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Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent on average in real terms by (a) district councils and (b) shire county councils on employing staff in (i) 1998 and (ii) the latest year for which figures are available. 
|District councils||Shire county councils|
Total expenditure on employees is reported by local authorities to ODPM on Revenue Outturn (RO) forms. This includes all direct and indirect employee expenses and contributions to employee-related provisions, including national insurance contributions, pensions and employee related expenses.
Figures for 2004-05 are not directly comparable with figures for 1998-99. This is because the outturn data for 1998-99 have been calculated on a non-FRS (Financial Reporting Standard) 17 basis while the outturn data for 2004-05 have been calculated on a FRS 17 basis.
Mr. Woolas: Total revenue expenditure of local authorities in England in each of the last five years can be found in table 4 of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) Statistical Release: Local authority revenue expenditure and financing England: 2004-05 final outturn. This release is on the ODPM website at: http://www.local.odpm.gov.uk/finance/stats/natstats.htm#rev.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether (a) fire authorities, (b) police authorities, (c) parish councils and (d) the Greater London Authority have powers to organise and hold local polls or referendums on local issues. 
Mr. Woolas: Fire authorities and police authorities have no powers to hold local referendums. Parish councils do not have powers to organise and hold local referendums, but electors can demand a referendum on a question arising at a parish meeting, which is carried out by the district council. The Greater London Authority has powers to organise and hold referendums on local issues.
Mr. Woolas: Outside of Neighbourhood Renewal Fund areas local strategic partnerships are currently voluntary partnerships governed by non-statutory guidance issued in 2001, as such there is no requirement for the partnership collectively to report verbally or in writing to the local authority or a centrally-specified formal mechanism for local councillors to put (a) oral and (b) written questions to the local strategic partnership.
Individual local authorities working within LSPs need to determine which elected members are involved and what role they should play'.
It should be ensured that councillors are properly included in the process'.
The local Government Act 2000 provides for a code of conduct to apply to members and co-opted members of every relevant authority. The Standards Board of England policies this code. Non-local authority members would conduct themselves with reference to their own professional or corporate code of conduct and comply with any advice that accompanies this.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many unique visitors the http://www.localvisionforum.net/ website has received in each month since its establishment. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was not charged for the local vision forum. It was created as part of the DCA-funded Digital Dialogues project, evaluated by the Hansard Society, to investigate Government use of ICT to promote digital democracy.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many non-domestic hereditaments were shown in the rating list for England, under the description of communication stations, in the local authority area of (a) Brentwood and (b) Epping Forest in (i) 1998 and (ii) 2005. 
Mr. Woolas: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) on 20 December 2005, Official Report, column 2836W, and 20 January 2006, Official Report, column 2836W.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Ordnance Survey data is being used in a pilot of intelligent speed adaptation technology in London. The pilot involves co-operative working between organisations from government and the private sector.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what revenue was raised from the police precept on council tax in 1997-98 in each police authority in England and Wales; and what the forecast is for 2006-07. 
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