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8 Dec 2005 : Column 1501W—continued

Disabled Facilities Grant

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proportion of the disabled facilities grant funding
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stream from the Government Office for London was made available to the London borough of Croydon in 2004–05. [34970]

Yvette Cooper: The London borough of Croydon received a specified capital grant from Government of £591,000 in 2004–05 towards the authority's expenditure on Disabled Facilities Grants. This represents almost 4 per cent. of the total allocation for London of £15,282,000.

Energy Efficiency

David Howarth: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when the interdepartmental committee on improving the energy performance of existing buildings set up by the Minister for Housing and Planning on 14 September is expected to complete its work; and what its terms of reference are. [35716]

Yvette Cooper: The aim of the review is to identify the scope for measures that can be taken in existing buildings to:

It is due to be completed by summer 2006.

EU Funded Projects (North-east)

Mr. Atkinson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the EU funded projects in the north-east of England which were identified by the European Court of Auditors as having (a) accounting errors and (b) inadequate documentation; and if he will make a statement. [35814]

Yvette Cooper: The European Court of Auditors carry out audits in all member states on all EC income and expenditure to ensure sound financial management and compliance with EC regulations. The audit in the north-east of England was conducted in July and October 2004. The findings of these audits are summarised in the European Court of Auditor's annual report to the European Parliament. The individual reports and the detail contained in them belong to the European Court of Auditors. They do not publish individual reports. The appropriate route to request the report is to apply in writing to the court.

Fire Service

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many attacks on fire crews have taken place in each county in England in each of the last eight years. [35463]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has been maintaining records of attacks on firefighters since April 2004. Prior to that date their was no requirement for the fire and rescue service to report attacks on firefighters.

Since April 2004 there has been in place a procedure for attacks on firefighters to be notified to the ODPM using the Fires and Incidents of Special Interest (FOSI) reporting procedures as detailed in Dear Chief Fire
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Officer (DCOL) letter 3/2004 issued 1 April 2004. This procedure was updated by the issue of Fire and Rescue Service Circular 5/2005 issued on 15 February 2005. The following table shows a break down of notifications received by the ODPM of attacks on firefighters since the 1 April 2004:
Greater Manchester337
Isle of Wight1
North Yorkshire1
Royal Berkshire7
South Yorkshire54
East Sussex0
West Sussex0
Tyne and Wear24
West Midlands221
West Yorkshire76

Mr. Drew: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the members of the project team for the delivery of (a) Fire Link and (b) Fire Capture; and from where each secondee on the team has been seconded. [35114]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Firelink and FiReControl project teams comprise civil servants, seconded fire and rescue service staff and consultants.

As of 30 November 2005 there were, for Firelink, 51team members, including 12 officers seconded from the following fire and rescue services: London, West Yorkshire, Mid and West Wales, South Wales, Suffolk, East Sussex, Devon, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Northumberland Lothian and Boarders and Strathclyde.
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For FiReControl, there were 74 team members (70full-time equivalents). The 13 secondees from the fire and rescue service are from Wiltshire, London, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Tyne and Wear, Lancashire, Northumberland, Cumbria and South Wales. The project team number includes two full-time special advisers from the Chief Fire Officers' Association (CFOA).

Fire-prevention Sprinklers

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he plans to revise planning regulations and guidance to ensure that new-build commercial and residential properties are required to have fire-prevention sprinkler facilities as standard. [34967]

Yvette Cooper: Health and safety issues including construction standards for new buildings are included in Building Regulations rather than planning guidance. Guidance on measures that will meet the fire safety requirements of these Regulations is given in Approved Document B (or 'AD B'). AD B includes guidance on limiting the spread of fire in a building and on when sprinklers should be provided. AD B is intended to provide guidance only for some of the more common building situations; there may be other ways of complying with the Regulations, such as using sprinklers as a compensatory feature.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister recognises that the greater use of sprinklers could be beneficial, especially for those buildings where occupants are particularly vulnerable to fire. Therefore, ODPM recently consulted on a revised draft AD B which proposes the increased use of sprinklers. The public consultation is now closed and the responses are being considered. ODPM hopes to be in a position to publish a revised AD B around the end of 2006.


Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what guidance his Department provides to (a) elected representatives and (b) the general public on planning applications relating to areas indicated on the website of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as prone to flooding; and if he will make a statement. [32619]

Yvette Cooper: Planning policy guidance on development and flood risk is contained in PPG25, published in 2001. It aims to ensure that flood risk is taken into account at all stages in the planning process to avoid inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding and to direct development away from areas at highest risk. PPG25 advises that the Environment Agency should be consulted on planning applications in flood risk areas, including areas shown on the Agency's Flood Maps, and that planning applications in such areas should be accompanied by a Flood Risk Assessment. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is now consulting on a new PPS25 which strengthens and clarifies these and other aspects of policy on this issue.
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Green Belt

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the applications for building on greenbelt land in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [34328]

Yvette Cooper: Information on planning applications for building on Green Belt land is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Growth Areas Directorate

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) how many officials are assigned (a) full-time and (b) part-time to the Department's Growth Areas Directorate, broken down by grade; [34075]

(2) how many officials in the Department's Growth Areas Directorate are working (a) full-time and (b) part-time on recovering the growth agenda in Northamptonshire, broken down by grade. [34088]

Yvette Cooper: Growth Areas Division, which has responsibility for the three newer growth areas of Milton Keynes/South Midlands (including Northamptonshire), Ashford, London-Stansted-Cambridge-Peterborough and the New Growth Points Initiative, currently has 15 staff. Its work is organised on a mix of area and thematic responsibilities and to reflect policy and business priorities.

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions have taken place between the Department's Growth Areas Directorate and officials in the (a) Department of Health, (b) Department for Education and Skills and (c) Home Office on adjusting future revenue spending in the growth areas to take account of house building. [34103]

Yvette Cooper: The Growth Areas Division in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has periodic discussion with other Government Departments on how mainstream programmes keep in step with growing populations. For example the ODPM has worked with the Department of Health to ensure that funding allocations to primary care trusts take account of growth. The Department of Health's announcement on primary care trust revenue funding on 9 February 2005 included a growth area adjustment.

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions the Department's Growth Areas Directorate has had with Anglian Water about the provision of water supplies and sewerage to North Northamptonshire. [34107]

Yvette Cooper: Growth Areas Division in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister have held meetings with the water industry including Anglian Water on how the industry might respond to higher growth levels. This supplements the industry's discussion with local partners and delivery organisations.

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