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Yvette Cooper: More than 98 per cent. of the local authorities in England and Wales that deal with search inquiries are able to receive and return them electronically via the National Land Information Service (NLIS).
Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which 30 English local authorities in each class have the (a) highest and (b) lowest (i) actual staffing levels and (ii) staffing levels per thousand of population. 
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the answer of 17 July 2006, Official Report, column 125W, on the local government pension scheme, what her estimate is of the total cost to local authorities in each of the three years in cash terms. 
Phil Woolas: Information on actual employer contributions is not available. The most recent year for which data is available is 2004-05. From this it has been possible to estimate a pensionable payroll figure of £24.6 billion for all Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) employers. Some 80 per cent. of this figure relates to local authorities only, and on this basis a further estimate of employers' contributions would, in 2004-05 terms, be in the range of £2.4-£2.6 billion in 2005-06, £2.7-£2.9 billion in 2006-07 and £3.1-£3.3 billion in 2007-08. These estimates are derived from annual returns submitted to the Department by LGPS administering authorities in England and Wales.
Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of council tax was used to fund local government pensions in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Woolas: The most recent information available shows that in 2004-05, expenditure on benefits paid from the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) totalled £4 billion, representing 4.5 per cent. of the £89 billion expenditure on general services by English local authorities. In the same period, total pension fund income totalled £7.7 billion, comprising employer contributions of £4 billion, employee contributions of £1.4 billion and income from investments of £2.3 billion.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate the Government have made of the number of local government employees who went on strike during the recent local government strike action. 
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received regarding the new powers given to the Mayor of London and the Greater London Assembly; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: Since announcing the package of additional powers for the Greater London Authority on 13 July, the Secretary of State has received representations in writing from David Evennett MP; Simon Hughes MP; Councillor Brian Coleman, Chair of the London Assembly; Councillor Merrick Cockell, Chair of the Association of London Government; and Gareth Daniel, Chief Executive of the London Borough of Brent. The Government also received 337 responses to consultation on its proposals for additional powers for the Mayor and Assembly. The consultation exercise took place from 30 November 2005 to 22 February 2006. Copies of the responses were placed in the Libraries of the House on 13 July.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many cases of alleged maladministration were referred to the Local Government Ombudsman in each year between 2000 and 2006, broken down by local authority; and how many resulted in (a) no action, (b) full investigation and (c) a finding of maladministration in each case in each year. 
Mr. Woolas: I have asked the chair of the Commission for Local Administration (the Local Government Ombudsman) to write to my hon. Friend on this matter. I shall arrange for a copy of his reply to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what priority return will be due to the Anschutz Entertainment Group from English Partnerships with regard to the millennium dome; 
(2) what payments the Exchequer will receive from (a) turnover and (b) operating profit made by (i) Meridian Delta and (ii) Anschutz Entertainment
Group once the millennium/O2 dome is open to the public as an entertainment venue; in what form; and for how long. 
Yvette Cooper: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial written statement to Parliament: Housing Employment Mobility Services (moveUK) on 18 September 2006, Official Report, column 133WS, which announced the termination of the HEMS Agreement (moveUK) in the interests of the public and the taxpayer.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans the Government have to review planning policy (a) guidance and (b) circulars on out-of-town development; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she has taken to ensure that proper consideration is given to the concept of groups of villages as preferred locations for new housing development at examinations in public of local development frameworks. 
The process for carrying out examinations is set out in the Planning Inspectorate bookletDevelopment Plans ExaminationA Guide to the Process of Assessing the Soundness of Development Plan Documents. This says that one of the nine tests is conformitythat a plan should be
consistent with national planning policy and in general conformity with the Regional Spatial Strategy.
PPG 3 sets out current national planning policy for housing, including the sequential test for identifying housing sites. This is due to be replaced later in the year with PPS 3. Inspectors should take account of both these and of the Regional Spatial Strategy when carrying out LDF examinations.
Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities (a) have adopted and (b) plan to adopt a local development framework which provides for a group of villages as a suitable location for new housing in the development plan. 
Meg Munn: The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, as amended, (the UCO), sets out classes of uses, changes within which do not require planning permission owing to the similarity in their impact on local amenityfor example,traffic generation, noise, and visual appearance.
The UCO classifies residential care homes under the C2 use class. Apart from educational establishments, the characteristic of the uses contained in this class is the provision of personal care and treatment. This class excludes premises where security is a principal element. Any change of use to or from this use would normally require planning permission.
The UCO classifies dwelling houses under the C3 use class. This includes dwelling houses used by a single person, by any number of persons living as a family, or by no more than six people living together as a single household (including a household where care is provided for the residents). The key element in the use of a dwelling house for non-family purposes is the concept of a single household. Any change of use to or from this use would normally require planning permission.
Reflecting the programme of action set out in The Energy Challenge published by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Cmd 6887), we will consult later this year on the draft of a new Planning Policy Statement on climate change. This will set out how the Government expect participants in the planning process to work towards the reduction of carbon emissions in the location, siting and design of new development. We are also working on proposals with the aim of promoting
further the take-up of microgeneration technology by removing the need to apply for planning permission for certain types of installation. Major energy infrastructure is covered by other consent regimes reporting to the DTI rather than town and country planning. We will consult on any proposed changes in this area once the findings of the Eddington study and the Barker review are clear.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will amend planning legislation to prevent planning applications on property where the applicant does not own the property in whole or part and the applicant does not have the consent of the owner to apply for permission. 
Yvette Cooper: As part of the implementation of the new planning system, the Department set up a three year research projectSpatial Plans in Practicein April 2005. This is looking at how the new plan preparation process is being implemented by local planning authorities including how authorities have undertaken and used the Statement of Community Involvement. The publication of the study on community involvement is due for publication early in 2007.
Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking to promote community involvement in the planning process; what plans she has to extend such involvement; what input her Department has had into the Barker Review of land use planning commissioned by the Treasury; whether this has included community involvement; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 11 September 2006]: The Government have said that community engagement is essential to the delivery of sustainable development and creating sustainable and safe communities. In developing the vision for their area, local planning authorities are required to ensure that their communities are able to contribute to how that vision can be achieved through participation in drawing up the vision, policies and proposals. We have set out minimum standards of engagement in regulations, and in addition all local planning authorities are required to prepare a Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) under section 18(1) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.
The Barker Review of Land Use Planning was jointly commissioned by the Chancellor and the Deputy Prime Minister. It is an independent review being undertaken by Kate Barker. Between January and March 2006, the independent review team undertook a formal consultation process calling for evidence. A comprehensive list of stakeholders was
contacted and the document made available on the web. Over 200 responses were received and these have been taken into account in drafting of the Interim Report which was published on 4 July.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what role the (a) Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and (b) Deputy Prime Minister played in the planning permission process to redevelop the Eaglescliffe Logistics Centre in Middlesbrough. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer: 11 September 2006]: Neither the Deputy Prime Minister nor his officials played any role in the process of determining the original application by Cenargo Property Ltd for planning permission to erect warehousing and offices at the Eaglescliffe Logistics Centre. Planning permission was granted with conditions by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council in November 2001.
We understand that Stockton-on-Tees borough council is currently considering an application by Sanderson Weatherall, chartered surveyors on behalf of J G Eaglescliffe (Holdings) Ltd, to renew the original planning permission granted in 2001. There has been no ministerial or official involvement in this application for renewal.
The borough council has also given Sanderson Weatherall a screening opinion on a proposal for mixed development on the site, comprising housing, a care home, an hotel, and Class Bl, B2 and B8 (office, retail and storage) uses. The borough council has advised that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) would be required with any planning application for this proposal. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State would need to consider any request for a screening direction that an EIA is not required. We have received no such request so far.
Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to encourage local authorities to continue to support regeneration projects initiated by the Government after central funding ends; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The Government work closely with local authorities on the regeneration of their areas. A normal condition of Government funding for regeneration projects is that an evaluation is carried out to assess whether the project's objectives have been achieved. Another is that a forward strategy is prepared to show how the project will be sustained once public sector funding has ceased. It would be for the local authority to decide whether additional money should be provided from the funding that it has available for any further work it considers necessary, taking into account other regeneration priorities in the area.
The Government have introduced local area agreements (LAAs) to enable local authorities and their partners to use pooled funding to take a more flexible approach to delivering priorities. During the early negotiations of local area agreements, many local areas advocated the need for an extra LAA block to
cover economic and regeneration issues more explicitly. This was also the view of government and the introduction of a new economic development block was announced in the 2005 budget and came into effect from April this year.
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