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Mr. Woolas: The Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) has worked very effectively since its formation in 1997 to support improved performance in local government. Full details of the work of the IDeA can be found on their website at www.idea.gov.uk.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he plans to review the effect of the 1999 guidance on access to dwellings; if he will assess the feasibility of introducing Lifetime Homes standards into building regulations; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The 1999 guidance on access to dwellings is included in the 1999 edition of Approved Document M of the Building Regulations for England and Wales. Building control for Scotland is a devolved matter. A report on the review of the effect of the guidance on dwellings in the 1999 edition of AD M, is expected to be published on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website next year.
Lifetime Homes is to be included as an element of the proposed code for Sustainable Homes, which is currently being developed for new homes in England but could also be applicable in Wales. It is very important that there is progress on increasing take-up of the Lifetime Homes standard. The Government will monitor take-up and review the need for further regulation. The consultation document on the code has now been published and can be found at:
Mr. Woolas: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has taken no decisions about whether there should be any reorganisation of the structure of local government. We are currently engaged in a wide ranging debate about the future role, functions and form of local government and as part of this we have now actively sought views on the present two tier structure. We plan to publish a White Paper on the future of local government in the middle of next year and will make any decisions regarding unitary local government at about the same time.
Mr. Fraser: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the likely impact of the Local Government Finance Settlement for (a) 200607 and (b) 200708 on the revenues that will need to be raised through council tax by Norfolk county council in each of those years. 
Under our proposals, Norfolk county council will receive an above average increase in formula grant of £6.2 million (or 3.8 percent.) in 200607 and £11.9 million (7.1 percent.) in 200708. Grants for specific purposes, which will include the dedicated schools grant where Norfolk will receive £377 million in 200607 and £400 million in 200708, are in addition to formula grant.
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It is for local authorities to set their council tax, not central Government. It has been made clear that, given we have delivered above inflation formula grant increases for local government for ten successive years up to 200708, we expect to see an average council tax increase in England of less than 5 percent. in each of the next two years.
Mr. Fraser: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1)what assessment he has made of the (a) likelihood and (b) extent of service reductions in (i) Norfolk and (ii) all shire counties in England following the Local Government Finance Settlement; 
Mr. Woolas: Consultation on the local government settlement for 200607 runs from 5 December 2005 to 11 January 2006. Details of the proposed financial settlement for Norfolk county council and all other authorities in England are available on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website at: http://www.local.odpm.gov.uk/finance/0607/grant.htm. The provision of local services is a matter for Norfolk and all other county councils themselves, bearing in mind their statutory responsibilities.
Mr. Woolas: The consultation on Government's proposals for the 200607 and 200708 Local Government Finance Settlements runs from 5 December 2005 to 11 January 2006.To date we have received no written representations on the consultation from Norfolk county council or any other shire county.
The Government announced the provisional settlements for 200607 and 200708 on 5 December 2005. These have used projections of population in 2006 and 2007 as the dominant data drivers of population in
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the formulae. These population projections are the 2003-based population projections for 2006 and 2007 produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Yvette Cooper: Preparation of a consultative draft Marine Bill is the responsibility of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) is one of a number represented on DEFRA's Management Board for this project. Officials in the ODPM will continue to contribute to the development of the policies to be reflected in the Bill when it is published.
Jim Fitzpatrick: My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister has used the London underground on several occasions since the 7 July, but it is not possible to provide precise numbers as no formal records are kept of the trips.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the former hon. Members who left Parliament in 2005 who have since been appointed to public bodies by his Department, broken down by party; and who was responsible for making each appointment. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Information about the political activity of appointees is recorded and published in accordance with the independent Commissioner for Public Appointments' Code of Practice. This shows that the following former hon. Member who left Parliament in 2005 has since been appointed to public bodies sponsored by the Office of The Deputy Prime Minister. The information requested is as follows.
|Candy Atherton||Labour||Minister for Housing and Planning|
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions the Growth Areas Directorate within his Department has had with the Department for Education and Skills on the creation of a new university for North Northamptonshire. 
Northamptonshire recently received a boost to its higher education provision when the University College in Northampton gained the Royal Charter and official University status. This is good news
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for the communities of Northamptonshire who will benefit from the university located at the heart of the County and the university is looking to expand its provision significantly over the next five years. In addition, the Tresham Institute serves the communities of North Northamptonshire, providing Post-16 Education, Vocational Training and a wide variety of Adult Learning Courses. Tresham is also an associate college of De Montfort University, so offers a range of professional and degree level courses. The institute plans to open a new £20 million campus in Kettering in early 2007 as part of a wider programme to renewal all of its campuses by 2010.
The Milton Keynes-South Midlands Sub Regional Strategy identifies the need to expand higher education resources to serve the increasing education and training needs of the Sub-Region's population and states that it has a key part to play in the growth of the area. I understand that local growth partners in North Northamptonshire recognise that physical presence by a university is an important element in supporting a broad range of jobs, opportunities and economic development of the area and are in early discussions with education providers to explore how this could be best be strengthened. Officials in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister would expect to be involved in these discussions at the appropriate stage.
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