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8 Oct 2007 : Column 18W—continued

Communities and Local Government


Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many mobile phone masts are on the Valuation Office Agency's ratings list in England. [155694]

John Healey: The number of non-domestic hereditaments shown in the Rating Lists of England, under the description of Communication Station as at 26 September 2007 is 27,428. This figure includes all mast sites including mobile, telecommunications and broadcast sites. A break down to show the numbers of mobile phone sites could be delivered only at a disproportionate cost.

Allotments: Liability

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has provided to local authorities in relation to public liability and allotments. [155687]

Mr. Iain Wright: In June 2001 the Department (then DETR), the LGA, Shell Better Britain Campaign and the GLA jointly published a ‘Growing in the Community: A Good Practice Guide for the Management of Allotments' for local authorities—a free copy was circulated to all local authorities. The aim of the guide was to raise standards in the provision, management and care of allotments and the guide has a section on public liability insurance. The guide recommends that local authorities obtain further advice on public liability from representative bodies such as the National Society of Allotments and Leisure Gardeners who provide free legal advice to members.

The guide is currently being updated by the LGA in consultation with the Department and will be published later this year.

More general advice on health and safety on allotments is available in ‘Allotments: A Plot Holders Guide' which was published by the Department in June 2007, and in the Health and Safety facts sheet published by the Allotment Regeneration Initiative.

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Allotments: Sales

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what (a) approvals and (b) rejections of the sale or disposal of allotments under the Allotments Act 1925 have been made by her and her predecessor since May 2007. [152520]

Mr. Iain Wright: We have been advised by the Government Offices that between 1 May 2007 and 20 September 2007 there have been 10 approvals of the sale or disposal of allotments:

There have been no rejections of the sale of allotments.

There are currently a total of 34 application cases which are pending decision.

Audit Commission: Information Officers

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many press officers are employed by the Audit Commission. [154150]

John Healey: This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission. The Chief Executive of the Audit Commission has written to the hon. Member.

Council Housing: Overcrowding

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many council tenants in London are classed as living in overcrowded accommodation. [154383]

Mr. Iain Wright: Based on data derived from the Survey of English Housing it is estimated that over the period 2003-04 to 2005-06 an average of 62,000 households living in council housing in London were in overcrowded conditions, as defined by the Bedroom Standard.

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Council Housing: Waiting Lists

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average waiting time was for council housing in each London borough in each of the last 10 years. [154814]

Mr. Iain Wright: Information on average waiting time on a housing list for households is not held centrally. While information is collected centrally on the number of households on local authority housing waiting lists, which is given in the annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA), there is no indication of average time spent on a waiting list.

The accuracy of the list also depends on the extent to which housing authorities keep the register up-to-date, e.g. some people might already have found housing, yet remain on the list. It is also important to bear in mind that not everyone on the waiting list will necessarily be in urgent housing need. It will also include those who consider social housing as their preferred choice, or one of a number of housing options.

Council Tax: South East Government Office

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment her Department has made of the council tax collection rates of (a) Gravesham, (b) other councils in Kent and (c) other councils in the South East Government Office in the last 10 years; and if she will make a statement. [154569]

Mr. Dhanda: The collection and enforcement of council tax is a matter for individual billing authorities. Communities and Local Government has made no assessment of the collection rates in the last 10 years for Gravesham, other councils in Kent or other councils in the South East. Across England, in-year collection of council tax rose for the seventh successive year in 2006-07, to 96.9 per cent. of the total collectable.

Departmental Travel

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 12 July 2007, Official Report, column 1629W, on departmental travel, what the (a) cost and (b) purpose was of the visits to (i) the US and (ii) Kenya; and how many staff went on each visit. [153724]

Hazel Blears: The visit to the US cost £7,021 and was for two staff to share best practice with policy and law enforcement practitioners and community organisations working on integration/cohesion and preventing violent extremism and to deliver two lectures on these subjects.

The Kenya visit cost £2,898 and was for one member of staff to attend the UN Habitat Governing Council as part of the UK delegation.

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Departments: Legislation

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 24 July 2007, Official Report, column 957W, on Departments: Legislation, which (a) sections and (b) schedules of the specified acts have (i) been repealed and (ii) not been brought into force. [154205]

Mr. Iain Wright: Pursuant to the answer given on 24 July, Official Report, column 957W, provisions in acts sponsored by Communities and Local Government not yet in force or repealed are set out in the following table.

8 Oct 2007 : Column 22W
Statute in force Provisions not yet in force Repealed provisions

Local Government(Contracts) Act 1997


s.1(3)(c), s.10, s.12

Local Government Finance(Supplementary Credit Approvals) Act 1997


Act wholly repealed

Regional Development Agencies Act 1998


Sch. 5

Local Government Act 1999


s.8(1), s.22(2), s.22(7), s.24(3), s.31

Greater London Authority Act 1999

s.63, s.123, s.199, s.302, s.405, s.406, s.408, s.411, s.413 (in force only in so far as the section concerns any power of a minister to make regulations or an order); s.287(2); s.325 (in force only to the extent that it relates to para. 106 of Sch.1 and paras.69, 84(1), (3) and 105 of Sch.27); s.423 (in force only to the extent that it relates to Sch.34); Sch.27 (only para. 106 in force); Sch.32

s.21(3) and (4), s.52(7), s.66, s.86(3), s.108(2), s.111-118, s.136(1), s.175(4), s.201, s.203, s.204, s.219, s.235(2)(h), s.235(3)(d) and (e), s.235(6), s.242(9), s.252(1), s.283(2) and (4), s.284, s.286, s.310(2), s.326, s.330, s.337(10), s.352(3)(b), s.353(3), s.361, s.378(11)(e), s.391, s.425(3)

Local Government Act 2000


s.7(2)(a), s.62(7)(b) (partially), s.68(4) and (5) (partially), s.83(1) (partially), s.94, s.95, s.102(1), s.104, Sch.5 paras. 14, 16, 17, 21 and 29

Rating (Former Agricultural Premises and Rural Shops) Act 2001



Homelessness Act 2002

s.11 (applies only to Wales)


Fire Services Act 2003


s.3(2)(b), s.3(3), s.3(4)(e)

Regional Assemblies (Preparations) Act 2003


Sch.1 para.1

Local Government Act 2003

s.3(1)-(4), (8), (9), (11) in England, s.68, s.69

s.23(1)(i), s.33(1)(h), s.100(2)(f), s.101(7)(b), s.109(2), s.119, s.121, Sch.7 paras. 1,5(3) and (5), 52(4), 66 and 67

Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004


s.27, s.44(3) and (4), Sch.1 para. 55

Housing Act 2004

s.104-122, s.124-131, 132(1)-(5), s.133 (all of which are not in force in England). Sch.11 paras. 15 and 16, Sch.15 para. 7(3)(b) and (4)(b), Sch.15 para. 37(2)(c) and (d), Sch.15 para.45(2)(a). Sch.16 brought into force only in relation to England (by SIs 2005/326, 2066/1060 and 2007/1068) and Wales (SIs 2005/1814 and 2006/1535)

s.209-211, s.288(2)-(4), Sch.14, Sch.15 paras. 1, 7, 37, 45 and 46

Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004

s.43 in part (some provisions commenced by SI 2005/2081 );s.45. s. 46-48, s.50, and parts of Schedules 6, 7 and 9 (in force for certain purposes only, see SI 2004/2097).


Departments: Ministerial Responsibilities

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the ministerial responsibilities of each of her ministerial team are. [156516]

Hazel Blears: The ministerial responsibilities of each member of the CLG ministerial team are outlined as follows.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Right hon. Hazel Blears MP

Minister for Housing

Yvette Cooper MP

8 Oct 2007 : Column 23W

Minister for Local Government

John Healey MP

Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State

Parmjit Dhanda MP

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