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Departments: Private Finance Initiative

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the total cost is of all private finance initiative projects for which her Department has responsibility completed since 1997; and what the projected cost is of such projects commissioned or underway. [148016]

Mr. Iain Wright: The Department has responsibility for 46 signed PFI projects, of which all but one are contracts entered into by local authorities. The total level of capital investment being supported is £1,154 million. The projected annual payments, up to 2033-34, are £4,015 million. These payments cover the whole contract, including services, as well as payment for the capital investment, and are conditional on the performance of the contractor.

Costs for individual projects are available on the HM Treasury website, at:

Flood Control

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the cost of upgrading drainage systems in the UK to tackle the consequences of flash flooding; and if she will make a statement. [146212]

Mr. Woolas: I have been asked to reply.

Early estimates outlined in the Government's Foresight report on future flood risk suggested that investment of £100 million-£400 million per year may be required to limit damages caused by urban drainage flooding to levels similar to today under some scenarios for several decades. However, the authors of this report acknowledged that these estimates were based on very limited data.

Floods: Milton Keynes

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she will provide a substantive answer to Question 149169, on flooding in Milton Keynes, tabled on 9 July 2007, for answer on 12 July 2007. [150569]

John Healey: I have now replied to the hon. Member’s question.


Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homeless people there were in each local authority area in England at the latest date for which figures are available. [149429]

Mr. Iain Wright: Information about local authorities’ actions under homelessness legislation is collected quarterly at local authority level, in respect of households rather than people.

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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.

This data is 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. The latest release was published on 11 June 2007 and contains data for the period January to March 2007:

Since 1998, information has also been collected on the number of people who sleep rough—that is, those who are literally roofless on a single night—and these are also published on our website, by local authority:

Housing: Leeds

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her latest estimate is of the number of new homes planned to be built in the next 10 years in the Leeds metropolitan District, broken down by (a) private homes to buy, (b) private homes to rent (c) housing association properties and (d) local authority homes to rent. [148646]

Mr. Iain Wright: The draft regional spatial strategy for Yorkshire and the Humber (the “Yorkshire and Humber plan”) was submitted to the Government in December 2004. This gives a net housing delivery target for Leeds of 2,260 per annum up to 2016 and 2,950 per annum between 2016 and 2021.

In May 2007 the examination in public panel report on the plan was published. This report states that Leeds should accommodate more housing growth than currently set out in the draft RSS, but does not specify a number. Ministers are currently considering the panel report and the Secretary of State will publish proposed changes to the draft RSS later in the summer.

How these target numbers will be divided into various tenures is a matter which will be determined by both the housing market and regional and local planning processes and functions.

Housing: Low Incomes

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions she has had with registered social landlords and housing corporations on using RSLs’ spare borrowing capacity for construction of new affordable homes. [149427]

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Mr. Iain Wright: We continue to have discussions with the Housing Corporation and housing associations on RSLs’ borrowing capacity. In March 2007, the corporation published ‘Unlocking the Door’, analysing how past investment locked up in stock could be released to finance more affordable housing. The corporation has concluded that there is unused capacity and that housing associations can borrow more against their existing businesses. There is therefore scope for efficiency savings to be secured for new affordable housing.

The Housing Corporation is currently considering the responses it has received to its consultation document on recycled capital grants and links to property values.

Members: Correspondence

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons the letter from the hon. Member for Luton South to her predecessor relating to Mrs. Webb of Luton, dated 17 November 2006, was not replied to until 4 June 2007. [149430]

Mr. Iain Wright: I apologise to my hon. Friend for the delay in responding to the correspondence, which was due to an administrative oversight. We attach great importance to the prompt and efficient handling of correspondence, particularly from hon. Members. Earlier this year, Communities and Local Government introduced new arrangements for the handling of ministerial correspondence and early indications are that the changes have significantly improved our performance.

Mobile Homes: Surveys

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 9 July 2007, Official Report, column 1277W, on mobile homes: surveys, how many of the eight respondents supporting option 3 were (a) individuals and (b) organisations; and if she will identify these respondents. [150421]

Mr. Iain Wright: Of the eight respondents that supported option 3, five were individuals and three were organisations. I am not able to disclose the identity of the individuals as we have given a commitment to individual respondents that their personal details will not be disclosed outside of the Department. However, the three organisations were Basingstoke and Deane borough council, Arun district council and South Norfolk district council.

Ordnance Survey: Copyright

Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was raised by the Ordnance Survey from the sale to commercial enterprises of the rights to use licensable or copyright material in each of the last five years. [150285]

Mr. Iain Wright: Revenue from commercial enterprises including licensed partners and distributors, from licenses for digital data and map copying and from sales of
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mapping for the years 2002-03 to 2006-07 were £50,475,353, £51,250,715, £51,930,385, £54,772,770 and £57,804,021 respectively.

Travelling People: Eastern Region

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the reason was for the initiation of the proposed single-issue revision of the Eastern regional spatial strategy in relation to the provision of Gypsy and Traveller sites. [149976]

Mr. Iain Wright: The single issue review of its Regional Spatial Strategy, “Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation in the East of England” currently being carried out by the East of England Regional Assembly reflects the important role that “Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Circular 1/06, Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Sites” gives to Regional Spatial Strategies in addressing the shortage of authorised accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers.

The main steps in the process are:

The Regional Assembly gave a commitment to carry out such a review in early 2006 at the examination in public into the main review of the East of England regional spatial strategy, where it admitted that its policy did not meet the requirements of the Circular.

We are grateful to the Regional Assembly for its work on the Gypsy and Traveller accommodation review, which is the first in the country to fully reflect the requirements of circular 1/06.

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts: Finance

Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has held with HM Treasury on funding commitments for the arts in the comprehensive spending review 2007. [149965]

James Purnell: Discussions on the CSR are continuing between DCMS and HM Treasury.

Cultural Heritage: Iraq

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what support and funding his Department has made available to the Department
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of Antiquities in Iraq to counter looting of archaeological sites and artefacts. [150361]

James Purnell: My Department has not provided direct funds to the Department of Antiquities in Iraq to counter looting or archaeological sites. Instead, the UK’s response to the heritage crisis in Iraq has been led by its sponsored bodies. In particular the British Museum has:

Departments: Early Retirement

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many and what proportion of staff took early retirement from his Department in the last five years, broken down by grade; and at what cost. [148740]

Margaret Hodge: As numbers of staff by grade are so small, five or less, we are unable to provide the breakdown of early retirements as requested, on the grounds of confidentiality. The information relating to the overall early retirements numbers and costs in the last five years is contained in the table.

Number of staff Proportion of staff as a percentage of the headcount Overall cost to Department until the minimum pension age of 60 (£)





















n/a = Not applicable
(1) Confidentiality applies

Departments: Publicity

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the cost effectiveness of advertising commissioned by his Department in the last 12 months. [148516]

Margaret Hodge: DCMS ensures that the most appropriate newspapers, publications and websites are used when advertising its job vacancies and public appointments, and monitors carefully the costs involved in placing these advertisements. My Department is co-operating fully with the central initiative of sharing recruitment advertising space and costs with other Government Departments where this is possible.

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Departments: Racial Harassment

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many complaints of racial abuse relating to staff for which his Department is responsible have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in the last 12 months. [149256]

Margaret Hodge: There have been no formal complaints of racial abuse from DCMS employees in the last 12 months.

The Department is fully committed to equal opportunities and will not tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation. There is an equal opportunities complaints procedure available on the Departments’ intranet which provides a mechanism for staff to raise and have addressed problems or concerns.

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