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Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the (a) number and (b) percentage of dwellings in (i) the private rented sector, (ii) multiple occupation in (1) England and Wales, (2) Greater London and (3) the London borough of Enfield in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
|England and Wales||Greater London|
|As at 1 April||Dwellings (thousand)||Percentage of total stock||Dwellings (thousand)||Percentage of total stock|
9 Jan 2001 : Column: 488W
|Dwellings(1) (thousand)||Percentage of total stock|
(1) Includes traditional Houses in Multiple Occupation (bedsits), purpose-built HMOs and converted flats.
English House Condition Surveys 1991 and 1996
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what estimate he has made of the impact on (a) house prices and (b) levels of homelessness in the south-east region of a decision to allow individual local authorities to decide the overall level of provision of new dwellings over the next 20 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mullin: The Government's policy is to encourage local authorities to work with one another and other stakeholders in order to take a strategic view of housing needs sensitive to the location of jobs and services and to future changes in circumstances. The new framework for the development of Regional Planning Guidance facilitates this approach and helps local authorities to plan, monitor and manage on a more flexible basis than under the former "predict and provide" regime which we have abandoned.
Planning on a purely local basis without this strategic framework would be likely to lead to higher house prices and increased homelessness in areas of high demand, and to other impacts such as skill shortages and longer journeys to work. It would also be likely to lead to inconsistent patterns of provision aggravating problems of shortage in some areas and conversely contributing to low demand and abandonment in others. However, the precise scale of these impacts in the south-east would be difficult to estimate given the complexity of the housing market.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will break down the total amount spent on each programme by his Department in each year since May 1997 in the (a) Edmonton parliamentary constituency and (b) London borough of Enfield where applicable. 
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Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is his policy on reduction of the payment of council tax benefit subsidy to local authorities that make council tax increases which he judges to be excessive; if he will make an exception to his policy for Worcestershire; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Beverley Hughes [holding answer 8 January 2001]: The Government believe that local authorities making steep increases in council tax should themselves meet part of the escalating council tax benefit bill resulting from their decisions. The Council Tax Benefit Subsidy Limitation (CTBSL) scheme was introduced to
9 Jan 2001 : Column: 490W
Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2000, Official Report, column 86W, if he will list the sites in remote and sparsely populated areas in (a) the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and (b) Argyll and Bute constituency; if he will publish the recommendations of the independent research regarding these sites; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: The independent research did not specifically examine sites in either the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, or Argyll and Bute constituency. However, similar sites in other remote and sparsely populated areas (such as in Wales and the Yorkshire Dales) were studied. The sample of sites chosen was designed to ensure that selected sites were broadly representative of quarries across the country in terms of local population density and outputs. The findings of the research, "The Environmental Costs and Benefits of the Supply of Aggregates" by London Economics, was published in July 1999 and provided the basis for setting the rate of the aggregates levy.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make it his policy for high-value cars destined to be crushed as a result of the owners' non-payment of road tax to be auctioned with the proceeds going to the relevant local highway authority. 
Mr. Hill: High-value vehicles impounded as a result of non-payment of vehicle excise duty and not reclaimed are always auctioned. Such vehicles make up less than one per cent. of the total impounded. The funds are used for VED enforcement purposes.
Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what recent estimate he has made of the cost of environmental damage from the emission of carbon dioxide from domestic properties; how this figure is incorporated into his Department's estimated cost and savings of introducing improvements to Part 1 of the Building Regulations; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment to my hon. Friend for Bury, North (Mr. Chaytor) on 28 November 2000, Official Report, columns 549-50W.
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