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Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to revise planning guidance in relation to flood plains to conform with the recent findings of the UK climate impacts programme. 
Ms Keeble: The Government will review Planning Policy Guidance Note 25 "Development and flood risk" in 2004, three years after its publication, in the light of further evidence then available on climate change and emerging experience of its implementation and effectiveness.
As was indicated in PPG 25, planning authorities and the Environment Agency are expected to take account of the potential effects reported by the UK climate impacts programme. The implications of the UKCIP2002 scenarios in respect of flooding are expected to be available this summer.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will estimate the proportion of the population increase projected by his
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Department that relates to rural areas; and how many additional households are expected to be formed by 2016. 
Ms Keeble: The latest sub-national projections for England are the 1996-based projections prepared by the Office for National Statistics. Between 1996 and 2016 the population in those local authorities categorised by my Department as "deep rural" or "mixed rural" is projected to rise by 38 per cent. of the national increase. Over the same time period, the number of households in these local authorities is projected to rise by 0.88 million. This is 28 per cent. of the projected national increase.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many key workers will receive financial support from the Starter Home Initiative; and how much will be allocated to key workers in rural areas. 
Ms Keeble: We are providing £250 million for the Starter Home Initiative (SHI) which aims to help around 10,000 key workers into home ownership. £230 million SHI funding was allocated to local scheme providers in September 2001 following a competitive bidding process. This included some £8.7 million allocated to schemes that proposed to help key workers to buy homes in small rural settlements with a population of 3,000 or less. We expect to announce the allocation of the remaining £20 million SHI funding to successful bidders later this month.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 2 May 2002, Official Report, column 903W, on emergency calls services, how many subscribers on each BT exchange lost their service on Thursday 25 April, and for what period of time; what contingency plans are agreed with the Hampshire police for the breakdown of services to notify police control room; if he will place such plans in the Library; which police stations were closed for the duration of the breakdown; what the source was of his information that callers on the Isle of Wight would have been able to make 999 calls; who informed (a) the police and (b) BT of the breakdown; and who was responsible for notifying members of the public of the arrangements in place for 999 calls during the breakdown period. 
Dr. Whitehead: 77 sub-sections on the Southampton exchange were affected. Service to 80 per cent. of customers was restored by midnight and to the remainder by 3.55 am.
Contingency arrangements are set out in the code of practice for the public emergency call service between public network operators and the emergency services and the brochure "Loss of Access to BT's Public 999 Services". Copies of these two documents have been placed in the Library.
I understand from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight police that instructions were issued for all police stations to remain open or to reopen but in the case of Cowes, which shuts at 6 pm, it was not possible to reopen before 9.30 pm. It remained open until 2 am.
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British Telecommunications have assured me that callers in the Isle of Wight would have been able to make 999 calls. The Hampshire and Isle of Wight police and BT were aware of the breakdown at the same time and made contact with each other.
It is the responsibility of the local emergency services, including the police, to ensure that they have contingency arrangements in place including arrangements to notify the public. These contingency arrangements will be reviewed in the light of the experience gained on 25 April in Southampton.
Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what information his Department has collated on the number of ex-local authority tenants who have exercised the right-to- buy after their tenancy has been transferred to a registered social landlord; and if he will make arrangements for this to be published on a regular basis. 
Ms Keeble: Figures on Preserved Right-to-Buy (PRTB) sales have been collected by the Housing Corporation since 1 April 2001 through their CORE system (continuous recording of lettings and sales). The results are published every six months in the CORE sales bulletins which are deposited in the House of Commons Library. 1,356 such sales were completed in the first six months of operation.
Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what information his Department has collated on levels of under-occupancy in social housing in London. 
Ms Keeble: Based on the 'bedroom standard', which is a well established statistical measure of under-occupancy/ overcrowding, the information requested (plus the equivalent information for England) is provided in the following table:
|One bedroom above the standard||Two or more bedrooms above the standard||Total|
(7) Bedroom standard is an indicator of expected occupation density. A notional number of bedrooms are allocated to each household in accordance with its age/sex/marital status composition and the relationship of the members to each other. This is then compared with the actual number of bedrooms (including bedsitters) available for the sole use of the household.
(8) Survey of English Housing results for three survey years 199899, 19992000, 200001, have been combined to give reliable estimates for London since the sample size in a single year would be insufficient.
Survey of English Housing, DTLR
Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what information his Department has collated on the range of initiatives, apart from the cash incentive scheme and
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HOMEBUY, local authorities and registered social landlords in London offer to encourage tenants to relinquish a tenancy on move from an under-occupied property to more suitably sized accommodation. 
Ms Keeble: My Department published research and good practice guidance on underoccupation in social housing in April 2001 entitled "Managing under-occupation: A guide to good practice in social housing". The research identified and evaluated the initiatives being adopted by social landlords in England to assist under-occupiers to move to a smaller home when they want to. The research showed that social landlords in London and the south-east who are short of family sized homes are the most energetic in trying to reduce under-occupation.
Social landlords employ a range of positive incentives from helping with the move (removal arrangements and expenses) to some form of cash payment or improvements to the property (eg redecorating, kitchen or bathroom refit, improved heating, double glazing etc.). The research showed that a combination of positive inducements and the personal approach was the most effective for encouraging moves. Specialist staff who engage with tenants on a one to one basis, discussing their requirements in detail, explaining what help and properties are available can be particularly effective at facilitating moves.
Copies of the guidance were placed in the Libraries of the House.
Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities and the Housing Corporation since 1 May 1997 on offering tenants incentives, apart from the cash incentive scheme and HOMEBUY, to relinquish a tenancy on move from an under-occupied property to more suitably sized accommodation. 
Ms Keeble: My Department published good practice guidance on managing under-occupation in social housing in April 2001 entitled "Managing under-occupation: A guide to good practice in social housing". The guidance was widely disseminated to LAs, RSLs and other key stakeholders such as the Housing Corporation. The guidance provides good practice for those social landlords who are looking to increase the supply of family sized relets by assisting under-occupiers to move to a smaller property when they want to.
The guidance recognised that under-occupation is not necessarily a bad thing and in areas of low demand under-occupation strategies can be counter-productive. The primary concern for authorities must always be to ask "are we making the very best use of our stock" which requires looking at the problem in the wider context of Government policies on social exclusion and on building mixed and sustainable communities.
Copies of the guidance were placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 30 November 2001, Official Report, column 1162W, on social housing, how many homes were transferred from local authority ownership under (a) the right-to-buy
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scheme and (b) registered social landlords in (i) 1996, (ii) 1997, (iii) 1998, (iv) 1999, (v) 2000, (vi) 2001 and (vii) 2002. 
Ms Keeble: The number of local authority dwellings in rural areas transferred from local authority ownership under the right to buy scheme and to registered social landlords (as reported by local authorities) in each of the years 199596 to 200001 is as follows.
|Right to buy scheme||To RSLs|
Figures for 200102 are not yet available
DTLR P1(B) housing returns (quarterly)
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