Meg Munn: Since 1 January 2007 I have answered four parliamentary questions relating to planning and telecommunications and received 21 letters from MPs on this subject. I have not had any external meetings to discuss this issue in the corresponding time period.
In addition, my officials have dealt with a number of queries on this issue from members of the public and have attended a meeting of the Electronic Communications Working Group at which representatives of the telecommunications industry were present. The meeting was one in an ongoing series of meetings to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps have been taken to enforce Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) protection for residential home staff transferred from local government to private employment; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: Subject to certain qualifying conditions, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 apply when a business or undertaking, or part of one, is transferred to a new employer; or when a service provision change takes place (for example, where a contractor takes on a contract to provide a service for a client from another contractor).
These two circumstances are jointly categorised as relevant transfers. Once a relevant transfer has occurred if any employee considers that their contractual rights have been infringed they may be able to seek redress through the civil courts or the employment tribunals.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will bring forward proposals to amend the system of council tax to allow for the levying of a local supplement on council tax for second homes in areas where they represent a significant proportion of housing. 
Mr. Woolas: We have already given local authorities flexibility to reduce the council tax discount offered on second homes to 10 per cent. In 2005-06 that raised an additional £92 million to spend on local priorities. We have no plans to make further changes.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her latest estimate is of the level of coverage by percentage landmass and signal strength provided by the Firelink digital radio system (a) in each fire service and (b) by region; and if she will place in the Library a map detailing such information. 
Angela E. Smith: Once the Firelink service is fully rolled out the contract will provide coverage averaging 98 per cent. in England, 95 per cent. in Wales and 88 per cent. in Scotland, which is less populated and more mountainous. The following tables list the contracted coverage by fire and rescue service area and by region. These modelled forecasts will be validated through tests in each fire and rescue service prior to Firelink becoming operational.
|Firelink region||Percentage covered|
| Note: In practice, coverage may be higher than contracted values for technical reasons. The signal strength varies due to the distance from the radio base station and other environmental factors. For the values generated in the above tables, the signal strength will range from -40dBm in the close proximity to a transmitter to a level of -103dBm at the edge of the radio cell.|
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the budget was of the Government office for London in each year between 1997 and 2006; and how many civil servants were employed by that office in each year. 
|As at April||Number|
|(1) March figures|
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