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Social Landlords

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether the Government plan to introduce financial incentives to encourage the transfer of council homes to social landlords; and if he will make a statement. [65992]

Mr. McNulty: We have no plans to do so at present.

Decent Homes Target

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what progress has been made on achieving the Government's decent homes target; and if he will make a statement. [65864]

Mr. Raynsford: Based on social landlords' current plans, we believe we are on course to meet our 2004 milestone target to reduce by one-third the number of households living in social housing that is not of a decent standard. We will be able to report on progress during 2001–02 later in the year once Government offices have completed their assessment of local authority business plans and the Housing Corporation has considered housing association decent home returns.

Thames River Crossing

Bob Spink: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 26 June 2002, ref. 63796, on a new Thames crossing, if his Department has been invited to the Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership's meeting in July on the possibility of a new Thames crossing; and if he will make a statement. [66077]

Mr. McNulty: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has not been invited to a meeting with the Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership in July to discuss proposals for a new Thames crossing.

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Bob Spink: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when local councillors and local hon. Members will be invited to the summit between Government Ministers, hon. Members, officials and council leaders, to discuss plans for a new Thames river crossing, east of Dartford; and if he will make a statement. [66000]

Mr. McNulty: No such summit is planned at this time.


Mr. Webb: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much money was spent by the relevant pension fund on paying pensions to retired (a) local government employees and (b) firefighters in 2001–02; if he will estimate the corresponding amounts to be spent in (i) five years' time, (ii) 10 years' time, (iii) 20 years' time and (iv) 30 years' time; if he will estimate in each case the proportion of such liabilities which will arise from (A) unfunded pension schemes and (B) pre-funded pension schemes; and in the case of pre-funded schemes, if he will estimate the value of the corresponding pre-funded funds in each of these years. [66563]

Mr. Raynsford: The Local Government Pension Scheme (the LGPS) is a funded scheme administered at local level by authorities in England and Wales. For the year 2000–01, the latest for which we hold information, payments for LGPS pensioner members amounted to £3.5 billion.

The Firefighters' Pension Scheme (the FPS) is also administered locally by individual fire authorities. Its liabilities are not subject to pension funds. For 2000–01, the latest year for which returns are available, the provisional net total of payments under the scheme for fire authorities in England was £250 million.

Estimates of projected liability expenditure from both the funded LGPS and the unfunded FPS are not held centrally for the periods in question.

Housing (South-west)

Mr. Laws: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what action he is taking to increase the supply of affordable housing in south Somerset; and if he will make a statement; [66296]

Mr. McNulty: The Government recognise the pressures on affordable housing in many parts of the country, including south Somerset. Through the Housing Corporation the Government will provide £1.8 million towards delivering affordable housing in south Somerset this year. This represents an increase of £200,000 on last year, when 160 affordable housing units were provided most of which were for rent.

According to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Survey of Mortgage Lenders, house prices in south-west England rose by 31.8 per cent. during the three years 1999 to 2001. Home ownership is affordable for most people. Homeowners are benefiting from low interest rates, low unemployment and robust income growth. For people purchasing a home in south-west England during 2001, total mortgage payments averaged 17.44 per cent. of their income. This compares to 28.42 per cent. of income in

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1990, and is lower than 1999 (17.91 per cent.) and 2000 (19.43 per cent.). However we are well aware that there can be serious problems for many first time buyers in areas of high demand.

Public Amenity Buildings

Sue Doughty: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many (a) schools, (b) hospitals, (c) housing and (d) other public amenities were built on (i) greenfield, (ii) brownfield and (iii) former landfill sites in each year since 1997; on each occasion what was the nature of funding for the scheme; and if he will make a statement. [65600]

Mr. McNulty: For housing, the number of dwellings completed in England each year between 1997 and 2001 was as follows:

The proportion of dwellings built on previously developed land ('brownfield land'), including conversions, was as follows:

The proportion on former landfill sites is not available annually but is estimated at around 0.1 per cent. of all dwellings.

For the other categories requested, the latest available reliable estimates are for 1997 and for the area of land. In England in 1997, an estimated 575 hectares changed to community buildings, covering (a), (b) and (d), excluding leisure and recreational buildings. Of these, around 355 hectares (62 per cent.) came from previously developed land. Less than five hectares came from minerals and landfill.

Information on funding is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Houses in Multiple Occupation

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many houses in multiple occupation have had their licences revoked in areas where local authority licensing schemes are in place, broken down by local authority, in the last year. [66677]

Mr. McNulty: The information requested is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which local authorities have compulsory registration schemes for houses in multiple occupation; and how long each of these schemes has been in place. [66678]

Mr. McNulty: The following local authorities in England have adopted compulsory registration schemes for houses in multiple occupation. The date in column three is the date on which the scheme began (if known).

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Government office region AuthorityDate
South EastAshford
Basingstoke and Deane
Brighton and Hove1 April 2002
Canterbury1 September 1998
Dover1 May 2001
East Hertfordshire
Eastbourne31 March 2000
Guildford1 June 1998
Hastings3 September 2001
North Hertfordshire
Oxford1 September 1999
Portsmouth1 September 1997
Shepway20 November 2000
Southampton1 January 1999
Surrey Heath
Test Valley8 March 1995
Thanet2 March 1998
West Berkshire
West Oxfordshire
South WestBournemouth1 July 1998
Bristol1 March 1999
Cheltenham3 March 1999
Isles of Scilly
Mid Devon
North Somerset1 July 1999
West Devon
Weymouth and Portland
LondonBarking and Dagenham1 June 2001
Bexley30 April 2000
Brent1 July 1999
Bromley1 March 2001
Camden3 March 1999
Croydon1 March 1999
Ealing1 April 1998
Greenwich1 January 1991
Hackney1 March 1999
Hammersmith and Fulham21 July 2001
Haringey1 May 2001
Harrow10 January 2000
Hounslow12 January 1998
Islington1 October 1998
Kingston upon Thames
Lambeth1 August 1999
Lewisham1 August 1991
Newham1 March 1999
Southwark1 July 1999
Tower Hamlets
Westminster5 April 1999
EastBasildon1 August 1999
Cambridge31 May 1999
Colchester1 September 1998
King's Lynn and West Norfolk
Luton1 April 1999
Mid Bedfordshire
North Norfolk
Peterborough1 January 2000
St Albans4 March 1999
Watford1 July 1999
East MidlandsDerby1 July 1999
Mansfield2 June 1999
Newark and Sherwood1 November 1999
Nottingham1 June 2001
West MidlandsBirmingham13 December 1995
Herefordshire1 October 1999
North Warwickshire30 May 2000
Wolverhampton1 August 1995
Wyre Forest
North WestAllerdale
Barrow In Furness
Blackpool1 April 1998
Lancaster1 October 1998
Wirral1 August 1999
Yorkshire and HumbersideBarnsley10 July 1998
Doncaster1 April 2001
East Riding of Yorkshire
Hull10 January 2000
Kirklees26 January 1998
North East Lincolnshire1 April 1998
North Lincolnshire
Scarborough10 April 1995
Sheffield2 April 2000
York1 March 1998
North EastBlyth Valley
Castle Morpeth
Darlington1 August 1999
Stockton on Tees
Sunderland1 April 2002

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