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19. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the Governments target is for additional (a) council and (b) other social housing in the 2007-08 financial year and the next two financial years. 
Yvette Cooper: For 2007-08, we are on course to deliver our target of 30,000 social rented homes. The vast majority will be delivered by housing associations with a small proportion by council, or private developers.
Mr. Iain Wright: The caravan count undertaken in January 2007 shows that there were 1,286 Gypsy and Traveller caravans on unauthorised encampments in England. There were 13,073 Gypsy and Traveller caravans on authorised sites.
21. Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make a statement on progress on local government reorganisation in the North West of England. 
Hazel Blears: We announced on 27 March that proposals for single unitary authorities in Cheshire and Cumbria and a two unitary option in Cheshire would proceed to stakeholder consultation. The consultation closed on 22 June and we are currently considering all responses.
Yvette Cooper: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the implementation plan for Home Information Packs, which was laid in the House Library. This sets out the work that the programme will be undertaking over the coming months.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the total cost to the public purse of the Home Information Pack and Sellers Pack schemes has been since 1997; and what estimate she has made of future expenditure. 
Yvette Cooper: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my Noble Friend, Baroness Andrews, on 27 June 2007, House of Lords, Official Report, columns WA149-150. Expenditure for future years will be subject to the outcome of the comprehensive spending review.
Yvette Cooper: The Planning White PaperPlanning for a Sustainable Future, made clear that we are fully committed to promoting the vitality and viability of town centres and to ensuring that the planning system supports the growth and development of town centres.
As the White Paper indicates, we intend to review the current approach in Planning Policy Statement 6: Town Centres (PPS6) to assessing the impact of proposals outside town centres. We will replace the need and impact tests with a new test which has a strong focus on our town centre first policy, and which promotes competition and consumer choice.
We will consult on proposals later this summer and develop new guidance with the industry and other stakeholders, with a view to finalising any changes by spring 2008. We will also take account of the Competition Commission inquiry into the groceries market, before finalising any policy changes.
Mr. Iain Wright: The Decent Homes Standard, which we expect every council home to meet, requires that homes have both efficient heating and effective insulation. This requirement will enable carbon emissions from council housing to be reduced.
Since 2001, over 470,000 dwellings have received work to improve their energy efficiency under the decent homes programme or as part of wider local authority work to update the stock. Since 2001 there has also been a 36 per cent. reduction in the number of social sector homes failing the Decent Homes Standard on the thermal comfort criterion.
Mr. Iain Wright: The number of local authority owned dwellings in Essex, Havering and the unitary authorities of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock are in the following table. Figures are as reported by local authorities as at the 31 March.
|Local authority stock at 31 March 2006|
|Number of dwellings|
| Source: Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix|
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many council tenants in London were classed as living in cramped conditions in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Iain Wright: As indicated by the Survey of English Housing over the three years to 2005-06, there were an estimated 62,000 overcrowded households living in local authority accommodation in London.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the outstanding arrears of rent on council-owned (a) residential and (b) commercial property were in each London borough in (i) March 2005, (ii) March 2004, (iii) March 2003 and (iv) March 2002. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The outstanding arrears of rent on council-owned residential property in each London borough in March 2005, March 2004, March 2003 and March 2002 are available in the following table. The information for council-owned commercial property is not collected centrally.
|Outstanding arrears of rent on council-owed residential property in each London borough in March 2005, March 2004, March 2002 and March 2002, as reported by local authorities|
|n/a = Data not provided by the London borough of Sutton in 2005.|
(1) All or most of the local authority stock has been transferred to the Registered Social Landlord sector, so the rent arrears is no longer applicable.
Communities and Local Government Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Subsidy Form, 2nd Advance.
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