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Mr. Kidney: To ask the Deputy min Minister if he will adopt the EcoHomes very good standard within his proposed sustainable building code. 
Phil Hope: The Senior Steering Group overseeing the development of the Code for Sustainable Buildings will consider how best to build upon all relevant existing assessment methods, including EcoHomes and its very good" standard.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Deputy min Minister what target he has set for new Government-funded housing to meet the EcoHomes very good standard. 
Phil Hope: The Office of the Deputy min Minister is committed to increasing the standard to which all publicly funded housing is built. As of April 2003 all new built homes funded by the Housing Corporation are required to achieve a British Research Establishment (BRE) EcoHomes rating of Pass" as a minimum essential condition of grant and Registered Social Landlords are encouraged to aim for Good". The Housing Corporation intends to increase the minimum requirement to a 'Good' rating from April 2005 with Registered Social Landlords Associations encouraged to aim for the higher 'Very Good' rating from the same date.
English Partnerships requires that all its developments must achieve a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) rating of Very Good" or better on their mainstream site disposals. This includes residential developments. The Millennium Communities programme, a specific initiative being taken forward by English Partnerships, is working towards the 'Excellent' target
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Deputy min Minister what environmental standards he intends to incorporate into the Thames Gateway development. 
Keith Hill: In the Thames Gateway, as elsewhere, the Government are committed to the construction of sustainable homes that minimise the impact on climate change.
Building Regulations set minimum environmental standards for new buildings. The 2002 revision of Building Regulations sets performance standards that mean new dwellings will be around 25 per cent. more energy efficient than before. The Government are currently carrying out a further review of Part L of Building Regulations and new standards will come into effect by the end of 2005.
The Government are committed to raising the environmental standards to which publicly funded housing is built. All new homes funded by the Housing Corporation, including those in the Thames Gateway, will be required to achieve a BRE EcoHomes Good" rating from April 2005.
The Government are developing a new Code for Sustainable Buildings to establish higher standards for energy and water efficiency, waste and use of materials than the minimum standards in Building Regulations. This will be taken forward in demonstration schemes in the Thames Gateway before being rolled out nationally.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Deputy min Minister how much has been spent on the production of in-house magazines in the Department and its predecessors in each year since 1997. 
Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy min Minister came into existence as a Government Department in May 2002.
The Office of the Deputy min Minister has spent the following on its in-house magazine since 2002:
The magazine aims to communicate key Office of the Deputy min Minister's news and policy issues to the Office of the Deputy min Minister's staff both centrally and in the Government Offices for the Regions. It includes a range of articles, from short news pieces detailing policy announcements and internal events, to more in depth articles highlighting and sharing good practice in delivery on the ground.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Deputy min Minister if he will list the (a) newspapers and (b) periodicals taken by his Office in each year since 1997; and how much the Office spent on each in each year. 
The Office of the Deputy min Minister was created on 29 May 2002. Separate expenditure figures for the Office of the Deputy min Minister while subsumed within the Department for
21 Feb 2005 : Column 336W
Transport, Local Government and Regions and Cabinet Office are not available for previous years. The total expenditure by the Office of the Deputy min Minister (C) for the period from formation until 23 December 2004 was £429,000. to the nearest £1,000. This figure can be split between newspapers and periodicals only at disproportionate cost.
With effect from 1 November 2004, the Office of the Deputy min Minister's central publications acquisitions service ceased operation and responsibility for purchases was transferred to individual Divisions within the Office of the Deputy min Minister as part of its commitment to greater efficiency. Although expenditure information can still be obtained for the whole of the Office of the Deputy min Minister, information on titles purchased is only available centrally for those titles ordered or on active subscription as at 31 October 2004. The current list has been made available in the Library of the House. The list of titles includes those titles taken by the Department for Transport, to whom the central acquisitions services was also provided. Extracting listings for individual Departments can be done only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Deputy min Minister how much his Office and its predecessors spent on (a) stationery and (b) office supplies in each year since 1997. 
Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy min Minister was formed in May 2002 and figures for previous years are unavailable. The spend shown does not include figures from the Government Offices. The available spend information is tabled as follows:
|200405 (to date)||688,071.88||154,419.16|
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy min Minister whether his plans for developing homes for key workers on public sector land will include greenfield or green belt development; and if he will make a statement. 
Keith Hill: Proposals for key worker homes will be subject to planning policies and procedures in the normal way. The Office of the Deputy min Minister's planning policies for housing set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 3: Housing" gives priority to reusing suitable brownfield land in preference to the development of greenfield. The Government does not rule out sustainable greenfield development if it is necessary to meet a justified housing need. Planning policies for the Green Belt set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 2: Green Belts", which include the general presumption against inappropriate development in the Green Belt, will also apply in any case where development on Green Belt land is proposed.
Much of the surplus public sector land that has been identified for affordable housing by the Government is brownfield.
21 Feb 2005 : Column 337W
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy min Minister what recent estimate the Government has made of the cost of local government inspection to local government. 
Mr. Raynsford: There are no agreed or reliable figures to calculate indirect costs of inspections to local government (e.g. staff time).
Mr. Flight: To ask the Deputy min Minister what representations he has received on the establishment and implementation of local authority call centres. 
Phil Hope: The Office of the Deputy min Minister has not received any specific representations on this issue.
Mr. Flight: To ask the Deputy min Minister what the total cost of establishing and running local authority call centres has been in each year for which figures are available. 
Phil Hope: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Flight: To ask the Deputy min Minister (1) what measures his Department uses to assess the (a) cost-effectiveness and (b) efficiency of local authority call centres in terms of local service delivery; 
(2) what the total Government investment into local authority call centres has been; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of local authority call centres on the improvement of local service delivery; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what assessment he has made of the effect of local authority call centres on local service delivery costs; and if he will make a statement. 
Phil Hope: The Office of the Deputy min Minister has not made any specific investments in or appraisals of local authority call centres. Many individual local authorities will, however, have invested their own resources in developing call centres where these demonstrate an effective way of meeting local priorities. This development will often have been supplemented with funds provided by the Office of the Deputy min Minister to support their overall e-government development programme. Local authorities recognise the contribution effective initial contact can make to efficient service delivery.
Mr. Flight: To ask the Deputy min Minister how many directives his Department has issued to local authorities regarding local authority call centres in each year since 1997. 
Phil Hope: The Office of the Deputy min Minister has not issued any specific directives regarding local authority call centres.
Mr. Flight: To ask the Deputy min Minister if he will make a statement on the funding arrangements for local authority call centres; and what estimate he has made of the impact of this funding on (a) local government budgets and (b) council tax. 
Phil Hope: The Office of the Deputy min Minister does not make any specific funding available for local authority call centres.
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