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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the level of empty (a) housing association and (b) council housing was in each local authority in England in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2001; and if he will make a
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statement on the Government's plans to reduce the level of empty housing association and council housing. 
Mr. McNulty: The information requested has been placed in the Library. The table presents data showing the vacancy rates of local authority and Registered Social Landlord stock (respectively) in each local authority in England at 1 April 1997 and 2001. Note that council stock owned by an authority, which is outside their local authority area, is not included in these figures.
Day to day management, including the letting of empty properties, is a matter for individual housing associations and councils. We expect those with high levels of vacant housing to set challenging targets for reductions through improved management performance or action to improve or dispose of unpopular stock.
Ms Atherton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what evidence his Department has collated on the use of repeated applications for planning permission by companies and individuals in a specified location; 
Mr. McNulty: Local planning authorities already have the power to decline to determine a planning application which is the same or substantially the same as an application which, within the previous two years, the Secretary of State has called in and refused, or has dismissed on appeal.
As announced in our Statement ''Sustainable Communities: Delivering through planning'' we intend to extend this power so that a local planning authority can also decline to determine an application which is the same or substantially the same as an application which has either been refused by the authority within the last two years and there has been no appeal to the Secretary of State, or has not been finally determined. The two year time limit was chosen since this is the same as that which applies to a local planning authority's existing powers to decline to determine repeated applications.
The Planning Green Paper said that some developers use repeated applications to wear down opposition to undesirable development. This is damaging to people's confidence in the planning process and inefficient. Of those who responded to our proposal to extend local planning authorities' powers to decline to determine repeat applications, 97 per cent. were in favour.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many units of affordable housing have been built in the Portsmouth South constituency in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: The only information available is for the local authority area of Portsmouth and for the last four years. The numbers of houses built by registered social landlords in Portsmouth were 279 in 199899, 37 in 199900, 95 in 200001 and 151 in 200102. There were no houses built by the local authority during this period.
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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what discussions Ministers and officials of his Department have held with members of the review team evaluating the Right to Buy scheme; what was discussed; when they were; and who the participants were; 
(3) what the estimated cost is of the evaluation of the right to buy scheme being undertaken by the review team; 
(4) if he will publish the (a) names and (b) qualifications of the review team undertaking the evaluation of the right to buy scheme. 
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister research contracts are awarded through a standard procurement process, by competitive tender. The experience and skills of tenderers are assessed carefully as part of this process. This research project is subject to normal project management procedures and disciplines operated by professional and policy officials. It is subject to review by a stakeholder group drawn from housing practitioners and representatives of lending institutions and local government.
The results are expected by the end of this year, and will be published thereafter. It is standard practice for all Office of the Deputy Prime Minister research publications to include the names of the authors, and for any other researchers to be acknowledged.
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, how many (a) Ministers, (b) Members of the other House taking the Labour Whip and (c) elected Labour councillors are (i) speaking and (ii) chairing themed discussions at the Urban Summit. 
Mr. McNulty: In total about 150 people contributed to the Urban Summit as speakers, chairs or pannellists. There were 13 Ministers (including 3 members of the other House), 7 elected Labour Councillors (including one member of the other House) and one further member of the other House taking the Labour Whip speaking at the Urban Summit, either at plenary sessions or in themed sessions. One Minister chaired a themed session, another was chaired by a member from the other House taking the Labour whip and a third by an elected Labour Councillor.
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many of the advertised (a) speakers and (b) chairmen of the themed sessions of the Urban Summit come from the private sector and are not members of Government-appointed public bodies. 
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Mr. McNulty: More than 23 speakers, including plenary session speakers and panellists, and 3 chairs of the themed sessions came from the private sector. Information on how many of these are members of any Government appointed bodies is not readily available.
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he plans to take to disseminate the results of the Urban Summit to (a) hon. Members, (b) councillors and (c) Members of the other House belonging to the (i) Conservative and (ii) Liberal Democrat parties. 
Mr. McNulty: The results of the Urban Summit will be disseminated in a variety of ways. In particular, the messages and ideas coming from the Summit are to be fed into the development of the long term plan for sustainable communities which the Deputy Prime Minister will be presenting to the House in January 2003. A report of the proceedings of the Summit will be deposited in the House of Commons library. More generally, information on the outcomes from the debate and discussion at the Summit will be posted on the Urban Summit website, www.urbansummit.gov.uk.
Mr. Laxton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the SSA is, for each local authority in England (a) by service block and (b) in total for 200203; what these figures would be if 2001 census data had been substituted for mid-year 2000 population estimates; and what the difference is between the two sets of figures expressed (i) in #s and (ii) as a percentage of 200203 SSAs (A) for the relevant service block and (B) in total. 
Mr. Raynsford: The information requested has been placed in the Library of the House. The 2001 census population data have been used, as requested, rather than the mid-2001 population estimates which we intend to use to calculate the 200304 Formula Spending Shares (FSSs).
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, how many of the speakers and chairmen of the themed seminars of the Urban Summit are members of the (a) Conservative, (b) Liberal Democrat and (c) Labour parties. 
Mr. McNulty: Speakers and chairs were invited to take part in the summit on the basis of the contribution they could make. The choice of speakers for each themed session was made in consultation with the chair of that session. We hold no informationother than for those where it is clear eg MPs, Councillorsabout their membership of any political parties.
Mr. McNulty: One of the speakers at a themed session was a Conservative Councillor. From the information available none of the speakers were Liberal Democrat Councillors. None of the chairs of the themed sessions were Conservative or Liberal Democrat Councillors.
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The Deputy Prime Minister: I made clear in my statement on 18 July that the strategy I announced for sustainable communities would link policies on housing, planning, transport, education, health and regeneration. I will be having discussions with all relevant colleagues as I prepare the Communities plan.
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