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Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many compulsory purchase orders have been served to tackle land-banking since the relevant provisions of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 in (a) rural and (b) non-rural areas were brought into force; and if she will make a statement. 
Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department has considered the issue of precedent in the approval of planning applications for the development of open space designated for sport that has been held derelict for the purpose of increasing the value of the land; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: Any planning application for land previously used for sport will be considered by a local planning authority by having regard to policies in the development plan for their area, to national planning guidance and to any planning considerations that are material to the individual case. Planning decisions should be taken in line with relevant policies in the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The condition of the land, and the fact that land is no longer used for sporting purposes may be capable of being material considerations in particular planning cases.
Planning Policy Guidance note 17 on Open Space, Sport and Recreation is clear that open spaces that are needed by local communities should be protected and not developed for other uses. Planning authorities should undertake assessments of their open space and the sport and recreational needs of their communities and only consider granting planning permission for development where open spaces are surplus to requirements.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what assessment she has made of (a) the adequacy of financial support to leaseholders of (i) councils and (ii)
housing associations and (b) the case for improvements to the statutory right to a service charge loan; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) whether (a) Decent Homes Standard funding and (b) other Government funding can be used to assist leaseholders of (i) council and (ii) housing association properties in areas where Decent Homes Standard spending programmes are underway. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 5 February 2007]: The Government are reviewing the issues raised by high service charges payable by leaseholders of social landlords. The review covers all the means of assistance currently available, including:
mandatory capping of service charges where the works are funded from specified central programmes;
discretionary capping by landlords in cases where specified criteria, including exceptional hardship, are met;
loan and deferred payment schemes, and
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the total amount available from her Department to local authorities in the North West for disabled facilities grants was in 2006-07; how much was bid for by each local authority; how much has been allocated to each local authority; and what use will be made by her Department of any underspend. 
Provision is made in funding arrangements for DFG specified capital grant so that any local authority which is experiencing programme slippage can carry over the underspend from year to year. In other cases grant underspends are returned to the Department and because the DFG funding is ring-fenced these receipts are recycled into future local authority allocations for this programme.
|Local authority disabled facilities grant allocations for 2006-07north west region|
|LA name||LA bid||Allocation|
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received on the local government finance settlement for 2007-08; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: The consultation on Governments proposals for the 2007-08 local government finance settlement closed on 5 January 2007. Communities and Local Government received a total of 169 written representations within the consultation deadlines from the Local Government Association and London councils, from local authorities, local authority groups and hon. Members. I also met with delegations from London councils, the Special Interest Group of Metropolitan Authorities and other groups representing the different types of local authority in England, to discuss the proposals.
Having considered all the representations received during consultation, I announced our final proposals on the 2007-08 local government finance settlement on 18 January 2007. The House will have the opportunity to debate them shortly.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether a local authority will be able to move back to an indirectly elected model once it has opted for a directly elected mayor or executive under the Local Government White Paper proposals; and whether an authority can opt to move between directly elected models. 
Mr. Woolas: The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill provides for an authority to move between governance models. Should an authority wish to move away from a directly elected model they have to adhere to safeguards provided in the Bill that ensure that local people have a say.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) population, (b) formula grant and (c) formula grant per head of population is for each county council and metropolitan borough, in descending order of the grant per head. 
Mr. Woolas: A table has been placed in the Library of the House showing the 2007 sub-national population projections, the 2007-08 formula grant and the 2007-08 formula grant per head for all authorities that have responsibility for education and social services. These include county council, metropolitan boroughs, London boroughs and shire unitary authorities.
|HRA subsidy 1995-96 to 2005-06, Chorley borough council|
| Notes: 1. Prior to 31 March 2004 HRA subsidy included a rent rebate element. Figures provided are for the housing element only, which equates precisely with the HRA subsidy system since 1 April 2004. 2. The negative figures show that Chorley generate an assumed surplus, which is captured and recycled within the subsidy system to contribute, along with an Exchequer contribution, towards deficit authorities. 3. The Major Repairs Allowance was introduced in 2001, providing substantial additional funds to counter depreciation of housing stock.|
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