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7 Nov 2006 : Column 1006Wcontinued
The Planning Inspectorate inevitably deals with the most contested and controversial planning applications and this can generate strong views and complaints in addition to justified complaints about procedures.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has for a national day to mark the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. 
Meg Munn: The Government will be making announcements in due course on a package of action, how we communicate what we are doing on slavery and on race equality more widely.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she will announce her plans to commemorate the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. 
Meg Munn: The Government are working with stakeholders to develop plans to mark the 200(th) anniversary of the 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade Act.
The 2007 Bicentenary Advisory Group met on 17 October and the Government will be making an announcement in due course about their plans to mark the bicentenary.
Preparations in central Government are well under way and there will be a number of activities to ensure the bicentenary is properly recognised.
The Advisory Group will galvanise action across cultural, faith and community sectors to ensure that 2007 makes an impact across the country and that the bicentenary is relevant to local communities.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will list the 200 outcome-based indicators referred to in the Strong and Prosperous Communities White Paper. 
Mr. Woolas: The Local Government White Paper Strong and Prosperous Communities, published on 26 October, set out our aim to radically reduce the number of nationally-set performance indicators which local government must report to central Government. The content of the single set of around 200 national indicators will be determined through the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review process.
John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the development of cross-authority funding arrangements in the use of the Supporting People programme by administering authorities. 
Mr. Woolas: There are currently no cross-authority funding arrangements in place for the use of Supporting People funding by administering authorities. However the Department for Communities and Local Government is aware that there are some authorities currently developing cross-authority funding arrangements.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the performance of local authority energy managers in increasing the energy efficiency of buildings managed by local authorities. 
Mr. Woolas: Information about the energy efficiency of housing stock owned by local authorities is collected annually. Between 2000-01 and 2004-05, the average Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating of local authority owned dwellings increased from 52 to 64(1). SAP is an index of the annual cost of heating a dwelling to achieve a standard heating regime and runs from one (highly inefficient) to 120 (highly efficient). We do not collect data on the energy efficiency of other local authority buildings.
( 1) Source:
Best Value Performance Indicator 63.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of local authority tenant referencing schemes in tackling antisocial behaviour in communities with a high proportion of private sector landlords. 
Yvette Cooper: The Department encourages local authorities to work constructively with private landlords. It is for each local authority to decide how best it works with private landlords on tenant management issues and assess the effectiveness of any scheme it puts in place locally.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what meetings officials in her Department had with (a) Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership, (b) Thames Gateway Kent Partnership and (c) Thames Gateway London Partnership during 2006; which officials were in attendance; which other organisations were represented at the meetings; and if she will place the minutes of the meetings in the Library. 
Yvette Cooper: During the course of 2006 the following formal board meetings have taken place, at which DCLG officials have been in attendance. The meetings are listed with officials who attended as follows:
(a) Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership (TGSEP) has held three board meetings
8 FebruaryDCLG Hulya Mustafa
29 MarchDCLG Hulya Mustafa
10 MayDCLG Elizabeth Cowie, Jeff Channing
(b) Thames Gateway Kent Partnership (TGKP) has held two board meetings
28 FebruaryDCLG Ben Stoneman
23 MayDCLG Ros Dunn, Andy De Lord and Ben Stoneman
30 JuneDiscussion on the Thames Gateway Strategic Framework, DCLG Ros Dunn
(c) Thames Gateway London Partnership (TGLP) has held two board meetings
21 FebruaryDCLG Jey Jeyaraj
27 JuneJey Jeyaraj
These meetings have core board members plus guest speakers who vary from meeting to meeting. The following organisations have been present at the meetings in 2006.
(a) TGSEP: Essex County Council, Baker Tilly, Castle Point Borough Council, Thurrock Council, Rochford District Council, GO East, Thurrock PCT, TTGDC, Basildon District Council, Finishing Line, Southend Borough Council, Greengrid Partnership, LSC, Social Regeneration Forum, Renaissance Southend.
(b) TGKP: Environment Agency, Highways Agency, Medway Council, Swale Borough Council, Sport England South East, Culture Thames Gateway, TGKP CE, Swale Forward, Kent County Council, Genecon, Kent Thameside Delivery Board, Press, Gravesham Borough Council.
(c) TGLP: London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, and also SELSHA, Goldsmiths University, ECCIC, and TfL.
Minutes of meetings for this year will be placed in the House Library for TGKP and TGLP, and minutes from the 19 July 2006 onwards will be placed in the Library of the House.
As part of their normal business, DCLG officials have also spoken with and met a number of representatives from all three partnerships.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the letter of 11 October 2006 from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Meg Munn) to the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Mr. Turner), what the evidential basis is for her statement that local authority Travellers sites are accepted as a part of their local communities. 
The Departments Gypsy and Traveller Unit has extensive contact with local authorities and others who are responsible for socially rented Gypsy and Traveller caravan sites. They report many examples of well managed and maintained sites where the residents live alongside the settled community with no reported tensions. There are numerous examples of site residents becoming involved in local events and, for example, participating in neighbourhood watch schemes. Where tensions with the settled community do occur in particular cases, the Government have provided strong powers for local authorities to address
unauthorised camping and antisocial behaviour. It would be wrong to allow a few high-profile cases to distort the overall picture.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the (a) presentation, (b) speech and (c) handout given by the Valuation Office Agencys Paul Sanderson at the International Property Tax Institute Conference in Kuala Lumpur on 23 August 2006. 
Mr. Woolas: It is not my policy to answer questions which identify individual civil servants.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Hammersmith and Fulham (Mr. Hands) of 4 September 2006, Official Report, column 1680W, on the Valuation Office Agency, what the numeric value is of the co-efficient applied to variable for the FC dwellinghouse code in the multiple regression formula. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 6 November 2006]: With the council tax revaluation in England postponed until after at least this Parliament the issue does not arise.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has for extra support to local authorities under the Local Government Financial Settlement to enable them to meet targets on recycling and waste management. 
Mr. Woolas: The need to meet waste targets was factored into Spending Review 2004. Overall Government grant, which includes grants for specific services, increased by £2.7 billion in 2006-07 and is set to increase by £3.1 billion in 2007-08. This includes the extra funding taking the Waste Performance and Efficiency Grant to £105 million in 2006-07 and £110 million in 2007-08. There are no plans to re-open the Local Government Finance Settlement in 2007-08.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what agencies are involved in the administration of the Dee estuary. 
Mr. Hain: There are two agencies involved in the administration of the Dee estuary: the DEFRA Marine Fisheries Agency acting in its own right in the English zone, and acting on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government in the Welsh zone; and the Environment Agency, acting as a Sea Fisheries Committee under the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act 1966.
Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on the use of Welsh sporting venues in connection with the 2012 London Olympics. 
Mr. Hain: Wales has an important contribution to make to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and I meet with relevant Assembly Government Ministers on a regular basis to discuss the opportunities presented. In addition, the Welsh Assembly Government are represented on the nations and regions group of the London Organising Committee.
I am delighted that the millennium stadium in Cardiff will be hosting part of the football tournament. Wales has many excellent training facilities and will offer a warm welcome to visiting teams and their supporters.
Mr. Amess: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if the Commission will arrange for the Weekly Information Bulletins to be made available in PDF format; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The House of Commons Information Office will arrange for a PDF version of the Weekly Information Bulletin to be published on the parliamentary intranet from the start of the next Session.
A project is currently under way to redesign the Bulletin to improve the layout and clarity of information presented. Readers and subscribers were surveyed over the summer for their views and suggestions, which are being incorporated into a development plan for the Bulletin that will be implemented over the coming year.
10. Michael Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps his Department is taking to assist in combating climate change in Scotland. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Scotland shares in the various national and international actions which the Government have been supporting to combat carbon emissions and address the problems of climate change.
15. Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the impact of climate change on Scotland; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The UK Climate Impacts Programme provides a series of climate change scenarios. The Scottish Executive have published a number of research projects and a handbook of climate trends over the last century. Together these give practitioners in Scotland access to some of the best climate information available.
11. Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on counter-terrorism measures in Scotland. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: I have frequent discussions with ministerial colleagues on a wide range of issues.
12. Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many wild salmon were caught by commercial nets in Scotland in 2004 and 2005. 
David Cairns: The figures for wild salmon caught by commercial nets in Scotland were 27,160 in 2004 and 29,137 in 2005.
13. Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on engaging more effectively with the Muslim community in Scotland. 
David Cairns: My right hon. Friend regularly meets Cabinet colleagues to discuss a wide range of issues. Both he and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government are members of the Ministerial Committee on Domestic Affairs at which issues on engaging with the Muslim community are discussed.
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