§ Mr. Levitt
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will approve the general plan for the spending of the net proceeds from the proposed London congestion charging scheme. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has today approved the general plan.
In deciding to approve the plan, my right hon. Friend has had regard to the relevant statutory requirements. In particular, paragraph 16(1) of Schedule 23 to the GLA Act 1999 provides that "the net proceeds of the scheme shall, during the scheme's initial period 10 years beginning with the coming into force of the scheme be available only for application for relevant transport purposes". And "relevant transport purpose" is defined in paragraph 1 of Schedule 23 as "any purpose which directly or indirectly facilitates the implementation of any policies or proposals set out in the Mayor's transport strategy". Paragraph 16(5) of Schedule 23 provides that "the net proceeds of charging schemes may only be applied for purposes which provide value for money".
My right hon. Friend has had regard to all the representations to Ministers about the general plan including those set out in the letter of 2 November 2001 from Councillor Kit Malthouse of the City of Westminster to my right hon. Friend the Minister for Transport. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has also had regard to those representations about the general plan submitted to Transport for London (TfL), to TfL's report which they submitted to the Mayor on 8 February about those representations, and to the Mayor's comments on them set out in his letter of 18 February to my right hon. Friend the Minister for Transport.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is satisfied that the general plan is consistent with the Mayor's transport strategy (which he has considered previously). He is also satisfied that the general plan enables the net proceeds to be applied for purposes which provide value for money. In this regard, my right hon. Friend considers that the general plan and the transport strategy are consistent with the Government's 10-year transport plan.