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Tim Loughton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister for what reasons his Department provided details of the planning appeal inquiry into the Fische in Shoreham-by-Sea to the press before informing the appellants and Adur council. 
Yvette Cooper: The normal procedure in such cases is for the appellants and council to receive notification of decisions by recorded delivery in advance of any wider announcement. I am sorry that, as a result of a misunderstanding between the issuing office and the Government News Network in this case, the local press was notified on the same date as the letters were despatched to the appellants and the council. I regret the apparent lack of courtesy in this case which was certainly not intended.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1)whether he plans to issue further planning guidance on the mooring of houseboats following the ruling on the Fische in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex; and if he will make a statement; 
Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has no plans to issue guidance on the mooring of houseboats. Because they are mobile property, boats are 'chattels' rather than buildings or structures. This means they are outside planning control unless one is moored for so long in the same place that it can be regarded as bringing about a material change of use of land. Local planning authorities have enforcement powers where land-use is changed without the necessary permission.
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the accommodation needs
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of Gypsies and Travellers in Essex in each year since 1994; and what provision has been made by local councils to meet this need. 
Yvette Cooper: The Government do not make detailed assessment of accommodation needs for Gypsies and Travellers in particular areas. It is for local authorities to make such assessments when considering what provision to make. The Housing Act 2004 requires local authorities to carry out a housing needs assessment for Gypsies and Travellers. Under the provisions of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, local authorities must identify sites within their local plans to meet any identified need.
It is understood that Essex county council is in the process of carrying out a housing needs assessment. Local authorities in Essex provide 165 pitches on 11 sites. These currently accommodate some 249 caravans.
Julie Morgan: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he has asked the Law Commission to include legal protection for those living on rented Gypsy and Traveller sites in its review of tenancy law. 
Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has not asked the Law Commission to include Gypsy and Traveller site issues in its review of tenancy law. The issues are being considered within the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
Julie Morgan: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many inquiries he has received from registered social landlords seeking information about borrowing capital for the development of Gypsy and Traveller sites; what steps he has taken to publicise his policy on such loans; when he expects to publish guidelines; and how he intends to (a) promote this policy and (b) monitor its effectiveness. 
Yvette Cooper: Secondary legislation providing for registered social landlords (RSLs) to provide sites for Gypsies and Travellers will come into force in time forthe next bidding round for 200607. This facility has already been publicised in a variety of ways, including in Parliament and in the Government's response to the ODPM Select Committee Inquiry. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will be explaining the new arrangements in more detail to RSLs, in general terms via guidance from the Housing Corporation and through specific bidding guidance on the next bidding round. This guidance will include an explanation of arrangements for monitoring the progress of schemes. Clearly it is too early to assess the effectiveness of this policy, but we will be keeping the progress of this initiative under close review as part of a wider package of measures we are taking to promote increased site provision generally.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans the Government have to give stronger powers to local councils to (a) remove illegal Traveller camps and (b) tackle unauthorised development. 
Local authorities and the police have strong powers under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to evict unauthorised encampments of Gypsies and Travellers from land. The Department has also introduced new police powers in the Anti-Social
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Behaviour Act 2003 which will enable the police to remove Gypsies and Travellers from unauthorised encampments with greater speed.
Under powers in the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act, as amended by the 1991 Planning and Compensation Act, local planning authorities have wide-ranging enforcement powers to deal with unauthorised development. Since 7 March this year, local planning authorities have been able to use temporary stop notices, where they consider that there has been a breach of planning control and it is important that the activity which amounts to the breach is stopped.
The use of these powers is very varied across the country. The Department is working with local authorities and the police to improve the understanding and use of these powers and to renew their operation to see if further action is needed.
Julie Morgan: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he has taken in response to the Council of Ministers' request for legal changes on licences and tenancies to give effect to the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the O'Connor case. 
Yvette Cooper: The Housing Act 2004 s.211 allows judges to suspend eviction orders against residents of local authority Gypsy and Traveller sites. This brings the situation for residents of local authority sites in line with those on private Gypsy and Travellers sites and those with secure tenancies in bricks and mortar housing in this respect. The provision came into force on 18 January 2005.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister recognises that the provisions of the Housing Act do not fully address the issues raised by the Connors case, and is continuing to consider issues of tenure of local authority Gypsy and Traveller sites.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the actual revenue grant payments made by the Homelessness Directorate were in support of local homelessness strategies in each local authority in London in (a) 200304 and (b) 200405. 
Yvette Cooper: The following table provides details of actual revenue grant payments made by the Homelessness and Housing Support Directorate to local authorities in London. It also shows the full revenue allocations, as some payments are subject to authorities submitting outstanding supporting documentation.
Funding provided by the Directorate has supported action to successfully reduce rough sleeping by more than 70 per cent. since 1998, end the use of B&B hotels as long-term accommodation for families with children, and develop homelessness strategies and preventive approaches which have resulted in the first sustained fall in new cases of homelessness for nearly a decade. Homelessness acceptances dropped by 20 per cent. in 2004.
The National Audit Office have estimated that, by achieving reductions in the use of B&B hotels for families, local authorities nationally have achieved
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annual savings of up to £50 million. London authorities were generally the highest users of B&B accommodation so will have accrued significant savings.
In addition to providing revenue grants the Directorate has also, since 200405, provided capital funding to authorities and also provides grants to voluntary sector agencies providing services across more than one borough. Capital funding to London authorities was £10.8 million in 200405 and is increasing to £14.9 million in 200506. Including capital grants and funding to voluntary sector agencies funding from the Directorate to London has increased from £42.7 million in 200304 to £43.7 million in 200405 and will increase further to £44.0 million in 200506. These figures exclude homelessness capital funding provided from the Housing Corporation's Approved Development Programme.
Homelessness grants supplement a number of other programmes that help local authorities to tackle homelessness, including housing capital investment, Supporting People and Revenue Support Grant which was increased by £8 million per annum to enable authorities to prepare the homelessness strategies required by the Homelessness Act 2002.
|Homelessness revenue grant allocations:|
|Barking and Dagenham||68,000||14,000||28,000|
|Corporation of London||206,000||515,000||515,000|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||1,300,500||1,500,000||1,500,000|
|Kensington and Chelsea||1,565,511||943,000||943,000|
|Kingston upon Thames||121,000||67,500||90,000|
Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will break down Homelessness Directorate funding in support of local homelessness strategies by Government Office Region for each year since 200203. 
The Homelessness and Housing Support Directorate provide both revenue and capital funding to support the implementation of local
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homelessness strategies. While predominantly provided to local authorities some funding, particularly in London, is provided direct to voluntary sector agencies.
|Yorkshire and The Humber|
Homelessness grants represent only one element of the funding available to local authorities, supplementing other programmes that help authorities to tackle homelessness, including housing capital investment, Supporting People and Revenue Support Grant.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which local authorities in London will receive less Homelessness Directorate funding in support of local homelessness strategies in 200506 than they did in 200405; and if he will make a statement. 
Overall homelessness funding to local authorities in London has increased from £32.9 million in 200405 to £34.8 million in 200506. Including grants paid direct to voluntary sector agencies, funding in London has increased from £43.7 million to £44 million over these two years. These figures exclude homelessness capital funding provided from the Housing Corporation's Approved Development Programme.
Of these Barnet, Greenwich, Hounslow, Islington, Redbridge and Sutton saw reductions of less than £40,000, for the Corporation of London the reduction was due to the transfer of funding for one project to another authority and for Lewisham and Westminster the reduction was due to elements of capital funding coming to completion.
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