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13 Jan 2003 : Column 382Wcontinued
(3) if he will make it the policy of the Government to reimburse Dorset Fire Authority for costs and expenses incurred in its commitment to the South West Radio Project prior to the project being curtailed by the Government. 
44 fire authorities have written to the Office giving preliminary notification of their intention to claim for costs related to the adoption of the national radio strategy. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not expect to receive claims until March 2003.
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Framework guidance on making claims is to be issued by officials shortly. All claims will be considered on merit within the given guidelines. A copy of the Fire Service Circular will be placed in the Library of the House in due course.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the impact the introduction of the new local government grant distribution formula will have on local authority budgets for flood defence and coastal protection. 
Mr. Raynsford: The provisional settlement included a small change in the formula used to provide resources through FSS (formerly SSA) for flood defence and coastal protection. Actual budgeting and expenditure remain matters for the authorities themselves.
Mr. Raynsford: There are currently 1,027 Green Goddess appliances, including 116 for Scotland. They were all acquired in the mid-1950s. The Government have no current plans to replace the Green Goddesses but a substantial number of more modern appliances have been deployed for use by the military during the current dispute and we will be reviewing their effectiveness.
Mrs. Calton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has to (a) increase supply and (b) improve standards in the private rented sector, and to enable it to play a bigger role in meeting housing need. 
Mr. McNulty: The Government actively encourage a private rented sector that provides a decent standard of accommodation throughout. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will regulate where needed and the Housing Bill, to be published in draft shortly, will provide for the compulsory licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation and the selective licensing of landlords in areas of low demand. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is consulting on tenancy deposits and is encouraging voluntary measures such as local accreditation schemes as well as streamlining Housing Benefit to improve delivery and to give tenants greater choice. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister continues to consider the scope for measures that could make long-term investment in private rented housing a more attractive proposition.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what information he has collated on Government expenditure in the last 12 months on Islington community groups based in buildings the Borough Council is proposing to sell; and if he will make a statement. 
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Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what consultation there has been with the Government Office for London by Islington Council on the proposed sale of buildings used by community organisations; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the Audit Commission's comprehensive performance assessment of single tier and county councils; and what assessment he has made of the reasons underlying the proportion of unitary authorities rated as excellent. 
Mr. Raynsford: The assessments were a matter for the Audit Commission. The methodology was widely consulted on with local government, the Local Government Association and other stakeholders. The judgments made for individual authorities drew a great deal of information from varied sources to form an overall view of authorities' services and their capacity to improve. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister considers the assessments provide a robust basis for our programme of improvement.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has made no assessment of the reasons for differences in average scores in different types of authority. The advice of the Audit Commission is that there is no strong evidence of systematic differences between classes of authority and the key message is that it is possible for authorities of all types and with widely varying circumstances to be excellent.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will place in the Library the information used by his Department in deciding upon area cost adjustments in the provisional funding settlement for local Government in 200304. 
Mr. Leslie: A full methodology guide to the area cost adjustment is available on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website, and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House. The guide explains how data from the New Earnings Survey is used to calculate the adjustment, and which areas of the country receive it.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his estimate is for each shire and metropolitan county and for the GLA of spending per head from all local government sources in the last year for which figures are available. 
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|Former county area(6)||Revenue expenditure (# per head)|
|Hereford and Worcester||953|
|Isle of Wight||1,152|
|Tyne and Wear||1,510|
(6) Shire county areas are based on pre-reorganisation boundaries (199596 to 199899) and include shire districts, unitary authorities, police and fire authorities. Metropolitan areas include metropolitan districts, police, fire, transport and waste authorities. The Greater London area includes London boroughs, City of London, GLA, waste authorities and the Greater London Magistrates Courts Authority.
200203 GFRA budget estimates and the mid- 2001 population estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his latest estimate is of spending per head from all local government sources for each region in England in the last year for which figures are available. 
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|Government office||Revenue expenditure (# per head)|
|East of England||1,165|
|Yorkshire and the Number||1,301|
200203 GFRA budget estimates and the mld-2001 population estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)
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