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Vera Baird: In accordance with the Welsh Language Act 1993, the Department for Constitutional Affairs has prepared a Welsh language policy, which will be put out to public consultation once it has been cleared by the Welsh Language Board. It will be formally adopted, with any necessary changes, after consultation has been completed.
In the period before the Welsh language policy is formally adopted, the Department, in the conduct of its public business in Wales, applies the principle that the English and Welsh languages should be treated on a basis of equality so far as is appropriate in the circumstances and is reasonably practicable.
Her Majestys Courts Service is the largest executive agency of the Department for Constitutional Affairs and is responsible for managing the courts in England and Wales. Her Majestys Courts Service has adopted its own Welsh language policy in recognition of the fact that it delivers services in Wales. Following approval by the Welsh Language Board, it came into effect on 19 July 2005 and has recently been updated.
Mr. Malins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs by what means her Department is notified of a recommendation for deportation after conviction of a defendant in court; what steps her Department takes thereafter; and if she will make a statement. 
Upon notification of such a recommendation IND will establish whether an appeal has been lodged against the sentence and the result of any such appeal. IND will at the same time collate all papers relevant to the persons conviction and any previous convictions. Where there is no/an unsuccessful appeal IND will then consider whether, in the light of all of the known personal circumstances, any representations and the nature of the offence, it is appropriate to deport the person. Where necessary enquiries will be made of the person to establish these personal circumstances.
Where it is considered appropriate to proceed in line with the judicial recommendation, the person will be served with a notice of decision to make a deportation order. This decision will attract a right of appeal.
Where a person is unsuccessful in their appeal, or where the person fails to appeal, IND will then submit a Deportation Order for signature by the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality, or duty Home Office Minister. Action will then be taken to deport the person on, or as soon as possible after, their release date.
In my written Ministerial Statement of 19 July 2006, Official Report, column 29WS, I set out the progress the Department is making in overhauling the system for the deportation of foreign national prisoners so that they face deportation, and that this should happen as early as possible in their sentence.
Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what duties (a) local authorities and (b) other involved bodies have in respect of the duty of care for bathers on beaches; what recent meetings (i) she and (ii) officials in her Department have had on the subject; and what plans the Government have for action in this area. 
Angela E. Smith: Risk assessments of beaches and the provision of information and practical beach safety measures are discretionary activities for local authorities and other beach owners. However, awareness of these issues is high among coastal authorities and many undertake these activities as part of their strategy to support and encourage tourism. I met with the RNLI and am currently discussing the subject with Whitehall colleagues.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will ask local authorities and other beach owners who encourage the public to use their beaches to carry out a risk assessment to be published alongside tourist information and publicity. 
Angela E. Smith: Risk assessments of beaches and the provision of information and practical beach safety measures are discretionary activities for local authorities. However, awareness of these issues is high among coastal authorities and many undertake these activities as part of their strategy to support and encourage tourism.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many businesses were on the ratings list in each Government office region in England in each year since 1996-97. 
Mr. Woolas: The number of hereditaments (properties liable to pay non-domestic rates) on the local rating list in each Government office region in England as at 1 April in each year since 1997 are shown in the following table.
|Number of hereditaments as at 1 April|
| Source: Valuation Office Agency|
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will introduce planning guidance on the location of cash machines within new developments so as to facilitate crime reduction. 
Yvette Cooper: Planning Policy Statement 1: Delivering Sustainable Development (PPS1), published in 2005, places strong emphasis on the role of planning in helping to reduce crime. Planning authorities are asked to have robust policies which address crime prevention issues in their development plans. Crime prevention is also capable of being a material consideration in relation to planning applications.
The Government have also published Safer Places: The Planning System and Crime Prevention (ODPM/Home Office, 2004), which provides detailed advice on the layout of all buildings and spaces to reduce the risk of crime, including, where appropriate, the incorporation of target-hardening measures such as CCTV, in new development. The guidance also urges planners, designers and crime prevention practitioners and the police to work together to develop solutions from an early stage in the design process.
The location of cash machines is a matter for banks and other providers, who should work closely with local authorities and, for example, the police, security industry and town centre management, to ensure that they are located in as safe an environment as possible.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the provisional budget is for the Government Connect Programme; and which Government agencies will participate. 
Mr. Woolas: The Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Communities and Local Government have just released an additional £10 million to establish the Government Connect service on a firm foundation. This brings the total budget to £26.5 million.
We are now seeking with our local government partners to engage more widely with central Government Departments over the next two years, to establish how using Government Connect can produce wider benefits.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the Minister for Housing and Planning expects to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 5 July 2006, on policy on private sector housing. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which 16 councils and energy companies have piloted schemes where council tax rebates are offered to those who make energy saving changes to their homes. 
Mr. Woolas: There are now 34 local authorities running schemes, with funding from Centrica, that provide for rebates on council tax bills to householders undertaking certain energy efficiency measures in their homes.
Neston, Fareham, Forest Heath, Ipswich, Kettering, Redditch, Runnymede, St. Edmundsbury, Salford, Sefton, Slough, Solihull, South Cambridgeshire, South Derbyshire, South Hams, South Norfolk, South Northamptonshire, South Shropshire, Suffolk Coastal, Tameside, Tamworth, Taunton Deane, Test Valley, Uttlesford and Wear Valley.
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