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Preston city council
South Norfolk district council
Society of District Council Treasurers
London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
East Riding of Yorkshire council
Greater Merseyside councils
Gloucester city council
Windsor and Maidenhead council
Bournemouth borough council
Croydon borough council
Mr. Woolas: The earliest date that an instalment of council tax may become due is 1 April of the financial year to which it relates, subject to demand notices being served at least fourteen days prior to that date.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 20 February 2007,
Official Report, columns 13-17WS, on departmental expenditure limits, what the purpose was of the provision of £5,000,000 for the Combined Universities of Cornwall of funding from the Development of English Regions programme. 
Angela E. Smith: The £5,000,000 referred to is a contribution to the match funding needed to enable the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) to access funding from the European Regional Development Fund Objective 1 programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, to support phase two of the project to develop the CUC.
Angela E. Smith: My Department is fully committed to playing our role in the Governments strategy on climate change. Recent improvements we have made to the energy efficiency of building regulations, have, for example, reduced energy use by around 40 per cent. Compared to pre-2002 levels. And we have recently consulted on making all new homes zero carbon by 2016which together with our new Code for Sustainable Homes and our new draft planning policy statement on climate changecould save between 5 and 7 million tonnes of carbon by 2020. Further details on the Departments climate change policy can be found at:
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many formal complaints were made to her Department on the conduct of (a) the Department and (b) individual members of staff in the last 12 months. 
Angela E. Smith: There have been four complaints made to the Department in the period from March 2006 to February 2007I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 5 March 2007, Official Report, column 1784W.
Over the same period there have been four formal complaints made about the conduct of individual members of staff during that period. These are currently subject to action under the formal complaints procedures set out in the staff handbook.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which databases in her Department are (a) owned, (b) internally managed and (c) managed or maintained by external firms or consultants. 
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what strategy she has put in place for (a) the use of renewable energy and (b) meeting energy targets in her Departments buildings; and if she will make a statement. 
Angela E. Smith: Communities and Local Government published its energy strategy in May 2006. The strategy was a response to specific energy targets relating to carbon emissions and energy efficiency that Government Departments were mandated to meet. We have worked with the Carbon Trust, using their expertise to assist us in identifying improved methods of working and projects that will enable us to improve our use of energy and to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions. We are implementing our Energy efficiency Action Plan for our London HQ buildings and our progress against the targets is published annually by the Sustainable Development Commission.
Communities and Local Governments HQ estate currently obtains 99 per cent. of its electricity from renewable sources. The remaining 1 per cent. is provided by our landlord in a multi-occupancy building as part of the service charge, and they have no proposals to change this arrangement.
CLGs agencies obtain 52 per cent. of their electricity from renewable sources; at this time they have no plans to increase this percentage, although the situation is reviewed annually. This review takes into consideration factors such as cost, market forces and Government commitments.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will break down by (a) sex, (b) age, (c) disability and (d) ethnic background the number of staff in the Equal Opportunities Commission. 
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance (a) her Department, (b) its agencies and (c) sponsored public bodies has produced on making the award of public contracts conditional on the bidding private sector firms meeting equality or diversity criteria or targets. 
The Corporate Procurement Division (CPD) dictates Procurement Policy and provides Guidance for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). This Guidance is not mandatory for DCLG Agencies and DCLG sponsored public bodies but is a source of best practice and incorporates material from other sources, including the Office of Government Commerce and the Commission of Racial Equality.
This Guidance outlines the scope to take account of social considerations, such as equality and diversity issues, in the procurement process in line with the European procurement rules and the Government's procurement policy based on value for money. In order to be consistent with the procurement policy and legal framework, using the meeting of equality or diversity criteria or targets as Tender evaluation criteria is permissible when they are of relevance to the function or service being carried out.
DCLG procurement policy is to evaluate the Sustainability aspects of each procurement at the earliest stage, to identify if equality, diversity criteria or similar can be used as evaluation tools to determine the award of Contract.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effect on the amount of Green Belt land in the South East of the proposals in the South East Regional Spatial Strategy. 
Meg Munn: The policies contained in the South East Regional Spatial Strategy, including those relating to the greenbelt are currently being tested through an independent panel, their report is due to be submitted to the Secretary of State in July 2007.
We are currently undertaking a review of the building control system as a whole which will include our future approach to the review of the regulations. I expect to make a preliminary announcement on this within the next few weeks and to issue a consultation paper later in the year. It is not therefore possible at this point to say when the next review of part G will take place but I am clear that once we have agreed a way forward it should be a priority.
In the meantime my officials have been working with industry to provide plumbers and housing managers with information on the hazards presented by certain types of water heating systems and guidance on how to minimise these. We will continue to do this to ensure that the issues are understood and acted upon as widely as possible.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment her Department has made of the causes of recent trends in public satisfaction with council services. 
51 per cent. satisfied with the overall performance of the local authoritya decline of 2 percentage points since 2003-04.
32 per cent. of complainants satisfied with the handling of their complaintsan improvement of 1 percentage point since 2003-04
64 per cent. satisfied with the cleanliness standard (keeping land clear of litter and waste) in their areaan improvement of 9 percentage points since 2003-04.
79 per cent. satisfied with household waste collectiona decline of 2 percentage points since 2003-04.
66 per cent. satisfied with waste recycling (local facilities)an improvement of 5 percentage points since 2003-04.
79 per cent. satisfied with waste disposal (local tips)an improvement of 4 percentage points since 2003
54 per cent. satisfaction with local transport informationan improvement of 4 percentage points since 2003-04.
60 per cent. satisfied with local bus servicesan improvement of 6 percentage points since 2003-04.
55 per cent. satisfied with sports and leisure facilitiesan improvement of 3 percentage points since 2003-04.
71 per cent. satisfied with librariesan improvement of 4 percentage points since 2003-04.
43 per cent. satisfied with museums and galleriesa decline of 1 percentage point since 2003-04.
44 per cent. satisfied with theatres and concert hallsa decline of 3 percentage points since 2003-04.
72 per cent. satisfied with parks and open spaces an improvement of 2 percentage points since 2003-04.
No aggregate 2006-07 results are available yet for district councils as these data have not been fully validated and published. Similarly, because the 2006-07 average for all councils in England uses single and upper-tier data, these satisfaction figures are also not available yet.
Given this substantial dataset of approximately 210,000 respondents only became available earlier this year, detailed statistical analysis of the causes of these trends is in its earliest stages. Work to date has concentrated on potential drivers of overall satisfaction with local government rather than individual services. This has shown that communication by local government is importantthe more informed people feel the more satisfied they are with their local authority. Similarly, participation and empowerment are significantthe more satisfied people are with opportunities to participate and their level of influence in local decision-making the more satisfied they are with their local authority. Performance is also criticalthe higher the CPA star category of an authority and the higher its direction of travel assessment the more satisfied people are. There are also variations in satisfaction by age and gender and direct experience of servicesolder people tend to be more satisfied as do women and those who are direct users of local government services. Lastly, overall satisfaction with an area is strongly associated with satisfaction with the council.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the overall public satisfaction figures for (a) all local authorities and (b) each tier of local authority as collected by her Department and its predecessors' best value performance surveys were in each year that they have been collected. 
Mr. Woolas: The overall public satisfaction figures from the best value performance indicator surveys for England for (a) all authorities in England and (b) each tier of local government for the years in which these data have been collected are as follows:
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