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Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding is available for temporary to permanent housing initiatives in the 2006 to 2008 National Affordable Housing Programme in Tamworth; and if she will make a statement. 
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) supports innovative schemes
which provide settled housing solutions for households in temporary accommodation. Where these schemes offer value for money but require capital investment DCLG would encourage Regional Housing Boards to support bids for Affordable Housing Programme funding.
Using the bedroom standard, the only recent estimate of the number of overcrowded households in Staffordshire is 3,000. This is from an ad hoc report based on combined data from both the Survey of English Housing and the Department for Work and Pensions Family Resources Survey for the three years 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2002-03.
Estimates based on the statutory standard are not available because the underlying data are not collected systematically. A one-off estimate was made in the autumn of 2001 that there were approximately 25,000 households across the whole of England that were in conditions of overcrowding that breached the statutory standard. This estimate was based on data from the Survey of English Housing for the period 1997-98 to 1999-2000 and from the 1996 English House Condition Survey. Equivalent estimates for Staffordshire are not available.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authorities have used the housing safety checklist to tackle overcrowding; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The Housing Health and Safety Rating System, introduced on 6 April, enables local authorities to assess the severity of up to 29 health and safety hazards in homes, including hazards arising from overcrowding. Authorities are not required to report the use they make of the system or the actions they take in response to hazard assessments, but the Department plans to evaluate the operation of the system in due course.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many illegal immigrants have been discovered to be employed by her Department in each year since 2001; in what capacities they were employed; how many were discovered as part of a criminal investigation; and what the nature was of the charges brought against them. 
Yvette Cooper: The Department for Communities and Local Government is working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to develop a draft annex to Planning Policy Statement 23 on light pollution for consultation later this year.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will ring-fence for a period of two years the money received from the discretionary ending by local authorities of the council tax discount on empty properties for projects to bring empty properties back into use. 
Yvette Cooper: Local authorities raised an additional £72 million by using their powers to reduce or remove the council tax discount on empty homes in 2005-06. The Government believe that local authorities should have the freedom to apply any additional resources raised in line with local priorities rather than prescribing what these should be.
Yvette Cooper: The Government make a net contribution to the Housing Revenue Account, which is redistributed between local authority areas. A table showing the housing revenue account surpluses paid to Government (and the subsidies paid by Government to authorities) has been placed in the House Library. This shows that in 2005-06 166 local authorities paid surpluses totalling £546,936,692 and 66 local authorities received subsidies totalling £754,559,247.
The system was different prior to April 2004. The figures given for 2002-03 and 2003-04 are for the
nearest equivalentthe "housing element surplus or subsidy" i.e. the net position excluding rent rebate subsidies.
Mr. Andy Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which officials in her Department (a) are responsible for Olympics-related activity and (b) sit on the Inter-Departmental Steering Group for the Olympics. 
Angela E. Smith: The Director General, Places, Planning and Communities Group, is responsible for Olympics-related activity in this Department. The Director of Thames Gateway Delivery and Olympics sits on the Inter-Departmental Steering Group for the Olympics. In addition, a broad network of officials from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has been established to support DCLG Olympic policy objectives.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will list the major planning applications in London that have been called in due to the level of social housing in each of the past three years. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 22 May 2006]: The Secretary of State sets out the matters to be considered at the public inquiry in her direction to call in, under rule 6(12) of the 2000 Inquiry Procedure rules. The following planning applications called in between 1 April 2003 and 31 March 2006 contained matters relating to affordable housing that the Secretary of State wished to be considered at the public inquiry.
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To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what steps her Department has taken to publicise the consultation on the Regional Spatial Development Framework in
(a) England and (b) the North West of England; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) if she will make a statement on the operation of the Regional Spatial Development Framework consultations; for what reasons those consultations have been instituted; what connection the consultations have with European Union policy; and what the role is of (a) the Government Office for the North West and (b) the North West Regional Assembly in the consultations; 
Yvette Cooper: Under the terms of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 every region is required to have a Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) which sets out the Government's policies in relation to the development and use of land within the region.
In all regions (including the North West), the RSS is drafted by the relevant regional planning body (in this case the North West Regional Assembly), who then make the draft RSS available for public consultation over a period of 12 weeks usually by posting it on the web, making copies available in public libraries and sending electronic and/or paper copies to a range of stakeholders.
In all cases, these public consultations on the draft RSS are a part of the statutory process for preparing the RSS as set out in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, associated regulations and guidance. The strategy set out in the RSS would need to take account of any relevant European Union and UK policies. In terms of roles, in all cases (a) the Government Offices are responsible for coordinating the Government's role in the RSS process at all key stages, while (b) the Regional Planning Bodies (such as the North West Regional Assembly) are responsible for preparing the draft RSS and for implementing and monitoring the final RSS issued by Government.
Whenever the Government Office makes a response to the Draft RSS, that response is made publicly available. In the case of the North West RSS, the Government Office North West will shortly post its response to the Draft RSS on its website at www.gonw.gov.uk
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what role is envisaged for county councils in establishing the Regional Spatial Strategy for the East Midlands. 
County councils must be consulted when Regional Spatial Strategies are being prepared and must be given the first opportunity to make detailed proposals for sub-regional strategies. In the East Midlands, counties are fully engaged in preparing
the Regional Spatial Strategy for submission to the Secretary of State in the autumn and are chairing three sub-area working groups which will set out proposals. In addition, county council staff chair the various topic-based advisory groups that inform the development of RSS policy. Northamptonshire county council was closely involved in preparing the sub regional strategy for Milton Keynes and South Midlands that is already part of the regional spatial strategy. Once the strategy is published, county councils will be expected to help monitor its implementation.
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