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Mental Capacity Act

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the timescale is for public consultation on the details of the role of independent mental capacity advocates. [4775]

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Bridget Prentice: The Department of Health intends to hold a full public consultation shortly on a range of issues relating to the Independent Mental

Capacity Advocate service.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) what plans she has for public awareness campaigns to raise awareness of the codes of practice of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 among the general public; [4810]

(2) what representations she has (a) made to and (b) received from the voluntary sector on disseminating information about the Mental Capacity Act 2005 codes of practice to family members and carers of incapacitated individuals. [4811]

Bridget Prentice: Disseminating and raising awareness of the Act and code of practice is a key component of our implementation plans. We want to undertake this important work in consultation with stakeholders, including those in the voluntary sector, and are currently seeking views from them on how they will want to work with us in this area of implementation.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what mechanisms her Department will introduce to monitor compliance with the Codes of Practice laid out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 with regard to (a) lasting powers of attorney donees, (b) court appointed deputies and (c) independent mental capacity advocates. [4852]

Bridget Prentice: Lasting Powers of Attorney and court appointed deputies will be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG will respond to any complaints about their conduct either directly or in co-ordination with other agencies. Complaints about the conduct of a deputy or attorney might include complaints about an attorney or deputy not complying with their duty to have regard to the Code. In addition deputies will be subject to supervision by the OPG and required to provide reports to the OPG. The Department for Health will issue a consultation paper shortly on details of the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service.

Rape Trials

Vera Baird: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) what proportion of applications to admit previous sexual history in rape trials was successful during (a) 2003 and (b) 2004; [588]

(2) how many applications to admit previous sexual history were made in rape trials in England and Wales in (a) 2003 and (b) 2004. [592]

Paul Goggins: I have been asked to reply.

Provisions on the admission of evidence and questioning relating to previous sexual history in criminal proceedings are set out in sections 41 to 43 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. The Home Office commissioned London Metropolitan University to carry out during 2003–04 research on the working of these provisions. The findings of this research are due to be published this autumn. Although the statistical data requested are not identifiable within the data regularly collected centrally, this research study
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is expected to provide some information on the proportion of rape trials in which applications to admit previous sexual history evidence are made and the success rate of applications.


Affordable Housing

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many affordable homes have been (a) started and (b) completed in the last five years in the London borough of Haringey council area; and if he will make a statement. [3079]

Yvette Cooper: The number of affordable homes provided on behalf of Haringey in each of the last five financial years are shown as follows.

Housing Corporation

In 2004–05 there were 493 starts-on-site on behalf of Haringey (figures for earlier years are not available).

The numbers include homes for both rent and low cost home ownership provided through new build dwellings, acquisitions and refurbishments via the Housing Corporation's Approved Development Programme including Key Worker Living in 2004–05 and exclude the Transitional Local Authority Social Housing Grant, the Starter Homes Initiative (not delivered through the Approved Development Programme) and S106 agreements where there was no Housing Corporation funding.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the Government's definitions are of the terms (a) affordable housing and (b) key worker. [4276]

Yvette Cooper: The Government defines affordable housing as including social rented housing and other forms of sub-market housing (known as intermediate housing). Sub-market housing include forms of low cost home ownership such as shared ownership and Homebuy and housing available at intermediate rents (above social rent but below market rent).

For the Key Worker Living programme which operates throughout the London, South East and Eastern regions there is a priority list of public sector key worker groups, established in consultation with sponsor Departments/employers who are making a financial contribution to the programme. Key workers being helped through the programme include nurses and other NHS clinical staff, teachers in schools and further education, police officers and some civilian staff in participating police forces, prison and probation service staff, social workers, occupation therapists, education psychologists, fire service staff in Hertfordshire and in London, local authority planners.
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Beyond the Key Worker Living programme, there is no set definition. Definitions will vary by scheme and location and will depend on a range of factors including funding sources and local pressures.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps are being taken to ensure an adequate long-term supply of low-cost housing for those with housing needs in Coventry, South. [4822]

Yvette Cooper: It is not possible to provide separate figures for Coventry, South.

£7.4 million was allocated from the Regional Housing Pot, for the period 2004 to 2006, to fund 174 new units of affordable housing in Coventry.

During 2004–05 Coventry city council delivered, across the city, 142 new affordable homes for rent, 21 new shared ownership homes, and 55 homes achieved through SI06 planning gain.

Development of the second West Midlands Regional Housing Strategy, which has been subject to broad consultation, will inform Regional Housing Pot allocations for housing in the region for 2006 to 2008, details of which will be announced in December 2005.

The new Strategy, which will shortly be submitted for endorsement by the West Midlands Regional Assembly, has been based on a range of comprehensive research, including a region-wide assessment of the need for affordable housing in the region.

Agricultural Land

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the development of his policy on the sub-division of agricultural land into small plots for sale since his Department's letter of 19 April 2004 to chief planning officers. [4084]

Yvette Cooper: Sub-division of fields and woods into small plots for sale can lead to neglect and other unsightly consequences. In January the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister issued new Best Practice Guidance which, among other things, encourages local authorities to use notices under section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to require landowners to remedy damage to rural amenity. Later this year, as part of our review of permitted development rights, we will consult on proposed improvements to the procedure for making article 4 directions. Article 4 directions can prevent permitted development where it would significantly threaten the amenity of the countryside.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what guidance he has issued to local planning authorities on the application of temporary stop notice powers, as provided under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, to cases in which agricultural land has been divided into small plots for sale. [4085]

Yvette Cooper: ODPM Circular 02/2005 'Temporary Stop Notice' gives guidance on the use of temporary stop notices. It advises that a single temporary stop notice may apply to the whole of the site in
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circumstances where a field is sub-divided into plots, irrespective of the fact that the field may not be in single ownership.

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