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3 Nov 2005 : Column 1264W—continued

Fire Service

Mike Penning: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what timetable he has set for the establishment of regional fire control rooms; and if he will make a statement. [21516]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The eight new control centres outside London are expected to be rolled out over 2008–09, with the first wave comprising the centres in the South-west, North-east and East Midlands. Provision has been made for London to join the project at the end of the rollout order, in time for the Olympic Games in 2012. A detailed timetable will be published after the technology/infrastructure services procurement is complete, which is expected to be in spring 2006.

High Hedges

Mary Creagh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what average fee is charged by local authorities to people seeking redress under the Government's new high hedges legislation. [23282]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 31 October 2005]: This information is not collected centrally. However, Hedgeline have published on their website some information on the fees being charged by local authorities for dealing with complaints under the high hedges legislation, and these appear to range from £0–£650.

Property (Cash Incentives)

Mr. Baron: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) whether conditions can be placed on the geographical location of a property bought with the aid of financial assistance provided through a cash incentives scheme; [24261]

(2) what measures are in place to ensure that persons who receive financial assistance to buy a property through a cash incentives scheme are not subsequently provided with social housing; [24262]

(3) how many people have received financial assistance to buy a property in Basildon district through a cash incentives scheme, broken down by local authority of origin. [24263]

Yvette Cooper: Any local authority that chooses to introduce a cash incentive scheme may set conditions on it. These could include geographical conditions, although they would need to comply with wider legislation.

Awards of grant are made only for the purchase of houses or flats and only where the recipient is able to afford the cost of maintaining ownership. The issuing authority would require evidence of both before approving any award. However receipt of grant under a cash incentive scheme would not in itself exclude the recipient from being offered social housing should they apply for it at some later date.

Records of grants paid out under such schemes are kept by the issuing authorities; none is held centrally. I am not therefore able to provide any information regarding properties purchased with such grants in Basildon.
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Equal Opportunities

Sarah Teather: To ask the honourable Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what equal opportunities strategy the House has in place. [24501]

Nick Harvey: The House of Commons Service's commitment to equal opportunities is set out at the beginning of the Staff Handbook:

The handbook, which also contains detailed policies and procedures to underpin this policy, is available on the Parliamentary intranet.

A five-year diversity strategy and action plan is currently being prepared by the Diversity Forum, a House-wide group of staff which promotes diversity initiatives across the House service.

House Employees

Sarah Teather: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer of 13 October 2005, Official Report, column 553W, on House employees, if he will break the figures down by pay bracket. [24509]

Nick Harvey: The figures broken down by pay bands are as follows:

Pay band/pay groupMaleFemale


Pay band/
pay group

3 Nov 2005 : Column 1266W

The overall totals for the two tables are different because (a) some staff have not responded to the ethnicity survey and (b) the ethnicity survey over a period of time includes some seconded-in staff or staff on career breaks not included in the gender breakdown.

Parliamentary Communications Directorate

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how long on average the Director of the Parliamentary Communications Directorate took to respond to telephone queries from hon. Members in the last period for which figures are available; and how many telephone queries are awaiting a response. [24469]

Nick Harvey: No records are held relating to this. There are no calls awaiting responses at present.

Serjeant at Arms Residence (Cleaning)

David Taylor: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what the expenditure on cleaning the Serjeant at Arms's official residence was in the last year for which figures are available. [24496]

Nick Harvey: Only window cleaning is carried out at the Serjeant at Arms's official residence as part of the contract to clean the 1 Parliament Street/Derby Gate block. The annual cost to the House is estimated to be in the region of £540 per year.


0870 Numbers

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the occasions in the last five years on which 0870 telephone numbers have been used by her Department as contact numbers for members of the public; and how much revenue was received from the use of 0870 contact numbers in each of the last five years for which records are available. [24468]

Mr. Lammy: My Department has not used any 0870 telephone numbers in the last five years.

Departmental Property (Kettering)

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what (a) land and (b) property her Department owns in Kettering constituency. [24364]

Mr. Lammy: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport owns neither land nor property in Kettering.

Library Lending

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) videos, (b) DVDs and (c) CDs were lent by libraries in (i) Brent and (ii) London in each year since 1997. [24479]

Mr. Lammy: This information is not held centrally. However, the table shows the number of loans of sound recordings (encompassing music and talking books) and Videos and DVDs for Brent and for Greater London (including Brent) for the period 1997–98 to 2003–04.
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Greater London
Sound recordingsVideos/DVDsSound recordingsVideos/DVDs

(4) Music recordings only, no separate talking books figure for Brent for this year.
(5) Music recordings only for parity.
Public Library Statistics (Actuals) Published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy

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