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28 Nov 2006 : Column 532W—continued


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what criteria are used to award performance-related bonuses in her Department. [103903]

Angela E. Smith: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my right hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Keith Vaz), on 23 November 2006, Official Report, column 212W.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff in her Department received a performance-related bonus in 2006-07. [103940]

Angela E. Smith: By the end of November, 536 staff will have received an annual bonus award in 2006-07 in respect of their performance in 2005-06.

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which publications ran advertisements for the position of Director General Equalities; and what the cost of the advertisements was. [104421]

Angela E. Smith: The position of Director General Equalities was advertised in The Sunday Times on two occasions at a total cost of £35,038.50. The advertisement also appeared in a Times supplement on 27 August (Bank Holiday weekend) but at no additional cost to the Department.

Departmental Travel

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department and its predecessor spent on taxis in each year from 2002-03 to 2004-05. [103964]


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Angela E. Smith: The Department of Communities and Local Government was formed in May 2006 and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was created following Machinery of Government changes on 29 May 2002. Expenditure on taxi hire in the three financial years completed since then is as follows.

£

2002-03

92,395

2003-04

138,465

2004-05

145,186


Freedom of Information

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many Freedom of Information Act requests received by her Department in the last 12 months were cleared by special advisers. [103968]

Angela E. Smith: There is no requirement or mechanism in Communities and Local Government procedures for Freedom of Information Act requests to be cleared by special advisers. Advice is received by Ministers from officials and special advisers in accordance with the Civil Service Code and the Guidance for Special Advisers.

Government Office for the North West

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what rules govern statements made to the press by civil servants in the Government office for the north-west; and who is responsible for authorising such statements. [105850]

Angela E. Smith: All regional media enquiries are directed to the Government News Network which liaises with appropriate officials in the Government office to draft a response which is then cleared with the relevant departmental press office where appropriate.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who authorised the recent statement to the Warrington Guardian by the Government office for the north-west on the Omega development. [105851]

Angela E. Smith: The Government office for the north-west was asked by the Warrington Guardian to comment on the Omega case and it provided a factual written statement on the handling of this case. The statement was prepared by Government News Network, in consultation with the relevant Government office director, and was agreed by Communities and Local Government press and policy officials. The statement was issued in accordance with departmental guidelines.

Government Offices for the Regions

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the total expenditure was of each of the Government Office for the Regions in the last year for which figures are available. [104043]


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Mr. Woolas: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) on 10 May 2006, Official Report, columns 376-78W.

Land Use Databases

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what (a) data and (b) range of data is held on (i) the Full National Land Use Database (NLUD-Baseline) and (ii) the Generalised Land Use Database. [103848]

Mr. Woolas: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given 8 November 2006, Official Report, column 1572W.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the timetable is for the implementation of the National Land Use Database. [103860]

Mr. Woolas: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles), on 8 November 2006, Official Report, column 1573W, and the answer given to the hon. Member for Hammersmith and Fulham (Mr. Hands), on 4 September 2006, Official Report, column 1672W.

Local Government Finance

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the total Government grant per capita was to each local authority in England, including fire and police authorities, in 2006-07. [103831]

Mr. Woolas: The information available has been placed in the Library of the House.

Local Government Pensions

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the estimated cost to employers of the Local Government Pension Scheme was in each financial year from 1996-97 to 2007-08, in actual terms and excluding the 20 per cent. of costs which relate to non-local authority employers. [104089]

Mr. Woolas: Details of Local Government Pension Scheme employers' costs for the period 1996-97 to 2005-06 are available at http://www.local.communities.gov.uk/finance/stats/index.htm, from which it is possible to determine the 80 per cent.:20 per cent. split between local authority and non-local authority employers' liabilities.

For the two years 2006-07 and 2007-08, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), on 9 October 2006, Official Report, column 400W.

Local Government White Paper

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which outcome-based indicators the Local Government White Paper proposes to abolish. [104032]


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Mr. Woolas: The Local Government White Paper set out our proposals for a new performance framework for local authorities and their partners including a single set of performance indicators to replace existing sets. Decisions about the performance indicators to be included in the framework will be taken as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review, the results of which will be announced next year.

Lyons Inquiry

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the survey undertaken by HM Treasury and her Department as part of the Lyons Inquiry. [103925]

Mr. Woolas: HM Treasury and Communities and Local Government have not undertaken any survey work as part of the Lyons Inquiry.

The Lyons Inquiry has commissioned BMG Research to undertake surveys exploring public attitudes towards local government funding and responsibilities. The research is not yet complete. However, findings from the first of three survey rounds are summarised in Sir Michael Lyons’ consultation paper and interim report, published in December 2005, copies of which have been placed in the House Library and are also available at:

National Geospatial Metadata Service

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) purpose and (b) budget is of the national geospatial metadata service. [103932]

Mr. Woolas: The geospatial metadata service (www.gigateway.org.uk) increases awareness of and access to geospatial information. This helps to improve decision making and reduce duplication of effort and cost.

In 2005-06, gigateway cost £376,923.

Parish Councils

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many times parish polls have been held under the Local Government Act 1972 in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [105924]

Mr. Woolas: Information about the number of parish polls held is not collected centrally.

Parliamentary Questions

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department (a) uses an internal traffic light or coloured-coded system when considering written parliamentary questions and (b) grades or classifies written parliamentary questions according to their political sensitivity or potential for embarrassing replies for the Government. [103969]

Angela E. Smith: No.


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Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much income the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre received from bookings from central Government Departments in the most recent year for which figures are available. [103901]

Angela E. Smith: In the financial year 2005-06 the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre received income from central Government bodies and their agencies of £2,469,000.

Recycling

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether trade waste recycled by local authorities counts towards Best Value Performance Indicator targets for municipal recycling. [104085]

Mr. Woolas: Trade waste recycled by local authorities does not count towards Best Value Performance Indicator targets for recycling.

Regional Spatial Strategy

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government why the Department’s planning inspector has removed the East of England draft Regional Spatial Strategy policy requiring on-site renewable energy in new developments. [103311]

Meg Munn: As the hon. Member for Eastleigh will be aware, the report of the Independent Panel that conducted an Examination in Public into the Draft East of England Plan was published in June.

At this stage in the process, when ministers are considering the Panel’s recommendations, it is not appropriate for me to respond to this question.

The next step is for the Government to publish and consult on Proposed Changes to the Draft Plan which take account of the Panel’s advice and earlier representations. The consultation will begin in December and run for 12 weeks to give interested parties a full opportunity to comment.

The Government will then consider all representations submitted on the Proposed Changes, and expects to publish the final Plan in mid 2007.

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to monitor the (a) effectiveness and (b) efficiency of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. [105880]

Angela E. Smith: Monitoring will principally be by means of the statistics on enforcement that we collect from the fire and rescue services. The data being collected will allow us to evaluate the level and type of enforcement action; the effect on safety by reference to levels of compliance; and the level of human resources
28 Nov 2006 : Column 537W
being used by fire and rescue services. In addition, given the order elevates the status of fire prevention, we have set the Fire and Rescue Services a Best Value Performance Indicator (BV 207) relating to the number of fires that occur per 1,000 non-domestic premises in their area. We shall be monitoring that as an indicator of success.

Staff Magazine

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library copies of the in-house staff magazine of her Department for the last 12 months. [103833]

Angela E. Smith: The Department for Communities and Local Government was created on 5 May 2006. A copy of the new Department's staff magazine has been placed in the Library as requested.

Standards Board

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many complaints were referred to the Adjudication Panel by the Standards Board against an elected member of an (a) local authority and (b) parish council in each year between 2001 and 2006; [100851]

(2) how many complaints were received by the Standards Board against an elected member of an (a) local authority and (b) parish council in each year between 2001 and 2006; [100852]

(3) how many (a) local authorities and (b) parish councils the Standards Board has not received a complaint against any elected member since 2001; [100853]

(4) how many complaints against elected members of (a) local authorities and (b) parish councils referred to the Adjudication Panel by the Standards Board have taken longer than 12 months to reach a decision; [100854]

(5) how many complaints against elected members of (a) local authorities and (b) parish councils in (i) 2001, (ii) 2002, (iii) 2003, (iv) 2004, (v) 2005 and (vi) 2006 are outstanding at the Adjudication Panel after being referred by the Standards Board; [100855]

(6) how many complaints against an elected member of an (a) local authority and (b) parish council in (i) London, (ii) the South East, (iii) the South West, (iv) the Midlands, (v) the North East, (vi) the North West and (vii) Wales have been referred to the Adjudication Panel by the Standards Board since 2001; [100858]

(7) how many complaints against elected members of (a) local authorities and (b) parish councils referred to the Adjudication Panel by the Standards Board concerned the failure to declare a (i) non-financial interest and (ii) personal interest in each year between 2001 and 2006; [100859]

(8) how many complaints against elected members of (a) local authorities and (b) parish councils referred to the Adjudication Panel by the Standards Board were upheld in each year between 2001 and 2006; [100860]

(9) how many complaints have been upheld by the Adjudication Panel after being referred by the Standards Board since 2001; [100862]


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(10) how many complaints have been referred to the Adjudication Panel by the Standards Board since 2001; [100863]

(11) how many complaints have been received by the Standards Board since 2001. [100864]

Mr. Woolas: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Standards Board to write to the hon. Member on this matter. I shall arrange for a copy of his reply to be placed in the Library of the House.

Letter from David Prince, dated 28 November 2006:


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