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Keith Hill: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is committed to securing a larger, better-quality, better-managed private rented sector. The Housing Bill currently before Parliament includes a number of measures, the licensing of private rented properties, designed to help achieve this objective.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's research has recently focused on aspects of the condition and management of properties in the private rented sector which are key to building market confidence.
Recent research carried out for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has included: powers for private sector housing renewal; the housing health and safety rating system and houses in multiple occupation; tenancy deposit schemes; the economics of the park homes industry; run-down private sector housing; fiscal policy options to promote affordable housing; voluntary accreditation schemes; and harassment and unlawful eviction of private sector tenants and park home residents.
Mr. Love: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what measures his Department is taking to stimulate private sector involvement in the delivery of (a) shared equity and (b) privately-rented accommodation. 
Keith Hill: The Housing Bill, currently before Parliament, contains a provision that would allow the Housing Corporation to pay grants to bodies other than Registered Social Landlords (RSLs). Such grants would be essentially for the same housing purposes as the Corporation's grants to RSLs. This could include the provision of shared equity schemes such as Homebuy.
The Government are keen to secure a larger contribution from the private rented sector towards meeting housing need. Measures in the Housing Bill should raise the standards, the professionalism, and the reputation of the sector. Consultations are also under way on ways of encouraging new institutional investment in residential property, including the use of Property Investment Fund.
Mr. Edward Davey:
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the estimated (a) total budget,
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(b) departmental funding and (c) cost to his Department of the (i) Property Consultative Group, (ii) Home Buying and Selling Forum, (iii) Central Stakeholder Group, (iv) Building Regulations Advisory Committee and (v) Home Ownership Task Force are for the financial years 200506 to 200708. 
The Home Buying and Selling Forum and Central Stakeholder Groups are hosted by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, in one of its buildings and the costs falls within its general administration and staff budget: there is no separate budget for these groups. The estimated costs for the financial years 200506 to 200708 are not expected to change significantly from those quoted for 200405, in the answer given on 30 June 2004, Official Report, column 294W.
The Building Regulations Advisory Committee does not receive Government funding other than costs internal to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of sponsoring it. We are unable to estimate costs for the financial years 200506 to 200708, but do not expect them to change significantly from the £70,000 quoted for 200304 on 28 April 2004, Official Report, column 1140W.
Mr. Raynsford: Ministers were aware of a number of published surveys and opinion polls. The decision to reschedule the referendums in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West followed differences of view in the House of Commons about whether the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister should go ahead with those referendums, on the basis proposed involving all postal ballots, by November 4.
Mr. Raynsford: The referendums for Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West are being rescheduled, so preparation for them has been and still is necessary. Some of the preparations are common to all three regions. The main costs incurred by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister which can be attributed to the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber are as follows:
The costs for the Boundary Committee's local government reviews in these two regions is included in the answer I am giving to the hon. Member for North Essex (Mr. Jenkin) today (PQ 187254).
Some costs in relation to the Your Say information campaign. These are detailed in the answer I am giving to the hon. Member for North Essex (Mr. Jenkin) today (PQ 187162).
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what the total cost is of the Your Say information campaign on elected regional assemblies in (a) the North West, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) the North East to date; 
(2) what his revised estimate is of the total cost of the Your Say information campaigns in the light of the postponement of the referendums in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber; 
(3) if he will list each item of expenditure undertaken as part of the Your Say information campaign on elected regional assemblies, broken down by the region in which that expenditure was undertaken. 
Information campaign activity relating to the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber was suspended on 22 July. The Department has sought to secure refunds for expenditure related to these two regions, wherever possible.
|Yorkshire and the Humber||North|
|(a) Production and distribution of leaflets||98||72||308||478|
|(c) Broadcast media||242||211||223||676|
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what has been the cost (a) each year and (b) in total since their inception of the regional bodies in the South West that fall under the remit of his Department; what responsibilities these regional bodies hold; what these regional bodies' total budgets are; what assessment he has made of their impact; and if he will make a statement. 
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is responsible for no regional bodies in the South West. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is responsible for the Government Office for the South West, which is part of central Government and is not a regional body in its own right.
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My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister has designated a regional chamber for the South West, under the terms of the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. However, the chamber is an independent, voluntary body and is not the responsibility of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister makes a grant to the chamber to help it fulfil its responsibilities.
Since designation in 1999 the regional chamber has been responsible for scrutinising the work of the South West Regional Development Agency and since 2003 has been the recognised Regional Planning Body for the South West. The chamber has been allocated the following maximum levels of grant:
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