|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which Objective 2 schemes in the North East were held to be deficient in the management of expenditure, resulting in the suspension by the European Commission of all European Regional Development Fund payments to the UK. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 2 May 2007]: The European Commission is holding back the reimbursement of some expenditure by the Government on European Regional Development Fund 2000-06 programmes in some regions in England, including the North East, not across the whole of the UK. The European Commission has required that more on site checks of projects funded from the European Regional Development Fund are carried out by the Government Office for the North East to ensure that projects are complying with particular European Commission requirements. The European Commission has not referred to specific projects in the North East programme in this regard. The Government Office for the North East has put in place a robust action plan to deal with the issues and has achieved targets for on site checks set for the end of March. Discussions are continuing with the Commission with a view to getting expenditure reimbursed as soon as possible.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking (a) to investigate and (b) to remedy the causes of the suspension of European Regional Development funding to the Government office for London; what those causes are; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The European Commission is holding back the reimbursement of some expenditure by the Government on European Regional Development Fund 2000-06 programmes in some regions in England, including London, until additional on site checks have been completed to ensure that projects comply with particular European Commission criteria. The Government office for London put in place a robust plan to deal with the issues as soon as they were raised and action has been taken to deal with them. Discussions are continuing with the Commission with a view to getting expenditure reimbursed as soon as possible.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homeless people there were in (a) Hartlepool constituency and (b) Tees Valley sub-region in each of the last 10 years. 
Yvette Cooper: Information about local authorities actions under homelessness legislation is collected quarterly at local authority level, in respect of households rather than people. There are five local authorities in the Tees Valley sub-region: Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees. The constituency of Hartlepool comprises the local authority of Hartlepool.
Information reported each quarter by local authorities about their activities under homelessness legislation includes the number of households accepted by local authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty.
The duty owed to an accepted household is to secure suitable accommodation. If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority may secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available. The number of households in temporary accommodation arranged by the councils under homelessness legislation, as at the end of each quarter, is reported by local authorities, and includes both those households who have been accepted as owed the main homelessness duty, and those for which inquiries are pending.
These are data published in our quarterly statistical release on Statutory Homelessness, which includes a Supplementary Table showing the breakdown of key data, including acceptances and temporary accommodation, by each local authority. This is published on our website and placed in the Library each quarter.
Since 1998, information has also been collected on the number of people who sleep roughthat is, those who are literally roofless on a single nightand these are also published on our website, by local authority.
Summary tables showing the total number of households (a) accepted under homelessness provisions and (b) in temporary accommodation, from 1997-98 to 2005-06, and (c) rough sleeper estimates from 1998 onwards, for each local authority (including those within the Tees Valley sub-region), were placed in the Library in response to the answer given on 23 October 2006, Official Report, columns 1663-64W, to my hon. Friend the Member for the Vale of Clwyd (Chris Ruane).
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 26 March 2007, O fficial Report, columns 1329-30W, on housing: construction, what estimate she has made of the number and percentage of the houses built in each category in 2005-06 that were built (a) for rental purposes and (b) as social housing. 
|Social for rent housing provision in England, Hampshire and districts|
1. LA figures are as reported.
Social housing provision includes new build and acquisitions.
Housing Corporation, statistical returns from local authorities.
Social for rent supply includes new build and acquisitions. The figures only make up part of the affordable housing supply with other dwellings being provided through low cost home ownership schemes. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on the 5 March 2007, Official Report, column 1800W, for total affordable homes provided in Hampshire.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to use building regulation standards to promote (a) energy efficiency, (b) modern heating systems including solar thermal and (c) microgeneration. 
Angela E. Smith: Part L of the Building Regulations is concerned with the conservation of fuel and power. The provisions were amended in April 2006 to raise energy efficiency standards and change the method of showing compliance. Without prescribing solutions, this new approach and associated calculation tools, take into account the low carbon benefits of solar thermal and other microgeneration systems, thus encouraging their use. Guidance was published alongside the Part L changes to highlight the contribution that these technologies can make. These standards are kept under review and the Government have signalled the next comprehensive amendment will come into effect around 2010.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to increase the number of new (a) affordable and (b) social houses available in Hartlepool constituency in the next five years. 
Yvette Cooper: The Housing Corporation programme for 2006-08 currently includes an allocation of over £3.7 million which should provide 65 new rented units in the borough. In addition a recent allocation has been made to fund 20 new social home buy units. There will be the opportunity for more homes to be provided by way of the next bidding round which covers the period 2008 onwards.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what policy reason Planning Policy Statement 3 prevents local authorities from using windfall sites to meet their housebuilding targets. 
Yvette Cooper: Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing (PPS3) does not stop local authorities taking advantage of windfall sites to boost the delivery of housing in their areas. But it does seek to ensure that, generally speaking, housing provision is properly planned, and that local authorities develop clear and informed strategies for the location of housing development, and for the infrastructure needed to service it. PPS3 asks local authorities, wherever they can, to identify specific sites in their plans where they consider homes should be built, including brownfield sites, and discourages an over-reliance on windfall sites (such as garden land) that may come forward randomly and speculatively.
We recognise that in some circumstances it may make sense for local authorities, within a planned strategy, to include a windfall allowance in planning their land supply. Under PPS3 policy, it is open to them to do this, if they can clearly demonstrate why, in the particular circumstances of their local area, specific sites cannot be identified.
Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the private sector housing renewal grant was for the south-west in 2006-07; what it is projected to be in 2007-08; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The regional housing pot, which includes private sector renewal grant, provides investment for the provision of new affordable homes, bringing local authority stock up to the Decent Homes standard, improvements in private sector stock and provision of sites for Gypsies and Travellers. The balance between these priorities is determined on advice given by the regions.
The south-west share of the regional housing pot rose from £154 million in 2006-07 to £190 million in 2007-08. Following advice from the region, we allocated £31 million in 2006-07 to local authorities to
support improvement work in the private sector and will be allocating £28 million later this month for the same purpose in 2007-08.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what payments her Department has made to Key Real Estate Ltd, trading as Key Homes in the last 12 months; and what the (a) date, (b) value and (c) purpose was of each payment. 
Mr. Woolas: Policy responsibility for the provision and funding of local authority noise abatement services rests with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The Government provide funding for these services through Formula Grant (Revenue Support Grant and National Non-Domestic Rates). This is unhypothecated and decisions on the use of that funding are for local authorities. The Government are committed to ensuring that, wherever possible, councils receive funding through unhypothecated provision. The Chancellor announced in the recent Budget report that the Government are committed to set out a clear target to reduce specific grants and ring fenced funding to local authorities.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what initiatives she is considering for the use of local authority contracts to stimulate the skills training and employment of local unemployed men and women. 
Mr. Woolas: The Governments established policy is that all public procurement should be based on value for money, having due regard to propriety and regularity. Subject to their legal duties, including public procurement law, the duty of best value and equalities law, local authorities are responsible for taking their own procurement decisions.
The use of contract clauses to promote social, economic or environmental factors, for example in relation to skills training and employment, may be permitted in circumstances where the clauses link into the subject matter of the contract.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons she has not responded to (a) the letter from Mr. Fielder of Weston-Super-Mare on home
information packs forwarded by the hon. Member for Weston-Super-Mare on 5 February and (b) the letters of (i) 14 March and (ii) 29 March from the hon. Member. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|