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1 Sept 2004 : Column 745W—continued

Departmental Mobile Phones

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many mobile phones owned by his Department have been reported lost or stolen since 2001. [185797]

Phil Hope: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was created on 29 May 2002. The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Refurbishment Costs

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much his Department and its predecessors spent on refurbishment of its buildings in each year since May 1997, broken down by building. [180362]

Phil Hope: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was established in May 2002. Since that date the following has been spent on refurbishment. All figures are exclusive of VAT.
£

2002–032003–04
Portland House311,0620
Eland House1,777,879655,862
Ashdown House070,343
QEII Conference Centre29,0001,853,300
Fire Service College230,257956,008
Government Office North West—Sunley Tower44,1100
Government Office South East—Bridge House44,000490,000
Government Office London—Riverwalk House8,50097,000
Government Office West Midlands—
Paradise Circus
4,88623,820
Government Office East Midlands—
The Belgrave Centre
0193,000
Fire Service Improvement—Marchington013,318
Valuation Tribunal Office Network42,822115,166
Rent Service Office Network976,000118,000

The figures provided, which exclude VAT, are gross expenditure and do not reflect receipts from other building occupants.

Although the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has overall responsibility for the buildings occupied by Government Offices, they carry out functions on behalf of 10 Departments.

The Rent Service became an Executive Agency of the Department for Work and Pensions on 1 April 2004, but was part of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in the period in question.

Departmental Staff (Upper Age Limits)

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether (a) his Department and (b) agencies for which it is responsible (i) have a set retirement age which applies to all or most personnel and (ii) have a maximum age beyond which applications for employment will not be considered; and what the age is in each case. [186082]


 
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Phil Hope: The normal retirement age in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and its agencies is 60. Staff below the senior civil service may choose to continue in service until 65. Senior civil servants may exceptionally be invited to continue in service after 60 and other staff after 65.

There is no set age limit beyond which staff will not be recruited.

Empty Houses

Mr. Webb: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister for how many empty houses his Department is responsible; and if he will make a statement. [182142]

Keith Hill: The Fire Service College, an Executive Agency of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, owns 39 residential properties of which one is empty but is expected to be occupied by a member of staff on secondment by the end of July 2004.

Green Minister

Mr. Horam: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the activities of the Green Minister in the Department in financial year 2003–04. [185133]

Phil Hope: As the Green Minister in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, I am a member of ENV, the Cabinet Committee on the Environment, and ENV(G), the Cabinet Sub-Committee of Green Ministers. I have also considered issues surrounding the ad hoc Ministerial Group on Climate Change and the Sustainable Building Task Group. However, it has been established practice under successive governments not to disclose information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees.

I am a member of the Sustainable Development Task Force, and have attended its regular meetings. In February, I presented a paper, "Sustainable Communities", to the task force, which set out the many ways in which the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's overarching aim of creating sustainable communities contributes to sustainable development.

I also represent the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on the Ministerial Group for the Implementation of the Energy White Paper. I presented a paper to this group in October on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's contribution to this agenda, including energy efficiency and renewable energy.

I am also the lead Minister on the Sustainable and Secure Buildings Bill.

Homelessness

David Davis: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many homeless people there were in the East Riding of Yorkshire in each of the past five years. [181590]

Phil Hope: Information collected about local authorities' actions under homelessness legislation is in respect of households, rather than persons. A summary of information reported by East Riding of Yorkshire district council about the number of households
 
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accepted under homelessness legislation as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, in each year since 1999–2000, is as follows.
East Riding of Yorkshire DC homeless household acceptances

Number
1999–2000305
2000–01289
2001–02361
2002–03516
2003–04459




Source:
ODPM P1E homelessness returns (quarterly)



Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister by what proportion the number of statutory homelessness acceptances changed between 1 May 1997 and 31 March 2004. [182904]

Phil Hope: Information about local authorities' actions under homelessness legislation is collected quarterly. Estimates of the number of households accepted as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need show an increase of 34 per cent. between 1997–98 (102,430) and 2003–04 (137,000).

Local Government Finance

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much central Government funding was provided for local government in each of the last 25 years, at today's prices. [186158]

Mr. Raynsford: The amount of central Government funding provided for local government from 1981–82 to 2004–05, at 2003–04 prices, are shown as follows.
Central Government funding

£ billion
1981–8226.336
1982–8325.280
1983–8424.788
1984–8524.411
1985–8622.729
1986–8722.468
1987–8822.655
1988–8921.973
1989–9020.962
1990–9133.660
1991–9242.175
1992–9343.799
1993–9442.657
1994–9543.438
1995–9642.614
1996–9742.480
1997–9841.566
1998–9942.595
1999–200044.130
2000–0147.084
2001–0249.525
2002–0350.647
2003–04(28)53.135
2004–05(28)57.094


(28) Budget figures.
Notes:
1. Central Government funding consists of: 1981–82 to 1989–90: Aggregate exchequer grant 1990–91 onwards: revenue support grants, specific and special grants within AEF, community charge grant (1991–92), teachers pay award additional grant (1992–93), SSA reduction grant (1994–95 to 2001–02), police grant (1995–96 onwards), Central Support Protection grant (1999–2000 to 2001–02), General GLA grant (2000–01 onwards), and distributable amount from non-domestic pool (1990–91 onwards).
2. Funding at 2003–04 prices have been calculated using Her Majesty's Treasury's GDP Deflator.




 
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Ministerial Travel Costs

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total cost of air travel between Northern Ireland and Great Britain was for (a) Ministers and (b) officials in the Department in the last year for which figures are available. [184527]

Phil Hope: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not separately identify costs of air travel to different parts of the United Kingdom by officials and this information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The total cost of air travel to Northern Ireland by Ministers in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was £903 in 2003–04.


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