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Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate the Meteorological Office has made of the number of days of snow fall in (a) London, (b) Edinburgh, (c) Bristol and (d) Inverness in (i) 2010, (ii) 2020, (iii) 2030 and (iv) 2050. 
During the 21st century, a trend towards reduced snowfall is expected over the UK due to climate change. The predicted changes vary with location, and some parts of the UK could experience periods of increased snowfall, due to the influence of natural climate variability. However, by 2050 a reduction in snowfall can be predicted with some confidence.
Mr. Ingram: Since the inception of the veterans lapel badge scheme in May 2004, approximately 365,900 applications have been received. As result of these applications approximately 355,500 applicants have been issued with badges.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if comprehensive area assessments will have (a) value for money measures, (b) annual league tables and (c) star or numerically graded ratings. 
Mr. Woolas: The new comprehensive area assessment will include a scored judgment on the use of resources drawn from the annual audit of local authorities, which will include a judgment on value for money. A scored judgment on the direction of travel, which assesses the effectiveness of each local authority in driving continuous improvement will continue to be published. Both of these scored judgments will enable comparability between areas, as will the annual publication of performance against the single set of national indicators.
Yvette Cooper: The Governments proposal to improve the Disabled Facilities Grant programme went out for consultation on 18 January, for comments to be returned by 13 April. We plan to issue a response in July.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has (a) to make the Disability Facilities Grant more flexible and (b) to reduce the operation of the ring fence in relation to the grant. 
Yvette Cooper: The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) consultation paper published on 18 January 2007 contains two proposals to make the DFG funding more flexible, by widening the ring fence or by removing the ring fence around the funding.
In 2007-08 we will run a small trial widening the ring fence for some authorities. Following an evaluation of the responses to the consultation and the new procedures operating in the pilot areas, a decision about which option to use for national roll-out will be made.
1. HIAs to provide a rapid response for the prevention of accidents and promote early release from hospital;
2. HIAs to provide a full agency service for housing adaptations in county areas.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what safeguards she is putting in place in establishing the proposed local area agreement under the Local Government Bill to ensure continued delivery of specialist support for victims of domestic violence. 
The Government are committed to ensuring that victims of domestic violence are adequately protected and supported. We will want to ensure that where local area agreements can contribute to the delivery of the government's and local areas' response to domestic violence they do so. Many local areas have already chosen to include stretch targets relating to domestic violence in their local area agreements. The duties on local authorities and their local partners proposed in
the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill will facilitate joint working, including by making local area agreements the single mechanism for central and local government to agree targets to reflect the key priorities for improvement in each local area.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) typical or average hourly call handling capacity and (b) maximum hourly call handling capacity is expected to be of each of the regional control centres proposed under the FiReControl project. 
85 per cent. of calls answered within 7 seconds;
95 per cent. of calls answered within 10 seconds;
98 per cent. of calls answered within 20 seconds.
The capacity of each RCC depends on the number of staff and the shift pattern at any given time. Based on the current indicative staffing numbers and shift patterns, the call handling capacity of each RCC is shown in the following table:
|Call capacity of regional control centres|
1. These figures do not represent the projected requirement.
2. Assumes that a person working a 12 hour shift has the capacity to answer calls for nine of 12 hours.
3. Assumes an average call handling time of three minutes per call (taking account of all call typesemergency, administrative and additional assistance calls).
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