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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. 
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.
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 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.
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. 
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.
|Accepted during 200001||In TA(37) at end March 2001||Rough sleepers(38) (persons) 2000||Accepted during 200102||In TA(37) at end March 2002||Rough sleepers(38) (persons) 2001|
|Accepted during 200203||In TA2 at end March 2003||Rough sleepers3 (persons) 2002||Accepted during 200304||In TA2 at end March 2004||Rough sleepers3 (persons) 2003|
|Accepted during 200405||In TA2 at end March 20051208||Rough sleepers3 (persons) 2004|
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.
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 authority||Number of households on the housing register||As a percentage of all households|
|Barking and Dagenham||2,321||3.5|
|City of London||1,204||30.1|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||8,384||9.9|
|Kensington and Chelsea||9,436||10.7|
|Kingston upon Thames||4,903||7.7|
|Richmond upon Thames||4,898||6.1|
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.
A duty under part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 for local housing authorities in England to ensure that suitable accommodation is available for people who are homeless through no fault of their own, if they are eligible for assistance and fall within a priority need group. (Priority need groups are as defined in section 189 of the 1996 Act and, additionally, in the Homelessness (Priority Need for Accommodation) (England) Order 2002.)
A duty under part 6 of the Housing Act 1996 for local housing authorities to ensure, in allocating settled social housing, that 'reasonable preference' for an allocation goes to certain categories of people (including those who are homeless and those who need to move on medical or welfare grounds) who might be considered vulnerable.
A duty under the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 23(B) (8) (b) to promote the welfare of care leavers, aged 1618, and to support them by providing them with or maintaining them in suitable accommodation. Local authorities have continuing responsibilities to support care leavers aged 1821 which may also require them to offer support to enable this group to access suitable accommodation.
A duty under section 20 (3) of the Children Act 1989 to accommodate any child in need aged 16 and 17 whose welfare is likely to be seriously prejudiced without the provision of accommodation. A child accommodated under this section, will become looked-after by the local authority.
However, there may be cases where a lone child who needs help with accommodation, but who does not need to become a looked-after child, might appropriately be assisted under section 17. In these cases, the decision about whether or not a child should be accommodated by the local authority and the related decision as to whether he/she should become looked-after will be determined by the local authority's assessment of the child's needs in accordance with the statutory guidance set out in The framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families" published by the Government in April 2000.
A power, and so far as directed by the Secretary of State for Health a duty, under sections 21 and 29 of the National Assistance Act 1948, for local authority social services to provide residential accommodation and certain other welfare services for people who are 'ordinarily resident' in the authority's area and who are in need of residential care. This includes a person with no settled residence or ordinarily resident elsewhere who is in urgent need of residential care.
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.
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 1 December 2005]: In England in 200405, 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 200506. Measures include the delivery of 75,000 social rented homes by 2008.
For 200607 and 200708 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 200608 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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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.
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 200506. 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. 
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:
|The Government Office for the North East||45,732|
|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 constituency||5,058|
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.
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