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Written Answers

Volume 464: debated on Monday 8 October 2007

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 8 October 2007

Duchy of Lancaster

10 Downing Street

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what changes he has made to No. 10 Downing street since 27 June 2007 to make it more environmentally friendly. (154088)

No. 10 Downing street forms an integral part of the Cabinet Office estate.

The Cabinet Office is committed to contribution to the goals, priorities and principles of the UK Government sustainable development strategy, “Securing the Future”. We are equally committed to achieving the targets for sustainable operations on the Government estate launched by the Prime Minister in June 2006. To this end the Cabinet Office has implemented a system of environmental management and improvement, which enables us to measure and monitor our impact on the environment, commit to improvements within the set time frames and report publicly on progress.

10 Downing Street: Repairs and Maintenance

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much was spent on refurbishments and improvements to No. 10 Downing street in (a) June and (b) July 2007. (153348)

Costs incurred on refurbishments and improvements to No. 10 Downing street in the 2007-08 financial year, will be available only when the Department's resource accounts are fully audited and laid before Parliament. This is expected to be before the 2008 summer recess.

Auctions

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the Government-approved auction houses. (153875)

The Government do not hold a list of approved auction houses. Individual departments decide upon which auction houses to use, according to their individual need.

Information regarding Government auctions can be found at the Direct Gov website at http://www.direct. gov.uk/en/HI1/Help/YourQuestions/DG_10014697. A copy of which is also available in the Libraries of the House.

Charities: Finance

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the Government’s policy is on paying foregone interest when money owed or promised to charities is delayed. (154537)

Public sector organisations should: use good commercial practice in managing the flows of expenditure and commitments they deal with; settle their bills on time within contractual terms in line with The Better Payments Practice Code; and be bound by The Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1988. In relation to grants, once an agreement has been made and payment schedules agreed to, public sector organisations should honour these in the same way as they would any commercial or contractual arrangements. Government departments are required to note as exceptional any interest payments in relation to late payments in their resource accounts. This is set out in the “Managing Public Money” guidance issued by HM Treasury on sound financial management of public funds.

Departments: Buildings

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will place in the Library a copy of the design and procurement option under consideration for the refurbishment for the heritage Cabinet Office estate. (151282)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer that the then Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, my right hon. Friend the Member for North-West Durham (Hilary Armstrong) gave to the hon. Member for North-East Hertfordshire (Mr. Heald) on 8 March 2007, Official Report, column 2184W.

Departments: Freedom of Information

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 16 July 2007, Official Report, column 35W, on departments: freedom of information, and the Ministry of Justice aggregated statistics, what information has been requested of his Department under the Act in the last six months. (153617)

Information relating to Freedom of Information and Environmental Information requests is published on a quarterly basis by the Ministry of Justice. Information for January to March 2007 was published on 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 10WS, copies of the document are in the Libraries of the House. Information for April to June 2007 is due to be published in the autumn. It is not the Government's normal practice to disclose details of the content of such requests.

Departments: Official Hospitality

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many receptions have been held by his Department since May 2005; broken down by (a) date, (b) venue, (c) purpose, (d) host, (e) who paid, (f) estimated attendance and (g) cost to his Department. (151278)

Departments: Railways

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much was spent by his Department on first class train tickets in the last 12 months. (153291)

Emergency Services: Training

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what arrangements there are for collaboration between the Emergency Planning College and the Fire Service College for training in multi-agency response. (155485)

The types of training delivered by the Fire Service College and the Emergency Planning College reflect their differing but complementary missions. The Fire Service College focuses on specialist training at the operational (bronze), tactical (silver) and strategic (gold) levels, and over 90 per cent. of its students are from the fire and rescue service. As officers progress through the levels, they receive increasing exposure to multi-agency operations. In contrast, the Emergency Planning College’s courses bring together all the many services and organisations involved in multi-agency working at the strategic (gold) level in large-scale emergencies, including non-blue light scenarios such as influenza. As a result, fire and rescue service students comprise less than 10 per cent. of the Emergency Planning College’s intake.

In order to maximise the UK’s resilience to emergencies the Emergency Planning College and Fire Service College collaborate to ensure that their training programmes are consistent with their responsibilities, meet their respective customers’ requirements and achieve synergy. The overall co-ordination is effected through periodic meetings at senior and middle management levels of the major providers of multi-agency training, including the Fire Service and Emergency Planning Colleges and the National Policing Improvement Agency.

Minister for the Olympics and for London

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the total estimated annual cost is of (a) expenses, (b) salary, (c) office space, (d) administrative support and (e) special advisers for the Minister for the Olympics. (154700)

I have been asked to reply.

The cost of Cabinet Office Ministers’ offices will be accounted for in the Department's annual report and accounts for 2007-08 when accounts have been finalised. A list of special advisers by Department and pay band will be published in due course. Details of ministerial salaries are available in the House Library and at:

http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/other/parliamentary/pay/ministerial/index.asp

Non-Profit Making Associations

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what record has been kept of charities and social enterprises launched as part of Government initiatives since 1997. (154605)

No central record is kept of the number of the number of charities or social enterprises launched as part of Government initiatives.

Where an independent charity or social enterprise is launched as part of a Government initiative, the relevant Government department would maintain formal records. The Office of the Third Sector keeps both electronic and paper records of the initiatives it has launched.

Non-Profit Making Associations: Grants

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much grant funding was given to third sector organisations by (a) the Active Community Directors’ and (b) the Social Enterprise Unit in each year of their operation. (154474)

The Office of the Third Sector (OTS) was created from the Active Communities Directorate (ACD) of the Home Office and the Social Enterprise Unit of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as a machinery of government change in May 2006.

Audited information on expenditure by the ACD in the Home Office and the Social Enterprise Unit in the DTI is not available separately. Recorded grant funding by the ACD, based on internal outturn data of grants paid to the sector in each financial year was as follows:

£

1998-99

11,269,348

1999-2000

15,705,645

2000-01

18,894,849

2001-02

28,146,399

2002-03

44,119,332

2003-04

63,767,427

2004-05

107,780,463

2005-06

154,824,807

The Social Enterprise made a small number of grants during its lifetime totalling less than £1 million between its creation in October 2001 and the transfer of funding to the Office of the Third Sector in May 2006.

Details of the transfer of grants in 2006-07 from the Home Office and the Department of Trade and Industry to the Cabinet Office are published in the Central Government Supply Estimates (2006-07), Winter Supplementary Estimates and New Estimates HC 2 and in the Central Government Supply Estimates (2006-07), Spring Supplementary Estimates HC 293.

Office of the Third Sector

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the purpose is of the review of the Office of the Third Sector; and how long it is planned to take. (154540)

The purpose of the review was to examine the structure and skills set in the Office of the Third Sector.

The review process ran from January to April 2007. This was implemented and the new structure came into effect on 4 June 2007.

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the results of the review of the Office of the Third Sector will be made publicly available. (154603)

The review considered the structure and skills set of the Office of the Third Sector. The result of this review is the new structure that came into effect on 4 June 2007. An overview of this structure is publicly available on the Office of the Third sector website: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/third_sector/, a copy of which I have placed in the Library of the House.

Terrorism: Memorial Day

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what plans she has to promote and contribute towards the European Union's Memorial Day for the victims of terrorism, in 2008; and if she will make a statement. (154099)

Plans are still being developed at the EU for the 2008 European Union's Memorial Day for the victims of terrorism, it is therefore too early to give details of any contribution. However, as in previous years, we will make information available to the 2008 Memorial Day through appropriate mechanisms such as the 7 July Assistance Centre Newsletter.

Waste Disposal: Fees and Charges

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will place in the Library a copy of the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit report on variable charging for domestic rubbish collection. (153811)

The Strategy Unit has not published a specific report on variable charging for domestic rubbish collection. Its report “Waste Not, Want Not”, published in November 2002, looked at how we manage waste overall in England and considered a range of financial incentives to encourage householders to reduce and recycle more waste, including variable charging. The Government are currently consulting on proposals to allow authorities to introduce local variable waste charging following publication of the Waste Strategy 2007.

The Strategy Unit's “Waste Not, Want Not”, report is available at

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/strategy/work_areas/waste/index.asp.

The Waste Strategy for England 2007 is available at

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/strategy/index.htm.

Wales

Brofiscan Quarry

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received about the polluting of Brofiscan Quarry in South Wales. (154585)

I have received two approaches on the subject, both of which I referred to the Welsh Assembly Government, which now has oversight of environmental regulation in Wales.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales who will be liable for the cost of the damage caused by the polluting of Brofiscan Quarry in South Wales. (154583)

I understand that the Environment Agency is currently investigating the matter of responsibility for remediation costs, and is in contact with several companies and individuals.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the cost of the damage caused by the polluting of Brofiscan Quarry in South Wales. (154584)

None. However, a preliminary appraisal has been undertaken by the Environment Agency. I understand that the full remediation options cannot be finalised until all current inspection work is completed.

Departments: Press

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales to which periodicals his Department subscribes. (153247)

The information is as follows:

Dod's Companions, including National Assembly for Wales companion,

Vacher's Quarterly,

Economist,

The Spectator,

Tribune,

New Statesman,

Prospect,

Whitehall and Westminster World,

Private Eye,

Golwg,

Y Cymro, and

Welsh Farmer

Scotland

Departments: Taxis

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was spent by his Department on taxis in the last 12 months. (153200)

In 2006-07, the Scotland Office spent £9,421 on taxis. All travel is undertaken in accordance with the “Civil Service Management Code” and the “Ministerial Code”.

Elections

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions have taken place since the Scottish Parliamentary elections in May between the Secretary of State and returning officers on the process of auto-adjudication used during the counting process. (155096)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: None. The decision on the content of the user agreement in relation to how the system dealt with ballot papers, including auto-adjudication, was the responsibility of returning officers and the e-counting provider. The Scotland Office did not take any decisions on the inclusion of auto-adjudication. These matters will come within the scope of the independent review of the recent Scottish elections led by Mr. Ron Gould.

Historic Scotland: Information Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many press officers are employed by Historic Scotland. (154160)

Holyrood Parliament Building

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proportion of the construction costs of the Scottish Parliament building was provided from central Government funding. (156330)

The construction costs of the Scottish Parliament is a devolved matter.

The devolved administration and legislature in Scotland are funded through the Scottish block grant. This is paid for through general UK taxation and voted on by the UK Parliament. The costs of the Scottish Parliament building are met from within the block grant.

Voting Methods

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the Government’s review of the experience of new voting systems will take account of information to be reported by the current Electoral Commission’s review chaired by Ron Gould of the recent Scottish elections. (156189)

International Development

ACP and Developing Countries: Common Sugar Regime

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent representations his Department has received from African, Pacific and Caribbean countries on implementation of the reform of the Common Agricultural Sugar Policy. (154563)

DFID Ministers and officials have had a productive and ongoing dialogue with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries on the issue of European Union (EU) sugar reforms. This has included meetings and correspondence and has covered the depth and pace of the reforms, the amount and allocation of transitional assistance and the implications for sugar of the EU's duty and quota free market access offer under the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA's).

Most recent communication between DFID and the ACP countries has been about the European Commission's proposal to terminate the sugar protocol (SP). A number of ACP countries have been concerned about the impacts of the ending of the protocol. However, it is a logical consequence of the EU internal sugar market reforms and the offer of duty and quota free market access as part of the EPAs.

We consider that the Commission's market access offer, on 4 April 2007 will provide, over time, real opportunities for ACP sugar exporters to expand exports to the EU.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the effect on sugar producers in developing countries of the implementation of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy sugar regime. (154542)

In 2003 the European Commission undertook an impact assessment of the proposed reform of the European Union (EU) internal sugar market (this was formally adopted by the Agricultural Council in February 2006). In May 2006 DEFRA undertook a comprehensive regulatory impact assessment of the reform. This assessment looked at the potential impact of the reform on all stakeholders including African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries that supply sugar to the EU market under a preferential trade agreement. In addition DFID has commissioned a number of independent studies looking at the impacts of the reform on the sugar industry in developing countries, with particular emphasis on the least developed countries (LDC's).

The assessments and studies all suggest that the reform will present challenges for the ACP countries who will see the value of their preference decline. They also show that the reform will provide impetus for some of the ACP countries to move their economies away from large scale dependency on sugar and thereby provide long term economic benefit in the form of efficiency gains. However the assessment also suggests the ACP countries will need financial assistance to help them diversify their economies and adapt to the reforms.

In response to these assessments DFID successfully lobbied the Commission to provide transitional assistance for the ACP countries. As a result of the lobbying the EU has earmarked around €1.244 billion between 2007 and 2013. Allocation of these funds is based on a national Sugar Action Plan submitted independently by the ACP countries. DFID has provided technical and financial support to a number of ACP countries to draw up their individual plans.

Departments: Public Private Partnerships

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding his Department provided to the public-private infrastructure advisory facility in each year since its inception. (154398)

DFID has supported the public private infrastructure advisory facility (PPIAF) over three phases since its inception in 1999. Our total commitment to PPIAF from 1999 to 2008 is £53.3 million, broken down annually as follows:

£

1998-99

1,450,000

1999-2000

3,200,000

2000-01

5,895,287

2001-02

3,598,848

2002-03

8,209,761

2003-04

7,179,905

2004-05

6,525,733

2005-06

2,804,781

2006-07

7,487,555

International Assistance

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department has taken to establish the first global roster for education in emergencies since the announcement of its establishment on 5 April. (154366)

At a UK-chaired donor/agencies meeting on 22 May 2007 in Geneva, UNICEF and the Save the Children Alliance (SCA), the lead agencies for education in emergencies, confirmed that establishing a global roster of education experts was the priority in a programme of measures they are leading to build the capacity of UN and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). DFID has discussed follow up on this with UNICEF and the SCA, and is monitoring progress closely.

DFID has also provided UNICEF with £4 million per year over four years to support their role in responding to emergencies. This includes building education response capacity through the Education Cluster Support Unit.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of the £20 million funding announced on 5 April for activities in emergency and post-crisis countries over the next four to five years will be used to fund the first global roster for education in emergencies. (154367)

The programme of work to be covered by the £20 million announced on 5 April is currently being discussed by DFID and UNICEF. It has not yet been finalised.

North Korea

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment his Department has made of the humanitarian situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; and if he will make a statement. (154056)

We assessed the humanitarian situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea at the end of August, in response to the flooding there. As a result of the assessment, DFID has contributed up to £700,000 in response to the Flash Appeal issued by the United Nations on 27 August. £650,000 has gone to programmes under way and being implemented by Save the Children UK and the World Food Programme. We have also offered support to the UN if required to assist with coordinating the relief effort, which is estimated to last a further three months.

North Korea: Non-Governmental Organisations

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions his Department has had with AIDCO and ECHO on support for the work of non-governmental organisations in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. (154064)

The most recent discussion DFID officials have had with the Commission was on 13 September in Brussels.

The Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) will close its programmes in North Korea in May 2008. This is primarily because the North Korean Government requested its donors to end humanitarian aid for the first time in August 2004 and then enforced it in August 2005.

AidCo will now assume the lead on the EU assistance programme, and they plan to allocate a total of €35 million between 2007 and 2010, including €8 million in 2007, largely concentrating on food security. Non-governmental organisations in Pyongyang (and possibly others not currently based in the country) will be bidding for a share of the €8 million. AidCo will take over responsibility from ECHO for the NGOs operating in North Korea.

Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding his Department channelled through the (a) World Bank, (b) International Monetary Fund, (c) United Nations and (d) World Trade Organisation in each of the last 10 years. (154399)

Data on DFID’s multilateral assistance to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and United Nations over the last 10 years are set out in the following table. The World Trade Organisation does not act as a donor but as a forum for trade negotiations and therefore no funding is channelled through it. These figures do not include the element of the DFID bilateral programme channelled through the listed multilateral organisations.

DFID multilateral assistance to World Bank, IMF and United Nations, 1997-98 to 2006-07

£000

World Bank

IMF

United Nations

1997-98

189,815

20,000

131,658

1998-99

173,753

18,000

121,322

1999-2000

167,298

17,000

163,453

2000-01

270,680

226,938

2001-02

243,633

11,147

216,685

2002-03

240,083

11,434

184,651

2003-04

405,650

9,417

203,339

2004-05

248,684

1,767

214,421

2005-06

284,433

23,728

312,029

2006-07

610,970

15

307,953

Overseas Aid: Water

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding his Department has provided for water projects in the last 10 years, broken down by (a) project and programme and (b) country. (154516)

A detailed breakdown of DFID support for the water sector over the last five years can be found in the two reports titled “Financial Support to the Water Sector 2002 to 2004” and “Financial Support to the Water Sector 2004 to 2006”, prepared for DFID by WS Atkins Plc. Both are available on DFID’s website,

www.dfid.gov.uk.

Earlier data are not available on a comparable basis.

Palestinians: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to provide assistance to Palestinians at the Rafah border crossing. (154592)

The 6,374 Palestinians who were stranded in Egypt due to the closure of the Rafah crossing returned to Gaza between 29 July and 12 August.

No DFID assistance was required.

South East Asia: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance he made available to those countries in south-east Asia affected by the floods there. (156375)

DFID responded to the floods in south Asia and Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. We did not receive requests for assistance from south-east Asian states.

In Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, DFID contributed £650,000:

£500,000 through WFP to provide food, clean water and safeguard people against water borne diseases;

£149,422 to Save the Children for essential healthcare support;

We have also offered support to the UN if required to assist with coordinating the relief effort.

In south Asia DFID contributed over £5 million to help the worst affected countries:

In Bangladesh we contributed £2.1 million through the Chars Livelihood Programme, United Nations Development Programme and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) to provide food, water, emergency shelter and medicines to help more than one million people in the worst-affected districts;

In Pakistan, we contributed £2.2 million through the Pakistani Rural Support Programme Network, the United Nations, the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) providing multi-sectoral immediate relief as well as livelihoods assistance;

In India, DFID gave Save the Children £750,000 to provide general relief items, health care and livelihood support, children's education and protection to 13,341 families (including 31,660 children).

Sudan: International Assistance

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much of the US$ 100 million promised to the Eastern Sudan Reconstruction and Development Fund has been delivered; and what (a) reports he has received on and (b) assessment he has made of the work of the Fund's governing board. (153928)

The Government of National Unity has allocated the required US$ 100 million to the Eastern Sudan Reconstruction and Development Fund but this funding has yet to be disbursed. The structure of the Fund's governing board, which is detailed in Article 23 of the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement, has been agreed. However the executive director has not yet been appointed and as such the board is not operational. No reports have been received.

Sudan: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will estimate the number of civilians affected by the situation in Darfur and unable to access humanitarian aid due to the level of insecurity in the region; and if he will make a statement. (154696)

DFID does not make its own estimates but relies on those provided by the UN. The UN uses the number of people in need of emergency aid as its criterion for defining those who are affected by conflict. This figure currently stands at 4.2 million, including 2.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). There are some 500,000 people across Darfur who are cut off from all humanitarian assistance and protection services. For many of the others, access to aid is only sporadic and frequently interrupted by insecurity and attacks on humanitarian staff.

DFID condemns the continuing violence targeting civilians and humanitarian workers in Darfur and has called on all sides to cease the violence immediately; revise the ceasefire, engage constructively in the renewed political process and support the rapid deployment of the AU/UN peacekeeping force for Darfur.

UN High Commissioners for Refugees: Information Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many press officers are employed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. (154724)

DFID is not responsible for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and therefore does not hold information regarding the number of press officers employed by them.

Northern Ireland

Clergy: Sexual Offences

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2007, Official Report, column 1592W, on clergy: sexual offences, whether the information submitted to the Police Service of Northern Ireland by solicitors acting on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church was in the form of full details or summaries of allegations. (152817)

Solicitors acting on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church provided PSNI with details regarding the victims and their allegations. This information permitted PSNI to make contact with those victims and establish the full facts of each case. For legal reasons no further comment can be made at this stage.

Departments: Ministerial Policy Advisers

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the name is of each special adviser in his Department. (153068)

Departments: Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people have been appointed to his Department outside Civil Service grades in the last 30 days. (153067)

From 1 July 2007 to date the Northern Ireland Office has not appointed any staff to its Department outside of civil service grades.

Departments: Taxis

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent by his Department on taxis in the last 12 months. (153066)

The Northern Ireland Office, excluding its Agencies and Executive NDPBs, spent £28,031 directly on taxis in 2006-07 (this is the last 12 months for which audited expenditure figures are available). However, where members of staff meet the cost of taxi fares out of their own pocket and reclaim the amount from the Department, such sums are grouped with other incidental expenses e.g. car parking. It would not be possible to extract the taxi element from these figures except at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent by his Department on (a) first class and (b) business class flights in the last 12 months. (153064)

£781,170 was spent on business class travel, and a further £60,908 was spent on foreign flights in 2006-07 (this is the last 12 months for which audited figures are available). It is not possible to disaggregate the amount spent on flights to foreign destination by class except at disproportionate cost.

In January of this year the Department introduced arrangements for the greater use of economy class flights.

Departments: Tribunals

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent by his Department on industrial tribunals in the last 12 months. (153060)

The Northern Ireland Office, excluding its agencies and executive NDPBs, spent £85,000 on industrial tribunals in 2006-07 (this is the last 12 months for which audited expenditure figures are available).

Departments: Visits Abroad

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many overseas visits were made by (a) officials and (b) Ministers within his responsibility, and at what cost, in each year since 1997. (151659)

The information is not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, since April 2004 my Department has recorded the total cost of overseas travel by air and train by Ministers and officials. This information is set out in the following table. The majority of the journeys in question were made between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Information on the cost of car travel between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is not held centrally.

Flights

Cost (£)

Rail

Cost (£)

Total (£)

April 2004 to December 2004

186

146,770.93

112

5,079.64

151,850.57

January 2005 to December 2005

313

268,801.48

60

3,003.19

271,804.67

January 2006 to December 2006

196

181,005.94

173

9,650.74

190,656.68

January 2007 to June 2007

111

129,568.49

92

3,553.50

133,121.99

In addition, since 1999 the Government have published on an annual basis, a list of all overseas visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500, as well as the total cost of all ministerial travel overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House. All travel is undertaken in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code and the Ministerial Code.

Sexual Offences: Northern Ireland

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answers of 25 June 2007, Official Report, columns 20-2W, on sexual offences and 10 July 2007, Official Report, columns 1398-9W, on Northern Ireland: convictions, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the conviction rate for rape being lower than for all offences; what meetings he has had with (a) the Police Service of Northern Ireland, (b) the Public Prosecution Service and (c) women's support or rape crisis groups to discuss ways of increasing the conviction rate; and what plans he has to increase the conviction rate for rape. (152818)

We remain committed to reviewing the effectiveness of case handling and improving support services to victims and survivors of sexual violence to help them cope with the traumatic impact of the offence and assist them in giving their best evidence in court.

PSNI, with assistance from the Public Prosecution Service, has recently reviewed the management of a range of rape cases in order to find ways of improving the investigation of such cases. Preliminary findings are being analysed.

A regional strategy for sexual violence, which was the subject of extensive consultation and workshops involving statutory and voluntary sector agencies, victims' groups and the general public, is due to be published by the end of the year by the NIO and DHSSPS. It will specifically examine factors which contribute to the attrition rate in relation to sexual offences and identify ways to address under reporting of offences, further improve inter-agency case management and develop services which meet the needs of victims of sexual violence.

One of the strategy's key measures already announced ahead of formal publication is the development, by a multi-agency steering group involving victims' group Nexus, of Northern Ireland's first sexual assault referral centre. The SARC will build on the valuable services currently available in police child abuse and rape inquiry suites to deliver a more coordinated response to the needs of victims by providing immediate medical aftercare and individual counselling and other support services while also facilitating the preservation of forensic evidence to assist in the successful prosecution of offenders.

Vetting: Applications

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Criminal Records Check applications were received in each of the last three calendar years, broken down by category; how many have been received in 2007; what the trend is in average processing times during this period; how many staff are involved in undertaking this work; and what the budget is for the work in 2007-08. (155355)

The PSNI has advised that they are currently unable to provide accurate figures for vetting requests received prior to February 2007, due to technical difficulties. The PSNI is working to rectify this, and I have asked the Chief Constable to keep me updated on progress.

A total of 80,119 applications were received between February and August 2007. The fall annual total is expected to be approximately 150,000. The following table gives a breakdown by category.

Presently the PSNI vetting section has 10 staff. In 2007-08 the work is expected to cost £184,000 excluding overheads.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland aims to turnaround 90 per cent. of vetting applications within 15 working days. This target has been met in previous years, but due to the technical difficulty noted above, is not being met at present. Additional resources have been dedicated to improving this performance, and progress towards the target is being monitored.

Vetting applications received by PSNI in period February to August 2007

Source

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

Compensation Agency—Pink

4

2

1

6

9

0

0

Compensation Agency—White

973

451

894

385

0

587

550

Compensation Agency—Faxes

18

22

43

29

0

24

0

Education

6,383

3,125

2,090

1,479

1,396

2,332

3,034

Child Care—Statutory Bodies

2,447

1,680

1,147

930

1,219

1,498

Child Care Unit—Voluntary

3,294

2,747

3,272

3,153

2,039

2,514

4,379

Student Placements

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Police Ombudsman

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Public Service Vehicles

1,215

1,274

1,012

1,011

1,127

624

940

Disclosure Scotland

215

252

217

247

236

424

0

Other Police Forces

191

190

93

204

0

0

0

Pre-Employment Consultancy Service

590

798

801

789

1,031

770

295

Training Schools

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Probation Service—Child Access

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Firearms

5

2

0

4

0

1

1

Force Alarms

45

46

48

43

49

80

70

PNC Checks

55

40

53

33

30

26

0

Probation Checks

0

0

0

0

0

13

0

City Airport

99

91

85

95

184

81

27

International Airport

286

298

149

279

317

208

0

Door Supervisors

82

51

44

39

43

9

0

Social Care Council

576

366

256

72

51

121

512

Street Traders

2

10

6

12

6

0

0

Community Affairs—Voluntary Sector

10

20

3

11

12

12

5

Garda/Interpol

0

0

0

0

152

225

0

Housing Executive

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Bombardier

12

18

11

27

10

56

34

NI Electricity

0

40

7

43

16

15

10

Ranstad

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Civil Service

811

380

485

711

418

140

372

Civil Service Contracts

0

206

181

345

284

152

0

NI Assembly

58

102

53

115

52

48

22

NI Court Service

38

0

0

0

0

0

0

PNC—recruiting

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

PNC—NI Security Branch

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Water Service

0

0

10

109

123

80

48

Legal Services

0

0

12

4

14

3

0

Environment and Heritage

0

0

7

2

6

3

0

Youth Justice Agency

0

0

0

0

5

0

0

Fire Brigade

0

0

0

7

8

4

0

Others

11

0

0

0

0

0

0

Child Access

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Subject Access

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

CRB

0

0

762

0

0

0

0

Total

17,420

12,211

11,742

10,184

8,837

9,426

10,299

Total in period

80,119

Communities and Local Government

Aerials

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many mobile phone masts are on the Valuation Office Agency's ratings list in England. (155694)

The number of non-domestic hereditaments shown in the Rating Lists of England, under the description of Communication Station as at 26 September 2007 is 27,428. This figure includes all mast sites including mobile, telecommunications and broadcast sites. A break down to show the numbers of mobile phone sites could be delivered only at a disproportionate cost.

Allotments: Liability

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has provided to local authorities in relation to public liability and allotments. (155687)

In June 2001 the Department (then DETR), the LGA, Shell Better Britain Campaign and the GLA jointly published a ‘Growing in the Community: A Good Practice Guide for the Management of Allotments' for local authorities—a free copy was circulated to all local authorities. The aim of the guide was to raise standards in the provision, management and care of allotments and the guide has a section on public liability insurance. The guide recommends that local authorities obtain further advice on public liability from representative bodies such as the National Society of Allotments and Leisure Gardeners who provide free legal advice to members.

The guide is currently being updated by the LGA in consultation with the Department and will be published later this year.

More general advice on health and safety on allotments is available in ‘Allotments: A Plot Holders Guide' which was published by the Department in June 2007, and in the Health and Safety facts sheet published by the Allotment Regeneration Initiative.

Allotments: Sales

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what (a) approvals and (b) rejections of the sale or disposal of allotments under the Allotments Act 1925 have been made by her and her predecessor since May 2007. (152520)

We have been advised by the Government Offices that between 1 May 2007 and 20 September 2007 there have been 10 approvals of the sale or disposal of allotments:

“Former” allotment land at Hollin Lane/Rochdale Road, Middleton, Rochdale.

Turnsdale Allotment, County Durham—sale of one allotment plot which is continuing as an allotment.

Days Field, Breckland—5.09 acres (replacement sites have been made available).

Shoulder of Mutton, Breckland—3.47 acres (replacement sites have been made available).

South Acton Estate, Ealing, London.

Finnigan Road Allotment, Plymouth—sale of an 0.1 acre overgrown vacant plot for addition to garden of adjoining house.

Whitton Church Land field, Ipswich (land not used for allotment purposes since before 1985)—to provide more football pitches in the locality.

Bucklands Way Allotments, Sutton, London—temporary one year licence for occupation of land/hut which forms part of the allotment site.

Church Fields Allotments Land, Surrey Heath—land given over to additional burial ground.

Carshalton Athletic FC, War Memorial Sports Ground, Sutton, London.

There have been no rejections of the sale of allotments.

There are currently a total of 34 application cases which are pending decision.

Audit Commission: Information Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many press officers are employed by the Audit Commission. (154150)

This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission. The Chief Executive of the Audit Commission has written to the hon. Member.

Council Housing: Overcrowding

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many council tenants in London are classed as living in overcrowded accommodation. (154383)

Based on data derived from the Survey of English Housing it is estimated that over the period 2003-04 to 2005-06 an average of 62,000 households living in council housing in London were in overcrowded conditions, as defined by the Bedroom Standard.

Council Housing: Waiting Lists

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average waiting time was for council housing in each London borough in each of the last 10 years. (154814)

Information on average waiting time on a housing list for households is not held centrally. While information is collected centrally on the number of households on local authority housing waiting lists, which is given in the annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA), there is no indication of average time spent on a waiting list.

The accuracy of the list also depends on the extent to which housing authorities keep the register up-to-date, e.g. some people might already have found housing, yet remain on the list. It is also important to bear in mind that not everyone on the waiting list will necessarily be in urgent housing need. It will also include those who consider social housing as their preferred choice, or one of a number of housing options.

Council Tax: South East Government Office

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment her Department has made of the council tax collection rates of (a) Gravesham, (b) other councils in Kent and (c) other councils in the South East Government Office in the last 10 years; and if she will make a statement. (154569)

The collection and enforcement of council tax is a matter for individual billing authorities. Communities and Local Government has made no assessment of the collection rates in the last 10 years for Gravesham, other councils in Kent or other councils in the South East. Across England, in-year collection of council tax rose for the seventh successive year in 2006-07, to 96.9 per cent. of the total collectable.

Departmental Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 12 July 2007, Official Report, column 1629W, on departmental travel, what the (a) cost and (b) purpose was of the visits to (i) the US and (ii) Kenya; and how many staff went on each visit. (153724)

The visit to the US cost £7,021 and was for two staff to share best practice with policy and law enforcement practitioners and community organisations working on integration/cohesion and preventing violent extremism and to deliver two lectures on these subjects.

The Kenya visit cost £2,898 and was for one member of staff to attend the UN Habitat Governing Council as part of the UK delegation.

Departments: Legislation

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 24 July 2007, Official Report, column 957W, on Departments: Legislation, which (a) sections and (b) schedules of the specified acts have (i) been repealed and (ii) not been brought into force. (154205)

Pursuant to the answer given on 24 July, Official Report, column 957W, provisions in acts sponsored by Communities and Local Government not yet in force or repealed are set out in the following table.

Statute in force

Provisions not yet in force

Repealed provisions

Local Government(Contracts) Act 1997

None

s.1(3)(c), s.10, s.12

Local Government Finance(Supplementary Credit Approvals) Act 1997

None

Act wholly repealed

Regional Development Agencies Act 1998

None

Sch. 5

Local Government Act 1999

None

s.8(1), s.22(2), s.22(7), s.24(3), s.31

Greater London Authority Act 1999

s.63, s.123, s.199, s.302, s.405, s.406, s.408, s.411, s.413 (in force only in so far as the section concerns any power of a minister to make regulations or an order); s.287(2); s.325 (in force only to the extent that it relates to para. 106 of Sch.1 and paras.69, 84(1), (3) and 105 of Sch.27); s.423 (in force only to the extent that it relates to Sch.34); Sch.27 (only para. 106 in force); Sch.32

s.21(3) and (4), s.52(7), s.66, s.86(3), s.108(2), s.111-118, s.136(1), s.175(4), s.201, s.203, s.204, s.219, s.235(2)(h), s.235(3)(d) and (e), s.235(6), s.242(9), s.252(1), s.283(2) and (4), s.284, s.286, s.310(2), s.326, s.330, s.337(10), s.352(3)(b), s.353(3), s.361, s.378(11)(e), s.391, s.425(3)

Local Government Act 2000

s.96

s.7(2)(a), s.62(7)(b) (partially), s.68(4) and (5) (partially), s.83(1) (partially), s.94, s.95, s.102(1), s.104, Sch.5 paras. 14, 16, 17, 21 and 29

Rating (Former Agricultural Premises and Rural Shops) Act 2001

None

s.1(4)

Homelessness Act 2002

s.11 (applies only to Wales)

None

Fire Services Act 2003

None

s.3(2)(b), s.3(3), s.3(4)(e)

Regional Assemblies (Preparations) Act 2003

None

Sch.1 para.1

Local Government Act 2003

s.3(1)-(4), (8), (9), (11) in England, s.68, s.69

s.23(1)(i), s.33(1)(h), s.100(2)(f), s.101(7)(b), s.109(2), s.119, s.121, Sch.7 paras. 1,5(3) and (5), 52(4), 66 and 67

Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004

None

s.27, s.44(3) and (4), Sch.1 para. 55

Housing Act 2004

s.104-122, s.124-131, 132(1)-(5), s.133 (all of which are not in force in England). Sch.11 paras. 15 and 16, Sch.15 para. 7(3)(b) and (4)(b), Sch.15 para. 37(2)(c) and (d), Sch.15 para.45(2)(a). Sch.16 brought into force only in relation to England (by SIs 2005/326, 2066/1060 and 2007/1068) and Wales (SIs 2005/1814 and 2006/1535)

s.209-211, s.288(2)-(4), Sch.14, Sch.15 paras. 1, 7, 37, 45 and 46

Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004

s.43 in part (some provisions commenced by SI 2005/2081 );s.45. s. 46-48, s.50, and parts of Schedules 6, 7 and 9 (in force for certain purposes only, see SI 2004/2097).

s.60(7)

Departments: Ministerial Responsibilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the ministerial responsibilities of each of her ministerial team are. (156516)

The ministerial responsibilities of each member of the CLG ministerial team are outlined as follows.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Right hon. Hazel Blears MP

Overall responsibility for the Department and its policies, including departmental strategic objectives (DSOs); public service agreement (PSA) targets; comprehensive spending review settlement

Empowering communities and citizens

Olympics legacy

Minister for Housing

Yvette Cooper MP

Lead responsibility for: housing policy and programmes (Homebuy and shared ownership, low and zero-carbon housing, eco-towns, homelessness, HMR pathfinders, social housing, HIPs), including housing elements of the comprehensive spending review and PSAs; and planning reform (town and country planning); and representing the Department in Cabinet on these areas of policy

Physical and housing-related regeneration and sponsor minister for new Homes Agency implementation

Housing and Regeneration Bill

Urban policy and design

Sustainable development and climate change: including the code for sustainable homes and building regulations

Minister for the Thames Gateway, new growth points and growth areas

Olympics legacy issues

Minister for Local Government

John Healey MP

Lead responsibility for local government policy and finance, including local government pensions and Supporting People

Cities and regions (including lead minister for the Greater London Authority Bill)

Government offices

Neighbourhood renewal and tackling disadvantage (including neighbourhood renewal fund; new deal for communities; LEGI)

Planning for major infrastructure, and the Planning Bill

Resilience and recovery from flooding

Overview of fire and rescue service

Community engagement and empowerment; Quirk review

Overview of liveability

Joint Chair of the London Resilience Forum

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State

Parmjit Dhanda MP

Cohesion (including joint chair of Migration Impacts Forum)

Preventing violent extremism

Fire and rescue service

Support on local government policy and finance (including local government pensions)

Sponsor Minister for Valuation Tribunal Service

Planning casework for East Midlands; East; London; South East; Olympics cases; (includes all cases in the growth areas)

Support on planning for major infrastructure, and the Planning Bill

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State

Iain Wright MP

Support on all aspects of housing policy and programmes and town and country planning, and physical and housing-related regeneration, including decent homes, housing market renewal, and homelessness

Support for Housing and Regeneration Bill

Support on urban policy and urban design; code for sustainable homes; building regulations

Climate change and sustainable development

Ordnance Survey (shareholder Minister)

Phone masts

Sponsor for Audit Commission

Gypsies and Travellers

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State

Baroness Andrews of Southover

Departmental business in the House of Lords

Responsibility for departmental contribution to the Respect agenda

Support on Supporting People (including individual budgets)

Support on neighbourhood renewal and tackling disadvantage (including neighbourhood renewal fund; new deal for communities; LEGI)

Liveability

Planning casework for Yorkshire and Humber; North East; South West; West Midlands; North West

Planning inspectorate sponsor

Ordnance Survey (client Minister)

Disabled facilities grant

National strategy for an ageing society

Third sector strategy

Supporting on community engagement and empowerment; Quirk review

Digital inclusion

Champion Minister for culture and regeneration

Departments: Private Finance Initiatives

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many private finance initiatives projects her Department expects to sign in each of the next three years. (154452)

The number of local authority private finance initiative projects sponsored by Communities and Local Government which are expected to be signed in each of the next three years are as follows:

Projects

2008-09

14

2009-10

11

2010-11

5

The above estimate is based on the current project timetables submitted by the relevant Communities and Local Government sponsored local authorities taking forward PFI projects.

Departments: Redundancy Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent by her Department on redundancy payments in the last 12 months. (153217)

The cost of redundancies (including voluntary redundancies) of staff leaving the central part of the Department for Communities and Local Government during the 12 months to 30 June 2007 was £21.6 million.

Departments: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent by her Department on (a) staff training and (b) communication training in the last 12 months. (153219)

The Department has spent £2,042,054 on staff training in the last 12 months. Details of communication training are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Derelict Land: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of new homes were built on brownfield sites in each London borough in each of the last five years. (154812)

Statistics for the period 2001 to 2005 (the most recent and statistically robust available) for the percentage of new dwellings (not including conversions) built on previously-developed (“brownfield”) land are shown in the following table. The figure for the whole of London is 94 per cent.

Percentage of dwellings built on previously-developed land, in London 2001-05

Percentage

Barking and Dagenham

84

Barnet

93

Bexley

87

Brent

85

Bromley

90

Camden

93

City of London

100

Croydon

99

Baling

90

Enfield

92

Greenwich

95

Hackney

99

Hammersmith and Fulham

100

Haringey

100

Harrow

86

Havering

96

Hillingdon

88

Hounslow

93

Islington

99

Kensington and Chelsea

99

Kingston upon Thames

94

Lambeth

94

Lewisham

99

Merton

90

Newham

82

Redbridge

97

Richmond upon Thames

98

Southwark

94

Sutton

99

Tower Hamlets

98

Waltham Forest

94

Wandsworth

100

Westminster

100

Emergency Services: Gloucestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the role played by the Gloucestershire tri-service centre during recent floods and water shortages. (154929)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: A review of the wider lessons learned is to be carried out by the Cabinet Office, with support from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department of Communities and Local Government. This will examine the emergency response to the floods in June and July and consider how to reduce the risk and impact of floods in the future. The role performed by the Gloucestershire tri-service centre will be taken into account as part of this wider exercise.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will review the decision to break up the Gloucestershire tri-service centre. (154930)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: The Gloucestershire tri-service centre will not be broken up. The centre will continue to house staff from all three emergency services and support tri-service working after the control room of the fire and rescue service is moved to the South West Regional Control Centre. The Government are committed to creating a new national network of nine resilient regional control centres which will enhance the ability of the Fire and Rescue Service to respond to major incidents and natural disasters in a co-ordinated, efficient and effective manner. We believe that the public will be better protected by this approach. The new Regional Control Centres will however build on the valuable lessons learnt on joint working from the tri-service pilots, including the recent experience of dealing with flooding in Gloucestershire.

English Partnerships: Information Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many press officers are employed by English Partnerships. (154459)

English Partnerships does not employ press officers. It does however have six corporate communications officer posts in its headquarters which deal with press and media inquiries as part of their remit. One of these posts is currently vacant.

Equality: EC Action

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the UK Government have received a reasoned opinion from the European Commission on the implementation of the race equality directive (2000/43/CE); and if she will make a statement. (154013)

The UK received a reasoned opinion from the European Commission concerning the implementation of Council Directive 2000/43/EC (“the Race directive”) on 29 June 2007. The Commission argued that the UK had not fully transposed the Race directive in relation to the definition of indirect discrimination, and because there was a lack of transparency over the remedies available to victims of instructions to discriminate. The Government replied to the Commission on 24 August confirming that it would amend domestic law to clarify the situation and meet the Commission's concerns. We intend to lay regulations before Parliament shortly.

First Time Buyers: Age

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the mean age of a first-time buyer was in each year since 1997. (155857)

The mean age of a first-time buyer is not collected. The average age of a first-time buyer in the UK is available on the Council of Mortgage Lenders website at http://www.cml. org.uk/cml/filegrab/2ML2.xls?ref=4624

These figures are also presented in the following table.

Median age of first-time buyers, UK

Median age

1997

29

1998

29

1999

30

2000

30

2001

30

2002

31

2003

31

2004

31

2005

30

2006

29

Source:

CML.

Floods: Bassetlaw

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what requests she received in July 2007 for assistance with flooding recovery and humanitarian aid by Bassetlaw District Council (a) in writing, (b) by e-mail and (c) by telephone. (153854)

Communities and Local Government have been in regular contact with all the local authorities who have been affected by the floods and this includes Bassetlaw district council

Contact with Bassetlaw district council has included collecting information to inform understanding of the impact of the flooding in the district and specific information to contribute to the decision making process for the provision of the Flood Recovery Grant. On the basis of the relative number of households affected (based on the available information at the time) Bassetlaw district council was allocated £250,000 in Flood Recovery Grant (£200,000 on 13 July and £50,000 on 20 July).

In addition, on 27 June 2007 Bassetlaw district council notified Communities and Local Government of their intention to claim under the Bellwin scheme for the June floods. The Bellwin scheme provides emergency financial assistance from Government to local authorities to help meet the uninsurable costs of immediate action to safeguard life or property or prevent severe inconvenience to inhabitants in the case of an emergency or disaster such as the floods.

Floods: EC Grants and Loans

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what European Union assistance is available to help rebuild communities damaged by floodwater; and if she will make a statement; (153309)

(2) what plans the Government have to apply for EU funding assistance to help communities rebuild after the recent flooding; and what the deadline is for applying for any such assistance.

On 20 August 2007, UK submitted an application to the European Commission for support from the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) to help recovery from the recent flooding.

Greenbelt: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reason the Green Belt Boundary Layer was removed from her Department's Maps On Tap database March 2007 data update. (153907)

The green belt boundary data held by the Maps on Tap database was removed as the license to use this commercial product has been cancelled.

Home Information Packs

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 164W, on home information packs, what payments her Department and its predecessor have made to (a) Rightmove and (b) Countrywide for advice, research or consultancy on home information packs. (152541)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 164W, on home information packs, what payments her Department and its predecessor made to (a) Rightmove and (b) Countryside for pilot schemes relating to home information packs. (152675)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what meetings Ministers from her Department have had with the Association of Home Information Pack Providers in the last 12 months. (152833)

I have met with the Association of Home Information Pack Providers (AHIPP) on a number of occasions, most recently on 6 September 2007. I have also had similar meetings with other representative bodies and we are continuing to work closely with all key stakeholders on HIPs and EPCs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations her Department has received from (a) Flint Bishop solicitors and (b) Labour Legal Services in the last 12 months on home information packs. (153525)

The Department for Communities and Local Government has no record of representations received from Flint Bishop solicitors or Labour Legal Services in the last 12 months on home information packs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether (a) home information packs and (b) energy performance certificates may include the unique property reference number or a BS7666-compliant address of the domestic dwelling. (153795)

Energy performance certificates include a unique property reference number, which is generated by the Register Operator. Neither this nor a BS7666-compliant address is included in a HIP.

Home Information Packs: Valuation Office

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons the Valuation Office Agency has not been granted access to the home condition report database. (152516)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 22 May 2006, Official Report, column 1400W to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) regarding access to home condition reports.

Homelessness: Cambridgeshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many households in (a) South Cambridgeshire and (b) East Cambridgeshire were accepted as homeless in each year since 1997. (153763)

Information about local authorities’ actions under homelessness legislation is collected quarterly at local authority level, in respect of households rather than people.

Information reported each quarter by local authorities about their activities under homelessness legislation includes the number of households accepted by local authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty. The duty owed to an accepted household is to secure suitable accommodation.

This data is published in our quarterly statistical release on Statutory Homelessness, which includes a Supplementary Table showing the breakdown of key data, including acceptances, by each local authority. This table is published on our website and placed in the Library each quarter. The latest release was published on 10 September 2007 and contains data for the period April to June 2007:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/homelessnessstatistics/publicationshomelessness/

A summary table showing the total number of households accepted as owed the main homelessness duty for East and South Cambridgeshire is as follows.

Number of households accepted1 as owed a main homelessness duty during the year 1997-98 to 2006-07

East Cambridgeshire

South Cambridgeshire

1997-98

92

80

1998-99

167

67

1999-2000

180

85

2000-01

208

125

2001-02

207

148

2002-03

150

103

2003-04

185

129

2004-05

192

116

2005-06

139

122

2006-07

152

87

1 Households eligible under homelessness legislation, found to be unintentionally homeless and in a priority need category, and consequently owed a main homelessness duty

Source:

CLG P1E Homelessness returns (quarterly)

Homelessness: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what percentage of people were (a) homeless and (b) on the council housing waiting list in each London borough in each of the last 10 years. (154806)

The first table shows (i) the number of households accepted as owed the main homelessness duty, and (ii) this number as a percentage of total households in the area, for each London borough for the last 10 financial years (from 1997-98 to 2006-07).

Information on numbers of households, rather than people, is reported each quarter by local authorities about their activities under homelessness legislation, and includes the number of households accepted by local authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty. The duty owed to an accepted household is to secure suitable accommodation.

The second table shows (i) the total number of households on local authorities’ housing waiting lists (i.e. not just those that are homeless), and (ii) this number as a percentage of total households in the area, for each London borough for the last 10 calendar years (from 1997 to 2006).

Local authorities in England report the numbers of households on their housing waiting list as at 1 April in their annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix returns. Not everyone on the waiting list is necessarily in urgent housing need. The waiting list includes those who consider social housing as their preferred or one of a number of housing options, and those who decide to get onto the waiting list ladder before they need or want to move house—particularly where the priority system is heavily based on waiting time. Note that the figures include all households on the waiting list, and not only those that are homeless.

Table (a): Number and percentage of households accepted as owed the main homelessness duty in each London borough

(i) Number of households accepted1 as owed a main homelessness duty during the year, 1997-98 to 2006-07

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Barking and Dagenham

65

257

230

234

346

595

667

775

345

1

Barnet

872

1,027

1,103

1,159

1,112

2

1,084

758

2—

471

Bexley

285

319

275

359

454

468

365

430

270

251

Brent

1,164

2—

1,040

1,146

1,236

1,039

897

795

813

738

Bromley

610

728

839

881

785

865

873

2—

718

621

Camden

1,422

1,555

1,338

1,021

1,120

1,290

1,648

1,148

697

322

City of London

44

53

64

17

12

31

22

31

19

12

Croydon

2—

814

1,219

1,886

1,198

1,291

1,240

1,126

581

340

Ealing

1,068

1,016

989

1,026

860

1,001

1,094

789

662

442

Enfield

743

754

793

1,007

1,143

1,186

1,085

2—

852

768

Greenwich

1,270

1,403

1,242

1,227

1,217

1,003

1,246

1,157

970

610

Hackney

676

705

963

2—

2—

1,136

2—

1,153

2—

774

Hammersmith and Fulham

598

709

895

918

805

811

644

653

430

443

Haringey

1,157

975

2—

1,436

1,138

2—

2—

1,175

1,128

585

Harrow

690

720

670

701

444

400

264

96

120

159

Havering

283

2—

2—

2—

2—

180

452

200

2—

264

Hillingdon

932

914

686

1,003

1,119

933

735

461

396

311

Hounslow

858

2—

1,003

945

1,383

852

691

891

674

466

Islington

949

2—

1,298

1,556

1,428

1,314

2—

1,130

2—

686

Kensington and Chelsea

594

2—

533

658

593

410

476

589

299

269

Kingston upon Thames

437

2—

306

421

2—

448

418

2—

2—

230

Lambeth

779

1,039

1,124

1,110

1,470

1,651

1,545

1,644

1,277

735

Lewisham

2—

1,085

1,248

2—

1,102

1,170

1,502

1,245

1,097

744

Merton

186

205

242

168

173

156

204

261

215

107

Newham

2—

1,383

1,411

1,596

1,449

1,433

1,519

2—

1,422

428

Redbridge

322

302

450

2—

437

2—

806

2—

599

410

Richmond upon Thames

584

633

432

343

399

325

316

279

254

152

Southwark

890

1,204

1,614

1,702

1,317

1,827

1,540

1,668

1,039

723

Sutton

274

299

513

429

462

429

312

272

219

215

Tower Hamlets

971

1,070

1,130

1,282

1,401

1,617

1,657

1,151

789

864

Waltham Forest

880

2—

856

1,024

1,121

1,140

1,025

800

769

696

Wandsworth

440

2—

2—

886

927

1,072

1,036

840

680

589

Westminster

1,266

1,152

1,074

1,176

1,132

1,117

1,112

970

662

(ii)- Percentage of households accepted1 as owed a main homelessness duty during the year, out of total number of households in each Borough, 1997-98 to 2006-07

Percentage

1997-98

1998-99

1999-00

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Barking and Dagenham

0.1

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.5

0.9

1 0

1 2

0.5

2—

Barnet

0.7

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

2—

0.8

0.6

2—

0.4

Bexley

0.3

0.4

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.5

0.4

0.5

0.3

0.3

Brent

1.3

2—

1.1

1.2

1.2

1.0

0.9

0.8

0.8

0.7

Bromley

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.7

0.6

0.7

0.7

2—

0.6

0.5

Camden

1.7

1.9

1.6

1.2

1.2

1.4

1.7

1.2

0.7

0.3

City of London

1.4

1.5

1.7

0.4

0.3

0.7

0.5

0.6

0.4

0.2

Croydon

2—

0.6

0.9

1 .4

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.8

0.4

0.2

Ealing

1.0

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.7

0.8

0.9

0.7

0.6

0.4

Enfield

0.7

0.7

0.7

0.9

1.0

1.1

1.0

2—

0.8

0.7

Greenwich

1.5

1.6

1.4

1.4

1.3

1.1

1.3

1.2

1.0

0.6

Hackney

0.9

0.9

1.2

2—

2—

1.3

2—

1.3

2—

0.9

Hammersmith and Fulham

0.9

1.0

1.3

1.3

1.1

1.1

0.8

0.8

0.5

0.6

Haringey

1.3

1.1

2—

1.6

1.2

2—

2—

1.2

1.2

0.6

Harrow

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.6

0.5

0.3

0.1

0.1

0.2

Havering

0.3

2—

2—

2—

2—

0.2

0.5

0.2

2—

0.3

Hillingdon

1.0

1.0

0.7

1.0

1.2

1.0

0.7

0.5

0.4

0.3

Hounslow

1.1

2—

1.2

1.2

1.6

1.0

0.8

1.1

0.8

0.6

Islington

1.2

2—

1.7

2.0

1.7

1.6

2—

1.4

2—

0.8

Kensington and Chelsea

0.9

2—

0.8

0.9

0.7

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.3

0.3

Kingston upon Thames

0.8

2—

0.5

0.7

2—

0.7

0.7

2—

2—

0.4

Lambeth

0.7

0.9

1.0

1.0

1.2

1.4

1.3

1.4

1.1

0.6

Lewisham

2—

1.1

1.2

2—

1.0

1.1

1.4

1.2

1.0

0.7

Merton

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.1

Newham

2—

1.7

1.6

1.8

1.6

1.5

1.6

2—

1.5

0.5

Redbridge

0.4

0.3

0.5

2—

0.5

2—

0.9

2—

0.6

0.4

Richmond upon Thames

0.8

0.9

0.6

0.5

0.5

0.4

0.4

0.3

0.3

0.2

Southwark

0.9

1.2

1.6

1.7

1.2

1.7

1.4

1.5

0.9

0.7

Sutton

0.4

0.4

0.7

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.4

0.4

0.3

0.3

Tower Hamlets

1.4

1.5

1.6

1.7

1 .8

2.0

2.0

1.4

0.9

1 .0

Waltham Forest

1.0

2

1.0

1.2

1.2

1.3

1.1

0.9

0.8

0.8

Wandsworth

0.4

2

2

0.8

0.8

0.9

0.9

0.7

0.6

0.5

Westminster

2

1.5

1.4

1.2

1.2

1.1

1.0

1.0

0.9

0.6

1 Households eligible under homelessness legislation, found to be unintentionally homeless and in a priority need category, and consequently owed a main homelessness duty.

2 Denotes data not reported

Note:

Mid-year estimates. 2005-06 and 2006-07 figures based on latest mid-year estimate (2004)

Source:

CLG P1E Homelessness returns (quarterly)

Housing Associations

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the legal status is of housing associations. (154384)

The term "housing association" is defined in section 1 of the Housing Associations Act 1985 for the purposes of that Act as:

“A society, body of trustees, or company—

(a) which is established for the purpose of, or amongst whose objects or powers are included those of, providing, constructing, improving or managing, or facilitating or encouraging the construction or improvement of, housing accommodation, and

(b) which does not trade for profit or whose constitution or rules prohibit the issue of capital with interest or dividend exceeding such rate as may be prescribed by the Treasury, whether with or without differentiation as between share and loan capital.”

Housing Corporation: Information Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many press officers are employed by the Housing Corporation. (154423)

Housing Green Paper

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many hard copies of the 2007 Housing Green Paper were printed and then discarded following the last minute changes to the document. (153813)

Housing: Carbon Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her Department's definition is of a zero carbon residential dwelling. (153869)

As set out in "Building a Greener Future: Policy Statement", a zero carbon home means that, over a year, the net carbon emissions from all energy use in the home would be zero. This would include energy use from cooking, washing and electronic appliances as well as space heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and hot water.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment (a) her Department and (b) its agencies have made of the effect on construction costs of building a zero-carbon home. (155689)

A regulatory impact assessment, which sets out the range of estimated costs associated with the zero carbon homes policy, as set out in Building a Greener Future Policy Statement, was published on 23 July 2007 and is available on the Department's website.

Housing: Construction

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local planning authorities in each (a) region and (b) county have approved (i) local development framework core strategies and (ii) housing allocation development plan documents. (152641)

14 local planning authorities have been issued with final inspectors’ reports finding their core strategy development plan documents sound. 12 of these authorities have now proceeded to adoption of their core strategy. These are set out in the following table.

Region (a)

County (b)

Local Planning Authority

Title(i)

Adopted

East

Norfolk

Broads

Core Strategy

Awaited

East

Cambridgeshire

South Cambridgeshire

Core Strategy

Yes

North East

Northumberland

Blyth Valley

Core Strategy

Yes

North East

Unitary Authority (North Yorkshire)

Redcar and Cleveland

Core Strategy

Yes

North East

Tyne and Wear

South Tyneside

Core Strategy

Yes

South East

West Sussex

Crawley

Core Strategy

Awaited

South East

Surrey

Epsom and Ewell

Core Strategy

Yes

South East

Hampshire

Hampshire

Minerals and Waste Core Strategy

Yes

South East

West Sussex

Horsham

Core Strategy

Yes

South East

Kent

Tonbridge and Malling

Core Strategy

No

South West

Devon

Mid Devon

Core Strategy

Yes

South West

Devon

Plymouth

Core Strategy

Yes

South West

Devon

South Hampshire

Core Strategy

Yes

Yorkshire and the Humber

North Yorkshire

Hambleton

Core Strategy

Yes

Seven local planning authorities have been issued with final reports finding their area action plans sound. These area action plans have included housing allocations as part of the development plan document. The seven relevant authorities have all proceeded to adoption. These are set out in the following table.

Region (a)

County (b)

Local Planning Authority

Title (ii)

Adopted

East

Cambridgeshire

South Cambridgeshire

Northstowe Area Action Plan

Yes

North East

Tyne and Wear

Newcastle

Walker Riverside Area Action Plan

Yes

South West

Devon

Plymouth

North Plymstock Area Action Plan

Yes

South West

Devon

Plymouth

Millbay/ Stonehouse Area Action Plan

Yes

South West

Devon

Plymouth

Devonport Area Action Plan

Yes

South West

Devon

South Hampshire

Sherford Area Action Plan

Yes

West Midlands

Staffordshire

Staffordshire Moorlands

BiddulphTown Centre Area Action Plan

Yes

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the number of house building starts and completions there have been in each of the last four quarters. (155530)

The latest statistics on new house building were published on the 16 August: Communities and Local Government Statistical Release: “House building: April to June Quarter 2007”.

Housing: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which public sector bodies are entitled to undertake (a) primary disclosures and (b) secondary disclosure of information from (i) the Home Condition Report database and (ii) the Energy Performance Certificate database. (153785)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 22 May 2006, Official Report, column 1400W, to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles), regarding disclosure of Home Condition Reports.

I also refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 161W, to the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Mr. Gove), regarding disclosure of Energy Performance Certificates.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of (a) home condition reports and (b) energy performance certificates (EPCs) that will be lodged on the respective online registers once (i) home information packs are required for all homes and (ii) EPCs are required for rented and social domestic dwellings. (153796)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer of 25 June 2005, Official Report, column 160W, given to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles). We will be monitoring the take-up on Home Condition Report.

The Regulatory Impact Assessment for the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive—Articles 7-10 published on 29 March 2007 details the estimated number of energy performance certificates that will be lodged in the register by sector.|

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the URLs are for the (a) Energy Performance Certificate database and (b) Home Condition Report database. (153914)

Housing: Empty Properties

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many empty homes in the private and social sectors she plans to bring back into use; and if she will make a statement. (153792)

We are committed to reducing the number of empty homes and in particular the number of homes that are left empty for long periods of time. The Government do not set a national target for the number of empty homes to be brought back into use as this can be affected by local housing market conditions. However, the Housing Green Paper makes it clear that local authorities should do more to tackle empty homes and we are exploring ways to achieve an increase in activity. We consider that all local authorities should have in place comprehensive strategies on how they intend to deal with empty homes. Many local authorities set their own empty homes targets.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make a statement on her plans to encourage a greater take-up of empty dwelling management orders. (153793)

The Housing Green Paper makes it clear that local authorities should do more to tackle empty homes as part of a wider strategy of increasing housing supply and we are exploring and consulting on ways to achieve this. We consider that all local authorities should have in place strategies on how they intend to deal with empty homes. We expect such strategies to identify and address the different reasons for empty homes.

Enforcement action to bring empty homes back into use should only be considered as a last resort when voluntary measures have proved unsuccessful. We are therefore keen to ensure that local authorities adopt empty dwelling management orders as part of a comprehensive strategy that encompasses a wide range of options.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many empty homes there were in (a) South Cambridgeshire and (b) East Cambridgeshire in each of the last five years. (153764)

Estimates for vacant dwellings in the local authority areas of East Cambridgeshire and South Cambridgeshire since 2002 are tabulated. These include vacancies up to six months and long term vacancies over six months. These are as reported by local authorities through the Council Tax Base (CTB1) form and present vacant dwellings receiving some or a full discount on council tax.

East Cambridgeshire

South Cambridgeshire

November

2002

971

1,366

2003

964

1,650

2004

1,020

1,764

October

2005

784

1,486

2006

911

1,538

Housing: Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether research has been conducted by her Department and its predecessor into the manner in which the EU directive on energy performance certificates has been implemented in other EU member states. (153717)

The UK is as a member state committed to the implementation of the European Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings. It participates fully in Article 14 meetings hosted by the European Commission and attends meetings of the Concerted Action network which shares best practice on implementation of the directive.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) enforcement notices were served and (b) prosecutions were brought as a result of non-compliance with the energy efficiency requirements in Part L of the Building Regulations in each year between 2002 and 2007. (153856)

Enforcement of compliance with the Building Regulations is undertaken by local authorities. There is no central register of enforcement notices served or prosecutions brought. In the main, local authorities aim to resolve issues that arise through inspection of and advice to those undertaking work. Enforcement notices and prosecution are generally only used as a last resort.

Housing: Floods

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library copies of the submissions to the consultation on the most recent revision to PPS25. (153784)

A report summarising the responses to the Planning Policy Statement 25 Development and Flood Risk consultation has been placed in the Library of the House and is also available on the Communities and Local Government website. This is located at:

www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/154211.

Responses can be viewed on request at the Eland House offices of Communities and Local Government.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many homes built in the last 10 years suffered flood damage in June and July 2007; (153843)

(2) what her most recent estimate is of the number of homes that were flooded in England in June and July 2007.

Local authorities have provided their own figures on the number of households affected by flooding (defined as those residential properties where the habitable accommodation has been affected, and excluding those, where—for example—only garage and/or outbuildings were affected). On that basis, information held as of 25 September 2007 estimates that 47,933 households were flooded in June and July. The figures may include some households which flooded on both occasions. We do not hold data which allows us to identify whether individual houses were damaged by the flooding.

The information requested on how many homes built in the last 10 years suffered flood damage in June and July 2007 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the source is of the dataset Areas of Land at Risk of Flooding held on her Department’s MapsOnTap database. (153915)

The source of the data set, Areas of Land at Risk of Flooding, held on the ‘Maps on Tap’ database is the Environment Agency.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of new domestic dwellings were built in areas of flood risk in each Government office region in England in the most recent year for which figures are available. (156518)

On a provisional estimate, 9 per cent. of all new dwellings in England in 2005 were built in flood risk areas. A more robust estimate for 2004 shows that 10 per cent. of all new dwellings in England were built in flood risk areas during that year. The following table gives a breakdown by Government office region of the percentage of new dwellings built in flood risk areas for the last 10 years.

Flood risk is a major factor in the location of new development. Flood risk areas account for about 10 per cent. of land in England, including parts of major cities, and around 10 per cent. of the population already live in flood risk areas. The Government’s aim is to avoid inappropriate development in areas of high flood risk. The Government published planning policy statement (PPS25) in December 2006 to strengthen and clarify earlier policy on this issue.

PPS25 ensures that flood risk must be taken into account at all stages of the planning process. Development that would not be safe in the higher flood risk areas should be directed to areas of lower risk wherever this is practicable. In particular, more vulnerable development, such as housing, should not be permitted in high risk areas unless it can be clearly demonstrated that the need for the development outweighs the risk, and it will be safe, without increasing flood risk.

The definition of high flood risk areas and floodplain used by Communities and Local Government is the high risk zone mapped by the Environment Agency as being at a probability of flooding, excluding the presence of flood defences, of at least a one in 100 each year for river flooding and at least a one in 200 for coastal flooding. This is the basis for the definition of ‘high risk areas’ in PPS25.

Percentage of all new dwellings built in flood risk areas, by region, 1996 to 2005

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

20051

North East

6

5

2

3

1

2

2

3

2

2

North West

5

5

7

5

6

9

6

8

5

4

Yorkshire and the Humber

11

12

7

10

13

12

11

15

10

13

East Midlands

10

12

6

7

9

11

13

13

11

9

West Midlands

7

4

6

6

2

4

5

4

5

3

East of England

6

7

8

7

7

6

7

8

7

13

London

27

25

26

24

23

20

21

28

26

18

South East

6

8

9

10

9

10

8

10

7

7

South West

5

6

6

8

7

8

10

7

8

7

England

9

9

9

9

9

9

10

11

10

9

1 Provisional.

Notes:

1. There is an inevitable time-lag between land use change occurring and it being recorded, therefore data are constantly being updated.

2. The data in the table are based on records received from Ordnance Survey up to March 2007.

Source:

Land Use Change Statistics

Housing: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many new homes were built in each London borough in each of the last five years. (154813)

The figures requested are tabulated as follows.

New build completions by London boroughs 2002-03 to 2006-07

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

London

15,670

19,394

24,063

18,809

21,997

Barking and Dagenham

222

263

576

467

684

Barnet

712

902

1,326

597

377

Bexley

271

773

221

140

212

Brent

850

536

390

251

632

Bromley

203

269

874

497

484

Camden

77

162

499

400

378

City of London

67

213

45

41

2

Croydon

616

289

391

400

845

Ealing

236

730

605

702

1,325

Enfield

606

379

524

703

998

Greenwich

1,410

878

1,576

1,073

1,134

Hackney

333

205

525

353

420

Hammersmith and Fulham

78

135

281

131

202

Haringey

172

78

569

79

35

Harrow

547

291

238

275

320

Havering

263

271

457

486

650

Hillingdon

391

426

473

306

194

Hounslow

459

998

777

1,192

1,556

Islington

283

220

166

383

743

Kensington and Chelsea

269

602

120

75

139

Kingston upon Thames

207

405

425

188

172

Lambeth

392

224

552

659

942

Lewisham

483

447

188

164

457

Merton

306

115

502

948

646

Newham

402

981

553

796

471

Redbridge

510

419

650

963

513

Richmond upon Thames

269

361

316

249

159

Southwark

384

619

1,832

1,120

512

Sutton

372

272

670

400

455

Tower Hamlets

1,486

1,916

2,952

1,918

1,904

Waltham Forest

345

191

293

256

394

Wandsworth

625

483

1,260

338

722

Westminster

842

784

421

357

211

Source:

Returns to CLG from local authorities and the NHBC. Local authority figures presented are as reported. Regional totals include estimates for missing returns.

Housing: Immigration

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 23 July 2007, Official Report, column 745W, on Housing: Immigration, how many of the additional households projected by each of the sets of household projections referred to in that Answer were projected to be in (a) London and (b) each region of England. (154029)

An estimate of the amount of projected household growth attributable to net migration is available at the England level only. This is because the estimate is derived from the Office for National Statistics variant population projections that are themselves available at the England level only.

Housing: Inspections

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) mean and (b) median time is for (i) a home inspector and (ii) a domestic energy assessor to be fully accredited. (152383)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 26 June 2007, Official Report, column 633W to the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove).

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number and proportion of trained and accredited (a) home inspectors and (b) domestic energy inspectors likely not to practise as such within (i) one and (ii) five years of qualifying. (154334)

The number of home inspectors and domestic energy assessors will be sufficient to produce the energy performance certificates for home information packs required by the market.

Housing: Local Authorities

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authority houses were (a) sold and (b) demolished in each London borough in each of the last five years. (154811)

The numbers of local authority homes sold and demolished in each London borough in each of the last five years are tabulated below. Figures for 2006-07 are not yet available.

Sales1 and demolitions of local authority homes: London

LA name

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Barking and Dagenham

Demolitions

0

0

0

0

0

Sales

n/a

585

653

431

249

Barnet

Demolitions

0

0

n/a

0

0

Sales

169

n/a

251

n/a

47

Bexley

Demolitions

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

Sales

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

Brent

Demolitions

0

0

0

0

0

Sales

159

157

185

n/a

71

Bromley

Demolitions

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

Sales

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

Camden

Demolitions

0

0

0

0

0

Sales

671

477

518

433

137

City of London

Demolitions

0

0

0

0

0

Sales

53

53

77

54

13

Croydon

Demolitions

0

0

0

0

0

Sales

259

242

324

182

42

Ealing

Demolitions

100

0

0

0

0

Sales

309

n/a

339

176

51

Enfield

Demolitions

0

0

0

0

0

Sales

210

279

382

216

67

Greenwich

Demolitions

0

0

0

0

2

Sales

470

561

701

409

127

Hackney

Demolitions

213

188

175

0

213

Sales

n/a

728

656

709

202

Hammersmith and Fulham

Demolitions

102

0

159

24

19

Sales

212

n/a

228

215

116

Haringey

Demolitions

0

0

0

0

0

Sales

n/a

363

500

473

226

Harrow

Demolitions

0

0

0

0

0

Sales

88

69

81

54

32

Havering

Demolitions

0

0

0

0

0

Sales

219

216

258

124

89

Hillingdon

Demolitions

28

0

0

0

2

Sales

163

163

177

105

76

Hounslow

Demolitions

253

0

0

0

0

Sales

n/a

n/a

372

166

43

Islington

Demolitions

54

0

0

0

0

Sales

840

677

743

n/a

n/a

Kensington and Chelsea

Demolitions

0

0

0

0

0

Sales

42

43

66

49

13

Kingston upon Thames

Demolitions

0

n/a

0

0

0

Sales

31

70

64

36

14

Lambeth

Demolitions

0

0

0

20

20

Sales

n/a

n/a

n/a

959

n/a

Lewisham

Demolitions

339

254

84

243

161

Sales

n/a

1,000

n/a

n/a

343

Merton

Demolitions

0

0

0

0

0

Sales

164

195

192

122

45

Newham

Demolitions

0

0

182

85

0

Sales

611

739

888

648

211

Redbridge

Demolitions

0

0

n/a

0

0

Sales

100

119

125

115

71

Richmond upon Thames

Demolitions

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

Sales

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

LSVT

Southwark

Demolitions

519

360

97

0

278

Sales

943

990

1,445

1,754

769

Sutton

Demolitions

147

202

173

129

60

Sales

130

150

145

59

15

Tower Hamlets

Demolitions

42

44

195

0

45

Sales

1,009

1,213

815

866

400

Waltham Forest

Demolitions

0

0

0

0

0

Sales

189

n/a

288

211

53

Wandsworth

Demolitions

0

0

0

0

0

Sales

n/a

253

312

367

137

Westminster

Demolitions

12

0

0

0

0

Sales

204

254

298

149

40

n/a = data not available

LSVT = Large scale voluntary transfer (no local authority housing in district)

1 Includes right to buy sales, sales to sitting tenants and other sales to owner occupiers. Source:

Local authority returns (P1B, BPSA)

Housing: Low Incomes

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many shared equity homes are on the National Register of Social Housing in England. (153711)

The National Register of Social Housing recorded 4,221 dwellings in shared ownership in England in July 2007. This is 1.3 per cent. of the 318,976 dwellings for which the category of provision had been provided by local authorities and housing associations.

In July 2007 the National Register of Social Housing contained records of 1.19 million dwellings out of a total of 4 million. Participation by landlords is at present discretionary. Landlords have only provided the category of provision information for 318,976 dwellings. Without this we are not able to identify those in shared ownership. We are working with local authorities, and, through the Housing Corporation, with housing associations to speed up the capture of data and complete the information on category of provision and other attributes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which Minister approved the establishment of the National Register of Social Housing; and on what date approval was given. (153905)

My right hon. Friend the Member for Streatham, (Keith Hill) then Minister of Housing and Local Government, approved the establishment of the National Register of Social Housing on 13 September 2004.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the (a) Social Homebuy, (b) Open Markets Homebuy and (c) New Build Homebuy schemes apply to social tenants in Wales. (153906)

The Social, Open Market and New Build HomeBuy schemes operate in England to help social tenants, key workers and other priority first time buyers into home ownership.

Housing in Wales is the responsibility of the Welsh Assembly Government.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department has a target for the number of Social HomeBuy sales between 2005 and 2010. (153911)

The Government have not set a specific target for sales under the Social HomeBuy pilot scheme which runs until March 2008. Final numbers will be dependent on participation by local authorities and housing associations offering the scheme and the take up from tenants. The scheme is one of a range of options which aims to help social tenants, key workers and other first time buyers into home ownership.

As announced in the Housing Green Paper: ‘Homes for the future: more affordable’, more sustainable on 23 July, we want to see the opportunity of Social HomeBuy offered more widely by landlords and we will announce further proposals later this year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the business case for the National Register of Social Housing. (153913)