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Yvette Cooper: Amendments to the Building Regulations and new guidance from April 2006 will help builders comply with the Regulations and make it easier for local authorities to enforce compliance, while substantially increasing standards. Measures include:
Jim Fitzpatrick: Currently 39 per cent. of members of the senior civil service in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Central) are women. Of which, 1.96 per cent. of the total female population are within the top 5 per cent. highest paid salaried employees within ODPM. However, in the top 10 per cent. of the SCS, 3.9 per cent. of the total female SCS population are high earners; and in the top 15 per cent. of the SCS, 13.7 per cent. fall into this category.
Jim Fitzpatrick: There are currently 130 members of the senior civil service in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Central). Of which, 1.96 per cent. are from black and minority ethnic communities and within the top 5 per cent. highest paid salaried employees within ODPM.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the locations of each development on Green Belt land for which he or his predecessors have (a) given planning permission and (b) refused planning permission, since 1 May 1997. 
Yvette Cooper: My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister or his predecessors has granted planning permission to 143 called-in applications or appeals involving development on Green Belt land between 1 April 1999 and 30 September 2005. Of these, 73 were in accordance with local planning authorities' resolutions to grant permission prior to the call-in of the application by the First Secretary of State. He has also refused planning permission for a further 279 called-in applications or appeals for development on Green Belt land in the same period. Of these, 112 were in accordance with local authorities' decisions to refuse permission. Tables setting out the locations, and dates of the relevant decisions, have been made available in the Libraries of the House.
Yvette Cooper: According to the 2001 census: (a) 43 per cent. of households in London were renting and 57 per cent. of households were owner occupiers; while (b) in the Royal borough of Kingston upon Thames (which includes Surbiton), 29 per cent. of households were renting and 71 per cent. of households were owner occupiers.
Based on more recent (2005) data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), it is estimated that, in spring 2005, 42 per cent. of London households were renting and 58 per cent. of households were owner occupiers. Recent figures for Kingston upon Thames are not available from the LFS as the survey sample is too small to provide reliable estimates at local authority level.
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many people in the parliamentary constituency of Mid-Bedfordshire have been classified as homeless in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: Information about local authorities' actions under homelessness legislation is collected in respect of households, rather than persons, and in terms of local housing authority district. As Mid-Bedfordshire parliamentary constituency covers parts of Bedford, Mid-Bedfordshire and South Bedfordshire district councils, summary information has been presented for all three authorities.
The number of households accepted as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need for each year since 199798, and the number of households in temporary accommodation arranged by local authorities under homelessness legislation as at 31 March of each year since 1997, is tabled as follows.
The duty owed to a person accepted as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need is to secure suitable accommodation. If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority may secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available. As an alternative to the provision of temporary accommodation some authorities arrange for households to remain in their current accommodation (homeless at home), until a settled solution becomes available.
|Number of households accepted 1, 2||Households in temporary accommodation 2, 3 at end of year (31 March)||Rough|
sleepers (5) (Persons)
|Bedford District Council|
|Mid Bedfordshire District Council|
|South Bedfordshire District Council|
Yvette Cooper: The most recent estimate, as at June 2005, showed there were 459 people sleeping rough in England on any single night. The annual rough sleeping estimate shows the result of street counts for every area where such a count has taken place and (where no counts have taken place) any estimate of more than 10 rough sleepers provided by local authorities in their 2005 Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) return to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
Local authorities in Bedfordshire had not conducted recent street counts. Bedfordshire local authorities (Bedford, Mid-Bedfordshire and South Bedfordshire) estimated rough sleeper levels of between 010.
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