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Jim Fitzpatrick: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) was established following the Machinery of Government changes on 29 May 2002. The following table sets out payments made to Staffordshire county council since 200203.
|(a) Revenue||(b) Capital|
Mr. Steen: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 9 November 2005, Official Report, columns 49596W, on town councils, what the reason is for the time taken by his office receiving a proposal for the creation of a new town council and his office making orders to implement the proposal. 
Mr. Woolas: The period referred to in my previous answer of between six and nine months is not a delay, but the period for undertaking the necessary consultative and other processes needed to implement a proposal to create a new town council.
Mr. Woolas: The statutory responsibilities of the Listing Officers employed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to compile and maintain valuation lists for council tax purposes in England continue. For the current (1993) lists this means banding new properties, amending the banding of existing properties and deleting entries from the lists where properties are demolished or converted to non-domestic use. (Amendments to bandings may occur where there are physical changes that would result in a lower band, or where an improvement has been made that would take the property into a higher band and there has been a subsequent sale.) These activities will now be undertaken with the benefit of the newly digitised database of property records, which the VOA will ensure is comprehensive and up to date. This means that the VOA can introduce improved processes for handling data internallyas it will no longer be reliant on paper recordsand can also provide a better service to council tax payers and to billing authorities in relation to the 1993 lists. In particular it will be better placed to deal quickly with enquiries or appeals from tax payers about their current bandings. Additionally, to secure the investment made to date in the automated valuation model technology, the VOA will complete the necessary work to ensure that the model is available for use in all its locations. Although introduced to support the 2007 revaluation, the VOA plans to use the model's capability to support the 1993 lists and also for other valuation work on domestic property which it undertakes within its statutory remit.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans the Valuation Office Agency has to reduce its staff following his announcement of the delay in the council tax revaluation in England. 
The Valuation Office Agency has reviewed its staffing need in the light of the postponement of the council tax revaluation. The immediate impact on staffing is that some 420 staff working on casual and fixed term contracts will have left the Agency by 18 November 2005. The Agency is now running an early departure scheme for permanent employees and it is anticipated that some 600 more staff will leave in the period between
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30 March 2006 and 30 June 2006. It is anticipated that, coupled with natural wastage, the total reduction will amount to some 1,250 staff.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) how many public inquiries as a result of wind farm development planning applications in the last five years have resulted in the planning application being (a) upheld and (b) recommended for refusal; 
Yvette Cooper: In the last five years in England, there have been 14 public inquiries held as a result of wind farm development planning applications. All of these were planning appeals and of these, eight resulted in the planning application being allowed and six resulted in a refusal of planning permission. There have been no such planning applications that have been called in during the last five years.
Caroline Flint: The alcohol needs assessment research project (ANARP) was published on 1 November 2005, this provided valuable data for the programme of improvement. The ANARP confirms that there are 696 treatment services available in England, these results show that there are 43 per cent. more agencies providing alcohol treatment services than previously identified. The models of care for alcohol misusers will be published in December 2005.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department is taking (a) to reduce the number of assaults on ambulance staff while on duty and (b) to increase the number of prosecutions in cases where assaults have been made on ambulance staff while on duty. 
Jane Kennedy: In November 2003 a comprehensive range of measures were introduced by the national health service to tackle the problem of violence against NHS staff, including those that work in the ambulance services. Since that time an estimated 85,000 frontline NHS staff have been trained to prevent and manage violence. This work is supported by advice and guidance from the NHS Security Management Service (NHS SMS).
The number of prosecutions identified involving those who have physically assaulted NHS staff has risen from 51 in 200203 to 759 in 200405. Other initiatives include the introduction of professional skills and expertise at local level through the role of the local
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security management specialist who is trained to tackle security-related problems such as violence against NHS staff; this is supported by accredited training, advice and guidance from the NHS SMS. A key project of the NHS SMS will be to build strong links locally with the police and Crown Prosecution Service to ensure all cases of assaults are professionally investigated and prosecuted where appropriate. This will be supported by a memorandum of understanding between the NHS and the Association of Chief Police Officers, as well as advice and guidance from the NHS SMS legal protection unit.
Jane Kennedy: In November 2003, a comprehensive range of measures were introduced by the national health service to tackle the problem of violence against NHS staff, including those that work in the ambulance services, supported by the NHS Security Management Service (NHS SMS).
These initiatives include the introduction of the role of the local security management specialist to provide NHS health bodies for the first-time ever with professional skills and expertise locally to tackle security-related problems such as violence against NHS staff. This is supported centrally by accredited training, advice and guidance from the NHS SMS. The NHS security management manual is supplied to trained and accredited local security management specialist and provides best practice guidance on a range of security matters, including tackling violence against staff. A specific training syllabus for the prevention and management of violence is being developed for ambulance personnel and will be launched in 2006.
The NHS SMS is currently working with the Home Office on a project known as the safer hospitals project. One of the strands of this work is devoted to evaluating how the use of technology and other interventions can be used to better protect ambulance staff. The project is due to report in early 2006.
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