|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Jim Fitzpatrick: The provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 200607 and 200708 that was announced on the 5 December 2005 by my hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government included the use of population projections as the dominant data drivers of population in the settlements.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the Government Bills sponsored by his Department that are expected to be introduced during the current session; what the proposed date of presentation is of each; and into which House each will be introduced. 
The Council Tax (New Valuation Lists for England) Bill, (Bill 57 2005/06) was introduced into the House of Commons on 13 October 2005. There are no plans for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to introduce further Bills this session.
17 Jan 2006 : Column 1313W
The commercial decision as to the number of copies printed was made by The Stationery Office Ltd, who advise that 1,000 copies of the report were printed. Of these, approximately 500 copies were provided free of charge to the Libraries of the House, the Vote Office, the ODPM Select Committee, Ministers and officials in the ODPM, and to other Government Departments.
Yvette Cooper: Earlier this year, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister published our future strategy on homelessness Sustainable Communities: settled homes; changing lives". The strategy contains our commitment to continue working to ensure that the needs of rural communities are met.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will continue to support all local authorities with additional resources to help them implement requirements of the Homelessness Act and tackle and prevent homelessness in their area. Rural authorities have received around £7 million in each year since 200304 and as confirmed last month over £7.5 million has been allocated to rural authorities for 200607 and 200708. In addition, the Homelessness and Housing Support Directorate in ODPM has appointed a specialist adviser from a local authority who is tasked specifically with promoting good practice in tackling homelessness in rural areas.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will continue to promote approaches that work in a rural context, where access to affordable housing can be more limited, where remoteness can act as a barrier to accessing relevant services and where there may be less developed partnerships.
Through regional workshops and training the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will help the preparation of sub-regional homelessness strategies that link into the Regional Housing and county Supporting People strategies, and draw on the strengths of the Local Strategic Partnerships, to tackle the causes of homelessness in rural areas.
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 9 January 2006, Official Report, columns 26061W, if he will provide the figures for best value performance indicator 64 for (a) 200203
17 Jan 2006 : Column 1314W
and (b) 200304 expressed as a percentage of the number of dwellings returned to occupation or demolished in those years. 
Mr. Byers: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will raise with Kent county council its requirement that (a) small businesses submit full accounts rather than abbreviated ones and (b) all potential suppliers of goods and services have public liability insurance of at least £5 million. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: I have raised these issues with Kent county council and am awaiting a response. I will write to my right hon. Friend once the relevant information is received, and a copy will be published in the Official Report.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will take steps to ensure that the standard terms of contract adopted by Kent county council do not (a) discriminate against and (b) place an undue burden of regulation on small businesses. 
Mr. Woolas: I have raised these issues with Kent county council and am awaiting a response. I will write to my right hon. Friend once the relevant information is received, and a copy will be published in the Official Report.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps the Government is taking to tackle speculative and misleading sales and marketing of land without planning permission as land with development opportunities; and what advice the Government has given to trading standards officials on this issue. 
The Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 makes it a criminal offence to make false or misleading statements about specified aspects of land (which includes buildings) offered for sale by those in the estate agency or property development business. The categories of information which fall into those controls include the existence or nature of any planning permission or proposals for development, construction or change of use. There is no general requirement to disclose information, but where information is given it must be accurate and must not be misleading.
Trading Standards Officers can, where they have reasonable cause to suspect that an offence has been committed, require the production of books, documents or hard copy of information held on computers and can take copies of them. Where they have reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has been committed they can seize and retain such material. On summary conviction, the penalty under the Act is a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (currently £5,000). For conviction on indictment, e.g. before a Crown court, this is an unlimited fine. These provisions follow the standard pattern for legislation of this kind.
17 Jan 2006 : Column 1315W
Jim Fitzpatrick: The 89 funds that comprise the local government pension scheme are valued by actuaries every three years, most recently in 2004. The results for English and Welsh local authorities participating in the scheme are given at:
Mr. Woolas: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has launched a public debate about the governance arrangements for local areas and are interested to hear views on the merits of change and how it might be made. We plan to publish a White Paper on the future of local government in the middle of next year.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the ranking was for each local authority which undertook a (a) full or (b) partial transfer under (i) the 1998 Index of Local Deprivation, (ii) the Indices of Deprivation 2000 and (iii) the Indices of Deprivation 2004 for each year in which transfers took place since 1997. 
Yvette Cooper: A table presenting the rank for each local authority which undertook (a) a full or (b) partial transfer under (i) the 1998 Index of Local Deprivation, (ii) the Indices of Deprivation 2000 and (iii) the Indices of Deprivation 2004 has been made available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the annual per capita allocation of revenue support grant was in Tamworth borough council in each of thelast eight years; what the annual percentage increasewas; and what the average per capita allocation was for English local authorities in each of the last eight years. 
Mr. Woolas: The following table shows formula grant per head for Tamworth, and all English local authorities for 199899 to 200506. Formula grant comprises revenue support grant, redistributed business rates and principal formula police grant.
It should be noted that Tamworth only provides some services within their area; for example education, social services, highway maintenance, police and fire services are provided by other authorities. The all English local authorities" column covers all services.
17 Jan 2006 : Column 1316W
|Tamworth||All English local authorities|
|Tamworth||All English local authorities|
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will, as part of the review of local government finance, take account of the additional spending needs of authorities with a disproportionately high number of un-adopted, privately owned, roads, walls and bridges in need of repair. 
Mr. Woolas: Routine road maintenance is financed partly by the local government finance settlement and partly by council tax. The maintenance of un-adopted, privately owned, roads, walls and bridges is not a matter for the local highway authority instead this is the responsibility of the owners.
Mr. Woolas: On 20 September, the Government extended Sir Michael Lyons' independent inquiry into local government funding so that he can consider issues relating to the wider functions of local government and its future role. It is for Sir Michael to decide when the Inquiry will stop taking evidence, before producing his final report at the end of 2006.
Meanwhile, Sir Michael published an interim report and consultation paper on 15 December 2005. That report welcomed views on the proposals and issues outlined in it by 13 March 2006.
17 Jan 2006 : Column 1317W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|