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Braunstone Community Association

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the aims are of the Braunstone Community Association, Leicestershire New Deal regeneration project; what the estimated cost is; for what period it will run; for what reason his Department has sent in departmental auditors; how long the investigation will take; and when the result will be published. [36960]

Ms Keeble: The New Deal for Communities (NDC) programme addresses local regeneration needs by putting residents at the heart of processes to develop community led solutions. In 1998 Braunstone in Leicester was one of 17 areas selected to be a round 1 NDC pathfinder. Braunstone is the most deprived ward in the East Midlands on the National Index of Local Deprivation.

The Braunstone Community Association (BCA) was formed as a company limited by guarantee to deliver the NDC programme. A majority of the BCA Board is made up of residents who have been elected through a democratic process. Following community consultation, the BCA produced a Braunstone NDC delivery plan, which identified key issues affecting Braunstone. The delivery plan sets out a vision centred around the

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five cornerstones of regeneration: work, crime, health, education and the physical environment. On the strength of the delivery plan, the BCA was allocated NDC funding of up to £49.5 million for the regeneration of Braunstone over at least seven years.

The Braunstone NDC programme is now in its second year of project delivery. It has already implemented a range of projects and initiatives to begin to tackle some of the key issues affecting Braunstone, with further projects under development. Over half of the people employed by the BCA in delivering the NDC Programme are local residents.

In November 2001 the BCA Board established an Independent Investigation Panel to examine various stories appearing in the local press that related to its internal relationships. The BCA Board considered the report of investigation panel at its meetings on 20 December 2001 and 7 January 2002. As a result, the BCA has adopted various resolutions to improve processes and partnership working.

In view of the nature of some of the unsubstantiated allegations the Government Office for the East Midlands (GOEM) commissioned an audit of the Braunstone NDC Programme by a Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) audit team. The audit team expects to report to GOEM early in March. It is not customary to publish findings of internal audits.

The audit findings, together with evidence arising from the findings of the independent investigation, will allow the Government Office to decide what further steps it needs to take in order to secure the future of the Braunstone NDC Programme.

Capital Receipts (Islington)

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the total income from capital receipts of the London Borough of Islington was for each of the past three years from non-right to buy sales. [36630]

Ms Keeble: The available information reported by Islington LBC is as follows:

Gross income from housing capital receipts

Sales of fixed assets20,41233,84346,852
of which:
Right to Buy sales(46)12,522n/an/a
Capital Repayments/leasing disposals1,3056761,048
Total housing capital receipts21,71734,51947,900

(46) DTLR P1(B) quarterly housing activity returns


DTLR Capital Outturn Return (COR) returns, except for

(47) DTLR P1(B) quarterly housing activity returns

Local Authority Houses

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what information he has on the cost of promoting ballots of council tenants on stock transfer; and if he will state the cost for each English housing authority area of ballots during the past year. [36617]

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Ms Keeble: The costs of housing transfer ballots are met by local authorities from their housing revenue accounts. The Department does not hold information on the amounts involved.

Galileo Satellite Navigation System

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what funds have been committed to the Galileo satellite navigation system; and what estimate he has made of the total final cost of the system to (a) public and (b) private funds. [37292]

Mr. Jamieson: The Galileo satellite navigation programme is being carried out jointly by the European Union (EU) and the European Space Agency (ESA). They are each planning to contribute euro 550 million to the development and validation phase (2001–05). In April 2001 the Transport Council released euro 100 million of the EU contribution. A decision on whether to release the remaining euro 450 million may be taken at the Transport Council on 26 March. A declaration for subscriptions to ESA's share of the costs was opened at the ESA ministerial meeting held in November 2001. A majority of ESA member states subscribed but the UK indicated that it would await the outcome of the Transport Council's decision before finalising its contribution.

Originally, the European Commission estimated that the capital costs of Galileo would be euro 3.25 billion (2001–08) with annual operational costs of euro 220 million from 2008. The public sector would provide euro 1.75 billion of the capital costs, the private sector the balance of euro 1.5 billion, and operational costs would be met from revenues.

A recent study carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) on behalf of the Commission has put the capital cost at euro 3.4 billion, with annual operating costs of euro 224 million over a 20-year concession period. PWC considered that the programme would require some continued public funding for deployment of the system and payments during operation. Total public sector funding was estimated at some euro 3.8 billion, depending on the private sector assessment of revenues and risks, and subject to the outcome of a competitive tendering process.

Rent Officers

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many appeals against the decision of rent officers covering the Greater London area there have been in each of the last three years. [37111]

Ms Keeble: The number of appeals against the decision of rent officers covering the Greater London area in each of the last three years was as follows:

Number of appeals
Housing benefit casesFair rent casesTotal

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Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many people with an ethnic minority background serve as rent officers in the Greater London area. [37110]

Ms Keeble: The Rent Officer Service (TRS) currently employs 13 rent officers in Greater London who belong to an ethnic minority. In percentage terms this is 13 per cent. of the overall number of rent officers.

Train Speed Restrictions

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many train speed restrictions are in force in the UK rail network system. [37265]

Mr. Jamieson: At the end of January 2002 there were 652 temporary speed restrictions on the network.

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Empty Properties (Greater London)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many properties have been empty for up to five years in each Greater London borough. [37108]

Ms Keeble: Information for the number of dwellings that have been vacant for five or more years is not available centrally.

The number of all vacant local authority and Registered Social Landlords' dwellings in each local authority area in London on 1 April 2001 (the latest available data) are set out alongside the local authorities' estimates of 'Other private' and 'Other public' sector dwellings. Also included are the number of local authority dwellings that have been vacant for more than six months and the estimated number of 'Other private' sector dwellings vacant for more than six months.

Number of vacant residential dwellings in London on 1 April 2001, by local authority and tenure

of which:of which:
Local authorityLA(48)vacant over six months(49)RSL(50)'Other public' sector(48)'Other private' sector(48)vacant over six months(48)Total vacant dwellings
Barking and Dagenham47910110217473801,329
City of London333111431
Hammersmith and Fulham29772321373,9021,9814,557
Kensington and Chelsea1082521905,7402196,067
Kingston upon Thames9716161,028
Richmond upon Thames0014661,6051,2011,757
Tower Hamlets66133140244,3623,0495,429
Waltham Forest120301931202,3061,0202,739

(48) Housing Investment Programme (HIP) data from the 2001 Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix.

(49) Housing Investment Programme (HIP) data from the 2001 Business Plan Statistical Appendix.

(50) Annual Regulatory and Statistical Returns (RSR 1) made by RSLs to the Housing Corporation.


1. RSL—Registered Social Landlord.

2. 'Other public'—includes Government Department, public sector agencies and dwellings owned by other local authorities within the area.

3. '—' not known/available data.

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There will always be a certain level of empty property for operational reasons, including those vacant for very short periods between tenants.

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