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11 Feb 2004 : Column 1526Wcontinued
Mr. Purchase: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his oral answer of 4 February 2004, Official Report, column 748, if he will list (a) local authorities which have held ballots of tenants in the process of transferring stock to other ownership or management bodies and (b) those which have not. 
Keith Hill: A ballot has been held for all Large Scale Voluntary Transfers of local housing stock to Registered Social Landlords. Details of the results in each case are on the housing transfer page of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website. The table following shows the methods used by local authorities for measuring tenant support for Arms Length Management Organisations.
|Operational ALMOs (i.e. Those who have received s.27 consent)|
|Round 1||Derby, Hounslow, Kirklees, Rochdale, Stockton-on-Tees|
|Round 2||Barnsley, Carrick, Colchester, Leeds East, Leeds North East, Leeds North West, Leeds South East, Leeds South, Leeds West, Waltham Forest|
|Round 3||High Peak, South Lakeland|
|Other test of opinion used|
|Round 1||Ashfield, Westminster, Wigan|
|Round 2||Blyth Valley, Bolton, Brent, Cheltenham, Hillingdon, Kensington and Chelsea, Oldham, Salford (since withdrawn)|
|Round 3||Gateshead, Solihull, Warrington|
|Approved ALMOs but not yet operational (i.e. those awaiting s.27 consent)|
|Round 3||Camden (since withdrawn), Islington, Sheffield (partial)|
|Other test of opinion used|
|Round 3||Barnet, Easington, Harrow, Newcastle, Poole|
|Current ALMO bids|
|Round 4||Hammersmith and Fulham|
|Round 4||Nottingham, Sheffield (partial), Slough|
|Other test of opinion proposed|
|Round 4||Bassetlaw, Brent (partial), Bury, Ealing, Eastbourne, Manchester (partial), Newark and Sherwood, Rotherham, Sandwell, Wolverhampton|
11 Feb 2004 : Column 1527W
Mr. Raynsford: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister first calculated the amount of grant authorities would have received in 200304 on a like-for-like basis with 200405 i.e. the amount that an authority would have received had the transfers in funding and function relating to 200405 had occurred a year earlier. More detailed information on the calculation of the adjusted 200304 grant amounts can be found on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website at http://www.local.odpm.gov.uk/finance/0405/adipaps.pdf
The amount of grant authorities will receive in 200405 was then calculated in accordance with the Local Government Finance Report (England) 200405. The results of these calculations for South Bucks were as follows:
Keith Hill: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has now announced funding for three pathfinders. These are £125 million for Manchester Salford in October 2003 and more recently £69 million (plus £4 million early wins money) for Newcastle Gateshead and £86 million (plus £4 million early wins money) for Merseyside. These three schemes are now tasked to deliver their proposals up to March 2006.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has now received strategic schemes from the South Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Oldham Rochdale pathfinders. These schemes are now being assessed by officials while being independently scrutinised by the Audit Commission. Negotiations on their proposals have commenced but it is not yet known when they will conclude. Strategic schemes from the remaining pathfinders are due in over the next few months with announcements following in due course.
11 Feb 2004 : Column 1528W
Keith Hill: Elevate East Lancashire's market renewal scheme was submitted on 31 December 2003. Negotiations with Elevate East Lancashire on its proposals have commenced but it is not yet known when they will conclude.
However, during September and October every year the mobile network operators write to every local authority with details of their network rollout for the year ahead. When they write to the local authority they also provide details of their existing sites within the local authority area. My hon. Friend may wish to contact the network operators for copies of their plans.
Mr. Raynsford: In the 2001 Manifesto the Government made a commitment that provision should be made for directly elected regional government to go ahead in regions where people decided in a referendum to support it and where predominantly unitary local government is established.
The Government's proposals for establishing elected assemblies in those English regions that want them, and for improving existing arrangements in all regions, were set out in "Your Region, Your Choice: Revitalising the English Regions (CMS511)" which the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister published in May 2002.
The Regional Assemblies (Preparations) Act 2003 provides for referendums and associated local government reviews. My right Hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister announced in June 2003, following a soundings exercise, that the north-east, north-west, and Yorkshire and the Humber regions would be the first regions to progress towards a referendum for an elected assembly. Local Government reviews are under way in those regions. When the Boundary Committee have presented their recommendations orders in Parliament for referendums will be laid.
If there is a "yes" vote, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will need to introduce further legislation to provide for assemblies to be established. The first assemblies could be up and running early in the next Parliament.
11 Feb 2004 : Column 1529W
Mr. Raynsford: The Regional Assemblies (Preparations) Act 2003 provides for referendums on whether to establish an elected assembly and for associated local government reviews on options for local government restructuring.
My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister announced in June 2003, following a soundings exercise, that the north-east, north-west, and Yorkshire and Humberside would be the first regions to progress towards holding a referendum for a regional assembly. Local government reviews are underway in these regions. When the Boundary Committee have presented their recommendations, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will lay orders in Parliament enabling referendums to take place.
Mr. Raynsford: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has not spent any money on research on regional referendums. Some staff time has been spent on developing policy and preparing Statutory Instruments related to the referendums.
The cost of designing, printing and disseminating the results of the soundings exercise, that established which regions had an interest in holding a referendum, was £2,500 plus some staff costs. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will spend £500,000 in this financial year, on an information campaign about elected regional assemblies in the three northern regions.
Mr. Raynsford: The Government are currently consulting on The Regional Assembly and Local Government Referendums (Counting Officers' Charges) (England) Order 2004, that will establish the costs of conducting the referendums. The cost will vary from region to region, depending on the size of the region, electorate, and level of turnout.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not therefore have a special unit to carry out these functions. However, some staff time has been spent on developing policy and preparing Statutory Instruments related to the referendums.
11 Feb 2004 : Column 1530W
Mr. Raynsford: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister stated in the White Paper, "Your Region, Your Choice" (Cm 5511) that an elected assembly will be able to raise money from a precept on the council tax. It will not be able to levy other taxes, including varying non-domestic rates or business taxes.
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