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Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what effect on costs has been achieved by her Department outsourcing IT through the Steria contract; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 7 December 2006, Official Report, column 699W, on departmental staff, whether any staff in the ministerial office of the Deputy Prime Minister received a performance-related bonus in 2005-06. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the estimated sale price is of the (a) affordable and (b) market-priced homes in each of the Design for Manufacture competition areas. 
Yvette Cooper: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given 3 July 2006, Official Report, column 760W. The position is as indicated in my previous answer, subject to any necessary adjustments developers make to account for increases in costs and value over time.
Yvette Cooper: Each of the 10 sites that English Partnerships has put forward for the competition is at a slightly different point in the process. They have different estimated start and completion dates and there will, therefore, be different dates when the homes on each site will be placed on sale.
The start of work on each site will vary according to when issues such as detailed planning consent and contractual arrangements have been completed. The length of time it will take to complete each site also varies as they are of different scales.
Yvette Cooper: There was no statutory requirement to produce energy certificates in the years 2000 to date. Some commercial organisations have been voluntarily declaring their energy performance during this period but there are no central records of demand.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding the Government has provided to the English Regions Network in each year since its establishment; and for what purpose. 
The main purpose of English Regions Network is to represent the collective views of regional assemblies, share best practice and facilitate inter-regional networking amongst them and to commission research work of mutual interest.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the total number of reductions of accidental fire-related deaths in the home has been in each of the last five years; and how much was spent on fire safety campaigns in each year. 
|Year||Deaths in accidental dwelling fires||Year||Fire safety media budget (£ million)|
|(1 )Information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.|
Angela E. Smith: We have not sought to ascertain what Government Departments and bodies may have spent on making fire risk assessments of their premises. Nonetheless, we would expect the costs to be similar to those estimated for business and identified in the Regulatory Impact Assessment that accompanied the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. I have placed copies of that assessment in the House Library.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests her Department and the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has received since inception of that legislation that were (a) subject to internal review, (b) appealed to the Information Commissioner and (c) appealed subsequently to the Information Tribunal, broken down by (i) topic and (ii) conclusion. 
Angela E. Smith: Details of the number and outcomes of Freedom of Information (FOI) reviews carried out in Communities and Local Government and the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister can be found in Freedom of Information Annual Report 2005: Operation of the FOI Act in central government, Tables 6 and 7, published in May 2006 by the Department for Constitutional Affairs. More recent statistics on the Departments performance will be included in the 2006 report when it is published later in the year. The Department does not collate information broken down by topic. Only one CLG case has so far been referred to the Information Tribunal by a requester, and this may be found on the Information Tribunals website
Mr. Woolas: We have said that we do not intend to make retrospective amendments except if a major systematic error were to be discovered. I have already announced that, in the interests of making local government settlements more stable and predictable, I do not intend to retrospectively amend any year's settlement, except in entirely exceptional cases.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff were employed by the Government Office for London in each year since 1996-97; and what the forecast is for 2006-07. 
|As at April:||Number( 1)|
|(1 )Prior to 2005 GOL staffing figures were calculated as those staff working in GOL on GOL business. Figures did not include those seconded into GOL who were paid for by their own employer. Figures up to April 2005 do not include staff on outward secondment, outward loan, maternity leave, special leave, and career breaks for whom we did not pay but who had a right of return to GOL in the future.|
(2 )No data held.
(4 )Due to the outsourcing of the HR function for all Government Offices and the move to a central database, staffing figures are now calculated as those staff working in GOL on GOL business and on GOL's payroll. In addition, figures include staff on outward secondment, outward loan, maternity leave, special leave, and career breaks for whom we do not pay but who have a right of return to GOL in the future.
(5 )This is based on staffing levels as at 31 December 2006. In line with the Treasury review of the GO network, GOL plans to reduce its staffing to approximately 250 by December 2008.
Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the cost to public funds is of the planning directorate of the Government office for the north east. 
The Planning Team deal with local development plans and individual planning applications which may be called in. Their salary costs are budgeted for as £260,000 in 2006-07. The Strategy Team co-ordinates the Government response to the Regional Spatial Strategy which will determine the development framework for the region for the next 10 years. The Strategy Team's salary costs for 2006-07 are to be £214,000, however they are expected to decrease after the Secretary of State's modifications are published in 2007.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the numbers of home inspectors needed to meet the level of demand for energy certificates. 
Yvette Cooper: We estimate that from 1 June between 2,500 and 4,500 properly trained inspectors will be needed to produce Energy Performance Certificates required for Home Information Packs and voluntary Home Condition Reports.
Yvette Cooper: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) has accredited the Awarding Body for the Built Environment (ABBE) as the first awarding body for the Domestic Energy Assessor (DBA) qualification. City and Guilds and the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) are also both intending to develop a qualification and early indications from those organisations are that their qualifications will be available from early February and early March respectively.
Yvette Cooper: Since 1997 we have reduced the number of non-decent homes by more than 1 million. We have increased the funding available to Councils to invest in improvement of their stock to about £1,100 per Council per home compared with spend equivalent of £800 in 1997. This is a 30 per cent. increase in real terms. On top of that we will have also made £3.7 billion available for ALMOs delivering improvements to council housing stock, and £2.7 billion for PFI schemes by March 2008. In total over £20 billion of public money has been invested in improving council housing since 1997. In addition £7.8 billion of private funding has been levered through stock transfer and private finance initiatives.
We expect 95 per cent. of the stock to be decent by 2010 and the majority of landlords making all their stock decent in this timescale. Work will have been completed to 3.6 million homes, with improvements for 8 million people in total, 2.5 million children among them.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bristol East of 7 December 2006, Official Report, column 706W, on housing, what proportion of each category of housing stock was empty as at October 2005 in the south-west, broken down by local authority. 
Yvette Cooper: The estimated proportions of vacant housing stock by tenure at October 2005 in south-west local authorities are shown in the following table. These estimates are based on all vacancies, including those of less than six months.
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