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Written Statements

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 5 February 2009

Written Ministerial Statements

Thursday 5 February 2009

Home Department

National DNA Database

I have today placed the “National Database (NDNAD) Annual Report 2006-07” in the Library. The Government accept the need for ongoing accountability to the public on the operation of the NDNAD annual report, which publishes details of its activities, is an important part of the aim to increase transparency and maintain and improve public confidence in the oversight, management and operations of the NDNAD.

Olympics

Government Olympic Executive Annual Report 2009

I have today published the “Government Olympic Executive’s second Annual Report—London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Annual Report January 2009”.

The document fulfils the commitment to report to Parliament on a six-monthly basis providing details of progress across the Olympic programme and of the funding for the games.

The report outlines the progress that has been made in 2008 on building, staging and capitalising on the legacy benefits of the games. It also highlights the priorities for action in each of these areas in 2009, and explains the latest budget position, including the use of contingency.

This is the second annual report produced by the Government Olympic Executive. As in 2008, we will produce a six-month update of the report in July of this year. For the first time this year we will also produce quarterly financial updates, to increase even further the transparency of the project.

I would like to commend this report to the Members of both Houses and thank them for their continued interest and support of the London 2012 Olympics.

Copies of the annual report 2009 are available at: www.culture.gov.uk and will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.

Transport

De-trunked Roads (Capital Funding)

I am today announcing that £66 million capital funding will be provided during 2009-10 and 2010-11 to 41 local authorities to carry out capital maintenance on their de-trunked roads. I have placed a list of the allocations to individual authorities in the Libraries of both Houses.

The White Paper “A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone” and the report “A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England”—both published in July 1998—identified a core network of existing trunk roads which serve a strategic national purpose and should remain the responsibility of the Secretary of State. It was proposed that those non-core routes which served only regional or local purposes should be transferred to local highway authority management. This transfer of management, known as de-trunking, allows the Highways Agency to concentrate on the operation of the strategic trunk road network, while enabling local authorities to consider their own priorities for the improvement of non-core routes.

The Government provide funding to local authorities for the maintenance of the roads transferred. Revenue support is provided in addition to the general revenue support grant (RSG) provided to local authorities. Like the RSG the de-trunking revenue support is paid through area-based grants.

We also provide capital funding for individual maintenance projects authorities wish to carry out in addition to their routine maintenance programme. This funding is in addition to the formula capital highway maintenance funding this Department provides authorities as part of the local transport plan settlement.

Rail Services

Local authorities and passenger transport authorities have a duty to promote effective public transport for their area. From time to time they wish to bring forward proposals for new or enhanced rail services. They have the required powers to secure the provision of such services but they are sometimes inhibited by the risk that significant funding may need to be committed over the long term. I am keen to encourage the best solutions for identified local needs, and have therefore considered how to make it easier for authorities to develop rail options.

I would therefore like to announce to the House the Government’s intention to fund in control period 5 (2014-19) the provision of new or enhanced services promoted by authorities which have rail industry support and can be funded from a budget which would be set for this purpose in 2012.

It is important that the promoter demonstrates that a rail scheme is the best way to address regional and local transport issues; hence promoters would be expected to fund a new or enhanced service for the first three years to demonstrate their commitment to the service and show that it delivers value for money in the light of actual experience.

Schemes which the Department would consider funding in this way would be subject to a number of conditions, details of which have been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and will be made available on the Department for Transport’s website.