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Roads: East Sussex

Gregory Barker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the timetable is of the decision-making process for confirmation of the compulsory purchase and side road orders for the Bexhill to Hastings link road. [321919]

Mr. Khan [holding answer 12 March 2010]: The inquiries into the side roads order and compulsory purchase order for the Bexhill to Hastings link road, which commenced on the 10 November 2009, have now closed. The Inspector has yet to submit his report to the Secretary of State; once received the report will be considered by the Secretary of State and a decision taken as to whether or not to confirm the orders.

Roads: Tolls

Mr. Scott: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2010, Official Report, column 1196W, on roads: tolls, when the most recent discussions referred to in the answer took place. [321965]

Mr. Khan: The Chancellor had a number of discussions with transport Ministers in the lead up to the Budget, during which a range of transport issues were considered. The Budget 2008 was held on 12 March 2008.

Snow and Ice

Mr. Evans: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what discussions he has had with representatives of local authorities on the gritting of roads during the recent severe weather conditions. [321011]

Mr. Khan [holding answer 9 March 2010]: On 6 January 2010 the Government and the devolved Administrations, with the support of the Local Government Association re-introduced the Salt Cell. Prior to the Salt Cell being re-introduced Ministers and officials were in close contact with Local Government representatives, in particular the Local Government Association, with whom a number of discussions were held throughout the period of severe weather.

The Salt Cell brings together the Department for Transport, the devolved Administrations (in Scotland and Wales), the Highways Agency, the Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT), Met Office, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Cabinet Office. The aim of the Salt Cell is to provide advice to suppliers on priorities for deliveries.

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The Salt Cell arrives at its decisions by considering information provided by local authorities on their salt stocks and on weather forecasts provided by the Met Office.

Officials have also had a number of ad hoc discussions with local authorities about specific local issues.


Sir John Stanley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the contribution by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State of 6 January 2010, Official Report, column 99WH, on what date he expects to announce the outcome of his full review of Southeastern's timetable early in 2010. [321672]

Chris Mole: The start of Southeastern's timetable review was delayed by over three weeks due to the adverse weather. Therefore, it is anticipated that Southeastern will conclude their review by the end of April 2010. We would expect Southeastern to communicate the outcome of this with its passengers.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to Stroud constituency, the effects on that constituency of the policies and actions of his Department and its predecessors since 2000. [321480]

Mr. Khan: The Transport Act 2000, as amended by the Local Transport Act 2008, has provided a new policy framework benefiting all local transport authorities. The framework gives greater certainty of funding, while encouraging more strategic transport planning with local consultation, and increasing local flexibility and discretion over resources. It was accompanied by a significant increase in capital funding: support from my Department for transport investment in Gloucestershire, within which transport authority Stroud falls, has risen threefold over the last decade.

Investment in the Gloucestershire Local Transport Plan has delivered a number of improvements to the quality, safety and accessibility of the local transport network. Between 2004 and 2008, bus patronage per head of population increased by 24 per cent., and the number of people killed or seriously injured on the local highway network decreased by 36 per cent. in the period 2001-07.

In 2002, Gloucestershire county council received a total of £631,500 from the Department's Rural Bus Challenge fund to establish the Village Link rural bus service. Village Link is a demand-responsive bus service for the elderly, and those with disabilities or mobility problems, who have difficulty accessing employment, education, health care and leisure services due to a lack of transport.

The Stroud Valleys Car Club was launched in June 2003 with grant funding from the Countryside Agency, Gloucestershire county council and Stroud district council. The Car Club is designed to reduce unnecessary car use by giving members flexible access to cars without the costs of car ownership.

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In April 2009, the Cotswold Lorry Management Zone Trial came into force. The scheme, developed by Gloucestershire county council, sets clear routes for lorries to use through the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and includes a 7.5 tonne weight restriction on all routes throughout the zone other than the two designated 'through-routes' (the A417 and A419). The scheme aims to achieve a 30 per cent. reduction in heavy goods vehicle flows on the B4008 between the junction 12 of the M5 and the A419, and on the A46 at Painswick near Stroud.

Trade Unions

Mr. Syms: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many days staff of his Department and its agencies spent on trade union activity in the latest year for which figures are available; and what recent estimate he has made of the annual cost to the public purse of such activity. [320615]

Chris Mole: The Department for Transport does not hold this information centrally, and it could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Traffic Commissioners

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the budget of the Office of the Traffic Commissioners is for 2009-10; where each of their offices is; and what powers local authorities have to (a) object to a heavy goods licence being granted by the Commissioners and (b) call for an existing licence to be amended or revoked. [319615]

Paul Clark: The budget of the Office of the Traffic Commissioners in 2009-10 is £6.53 million. The Traffic Commissioners have offices based in:

Local authorities' powers to object to heavy goods licences being granted by the commissioners or to call for an existing licence to be amended or revoked are set out in the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995. A copy of the Act has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

The relevant legislation is available to the public and more details can be found at:

Women and Equality

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Mr. Harper: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what discussions the Government Equalities Office (GEO) has had with the Treasury on its response to the recommendation of the recent Public Accounts Committee report on the Equality and Human Rights Commission on clear guidelines to the Commission on (a) how future business cases should demonstrate the
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achievement of value for money and (b) at what point the GEO expects to be brought into these decisions; and when she expects the Treasury Minute in response to the report to be issued. [322344]

Maria Eagle: Following publication of this Committee of Public Accounts' Report on 4 March, the Government Equalities Office has discussed with Treasury the process for preparing the Government response to the report as a whole. The Government's response will be set out alongside responses to the other Committee of Public Accounts' conclusions and recommendations from its Fifteenth Report in a Treasury Minute in due course.

Official Engagements

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what her official engagements are in March 2010. [321457]

Ms Harman: I have accepted a speaking engagement on 11 March. It is not usual practice to release details of future engagements other than confirmed speaking engagements.

Culture, Media and Sport

Cinemas: Hearing Impaired

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent estimate he has made of the number and proportion of cinemas equipped to show films with subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired. [321649]

Mr. Bradshaw: The most recent assessment of the number of cinemas able to provide subtitled screenings of films suggested that at the end of 2008 there were 316 suitably equipped sites in the UK. This equated to 40 per cent. of UK cinema sites, providing around 24,000 subtitled screenings in 2008.

Since that time a number of cinemas have installed digital projectors, which means that the number of sites equipped to show subtitled screenings is likely to have increased significantly.

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much has been paid in reimbursable expenses to special advisers in his Department in each of the last five years. [320583]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Expenses incurred by special advisers are reimbursed in accordance with the principles set out in Civil Service Code, Civil Service Management Code, the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers and the Department's guidance on travel and subsistence.

The information requested is set out in the table.

Financial year £











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Departmental Public Expenditure

Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what categories of his Department's expenditure generate a Barnett consequential for Wales. [321955]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 12 March 2010]: The Department's expenditure that generates a Barnett consequential for Wales can be found in the Statement of Funding Policy on the Treasury's website at:

The categories of expenditure listed for DCMS are:

National Heritage Memorial Fund

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the proposed 50 per cent. reduction in the budget of the National Heritage Memorial Fund on the operation of the Fund. [321667]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 11 March 2010]: None. The budget of the National Heritage Memorial Fund has not been reduced by 50 per cent. Over 2009-10 and 2010-11 the NHMF will receive its expected level of funding which is £20 million.

Theatre: Young People

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many tickets have been (a) made available and (b) used in relation to each theatre participating in the free theatre tickets scheme. [317186]

Margaret Hodge: Arts Council England has provided a regional breakdown of the number of tickets allocated and distributed to the 'A Night Less Ordinary' scheme between February 2009 and November 2009. Further information will be available in April. Details for individual theatres are commercially sensitive and therefore cannot be provided.

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Region Ticket a llocation Ticket d istribution




East Midlands









North East



North West



South East



South West



West Midlands









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