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Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many private sector providers of building regulation enforcement have been debarred from that role for poor performance in the last five years. 
Angela E. Smith: The Construction Industry Council (CIC) acts as the Department for Communities and Local Government Designated Agent for the purpose of examining, approving and maintaining standards for approved inspectors. No approved inspectors have been removed from the CIC's register for poor performance in the last five years.
Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment has been made of the performance of (a) public and (b) private providers of building regulation enforcement in enforcing energy conservation measures. 
Yvette Cooper: The primary responsibility for compliance with the Building Regulations, including those dealing with energy efficiency, rests with those carrying out the building work. The Department for Communities and Local Government has made no formal assessment of the effectiveness of building control in this respect. However, operational and performance issues are discussed with representatives of building control bodies and are the subject of advice from the statutory advisory committee. My officials have played a key role in supporting an industry initiative to develop building control performance indicators and revised performance standards, due to be launched soon. In the context of a strategic review of the regulations, we will be exploring the options for improving compliance.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many complaints she has received about the operation of Part P of the Building Regulations since it was reformed; which organisations have written to her opposing those changes; and if she will make a statement. 
Angela E. Smith:
Part P was reformed by way of an amendment to the Building Regulations (SI 2006 No. 652) on 6 April 2006. During April and May, the Department for Communities and Local Government received around 200 inquiries about Part P. The majority asked for further information or clarification, while
around 10 per cent. were general complaints. The Department is aware of only one letter from an individual complaining specifically about the amendment, and a letter in February from the Electrical Safety council opposing the proposed changes.
Mr. Woolas: As part of the Government's work on cities and towns, last year Ministers held summits with each of the eight core cities: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield. This year, Ministers have held summits with smaller cities and towns: with Regional Cities East on 10 March; with Central Lancashire on 15 May; with Coastal Towns on 16 May; and with Tees Valley and Hull and the Humber on 22 May. We plan to hold two further summits this year, one with towns and cities in the South-West and the second with towns and cities in the Midlands and South-East (the Growing Places summit). We also plan to hold two mini-summits, in Stoke-on-Trent and in York. The dates of these four events have not been finalised.
Following the summits of last autumn, the eight core cities were asked to develop business cases for their areas, setting out their vision and related barriers and enablers. Birmingham and Manchester have presented these to Ministers and further presentations for the remaining six cities are planned or expected during this and the next few months.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what criteria must be met for civil servants in her Department to
claim back or have paid for them overnight accommodation in London; and what criteria applied to civil servants in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. 
Angela E. Smith: Staff who work in the Department for Communities and Local Government may claim overnight subsistence if they stay away from home overnight on official business away from their normal workplace. Subsistence covers a period of 24 hours to meet the actual receipted costs of meals and accommodation. There are different indicative ceilings for night subsistence in London and elsewhere. Current indicative rates for London are £95 per night. The same criteria applied to staff working in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
Angela E. Smith: I have no direct responsibility for the Construction Industry Council (CIC) although the Department for Communities and Local Government use them as agents to help us appoint private sector approved inspectors for building control. CIC is an independent representative forum for the professional bodies, research organisations and specialist business associations in the construction industry.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) name, (b) professional and academic qualifications and (c) relevant experience are of the Chief Accounting Officer of her Department. 
The Accounting Officer is a role that the Permanent Secretary combines with his/her personal responsibility for the overall organisation, management and staffing of the Department and for Department-wide procedures in financial and other matters. The Accounting Officer is assisted in the discharge of these duties by suitably qualified experienced senior managers.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to encourage more (a) women and (b) ethnic minority candidates to apply to join the Fire Service; what questions are asked of applicants to assess commitment to equality and diversity; what measures she has put in place to ensure more (i) women and (ii) ethnic minority staff have access to senior positions; what targets have been set for representative numbers of women and ethnic minorities within the whole service; and if she will make a statement. 
Angela E. Smith: The Fire and Rescue National Framework set out the Government's commitment to achieve greater diversity within the fire and rescue service. We are supporting the service to build a more diverse work force, including women, ethnic minorities and other under-represented groups.
On 16 May I announced the launch of a national awareness raising advertising campaign aimed specifically at women to encourage them to consider a career as a firefighter. We have developed national firefighter selection tests with the aim of ensuring fairness and consistency in selection procedures across the service. The new process will require all applicants to be asked to demonstrate their commitment to equality and diversity in their responses to questions at the application form, written test and interview stages. These are designed to identify that they understand and respect diversity and have a fair and ethical approach to others.
The repeal of the Fire Services (Appointments and Promotion) Regulations in October 2004 has enabled people to apply to join the fire and rescue service at any level in the organisation, including strategic management. In addition, recruitment, retention and career progression targets for women and ethnic minority staff have been set for every fire and rescue service.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much the Fire Services College charged each brigade in Scotland for providing (a) training courses and (b) access to the college's library and online information and development resources in each of the last 10 years. 
Angela E. Smith: Information on the provision of training and library services by the Fire Service College is only available for the past five years. The amount charged by the College to Scottish Fire and Rescue Services is as follows:
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