Ruth Kelly: An estimate of the average Band D council tax set by parish and town councils in 2006-07 is to be found in table A2b of Local Government Financial Statistics England No. 17 which was published on 30 April 2007.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) average Band D council tax and (b) average council tax per dwelling in (i) each government office region in England, (ii) two-tier areas, (iii) unitary areas, (iv) metropolitan areas and (v) London boroughs is for 2007-08. 
Ruth Kelly: Details of the average Band D council tax and average council tax per dwelling for 2007-08 were published in a statistical release Levels of council tax set by local authorities in England2007-08 on 27 March 2007.
Angela E. Smith: Communities and Local Government calculates its carbon emissions from buildings by establishing energy consumption in kilowatt hours, through either automated meter reads, manual meter reads or utility billing information. The resultant energy consumption figures are then multiplied by the relevant carbon emission factors.
All carbon conversion factors are provided by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs, and the resultant emissions data are submitted to the Sustainable Development Commission as part of the Sustainable Development in Government Report. Last
years report is available on the Sustainable Development Commissions Sustainable Development in Government (SDiG) Report 2006 website:
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local government institutions have contacted her Department for guidance on visits from (a) Narconon and (b) the Church of Scientology in the last two years; and what guidance has been issued by her Department. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will list the outside (a) agencies and (b) consultancies which are undertaking work commissioned by her Department; and what the (i) purpose and (ii) cost is of each commission. 
Communities and Local Government has engaged consultants to support policy development in response to the need to develop sustainable homes and communities. The skills required for these programmes were not available from civil servants.
In addition, specialist skills including project management, finance, engineering, technology specification, building specification and design, security and resilience have been procured to support the delivery of projects to enhance the ability of the Fire and Rescue Service to respond to major incidents.
The work undertaken includes provision of radio engineering expertise for the new radio systems for the Fire and Rescue Service; also, logistical support and design for responding to chemical, biological, radioactive or nuclear incident, and search and rescue incidents.
|Vendor name||Programme||Value of supply 1 April 2003- 30 March 2007 (£ million)|
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has issued to local authorities on their duties in respect of regular rubbish collection. 
My Department has funded research and guidance through the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to assist local authorities in carrying out their waste collection operations in their chosen manner efficiently and effectively. However, decisions on the best way to collect waste are rightly a matter for local authorities, not central government.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the action plan produced by her Department and the Government offices in response to the decision of the European Commission to suspend European Regional Development Fund funding. 
Ruth Kelly: I have placed a copy of the Roadmap to Assurance in the Library of the House, which sets out the Departments response to the EC decision to delay payment to five English ERDF programmes and one urban programme. The roadmap supplements and strengthens guidance already issued by the Department.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in respect of which programmes within the European Regional Development Fund the European Commission has (a) called for more site checks and (b) held back payments. 
Objective 1 Merseyside
Objective 1 South Yorkshire
Objective 2 West Midlands
Objective 2 Yorkshire and The Humber
Objective 2 North East of England
Objective 2 London
Burnley, Blackburn and Darwen
Halifax in Calderdale
Hetton and Murton
These programmes have increased the number of on site checks as part of a robust action plan to address the Commission requirements. We are confident that payments can resume quickly after we have submitted our reports to the Commission at the beginning of July.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received from local authorities on the Governments estimates of numbers of immigrants; and what discussions she has had with the Office for National Statistics on this issue. 
Ruth Kelly: Communities and Local Government receive representations from local authorities about the Office for National Statistics (ONS) population estimates and population projections used in the local government finance settlements on a range of issues.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has produced on the balance of political representation within local authority area committees. 
Ruth Kelly: The Department issued the New Council Constitutions Guidance Pack to local authorities in 2000, which includes reference to the rules relating to the political balance of area committees. The documents are available in the Library of the House and can be found on the Communities and Local Government website at:
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average business rates bill was in England in each year since 1996-97; and what it is expected to be in 2007-08. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the effect on revenue of removing the relief for empty property from business rates. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many individual premises are classified by the Valuation Office Agency for business rates purposes as golf courses. 
In addition to the number shown, there may be other golf courses that are secondary to a main assessment (e.g. with hotels). There may also be courses that are exempt from rating, if held as part of a larger public park and available for free and unrestricted use by the public.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the regional housing boards will remain subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 when they are merged with the regional assemblies in England; and if she will make a statement. 
Ruth Kelly: As voluntary bodies, Regional Assemblies are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Nevertheless the Government expects the Assemblies to comply with the spirit of the Act when they perform their designated functions, as set out in Guidance on the General Principles of Designation of Voluntary Regional Assemblies.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the arrangements are for local authorities to withdraw from joint waste management authority arrangements that they have previously joined. 
The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill, which contains the Governments proposals to allow the creation of joint waste authorities, is scheduled to receive Royal Assent in the autumn. Following Royal Assent, the Government will undertake a consultation on draft Regulations which will set out what authorities' proposals must address. Any proposals will also be subject to a local public consultation. It is therefore estimated that the first JWAs may be established at the end of 2008 at the earliest, depending on the wishes of local authorities.
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