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3 Sep 2007 : Column 1698W—continued

Thames Gateway: Finance

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much public money was given to Thames Gateway project in each year since its inception. [149679]

Yvette Cooper: Billions of pounds are spent each year in the Thames Gateway through mainstream budgets such as education, health, transport, regional development agencies and local government. In addition, targeted funding to help facilitate additional homes and jobs is funded through the Department for Communities and Local Government Thames Gateway programme as follows:

£ million
Programme resource consumption Programme capital Total spend

















2007-08 (Projected)




Thurrock Development Corporation

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) if she will make a statement on the progress made since its inception by the Thurrock Urban Development Corporation; what key decisions it has taken since the answer of 20 July 2005, Official Report, columns 1773-4W, on Thurrock Development Corporation; and what the latest timetable is for its future work programme; [145922]

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(2) if she will make a statement on the work of the Thurrock Development Corporation since the answer of 19 April 2006, Official Report, column 111W, on the Thurrock Development Corporation. [145923]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 26 June 2007]: Since April 2006, the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation has continued to implement its land acquisition programme with the acquisition of two sites in West Thurrock and south east Thurrock. The Development Corporation has determined over 100 planning applications, 53 of which have given planning permission for 670 new dwellings and employment developments that on completion will deliver 1,850 new jobs.

In addition, the Development Corporation has sought to improve its engagement with stakeholders and is leading the sustainability block of the Thurrock Local Strategic Partnership and the economic development block of the Local Area Agreement. The Development Corporation established a community fund which offers grant of up to £20,000 to non-profit making clubs and other organisations to encourage and promote voluntary and community development and improve the quality of life for local residents and communities.

The Development Corporation will continue this activity and will deliver the remainder of the capital programme identified in the Two Year Corporate Plan 2006-07 to 2007-08. A timetable for a future work programme will be taken once the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review is known and in the light of the proposals in the Corporate Plan they are preparing for financial years 2008-09 to 2010-11.

Travelling People

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how the Housing and Regeneration Bill is proposed to implement the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling on Travellers. [152938]

Mr. Iain Wright: The provisions in the Housing and Regeneration Bill to implement the European Court of Human Rights ruling in the case of ‘Connors v. United Kingdom’ are currently under consideration. In the consultation on “The Governance of Britain—the Government’s Draft Legislative Programme”, published on 11 July 2007, the Government outlined its draft legislative programme for the next session of Parliament. The Housing and Regeneration Bill was listed as one of the proposed Bills, and we intend to use this Bill to legislate on the Connors judgment. The final legislative programme will be confirmed in the Queen’s Speech in the autumn.

Unitary Councils: Exeter

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the level of stakeholder support for Exeter's proposal to become a unitary authority. [153473]

John Healey: The Department's assessment against all five criteria, including the cross section of support from partners and stakeholders, is set out in Exeter city
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council’s decision letter of 25 July 2007. This is available on the Department's website:

Valuation Office

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what data was taken from the National Register of Social Housing by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to supplement and validate the VOA’s records as referred to in the answer of 21 June 2006, Official Report, column 1877W, on the Valuation Office Agency. [152540]

John Healey: No data was taken from the National Register of Social Housing other than a list of addresses of properties on the National Register, which was supplied to the VOA, in electronic format, on 2 March 2005.

Valuation Office: Contracts

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) of 20 June 2007, Official Report, column 1863W, on the Valuation Office: contracts, whether the future payments by the Valuation Office Agency to Rightmove for the duration of the existing contracts are fixed. [152427]

John Healey: Further payments are subject to an established ceiling within the duration of the contract and to any arrangements for variation or extension of the contract.

Valuebill Database

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which Government departments and agencies (a) have and (b) will have access to the Valuebill database and interface. [153509]

John Healey: The Valuebill national project promoted the close alignment of pre-existing property databases within the Valuation Office Agency and Billing Authorities, and developed standards for the interfaces. No Government departments or agencies other than VOA have access to those interfaces. Full details are available from

Wilkinson Star

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what meetings she and her predecessor had with (a) Wilkinson Star Ltd and (b) Peninsula Business Services Ltd in the last 12 months. [152521]

Mr. Iain Wright: The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has had no meetings with Wilkinson Star Ltd. or Peninsula Business Services Ltd. in the last 12 months.

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Youth Organisations: Hampshire

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding her Department provides to support (a) youth councils and (b) other youth organisations in Hampshire. [151043]

Kevin Brennan: I have been asked to reply.

The Government do not set a budget for local authorities to spend on specific youth-related organisations or youth councils, and do not collect this information. Local authorities decide how funding should be deployed in their areas, taking into account Government policy and local needs. For 2007-08, Hampshire local authority reported that they intended to allocate a budget of £8,281,500 for youth services. The Department is currently validating this figure and it is therefore subject to change.

Children, Schools and Families


Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what representations he has made to local education authorities on the establishing of city academies; and if he will make a statement. [152922]

Jim Knight: Local authorities are key partners in the development of academies, and my Department works closely with local authorities on the development of academy projects and the organisation of secondary provision in their areas more generally.

The Department's academies prospectus for sponsors and local authorities states that, as a broad rule of thumb, the Government are prepared to consider any secondary school where fewer than 30 per cent. of pupils gained five or more good GCSEs (including English and Maths) as a potential academy project. It also states that local authorities should always consider an academy as an option for dealing with a school in special measures, or subject to an improvement notice, whatever its results.

Academies: Finance

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent estimate he has made of funding per head for pupils in (a) academies and (b) all secondary schools in 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. [150699]

Jim Knight: For the financial year 2007-08 the average revenue funding per pupil at academies is £5,966 excluding any payments made by or through local authorities. The budget share for an academy is calculated using the funding formula for the local authority in which it is situated. Sixth form funding is calculated using the Learning and Skills Council formula.

Since 2006-07 secondary schools have been funded by the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). The DSG is
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distributed through a single guaranteed unit of funding per pupil so a split between primary and secondary funding is not available.

In 2007-08 the national average DSG allocation was £3,888 per pupil for nursery, primary and secondary school aged pupils. Additional revenue grants were £571 per pupil, making a total of £4,459 per pupil.

The revenue grants figure is provisional and does not include grants allocated by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

The academies figure is not comparable with that for maintained schools because it includes 16+ funding; and most academy pupils are of secondary age whereas the DSG figure is for pupils aged three to 15. Furthermore, most academies have high levels of deprivation and this increases their funding level per pupil.

Adoption: Standards

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which local authorities have received payments from central Government for achieving adoption target levels; and how much each received in each of the last three years. [151067]

John Healey: I have been asked to reply.

30 local authorities have been rewarded for successfully achieving adoption targets in their local public service agreements (LPSA). The better outcomes and amount of ‘performance reward grant’ (PRG) each has received over the three years 2004/05 to 2006/07 in relation to their performance in these targets is set out in the following table. In addition, 13 local authorities did not achieve the adoption targets in their local PSA and hence received no PRG for this target. One local authority is still to make a claim

Local PSAs—which are negotiated between local authorities and central Government policy departments, facilitated by the DCLG—have helped to incentivise local authorities and partners to provide better public services to their citizens around priorities for improvement locally. Evaluation shows they have been successful in doing this, with real benefits in improved outcomes for local people and communities.

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Local PSA adoption and placement targets: payments made to date under local PSAs
Local authority Amount of ‘reward grant’ paid (£)

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council


Blackburn with Darwen


Bristol City Council


Buckinghamshire County Council


Bromley (LB)


Camden (LB)


Cheshire County Council


Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council


Durham County Council


Enfield (LB)


Essex County Council


Gloucestershire County Council


Greenwich (LB)


Halton Borough Council




Hounslow (LB)


Kensington and Chelsea (LB)


Kent County Council


Lewisham (LB)


Liverpool City Council


Luton Borough Council


Manchester City Council


Merton Borough Council


Northamptonshire County Council


Sheffield City Council


Southwark (LB)


St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council


Wandsworth (LB)


Warwickshire County Council


York City Council


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