§ Mr. Vaz
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what consultations he has had with local authorities and their associations concerning the conduct of the review of urban programme authorities and the use of 1991 census information; and what plans he has for further consultations;
(2) what work has so far been undertaken by his Department in relation to the review of the list of authorities eligible for funding under the urban programme and successor arrangements;
(3) what draft criteria have so far been devised for use with the 1991 census data for reviewing the list of authorities eligible for funding from the urban programme and successor arrangements.
§ Mr. Robin Squire
The Department has commissioned research into the compilation of an index of urban conditions using 1991 census and other data. The purpose of the index is to consider the needs of urban areas, and it will be used to inform decisions on the future share of urban policy, including the review of urban priority areas. The local authority associations were represented on a steering group to oversee preliminary work on the index. We have since done further work to produce a range of indicators, which will include factors such as unemployment, housing and education. We will be offering the local authority associations the chance to comment on these shortly.