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16 Mar 2005 : Column 282W—continued

Councillors' Conduct (Highway Regulations)

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what guidance he has issued to local authorities on the propriety of councillors commenting on proposals for changes in highway regulations in advance of decisions being taken. [221520]

Mr. Raynsford: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has issued no guidance of this kind. Standards of conduct for councillors are contained in the model code of conduct issued in November 2001. The Standards Board for England is currently reviewing this code.

Fire Service

Mr. Evans: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the average response time of the fire and rescue service to 999 calls was in (a) Hartlepool and (b) England and Wales in each year since 1997. [221990]

Mr. Raynsford: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Hartlepool (Iain Wright) on 2 March 2005, Official Report, column 1247W.


Ms Buck: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he expects to issue his proposals for a revised measurement of overcrowding. [221632]

Keith Hill: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister hopes to take a decision shortly on the timing of consultation on the statutory overcrowding standards.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total spending by the Housing Corporation in the London borough of Islington was in each year since 1997–98; and what proportion of this was spent on (a) capital repairs and (b) new build. [221420]

Keith Hill: The following table sets out the total expenditure through the Housing Corporation's Approved Development Programme (ADP) from 1997–98 to 2003–04, where Islington is the sponsoring authority, and the proportion of this that was spent on new build and miscellaneous works.
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Approved development programme

Percentage of total
Total investment (£000)New buildMiscellaneous works(11)

(11) Miscellaneous works are mainly items of major repair but also include other works such as adaptations for people with disabilities and insulation/energy conservation works.
Housing Corporation (extract from RCM)

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Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total central Government Housing Investment programme allocation to the London borough of Islington was in each year since 1997–98; and what proportion of this was used for (a) capital repairs and (b) new build. [221421]

Keith Hill: Details of the housing capital allocations (£ million) made to Islington since 1997–98 are tabled as follows. The Major Repairs Allowance and Arms Length Management Organisation funding are both wholly for use on council housing. The bulk of the housing investment programme funding supports the authority's overall housing capital programme; decisions on what these funds are used for are a matter for the authority. The following table shows the composition of Islington's overall programme.

Housing investment Programme(12)14.918.718.028.412.7
Disabled Facilities0.
Major Repairs Allowance25.4
Arms Length Management Organisation

Housing investment Programme(12)15.013.615.817.8
Disabled Facilities0.
Major Repairs Allowance25.025.524.025.0
Arms Length Management Organisation0.924.0

(12) Includes Housing Annual Capital Guidelines/Supported Capital Expenditure, Capital Receipts Initiative, private sector renewal grant and Cash Incentive Schemes.

Capital spend

Council Housing27.937.330.934.637.8
Private Sector Housing0.

Council Housing44.962.755.883.7
Private Sector Housing2.

(13) Mainly funding for provision of affordable housing through housing associations.

Local Government Finance

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what expenditure has been allocated to Implementing Electronic Government capital grants to local authorities in each year since their inception; and what the estimated allocation is for 2005–06. [219856]

Mr. Raynsford: Local authorities in England were allocated £200,000 each in capital grant for Implementing Electronic Government (IEG) in 2002–03, an additional £200,000 each in 2003–04 and £350,000 each in 2004–05. The allocation for every local authority in 2005–06 is £150,000. The grant is intended to support the proposals set out in receiving authorities IEG statements and is only payable to authorities that have submitted a satisfactory IEG statement.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the projects being undertaken by his Department in respect of which information cannot be given in answer to parliamentary questions as a result of commercial confidentiality. [216620]

Yvette Cooper: A decision not to release information relating to any project as a result of commercial confidentiality is considered on the basis of the specific request made in each parliamentary question.

An assessment of commercial confidentiality may apply to a specific element within a project as well as to an entire project. It is therefore not possible to provide the information requested.
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Planning (Country Houses)

Alan Howarth: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether it is his intention in Planning Policy Statement 7 not to preclude approval of applications to build new country houses in any particular architectural style or idiom but to encourage all styles and types provided that the proposals in question are of high quality in terms of design, construction and sustainability; and if he will make a statement. [222648]

Keith Hill: Planning Policy Statement 7 (PPS7) "Sustainable Development in Rural Areas", says (paragraph 10) that isolated new houses in the countryside will require special justification for planning permission to be granted. It goes on to say (paragraph 11) that:

The Government's intention is not to discourage particular styles and/or types of contemporary architecture which also meet the wider objectives of policy set out in PPS7. The fact that a particular design reflects the evolution of architecture from its historical roots is not of itself a reason to reject a proposal for an isolated new house in the countryside. Indeed, as Planning Policy Statement 1 (PPS1) "Delivering Sustainable Development" makes clear (paragraph 38), Government policy is that local planning authorities (when deciding planning applications) should not attempt to impose architectural styles or particular tastes, or stifle innovation.

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