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30 Oct 2002 : Column 871Wcontinued
Mr. McNulty: Private sector dwelling demolitions funded by local authorities and local authority dwelling demolitions totalled 15.2 thousand in 200001, the latest year for which a breakdown by local authority area is available. Demolitions of local authority dwellings amounted to 13.9 thousand, and the numbers in each local authority area are available in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) pursuant to the answer to the honourable Member for Tunbridge Wells of 24 June, Official Report, column 672W, on mobile phone masts, what assessment his Department and the Working Group have made of the proposed Deloitte & Touche review of the 10 Commitments voluntary code of practice adopted by the five mobile telephone operators; 
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Mr. McNulty: The review by Deloitte & Touche, commissioned by the Federation of Electronics Industry (FEI), is a thorough assessment of the operators' ten commitments. The review has not yet been completed, but we expect to see the results by the end of 2002.
Commitment 1 by the mobile phone operators is to develop, with other stakeholders clear standards and procedures to deliver significantly improved consultation with local communities. The operators' performance against this will be assessed as part of the review and Deloitte and Touche will be talking to local community groups and local authorities.
They are collated quarterly and show: the numbers of mast that are sharable; the numbers that are shared; and the percentage of shared masts to shareable masts. We will place the latest version of the statistics in the Library at the earliest opportunity. Huw
Mr. Burns: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) in the eventuality of a firemen's strike how many (a) green goddesses and (b) armed forces personnel will be stationed in (i) Essex and (ii) Mid Essex to provide fire cover and other services and where they will be stationed; 
(3) if he will make a statement on the contingency plans to provide cover for accidents and fires in Essex if there is a firemen's strike 
Mr. Raynsford: Emergency cover in Essex, as with the rest of the country, will consist of a number of elements including Green Goddess crews, breathing apparatus teams, rescue teams equipped with specialist equipment and the police. The provision of MOD emergency fire cover has been planned in consultation with the Chief Fire Officer to maximise call-out response times and the availability of a range of firefighting capabilities.
Personnel have been trained and equipped to provide basic emergency fire and rescue cover. The level of training is dependent on the skills already held by personnel and the role that they would perform in the event of a strike. Drivers and basic crew only require a short training package because of the simple nature of
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the equipment and because of the basic level of cover given. Fire Rescue Teams fulfil a more difficult role, which utilises technical equipment in dangerous situation. Some Fire Rescue Teams are already trained and experienced in the use of breathing apparatus and other specialist equipment but additional personnel have also been trained in these techniques. Other support training as well as driver training includes first aid training and specialist equipment maintenance training. Basic training lasts up to five weeks, depending on skill levels and role, plus any other necessary follow on training.
The command and operational structure for emergency fire cover has been designed to enable maximum flexibility and use of available resources, whether from within a county or from assets deployed nearby in neighbouring counties. The fire crews will use a number of temporary stations across the country but the deployment of fire fighters will be based on the assessment of how best to respond to an emergency in the quickest time possible.
Retained Firefighters provide a very valuable service to their communities. We anticipate that in the event of industrial action, many retained firefighters will continue to protect the communities in which they live and work.
The MOD's emergency cover will not replicate the fire fighting capabilities of the Fire Service, but will minimise, as far as possible, the danger to human life. Service personnel will provide basic fire and rescue cover. Huw
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what assessment his Department has made of the role of a legally binding framework relating to the delivery and auditing of sustainable development by local authorities; 
Christopher Leslie: The Local Government Act 2000 placed a duty on local authorities to prepare community strategies for promoting the economic, social and environmental well being of their communities and contributing to sustainable development in the UK. Our guidance does not stipulate a timetable for the preparation of community strategies but we have introduced a statutory Best Value Performance Indicator to report on the progress of each authority.
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The Local Government White Paper Strong Local LeadershipQuality Public Services introduced a national framework for assessing the performance of authorities which shifts the focus to the delivery of outcomes. The cornerstone of this framework is the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) which will provide local people with clear and concise information about their council's performance. The Government is also committed to giving local authorities greater freedom to deliver by removing unnecessary bureaucracy. In addition to the action taken for all authorities, CPA will be used as the basis for offering extra freedoms to the best performers. We expect that such authorities will use these freedoms to deliver sustainable improvements to the quality of life of their communities. We intend to announce the details shortly.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what representations he has received from the National Assembly for Wales concerning the Richard Commission on the Assembly's powers and electoral arrangements. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on the ability of local authorities to waive amounts owed by a pensioner who has stayed in hospital beyond the current maximum time limit before benefit claw-back becomes liable. 
Mr. Raynsford: The setting and collection of rents, including decisions on whether or not to waive rent charges for local authority tenants in particular circumstances is a matter for local discretion.
Mr. Loughton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, pursuant to the answer of 15th October, col 296W, how many of the 128 households in West Sussex in bed and breakfast accommodation have been housed in this way for longer than (a) one month, (b) six months, (c) one year and (d) two years. 
|less than 1 week||1 week to less than 1 month||1 month to less than 3 months||3 months to less than 6 months||6 months less than 1 year||1 year or more||Total|
|West Sussex reported totals||11||49||54||37||2||0||153|
Includes any households which, although not in B&B on 31 March, had been accommodated in B&B at some time since their application to the local authority. n/r denotes information not reported. B&B includes annexe-style units where some or all facilities are shared with another household.
DTLR/ODPM P1(E) housing activity returns (quarterly)
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