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Nine out of 245 respondents to the consultation disagreed or strongly disagreed that the Government should attempt to set out a clearer policy for professionals including the health service and youth workers on when to share information with social services and the police to protect sexually active
children from harm and abuse, and 23 out of 235 respondents disagreed that there was a case for information (including confidential information) always being shared in some circumstances.
The guidance contained in Working Together on sharing information about underage sexual activity recognises professionals' need to balance their duty of confidentiality to young people who access sexual services with the need to safeguard sexually active under-16-year-olds. Working Together sets out a framework to help professionals judge when to share information on this issue.
Research on the impact of the Beacon Scheme has been carried out since the first round of the scheme by Warwick Business School. Full details of published research can be found on the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) website at: www.odpm.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1137250.
A recent review of the scheme was also carried out by the independent advisory panel on Beacon Councils at the request of Ministers in October 2004. The Government's response to their recommendations was published in July 2005 and can be found on the DCLG website at: www.odpm.gov.uk/beaconcouncils.
Over the last year 90 per cent. of authorities have either applied for beacon status or sought to learn from a beacon and research by Warwick found that over the first five rounds, 79 per cent. of those attending beacon open days made positive changes as a result.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much the (a) average business rates bill in England and (b) total net revenue from business rates in England was in each year since 1997-98; and what his estimate is for (i) 2005-06 and (ii) 2006-07. 
The average business rates bill in England and total net revenue from business rates in England in each year from 1997-98 to 2004-05, and estimates for 2005-06 and 2006-07, are shown in the following table.
|Total net revenue (£ million)||Average business rates (£)|
Notices and other forms of advertisement which relate to any religious institution or religious event are permitted, subject to certain conditions and limitations. Whether the erection of a religious symbol such as a cross in the grounds of a church comes within the scope of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisement) Regulations 1992 depends on its size. Memorials are exempt from control.
Mike Penning: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total annual budget is of regional government's civic forums; if he will list the civic forums that have been established; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government have not established any regional civic forums, nor am I aware of any being established by the voluntary regional assemblies that have been designated to undertake certain specific tasks.
Mike Penning: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the number of parish councillors who have resigned in response to the introduction of the code of conduct; and how many seats are vacant. 
We have made no such estimate. There is no evidence to suggest that parish councillors resigned over the introduction of the code of conduct, which the National Association of Local Councils supports. Information is not held centrally on the number of vacant parish council seats.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether the National Audit Office has calculated a final liability for Colchester borough council for its investigation into the 2003-04 accounts; when Colchester borough council will be charged for this amount; and if he will make a statement. 
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what measures the Government are taking to encourage the development of community land trusts; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: We are always interested in new initiatives that help encourage active citizenship and that deliver more affordable housing where it is needed. English Partnerships is currently developing a pilot Community Land Trust to deliver affordable housing on public sector land at Cashes Green, Stroud. We will closely monitor developments there to help determine whether this model is effective and good value for money.
The normal retirement age for staff is 60. Staff below the senior civil service have the right to work up to the age of 65. Staff in the SCS may seek agreement to work up to the age of 65. In exceptional circumstances the Department may invite staff to work beyond 65, up to a maximum age of 70, to meet a particular business need.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues on ensuring that measures to prevent discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services are consistent with laws preventing religious discrimination. 
Meg Munn [holding answer 12 May 2006]: Discussions are ongoing about the interaction between the proposed new regulations and the provisions in part 2 of the Equality Act and the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, both in
terms of the current consultation paper Getting Equal: Proposals to Outlaw Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Provision of Goods and Services' and the wider Discrimination Law Review.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to ensure that future measures to prevent discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation will not prevent (a) bed and breakfast and (b) other accommodation providers from providing accommodation only for married couples. 
Meg Munn [holding answer 12 May 2006]: A consultation paper Getting Equal: Proposals to Outlaw Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Provision of Goods and Services' was published on 13 March, setting out the Government's proposal for the regulations and seeking the views of interested parties on their proposed shape and coverage. As set out in the consultation, we are proposing that the regulations would apply to providers of bed and breakfast and other accommodation, so the providers of such accommodation would not be able to offer accommodation only to married couples.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what measures to prevent discrimination in the provision of goods and services on grounds of sexuality are being considered by her Department. 
Meg Munn [holding answer 12 May 2006]: A consultation paper Getting Equal: Proposals to Outlaw Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Provision of Goods and Services' was published on 13 March, setting out the Government's proposal for regulations and seeking the views of interested parties on their proposed shape and coverage. As set out in the consultation, the Government propose to lay regulations that will be subject to affirmative resolution after the summer recess.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received from Christian (a) bed and breakfast and (b) other residential establishments on possible future measures to prevent discrimination on the grounds of sexuality in the provision of goods and services. 
Meg Munn [holding answer 12 May 2006]: A consultation paper Getting Equal: Proposals to Outlaw Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Provision of Goods and Services' was published on 13 March, and has already elicited responses on a variety of questions. All views submitted in response to the consultation will be considered so that these can be taken into account when the regulations are drafted. The consultation period will close on 5 June 2006 and in line with Cabinet Office guidelines the Government aim to publish a formal response to the consultation within 12 weeks of this date. This response will include a list of the non-confidential responses received and a summary of the views expressed in these responses.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much the Government have allocated to the English regional chambers in relation to the transfer of responsibilities from the regional housing boards. 
Yvette Cooper: We have set aside up to £850,000 additional grant in 2006-07 to support the regional chambers in carrying out the regional housing secretariat functions they have inherited from the regional housing boards. We expect other regional partners (for example, the Housing Corporation) to continue to contributewhether financially or in kindto the process.
Yvette Cooper: The technical provisions in Articles 3 to 6 of EU directive 2002/91/EC, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, have been implemented through an amendment of the Building Regulations. I have placed a copy of the final Regulatory Impact Assessment associated with this amendment in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.
There is a three-year derogation period within the Directive to apply fully the procedural provisions in Articles 7 to 10. We are developing a phased programme of implementation and a Regulatory Impact Assessment for this which will be published in due course.
Ms Barlow: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if the Minister with responsibility for the fire service will meet the fire service, representatives of the business community and the insurance industry to discuss fire safety and prevention. 
Angela E. Smith: Yes, it is my intention to meet with all key stakeholders, both internal and external, as and when appropriate. I understand that my predecessor met with representatives of the business community
and the insurance industry at a meeting of the Business and Community Safety Forum on 3 May 2006.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many hoax telephone calls were made to the fire brigade in (a) England, (b) the North East and (c) the Tees Valley in each year since 1997. 
(b) North East;
(c) Cleveland FRS (data for areas below FRS level are not available. Tees Valley is within Cleveland FRS area).
|Malicious false fire alarm calls attended by the fire and rescue service, 1997 to 2004|
|(1) Including estimates for incidents not recorded during periods of industrial action in 2002 and 2003. Source: Fire and Rescue Service FDR3 returns to ODPM.|
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