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Housing Task Force

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether his housing task force is required to ensure tenant involvement after housing transfer. [17860]

Yvette Cooper: The Community Housing Task Force is not required to provide support for local authorities or tenants after the transfer.

Planning Committees

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities in relation to ward councillors sitting on planning committees considering planning applications from their own ward; and if he will make a statement. [17376]

Yvette Cooper: The Office of The Deputy Prime Minister has issued no guidance specifically in respect of actions by councillors sitting on planning committees. However, in 2001 the Government issued the statutory Model Code of Conduct for local government members, which sets out standards of conduct expected of all members. Guidance on the operation of the code has been issued by the Standards Board for England.

In addition, The Local Government Association issued guidance in January this year Probity in Planning: The Role of Councillors and Officers" and this makes clear that members who take an active stand in supporting or assisting a planning application should not take part in discussions on that application and should withdraw from the planning committee.

Planning Permission

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) on what basis the consultation period for planning permission applications is decided; [18285]

(2) under what conditions the consultation period for planning permission applications may be extended; [18286]

(3) how many complaints regarding the consultation process for planning permission have been received by his Department in each year since 1997; [18287]

(4) what obligations there are on local authorities to inform local residents of planning permission applications in their vicinity; [18288]
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(5) whether there are regulations relating to the amount of time local authorities must allow for notifying the public before a planning permission application is considered. [18289]

Yvette Cooper: Article 8 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995 says that no application may be determined until 21 days have elapsed since notice of the application was displayed or served. This period is to allow people time to comment. Most householder and other minor development must be publicised by notice near the application site, or by letter to those with land adjoining it. Larger schemes should also be publicised by advertisement in local newspapers and on the authority's website. In DoE Circular 15/92, Publicity for Planning Applications", authorities are urged to do more than comply with the legal requirement. Moreover, the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires each authority to prepare Statements of Community Involvement, which should include the authority's policy for community involvement on planning applications.

No statistics are kept on the numbers of complaints about the consultation process for planning permissions. If a planning decision ignores some crucial, relevant consideration, it might be open to challenge through the courts.

An authority sets its own closing date for representations about a proposal. There is nothing in law to prevent it accepting a late comment if appropriate. However, if the matter is to go to committee, the authority will need to make sure it complies with the Local Government Act 1972 as amended, which requires relevant committee papers to be made public at least five days before the committee discusses the case.

Regional Chambers

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister who is responsible for the liabilities of England's Regional Chambers. [17148]

Yvette Cooper: The English Regional Assemblies are organisations in their own right and are responsible for their own liabilities.

Social Housing

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he has asked the Housing Corporation to take to improve tenant involvement in running housing associations. [17933]

Yvette Cooper: The Housing Corporation has a range of policies in place to encourage tenant involvement. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Housing Corporation are looking at ways to strengthen tenant involvement in the future.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his estimate is of the total number of council houses transferred to (a) housing associations and (b) arm's length management organisations (i)before May 1997 and (ii) since May 1997. [17946]

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Yvette Cooper: Prior to May 1997, 245,705 council houses were transferred to registered social landlords (RSLs). Since May 1997, a further 683,578 council homes have been transferred to RSLs.

The first Arm's Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) were set up in 2002. They manage local authorities' housing stock but ownership of that stock is not transferred to them. Currently about 682,000 homes owned by local authorities are managed by ALMOs.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will revise his calculations of the amount of social housing necessary over the period to 2010 to take account of the proportion of young people unable to raise the deposit to become first-time buyers. [17955]

Yvette Cooper: Provision of social rented housing to 2010 will be subject to the outcome of the 2007 Spending Review and a variety of policy decisions including our response to the Barker Review. The Government recently announced a number of measures to help households into low cost home ownership.

Simon Hughes: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what progress has been made towards the Government's target of making all social housing decent by 2010. [19329]

Yvette Cooper: The Government have reduced the number of non-decent social homes by more than one million. Work completed and plans in place take us 90 per cent. of the way to meeting the target. We are now focusing our efforts on dealing with the remaining 10 per cent.


European Contractors

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list contractors based in other EU member states that are providing services to his Department. [15455]

Paul Goggins: The Department awards all contracts in line with the UK's objective of achieving value for money, and in line with EU treaty obligations on transparency and free movement of goods and services.

The list of contractors based in other EU member states that are currently providing services to the Department comprises:

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Football Hooliganism

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many football supporters in (a) England and (b) Wales are subject to football banning orders preventing travel to football matches outside the UK. [19498]

Paul Goggins: As of 17 October, the courts have imposed 3,157 football banning orders preventing the subjects from travelling to matches overseas.

There are 2,927 England supporters and 230 Wales supporters subject to football banning orders.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many arrests relating to football hooliganism there have been since 2001. [19387]

Paul Goggins: Details of football-related arrests and football attendances for the seasons 2001–02 to 2003–04 is provided in the table.

Football-related arrests

A detailed report on the impact of existing football legislation, with supporting statistical information, and details of last season's arrests will be published later this month.

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