§ Mrs. Ray Michie
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2000,Official Report, column 86W, if he will list the sites in remote and sparsely populated areas in (a) the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and (b) Argyll and Bute constituency; if he will publish the recommendations of the independent research regarding these sites; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Beverley Hughes
The independent research did not specifically examine sites in either the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, or Argyll and Bute constituency. However, similar sites in other remote and sparsely populated areas (such as in Wales and the Yorkshire Dales) were studied. The sample of sites chosen was designed to ensure that selected sites were broadly representative of quarries across the country in terms of local population density and outputs. The findings of the research, "The Environmental Costs and Benefits of the Supply of Aggregates" by London Economics, was published in July 1999 and provided the basis for setting the rate of the aggregates levy.