Previous Section Index Home Page

24 Nov 2005 : Column 2231W—continued

Fire Services

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many (a) genuine and (b) malicious false alarm fire emergency calls have been received in Leeds North West in each year since 1997. [29434]

Jim Fitzpatrick: No data are available on false fire alarms for the Leeds North West constituency. The information tabled below relates to the area covered by Leeds City Council and has been provided by the West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue service.

The information on genuine false alarms includes those due to apparatus failure as well as calls made in good faith by members of the public.
Leeds City Council

Genuine false fire alarms
Malicious fire
ApparatusGood intent false alarms

West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service.

Angela Watkinson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when defibrillators will be available (a) an all fire appliances and (b) in all fire stations; and when all personnel will be trained to use them. [31621]

Jim Fitzpatrick: These are matters for each Fire & Rescue Authority to consider working in partnership with their local Ambulance Service NHS Trust where appropriate.

The latest draft Fire and Rescue National Framework 2006–2008 makes clear the Government's wish to see Fire and Rescue Authorities working with other providers to improve life safety through the use of defibrillation equipment and by implementing co-responder schemes. Furthermore, as part of the Coronary Heart Disease National Service Framework, the Department of Health continues to roll out a National Defibrillator Programme. There are already over 700 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public places. An additional 221 AEDs have been allocated to fire & rescue services.

Angela Watkinson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the daily cost of (a) the West Midlands firefighters strike and (b) using Army personnel to provide services. [31622]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Funding the strike by firefighters in the West Midlands is the responsibility of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority. It is for that body to make appropriate estimates of costs and
24 Nov 2005 : Column 2232W
arrangements for payment. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will reimburse the Ministry of Defence's additional costs and will seek their own reimbursement from the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority. Given the unforeseen and open-ended nature of the task, the Ministry of Defence has been unable to provide estimates of the likely costs of Armed Forces personnel at this stage. The information will be given to West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority as soon as it is available. In the meantime, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is working closely with the Ministry of Defence and West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority to keep costs as low as possible.

Angela Watkinson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when funding will be made available to the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority to cover the additional costs of resilience following the bombings in London on 7th July. [31623]

Jim Fitzpatrick: In addition to its core funding, which it receives from the Greater London Authority, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) has received £606,000 for the 2005–06 financial year as a direct grant, for the co-ordination of emergency planning on behalf of all London local authorities. This represents an increase of 299 per cent. on the funding level of the previous year. In light of this, no specific extra funding has been available to LFEPA to cover the cost of responding to the 7 July attacks. Government has of course made a significant contribution to these costs in other areas.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the estimated cost is of the installation of Firelink in the regional fire control centres. [30631]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Cost information relating to the Firelink and the FiReControl infrastructure procurements is commercially sensitive until contracts have been signed.

Freedom of Information

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many Freedom of Information applications his Department has received; how many have taken more than 20 days to process; and how many of these gave rise to complaints about the time taken. [31227]

Jim Fitzpatrick: In the period from 1 January 2005 to 30 June 2005, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister received 575 Freedom of Information applications of which 173 took longer than 20 days to process. Of the latter number 27 were legitimately extended to allow for consideration of the public interest test, as allowed for in the Act. These figures can be calculated from table 2 of the Department for Constitutional Affairs' publications, Freedom of Information Act 2000, Statistics on Implementation in Central Government, Ql January—March 2005 and Q2 April—June 2005".

The Department for Constitutional Affairs is committed to publishing quarterly updates in relation to departmental performance under FOI, including information on both the volume and outcomes of requests. The bulletin for the second quarter was published on 30 September 2005 and can be found on
24 Nov 2005 : Column 2233W
the DCA website at and in the Libraries of both Houses. The next bulletin will be published before Christmas, whilst an annual report will be published in early 2006.

Only three of the requests for information the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has received have given rise to complaints about delays in processing.

Government Office for London

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proportion of the (a) neighbourhood management pathfinders, (b) neighbourhood wardens and (c) Community Learning Chest funding stream from the Government Office for London was made available to the London Borough of Croydon in 2004–05. [30536]

Mr. Woolas: There are five neighbourhood management pathfinders in London in the Boroughs of Camden, Westminster, Southwark, Greenwich and Waltham Forest. There is no neighbourhood management pathfinder in Croydon.

The neighbourhood wardens scheme ended in 2003–04. However, total funding in London for street crime warden schemes in 2004/05 was £4,403,993 of which Croydon received £238,918.

In 2004–05 the Community Empowerment Network (CEN) in Croydon received funding of £243,139 under the Single Community Programme. Of that the CEN allocated £19,850 to Learning Activities (formerly the Community Learning Chest), and spent £6,465. Total Single Community Programme funding available in Londonin 2004/05 was £9,343,811.

Home Information Packs

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what representations his Department has received from (a) the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and (b) the Environment Agency on whether home information packs should include contaminated land reports; [24672]

(2) whether home information packs will be required to include contaminated land reports. [24673]

Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is currently consulting on draft regulations that will specify the contents of the home information pack. The draft regulations authorise, but do not require, the inclusion of a contaminated land search in the home information pack. The consultation ends on 30 December 2005.


David Howarth: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much housing revenue account subsidy was provided to each local authority in England in 2004–05. [31582]

Yvette Cooper: A table with the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy entitlement for each local authority in 2004–05 has been made available in the library of the House. These figures are subject to audit.
24 Nov 2005 : Column 2234W

Margaret Moran: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many (a) local authority stock and (b) private sector empty homes there were in Luton in each of the last five years. [30635]

Yvette Cooper: The total number of vacant dwellings by tenure in Luton for each of the last five years is tabled below:
Number of empty homes in Luton

Local authority (LA)1088410695165
Registered Social Landlord (RSL)4644445854
Other public00000
Private sector (non-RSL)2,3022,0631,9421,9941,800

For years 2001 and 2002 all tenure figures above come from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix except for the RSL tenure type which comes from the Housing Corporation's Regulatory Statistical Return.
For the years 2003 to 2005 the figures above are based on three sources: Total from ODPM's Council Tax Base 1 return; LA and Other" public sector tenures from ODPM's Housing Strategy Statistical return; RSL tenure from Housing Corporation's Regulatory Statistical Return; and the private sector (non-RSL) is obtained by subtracting all these three separate tenure figures from the total.

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to provide affordable housing in Kettering constituency. [27295]

Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, through our sponsorship, works closely with the Housing Corporation to provide affordable housing.

The Housing Corporation announced their biggest ever investment programme of £3.3 billion for 2004–06 to boost the number of key worker homes. As part of the programme £400 million was made for key worker homes in the growth areas funding 9,700 homes. Of this £86,274,652 will be allocated to the Milton Keynes and South Midlands growth area creating 2575 homes.

In Kettering a programme to provide 334 new affordable homes, including 177 rented units and 157 shared ownership/low-cost home ownership units, from 2004–06 has been agreed and £7,140,000 is being invested in this.

In addition, the Housing Corporation is negotiating a bidding round with housing authorities for further provision of affordable housing in 2006–07.

In addition future growth will have affordable homes incorporated into the developments and we are working with developers to increase rates of affordable housing provision through other vehicles such as funding through section 106 programmes.

Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many council homes were sold under the right-to-buy scheme in Worcester in each year since 1980. [30591]

24 Nov 2005 : Column 2235W

Yvette Cooper: The numbers of council properties sold under the right-to-buy scheme by Worcester Borough Council in each financial year since 1979–80 as reported by Worcester are tabled below.
Financial yearRTB SalesFinancial yearRTB Sales

Quarterly returns (P1B) to ODPM from local authorities.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when the results of the next English House Condition Survey will be available. [30741]

Yvette Cooper: The headline results for 2003 from the survey were published in March 2005 (English House Condition Survey: Key Findings for 2003) and are available from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website ( The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister intends to publish the 2004 results to a similar timetable during 2006.

Next Section Index Home Page