|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what guidance his Department has issued with respect to levels of new-house building (a) within the Bridgwater parliamentary constituency and (b) in the south west region; and if he will list for both areas the sites targeted for development. 
Keith Hill: The First Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister has not issued any guidance in respect of levels of new-house building (a) within the Bridgwater parliamentary constituency.
Regional Planning Guidance for the South West (RPG10), section 7: Housing gives guidance on new-house building in (b) the south west region. General guidance on appropriate levels of house building are also set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 3: Housing.
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what targets his Department has set with respect to levels of new-house building (a) within the Bridgwater parliamentary constituency and (b) in the South West region; and if he will make a statement. 
The levels of housing development for (b) the South West region are set out in Regional Planning Guidance for the South West (RPG10). Policy HOI says the levels of net additional housing for which provision should be made in the South West region over the period 19962016 should be based on the average annual rate of 20,200 dwellings per annum.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not collect information about the proportion of public sector employees that are in accommodation designated for key workers. Information is, however, collected about the public sector employees given assistance with affordable housing through the following schemes:
7 Sept 2004 : Column 1170W
under the Starter Home Initiative (SHI), 9,000 key workers were helped from the original £250 million budget. In addition, an extra £50 million was found to help a further 1,200 key workers in the SHI pipeline; and
around 3,800 key worker homes are being provided through the Housing Corporation's Challenge Fund; and
Key Worker Living is expected to provide up to 16,000 homes over the next three years.
Mr. Tony Clarke: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much has been spent by Northampton borough council in each year since 1997 on (a) refurbishment, (b) redecoration and (c) renewal of its directly-owned housing stock; and what the average spending per property was each year, excluding the amount spent on central Government schemes, including the New Deal. 
Keith Hill: Work carried out on council housing stock is generally categorised as Capital and Revenue. The work carried out under the Capital heading includes installation, replacement or major repairs and could be categorised as refurbishment. Work under Revenue would consist of minor and routine repairs, including redecoration. Figures for Capital and Revenue spend since 1997 are set out in the following table:
|Capital (£ million)||Revenue (£ million)||Total (£ million)||Average number of properties||Average spend (£)|
Keith Hill: The stock of local authority housing in England is currently about 2.3 million. Of this stock, about 575,000 dwellings are currently managed by Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) and about 4,500 dwellings are managed as part of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes. Therefore about three quarters of the stock is directly run by local authorities.
Mr. Bill O'Brien: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what changes have been made to the 1988 Local Authority Publicity provisions, with particular reference to paragraph 43 on political publicity prior to an election; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Raynsford: The Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity, (Department of Environment Circular 20/88) was amended in April 2001 to take account of the new council constitutions, particularly the possibility of individual members holding executive positions, and of mayoral referendums and petitions.
The amended Code provides for restrictions on publicity in circumstances where there is a by-election or election affecting the local authority's area, a mayoral referendum or a mayoral petition. The 2001 amendment explicitly enables local authorities to respond to events or enquiries during the period preceding an election or referendum with answers that are factual and not party political.
(a) The Audit Commission announced the results of the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) for district councils in the county of Essex in June this year. The outcomes of the assessments for Maldon and Rochford district councils have not yet been published.
7 Sept 2004 : Column 1171W
The results are listed in the following table along with the results for Essex county council and single tier councils in Essex.
|Essex County Council(78)||Good|
|Castle Point DC||Poor|
|Epping Forest DC||Good|
|Southend on Sea BC(78)||Fair|
(b) The table below shows the CPA results for councils in the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Norfolk. District councils in the County of Suffolk have yet to be assessed. The exception is Ipswich, in Suffolk, which was a Pathfinder council for the CPA methodology and was rated as a 'good' council. CPA categories for Single Tier and County Councils were last announced in December 2003 and their results will be updated again in December 2004. All district councils will have been assessed by December 2004.
|Date Assessment Published|
|Bedfordshire County(79)||Poor||18 December 2003|
|Bedford BC||Good||22 July 2004|
|Luton BC(79)||Good||18 December 2003|
|Mid Bedfordshire DC||Fair||22 July 2004|
|South Bedfordshire DC||Good||22 July 2004|
|Cambridgeshire County(79)||Good||18 December 2003|
|Cambridge CC (Pathfinder)||Excellent||22 January 2004|
|East Cambridgeshire DC||Good||22 July 2004|
|Fenland DC||Fair||22 July 2004|
|Huntingdonshire DC||Excellent||22 July 2004|
|Peterborough CC(79)||Fair||18 December 2003|
|South Cambridgeshire DC||Fair||22 July 2004|
|Hertfordshire County(79)||Excellent||18 December 2 003|
|Broxbourne BC||Good||6 May 2004|
|Dacorum BC||Good||6 May 2004|
|East Hertfordshire DC||Good||6 May 2004|
|Hertsmere BC||Fair||6 May 2004|
|North Hertfordshire DC||Fair||6 May 2004|
|St Albans CC||Fair||6 May 2004|
|Stevenage BC||Good||6 May 2004|
|Three Rivers DC||Good||6 May 2004|
|Watford BC||Weak||6 May 2004|
|Welwyn Hatfield DC||Fair||6 May 2004|
|Norfolk County(79)||Good||18 December 2003|
|Breckland DC||Good||13 November 2003|
|Broadland DC||Fair||13 November 2003|
|Great Yarmouth BC||Good||13 November 2003|
|King's Lynn and West Norfolk BC||Good||13 November 2003|
|North Norfolk DC||Fair||13 November 2003|
|Norwich CC||Fair||13 November 2003|
|South Norfolk DC||Good||13 November 2003|
|Suffolk County(79)||Good||18 December 2003|
|Ipswich BC||Good||22 January 2004|
Mr. Raynsford: Tables showing the latest results for all single tier and county councils and for all the district councils that have been assessed so far (189 out of 238 councils altogether) have been made available in the Library of the House. Since the Comprehensive Performance Assessment categories for all single tier and county councils were last announced (December 2003), a number of councils have had a corporate re-assessment in 2004, seven of which have now moved up a category. These councils are Coventry, Durham, North Lincolnshire, Southwark, St Helens, Wakefield and Walsall.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what guidance his Department has issued relating to local authority websites; whether this includes guidance on external links to councillors' party political websites; and if he will make a statement. 
The Department for Environment, Transport and Regions Circular 06/2001 "Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity", issued under section 4 of the Local Government Act 1986, sets out certain limits on the nature of material to which a local authority may devote expenditure. It recommends that local authorities should not solely rely on websites as a means of disseminating information, and it sets out that local authority publications, including those published on local authority websites, should treat issues in an objective and informative way. The code does not stipulate which sites may or may not be linked to by a local authority website.
(2) whether it is his policy to use the most up-to-date data available for calculating grant distribution to local authorities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Raynsford: On 21 July 2004, I announced to the House that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not intend to use 2001 Census data for the 200506 Local Government Finance Settlement, 21 July 2004, Official Report, column 30WS.
This announcement followed work carried out by officials from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and local government experts during the last year to remodel Formula Spending Shares (FSSs) using the 2001 Census data. Incorporating the new Census data in the funding formula is not a simple task. It is technically incorrect to update the Census data in the police formula; and in other areas the changes needed to incorporate the 2001 Census data would break the current formula freeze, and could cause large changes to the distribution of FSSs. I should also add that, for the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services and the Highways Maintenance formulae, we still do not have all the 2001 Census data we need.
In the Government's December 2001 White Paper 'Strong Local LeadershipQuality Public Services' (CM5237), it was announced that there would be a
7 Sept 2004 : Column 1173W
freeze on formula changes for 200405 and 200506 in order to ensure a period of stability for councils. In deciding not to use 2001 Census data in the 200506 FSS calculations, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister balanced this aim of providing stability in local authority funding against our desire to use the most up-to-date data in the funding formulae calculations.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the cost was of the Boundary Committee Review of local government in (a) the North East, (b) the North West and (c) Yorkshire and the Humber. 
|North East Region||1,272,168|
|North West Region||1,973,416|
|Yorkshire and Humber Region||662,983|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|