(3) what recommendations and advice her Department has given to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the (a) development, (b) location and (c) potential economic impact of regional casinos. 
Meg Munn: The Department for Communities and Local Governments (DCLG) principal areas of responsibility regarding planning issues relating to casinos are planning legislation, planning policy, development plans and planning applications. We are working with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to ensure that the licensing and planning regimes, though separate, work well together.
The Department has recently been responsible for introducing changes in secondary legislation to tighten the controls in relation to changes of use of existing premises. Prior to April 2006, casinos were classified as part of Class D2: Assembly and Leisure. This meant that any use within Class D2 could undergo a change of use to a casino and would not be considered as development, and would not therefore need planning permission. In April 2006, we amended the regulations for casinos, removing them from class D2 of the Use Classes Order, so that planning permission is needed for changes of use to a casino.
The Department also has lead responsibility for developing national planning policy. Relevant policy statements include Planning Policy Statement 6 Planning for Town Centres and Planning Policy Guidance Note 13: Transport, and the two joint DCMS/DCLG policy statements of August 2003 and June 2004.
In relation to development plans, Regional Planning Bodies in developing draft revisions to Regional
Spatial Strategies (RSS) will need to consider possible broad locations for a regional casino within their region, taking into account national planning policy. Following a statutory process of consideration of the draft RSS proposals, the final RSS is issued and approved by the Secretary of State, except in London where the Mayor is responsible for preparing and publishing the London Plan, subject to reserve powers of direction by the Secretary of State.
The identification of specific sites for casinos will be for local planning authorities in their local development frameworks, having regard to national policy and the Regional Spatial Strategy. The Secretary of State has reserve powers to direct changes to be made to local development frameworks.
Local planning authorities are also responsible for deciding planning applications for casino developments, unless the application is called in for decision by the Secretary of State. Such a decision would be made in the light of the Governments policy on calling in planning applications.
The advice that DCLG gave DCMS, on the development, location and potential economic impact of regional casinos is reflected in the Governments national policy statement on casinos announced on 16 December 2004. This statement sets out DCLGs policy on regeneration associated with regional casino development.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment the Government have made of the impact of the introduction of home information packs on lower-income home-owners. 
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library the associated electronic files and documentation that accompany the home information packs PISCES XML Schema. 
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 18 September 2006, Official Report, column 2466W, on housing associations, if she will make it her policy to collect data on the number of faith-based housing associations and their capital allocation. 
Yvette Cooper: At present there is no generally agreed definition of a faith-based housing association. I have asked the Housing Corporation to look at any data they have on Housing Associations which have policies supporting particular faith groups.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she plans to alter metropolitan greenbelt (a) boundaries and (b) status; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The Governments policy on altering Green Belt boundaries remains as set out in Planning Policy Guidance note 2 (PPG2), Green Belts. PPG2 explains that once the general extent of a Green Belt has been approved, it should be altered only in exceptional circumstances. If such an alteration is proposed, the Secretary of State will wish to be satisfied that all opportunities for development within the urban areas contained by and beyond the Green Belt have been considered. Similarly, detailed Green Belt boundaries defined in local development plan documents or earlier approved development plans, should be altered only exceptionally.
Any proposals to alter the general extent of the Metropolitan Green Belt must be brought forward through the London Plan or, for Green Belt land outside London, the Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) for the South-East and East of England.
The Panel recommends that the general extent of the Metropolitan Green Belt in Hertfordshire and Essex is appropriate and should be maintained. However it recommends that strategic reviews of Green Belt boundaries are needed at certain locations to ensure that development needs during the period to 2021 and thereafter are provided at the most sustainable locations. These reviews would remove only a very small proportion of the total area currently designated as Green Belt. The Panel also recommend that reviews consider the potential for compensating extensions to the Green Belt. The implication is that areas proposed to be added to the Green Belt would be larger than the sum of areas removed.
The Government intend to publish for consultation Proposed Changes to the East of England RSS towards the end of 2006, taking account of the Panels recommendations and earlier representations on the draft RSS.
John Hemming: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what measures are in place to protect those whose convictions are based on an uncorroborated allegation that turns out to be false but has not been formally retracted. 
Uncorroborated allegations do not have a special status and are treated as other evidence. The safeguards in place to prevent miscarriages of justice are applicable to all cases regardless of the evidence used to convict the accused.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much was spent by her Department on food and alcohol for its staff working out of office in each year since 2001-02. 
Expenditure on food and alcohol by staff working out of office is not recorded discretely by categories requested and the information can be obtained only by manual analysis of expense claims over the period at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Andy Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she plans to have with eBay to support the request made by the Rugby Football Union that eBay remove ticket sales by sellers who are trading as businesses and selling tickets for prices many times above face value in contravention of the terms and conditions of those tickets. 
Mr. Woodward [holding answer 9 October 2006]: The Government will hold the next ticket touting summit in December 2006. All parties in the summit, including eBay and the Sports authorities are working closely to achieve better arrangements for the sale of tickets for sporting events.
Mr. Andy Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she plans to have with eBay to support the request made by Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board through her ticket touting summit in July that eBay respect the terms and conditions of all tickets sold for the 2006-07 Ashes series by not allowing their unauthorised resale. 
[holding answer 9 October 2006]: The Government will hold the next ticket touting summit in December 2006. All parties in the summit,
including eBay and the Sports authorities are working closely to achieve better arrangements for the sale of tickets for all sporting events including the 2006-07 Ashes series.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment has been made of the progress of the future rapid effects system programme, with particular reference to the original forecasts of (a) costs, (b) in-service date and (c) effectiveness; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: FRES will deliver increased capability with higher levels of strategic deployability, survivability and lethality than our existing lighter armoured vehicles, with the potential to further enhance its capability as new technology becomes available.
It is in its initial assessment phase and is making good progress. Strategies and detailed plans for subsequent phases are under development and this work will enable us to define system performance, programme cost and an appropriate in-service date (ISD) at the main investment decision.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to (a) renew and (b) extend the two year contract awarded to WS Atkins for the Future Rapid Effect System programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: A contract for the initial Assessment Phase (iAP) was awarded to Atkins in November 2004 and was originally scheduled to run for two years, completing in November 2006. A proposal to extend this contract to July 2007 is being considered, allowing the Department to take full account of the outputs from the Technology Demonstration programme (TDP) contracts and also to complete some additional work to mitigate risks that have emerged in the earlier stages of the iAP.
Mr. Ingram: Around 9,000 personal locator beacons (PLBs) of various types have been purchased for use by aircrew in the UK armed forces. Information on the number of PLBs available to aircrew at any one time is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what average hourly rate the Prime Ministers Office paid to employment agencies for agency staff in each year since 1999, broken down by employment agency. 
Mr. McFadden: For these purposes, the Prime Ministers Office forms an integral part of the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office has utilised framework agreements for the provision of temporary agency workers at administrative and secretarial levels, average hourly costs are shown in the table.
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