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21 May 2007 : Column 1103W—continued

Housing: Rural Areas

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to stop rural de-population; what steps she is taking to encourage (a) house building and (b) social housing development in village communities; and what progress has been made with the Goodman Review. [136766]

Yvette Cooper: The population of rural districts grew by almost 800,000 between 1995 and 2005, and is projected to rise by another 2 million by 2029. The rate of increase in rural areas is more than double that for urban areas, which is one of the reasons we have to increase the supply of housing in rural communities.

Following an independent review by Kate Barker in 2004, Government set a challenging ambition to increase the supply of new housing overall to at least 200,000 per annum by 2016. Good progress has already been made—from a low of around 130,000 new homes in 2001-02, housing supply has increased to over 180,000 in 2005-06.


21 May 2007 : Column 1104W

Our recent Planning Policy Statement, “Housing” (PPS3) requires local authorities and regions to take a positive and active approach to creating sustainable rural communities, including setting housing provision figures for rural local planning authorities and housing market areas, and adopting targets for the delivery of rural affordable housing.

PPS3 was strongly informed by the work of the Affordable Rural Housing Commission. Other issues for central Government in the Commission’s report we are addressing or will consider as part of the forthcoming comprehensive spending review. Progress is detailed on the Affordable Rural Housing website managed jointly by this Department and the Department for Rural Affairs.

Housing: Standards

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the tenants of homes improved under the Decent Homes Programme are informed of the SAP rating of their homes; and if she will make a statement. [135725]

Yvette Cooper: At present there is no Government requirement for social tenants to be informed of the SAP rating of their homes but this will change with the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The legislation for this was laid in Parliament in March 2007 and will come into force in a phased manner. From 1 October 2008, energy performance certificates will have to be given to tenants each time a home is rented out.

Housing: Swindon

Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department has spent on improving the condition of social housing in Swindon in each year since 1995. [127664]

Yvette Cooper: The earliest year for which figures are practically available is 1998-99. Pre 1998-99 data is available at disproportionate cost only.

The two funding streams that the Department awards for spending on council housing are supported borrowing and the major repairs allowance. Supported borrowing is where the Government pay the interest on local authority borrowing, allowing it to borrow for capital works to the stock. Under supported borrowing the amounts Swindon borough council has been awarded in Basic Credit Approvals BCA(1998-99 to 2003-04) and Housing Revenue Account Supported Capital Expenditure (SCE) (2004-05 to 2007-08) are set out in the following table. SCEs for 2004-5 and 2005-06 covered expenditure on both council stock and private sector stock, and allocations were not hypothecated. From 2006-07 onwards SCEs covered only expenditure on council housing. The major repairs allowance only came into effect in 2001-02.


21 May 2007 : Column 1105W
(£)
Supported borrowing Major repairs allowance

1998-1999

657,530

n/a

1999-2000

743,000

n/a

2000-2001

0

n/a

2001-2002

0

5,878,121

2002-2003

317,000

5,980,078

2003-2004

794,000

6,096,899

2004-2005

1,012,474

6,171,566

2005-2006

1,293,368

6,342,804

2006-2007

500,000

6,519,964

2007-2008

500,000

6,665,169

n/a = Not applicable

Grants for non-local authority social housing, provided through the Housing Corporation's Affordable Housing Programme for miscellaneous works including improvements works to Registered Social Landlords' housing stock in Swindon, are as follows:

£

1997-98

69,600

1998-99

0

1999-00

35,800

2000-01

0

2001-02

95,600

2002-03

9,800

2003-04

169,700

2004-05

0

2005-06

0


Pre 1997-1998 data is only available at disproportionate cost. 2005-06 is the last year for which we have audited data.

Local authorities are, of course, free to spend their own resources on social housing, just as registered social landlords are.

Local Authorities: Environment Protection

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what value of fines were levied in England and Wales by local authorities with respect to offences under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in each year since 1997-98. [137890]

Mr. Bradshaw: I have been asked to reply.

The number and value of fines relating to littering offences in England are shown in the following table.

Under sections 92 and 94 of the Environmental Protection Act, local authorities can prosecute for a maximum £2,500 fine for failure to comply with either a litter clearing notice or street litter control notice. We do not hold data on the number or value of these fines prior to 2006. From April 2006, a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) is available as an alternative to prosecution for these offences and this data will be available in July. Data relating to offences in Wales are held by the Welsh Assembly Government.


21 May 2007 : Column 1106W
Littering FPNs issues Collected (£)

2005-06

33,033

911,813

2004-05

25,326

434,869

2003-02

7,565

(1)

2002-03

12,820

231,547

2001-02

11,652

138,840

2000-01

2,247

(1)

1999-2000

2,970

39,075

1998-09

4,778

63,240

(1) No data available.

Local Government Finance: Greater London

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what the (a) cash and (b) percentage change has been in total external support for each London local authority since 1997; [137756]

(2) what the (a) cash and (b) percentage change has been in Government support per 1,000 people in each London local authority since 1997. [137757]

Mr. Woolas: Information on the amount of and percentage change in Government funding for each London local authority since 1997, both actual and per 1,000 people, has been made available in tables which have been placed in the Library of the House.

Government funding is defined here as the sum of specific grants inside Aggregate External Finance (AEF), formula grant (Revenue Support Grant, Redistributed business rates and Police Grant) and General Greater London Authority (GLA) Grant.

The figures exclude grants outside AEF (i.e. where funding is not for an authority’s core services, but is passed to a third party; for example, as in the case of mandatory student awards), capital grants, funding for local authorities’ housing management responsibilities and those grant programmes (such as European funding) where authorities are simply one of the recipients of funding paid towards an area.

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which grants for which her Department is responsible have been made to Westminster city council, outside the revenue support grant, in each year since 1997-98; and what the value was of each grant. [137758]

Mr. Woolas: The grants made to Westminster city council in each year since 1997-98 by this Department, as recorded by the council in the Communities and Local Government Revenue returns, are shown in the following table (all figures in £000s):


21 May 2007 : Column 1107W

21 May 2007 : Column 1108W
Grants £000

1997-98

Nil

1998-99

Other grants within AEF

50

1999-2000

The Private Finance Initiative

341

2000-01

The Private Finance Initiative

524

Other grants within AEF

1,014

2001-02

Neighbourhood Renewal Fund

749

The Private Finance Initiative

504

Other grants within AEF

2,002

2002-03

Supporting People Implementation Grant

313

Neighbourhood Renewal Fund

1,123

The Private Finance Initiative

491

Other grants within AEF

690

2003-04

Local Public Service Agreement Performance Reward

36

Neighbourhood Renewal Fund

1,779

Planning Delivery

51

The Private Finance Initiative

472

Supporting People Administration

344

Supporting People Programme

18,193

Other

6,791

2004-05

Homelessness Strategies

6,896

Local Public Service Agreement Performance Reward

193

Neighbourhood Renewal Fund

1,468

Neighbourhood Wardens

256

Planning Development

426

Supporting People Administration

336

Supporting People Programme—Housing

17,787

Other

2,969

2005-06

Homelessness Strategies

6,195

Local Authority Business Growth Incentives scheme

109

Local Public Service Agreement Performance Reward

61

Neighbourhood Renewal Fund

1,486

Planning Delivery

394

Supporting People Administration

269

Supporting People Programme—Housing

17,681

Other grants within AEF

3,050

2006-07

Homelessness Strategies

6,500

Local Authority Business Growth Incentives scheme

1,444

Local Public Service Agreement Performance Reward Grant

299

Neighbourhood Renewal Fund

2,347

Planning Delivery

675

Supporting People Administration Grant

269

Supporting People Programme—Housing

17,022

Other grants within AEF

3,108


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