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13 Feb 2006 : Column 1617W—continued

Domestic Violence

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proportion of people accessing a service through Supporting People were at risk of domestic violence on the latest date for which figures are available. [51347]

Mr. Woolas: Information is collected by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister from service providers on the number of new clients accessing services through the Supporting People programme.

Of the 82,000 clients that took up services through the programme during April-September 2005, 11 per cent. were defined primarily as women at risk of domestic violence, while a further 2 per cent. of clients were defined secondarily as women at risk of domestic violence.

Empty Homes

Anne Main: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the trend in the number of empty homes since 2001. [45825]


 
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Yvette Cooper: The number of vacant dwellings in England, from 2001 to 2004, is tabled as follows. These figures are the latest available data:
Snapshot dateNumber of vacant dwellings
20011 April753,100
20021 November758,100
20033 November745,000
20041 November716,800



Source:
The 2001 figure is based on a combination of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) return, and the Housing Corporation's Regulatory Statistical Return (RSR). For the years 2002 to 2004 the figures are based on ODPM's Council Tax Base 1 (CTB1) return.


These figures are for all vacant dwellings, including dwellings that have been empty for fewer than six months, some for less than one month.

The number of vacant dwellings in England has fallen from 2001 to 2004, by approximately 36,000. There is not sufficient data to establish a firm trend. As indicated in its response to Kate Barker's Review of Housing Supply, the Government are exploring ways to make significant reductions in the number of empty homes, particularly those that remain empty for long periods. The Government are introducing new powers from April 2006 for local authorities to reduce the number of long-term empty homes in their area.

Euro

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a copy of the Valuation Tribunal Service's plan approved by his Department on preparing for the introduction of the Euro. [47141]

Mr. Woolas: All Central Government Departments and their sponsored bodies have been asked by HM Treasury to prepare high level plans for introducing the Euro. A copy of the Euro Conversion (High Level Plan) produced by the Valuation Tribunal Service has been made available in the Library of the House.

Falmer Stadium Application

Norman Baker: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what advice he received from officials in respect of the four planning applications for a stadium at Falmer, near Lewes, between the receipt of the report from Mr. John Collyer in December 2003 and the issuing of the decision letter on 27 October 2005. [46012]

Yvette Cooper: Information relating to internal meetings, discussion and advice is not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.

Fire Services

Mr. Bone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had with the fire service regarding the provision of equipment. [47625]


 
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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 each fire and rescue authority to determine appropriate fire cover in its area including the provision of equipment.

It is also not the role of Ministers to agree the operational proposals in an authority's plan; that is for elected members of the authority concerned. They are best placed to act on the professional advice of principal officers and to balance the competing local demands on available resources for the benefits of the communities they serve.

John McDonnell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many firefighter vacancies there are in each fire authority area. [49709]


 
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Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

John McDonnell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many retained duty system firefighter vacancies there are in each fire authority area. [49710]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

John McDonnell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many firefighters have been retired due to ill-health and injury before retirement age in each of the last five financial years. [49708]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of firefighters in England that have been retired due to ill-health and injury in each year is presented as follows:
1999–20002000–01(24)2001–022002–032003–04
Total number of ill-health and injury retirements625647630587531
Whole-time firelighter ill health retirements557578570545485
Retained duty system firefighter ill-health retirements6869604246
Percentage of total whole-time firefighter retirements52.050.950.742.146.5
Percentage of total retained duty system firefighter retirements30.528.920.517.121.3


(24) Figures for West Sussex are not available
Source:
ODPM annual returns


John McDonnell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what contribution employers have made to the Firefighters' Pension Scheme in each of the last five financial years. [49707]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Firefighters' Pension Scheme is an unfunded scheme and pensions are paid by fire and rescue authorities from revenue. There is therefore no employer contribution. The cost of the scheme is currently estimated to be 37.5 per cent. of pensionable pay and has increased from 34.75 per cent. since 1998. Members pay a contribution of 11 per cent. of pensionable pay which has remained unaltered since 1991.

Galileo European Satellite

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans the Ordnance Survey has to use the Galileo European satellite. [51073]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Ordnance Survey makes significant use today of global positioning system (GPS) technology to maintain the national geospatial database in Great Britain and plans to replace its existing national GPS infrastructure with GPS+Galileo enabled receivers over the next two years as part of its routine asset replacement programme. It is expected that Galileo will give Ordnance Survey, and all professional users of satellite navigation, greater signal availability, acquisition speed and accuracy.

Gaming International Ltd

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the contracts which have been awarded to Gaming International Ltd. by English Partnerships; and for what project each contract was awarded. [47668]

Yvette Cooper: English Partnerships has contracts with Gaming International Ltd. relating to the development agreement for land in the Ashland area and Elfield Park in Milton Keynes:

In addition English Partnerships has granted Gaming International a licence to charge which allows it to make charges relating to land at the East Ashland Greyhound Stadium and the operating of the National Bowl.

The development agreement releases brownfield land for the housing development of 380 new homes.


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