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Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what projects were managed by the Government Office for London in each year 1996 to 2006; and what the total funding for each project was. [77188]

Angela E. Smith: The Government Office for London (GOL) delivers policies and programmes on behalf of 10 central Government Departments. Programme expenditure figures are available from 1998-99 onwards. I have placed in the Library of the House of Commons tables showing a detailed breakdown of GOL's programme expenditure from 1998-99 to 2004-05, and for the 2005-06 budget (for which final outturn figures are not yet available). The tables make clear that not all programmes are directly delegated to GOL for allocation, but GOL is involved in the delivery and management of them.

Expenditure (£)

















Government Office for the North-East

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many whole-time equivalent staff there are in Government Office North East; how many there were in each year since 2001; and what staff reductions are projected in the next three years. [75252]

Angela E. Smith: The figures for whole-time equivalent staff in the Government Office for the North East for each year since 2001 is:

April each year: Number













It is expected that the number of staff will reduce by around a third by the end of 2008, compared to the 2004 figure.

Government Office for the West Midlands

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what strategies for sustainable development the Government Office for the West Midlands has in place. [79967]

Angela E. Smith: The Government's commitment to sustainable development in the regions is set out in “Securing the Regions' Futures, strengthening delivery of sustainable development in the English regions”, launched on 25 April 2006. The Government Office for the West Midlands is currently considering, in conjunction with Regional Partners, how it will take this work forward, in particular:

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Regional partners are responsible for the development of strategies, in particular the Regional Sustainable Development Framework (RSDF), which provide a framework for sustainable development in the West Midlands. The current RSDF was launched in January 2005. The Government Office for the West Midlands has actively supported and challenged partners to develop and use the RSDF in the development of regional and sub regional policies. It has been, or is being, used in the development of the Regional Housing Strategy, the Regional Rural Delivery Framework, the review of the Regional Economic Strategy and the Phase 1 review of the Regional Spatial Strategy, as well as a range of sub regional policies and plans.

A revised version of the RSDF, that incorporates lessons learned from the use of version 1, has been the subject of public consultation and the final document is in preparation.

The Regional Concordat is also being revised, led by the West Midlands Regional Assembly and supported by partners, including GOWM. This is a framework for partnership working and has sustainable development as one of its central tenets.

Sustainability West Midlands is the equivalent of a regional round table. Regional partners, including the Government Office for the West Midlands, have been very active in supporting and promoting its role as a regional champion for sustainable development. It has worked to embed sustainable development thinking into policy making and to develop the links between policy and practice through a wide range of projects.

The Regional Spatial Strategy for the West Midlands was issued as Regional Planning Guidance for the West Midlands (RPG11) in June 2004 on behalf of the Secretary of State by the Government Office for the West Midlands. A number of local authorities within the region have either prepared or are preparing their local development frameworks as part of the local planning process. These frameworks will include policies on sustainable development at the local level. The drafts seen to date have used the RSDF as a tool to help develop their policies.

Home Inspectors

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how a home inspector will be required to prove that he has valid professional indemnity insurance at the time he produced the report; what discussions the Government have had with the insurance industry to ensure that it will provide such insurance to qualified inspectors; what the expected cost is of professional indemnity insurance to an individual inspector; and whether the Government plan to give grants or loans to inspectors to help pay for professional indemnity insurance. [75417]

Yvette Cooper: In order to be approved by the Secretary of State, certification schemes will be required to have
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robust systems in place to ensure that Home Condition Reports (HCRs) are covered by indemnity insurance, before they are lodged on the central register.

Discussions have been held with insurers and underwriters covering 60 per cent. of the market volume for insurance for existing residential surveyors to ensure that indemnity insurance will be available for home inspectors. Further discussions are under way in the commercial sector to ensure that costs are kept to a minimum.

It is too early for insurers to quote costs but we anticipate that the cost for existing practitioners will be similar to that which applies now.

Home inspectors will be expected to pay for indemnity insurance, as is the case with chartered surveyors at present.

Housing (Luton)

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make an assessment of the impact on equalities of recent budget decisions by Luton council. [80520]

Meg Munn: Public authorities are legally responsible for assessing the impact on equalities of their own policies (including decisions that revise a policy) and functions. The Commission for Racial Equality has powers of enforcement if the Commission is of the view that a public authority has not complied with the duty to promote race equality. Otherwise it is for a public authority itself, in this case Luton council, to demonstrate how its decisions take account of the duty and this is subject to audit.

Living Naze Community Project

Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what correspondence her Department has had with the East of England Development Agency concerning the Living Naze community project in Walton-on-the-Naze. [76352]

Yvette Cooper: There has been no correspondence between the Department for Communities and Local Government and the East of England Development Agency concerning the Living Naze community project in Walton-on-the-Naze.

Local Government

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many written representations her Department has received from (a) district and (b) county councils calling for unitary status. [70570]

Mr. Woolas: Our records show receipt of over 60 written representations in favour of the principle of unitary local government—24 from district council members and officers and eight from county council members and officers.

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Local Government Finance

Mr. Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much the Government has paid in subsidy to each local authority since 2002. [79379]

Mr. Woolas: A table detailing the amount of central Government grant paid to each local authority since 2002-03 has been made available in the Library of the House.

The data are taken from Revenue Summary (RS) returns for 2002-03 to 2004-05.

Central Government grant is defined here as the sum of Specific grants inside Aggregate External Finance (AEF), General GLA grant and Formula grant (Revenue Support Grant, Redistributed business rates and Police Grant).

Specific grants inside Aggregate External Finance are those revenue grants paid for councils’ core services (such as waste collection), excluding funding for local authorities’ housing management, and can be paid to any type of authority.

Combined Fire authorities did not receive Formula grant until they became major precepting authorities on 1 April 2004. Waste and waste disposal authorities and Passenger Transport Authorities do not directly receive Formula grant but receive levy income from their constituent authorities. They may, however, receive some specific grants. National Park Authorities do not receive Formula grant but receive specific grants, except Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, which receives levy income from its constituent authorities.

Comparisons across years may not be valid due to changing local authority responsibilities.

The information excludes those grant programmes, such as European funding, where authorities are simply one of the recipients of funding paid towards an area.

Local Government Staff (Salaries)

Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average annual wage was of (a) local government chief executives in England and (b) local government workers in each year since 1997. [79879]

Mr. Woolas: The requested information has been calculated from information provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Local Government Employers (LGE) Organisation and is shown in the following table:

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Chief Executives( 1, 3, 6) Local government services( 2, 3, 4, 5)

























(1) Source: Local Government Employers Organisation: Chief Executive and Chief Officer Salaries and Numbers Surveys 1997-2005.
(2) Source: ONS: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), Table 19.7a, full-time employees, Local authority single status national agreement group, 1999-2004.
(3) England only figures are not available. The Chief Executive figures are for England and Wales and the Local Government Services figures are for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, as England is the dominant member of the groupings it is unlikely that the trends would differ if the figures were for England only.
(4) ASHE only collected annual earnings figures from 1999 onwards.
(5 )ASHE figures cover earnings rather than basic pay, they are available for earnings less overtime but not for basic pay only.
(6) The Chief Executive figures cover basic salary. Basic salaries are often enhanced by a range of additional bonuses which may include other remunerations such as performance related pay, market supplement, long service supplement, evening meeting allowance and car allowances.
(7) 2004 figures are provisional due to an ONS methodology review.
(8) 2005 figures are not yet available from this source.

Local Strategic Partnerships

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to ensure that local strategic partnerships play a leading role in the reduction of (a) criminal and (b) antisocial behaviour in their areas. [78330]

Mr. Woolas: In the recent consultation on the future of local strategic partnerships, LSP were positioned as the overarching partnership in an area that would bring all relevant service deliverers together. In order for this to work effectively the consultation described the LSP as needing to consist of a board, which will determine the priorities for an area through the Local Area Agreement, and a series of thematic sub-partnerships including the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) which would deliver against these agreed priorities.

The Home Office’s recent Crime and Disorder Act review built on this model and gave further emphasis to the strategic leadership role to the LSP in reducing crime and antisocial behaviour through its setting of the LAA targets. Furthermore, all LAAs contain mandatory targets on both crime and antisocial behaviour, which are developed by LSPs.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department receives annual reports by local strategic partnerships on their (a) performance and (b) auditing of expenditure. [79682]

Mr. Woolas: Outside areas receiving Neighbourhood Renewal Funding Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) are voluntary partnerships and hence are not monitored on an individual basis by the Department. There are no requirements for LSPs to report to the Secretary of State on their performance. Where a locality has a local area agreement, the LSP, through the local authority, will report on progress to the Government Office on a six-monthly basis. This report is made available to the Secretary of State.

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