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7 Jul 2005 : Column 554W—continued

Maritime Forces

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the (a) Royal Navy and (b) Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels which are not at full operational readiness in consequence of the STOROB process of cannibalisation. [9696]

Mr. Ingram: No units are at a reduced state of readiness as a result of the STOROB process.

Prisoners of War

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the report made to Multi-National Division (South East) by the (a) Prisoner of War Registration
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Unit and (b) Prisoner Monitoring Team at Camp Bucca has been forwarded to his Department; and if he will make a statement. [7900]

Mr. Ingram: To the best of our knowledge, no reports made by the Prisoner of War Registration Unit or Prisoner of War Monitoring Team were forwarded to the Ministry of Defence.

RN Patrol Boats

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the current whereabouts of the three Royal Naval patrol boats seized by Iran in June 2004; what representations he has made to the government of Iran since their seizure; and what his assessment is of the date of their likely return to the UK. [9765]

John Reid: Current information indicates that the three patrol boats are being held in South West Iran. We have maintained a dialogue with the Iranian authorities since June 2004 and, at every opportunity, continue to press for their return.
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Mark Tami: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what definition his Department uses of a (a) fixed and (b) mobile site for posters and advertisements. [9223]

Yvette Cooper: There is no definition of a fixed or mobile site. The definition of "site" is in the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992. Sites are not characterised as fixed or mobile. The extent of the site is a matter for the local planning authority to decide bearing in mind all the circumstances of the case.

Affordable Housing

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many (a) affordable homes and (b) homes for rent were provided with public funds in Lancashire in each of the last five years, broken down by district council area. [8895]

Yvette Cooper: The following table shows the number of low-cost home ownership units for sale, and units for rent, provided with public funds through the Housing Corporation in local authorities in Lancashire from 2000–01 to 2004–05.
(a) Sale(b) Rent(a) Sale(b) Rent(a) Sale(b) Rent(a) Sale(b) Rent(a) Sale(b) Rent
Ribble Valley1915511000008
South Ribble24183710591022216
Total Lancashire8654925357453457921058147

The figures include properties provided through the Housing Corporation Approved Development Programme, the Local Authority Social Housing Grant (LASHG) and Transitional LASHG; and the Safer Communities Social Housing Fund.

Figures do not include Right to Acquire or Voluntary Purchase Grant sales, as these are losses to social housing stock.

Council Tax

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will reconsider the proposed capping of Hambleton district council's tax. [9461]

Mr. Woolas: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has been giving careful consideration to the challenges which the designated authorities have made to the caps proposed by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister, the Secretary of State and we aim to announce decisions before the summer recess. Any in year capping will be subject to approval of an order by the House of Commons.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what expenditure in total has been incurred so far on the council tax revaluation in England by (a) his Department, (b) the Valuation Office Agency and (c) other Government Departments and agencies. [9529]

Mr. Woolas: The information is as follows:

English Partnerships

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much land English Partnerships owns in each Lancashire district. [8897]

Yvette Cooper: English Partnerships currently owns around 800 hectares of land in Lancashire, including two recently acquired former hospital sites at
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Whittingham, Preston (81 ha) and Lancaster Moor (18.5 ha), which can be broken down by district as follows:
South Kibble59.4

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had with English Partnerships on securing a better return on resources under its ownership. [9803]

Yvette Cooper: English Partnerships seeks to ensure that its resources and assets are utilised efficiently and effectively in support of Government's objectives for sustainable communities.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has regular meetings with English Partnerships at all levels to discuss its programme and utilisation of resources. One of the key elements of this is the annual corporate planning process where English Partnerships' Corporate plan is discussed and agreed by ODPM officials and Ministers.

Effective use of resources and value for money are primary considerations and English Partnerships' project appraisal and approvals processes are kept under regular review.

Fire Service (Essex)

Mr. Amess: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many attacks have taken place on fire crews in (a) Southend and (b) Essex in each of the last five years. [9970]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I understand from the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service that information on attacks has been collected for the last two months, and that during this period they have recorded two attacks. It is not known whether either was in Southend.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the average response time was to an emergency call to the Fire Brigade in each Essex borough in each of the last eight years for which figures are available. [9972]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Flooding (North Yorkshire)

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will propose a moratorium on planning applications for construction of buildings on (a) functional flood plains and (b) areas that have recently experienced flooding problems. [9467]

Yvette Cooper: Owners and developers of land cannot be prevented from submitting applications, but Planning Policy Guidance note (PPG) 25 advises that permissions for built development should be wholly exceptional in the functional floodplains, where water
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has to flow or be stored in times of flood. The exceptions are limited to essential transport and utilities infrastructure that has to be there, or recreational and amenity facilities suitable for a waterside location. PPG25 applies a sequential test to new development in all areas considered to be at risk of flooding, so as to direct development to areas of lower risk. It requires a flood risk assessment to accompany applications for planning permission in all areas at risk of flooding.

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