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Jim Fitzpatrick: My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister had a number of routine departmental meetings in his London office on 13 May 2003. Due to an administrative error, a previous parliamentary response to the hon. Member of 15 December 2003, Official Report, column 744W, indicated that he was on a regional visit in Hove on this date. This in fact took place one year earlier, on 13 May 2002.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Fire and rescue authorities are required by the Fire and Rescue Service National Framework to have in place and maintain an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) which reflects local need and sets out plans to tackle effectively both existing and potential risks to communities. It is, therefore, for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority to determine appropriate fire cover and the level of service in its area.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he expects work undertaken to gather information from local fire brigades about essential activities out of scope of the new regional fire control centres will be concluded. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is currently reviewing the information supplied by fire and rescue services on out of scope activities and we expect to be able to provide feedback directly to individual fire and rescue services in February 2006.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the implications for rural areas with a large number of retained firefighters with limited capabilities of (a) floods and (b) terrorism. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Fire and rescue authorities are required by the Fire and Rescue Service National Framework to have in place and maintain an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) which reflects local need and sets out plans to tackle effectively both existing and potential risks to communities, including those of floods and terrorism if appropriate. It is, therefore, for each fire and rescue authority to determine appropriate fire cover in its area, be that rural or metropolitan.
We are reviewing information provided by Fire and Rescue Services about the activities which are currently performed by control staff in existing control rooms and which are expected to lie outside the scope of the new control arrangements. Initial analysis confirms our view that there will be
9 Jan 2006 : Column 256W
considerable savings from making new arrangements for performing these activities. In particular, highly trained, well-paid control room staff will no longer perform routine administrative tasks, such as managing the first aid box or holding the keys for pool cars. This will allow them to focus their efforts on achieving the best possible management of emergency incidents.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yes. The Fire Service College provides a range of training courses for Scottish fire and rescue services. They also have access to the College's library and online information and development resources.
Social HomeBuy, which enables social tenants to buy a share in their rented home, will be funded by housing associations and local authorities. In the housing association sector, the Housing Corporation will provide funding to cover the cost of the discount offered to the tenants to facilitate participation in the scheme.
Funding for the Open Market HomeBuy option will be supplemented by the provision of private finance equity loans following a major agreement with three lenders which was announced on 5 December. This has the potential to enable a further 20,000 households to be helped into home ownership by 2010, bringing the total helped through the HomeBuy schemes to over 100,000.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether private sector workers will be eligible for the (a) Open Market Homebuy scheme, (b) Social Homebuy scheme, (c) New Build Homebuy scheme and (d) Key Workers Initiative. 
Yvette Cooper: Private sector workers who are also social tenants, on the housing register, or first time buyers in a priority group recommended by regional housing boards will be eligible for open market homebuy and new build homebuy schemes where they are operating.
Private sector workers are not included within the eligible groups for key worker housing as the prime objective is to support improvements in public services. It is the responsibility of the private sector to deal with their own recruitment and retention issues.
9 Jan 2006 : Column 257W
Anne Milton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1)how many homeless households in (a) Guildford, (b) Waverley and (c) Surrey were living in (i)temporary accommodation and (ii) sleeping rough in each of the past five years; 
Yvette Cooper: Information about the number of households in temporary accommodation arranged by local authorities under homelessness legislation as at 31 March, and the number of persons sleeping rough, in each of the past five years is tabled as follows for Guildford, Waverley and Surrey.
Each local authority in England has a duty to provide accommodation to households who have been accepted as homeless and are owed a main housing duty under homelessness legislation. If the authority cannot provide a settled solution straight away the household will be placed in temporary accommodation. For this reason, authorities will not have a set number of beds for homeless households.
|Households in temporary accommodation as at 31 March|
|All LAs in Surrey||1,010||2|
|All LAs in Surrey||1,060||2|
|All LAs in Surrey||1,020||0|
|All LAs in Surrey||930||0|
|All LAs in Surrey||1,030||0|
Anne Milton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1)when he last met representatives of Crisis to discuss homelessness among those people housing authorities are not legally obliged to accept as homeless; 
(3) what plans the Government have to carry out research to establish how many people are living (a) in bed and breakfast accommodation, (b) in hostels, (c) temporarily with families and friends, (d) in other temporary accommodation and (e) sleeping rough; and if he will make a statement. 
In relation to undertaking detailed research on the extent of homelessness, ODPM measures homelessness primarily through local authority statistics on the numbers of households seeking homelessness assistance and through counts and estimates of rough sleeping. These are the most robust and consistent measures of the problem and of changes over time. We are constantly improving them and we conduct other regular surveys to measure other indicators of housing need, such as overcrowding through the annual Survey of English Housing. This data is published and available free of charge from the ODPM website at www.odpm.gov.uk. Link: http://www.odpm.gov.uk/index.asp?id=l154759.
In addition, the Homelessness Act 2002 requires every local housing authority in England in have in place a strategy for preventing and tackling homelessness among all households at risk of homelessness, including for those to whom they do not owe a statutory duty to house. Every authority published its first strategies in 2003.
The latest National Statistics on statutory homelessness, published on 12 December, showed 100,970 households in some form of temporary accommodation arranged by local authorities under homelessness legislation as at 30 September 2005. Of this total, 6,290 were in bed and breakfast style units, and 9,870 were in hostels or women's refuges; all the remaining 84,810 households were in some form of self- contained accommodation, the majority of which was leased from the private sector or owned by social landlords.
In addition to the 100,970 households in temporary accommodation on 30 September, there were a further 16,020 households who were homeless at home", that is awaiting a settled housing solution, having previously been accepted as owed a main homelessness duty but able to remain in their current accommodation for the immediate future.
Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is committed to tackling all forms of homelessness. That is why we introduced legislation in 2002 requiring all housing authorities to have a strategy in place for preventing homelessness and ensuring that accommodation and support are available for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. In support of these strategies we have already invested over £200 million and will invest a further £200 million by 2008.
We are also determined to help others who are facing difficulties in finding a home of their own, for example those staying with family and friends, or living in hostels. To help us achieve this, we are increasing the supply of new social rented homes by 50 per cent. by 2008 and investing £90 million in hostels over three years to 200708 to improve the quality and effectiveness of hostels and the services they provide to help people move on to independent living.
Yvette Cooper: Local authorities are required to have strategies in place for ensuring that accommodation and support are available for people who become homeless or at risk of homelessness. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has already invested over £200 million to support these prevention strategies and will invest £200 million more by 2008. This funding will also support additional provision for rough sleepers in periods of severe weather.
Whilst welcoming the fact that rough sleeper numbers in England are at an all-time low, we recognise the importance of ensuring that every effort is made to bring rough sleepers off the streets should there be a period of severe weather this winter. To that end, and further to the funding outlined above, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minster has written to every local authority to ensure that they have plans in place to deal with anyone on the streets in extreme cold weather, and offer whatever advice and support is necessary to authorities who have not yet got appropriate plans in place.
Richard Burden: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how he defines the term temporary accommodation for the purpose of setting targets for local authorities to reduce the number of homeless families in temporary accommodation. 
Yvette Cooper: For the purpose of the 2010 target, temporary accommodation" means any accommodation secured by an English local housing authority to discharge a power or duty to secure accommodation under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 (the homelessness legislation"). This can be distinguished from the provision of settled accommodation (whether in the social or private rented sectors) that brings a homelessness duty to an end.
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