Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Government intend to introduce legislation on age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services. 
Meg Munn: The discrimination law review is considering the case for prohibiting age discrimination in the provisions of goods, facilities and services and the exercise of public functions. We expect to publish a Green Paper around the turn of the year. The Green Paper is intended to lead to a single equality Bill, in line with the Government's manifesto to introduce such a Bill in this Parliament.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions have taken place between her Department and banks and building societies on the location of cash machines and crime reduction; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: I refer to the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for South Derbyshire (Mr. Todd) on 23 October 2006, Official Report, column 1657W. There have been no discussions between the Department for Communities and Local Government, and its predecessors, and banks and buildings societies on the location of cash machines and crime reduction. However, representatives from the industry held a meeting with Home Office Ministers on 10 October 2006.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she will reply to the letter from Woburn Sands town council of 20 June about the proposed expansion of Milton Keynes. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received from the Adjudication Panel for England on clarification of the councillors code of conduct. 
Mr. Woolas: The Adjudication Panels annual report for the year ending 31 March 2006 includes its formal response to a review of the code of conduct which was carried out by the Standards Board for England in 2005 at the request of Ministers. It can be viewed at www.adjudicationpanel.co.uk/documents/pdf_annual_report_2006_for website2.pdf, and copies have also been placed in the Library of the House.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance the Government and Standards Board of England has provided to local authority councillors on avoiding (a) bias and (b) the appearance of bias in addition to the local government code of conduct for councillors. 
Mr. Woolas: The Department for Communities and Local Government has issued no guidance on bias. This is a legal concept which the courts have always applied to local authority decision-making. It predates the code of conduct and is not altered by it.
The standards boards guidance, Lobby Groups, Dual-Hatted Members and the Code of Conduct, published in September 2004, contains some general advice on bias in order to draw a distinction between this and the separate issue of personal and prejudicial interests, which is covered by the code. The board issued a press release on 19 September which also referred to this issue.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of empty dwellings management orders; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: In the regulatory impact assessment for the Housing Act 2004, a commitment was made to monitor the effectiveness of empty dwelling management orders in reducing the number of private sector empty homes through annual monitoring of vacant dwellings data and local authority best value performance indicator returns. The regulatory impact assessment also committed the Department to commission, within three years of enactment, specific research into the use of these new powers by local authorities and the impact on property owners to ensure that there are no unintended consequences.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) of 9 October 2006, Official Report, column 367W, on energy performance certificates, whether an energy performance certificate will be required before a property owner can (a) privately let a domestic dwelling and (b) renew any existing rent agreement that was signed before the implementation of EU directive 2002/91/EC. 
Yvette Cooper: EU directive 2002/91/EC, the energy performance of buildings directive, requires member states to introduce measures that require energy performance certificates to be made available when buildings are constructed, sold or rented out. Private rentals are included in the scope of the directive, which must be fully implemented by January 2009.
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the standard requirements of developers on English Partnerships land are; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: English Partnerships sets quality standards covering 16 criteria which are mandatory for development of its sites and for its funding. These were adopted in September 2005 and can be found at:
These standards pull together in one place a set of existing nationally recognised industry standards with independent validation. They are kept under review to ensure they continue to be stretching and up-to-date. English Partnerships will continue to push for higher standards on specific programmes including the Millennium Communities Programme, the Design for Manufacture competition and its successor competition where enhanced development briefs are adopted for low carbon communities.
Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment she has made of the requirements made by planning and policy guidance applying to environmental building standards; and if she will take steps to ensure that they are amended to assist the reduction of the carbon footprint of new buildings. 
National planning policy set out in planning policy statement 1 (PPS1) expects the development plans prepared by regional planning bodies and local planning authorities to contribute to global sustainability through policies which reduce energy use, reduce emissions (for example, by encouraging patterns of development which reduce the need to travel by private car, or reduce the impact of
moving freight) and promote the development of renewable energy resources.
We have said we will publish for consultation by the end of the year a new PPS 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.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance (a) the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and (b) the Government Offices of the regions have produced for regional assemblies in relation to the Gambling Act 2005. 
The Government published a statement of national policy on casinos on 16 December 2004. This statement includes guidance on planning for casinos by regional planning bodies and also deals with the role of regional planning bodies in connection with the work of the independent advisory panel which provides advice to the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport on the areas in which casinos should be located.
The ODPM worked closely with DCMS in drafting a letter of 27 October 2005, from DCMS to the north- west regional assembly, clarifying the role of regional planning bodies and their regional spatial strategies in relation to the work of the casino advisory panel, reflecting the advice set out in the December 2004 statement.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) council tenant households and (b) housing association tenants there were in England in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Yvette Cooper: There were 2,117,000 occupied dwellings owned by local authorities and 1,833,000 owned by registered social landlords in England on April 1 2005. These figures are as reported by local authorities to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking to increase the supply of shared private sector accommodation suitable for single people. 
The Government have no plans to influence the market for the supply of shared private sector accommodation suitable for single people. However the growth of the private rented sector in recent years through Buy to Let has led to a substantial increase in the supply of accommodation
for young sharers, notably students, so that almost half of the tenants catered for by the sector are now under 35.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average cost is of renovating an empty home in each of the housing low demand pathfinder areas in England. 
Yvette Cooper: We do not hold information on the cost of renovating empty homes in pathfinder areas. However the pathfinders do provide figures for the average cost of all refurbishments and improvements carried out each year, including refurbishments to the decent homes standard as well as more minor improvements. The following table lists average costs for 2005-06. We do not know how many of the refurbished or improved properties were empty.
|Pathfinder||Average cost of refurbishments and improvements carried out during 2005-06 (£000)|
|(1) We do not have a figure for Hull and East Riding because they did not carry out any refurbishments or improvements in 2005-06.|
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what financial incentives she will offer Mid Sussex district council to deliver the Departments housing targets. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 26 October 2006]: The Government have recently consulted on a housing and planning and delivery grant as a potential incentive for local authorities to help deliver additional housing to respond to the housing needs of their communities. The consultation closed on 17 October and the Government are currently considering the responses to it.
Not everyone on the waiting list is necessarily in urgent housing need. The waiting list includes those who consider social housing as their preferred or one of a number of housing options, and those who decide to get on to the waiting list ladder before they need or want to move house.
(1) Department for Communities and Local Governments Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix, HSSA).
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many right to buy (a) applications and (b) sales there were in the North East of England in each year since 1980. 
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 2 October 2006, Official Report, columns 2541-45W, on land classification, what assessment she has made of the reason for the change in vacant and derelict land and buildings in Southend-on-Sea between 2002 and 2003; and if she will list the three vacant and derelict sites in Southend-on-Sea in 2003. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 30 October 2006]: In 2002 Southend-on-Sea borough council reported three vacant or derelict sites in its return to the national land use database of previously-developed land:
Shoeburyness Old Ranges, Campfield road76 hectares;
64 to 65 Eastern Esplanade (northern part of former Gas Board site)2.6 hectares;
Former Queen's Hotel, Hamlet Court road0.4 hectares.
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