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Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she will reply to the letter of 29 March from the hon. Member for Northavon on behalf of Mr. Perkins, a constituent, on energy conservation. 
Angela E. Smith: The Department has no record of receiving the hon. Members letter of 29 March. Officials have now obtained a copy of the letter from the hon. Member and a reply will be sent shortly.
The data are as reported by all billing local authorities in England on the annual CTB1 forms. The number of individuals liable for council tax cannot be accurately determined from these or other sources.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 23 November 2005, Official Report, column 2063W, on council tax revaluation, for how many residential properties in England the Valuation Office Agency had (a) dwelling house codes data and (b) value significant codes data on the most recent date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Woolas: As at 3 July 2006 the Valuation Office Agency had dwelling house code data on 21,905,065 out of 22,131,262 dwellings in England. On this date there were 5,604,096 dwellings with value significant codes.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what measures are in place to ensure that no illegal immigrants are employed in the manned guarding of her Department's premises. 
Angela E. Smith: Security guards engaged in guarding the Department's premises are employed via contractors. Guards are subject to the Government Basic Check regime which includes checks on passports, leave to remain in or enter the U.K. and verification of employment history. In addition all guards are licensed by the Security Industry Authority under the Private Security Industry Act 2001. Guards in the London headquarter buildings are also subject to security vetting at Counter-Terrorist Check (CTC) level.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 27 June 2006, Official Report, column 290W, on departmental staff, what the estimated cost is of relocating civil servants from 26 Whitehall to Eland House. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 27 June 2006, Official Report, column 290W, on departmental staff, what the function is of the ministerial group in 26 Whitehall. 
Angela E. Smith: The nine staff of the ministerial group currently based in 26 Whitehall will move to the Department's headquarters in Eland House once space is made available there in the summer. The functions carried out by the staff include parliamentary business and finance and IT support for the ministerial group.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to ensure that all flights undertaken by Ministers and officials in her Department are carbon neutral; and if she will make a statement. 
Angela E. Smith: All central Government ministerial and official air travel is being offset from 1 April 2006. Departmental aviation emissions are calculated on an annual basis and subsequently offset through payments to a central fund. The fund purchases certified emissions reductions credits from energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with sustainable development benefits, located in developing countries.
Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps the Government are taking to encourage local councils to make council services available via the internet. 
Angela E. Smith: We have invested £675 million in local electronic government over the last five years, taking the electronic enablement of council services from 26 per cent. in 2001 up to 98 per cent. in 2006. Through the local e-government programme, every council in England has received £0.9 million in capital grant from the DCLG to help deliver e-government, including making council services available via the internet. In May, we launched the £5 million 'Connect to your council1 national advertising campaign, designed to raise citizen awareness and take-up of council services online, while at the same time encouraging councils to see the internet as a mainstream channel for service delivery.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether equalities impact assessments (a) are required and (b) may be directed in relation to local authorities budget decisions. 
Meg Munn: All local authorities are require to undertake race equality impact assessments on policies and functions where there is relevance to race equality. This could include budget decisions if they are to result in a policy change that is likely to have an adverse impact on any ethnic group or if there is an opportunity to promote race equality. It is for the public authority to screen their policies, functions and decisions to decide whether there is any relevance to race equality, and if so to undertake a race equality impact assessment.
The Secretary of State may not direct an authority to conduct an impact assessment, but the Commission for Racial Equality has the power to issue a compliance notice to public authorities if the Commission believes that the authority is failing in its duties to promote race equality.
Under the forthcoming public sector duties on disability equality (to come into effect December 2006) and gender equality (April 2007), local authorities will be required to carry out impact assessments on their current or proposed policies and practices which will help them achieve disability and gender equality in their activities and business planning process. These duties will be enforceable by the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission, respectively. The Commission for Equality and Human Rights will take over these enforcement powers from October 2007.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the scoping study produced by National Energy Services for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on the implementation of EU Directive 2002/91/EC. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many firefighter trainees were taken on by fire authorities in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
| Source: Fire and rescue service returns to the Department for Communities and Local Government.|
|Number of firefighters leaving the fire and rescue service in England|
|WT( 1)||RDS( 2)||Total||WT( 1)||RDS( 2)||Total||WT( 1)||RDS( 2)||Total|
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