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Brian Cotter: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many non-domestic hereditaments with a rateable value of less than £25,000 there are in each billing authority following the 2005 revaluation of non-domestic properties for business rates. 
Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will exempt Fair Trade products from the requirement on local authorities to purchase less expensive alternatives under the terms of their Best Value procurement obligations. 
Local authorities are responsible for taking their own decisions on procurement within the framework of the European Union Treaty, the EU Procurement Directives, the regulations that implement them in the UK and other domestic legislation. Fair trade options have to be considered by local authorities within this framework. The duty of Best Value, as laid down in legislation, requires authorities to make arrangements to secure continuous improvement in the way in which they exercise their functions, having regard to a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness. Best Value recognises that successful
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procurement strategies are likely to be based on whole life cost considerations that include subsequent revenue implications, and not simply the lowest initial tender price.
Mr. Raynsford: Since April 2004 fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales have been asked to report attacks on firefighters through the Fire or Incident of Special Interest ( FOSI) system. The FOSI (attacks on firefighters) definition includes verbal abuse, acts of aggression, harassment, objects thrown at appliances and physical abuse. Since that time 605 incidents in England and Wales have been reported to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
Yvette Cooper: Information about local authorities' actions under homelessness legislation is collected quarterly and is in respect of households rather than families. The number of households accepted as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need and the number of households in temporary accommodation arranged by local authorities under homelessness legislation as at 31 March of each year in Shrewsbury and Atcham, since 1997, is tabled as follows. Also shown is the number of acceptances, and those in temporary accommodation, as a percentage of all households in Shrewsbury and Atcham.
After being accepted as homeless, a household will be placed in some form of accommodation. They may be placed in temporary accommodation, until a settled solution becomes available, or they may be given a settled solution straight away depending on the accommodation available to the local authority. As an alternative to temporary accommodation an authority may arrange for a household to remain in their current accommodation (homeless at home), until a settled solution becomes available.
| Acceptances(49)(5507620050)|| Households in temporary|
accommodation(50)(5507620051) (as at
|Mid-year household estimates(53) (thousand)||Total||As a percentage of all households||Total||As a percentage|
of all households
(number of persons)
Information is also collected, since 1998, on the number of people who sleep rough, that is, those who are literally roofless on a single night. The above table shows number of persons sleeping rough in Shrewsbury and Atcham district, on a single night.
Quarterly Statistical Releases on statutory homelessness published by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister include information on decisions, and households in temporary accommodation, at local authority level in an associated supplementary table. The latest release, of 14 March, and previous editions are available both in the Library of the House and via the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website.
Andrew George: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) how much Housing Corporation (a) Approved Development Programme funding and (b) Challenge funding was spent on (i) mixed funded social rented housing, (ii) temporary social rented housing, (iii)Homebuy general market purchase, (iv) Homebuy general new build, (v) mixed funded low cost home ownership for sale, (vi) miscellaneous works to RSL stock, (vii) reimprovements to rented RSL stock, (viii)works only rehabilitation of rented RSL stock, (ix)works only rehabilitation of RSL stock for sale, (x)intermediate rent for key workers, (xi) Homebuy market purchase for key workers, (xii) Homebuy new build for key workers, (xiii) mixed funded sale for key workers and (xiv) Starter Home Initiative in the South West region in each year since 199798; 
(2) how many affordable housing units were built or procured through the Housing Corporation (a) Approved Development Programme and (b) Challenge Fund, broken down by (i) mixed funded social rented housing, (ii) temporary social rented housing. (iii) Homebuy general market purchase, (iv)Homebuy general new build, (v) mixed funded low cost home ownership for sale, (vi) miscellaneous works
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to RSL stock, (vii) reimprovements to rented RSL stock, (viii) works only rehabilitation of rented RSL stock, (ix) works only rehabilitation of RSL stock for sale, (x) intermediate rent for key workers, (xi) Homebuy market purchase for key workers, (xii)Homebuy new build for key workers, (xiii) mixed funded sale for key workers and (xiv) Starter Home Initiative in each year since 199798 in the South West region. 
Keith Hill: The information available on the Housing Corporation's Approved Development Programme has been made available in the Library of the House. There has been no Challenge funding available in the South West region.
Keith Hill: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's recently published Five Year Plan, 'Sustainable Communities: Homes for All' set out our proposals for housing, including expenditure plans for the next two years, in the context of our longer term Sustainable Communities Plan. This takes a co-ordinated approach to the provision of affordable housing, including not only additional financial resourcesexpenditure of £2billion in 200708, more than double the 1997 level, for new social rented housing and home ownership initiatives, plus more for PFIas well as changes to the planning system so that it can help authorities deliver more affordable housing. All these policies apply fully to rural areas, where we are committed to addressing housing needs and have already more than doubled the provision of affordable housing in small settlements funded through the Housing Corporation.
The provision of affordable housing in high demand areas, including rural areas and market towns, is one of the priorities identified in the current Regional Housing Strategy for Yorkshire and the Humber and its accompanying Investment Framework. The Regional Housing Board's current two year investment plan for affordable housing delivered by the Housing Corporation includes 45 dwellings in the Vale of York. The board is also helping to fund the extra care housing scheme at Easingwold, Hambleton district council's Young Single Homeless scheme and affordable housing initiatives in the 'Golden Triangle' high demand, high price area including north Leeds, Harrogate and York. These priorities continue into the board's revised draft strategy, which is currently out for consultation. Sub-regional housing partnerships are currently working on their investment proposals for 200608 for submission to the board and subsequent approval by me later this year, and I would expect to see them appropriately reflect the needs of the Vale of York. Recently completed research into 'Rural Housing in the Yorkshire and Humber Region' for the Housing Corporation and the Countryside Agency will help in addressing rural housing needs.
However, it is important to make full use of all opportunities to provide additional affordable housing where it is needed. There are already good achievements
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by Vale of York authorities in using the planning system to deliver affordable housing, and I hope that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's recent changes to Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 will help them to do more. I was also pleased to recently give approval to North Yorkshire county council to implement an affordable housing scheme using their share of the proceeds from the flexibility that we gave local authorities to reduce the council tax discount for second homes. The first phase comprises a proposed county-wide programme with an investment of almost £12 million, including 15 dwellings in the Vale of York.
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