F or employee jobs( a) in Principal Seaside Towns in England and Wales for 2007|
|Principal seaside towns||Local authority||Male||Female||Full-time||Part- t ime||Full-time||Part- t ime|
|(a) Employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence.|
The colour coding indicates the quality of each estimate for median gross weekly pay.
The quality of an estimate is measured by its coefficient of variation (CV), which is the ratio of the standard error of an estimate to the estimate.
Guide to quality:
The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of a figure, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality.
The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV - for example, for an average of 200 with a CV of 5%, we would expect the population average to be within the range 180 to 220.
CV ≥= 5%
* CV ≥ 5% and <= 10%
** CV ≥ 10% and <=20%
X CV ≥ 20%
1. Estimates provided are from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE).
2. Figures are provided for median gross weekly earnings for employees on adult rates of pay, whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence.
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, Office for National Statistics.
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