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9 Jan 2006 : Column 270W—continued

Planning Controls

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the likely impact of the guidance given in his Office's Planning Policy Statement7 on development ancillary to the enjoyment of a domestic dwelling, with particular reference to development in the setting of a listed building where development might have been permitted under the Town and Country Planning Act Permitted Development Order, save for the listed status of the building. [40550]

Yvette Cooper: The Government's planning policy in Planning Policy Statement 7 (PPS7), 'Sustainable Development in Rural Areas', is that all new building development in the open countryside should be strictly controlled. The Government have not carried out an assessment of the impact of this policy on any specific types of development.

Development proposals that require planning permission are matters for the local planning authority in the first instance. Planning applications should be determined in accordance with relevant policies in an adopted development plan for the area, subject to other material considerations.
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Population Growth

John Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the policy implications for his Department of the growth in population in Aylesbury Vale. [39671]

Yvette Cooper: Aylesbury Vale forms a part of the Milton Keynes South Midlands Growth Area, one of the four growth areas established by the Communities Plan. The Growth Areas are an important component of the Government's policies for tackling housing shortages associated with household formation and population growth and complement the initiatives to be undertaken as part of the Government's December 2005 response to Kate Barker's Review of Housing Supply.

The Government's funding allocations to local government for 2006–07 and 2007–08 are currently being consulted upon by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). Whereas previous settlements have used the latest available mid-year population estimates as the basis of funding calculations, as from 2006–07 the level of funding will be based on forward-looking population projections. The population projections are prepared by the Office for National Statistics using a trend-based methodology which projects forward the population (using 2003 mid-year population estimates as the starting point) into the future. The new approach should be more favourable to areas experiencing population growth such as the Growth Areas.

More generally, in its response to Kate Barker's Review of Housing Supply, the Government announced that as part of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review it would undertake a cross-cutting review to:

The cross-cutting review will inform the spending decisions of ODPM and other Departments for 2008–09 and beyond.

Regional Fire Control Centres

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 14 December 2005, Official Report, column 1965W, on regional fire control centres, what estimate (a) the Government and (b) the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority has made of the cost of the new London control centre; and whether it will be funded from the Greater London Authority precept on council tax. [39481]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Work on a replacement regional fire control centre for London is at a very early stage and no detailed assessment of costs has been made. It is expected that any new centre would be funded in a similar way to the eight regional control centres that are being procured for the regions outside London. For
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those centres the capital construction costs are being met by the developers and ongoing lease and associated accommodation costs will be met by Fire and Rescue Authorities.

Regional Spatial Strategies

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when the regional spatial strategies will be finalised for each region. [39483]

Yvette Cooper: The provisional timetable for publication of the final regional spatial strategy for each region is as follows.
North EastEarly 2007
East of EnglandSpring 2007
North WestOctober 2007
Yorkshire and HumbersideAutumn 2007
South EastEnd 2007/Early 2008
South WestEnd 2007/Early 2008
East MidlandsEarly 2008
West Midlands partial review part 1End 2007/ Early 2008
West Midlands partial review part 2End 20087 Early 2009

Revenue Support Grant

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the annual per capita allocation of revenue support grant was in (a) Bury metropolitan council and (b) other local authorities in the same family group in each of the last eight years; what the annual percentage increase was; and what the average per capita allocation was for all (i) metropolitan districts and (ii) English local authorities in each year. [40601]

Mr. Woolas: The following table shows formula grant per head for Bury metropolitan council, all metropolitan districts, and all English local authorities for 1998–99 to 2005–06. Formula grant comprises revenue support grant, redistributed business rates and principal formula police grant.

It should be noted that Bury metropolitan council and the other metropolitan districts only provide some services within their area, both police and fire services are provided by other authorities. The 'all English local authorities' column covers both the services provided by Bury plus police and fire services.
Formula grant per head
£ per head

BuryAll metropolitan districtsAll English local authorities

In their response to consultation on the local government settlement, Bury compared themselves with other authorities classed as CIPFA nearest neighbours.
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The CIPFA nearest neighbour toolkit would give different comparators depending on what indicators were selected. It is therefore not possible to supply revenue support grant per head for a 'family' group.

The following table shows the percentage increase in formula grant per head year-on-year on a like-for-like basis for Bury metropolitan council, all metropolitan districts, and all English local authorities for 1998–99 to 2005–06.

Please note that the figures provided in the first table can not be compared directly as there have been a number of changes in the funding and functions covered by formula grant over this period.
Year-on-year increase in formula grant per head

BuryAll metropolitan districtsAll English local authorities

Please note that all of these figures are based on the respective year's settlement. In some years these figures have subsequently been subject to an Amending Report.

School Funding

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment the Government have made of the impact on (a) council tax and (b) local government finance gearing, of changes to the funding of schools. [39491]

Mr. Woolas: The introduction of dedicated schools grant will have no effect overall on council tax or gearing. Any effect on formula grant distribution to individual authorities will be limited by floors damping.

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