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Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) how many local authorities have been certifiedby the Audit Commission as applying the best value code of practice in local authority service contracts. 
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he will publish the results of his Department's investigation into the monitoring of the best value code of practice in local authority service contracts. 
Mr. Woolas: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, has commissioned a research team led by the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) at the university of Birmingham to conduct a four year evaluation of the procurement agenda as it has developed since 1999.
Mr. Binley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he expects the Audit Commission to publish the final key lines of inquiry for the corporate assessment of councils under the comprehensive performance assessment process. 
Dr. Tony Wright: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans there are to extend the national coalfield housing agenda to include former National Coal Board housing estates in areas of high housing demand. 
Yvette Cooper: Regional Housing Boards are responsible for developing strategies for addressing housing issues in their Regions. Each of the Regional Housing Boards for which former National Coal Board estates are a significant issue set out their plans for dealing with such housing in their first strategies, published in 2003. In the West Midlands, the Regional Housing Board has initiated research to provide more information on all areas of high priority highlighted in its Strategy, including former National Coal Board housing. The research identified the eight former National Coal Board estates that are most urgently in need of intervention. This work will help to inform the revised Regional Housing Strategy, and future funding decisions.
The Office of The Deputy Prime Minister use the general term core cities to refer to all major regional cities in England. More specifically there are the core citiesthe eight members of the English core cities group of local authoritiesBirmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield. They began working together in the mid 1990s to raise the profile and prosperity of our major cities. From 200204, these formed part of a joint core cities working group with central government and the regional development agencies to explore ways of enhancing the potential of all core cities as drivers of regional and national economic competitiveness.
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The Office has a contract in place for interpretation and translation services and should the need arise regularly this contract could be used to provide support to particular ODPM staff in their handling of correspondence.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the average (a) house price value and (b) cost to the purchaser was after the discount of a right to buy council property in England in (i) 1997 and (ii) the latest available year for which figures are available. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the average (a) band D council tax bill and (b) council tax per dwelling was in (i) England, (ii)Solihull and (iii) Birmingham in each year since the establishment of council tax. 
Mr. Woolas: Details of the average band D council tax bill and average council tax per dwelling in (a) England, (b) Birmingham and (c) Solihull in each year since the establishment of council tax in 199394 are shown in the following table.
| Band D, two adults for area||Average per dwelling|
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much revenue was raised from council tax in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Scotland in (i) 199798 and (ii) 200405; and what the projected level is for 200506. 
Mr. Woolas: The revenue received from council tax in England in 199798 and 200405 was £9,570 million and £17,372 million respectively. These figures include both arrears received for previous years and prepayment of council tax for subsequent years.
The council tax requirement for England for 200506 is £18,354 million. This is net of council tax benefit grant and does not make any allowance for arrears received in 200506 for previous years or any prepayment of council tax for subsequent years. In practice not all of this amount will be received in 200506.
|Percentage real term increase|
The figures are calculated from data reported by local authorities, are taken from BR1, BR2, BR3 and CTB1 forms and have been adjusted using the all items retail prices index (RPI) as at April each year.
The terms of reference for Sir Michael Lyons' independent inquiry require him to make recommendations on how best to reform council tax, taking into account revaluation of domestic property. My right hon. Friends the Deputy Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have agreed with Sir Michael that he will extend his work so that he can consider issues relating to the functions of local
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government and its future role, as well as, and prior to, making recommendations on local government funding. The Government have announced that they will legislate to postpone council tax revaluation to take account of the Lyons Inquiry's extended work which will inform the comprehensive spending review 2007.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment the Government have made of the effect of the council tax revaluation on the revenues to be raised from the additional levy to be charged on London council tax bills to fund the Olympics. 
Mr. Woolas: The council tax is one element of a public funding package, which has been put in place to cover the cost of hosting the games. This package includes provision for up to £1.5 billion of lottery funding and up to £625 million from London council tax. A council tax revaluation would not affect the total revenues that may need to be raised for the Olympics from council taxpayers in London.
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