Jim Fitzpatrick: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was created on 29 May 2002. Information on mobile phones used by officials is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, the number of mobile phones reported by Ministers, special advisers and private office officials as (a) lost or (b) stolen are as follows:
|Number of mobile phones
|30 May 2002 to 31 March 2003
|1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004
|1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005
|1 April 2005 to 27 June 2005
Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which telephone answering services for which his Department is responsible are (a) staffed by employees of the Department, (b) serviced by call centres in the UK and (c) serviced by overseas call centres. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is responsible for two telephone answering services: the Social Exclusion Unit helpline and the main ODPM switchboard, neither of which are serviced by overseas call centres. The Social Exclusion Unit helpline is staffed by employees of the ODPM, while the main ODPM switchboard is serviced by contractors based within the ODPM's London offices.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many freedom of information requests his Department has received since the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and how many have been refused. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: I refer the hon. Member to the Department for Constitutional Affairs' publication Freedom of Information Act 2000Statistics on Implementation in Central Government Q1: January-March 2005", which was published, and copies of which were placed in the Libraries of both Houses, on 23 June 2005. The information requested can be found in table 3 of the Report.
DCA will be publishing figures for Government Departments' performance under Freedom of Information, including volumes of requests handled by Departments and outcomes of requests, on an ongoing quarterly basis.
5 Jul 2005 : Column 301W
Mr. Woolas: Local authorities in England have to submit annual efficiency statements, which are comprised of two parts; the forward look is prepared at the start of a financial year and contains the council's strategy and planned actions for achieving efficiency gains, while the backward look, prepared at the end of the financial year, reports the gains that were actually achieved.
Local authorities submitted their first forward look statement (covering the year 200506) in April. Analysis of these statements indicates that local authorities expect to achieve nearly £1.2 billion efficiency gains during the year, which compares well against the target of £1.0 billion.
Local authorities submitted their first backward look statement (covering the year 200405) in June. Analysis of these statements is still in progress, but the initial indications are that local authorities achieved £0.7 billion efficiency gains in 200405. Together, the outcomes of these statements are very encouraging and suggest that authorities are well on their way towards meeting the target set in the Gershon Review. They demonstrate our belief that local authorities have a great deal of experience of successfully identifying opportunities for making efficiency gains.
Mr. Woolas: The Government published the annual efficiency target for each local authority in England on 16 June to accompany the publication of the 200506 Forward Look Annual Efficiency Statements. The targets are set out in column AJ of the spreadsheet that may be found on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website at http://www.odpm.gov.uk/stellent/groups/odpm_localgov/documents/page/odpm_locgov_038270.xls.
In total, the annual efficiency target for all local authorities is £1.023 billion. Thus, the expectation is for local authorities to deliver at least £3.07 billion efficiency gains by 200708, which contributes to the overall local Government total of £6.45 billion.
The purpose of providing the information in the proposed energy report is to encourage people to improve the energy performance of their homes. Consequently, the Energy Reports will
5 Jul 2005 : Column 302W
contain a SAP rating along with information on energy consumption and carbon emissions. The SAP rating, which is based on fuel prices, is included because research indicates that people are most motivated to make energy efficiency investments by reductions in their fuel bills. The external costs of fuel use are reflected in the carbon emissions data. It is not possible to include information on other external costs from fuel use as these are insufficiently quantifiable.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1)what estimate he has made of the number of homeless households who were placed in self-contained temporary accommodation in 200405 which do not meet the minimum physical standards proposed in his Department's 2003 consultation paper; 
Yvette Cooper: It is for local authorities to ensure that all temporary accommodation meets statutory standards. ODPM does not collect and has not made any estimate of the number which would meet the standards set out in its 2003 consultation paper.
These surveys will investigate the causes of homelessness and the impact of living in temporary accommodation, in particular on the health and well-being of these households, and on children's education. The surveys will also investigate the impact of living in temporary accommodation on access to education, training and employment.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will take steps to enable local authorities to discharge their duty to statutorily homeless households by providing an assured shorthold tenancy in the private rented sector. 
Yvette Cooper: Local housing authorities can already discharge a duty to secure accommodation for a homeless household by arranging the provision of an assured shorthold tenancy in the private sector. The provision of such a tenancy can be used to provide temporary accommodation, pending the availability of settled accommodation. Moreover, where a main homelessness duty is owed to an applicant under section 193(2) of the Housing Act 1996, the offer of an assured shorthold tenancy will bring this duty to an end (as settled accommodation) if the offer is a qualifying offer and the applicant accepts the offer.
In March this year, we published Sustainable Communities: settled homes; changing Lives", a strategy for tackling homelessness. This document set out our proposal to examine the options for making greater use of the private sector as a source of settled solutions for households accepted as homeless.
5 Jul 2005 : Column 303W
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is currently carrying out a review of homelessness statistics that it collects from local authorities, as announced in Sustainable Communities: Homes for All. A Five Year Plan from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister". This has included revising the layout of the quarterly statistical release to more clearly present the information collected on statutory homelessness. The first revised release was published on 13 June, containing statistics for the first quarter of 2005.
Yvette Cooper: We have provided funding, support and advice to a number of London boroughs and housing associations seeking to develop a range of temporary to permanent housing initiatives to capture the revenue flow as a longer term social housing asset. Those supported to date include: Newham's Local Space proposal; Ealing's Safe Haven partnership; L&Q Housing Trust's HILS programme; as well as a range of other buy to let programmes delivered by housing associations including Acton, Wandle and East Thames Housing Associations.
We will continue to support innovative schemes which provide settled housing solutions for households in temporary accommodation. Where they offer value for money but require capital investment we will encourage regional housing boards to support bids for the Approved Development Programme funding.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much funding each local authority in London has received from the homelessness directorate in each of the last five years to support local homelessness strategies. 
| Homelessness grant paid
|Homelessness grant allocations
|Barking and Dagenham
|City of London
|Hammersmith and Fulham
|Kensington and Chelsea
|Kingston upon Thames
Under the homelessness legislation, eligible applicants must also be unintentionally homeless and have a priority need in order to be entitled to accommodation. In July 2002 we extended the priority need categories to include, broadly, young people aged 16 or 17, young people under 21 previously in care, applicants vulnerable as a result of time spent in care, in the armed forces, in prison or on remand, and applicants vulnerable as a result of fleeing their home because of violence. These changes have widened the homelessness safety net and ensure that more vulnerable homeless people are given the help they need.
In most cases, the main duty to secure accommodation under the homelessness legislation is ended with the offer of a long-term social tenancy. Local authorities' allocation schemes for social housing must be framed so as to give reasonable preference to certain categories of applicant. In July 1997, we extended the reasonable preference categories to include people owed the main homelessness duties. This effectively restored the long-standing rights of people owed the main homelessness duties that had been removed by the Housing Act 1996. In 2002, the reasonable preference categories were revised and broadened to include people owed other homelessness duties and people who were homeless, whether owed a duty or not.
removal of eligibility for all asylum seekers who claimed asylum after 2 April 2000, when the National Asylum Support Service took on responsibility for providing asylum seekers with appropriate accommodation and support, and for nationals of countries that were signatories to, but which had not ratified, the European Convention on Social and Medical Assistance or the European Social Charter, and
Yvette Cooper: Hidden homelessness is a subjective definition, varying between different agencies and individuals. We have a number of objective measures to identify and assess levels of homelessness and a range of wider housing needs which can be used to inform housing and homelessness strategies.
PIE data records all decisions on households who apply to local housing authorities for homelessness
5 Jul 2005 : Column 306W
assistance. This includes those who are found to be homeless (unintentionally or intentionally) and in priority need. It also includes those found not to be in priority need or not homeless. The data can be analysed, and are published quarterly, at national, regional and local authority levels. The total number of decisions on applications by authorities has been falling during 2004, indicating that fewer people are becoming homeless.
Additionally, annual returns from local authorities identify the number of people who are literally roofless and sleeping rough on a single night, from local head counts or estimates. The number of people sleeping out on a single night has fallen by more than 70 per cent. since 1998.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister also collects a range of data on wider forms of housing need, including concealed households, overcrowding and households living in poor quality homes. These are reported in regular ODPM publicationsthe English House Condition Survey and the Survey of English Housing.
At the local level, local authorities homelessness reviewsrequired to be undertaken every five years by the Homelessness Act 2002should identify levels of all forms of homelessness in the local district and be used to inform a local homelessness strategy.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what changes the Government have made to the methodology for calculating (a) priority homelessness, (b) rough sleeping and (c) homeless in temporary accommodation since May 1997. 
Yvette Cooper: We have improved the amount of detailed information we collect on households in priority need and those in temporary accommodation, and have widened the categories of people given priority.
We have made some minor technical changes to improve the accuracy of the regional and national estimates of households in priority need and households in temporary accommodation, to account for non-response and have taken further steps to improve the response rate, which now stands at over 95 per cent. each quarter.
We have made no changes since 1997 to the methodology for calculating the number of rough sleepers. The most recent national figure of around 508 people sleeping rough on any one night (70 per cent. down on 1998) is based on a higher number of recent counts and less reliance on estimates than any previous national estimate and is therefore likely to be even more accurate.