|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list (a) inspection regimes and (b) regulators to which housing associations are subject. 
Keith Hill: The information is as follows:
(a) Registered social landlords (RSLs) are subject to financial, business and performance review by the Corporation and inspections are undertaken on behalf of the Corporation by the Audit Commission. The Audit Commission has the role of inspecting the quality of services provided by RSLs and the RSLs' arrangements for securing continuous improvement in the efficiency, effectiveness and economy in their delivery of service.
8 Feb 2005 : Column 1441W
(b) Registered social landlords comprise a wide range of bodies with varying forms of constitution. They are subject to regulation by the Housing Corporation and of any other regulatory body appropriate for their particular constitution and activities, for example the Charity Commission (charitable bodies), Companies House (not for profit companies), and the Financial Services Authority (for some Industrial and Provident Societies).
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what future roles are planned for (a) county councils, (b) district councils and (c) parish and town councils. 
Mr. Raynsford: As set out in the Office of the DeputyPrime Minister's Five Year Plan Sustainable Communities: People Places and Prosperity and building upon the reforms we have already put in place, our new strategy for local governmentlocal:visionwhich we are developing through a series of discussion documents, will help shape a new role for local government which puts it at the heart of our work to create sustainable communities and to empower people.
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what funding Durham county council received in (a) 2001 and (b) the latest year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Raynsford: In 200102 Durham county council received £344.303 million in revenue grants. The budget figure for 200405 is £418.681 million. These figures are as reported by the local authority and include special and specific grants inside Aggregate External Finance, revenue support grant and redistributed non-domestic rates.
Comparisons across years may not be valid due to changing local authority responsibilities
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what funding was received by Chester-le-Street district council in (a) 2001 and (b) the last year for which funding was available. 
Mr. Raynsford: In 200102 Chester-le-Street district council received £4.027 million in revenue grants. The budget figure for 200405 is £4.786 million. These figures are as reported by the local authority and include special and specific grants inside Aggregate External Finance, revenue support grant and redistributed non-domestic rates.
Comparisons across years may not be valid due to changing local authority responsibilities
Mr. Byrne: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on local authorities' obligations to (a) assess the requirement for and (b) provide adequate local parking facilities for residents. 
Planning Policy Guidance Note 3: Housing (PPG3)" explains that local authorities requirements for car parking, especially off-street car parking, are a significant determinant of the amount of land needed for new housing. In the 1990s, car parking
8 Feb 2005 : Column 1442W
standards for housing became increasingly demanding and were applied too rigidly, often as minimum standards.
With this in mind, PPG3 says that local authorities should have parking standards which allow for significantly lower levels of car parking provision where appropriate. For example, this could apply to developments:
in locations like town centres where services are accessible by walking, cycling or public transport;
which provide housing for older people, students and single people, all of whom are likely to have less demand for car parking than families; and
involving the conversion of housing or non-residential buildings where off-street parking is less likely to be successfully designed into the scheme.
PPG3 advises that parking policies should be framed with good design in mind while recognising that car ownership varies with income, age, household type and location. The Planning for Housing statement of 17 July 2003, Official Report, column 53WS, explained that car parking standards should result in an average of 1.5 off-street car parking spaces per dwelling over an authority's area. As this is an average, this does not mean that the Government expects all dwellings in new developments to have 1.5 car parking spaces. Policies which would result in higher levels of off-street parking, especially in urban areas, should not be adopted.
To help the development of appropriate standards, the Government are carrying out research to consider how varying levels of car parking can be achieved in ways consistent with their policies on sustainable residential environments. We aim to publish this research in summer 2005.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he expects to give details of the futuredistribution of Neighbourhood Renewal Fund monies. 
Yvette Cooper: No decisions have yet been made on the allocation of over £1 billion of new Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (NRF) resources for the period 200608. The Government are currently consulting with key stakeholders involved in delivering neighbourhood renewal at the local level. The Government will need to consider the responses to this consultation carefully before making a final decision on the allocation of the new resources. An announcement giving details of the future distribution of the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund will be made later this year.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the (a) framework for consultation and (b) list of consultees were for the Northern Way document; and if he will make a statement. 
'Moving Forward: The Northern Way' was published on 20 September 2004 by the independently chaired and regional development agency-led Northern Way Steering Group. The steering group contains representatives from business, the housing sector, higher education and the northern core
8 Feb 2005 : Column 1443W
cities as well as the three northern regional development agencies and regional assemblies, English Partnerships and Government.
Significant consultation went into the preparation of the report, including regional stakeholder events in June, November and December 2004, tailored presentations to organisations on request and extensive mailing to all local authorities and other organisations.
Details can be obtained from the three northern regional development agencies and the Northern Way website, www.thenorthernway.co.uk.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whatthe timetable is for consultation upon the South West regional assembly's housing proposals for Gloucestershire; and whether this will parallel the consultation for the Regional Spatial Strategy. 
Keith Hill: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is aware that a consultation exercise is currently being carried out in Gloucestershire, seeking views on technical work that has been undertaken on behalf of the regional assembly by a steering group led by the county council. The consultation period runs from 17 January to 18 February 2005. The results of this and other work will feed into the development of the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) for the South West, a draft of which will be submitted to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in December 2005. There will then be extensive consultation on the draft RSS, followed by an examination in public before an independent panel.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the relationship between the third review of the Gloucestershire structural plan, Stroud district council's local plan and the regional spatial strategy as they affect Gloucestershire. 
Keith Hill: The Stroud local plan sets out detailed planning policies and proposals for Stroud district for the period to 2011 and is being prepared in accordance with the adopted Gloucestershire structure plan second review which sets out broad, strategic planning policies for the county. That structure plan has been the subject of review and the structure plan third alteration, covering the period 19962016, has reached an advanced stage. Regional planning guidance for the south-west (RPG10) was approved in 2001 and became the regional spatial strategy on commencement of the new Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act. RPG10 covers the period 19962016 and is being reviewed as part of the preparation of a new regional spatial strategy (RSS) for the south west. The draft RSS will be submitted to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in December 2005, following which there will be extensive public consultation and an examination in public before an independent panel. We currently estimate that the RSS will be approved in mid 2007.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|