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The numbers of new dwellings estimates are from completions figures supplied by the local authorities. Proportions on brownfield and greenfield land are from the Departments Land Use Change Statistics. The figures do not include conversions. Information for the constituency, which cuts across local authority boundaries, is not available.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes there were in (a) Rochford District Council area, (b) Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and (c) Rochford and Southend East constituency in each year since 1997. 
|Rochford||Southend on Sea|
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the likely effect of the Housing Act 2004 on the operation of the right to buy; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The changes made by the Housing Act 2004 to the right to buy scheme were designed to tackle profiteering by tenants and by property developers, and to restore the schemes focus on long-term home ownership and the building of stable communities.
In particular, the Act discourages tenants from buying their homes at a discount in the knowledge that they will receive full market value compensation because the properties are scheduled for demolition. It also discourages them from selling on quickly to companies, which thereby acquire properties at discounted prices. The Act benefits tenants by requiring social landlords to provide them with more information about the costs of home ownership, including the costs of maintenance.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how (a) tenants and (b) the public can assess the relative performance of housing associations; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 20 July 2006]: There are a number of ways in which tenants and the public can gain information on the performance of RSLs. An annual Housing Corporation Assessment (HCA) is published for each RSL with over 250 homes. This gives an overview of performance and a rating in respect of the RSLs performance in areas of governance, management, financial viability and where relevant, development. The Corporation also publishes performance indicator data for RSLs with over 250 homes and an Operating Costs Index which allows comparison to be made between the costs of similar organisations. Additionally, the Audit Commission which is responsible for the inspection of RSLs publishes a report on the performance of individual RSLs, including the award of a star rating.
Mr. Woolas: We do not hold the total figures of regeneration spend for the Riverside constituency since 1997. The following table details regeneration funding spent or allocated from which Riverside has benefited. For some budgets, it is not possible to disaggregate to ward and constituency boundaries.
|Type of funding||Period||Area allocated||Amount (£ million)|
|(1) Forecast. (2) Includes part of Riverside. (3) Not fully allocated at present. (4) Estimate. (5) Schemes commissioned. (6) Schemes currently in development.|
In addition to the aforementioned funding, considerable amounts of funding have been made available from English Partnerships, the North West Development Agency and other sources. However it is not possible to identify funding which has gone specifically towards regeneration in the Riverside constituency as this information is not held at constituency level. Riverside will also have benefited from projects funded through objective 1 delivered across Merseyside, for example by the Learning and Skills Council, Business Link and Merseyside Special Investment Fund.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of funds in each local government pension scheme is invested in socially responsible investment funds. 
Mr. Woolas: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Individual Local Government Pension Scheme fund authorities in England and Wales can provide specific figures for their funds.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment the Government has made of the merits of cancelling the (a) 2007 and (b) 2008 local elections to facilitate local government reorganisation in two-tier areas. 
Mr. Woolas: We have already confirmed that we expect and intend the 2007 and 2008 elections to go ahead. The details of our approach to restructuring will be set out in the forthcoming White Paper which will be published shortly after the summer recess.
Angela E. Smith: The Digital National Framework (DNF) is an industry standard for integrating and sharing business and geographic information from multiple sources. It is supported by Ordnance Survey and a number of other organisations. DNF is directed and overseen by an Expert Group which has over 40 members from the public and private sectors and academia. The Group has produced a road map to achieve its aims and is actively working on most elements of this. All progress is reported on the DNF website at www.dnf.org. The majority of recent effort has been directed at creating a framework for unique identifiers.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) whether Planning Gain Supplement will be levied on developments by (a) local authorities and (b) housing associations; 
John Healey: The Government consulted on their proposals for Planning-gain Supplement (PGS), including on scope, in their consultation paper published alongside the 2005 pre-Budget report. As set out in the paper, the Government propose that home improvements should be excluded from PGS. In Budget 2006, the Government stated that PGS revenues would be separate from the local government funding settlement to serve as an incentive to support growth. Further announcements will be made by the end of the year.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons parish and town councils are required to conduct all their deliberations on planning applications in public; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: Unless the matter is confidential, parish and town councils are required to conduct their deliberations on planning applications in public in the interests of transparency and accountability.
Yvette Cooper: My right hon. Friend had an introductory meeting with Kate Barker last month to discuss the review of land use planning that Kate Barker is currently conducting on behalf of the Government. I have also met Kate Barker on several occasions over the past eight months to discuss progress on her review.
Kate Barker has now published her Interim Report, which the Government have welcomed. We look forward to seeing her recommendations later in the year on the further changes we need to make to build on the recent reform of the planning system.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the 2000 edition of Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 (PPG) applies in Wales; and whether draft PPG3 is intended to apply in Wales. 
Yvette Cooper: The planning system in Wales is the responsibility of the Welsh Assembly, which has its own planning policy framework governed by an overarching documentPlanning Policy Wales (PPW), which was first published in March 2002. This is supported by a range of technical advice notes, similar to our guidance and statements.
Planning Guidance on Housing in Wales has recently been updated through the issuing of a Ministerial Interim Planning Policy Statement (June 2006) and the publication of TANs 1 (Joint Housing Land Availability Studies) and 2 (Planning and Affordable Housing) in June 2006.
English planning guidance and planning policy statements can be used as material considerations in determining Welsh planning applications and appeals, where the Welsh policy framework does not cover the particular points in question.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes have been purchased under the right to buy scheme in (a) rural and (b) non-rural areas in each year since 1997, expressed (i) in absolute terms, (ii) per 1,000 population and (iii) per 1,000 households; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The numbers of right-to-buy sales in rural and urban local authorities are tabulated as follows. The number of right-to-buy sales is expressed in absolute terms and as the number of sales per 1,000 people and 1,000 households. Data for earlier years could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The number of right-to-buy sales is as reported by local authorities and no adjustment is made for missing data.
|Total||Per 1,000 population||Per 1,000 households|
| Source: Quarterly returns (P1B) from local authorities to the Department for Communities and Local Government, Office for National Statistics population estimates, DCLG household estimates.|
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