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2 Dec 2004 : Column 259W—continued


Miss McIntosh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, how much money his Office has given to local authorities in North Yorkshire to achieve e-delivery. [200141]

Phil Hope: Each local authority in North Yorkshire has received £750,000 in Implementing Electronic Government (IEG) grants, and can expect to receive a final IEG grant of £150,000 in 2005–06. In addition, a grant of £750,000 was made for the North Yorkshire ICT Partnership. The amounts to £7,950,000 since April 2002.

European Constitution

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, if he will make a statement on the effect of the coming into force of the European Constitution on the operation of his Department, with reference to (a) changes in legislative competence, (b) the extension of qualified majority voting, (c) the increased legislative role of the European Parliament, (d) the cost of implementation of
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regulations, (e) the requirements of adherence to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and (f) the quantity of legislation originating in the EU institutions. [200182]

Mr. Raynsford: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Europe on 29 November 2004, Official Report, column 10W.

Gypsies and Travellers

Mr. Luff: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, if he will list the registered social landlords involved in providing and managing sites for Gypsies and Travellers. [201667]

Keith Hill: The information requested is not held centrally, and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The Government have stated their intention to extend the permissible purposes of the Housing Corporation, which will allow Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) to obtain funding for the development and management of Gypsy and Traveller sites.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, what mechanisms have been put in place to enable people to appeal against sites approved for permanent Traveller sites on local authority land; and if he will make a statement. [201732]

Keith Hill: There is no third party right of appeal against a local authority decision to grant planning permission irrespective of whether the land is local authority land or privately owned land. It is open to any third party who is aggrieved by a local authority's decision to grant planning permission to apply for judicial review if they believe the decision was wrong in law.

Interested or third parties have opportunities to make their views known at the formulation stages of development and local plans. They also have the opportunity to make their views known on planning applications and subsequently if the application is called in by the Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister or if the applicant appeals against a local authority's planning decision.

Andrew Selous: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many Traveller caravans there were on each unauthorised site in South Bedfordshire in (a) July 2004 and (b) July 2003; and whether these figures include those Traveller caravans on unofficial sites owned by Travellers. [200610]

Keith Hill: In the South Bedfordshire District there were 19 unauthorised caravans in July 2003, eight on unauthorised encampments and 11 on unauthorised developments of land without planning permission. In July 2004, unauthorised caravans totalled 28, all of these on Gypsies' own land.

Home Information Packs

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the estimated annual cost will be of recruiting and hiring the 7,500 home inspectors to police home information packs. [200961]

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Keith Hill: Home inspectors will not be recruited by the Government and will not have a role in enforcing the home information pack duties. The majority of the 7,500 to 8,000 home inspectors needed to prepare home condition reports will come initially from existing surveying and related professions and trades. This represents a significant boost to private sector employment and business opportunities. The cost of recruiting home inspectors will be met by the private sector. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is assisting with awareness initiatives aimed at publicising this new career opportunity. A highly successful conference and trade fair held on 25 November in the West Midlands cost £19,000 and was attended by between 800 and 1,000 potential home inspectors.

House Prices (Bassetlaw)

John Mann: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the average house price is in Bassetlaw; and what it was (a) five, (b) 10 and (c) 15 years ago. [201087]

Keith Hill: Estimates of average house prices at local authority level are only available back to 1996, with the most recent figures being the provisional figures for Q2 2004. Hence the time series in the table covers a more recent period than that requested.
PeriodAverage price of residential property transactions in Bassetlaw, 1996 to Q2 2004 (£)
Q2 2004119,911

1. The above figures exclude purchases by sitting tenants and any other transactions that were believed to be below market value.
2. For general reference, average property prices for all local authorities in England and Wales may be accessed on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website at the following locations:
Average annual property prices by local authority from 1996:
Average quarterly property prices by local authority from Q1 1996:
Land Registry

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Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, what meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have held regarding the stock options appraisal in (i) Bedfordshire, (ii) Hertfordshire, (iii) Cambridgeshire, (iv) Essex, (v) Suffolk and (vi) Norfolk, broken down by local authority area; and if he will make a statement. [200488]

Keith Hill: There have been no ministerial meetings held with any of the local authorities in these areas to discuss options appraisal.

Officials in the Government Office for the East of England, and the Community Housing Taskforce adviser hold meetings with those local authorities in the region who are undertaking a stock options appraisal, and with their tenant representatives, on an ongoing basis to provide support and advice on conducting an effective options appraisal.

Tom Cox: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the average local authority rent charged by authorities within the Greater London area is for (a) a one, (b) a two and (c) a three-bedroom flat. [200941]

Keith Hill: The latest available estimates of local authority rents within the Government Office Region of London (equivalent to "Greater London") for the financial year 2003–04 are tabled as follows:

Property typeWeekly rent
One-bedroom flat56.21
Two-bedroom flat64.67
Three-bedroom flat72.06

1. The figures are unaudited.
2. The rental figures are based on 52 weekly payments per annum.
"Second advance claim forms" submitted by individual local authorities to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Average local authority rents by dwelling type, 2003–04

£ per week
Local authorityBedsitOne-bedroom flatTwo-bedroom flatThree-bedroom flat
Inner London49.6556.2164.6772.06
City of London54.3762.7369.6875.06
Hammersmith and Fulham50.2157.7364.6871.72
Tower Hamlets49.3057.3170.0179.55
Kensington and Chelsea51.9563.8483.1990.64
Outer London49.3855.8662.3666.57
Barking and Dagenham55.1556.0156.1956.75
Kingston upon Thames52.3259.6566.5571.19
Richmond upon Thames(10)(10)(10)(10)
Waltham Forest36.8750.3265.6280.73

(10) Not applicable (the local authority no longer owns any housing stock).
(11) No figures received.
1. Figures are unaudited.
2. The weekly rental figures are based on 52 weekly payments per year.
"Second advance claim forms" submitted by local authorities to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent assessment he has made of the fourth option of direct investment in council housing. [200996]

Keith Hill: There is no fourth option for providing direct additional investment to local authorities to meet the Decent Homes standard.

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much rent was paid by council tenants in England in the last year for which figures are available; how much of these receipts was spent on (a) repairs and maintenance and (b) management; and if he will make a statement. [200997]

Keith Hill: Data supplied to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister by local authorities in England show for 2003–04:
£ million
Rent due from council tenants6,245
Major repairs expenditure1,356
Maintenance expenditure1,810
Management expenditure2,092

Each authority has other items of income and expenditure and has a duty to budget to avoid an end of year deficit.

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