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Section 106 Agreements

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been generated within Essex in the last 10 years from agreements made under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990; and what percentage of this revenue has been used to fund community projects. [111822]

Yvette Cooper: Information on individual section 106 agreements is held by local planning authorities and not collected centrally. The Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Amendment) (England) Order 2002 (Statutory Instrument 2002 No. 828), which came into effect on 1 July 2002, requires details of planning obligations to be
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recorded in both Parts I and II of the local planning authority’s planning register, which should be available for public reference.

Social Housing

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many council houses are owned by (a) local authorities and (b) housing associations in England; and how many additional houses have been provided by (i) local authorities and (ii) housing associations in each of the last 10 years. [116497]

Yvette Cooper: For information on social housing provision in Wales I refer the hon. Member to the Welsh Assembly Government Statistical Directorate.

In England on 1 April 2006 there were 1,891,980 self-contained units/bed spaces owned by registered social landlords and 2,087,456 dwellings owned by local authorities. These figures refer only to social rent housing units and are as reported by registered social landlords and local authorities.

The additional numbers of social rent dwellings provided by local authorities and registered social landlords in each of the last 10 years in England are given in the following table. A further 7,900 social rent housing units were provided over the period that were funded solely through section 106 agreements.

We have set the Housing Corporation a target to provide 21,000 social rent homes in 2006-07 and 28,000 in 2007-08 through its affordable housing programme. This combined with homes provided through other initiatives including local authorities will allow us to meet our target of providing 30,000 social rented homes a year by 2008.

The majority of public sector investment for new social housing goes to housing associations as they can lever in around 40 per cent. independent borrowing and deliver more units than local authorities for a given amount of public subsidy. The Government are currently looking at ways for local authorities to play a greater role in building more homes.

Additional social rent units provided: England
Local authorities Registered social landlords































1. Includes new build and acquisitions.
2. Excludes 7,900 dwellings funded solely through section 106 agreements.
Housing Corporation, Local Authorities (HSSA, P2)

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Thames Gateway

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department has spent on external (a) communications, (b) branding and (c) marketing advice for the Thames Gateway project. [103854]

Yvette Cooper: My Department has spent a total of £330,000 on communications including the development of the Thames Gateway section of the Department for Communities and Local Government website, information capture mechanisms, inward investment marketing and surveys of residents.

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will break down by programme expenditure on the Thames Gateway initiative in the (a) London, (b) Eastern and (c) South East region in the most recent year for which figures are available. [117528]

Yvette Cooper: Expenditure by the Department for Communities and Local Government as part of the Thames Gateway programme in the year ending 31 March 2006 was broken down as follows:

Amount (£ million)





South East


This is in addition to cross-government investment in infrastructure in the Thames Gateway.


Civilian Prisoners: Compensation

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the claims for compensation from (a) Ralph Armstrong, (b) Felix Carady and (c) Maisie Prendergast under the scheme for British civilian prisoners of the Japanese put to him by the Association of British Internees on 28th July 2006 have been paid. [112355]

Derek Twigg: It would not be appropriate to comment publicly on these individual cases. As at January 2007, 134 claims have been paid under the 20-year UK residence criterion introduced last year; 44 are under consideration; but 11 claims are being held following agreement with the association of British Civilian Internees Far East Region (ABCIFER) that claims would not be rejected until we had discussed with the association the way in which the 20-year residency criterion was working and investigated any concerns. When I met with the chairman of ABCIFER on 13 December 2006, he raised a number of concerns which we are investigating, including consulting other Government Departments where required. I expect this work to be resolved shortly and will then both respond to ABCIFER on the issues raised and advise the claimants of the decisions on their claims.

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Departmental Vetting

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether information about individuals, other than their previous convictions, held on local police databases is accessible by the Defence Vetting Agency when undertaking clearance checks for his Department. [116655]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 23 January 2007]: For national security clearances the Defence Vetting Agency in common with other vetting authorities in Government has routine access to data on the Police National Computer and carries out other checks, including checks with the Security Service, in accordance with the Prime Minister's Statement on vetting on 15 December 1994, Official Report, column 764 -766W. This does not include direct access to local police databases. Separately, the Defence Vetting Agency is the designated Defence authority for carrying out checks with the Criminal Records Bureau in order to meet statutory obligations in respect of staff who work with children and vulnerable adults.

EU Fundamental Rights Agency

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect of the activities of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency on his Department. [108096]

Derek Twigg: I do not envisage any significant impact by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency upon the activities of the Department. The work of the Agency will focus on Community law.

Ex-servicemen: Medals

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to promote awareness of the veterans badge and its availability. [118366]

Derek Twigg: The eligibility to apply for the HM armed forces veterans badge and UK merchant seafarers veterans badge is advertised on the Veterans Agency website ( It has also been publicised through Government and ex-Service organisation publications, through local and national press articles featuring coverage of announcements of extensions of eligibility to apply for the badges and through badge-presentation ceremonies. We are also promoting badge-presentation ceremonies as a key part of this year's Veterans Day events. The position is kept under review, including considering opportunities to provide further publicity for the scheme.


Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what UK troops are stationed in Kuwait; [118876]

(2) what support the Government of Kuwait give to the UK for the stationing of UK troops in that country. [118877]

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Des Browne: As at 28 January, the UK had around 70 military personnel stationed in Kuwait. They are: a small defence section in the British embassy, a British military mission to the Kuwaiti armed forces, and a small number of logistics, movement and engineering staff.

The Government of Kuwait reimburse the British Government for the costs of the British military mission, and provide a small degree of support for our movements, logistics and engineering staff based in Kuwait.

Nuclear Weapons

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what factors were taken into account in reaching the conclusion in the White Paper on the future of the UK's nuclear deterrent that the upper limit on the number of operationally available warheads should be 160; and what (a) methodology and (b) calculations were used in reaching that conclusion. [119285]

Des Browne: As we said in paragraph 4-9 of the White Paper ‘The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent’, Official Report, column 6994, published on 4 December, in determining the scale of minimum nuclear deterrent,

The new upper limit of less than 160 operationally available warheads reflects the results of that judgment, together with our NATO commitments, and the way in which we operate the deterrent submarines. I am withholding further details as their disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the defence of the United Kingdom.

Home Department

Animal Welfare

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 24 January 2007, Official Report, column 1822W, on animal welfare, in what ways animal welfare stakeholders will be actively involved in the development of the Animals Scientific Procedures Better Regulation Programme; and what effect the programme will have on (a) the procedures licensed under the 1986 Act and (b) the codes of practice for the housing and care of animals. [117529]

Joan Ryan: A steering group has been convened to advise on strategic and cross-cutting issues arising from the Animals Scientific Procedures Better Regulation Programme to ensure that any changes to the regulatory system do not compromise animal welfare. The steering group has representation from the Home Office and other Government Departments, industry, academia and organisations focused on animal protection and the reduction, refinement and replacement of animal procedures.

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We are also currently setting up a working group of operational level practitioners to help identify and prioritise the key regulatory requirements and administrative processes to be improved, compliance costs to be reduced, and to help devise and test practical solutions. The maintenance of animal welfare standards will be a key consideration for the working group. In addition, aspects of the programme will be subject to a public consultation to which all stakeholders, including animal welfare groups, will be encouraged to contribute.

We have no intention of introducing measures that will weaken the protections afforded by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 or harm animal welfare. The programme will not result in changes to procedures permitted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, or to the housing and care of animals bred and used under the Act.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which of his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies are directly or indirectly connected with animal health and welfare; whether an animal welfare specialist is represented on each; and if he will make a statement. [117675]

Joan Ryan: The Home Office has one advisory body concerned with animal health and welfare, the Animal Procedures Committee. The role of the Animal Procedures Committee is to advise the Home Secretary on matters concerned with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and his functions under it.

All members of the committee share a common concern for the welfare of the animals used in scientific procedures, and in considering any matter must have regard both to the legitimate requirements of science and industry and to the protection of animals against avoidable suffering and unnecessary use.

Under section 19 of the Act, excluding the chairman, there must be a minimum of 12 members, one must be a lawyer and at least two thirds must be medical practitioners, veterinary surgeons or have qualifications or experience in a biological subject. At least half of the members must not have held a licence to carry out procedures on animals within the last six years and animal welfare interests must be adequately represented.

Members are selected on personal merit, and not as nominees, delegates or representatives of any organisations or pressure groups.

Current membership includes one member employed by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and one employed by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research.

Bermuda Regiment

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) United Kingdom police and (b) the Immigration and Nationality Directorate co-operate with the Bermuda Regiment in enforcing male conscription amongst Bermudians resident in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. [111634]

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Mr. Hoon: I have been asked to reply.

We understand that the Bermuda Regiment has never requested the assistance of the UK police or Immigration and Nationality Directorate to assist in enforcing conscription of Bermudians resident in the UK.

Biometric Data

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with which foreign agencies his Department has shared biometric data in the last 12 months. [111239]

Joan Ryan: The need for sharing biometric data with foreign agencies is business specific and as such there is no central record detailing the specific agencies that the Home Office has shared biometric data with over the last 12 months.

The Home Office does share biometric information with foreign agencies on a case-by-case basis where this is necessary for the prevention or detection of crime, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders or for immigration purposes, and this includes:

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