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7 Dec 2005 : Column 1429W—continued

Bus Services (Stoke Orchard)

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he made of bus services attending Stoke Orchard, Gloucestershire when objecting to this aspect of Tewkesbury borough council's local plan; and if he will make a statement. [35086]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 6 December 2005]: As part of the assessment process of the Tewkesbury local plan, information from both Tewkesbury borough council and the bus service operators in the area was obtained in respect of the allocation at Stoke Orchard. This information was taken into account in my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister the First Secretary of State's decision to direct Tewkesbury borough council to delete the policy relating to the site allocation at Stoke Orchard from the Tewkesbury borough local plan.

It was my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister, the First Secretary of State's view that this policy was inconsistent with PPG3, PPS7, PPG13 and
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RPG10 and would lead to a greater dispersal of development, exacerbating unsustainable patterns of commuting.

Designated Growth Areas

Anne Main: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the local delivery partners in (a) the Milton Keynes growth area and (b) each other designated growth area. [31850]

Yvette Cooper: The Local Delivery Vehicles established in Milton Keynes South Midlands to cover individual areas are: Milton Keynes Partnerships Committee; Aylesbury Vale Advantage; Renaissance Bedford; West Northamptonshire Development Corporation; and North Northants Together.

The Local Delivery Vehicles established in London Stansted Cambridge Peterborough are: Cambridgeshire Horizons; and Opportunity Peterborough.

The Regeneration Partnerships established in Thames Gateway to cover individual areas are: London Thames Gateway Development Corporation; Basildon Renaissance; Renaissance Southend; Thurrock UDC; Medway Renaissance Partnership; Swale Forward; and Kent Thameside Delivery Board.

The Local Delivery Vehicle for Ashford is Ashford's Future.

Fire Services

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what (a) back-up facilities and (b) secondary sites are available for each fire regional control centre; and if he will make a statement. [34586]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The nine regional control centres will be part of an integrated network. In exceptionally busy periods, or in the worst case in the event of the failure of one centre, others in the network will be able immediately to take over answering calls and sending vehicles to incidents. Consequently, there is no need for secondary sites. To minimise the risk of the failure of one regional control centre, each has been designed so that there are no single points of failure in the system; for example, all the new centres will have two generators.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the number of homeless people in (a) Southend, (b) Essex, (c) Greater London and (d) England in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [34315]

Yvette Cooper: Information about English local authorities' actions under homelessness legislation is collected quarterly and is in respect of households rather than people. The number of households accepted as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need for the past five financial years, and the number of households in temporary accommodation arranged by local authorities under homelessness legislation as at 31 March of each year, is listed in the following table for Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Greater
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London and England. For corresponding information about Welsh authorities, I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

After being accepted as homeless, a household will be placed in some form of accommodation. They may be placed in temporary accommodation, until a settled solution becomes available, or they may be given a settled solution straight away depending on the accommodation available to the local authority. As an
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alternative to temporary accommodation an authority may arrange for a household to remain in their current accommodation (homeless at home), until a settled solution becomes available.

Information is also collected on the number of people who sleep rough, that is, those who are literally roofless on a single night. The following table also shows the number of persons sleeping rough on a single night of each year.
Households accepted(36) as homeless during the year, households in temporary accommodation at the end of the year,and numbers of rough sleepers

Accepted during 2000–01In TA(37) at end March 2001Rough sleepers(38) (persons) 2000Accepted during 2001–02In TA(37) at end March 2002Rough sleepers(38) (persons) 2001
Greater London29,71042,62054629,32046,390357

Accepted during 2002–03In TA2 at end March 2003Rough sleepers3 (persons) 2002Accepted during 2003–04In TA2 at end March 2004Rough sleepers3 (persons) 2003
Greater London29,79052,69032130,08058,820267

Accepted during 2004–05In TA2 at end March 2005–12–08Rough sleepers3 (persons) 2004
Greater London26,73061,990265

(36) All households eligible under homelessness legislation, found to be unintentionally homeless and in a priority need category, and consequently owed a main homelessness duty, n/a denotes the authority failed to provide a return for one or more quarters of the year
(37) Households in accommodation either pending a decision on their homelessness application or awaiting allocation of a settled home following acceptance. Excludes those households designated as homeless at home" that have remained in their existing accommodation and have the same rights to suitable alternative accommodation as those in accommodation arranged by the authority.
Figures for Essex, London and England include ODPM estimates for any incomplete or missing P1E returns
(38) Number of persons sleeping rough, based on local authority mid-year counts or estimates.
(39) Essex comprises 12 district councils, and excludes the unitary authorities of Southend on Sea and Thurrock
ODPM P1E Homelessness returns (quarterly) and HSSA returns (annual)


James Duddridge: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when the Government will publish its final response to the Barker Review of housing supply; and if he will make a statement. [34160]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 2 December 2005]: The Government's initial response to Kate Barker's report was provided by my right hon. Friends the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Deputy Prime Minister alongside the Budget on 17 March 2004. We published the full response on 5 December 2005.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many and what percentage of households in each London borough were on the housing register on 1 April. [34663]

Yvette Cooper: The number of households on the housing waiting list, and the percentage of total households that are on the housing waiting list, in each London borough, as at 1 April 2005, are shown in the following table:
Local authorityNumber of households on the housing registerAs a percentage of all households
Barking and Dagenham2,3213.5
City of London1,20430.1
Hammersmith and Fulham8,3849.9
Kensington and Chelsea9,43610.7
Kingston upon Thames4,9037.7
Richmond upon Thames4,8986.1
Tower Hamlets21,18324.1
Waltham Forest8,8379.2

ODPM's Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA).

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Local authorities in England report the number of households on their housing waiting list as at 1 April in their annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix returns. Local authorities sometimes maintain a common waiting list with the housing association/s in their district. However, information is not held centrally where a housing association maintains a separate waiting list to the local authority.

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether (a) local authorities and (b) social services have responsibility for housing vulnerable people; and if he will make a statement. [34667]

Yvette Cooper: Local authorities have a number of responsibilities to provide accommodation and support for vulnerable people. These include:

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In single tier arrangements, these duties will fall to parts of the same local authority. In two-tier arrangements, the housing duties will fall to the lower tier authority and the social services duties will fall to the upper tier authority.

While not a duty, upper tier authorities also provide housing-related support services for vulnerable adults through the Supporting People programme. These services are intended to support and assist people to maintain or move towards living independently.

James Duddridge: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to reduce the waiting lists for council housing in (a) Southend-on-Sea, (b) Essex and (c) England. [33774]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 1 December 2005]: In England in 2004–05, over 28,000 homes were provided for rent or low cost home ownership through the Housing Corporation's Approved Development Programme. Of these, 544 were completed in Essex, of which 40 were completed in Southend-on-Sea Unitary Authority.

Sustainable Communities: Homes for All sets out the Government's plans to deliver more affordable housing over the next five years from 2005–06. Measures include the delivery of 75,000 social rented homes by 2008.

For 2006–07 and 2007–08 Regional Housing Boards have made recommendations to Ministers for the allocation of Regional Housing Pots funds. The Eastern Regional Housing Board has recommended that from their allocation of £432 million for the two years a total of £356 million should be allocated to the provision of affordable housing. However, the exact distribution of funding between programmes for 2006–08 will not be known until the completion of the Housing Corporation's Affordable Housing Programme bidding process in early 2006.

We are also making available £1.6 million this year to assist in the development of 15 sub-regionally based CBL schemes. The funding will support the development of the Herts and Essex Housing Options Consortium which will include Brentwood BC, Chelmsford BC, Epping Forest DC and Uttlesford DC.
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Mr. Rooney: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to encourage local authorities to adopt innovative solutions to address household overcrowding in their area. [35291]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 6 December 2005]: The Government have doubled their investment in social housing from 1997 levels and the Housing Corporation has taken steps to encourage investment in larger homes through its National Affordable Housing programme. Against that background, it is for local authorities to develop housing strategies that give due weight to the needs of overcrowded households alongside the other housing needs in their area.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister howmuch his Department has allocated for social housing in each constituency in Essex in each of the past 10 years. [34312]

Yvette Cooper: Information is not readily available for all of the funding allocations until 1999. A total of £626 million has been allocated for social housing in Essex from 1999 to 2005–06. This includes allocations for new build, improvements to existing stock and disabled facilities grants.

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the number of uninhabited homes in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) the Tees Valley and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland. [32453]

Yvette Cooper: The estimated number of vacant dwellings in (a) England, (b) the Government Office for the North East region, (c) the Tees Valley and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland are tabled as follows:
Total England710,935
The Government Office for the North East45,732
Tees Valley (comprising Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees unitary authorities)10,962
Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland unitary authorities which encompass the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency5,058

The data are as at November 2004, the latest date for which estimates are available and were reported on CTB1 & CTB1S forms submitted by billing authorities to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister each year. The figure includes both long and short-term empty properties.

The Government are introducing new powers from April 2006 for local authorities to reduce the number of long-term empty homes in their area.

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