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16 Dec 2003 : Column 854Wcontinued
Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister expects the legislation relating to high hedges to come into effect towards the end of 2004. The next step will be public consultation on regulations covering certain detailed procedural arrangements and on guidance for local authorities.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans the Government have to encourage shared or part ownership arrangements to make housing more affordable; and if he will make a statement. 
Keith Hill: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister recognises the important contribution that shared ownership schemes can play in making home ownership affordable for people on modest incomes. The Home Ownership Task Force, which reported on 13 November, has proposed 45 recommendations to assist in the delivery of affordable housing, including improvements to the operation of the shared ownership scheme. We are considering the recommendations and will respond in the new year.
Government funding for shared ownership is provided by the Housing Corporation through grants to registered social landlords. Around 13 per cent. of the Corporation's Approved Development Programme in 200304 (total programme £1.2 billion) will be spent on home ownership initiatives, including shared ownership and the Homebuy equity loan scheme. In 200203 over 4,000 affordable homes were provided through the shared ownership and Homebuy schemes.
In addition the £250 million Starter Home Initiative is helping key workers into home ownership primarily through equity loan and shared ownership arrangements. Almost 6,000 key workers have so far benefited from the programme.
From April 2004, the new key worker housing programme will help key workers, both first-time buyers and those wishing to trade-up, in areas of high housing costs. The options available to key workers through the scheme will include equity loan and shared ownership arrangements. Full details of the operation of the scheme will be announced by the beginning of March.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what powers local authorities have to ensure an appropriate social mix in housing development; what guidelines he has issued to local authorities on the exercise of these powers; and if he will take steps to give local authorities additional powers in this regard. 
Keith Hill: Planning Policy Guidance note 3: "Housing" (March 2000) requires local planning authorities to provide wider housing opportunity and choice, and a better mix in the size and type of housing than is currently available.
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PPG3. The consultation document "Influencing the size, type and affordability of housing" proposes that local planning authorities should ensure their policies for residential development, including for affordable housing, widen housing choice and encourage better social mix. It proposes new policy which would allow local planning authorities, where appropriate local plan policies are in place, to reject developments that conflict with the objective of widening housing choice.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the housing allocation was for each local authority in each of the last five years; and how many houses were built by each authority in each of those years. 
Keith Hill: Details of annual housing capital allocations made to local authorities in England are available in the Library of the House. Information on new housebuilding carried out by local authorities can be found on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website (under "housing/housing statistics/publications") and, for years up to 200001, in "Local Housing Statistics".
Keith Hill: Each local planning authority would be required, under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill, to prepare an Annual Monitoring Report. Regulations would specify that the report has to be prepared by 31 December in each year to cover the period from 1 April to 31 March immediately preceding. The authority would need to report on their performance against the published local development scheme and on the impact of their policies on the ground. The authority and stakeholders would need to know what effect its policies and proposals were having in order to decide whether they are achieving the desired
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effect or whether changes are needed. Draft Regulation 48 requires authorities to include information on housing policy and performance.
If the annual report on the effect of the authority's policies or proposals demonstrates that they are not performing as desired this should trigger the authority to revise their local development scheme (and subsequently their local development documents) under clause 25 (revision of local development documents). If they fail to do so, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister can direct the authority to do so.
Through the planning delivery grant, we are investing an extra £350 million in planning over the three years 200306. This will provide local authorities with the resources to deliver an improved, efficient and responsive planning system that takes good decisions in sensible timeframes and delivers the right development in the right places. Part of the grant is top-sliced for local authorities in areas of high housing demand. In 200405 we are giving serious consideration to an element of the grant being related to performance in the delivery of housing in these areas.
Through comprehensive performance assessment we make across the board judgments about the quality of the services delivered and management in authorities. We can use it to assess whether there are corporate reasons for any failure to deliver good housing and planning services. It informs us on the nature and scope of any support that might be needed for failing housing and planning services.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) if he will give the value of the local education authority grant floor and publish his calculations and the assumptions he has made in order to reach that figure; 
|Floor (Percentage)||Scaling factor applied to grant increase abovethe floor||Ceiling (Percentage)|
|Authorities with education and social service responsibilities||4||0.9411240||7.5|
|Single-service police authorities, police part of GLA||3.25||0.0100295||25|
|Single-service fire authorities, fire part of GLA||3.5||0.9181902||5|
|Shire districts in two-tier shire areas (i.e. shire districts that do not have education and social service responsibilities)||3||0.2287428||50|
For 200405 these floors will ensure that all authorities receive an increase in formula grant, when measured against 200304 on a like-for-like basis, which is above inflation. (Formula grant comprises Revenue Support Grant, redistributed non-domestic rates, and any Principal Formula Police Grant.) The scaling factor and the ceiling have been set so that, for each local authority group, the cost of supporting authorities below the floor is shared equitably between those authorities with grant increases above the floor.
The grant floor, the grant ceiling and the scaling factor applied to increases above the floor are inter-related. So for any group of authorities decisions on the floor, the scaling factor and the ceiling have to be taken together. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has published on the departmental website models which
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allow interested parties to explore the effect of other floor and ceiling values (http://www.local.odpm.gov.uk/finance/0405/fandc/index.htm).
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the amount of specific grant per head from the Local Government Finance Settlement of 200304 was for (a) West Sussex and (b) Hartlepool; and if he will give the amount of extra total grant that would be payable if West Sussex were to be funded at the same level of specific grant per head as Hartlepool. 
Mr. Raynsford: The specific grant per head in West Sussex and Hartlepool is tabled as follows. The variations in funding per head reflect a number of factors including the level of relative deprivation in each local authority and the take up of grants, for example the number of local authority funded nursery education places. Distributing simply on the basis of population would not reflect the different needs of different areas.
|Specific grants(22) (£)||Population(23)||Specific grants per head(£/head)|
(22) This information is taken from local authority budget RA returns.
(23) The population is taken from the Office for National Statistics 2001 mid year population estimates.
If West Sussex received specific grant support at the same level per head as Hartlepool then they would receive £125,458,290 extra.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will give the amount of formula grant per head from the Local Government Finance Settlement of 200304 for (a) West Sussex, (b) inner London boroughs, (c) outer London boroughs and (d) the English average; and if he will give the amount of extra total grant that would be payable if West Sussex were to be funded at the same level of formula grant per head as (i) inner London boroughs, (ii) outer London boroughs and (iii) the English average. 
|Area||Formula grant per head (£)|
|West Sussex county council||503.33|
|Inner London boroughs (including City of London)||1,166.30|
|Outer London boroughs||809.90|
The formula grant per head figures in the table are not directly comparable since the services provided by West Sussex county council are not the same as those provided by London boroughs. London boroughs also provide those services provided by the district council within the West Sussex area; while West Sussex county council received an allocation of grant to cover fire services in 200304, that are provided by the Greater London Authority in the London area. In addition the City of London also provides police services. The total England figure includes both district level and police services; neither of these services are provided by West Sussex county council.
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The calculation of formula grant takes account of a range of factors other than the numbers of recipients. It includes top-ups for deprivation, pay costs, and other factors such as population sparsity that drive the costs of service delivery in different areas, as well as the relative ability of councils to raise council tax in their areas. Simple per capita comparisons will not therefore be meaningful comparisons of all the factors that drive grant distribution.
If West Sussex county council received £1,166.30 per head of formula grant then it would have received £879,685,274, an additional £500,043,641; at £809.90 per head of formula grant then it would have received £610,869,505, an additional £231,227,872; and at £892.49 then it would have received £673,163,260, an additional £293,521,627.
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