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ODPM's approach has been to raise awareness of staff and line managers through its induction package for new entrants, introduced in May 2004; and to all staff through various marketing mechanisms including the ODPM intranet and other promotional activities.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not use specific literacy or numeracy tests. All of our recruitment is carried out using a competence based process that requires the candidate to
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demonstrate how they meet the skills required for the post(s). This requires a good level of literacy. If we had a post that required specific numeracy skills, we would take advice from our recruitment consultants on the most appropriate method of assessment.
Mr. Woolas: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is aware of the debate in local government about moving from two tier to unitary local government. This is a debate which is led from within local government. We are following the debate with interest.
Mr. Woolas: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has made no such assessment. We are aware of the debate in local government about moving from two tier to unitary local government but this is a debate which is led from within local government. We are following the debate with interest.
Mr. Kemp: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what representations he has received about the proposal to move to whole council local elections every four years, as outlined in the consultation document Vibrant Local Leadership". 
Mr. Woolas: Following publication of the discussion document Vibrant Local Leadership" which indicated that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was minded to agree with the Electoral Commission's recommendation that all English local authorities should hold whole council elections, we have received seven requests from district councils to move to whole council elections and several other representations generally in support of change.
Mr. Andy Reed: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what consultations have been held with local authorities about the new data being used to calculate the day visitor indicator as part of the formula spending share; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: The option to update the day visitor indicator was part of the wider consultation on changes to the Local Government Finance Distribution system, which ran for a 12 week period between 19 July and 10 October 2005.
The research underlying the option was also disseminated and discussed at the Local Government Finance Settlement Working Group (SWG) to which local authority representatives attend.
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Mr. Andy Reed: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the impact of the new data for day visitor indicators as part of the formula spending share on the financial position of Charnwood borough council. 
Mr. Andy Reed: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what (a) time period and (b) methodology was used in amending the day visitor indicator of the formula spending share; and if he will make a statement. 
(a) The proposed update to the day visitors indicator outlined in the recent Formula Grant Distribution consultation paper used data from the 200203 Great Britain Day Visits Survey, the 2001 census and the 2003 Labour Force Survey. Data from Visit Britain and the Ordnance Survey were also used.
(b) The methodology on the updated modelling of the day visitor indicator can be found on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's local government finance website at: http://www.local.odpm.gov.uk/finance/0607/swg0508/dayvisitors.pdf
Ministers are currently considering whether to use the updated day visitor data in the 200607 Formula Spending Shares taking into account representations received during the consultation on this issue. The decision will be announced to the House later this year as part of the provisional local government settlement.
Yvette Cooper: The following table shows the number of demolitions, constructions and refurbishments funded directly by Housing Market Renewal Funding and are for the year 200405 for which we have data. The information comes from core indicator returns submitted to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister by the pathfinders every six months.
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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what guidance the Government have provided to local planning authorities on informing nearby local residents
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that a planning application in their vicinity has been submitted; and what definition of vicinity he uses in this context. 
Yvette Cooper: A local planning authority's duty to publicise planning applications is explained in Department of Environment Circular 15/92, Publicity for Planning Applications". Within the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995, authorities have discretion to decide what level and type of publicity would be appropriate in a particular case. The term vicinity" is not defined. However, the circular does urge authorities to go beyond the minimum legal requirements when inviting local people to comment on planning applications. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister expects authorities to make use of their websites in this context. Authorities should also set out, in Statements of Community Involvement, their own policy on consultation about applications; for example, when and how local amenity or residents' groups should be informed.
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