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Mr. Raynsford: House price data at a local authority level are only available from 1996. The following table shows the average price in the London borough of Barking and Dagenham in the third quarter of 1996 (eight years ago), the third quarter of 1999 (five years ago) and the third quarter of 2004.
|Period||Average price (£)|
Keith Hill: The "Town and Country (Use Classes) Order 1987" (the UCO) sets out classes of uses, changes within which do not require planning permission due to the similarity in their impact on local amenity, for example: traffic generation, noise, and visual appearance.
The UCO classifies dwelling houses as a C3 use class. This includes dwelling houses used by a single person, any number of persons living as a family, or by no more than six people living together as a single household. Any change of use from this status would normally require planning permission.
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Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether his Department keeps a recommended or reference list of finance groups in relation to finance for large-scale voluntary council house transfers. 
Mr. Raynsford: In announcing the provisional Local Government Settlement for 200506 on 2 December 2004, Official Report, column 805, it was made clear the Government's decision to abolish the ceilings which had previously limited the maximum amount of grant which could be paid to certain authorities.
The Government will continue to provide a guaranteed minimum percentage increase in grant to all authorities. This "floor" increase must be paid for within the total amount of grant available for authorities each year; authorities with increases above the floor will have those increases scaled back by a fixed percentage.
The consultation paper 'Three-year Revenue and Capital Settlements' published on 15 December seeks views on whether population projections should be used in calculating grant allocations, hence making the grant allocations more forward looking.
Mr. Leigh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he will use current population figures in the formula grant calculations made by his Department for the support of local authority services; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Raynsford: The provisional 200506 formula grant calculations use the mid-2003 population estimates published by the Office for National Statistics on 9 September 2004. These are the latest population estimates available.
My right hon. Friends the Deputy Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have appointed Sir Michael Lyons to conduct an independent inquiry into the funding of local government in England, and to report by the end of 2005. The inquiry will consider, in the light of the report by the Balance of Funding review, the detailed case for changes to the present system of local government funding, and make recommendations on any changes that are necessary and how to implement them. As well as making recommendations on how best to reform
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council tax it will conduct a through analysis of options other than council tax for local authorities to raise supplementary revenue, including local income tax, the reform of non-domestic rates and other possible local taxes and charges, as well as the possible combination of such options.
Mr. Raynsford: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has no plans for a review of the area cost adjustment (ACA) at this stage. The current arrangements introduced in 200304, are generally recognised as a considerable improvement on previous ones. They calculate the ACA at a much finer geography than before, with the ACA for each area reflecting local wage and rates costs.
Following the three year formula freeze, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will be considering, together with representatives of local government, what are the priority issues for any review of the formula.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will issue new planning guidance to require planning authorities to take greater account of the health effects of radiation from mobile telephones when reaching decisions on such masts. 
Keith Hill: On 12 November the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by the First Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister in the case of the First Secretary of State v T Mobile (UK) Limited and others. The Court of Appeal gave consideration to the policy guidance in PPG8. Taking into account that advice, the Court found the First Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister's policy to mean that in cases where an ICNIRP certificate exists, only in exceptional circumstances would it be legitimate for a local planning authority to take public fears about health risks into account. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister needs to carefully review the transcript of the judgment before deciding what action might be needed in light of it.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 15 December 2004, Official Report, column 1119W, on MOD land, if he will place a copy of the framework agreement in the Library. 
Keith Hill: A copy of the framework document was placed in the Library of the House following the announcement of the agreement by my hon. Friend the Member for Hove on 11 November 2004, Official Report, column 31WS.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 15 December 2004, Official Report, column 1119W, on MOD land, how English Partnerships will fund their role under the Sustainable Communities Plan; and if he will make a statement. 
Keith Hill: English Partnerships will fund its role under the Sustainable Communities plan in the normal way, through a combination of grant-in-aid provided by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and receipts from other business activities. The spending review 2004 provided English Partnerships with about £1 billion of resource allocation for the three years April 2005 to March 2008.
Mr. Raynsford: The Government response to the Mott MacDonald report was sent to Chairs of Fire and Rescue Authorities on 11 December 2003 in the form of a consultation paper. Following consideration of the generally positive responses, I made a written statement to the House on 4 March 2004, Official Report, column 86WS, confirming the way forward. A copy of a response of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to the issues raised in the consultation paper was made available in the Libraries of the House.
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