Previous Section Index Home Page

31 Oct 2005 : Column 759W—continued

Investment (Kettering)

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has to change the level of investment into the Kettering constituency via English Partnership over the next 10 years. [23192]

Yvette Cooper: Kettering is a key growth town within the Milton Keynes-South Midlands growth area, and as such it forms an important part of the Government's sustainable communities agenda.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is discussing English Partnerships' future programme and priorities as part of their current corporate planning round for the years 2005–06 to 2008–09.

Funding for ODPM programmes for 2008–09 to 2010–11 will be dependent on the results of the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007.

Leasehold Reform Act

Robert Key: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what guidance he has issued on whether the provisions of the Leasehold Reform Act 2002 relating to leasehold enfranchisement apply to (a) rented flats and (b) rented houses owned by English cathedrals which are subject to charity legislation. [23601]

Yvette Cooper: The leasehold enfranchisement provisions in the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, which amended existing enfranchisement provisions, are only available to long leaseholders (those with leases which were granted for a term exceeding 21 years), and do not apply to renting tenants.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has produced a booklet entitled Residential Long Leaseholders—A guide to your rights and responsibilities". This booklet sets out who is eligible to enfranchise and where exceptions apply, and is available from ODPM Publications, PO Box No. 236, Wetherby, LS23 7NB Telephone 0870 1226 236.

Local Government Ombudsman

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many staff are employed by the local government ombudsman. [23576]

Mr. Woolas: The local government ombudsman currently employs 202 staff.

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the budget is for the local government ombudsman in 2005–06. [23605]

Mr. Woolas: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has agreed to make available to the local government ombudsman funding of £11,522,400 in 2005–06.

Lyons Inquiry

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 17 October 2005, Official Report, column 813W, on the Lyons Inquiry, what
31 Oct 2005 : Column 760W
estimated date his Department has been informed of by Sir Michael Lyons for the date of publication of the interim report; and what date his Department's press office forward-planning grid lists. [22276]

Mr. Woolas: Sir Michael Lyons intends to publish information later this autumn. However, as yet, he has set no specific date.

Mobile Telecommunication Masts

Mr. Evans: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many planning permission applications have been granted for mobile phone masts in (a) Lancashire and (b) Ribble Valley since 1997. [21892]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 26 October 2005]: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, during September and October every year the mobile network operators write to every local authority with details of their network rollout for the year ahead. When they write to the local authority they also provide details of their existing sites within the local authority area. The hon. Member may want to contact the network operators for copies of their plans.

New Build

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many new houses and dwellings were built in (a) Sheffield, (b) Rotherham, (c) Doncaster and (d) Barnsley in each year since 2000. [21925]

Yvette Cooper: The annual number of new build completions reported for (a) Sheffield, (b) Rotherham, (c) Doncaster and (d) Barnsley in each year since 2000 are as tabled:
Number of new build completions


Returns (P2/NHBC) to ODPM on building control completions.


Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the impact of the planning system on disabled people seeking to install equipment to assist their mobility in and around their homes; and if he will make a statement. [23175]

Yvette Cooper: Work to the interior of existing homes, garages and other curtilage buildings is not governed by the planning system, unless a building has been listed for its special architectural or historic interest. Many external works are authorised under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. For the local planning authority the test is whether installation of equipment would amount to 'development' and, if so, whether it would breach any of the limits set by the Permitted Development Order to help protect the amenity of the neighbourhood. Even
31 Oct 2005 : Column 761W
where a planning application is necessary, the fee is waived if the works are designed to improve access for a disabled person to his or her home.

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to reinforce the integrity of village envelopes within the planning system in the new growth areas. [23191]

Yvette Cooper: A village envelope is boundary defined on a map beyond which the local planning authority proposes that a village should not be allowed to extend.

The Government have no national planning policy on village envelopes and is a matter for local planning authorities.

The growth areas are targeted on urban areas so as to maximise use of brown field land, to help urban renaissance and to contribute to regeneration.

Police and Fire Authorities

Graham Stringer: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the gearing ratio for each (a) police and (b) fire authority budget in England is. [22881]

Jim Fitzpatrick: An authority's gearing ratio is a measure of the impact that an increase in its budget has on its council tax. In the following table are gearing ratios derived from data on Revenue Accounts budget returns supplied to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for 2005–06. The ratios have been calculated as revenue expenditure divided by the council tax requirement for the relevant authorities:
Gearing ratio
Shire police authorities
Avon and Somerset3.6
Devon and Cornwall3.7
North Yorkshire2.6
Thames Valley4.0
West Mercia3.0
Metropolitan police authorities
Greater Manchester9.1
South Yorkshire6.0
West Midlands8.0
West Yorkshire6.0
Combined fire authorities
Avon Fire Authority2.5
Bedfordshire and Luton Fire Authority1.8
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Authority2.0
Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire Authority1.8
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority2.0
Cheshire Fire Authority1.8
Cleveland Fire Authority3.7
Derbyshire Fire Authority2.1
Devon Fire Authority2.0
Dorset Fire Authority1.9
County Durham and Darlington Fire Authority2.1
East Sussex Fire Authority1.7
Essex Fire Authority1.9
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority2.5
Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority1.7
Humberside Fire Authority2.4
Kent and Medway Fire Authority1.8
Lancashire Combined Fire Authority2.5
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Combined Fire Authority2.4
North Yorkshire Fire Authority2.0
Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue
Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority1.7
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority1.9
Wiltshire and Swindon Fire Authority1.8
Metropolitan fire authorities
Greater Manchester3.4
South Yorkshire3.1
Tyne and Wear2.9
West Midlands4.2
West Yorkshire3.2

31 Oct 2005 : Column 762W

Multi-purpose authorities that are responsible for services other than fire and police have not been included in the table. These authorities include those county councils that are responsible for fire services, the Greater London Authority, which has responsibility for police and fire, and the City of London, which has responsibility for its own police.

Next Section Index Home Page