|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
The data are as reported by local authorities on the annual CTB1 return. Dwellings that are subject to the Council Tax (Reductions for Disabilities) Regulations 1992, as amended, are charged council tax at the rate of one band lower than that on the Valuation Office valuation list. Council tax for a Band A dwelling is charged at 5/9 of the council tax of a Band D dwelling; Band A dwellings are charged at 6/9 of the council tax of a Band D dwelling.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department has (a) directly and (b) indirectly employed illegal immigrants as security guards. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department is committed to the achievement of environmental management to ISO 14001 standard; and if she will make a statement. 
The new targets included a commitment that all Government Departments should have an environmental management system (EMS) in place, based, or modelled upon, a recognised system, such as ISO 14001, or the European regulation EMAS.
Some 82 per cent. of the Department of Communities and Local Government staff, including executive agencies, work in three properties that are covered by an environmental management system (EMS) that have certified accreditation to ISO 14001:2004. Our other four significant buildings have an EMS in place and are working towards ISO 14001 accreditation.
In the small propertiesin Barton, Glossop, Garston and Bootlewhere it is considered that an EMS is not economically viable, the Department has worked with their local authority to minimise their environmental impact.
Angela E. Smith: Estimates of average house prices at local authority level, including each London borough, are available back to 1996 and are on Land Registry data. The figures for 1996 to 2005 are available on the Department for Communities and Local Government website as Table 585.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what public funds are available to improve energy efficiency standards for new housing built under the sustainable communities programme. 
Angela E. Smith: The Government are committed to improving energy efficiency in all housing. The new Buildings Regulations Part L, taken with changes to strengthen the building regulations in 2002 and 2005, will improve energy efficiency standards by 40 per cent. from April 2002 levels. The new draft code for sustainable homes will also raise the environmental standard of housing further and will signal the future direction of building regulations.
To achieve the higher levels of housing growth set out in the sustainable communities plan new homes must be built in a sustainable way to reduce their environmental impact and carbon footprint. We have already committed around £400 million to the development of the three growth areas and £850 million for the Thames Gateway up to March 2008. This is to deliver on all aspects of a sustainable community, including environmental performance.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance the Government has given to (a) local education authorities and (b) local authorities on the collection and the use of biometric identification for the provision of local authority services. 
Mr. Woolas: The Government have given no guidance to (a) local education authorities or (b) local authorities on the collection and use of biometric identification for the provision of local services.
Angela E. Smith: The forthcoming comprehensive spending review will set public service agreements for delivery of public services. We are currently considering arrangements for the development of a new performance framework local government including the role of targets. We intend that further details of this will be reflected in the local government White Paper to be published after recess.
In the meantime, we are setting up a Lifting Burdens Task Force, which will identify and agree removal of the most burdensome and least value indicators and information requirements imposed by central Government.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what analysis will be undertaken prior to the allocation of funding to local authorities in 2007-08 of the impact on services provision of the immigration to the UK of people from accession countries in the EU since May 2004; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: The Department for Communities and Local Government uses population data provided by the Office for National Statistics. These are the best data available on a consistent basis for all authorities. The formula grant distribution system was changed for 2006-07 and 2007-08 to take into account population projections. The projections includes net migration in local authority areas.
Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what administrative functions for which her Department is responsible are outsourced overseas; and what assessment she has made of the merits of outsourcing further such functions overseas. 
Angela E. Smith: No administrative functions for which the Department for Communities and Local Government is responsible have been outsourced overseas. No assessment has therefore been made of the merits of outsourcing such functions.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for which services (a) her Department and (b) its associated public bodies hold contracts with the Post Office; and what the (i) start and (ii) termination date is of each contract. 
|(1) DCLGs Executive agencies report no contracts. (2) Castle Vale and Liverpool Housing Action Trusts have been wound up so provision of data are disproportionate. (3) The Rent Assessment Panels report no contracts.|
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of documents relating to the attendance of the head of the rating policy team at the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation conference on post revaluation and current issues on maintaining the business rates system in Blackpool on 11 to 12 May 2006. 
Mr. Woolas: A copy of the slides for the presentation entitled business ratespost revaluation and current issues, given to this conference by the head of the business rates team in my Department are on the internet at:-
Judy Mallaber: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what is the timetable for the opening of regional fire control centres in (a) the East Midlands and (b) each of the other areas due to have such centres. 
Angela E. Smith: It is currently forecast that the East Midlands Regional Control Centre will open in financial year 2008-09. A two-three year phased rollout will then follow for the remaining Centres. The roll out schedule will be finalised with the IT supplier, once appointed.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of the Supporting People initiative for older people living in sheltered housing; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: Supporting People is a programme that enables the local funding and provision of housing-related support services that help people to continue or move towards living independently in their own home and in the community. Through the programme, support is provided to a broad range of vulnerable groups and through a variety of service types.
Assessments to date of Supporting People, as carried out by the Audit Commission, have looked at either the programme as a whole or at the operation of the programme in specific local authorities. As such, there has been no specific assessment to date that looks only at the effectiveness of Supporting People for older people in sheltered housing. However, the Audit Commissions national report on Supporting People, issued in October 2005, concluded that the introduction of the programme has resulted in improved services for many vulnerable people.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment has been made by the (a) Valuation Office Agency and (b) Valuation Tribunal Service of whether a water shortage or drought may represent a physical change in infrastructure to a business that is dependent on water for its business and thereby affects its valuation and liability for business rates; and what guidance has been published. 
(a) the Valuation Office Agency provided written guidance in June to its valuation officers on whether the present water shortage and measures that have or may be introduced can affect rateable values. The Valuation Office Agencys advice is that the imposition of drought orders is a legal change that may restrict the
ability to use a property and this should be regarded as a matter affecting the physical enjoyment of the property. Whether this will affect the valuation will depend on the individual circumstances of any particular property. It is unlikely that the drought itself constitutes a physical change to a property's locality or infrastructure.
(b) the Valuation Tribunal Service has made no assessment on the impact of water restrictions on liability or valuations. Valuation tribunals are charged with determining rateable values on appeal when ratepayers and valuation officers disagree. Whether water restrictions impact on valuations is a matter for individual valuation tribunals to consider on the evidence presented in any particular case.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|