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Vacancy Statistics

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the three-month vacancy (a) rates and (b) numbers were for (i) midwives, (ii) nurses, (iii)GPs, (iv) district nurses, (v) health visitors, (vi) physiotherapists, (vii) occupational therapists, (viii) speech and language therapists and (ix)consultants, by specialty for (A) England, (B)Strategic Health Authority, (C) each NHS trust and foundation trust and (D) each primary care trust in each year since 1997. [209548]

Mr. Hutton: The Department's annual vacancy survey, which collects medical and non-medical data, started in 1999.

Information on the three-month vacancy rate and number of qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff, midwives, district nurses, health visitors, occupied therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists by health authority from 1999 to 2001 and by strategic health authority (SHA) from 2002 to 2004 has been placed in the Library.

Information on the three-month vacancy rates and vacancy number for consultants in England broken down by speciality group and by SHA from 2002 to 2004 has also been placed in the Library. Prior to 2002, the medical and dental work force data was collected on a different basis with regard to specialty and therefore is not available in a comparable format.

The Department could provide information by national health service trust or by specialty only at a disproportionate cost.

The Department's annual general practitioner (GP) recruitment and retention vacancy survey started in 2000 and began collecting information at primary care trust (PCT) level for the first time in 2003. The survey takes place between 1 April and 31 March each year and is a count of all GP vacancies that have occurred during each year. It will include existing posts that doctors have left and also new posts created to increase the work force, even where they were filled very quickly.
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Information on the number of GP vacancies in England broken down by SHA in each year from 2000 to 2004 and by PCT from 2003 to 2004 has been placed in the Library.

The estimated three-month GP vacancy rate for England from 2002 to 2004 has been placed in the Library. It is not possible to produce reliable estimates of the vacancy rate for GPs at SHA or PCT level. Estimated three-month vacancy rates are not available before 2002.


Affordable Housing

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Deputy min Minister how and where he plans for houses to be constructed for a selling price of £60,000. [213652]

Keith Hill: Homes for All the Office of the Deputy min Minister's Five-Year Plan, launched on 24 January 2005, stated that a Design for Manufacture" competition would invite organisations to bid for the right to construct one or more new developments on sites owned by English Partnerships.

The competition will provide up to 1,000 homes. A minimum of 30 per cent. of the housing dwellings within the competition will be built to a target cost of £60,000 and the remainder will be larger or smaller dwellings that should be built at an equivalent cost-efficiency.

English Partnerships are currently identifying the sites for the competition. These will be in the south-east of England. A formal prior information notice will shortly be placed in the Official Journal of the European Union, and advertised in the media.

Business Rates

Mr. Drew: To ask the Deputy min Minister what plans he has to change business rates for those who generate electricity using green methods. [217087]

Mr. Raynsford: There are no present plans to do so. Any specific rate relief scheme would require primary legislation and the costs and benefits would have to be fully appraised. Through the Renewables Obligation, the Government already provides a very significant level of support for renewable energy generation; this is expected to reach £l billion per year by 2010. Government will also be providing approximately £500 million of support for renewables in the form of research and development and capital grants between 2002 and 2008. In addition, good quality Combined Heat and Power generators already have certain plant and machinery excluded from the rating valuation.

Council Tax

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy min Minister what the average council tax per dwelling was in each local authority in England in each year since 1996–97. [216260]

Mr. Raynsford: The figures requested have been made available in the Library of the House.
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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy min Minister what the average parish council precept on council tax levied was in England in the most recent year for which figures are available. [216273]

Mr. Raynsford: Information on amounts of council tax precepted by individual parish and town councils is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The average precept for parish and town councils for 2004–05 is, however, estimated to be equivalent to about £40 per Band D property, if averaged across parished areas only, rather than across the whole of England.

Mr. Flook: To ask the Deputy min Minister whether each collecting local authority's council tax register is available for public inspection. [216439]

Mr. Raynsford: The valuation list prepared for each English billing authority area by the Valuation Office Agency sets out information about dwellings which may be subject to council tax. Each list is available for inspection at the Valuation Office Agency and at the principal office of the relevant local billing authority. It is also possible to view and search the valuation list for any billing authority on the Valuation Office Agency's website (

Decent Homes Standard

Lynne Jones: To ask the Deputy min Minister what estimate he has made of the cost of increasing to SAP 65 the thermal requirements set out in the Decent Homes Standard for Social Housing in all buildings where it is practicable to do so. [216476]

Keith Hill: The Office of the Deputy min Minister estimates that it would cost £8.5 billion to bring up to SAP 65 all social housing for which that level of thermal efficiency is achievable by means of improvement works. To demolish and rebuild the social sector homes that could not otherwise be brought up to SAP 65 would cost an estimated additional £20 billion.

Departmental Costs

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Deputy min Minister how much has been spent on official Ministerial (a) business cards, (b) headed paper and (c) compliment slips in each year since 1997. [214956]

Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy min Minister was created on 29 May 2002.

In the financial year 2002–03 the amount spent was:

In the financial year 2003–04 the amount spent was:

In the financial year 2004–05 the amount spent was:

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The Office of the Deputy min Minister uses an electronic template for much of the ministerial correspondence as opposed to pre-printed headed paper.

Departmental Expenditure (London)

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Deputy min Minister what his Office's expenditure has been on (a) Romford and the (b) London borough of Havering in each of the last seven years. [217147]

Mr. Raynsford: The Office of the Deputy min Minister was established following the Machinery of Government changes on 29 May 2002. The table sets out the amounts of formula grant and other grants and payments made to the London borough of Havering since 2002–03. The Office of the Deputy min Minister does not hold separate expenditure data on Romford.

In addition to the amounts in the table, the London Development Agency (LDA) has spent some £61.6 million in Havering since 2000. The LDA receives around 80 per cent. of its funding from the Office of the Deputy min Minister.
All figures (£ million)

Formula grant(173)Other grants and payments

(173) These figures may not be comparable year-on-year due to changes in the funding and function of local authorities.
(174) Excludes Housing Revenue Account Subsidy for which audited data for 2004–05 is not yet available.

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