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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): These are operational matters for the Highways Agency. I have asked the Chief Executive, Mr. Lawrie Haynes, to write to the noble Viscount.
|Numbers of accidents resulting in:|
|Deaths||Serious Casualties||Slight Casualties||Total|
|1994 (provisional to end of September)||0||1||2||3|
|Total (5¾ years)||3||6||15||24|
The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Viscount Ullswater): The Planning Inspectorate, as an executive Next Steps Agency, is being reviewed. As part of the usual arrangements for Next Steps agencies, performance and activities will be subjected to the normal prior options tests set out in the 1993 Next Steps Review (Cm 2430).
Comments and contributions from those with an interest in the work of the agency will be welcome, and should be sent, by 28 February 1995, to Richard Jones, Planning Directorate, Department of the Environment, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3EB, for England or to Peter Roderick, Planning Division, Welsh Office, Cathay's Park, Cardiff, CFI 3NQ for Wales.
The Planning Inspectorate was launched as an Executive Agency, in the Department of the Environment and the Welsh Office, in April 1992. It serves the Secretaries of State for the Environment and Wales on appeals and other casework under planning, housing, environment, highways and allied legislation.
Lord Lucas: In a difficult local government revenue settlement it is necessary to balance the needs of police and other local authority services. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Wales is of the view that £300.7 million is an appropriate level of resources for police. It is less than the level of police resources implied by the full application of the police funding formula and this has given rise to the difference in scaling.
The sum of £300.7 million for police services nevertheless represents an increase of 6 per cent. on 199495 budgets and demonstrates the importance the Government attach to policing. It compares with a settlement increase for other local authority services of around 0.5 per cent. The Secretary of State for Wales is of the view that to direct resources from county and district council services to policing would put an unreasonable strain on those services. His funding proposals are provisional and are the subject of consultation.
Lord Lucas: The allocation of resources between the individual police forces derives from a funding formula for police authorities in England and Wales which the Government propose to introduce for 199596.
The aim of the formula is to distribute money objectively and fairly in relation to each area's need for policing. The formula assesses the need for policing by looking at factors such as population density and the social characteristics of each area. It also includes approved police establishments as an indicator of need; this factorweighted at 50 per cent.takes account of the need for continuity and stability of funding.
The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): We are considering options and will be discussing these with, for example, the local authority associations and the Institute of Rent Officers.
Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: Proposals for amending the rules for the payment of housing benefit in respect of housing costs on empty properties provide, subject to certain qualifying conditions, for benefit to be paid for up to the first 13 weeks of a person's temporary absence from home, and for up to 52 weeks in prescribed circumstances. The proposed circumstances are: prisoners held on remand; hospital in-patients; persons away from home for medically approved treatment or convalescence for themselves or dependants; persons providing or receiving medically approved care; persons receiving care in residential accommodation; persons undertaking a training course; persons in remunerative work in the UK.
The proposals have been put to the Social Security Advisory Committee and the local authority associations. The Social Security Advisory Committee have decided to consult with interested bodies and are due to report to my right honourable friend the Secretary of State early in 1995.
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