Previous Section Index Home Page

18 Dec 2006 : Column 1630W—continued


Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many flooding incidents the fire and rescue service attended in each fire authority area in each year since 1994. [109000]

Angela E. Smith: The information requested is not held centrally.

Ms Barlow: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many incidents on or near water were attended by the fire service in each year since 1994; and how many people were rescued by the fire service on or near water in each year. [109656]

Angela E. Smith: Information held centrally covers primary fires attended by fire and rescue services. These figures are set out in the following table.

Primary fires on or near water attended by fire and rescue services, England1994 to 2005
Number of fires on or near water Number of persons rescued

1994

255

11

1995

333

37

1996

301

15

1997

315

36

1998

334

20

1999

356

30

2000

335

75

2001

381

11

2002

252

8

2003

303

10

2004

310

12

2005(1)

281

21

(1) Provisional
Notes:
1. Excludes fires during periods of industrial action in 2002 and 2003.
2. Figures for 1994-2004 are based on sampled data grossed to fire and rescue service totals.
Source:
Fire and rescue service returns to the Department for Communities and Local Government

Fire Regulations

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she plans to bring forward amendments to the Fire Precautions (Sub-surface Railway Stations) Regulations 1989. [110229]

Angela E. Smith: It is our intention to replace the existing, highly prescriptive, Fire Precautions (Sub-surface Railway Stations) Regulations 1989 with the risk-based regime brought into force by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. However before doing so we will have to be fully satisfied that necessary protections will be maintained or enhanced by the change. Decisions about replacement of the 1989 regulations will therefore be taken in the light of (a) evidence gathered during a period of parallel running of the regulations and the regime applied by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005; and (b) discussion and consultation with stakeholders through a small working group.

Ms Barlow: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many special service incidents involving the rescue or release of people from industrial or other machinery were attended by the fire service in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [109657]

Angela E. Smith: The information requested is not held centrally.

Ms Barlow: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many special service incidents, including those not specified, were attended by the fire service in each year since 1994. [109658]

Angela E. Smith: The number of special service incidents attended by the fire and rescue service in England is as follows.


18 Dec 2006 : Column 1631W
Special service incidents attended by the fire and rescue service in England 1994-95 to 2004-05
Number

1994-95

162,054

1995-96

168,086

1996-97

161,320

1997-98

155,412

1998-99

148,787

1999-2000

155,356

2000-01

174,481

2001-02

165,103

2002-03

170,298

2003-04

158,383

2004-05

158,419

Note:
2002-03 figure includes estimates for incidents attended, but not recorded during strike periods.
Source:
Fire and rescue service returns to Communities and Local Government

Framework Convention on National Minorities

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what progress her Department has made on the implementation of the Council of Europe Framework Convention on National Minorities; [107232]

(2) when she expects to complete the UK’s Framework Convention on National Minorities Compliance Report to the Council of Europe; and when she expects to be able to circulate it to UK-based stakeholders; [107233]

(3) when the Government are required to produce their Framework Convention on National Minorities Compliance Report. [107223]

Mr. Woolas: The Government’s Second Report to the Council of Europe under the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities will set out the important progress the UK has made towards honouring this commitment. The draft report has been completed and we have circulated it for information and comment. I will ensure that the hon. Member also receives a copy. I intend to submit the final report to the Council of Europe in January.

Gershon Review

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what amount has been spent by her Department and its associated public bodies to achieve Gershon efficiency savings; whether these costs are included in the calculation of the headline efficiency savings; and if she will make a statement. [108172]

Angela E. Smith: This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Sir Peter Gershon's independent report into public sector efficiency did not require that efficiencies be recorded net of up-front investment costs. Communities and Local Government has followed this advice.


18 Dec 2006 : Column 1632W

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what efficiency savings have been made in her Department and its associated public bodies as a result of the Gershon initiative; and if she will make a statement. [108239]

Angela E. Smith: Communities and Local Government will be reporting verified efficiency savings to date within the Department's Autumn Performance Report.

Health Services: Thames Gateway

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what role primary care trusts (PCTs) played in the creation of the development strategy for the Thames Gateway; and which officials from PCTs attended meetings during the formulation of the strategy. [107149]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 4 December 2006]: The Thames Gateway Interim Plan, published last month, was the product of a collaboration between my Department and the Thames Gateway Strategic Partnership (TGSP), on which local delivery vehicles (LDVs) sit. LDVs are charged with representing local views, including those of PCTs. In addition, the boards of the LDVs often include members of the LSP or local PCT, as in Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation and Bexley Regeneration Partnership, Invest Bexley.

The TGSP also notes that Communities and Local Government funded a project undertaken for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham by the NHS Healthy Urban Development Unit to develop a way of modelling the impact of population growth on the need for services. PCT colleagues from the Barking and Dagenham PCT and the Director of Regeneration for the North-East London Strategic Health Authority managed the project and met members of my Department on several occasions to discuss progress and how the findings of the project could best be used. The model that has been developed could be used by other authorities across the Gateway to help them plan healthcare and other services.

Home Condition Reports

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what estimate she has made of the number of voluntary home condition reports that will be purchased in each year from June 2007; [103835]

(2) in which location the trials of energy performance certificates are taking place in November; [103836]

(3) what her Department's expected expenditure is on the November 2006 trials of energy performance certificates; [103843]

(4) how many areas where home information packs area trials are taking place have (a) Conservative-controlled local authorities and (b) Conservative Members of Parliament; [103882]


18 Dec 2006 : Column 1633W

(5) if she will take steps to ensure that the home information dry run is audited by an organisation independent of the Government and the home information pack industry; [103883]

(6) which organisations will audit the dry run of home information packs; [103892]

(7) whether (a) energy condition reports outside a home condition report and (b) voluntary home condition reports are being piloted in the home information pack dry run; [103965]

(8) how many (a) reduced cost and (b) free packs are being provided as part of the home information pack dry run; [104048]

(9) what (a) incentives and (b) payments are being provided (i) directly and (ii) indirectly to home inspectors participating in the home information pack dry run; [104215]

(10) whether the Association of Home Information Pack Providers will receive any payment for participating in the pack dry run. [104212]

Yvette Cooper: Area trials of home information packs are taking place in Bath, Cambridge, Southampton, Northampton, Newcastle and Huddersfield. Four of the six trial location areas include Conservative Members of Parliament. All trial locations contain at least one Conservative-controlled local authority.

Sellers can choose whether to have an energy performance certificate or a home condition report included in the free and reduced-cost home information packs available on a voluntary basis in these trial areas.

The Department has pledged up to £4 million to support these trials. No money is being paid directly to the Association of Home Information Pack Providers or to home inspectors. Payment for the free and reduced-cost packs available in the trial areas will be made direct to the organisation compiling the pack. That organisation is responsible for paying its suppliers.

The trials will include free, reduced-cost and full-cost packs in order to test different aspects of the HIPs process. No decision has been taken on how many free and reduced-cost packs will be provided in the trial areas. This will be decided in light of the progress of trials, so as to enable us to obtain the fullest possible picture of the impact of the packs.

We will monitor the voluntary use of home condition reports during the trials to identify ways in which their take-up can be maximised once home information packs become mandatory on 1 June 2007. We have not made an estimate of the number of home condition reports that will be commissioned after June.

These trials will be independently verified. We are currently in the late stages of letting a contract to an independent research organisation and an announcement will be made shortly on the successful contractor.

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans her Department has to provide incentives for those trainee home inspectors who have yet to qualify. [104227]


18 Dec 2006 : Column 1634W

Yvette Cooper: The Department has no plans to provide incentives for trainee home inspectors who have yet to qualify.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will assess the merits of a single survey approach to buying and selling homes. [110132]

Yvette Cooper: A single survey for each housing sale that meets the needs of buyers and lenders would reduce the overall costs for consumers and help make the process more certain. The home condition report is designed to be such a document. Under our proposals for home information packs, sellers will be authorised to provide a home condition report that buyers, sellers and mortgage lenders can rely on. Home condition reports could provide very significant benefits to consumers and we are working with stakeholders to encourage their widespread take-up.

Housing

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been (a) borrowed, (b) held in reserve, (c) accumulated in earned and unearned surpluses and (d) spent on new house building by housing associations in each of the last 10 years; and whether such (i) borrowing and (ii) expenditure by housing associations is counted as in the (A) public and (B) private sector. [105232]

Yvette Cooper: The following table shows for registered social landlords (RSLs) for each year from 1998-99 to 2004-05 how much has been borrowed, held in reserve and surpluses after tax.

RSLs are independent, not-for-profit organisations and surpluses they generate are reinvested in housing stock or provision of affordable housing.

£ million
Total debt Surplus after tax Reserves

1998-99

13,640

332

7,967

1999-2000

15,428

260

8,873

2000-01

18,417

125

9,226

2001-02

20,678

239

10,053

2002-03

22,068

240

9,858

2003-04

24,572

245

10,815

2004-05

26,907

434

11,830

Source: Housing Corporation Global Accounts.

Next Section Index Home Page