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8 Nov 2006 : Column 1574W—continued

Milton Keynes Partnerships

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which senior employees of Milton Keynes Partnerships are not resident within the borough of Milton Keynes. [100332]

Yvette Cooper: The location of private residences of employees of the Milton Keynes Partnership are not a matter for Government.

Ministerial Cars

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what the estimated annual cost is of his ministerial (a) car and (b) driver, including all running costs and depreciation; [95824]

(2) what the (a) model and (b) make is of his ministerial car. [95831]

Dr. Ladyman: I have been asked to reply.

Ministerial transport is provided by the Government Car and Despatch Agency under guidance set out in Travel by Ministers and the Ministerial Code. Individual Government Departments have contracts with the agency to provide services to their Ministers.

The Deputy Prime Minister’s official car is a diesel Jaguar XJ. Information about the numbers and cost of Government cars by Department is provided on an annual basis. Information for 2005-06 is currently being collated and will be published in due course.

Official Residences

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Hertfordshire, North East (Mr. Heald) 27 March 2006, Official Report, column 832W, on official residences, what the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s expenditure from its entertainment budget was in the most recent year for which figures are available. [94605]

Angela E. Smith: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Ordnance Survey

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps Ordnance Survey is taking to increase the use of its maps and data by the (a) public and (b) private sectors. [100205]

Angela E. Smith: Ordnance Survey policy is focused on the collection, maintenance and dissemination of geographic information to ensure that its data is readily available to all who wish to use it. An increasing number of organisations and individuals are using more geographic information than ever before. There
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has been a steady and continuing growth in the use of Ordnance Survey data in commerce, Government and leisure activities.

Ordnance Survey has supported the widening use of its maps and data by both central and local government over a number of years through collective purchasing agreements and specialist advice. It continues to work closely with these users to understand and meet their current and future needs for geographic information.

Ordnance Survey is continually engaging with users of all types to better understand their requirements and enable them to take full advantage of the geographic information it offers. This includes significant and sustained investments in quality, service improvements, and in innovative new or enhanced products and services to meet the increasingly sophisticated requirements of these users. Initiatives such as the ‘OS Insight’ programme enable Ordnance Survey to consult with geographic information technology providers early to ensure that planned product and service developments are appropriate for end-users. Systems suppliers may use this dialogue to ensure that their systems are also developed so that users can take full advantage of new Ordnance Survey products and services as they are released.

Through collaboration with private sector commercial partners, Ordnance Survey information is used in a growing range of products and services for business and private use from vehicle tracking to land and property management and from personal navigation products to traditional paper maps.

Recent Ordnance Survey innovations encouraging greater use of geographic information include:

Playing Fields

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she will bring forward the changes to the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995 announced in her Department’s press notice Planning to Safeguard Open Spaces and Playing Fields of July 2002; and if she will make a statement. [98226]

Yvette Cooper: The Department intends to consult on this and other matters relating to statutory consultees on planning applications next year.

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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what changes Planning Policy Statement 3 is introducing in relation to development on (a) previously residential and (b) garden land. [94867]

Yvette Cooper: Draft Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS3) published for consultation last year made clear that although residential gardens are defined as brownfield land, this does not mean that they are necessarily suitable for development. It sets out that local authorities should consider a range of factors when determining whether a location is appropriate for development, including the need for housing sustainability, the design and character of the area and the development.

Previously Developed Land

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what changes were made to the definition of previously developed land in (a) 2000 and (b) 2001. [94612]

Yvette Cooper: Further to the debates on 6 June 2006, Official Report, column 115, and 21 June 2006, Official Report, columns 1392-93, the Land Use Change classification categories have not changed since they were introduced in 1985. The recording of development on previously developed land was based upon urban land use, including residential land, as well as employment, transport and other development uses. Information recorded related to land, permanent structures on it, and associated infrastructure, together with the curtilage of the land.

Residential gardens have been treated as previously developed land since 1985.

In 2000, planning policy guidance note 3: “Housing” set out clearly for the first time the land use categories to be treated as previously developed land for planning for housing purposes. As part of this, a number of small anomalies were addressed, so that ‘minerals and landfill’ and ‘defence’ were properly included as previously developed land.

Since 2001 LUCS land use change statistics has reported consistently on this basis. The LUCS figures published in 2001 demonstrate that there was a minor impact on the annual proportion of new dwellings built on previously developed land.

Security of Tenure

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will bring forward proposals to strengthen security of tenure for tenants in private properties where landlords fail to pay mortgage payments and the property is repossessed. [97576]

Yvette Cooper: Ground 2 of the Housing Act provides that where a property is let on an assured tenancy and the property is subject to mortgage which was granted before the tenancy started the tenancy can be ended on two weeks’ notice where the mortgagee
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requires vacant possession of the property in order to sell it to cover mortgage arrears. There are no plans to amend this currently.

Social Housing

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidelines her Department has issued to housing renewal pathfinders on the proportion of social housing in regeneration schemes it supports financially; and if she will make a statement. [100382]

Yvette Cooper: My Department has not issued any guidelines to housing market renewal pathfinders on the proportion of social housing in regeneration schemes. However, the pathfinders are expected to assess the need for affordable housing in their areas, taking into account rises in house prices, and to have regard to this information when developing their programmes.

Temporary Accommodation

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many families have been in temporary accommodation in each year since 1979-80. [97261]

Yvette Cooper: Information reported each quarter by local authorities about their activities under homelessness legislation includes the number of households in temporary accommodation on the last day of the quarter, available from 1981-82 onwards. Since 2001-02, it separately identifies those that include dependent children or a pregnant woman.

The duty owed to a person accepted as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need is to secure suitable accommodation. If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority may secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available.

The total number of households in temporary accommodation (as arranged by local authorities) as at 31 March in each year since 1981-82, and the number of these with dependent children or an expectant mother since 2001-02, are presented in the following table. In January 2005 the Government announced in “Homes for All” its commitment to halve the number of all households in temporary accommodation by 2010.

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Households in temporary accommodation( 1) arranged by local authorities
Households in temporary accommodation at end of year (31 March) Of which: families with dependent children/pregnant woman
























































(1) Households in accommodation arranged by local authorities awaiting allocation of a settled home following acceptance of a main duty or pending a decision on their application.
DCLG P1E Homelessness returns (quarterly)

Thames Gateway Bridge

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she expects to make a decision on the Thames Gateway bridge. [99201]

Meg Munn: Following a public inquiry which ran between June 2005 and May 2006, the Secretary of State is awaiting the report of the inspector who ran the inquiry. Once this has been received, she will consider it, together with the evidence submitted to the inquiry, before making her decision. A decision will be then made as quickly as possible.

There are also other decisions in connection with the Thames Gateway bridge which fall solely to my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Transport to make.

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