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John McDonnell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the timetable is for the implementation of the Firelink Project; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister expects to award contract in November 2005. The overall time scale for implementation will depend on the outcome of the procurements and will reflect the successful suppliers' proposals.
John McDonnell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether either of the bidding companies for the Firelink Project provided the basis to proceed to contract following their best and final offer submissions in April. 
Neither bidding company provided the basis to move to award the Firelink contract. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is continuing discussions with both bidding companies to resolve issues associated with their bids prior to inviting revised best and final offers.
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he expects to make a decision on Firelink. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister expects to award the Firelink contract in November 2005.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether regionalisation of fire control centres is dependent on the Firelink project; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: FiReControl will use the digital national radio solution provided by Firelink as its primary bearer for voice and data. The Firelink project is working closely with the FiReControl project as part of an integrated programme to deliver an integrated, resilient command and control system for the Fire and Rescue Service in England.
Norman Baker: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many houses have been built in each year since 1995; how many of these houses were subjected to air pressure tests during the course of their construction; and what the results were. 
Yvette Cooper: Statistics published by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister show about 1.5 million dwellings were built in England and Wales in the decade to April 2005. Statistics on pressure tests are not collected. I am aware that pressure tests have been carried out on about 150 houses built to comply with the Building Regulations as amended in April 2002. The approved documents supporting that amendment covered air tightness for the first time. While there was no evidence of overall non-compliance, the evidence is that the pressure test results were unsatisfactory. This has prompted consideration of stronger requirements for testing and improved technical guidance.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assurances he is seeking from Pendle borough council before agreeing its proposals to transfer its housing stock. 
Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is seeking an assurance that the gap funding requested by Pendle borough council to support its transfer is the minimum necessary to deliver the proposed transfer.
Peter Luff: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to conduct a public inquiry into the planning application by Kanes Food at Middle Littleton to expand their existing operations. 
Wychavon district council has submitted the planning application by Kanes Foods Ltd. to the Secretary of State as a departure from the local plan. We are currently considering whether it is necessary to call in the planning application for the Secretary of State to decide himself, instead of leaving the decision to the local planning authority. A public inquiry will be held if the application is called in. I will advise the hon. Member of our decision.
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Mr. Hands: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the Government's policy is on what should constitute a threshold for a key decision made by a local authority. 
Mr. Woolas: It is a matter for each local authority to decide its threshold for key decisions, having regard to the statutory guidance which the Government have issued under the Local Government Act 2000. This guidance states that in setting such thresholds a local authority will need to bear in mind the underlying principles of accountable decision making that there should be a presumption towards openness so that local people have knowledge sufficiently in advance of all those decisions which will be of genuine concern to local communities.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 30 June 2005, Official Report, column 1653W, on local government finance, if he will list the local authorities to which the questionnaire was sent; and what criteria were used to select the local authorities. 
Mr. Woolas: The questionnaire was sent to local authorities with representatives on a practical implementation working group on council tax revaluation set up by the ODPM and on a software suppliers forum that exists to consider possible software issues arising from changes to the council tax and business rates regime. The local authorities concerned are Birmingham city council, City of London, Derby city council, the London borough of Redbridge, Sedgemoor district council, Slough borough council, Somerset county council, the London borough of Tower Hamlets and Weymouth and Portland borough council.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 27 June 2005, Official Report, column 1313W, on the millennium dome, what discussion he has had with English Partnerships on making the car park for which it is responsible available for use now. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: No such discussions have been held. The future use of English Partnerships' land next to or near the millennium dome that was previously used for car parking has been settled through the usual planning process, in the context of the commercial deal between English Partnerships and Meridian Delta Ltd. and Anschutz Entertainment Group for the future use of the dome and land on the Greenwich Peninsula.
Car parking on the land referred to in the answer of 27 June 2005, Official Report, column 1313W, could only be made available for a relatively short period of time because Anschutz Entertainment Group has rights during the next two years to carry out works to this and other adjacent land in preparation for its own car parking use in respect of the arena when it opens in spring 2007.
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Stephen Hammond: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what criteria were used in making the decision to exempt the installation of mobile phone masts up to 15 m high from the normal planning permission requirements. 
Yvette Cooper: The permitted development rights granting general planning permission for telecommunications apparatus below 15 m were introduced by the Town and Country Planning General Development (Amendment) Order 1985".
In 2000, the Stewart Report recommended that all base stations, including those up to 15 m, should be subject to the normal planning process in order to improve local consultation. The arrangements we put in place following the Stewart Report provide for the same consultation on base stations up to 15 m in height as is required by full planning permission.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the publications issued by his Department in each of the last seven years; and what the (a) circulation, (b) cost and (c) purpose of each was. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was created on 29 May 2002.
The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the research projects commissioned since the creation of the Department; and what the timetable is for the publication of each piece of research that has yet to be completed. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: A list of all research projects commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is available from the Research Management Database (RMD) at http://www.rmd.odpm.gov.uk.
Under the ODPM Publication Scheme, we are committed to publishing research project reports within six months of project completion or, at the latest, when quality checks, including relevant peer review, are completed or when a policy decision based on its findings is publicised. Information on the project completion date is contained in the Research Management Database.
There are agreed publication timetables for a number of statistical research projects. This information is regularly updated and available at: http://www.odpm.gov.uk/stellent/groups/odpm_about/documents/page/odpm_about_609298.hcsp
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