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Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what the total expenses paid to the representatives serving on the East of England Regional Assembly were in each of the past three financial years; 
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what the projected administrative budget is for the East of England Regional Assembly for (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08; 
Yvette Cooper: Details of the East of England Regional Assemblys administration budget are not held centrally. Following is a table detailing DCLG grant to the East of England Regional Assembly for the period requested. The assembly receives funding from other sources.
|East of England Regional Assembly|
|Total ODPM/DCLG funding (£)|
Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she plans to extend the requirement for buildings undergoing major renovation to upgrade their energy efficiency to include buildings under 1,000 square metres. 
Angela E. Smith
[holding answer 11 September 2006]: The amendment to Building Regulations in April 2006 includes a requirement to improve the energy performance of existing buildings over 1,000m(2) as a consequence of undertaking certain types of building
work. Last September Government announced that this requirement to make consequential improvements in buildings below 1,000m(2) would not be included in the 2006 amendments to Part L of the building regulations. Instead we announced a review to consider all possible measures to increase the sustainability of existing buildings. This review is under way and will conclude later this year.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what English Partnerships planned programme expenditure is in (a) the North East, (b) the North West, (c) Yorkshire and Humberside, (d) the East Midlands, (e) the West Midlands, (f) the East of England, (g) London, (h) the South East and (i) the South West in 2006-07. 
|Budget (£ million)||Percentage|
The national line shows EPs expenditure on the two national programmes involving former hospital sites and the first time buyers initiative. The precise spread of investment is yet to be finalised and therefore cannot be included in the regional figures.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what her plans are for the percentage of the programme expenditure of English Partnerships to be spent in the South of England over the next five years; and if she will make a statement; 
Yvette Cooper: English Partnerships (EP) is a national agency in England and the operational distribution of its programme expenditure is decided by its board according to national delivery priorities in their annual corporate plan as approved by Ministers. EPs future national programme and priorities are currently under consideration as part of the current corporate planning round for the financial years 2006-07 to 2010-11. Funding for EPs programmes for 2008-09 to 2010-11 will be decided after the Spending Review 2007 settlement.
|Budget (£ million)||Percentage|
1. For the purposes of this answer the South of England includes South East, East, South West of England and London, with other regions taken to mean the North of England.
2. The national line shows EPs expenditure on the two national programmes involving former hospital sites and the first time buyers initiative. The precise spread of investment is not yet finalised and therefore cannot be included in the regional figures.
Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what further measures her Department is considering to improve the sustainability of existing homes; and whether she plans to introduce new planning guidance to promote micro-generation. 
Angela E. Smith: DCLG is leading a review of the sustainability of existing buildings, involving other Government Departments and key stakeholders. This review is considering a wide range of regulatory and non-regulatory options, including the use of incentives, to reduce water use and energy consumption, and to promote the installation of micro-generation.
Planning authorities are already expected to include policies in their development plans that require a percentage of the energy in new developments to come from on-site renewables. Later this year we will consult on the draft of a new Planning Policy Statement on climate change.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment her Department has made of the financial impact on local authorities of providing transport and facilitating placements for individuals with autistic spectrum disorders and their families; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will amend the criteria for determining central Government grant to local authorities to take account of the costs associated with supporting individuals with autistic spectrum disorders and their families; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: Formula grant is largely based on relative needs formulae, together with the number of band-D equivalent properties in its area. We then ensure that every authority receives at least a minimum percentage increase (the floor) year-on-year on a like-for-like basis i.e. after adjusting for changes in funding and function. In order to pay for this we scale back the increases above the floor.
Relative needs formulae take into account the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of authorities. One of these formulae is for childrens social care. The formula is based on extensive research and has a solid evidence base. It draws on evidence from the 2003 Children in Need census. This is the largest source of information on childrens social service activity in England. It contains information from almost every council who provide childrens social care. Therefore children with autistic spectrum disorders included in the 2003 Children in Need census are included in the evidence base used to derive the existing formula.
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will increase the limit for capitalisation of local government spending from that announced at the Capital Programme Working Party on 26 May. 
Mr. Woolas: We have no plans to increase the limit for capitalisation of local government spending from that announced at the Capital Programmes Working Party. Local authority capitalisation presents a significant risk to the prudent management of national fiscal rules and needs to be managed closely.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the merits of introducing a system of business rates linked to profitability; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: Any reforms to business rates fall with the remit of Sir Michael Lyons independent inquiry into the role and funding of local government. The Government will not take any decisions on changes to local government finance until they have had the chance to consider and reflect on Sir Michaels report and recommendations.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many companies (a) failed and (b) reduced operations in the UK in each of the last five years because of problems paying business rates. 
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the outcome was of consultation on the removal of bans on political activity by local government officers; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: Our discussion paper, Standards of Conduct in English Local Government, published on 15 December 2005, reported the outcome of our consultation about the regulatory framework governing the political activities of local government employees, and made proposals for the future which we are committed to take forward. A copy of the discussion paper is available in the Library of the House. It can also be viewed on the Departments website at:
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the impact of barriers for members of political parties to participate in local and community governance. 
Mr. Woolas: We are committed to increasing opportunities for people everywhere to participate in local and community governance. The Local Government White Paper, which we intend to publish shortly after the recess, will discuss issues of empowerment and governance and make proposals for the future.
Angela E. Smith: As a Trading Fund, Ordnance Survey is accredited to the Information Fair Trader Scheme (IFTS) managed by the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI). OPSI has published two reports concerning Ordnance Survey in the past six monthsone confirming Ordnance Surveys accreditation to the IFTS and one reporting on an investigation into a specific complaint against Ordnance Survey.
OPSI and Ordnance Survey officials are in regular dialogue in respect of a wide range of issues relating to Ordnance Surveys delegated authority to administer Crown copyright in respect of mapping and geographic information. These meetings have covered matters arising from the two recent reports. Ordnance Survey continues to take steps to widen the use of its maps and data in both public and private sectors.
Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what costs have been incurred in connection with the Regional Control Centre at Fareham in each year since 2001; and how much is estimated to be spent in (a) 2006-07, (b) 2007-08 and (c) 2008-09. 
Angela E. Smith: Figures for costs incurred since 2001 in connection with the Regional Control Centre at Fareham are not available, as the business case and accounts for the FiReControl project are maintained at a national level.
The department gives grants to individual Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs) under new burdens to reimburse the costs associated with implementing FiReControl. Fire and Rescue Service Circulars 59-2004 and 63-2005
explain this process and detail the figures for FRAs in the South East for financial years 2005-06 and 2006-07 and 2007-08 respectively. These documents can be found on the departments website under fire circulars: www.communities.gov.uk/firecirculars. The figures for 2008-09 are currently being considered and an FRS Circular detailing them will be published in due course.
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