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18 Oct 2005 : Column 851W—continued

Council Staff (Absenteeism)

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the average level of absenteeism was in (a) each local council in England and (b) his Department in the latest year for which figures are available. [17161]

Mr. Woolas: Data on sickness absence in local authorities is collected as part of the Local Government Best Value Performance Information (BVPI) series. A full list of all local authorities with information on staff days lost to sickness in 2003–04 in each may be found at The equivalent information for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was contained in the reply from the hon. Member for Poplar and Canning Town (Jim Fitzpatrick) on the 10 October 2005, Official Report, columns 404–05W

Council Tax

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when the Government intends to bring forward legislation to delay the council tax revaluation in England; and whether the legislation is planned to form part of a wider Bill. [17645]

Mr. Woolas: The Government introduced the Council Tax (New Valuation Lists for England) Bill in the House of Commons on 13 October 2005.

The Bill removes the requirements in the Local Government Finance Act 1992 for there to be a revaluation of domestic properties, in England, for
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council tax purposes on 1 April 2007, and at 10 yearly intervals thereafter. It will provide new powers to set a future date for the revaluation by Order so that it can be part of a fully developed package of funding reforms, taking full account of the work of Sir Michael Lyons' inquiry into Local Government Funding.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what the new timetable is for the council tax revaluation in England; [17305]

(2) whether the Government plan to conduct a council tax revaluation. [17359]

Mr. Woolas: The Government have announced that they are postponing the revaluation of council tax in England. They will legislate to substitute for the current revaluation date of 2007 a power to set the date for revaluation by secondary legislation. This will provide for revaluation to take place in such a way as to take full account of Sir Michael Lyons' work on the functions of local government as well as the financing. The Government do not believe that revaluation will occur during this Parliament.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister for what reasons the council tax revaluation has been postponed in England. [17355]

Mr. Woolas: Council tax revaluation in England has been postponed for the reasons set out in the Government's announcement of 20 September, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. Revaluation in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Assembly Government.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the (a) money terms and (b) real terms percentage changes in (i) council tax and (ii) business rates in (A) England and (B) Great Britain between 1997–98 and 2005–06. [17383]

Mr. Woolas: The requested information for England is tabled as follows. Figures for Scotland and Wales are a matter for the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly Government respectively.
Average Band D council tax,
2 adults
Net business rate yield
Cash prices (£)2005–06 prices(5)
Cash prices (£ million)2005–06 prices(5)
(£ million)
Percentage change

(5)Adjusted using the All-items Retail Prices Index as at April.
BR returns (council tax); NNDR returns and central government information on central and crown lists (business rates)

For council tax, it is usual to quote the average Band D figure for a 2-adult household when making comparisons over time. Average business rate figures are not routinely quoted, however, given the very wide variations in the rateable value of each property, and hence in the average rate bill. The business rate figures quoted in the table are therefore for the national yield.
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Lembit Öpik: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate his Department has made of the number of homes in England that would be (a) subject to revaluation and (b) likely to move up one or more bands in the rebanding process. [17217]

Mr. Woolas: There are nearly 22 million such dwellings as at September 2005. No re-banding scheme has been designed for England.

Design for Manufacture Competition

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the location of each site in the Design for Manufacture competition; and what the estimated number is of (a) commercial and (b) affordable households to be constructed at each site in relation to the competition. [17446]

Yvette Cooper: There is no significant commercial property to be developed on the 10 Design for Manufacture Competition sites, other than incidental corner shops and community facilities that will be subject to detailed planning approval. These will be detailed during the next stage as the proposals for each individual site go through the planning process.

The number of homes on each site is as follows:

Fire Control Centres

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will conduct a public consultation exercise on the proposal for a south east regional fire control centre; and if he will make a statement. [17455]

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Jim Fitzpatrick: The FiReControl project is a national project, and stakeholder consultation took place at national level before the decision was taken to proceed (the consultation paper was issued in December 2003 and a copy placed in the House Libraries). All fire and rescue authorities were consulted, including all those in the south east, and the practitioners' forum. There have since been consultations on key issues such as finance and governance and the outline business case, and consultation with stakeholders will continue throughout the life of the project.

For further information on the FiReControl project please visit


Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many homeless households with dependent children in all forms of temporary accommodation there have been in each year since 2000, broken down by Government region. [16987]

Yvette Cooper: Information reported each quarter by local authorities about their activities under homelessness legislation includes the number of households in temporary accommodation on the last day of the quarter and, since 2002, separately identifies those that include dependent children or a pregnant woman.

The total number of households in temporary accommodation (as arranged by local authorities) as at 31 March in each year since 2000, and the number of these with dependent children or an expectant mother since 2002, in each region of England are presented in the following table. In January 2005 the Government announced in Homes for All" its commitment to halve the number of all households in temporary accommodation by 2010.
Households in temporary accommodation(6) arranged by local authorities, by Government office region

As at 31 March:
All householdsAll householdsAll householdsOf which:
with children
North East1,1101,4801,8201,270
North West2,1302,0701,890990
Yorkshire and the Humber
East Midlands1,9801,9402,0701,440
West Midlands2,0602,0701,8401,030
East of England4,4705,1806,3503,850
South East9,68011,56012,2308,320
South West4,7905,6005,7903,860

As at 31 March:
All householdof which
with children
All householdsof which
with children
All householdsof which:
with children
North East4402201,020350910520
North West2,5001,3302,9601,4503,0001,900
Yorkshire and the Humber2,2401,1602,4001,2902,1001,110
East Midlands2,4201,7502,8202,0903,0302,250
West Midlands1,5701,0502,2301,4202,6301,750
East of England7,6304,8708,2205,6508,2505,480
South East13,0209,48013,0809,51012,4408,520
South West6,5304,0306,1504,1906,7404,780

(6)Households in accommodation arranged by local authorities pending inquiries or after being accepted as homeless under the 1996 Act (includes residual cases awaiting re-housing under the 1985 Act).
(7)Provisional data
Totals may not equal the sum of components because of rounding.

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