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Starter Home Initiative

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which companies submitted bids for the grant awarded to Northcote KeyStart Homes under the second round of the Starter Home Initiative; and if he will make a statement. [67447]

Mr. McNulty: Bids for Starter Home Initiative (SHI) Round 2 funding were invited from registered social landlords, local authorities and key worker employers. Northcote Housing Association was allocated £1.056 million SHI Round 2 funding to assist a total of 103 key workers in Buckinghamshire, Slough, Reading and Oxford. The funding will be used to provide £10,000 equity loans to key workers in these areas to assist their house purchase. The funding allocated also includes £25,750 towards the Association's costs in administering the scheme.

Local Authority Staff

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of how many people were employed by local authorities in England in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [67448]

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Mr. Raynsford: The numbers of employees in local authorities in England in the last five years are given in the table.

Numbers employed by local authorities in England(13)

Full time equivalentsThousand
Mid-year counts(14)
1998 1,404
1999 1,420
2002(15) 1,495

(13) Excludes police and magistrates courts

(14) End of June

(15) End of March


Office for National Statistics

Housing (North-East Lancashire)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to improve housing conditions in North-east Lancashire; and if he will make a statement. [67205]

Mr. McNulty: We have selected east Lancashire as one of nine Market Renewal Pathfinders, aiming to provide lasting solutions for communities blighted by low demand housing. Under this initiative east Lancashire has been allocated £2.66 million of pump-prime funding to undertake background analysis and help develop a delivery process and master plan. Substantive funding is being considered as part of the comprehensive spending review specifically to tackle this issue of housing abandonment.

Nationally housing capital resources through the housing investment programme will rise to some £2.6 billion in 2003–04 and east Lancashire should benefit from this increase. Four east Lancashire authorities are receiving from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund some £20 million over the three years to 2004 in addition to other European and domestic funding for regeneration. Housing investment is more effective when used in conjunction with wider regeneration initiatives.

Children in Care

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer regarding children in care of 1 July 2002, Official Report, column 196W, what information he collates on children in care who are (a) homeless, (b) in bed and breakfast accommodation and (c) in temporary accommodation. [67690]

Mr. McNulty: Local authorities are obliged to ensure that children in care are placed in settings that are approved to meet their needs. Therefore they would not be homeless. Given local authorities' responsibilities towards children in their care it would be rare for a child in care ever to be placed in temporary or bed and breakfast accommodation.

On 31 March 2001 38,400 (65 per cent.) children were placed with foster carers, 6,200 (10 per cent.) were placed in children's homes, 3,100 (6 per cent.) were placed with families approved under the Adoption Agency regulations and there were 6,900 (12 per cent.) children who were placed with parents.

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Mr. Laws: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether planning authorities are obliged to take into account relevant sections of the Human Rights Act 1998 before reaching conclusions on planning matters; and if he will make a statement. [67639]

Mr. McNulty: The introduction of the Human Rights Act means that all public authorities, including central Government and local authorities, must act compatibly with rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. In planning this means that decision makers at all levels in the planning process must consider what impact

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their decisions may have on the human rights of parties affected by them before reaching a conclusion.


Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister for each London borough for the latest available date, how many families were in bed-and-breakfast accommodation under homelessness provisions; and what the average cost was to the housing benefit budget for each family. [68616]

Mr. McNulty: Latest available information, in respect of all homeless households as reported by London boroughs, is as follows:

Homeless households in bed and breakfast accommodation(16) provided by London boroughs, and housing benefit costs

Number of households reported as at 31 March 2002Housing benefit subsidy 2000–01 (£)Number of household days provided during 2000–01Average housing benefit subsidy per household 2000–01 (£ per week)
Barking and Dagenham1903950.00
Corporation of London7216,85714,058107.98
Hammersmith and Fulham5491,885,236121,910108.25
Kensington and Chelsea4365,171,930(18)(18)
Tower Hamlets3412,568,63665,731273.55
Waltham Forest91(18)(18)(18)

(16) "Bed and breakfast" includes hotel annexe-style accommodation with shared facilities. Cases include those accommodated pending completion of inquiries prior to a decision, and any households found to be intentionally homeless being housed for a limited period only.

(17) Denotes non-response to the survey

(18) Denotes data not available


Average subsidy is derived from the aggregate reported housing benefit subsidy and the total number of nights provision.


ODPM quarterly P1E housing returns; GLA monthly homelessness survey. CIPFA Homelessness Statistics 2000–01 Actuals annual survey.

Housing (Learning Disability)

Mr. Love: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what discussions are taking place with the local authority associations regarding the housing needs of people with a learning disability who live with older parents; and if he will make a statement; [66306]

Jacqui Smith: I have been asked to reply.

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The Government's strategy for improving services for people with learning disabilities and their families is set out in the White Paper "Valuing People: A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century" (Cm 5086), published in March 2001. Implementation guidance HSC 2001/016: LAC(2001)23 was issued to local authorities on 31 August 2001. Copies are available in the Library.

Our strategy sets out a range of targets and objectives to support and improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and their families. Key to the implementation of these changes are learning disability partnership boards now established in each local authority area. All partnership boards have prepared local joint investment plans to improve services for this vulnerable group of people. Partnership boards are being supported in the delivery of the White Paper objectives by a director of implementation and a valuing people support team with members based in each of the nine social services regions. There is also the learning disability task force which will monitor implementation and report progress to Ministers who in turn will report to Parliament.

"Valuing People" recognises the concern about the position of people with learning disabilities living with older carers. They and their families must be able to plan for the future in good time. Promoting supported living for this group of people is one of the priorities for both the revenue and capital elements of the £42 million learning disability development fund announced in the White Paper. The fund has been distributed to the new learning disability partnership boards from April 2002 to support the implementation of "Valuing People". The needs of elderly carers and the development of supported living

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approaches for people with learning disabilities living with older carers are also identified as priorities in the implementation guidance, which was sent to all local authority chief executives, social services directors and directors of housing.

Partnership boards, working with local housing authorities, people with learning disabilities, carers and service providers; are required to develop local housing strategies by winter 2002–03. Joint guidance will be issued shortly by the Department of Health and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to help partnership boards develop their local housing strategies. The valuing people support team will also provide specialist support and advice to help this process. An important element in the development of each strategy will be the assessment of both current and future need which will include identifying people with learning disabilities and their carers who need support now and in the future. The joint guidance will restate the priority that should be given to people with learning disabilities living with older carers. Local housing authorities also have a responsibility to produce a housing strategy which sets out plans addressing the range of housing needs in their area. This includes all groups with special needs where the strategy must link into provision of associated support services.

Both the local government association and the association of directors of social services are represented on the new learning disability task force. A key function of the task force is to oversee implementation of "Valuing People". the director of implementation also met recently with the local government association to discuss housing issues.

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