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Fire and rescue service
Support on local government policy and finance (including local government pensions)
Sponsor Minister for Valuation Tribunal Service
Planning casework for East Midlands; East; London; South East; Olympics cases; (includes all cases in the growth areas)
Support on planning for major infrastructure, and the Planning Bill
Support on all aspects of housing policy and programmes and town and country planning, and physical and housing-related regeneration, including decent homes, housing market renewal, and homelessness
Support for Housing and Regeneration Bill
Support on urban policy and urban design; code for sustainable homes; building regulations
Climate change and sustainable development
Ordnance Survey (shareholder Minister)
Sponsor for Audit Commission
Gypsies and Travellers
Departmental business in the House of Lords
Responsibility for departmental contribution to the Respect agenda
Support on Supporting People (including individual budgets)
Support on neighbourhood renewal and tackling disadvantage (including neighbourhood renewal fund; new deal for communities; LEGI)
Planning casework for Yorkshire and Humber; North East; South West; West Midlands; North West
Planning inspectorate sponsor
Ordnance Survey (client Minister)
Disabled facilities grant
National strategy for an ageing society
Third sector strategy
Supporting on community engagement and empowerment; Quirk review
Champion Minister for culture and regeneration
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many private finance initiatives projects her Department expects to sign in each of the next three years. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The number of local authority private finance initiative projects sponsored by Communities and Local Government which are expected to be signed in each of the next three years are as follows:
Mr. Iain Wright: The cost of redundancies (including voluntary redundancies) of staff leaving the central part of the Department for Communities and Local Government during the 12 months to 30 June 2007 was £21.6 million.
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department has spent £2,042,054 on staff training in the last 12 months. Details of communication training are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of new homes were built on brownfield sites in each London borough in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Iain Wright:
Statistics for the period 2001 to 2005 (the most recent and statistically robust available) for the percentage of new dwellings (not including
conversions) built on previously-developed (brownfield) land are shown in the following table. The figure for the whole of London is 94 per cent.
|Percentage of dwellings built on previously-developed land, in London 2001-05|
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the role played by the Gloucestershire tri-service centre during recent floods and water shortages. 
John Healey: [holding answer 10 September 2007]: A review of the wider lessons learned is to be carried out by the Cabinet Office, with support from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department of Communities and Local Government. This will examine the emergency response to the floods in June and July and consider how to reduce the risk and impact of floods in the future. The role performed by the Gloucestershire tri-service centre will be taken into account as part of this wider exercise.
John Healey [holding answer 10 September 2007]: The Gloucestershire tri-service centre will not be broken up. The centre will continue to house staff from all three emergency services and support tri-service working after the control room of the fire and rescue service is moved to the South West Regional Control Centre. The Government are committed to creating a new national network of nine resilient regional control centres which will enhance the ability of the Fire and Rescue Service to respond to major incidents and natural disasters in a co-ordinated, efficient and effective manner. We believe that the public will be better protected by this approach. The new Regional Control Centres will however build on the valuable lessons learnt on joint working from the tri-service pilots, including the recent experience of dealing with flooding in Gloucestershire.
Mr. Iain Wright: English Partnerships does not employ press officers. It does however have six corporate communications officer posts in its headquarters which deal with press and media inquiries as part of their remit. One of these posts is currently vacant.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the UK Government have received a reasoned opinion from the European Commission on the implementation of the race equality directive (2000/43/CE); and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Dhanda: The UK received a reasoned opinion from the European Commission concerning the implementation of Council Directive 2000/43/EC (the Race directive) on 29 June 2007. The Commission argued that the UK had not fully transposed the Race directive in relation to the definition of indirect discrimination, and because there was a lack of transparency over the remedies available to victims of instructions to discriminate. The Government replied to the Commission on 24 August confirming that it would amend domestic law to clarify the situation and meet the Commission's concerns. We intend to lay regulations before Parliament shortly.
Mr. Iain Wright: The mean age of a first-time buyer is not collected. The average age of a first-time buyer in the UK is available on the Council of Mortgage Lenders website at http://www.cml. org.uk/cml/filegrab/2ML2.xls?ref=4624
|Median age of first-time buyers, UK|
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what requests she received in July 2007 for assistance with flooding recovery and humanitarian aid by Bassetlaw District Council (a) in writing, (b) by e-mail and (c) by telephone. 
Contact with Bassetlaw district council has included collecting information to inform understanding of the impact of the flooding in the district and specific information to contribute to the decision making process for the provision of the Flood Recovery Grant. On the basis of the relative number of households affected (based on the available information at the time) Bassetlaw district council was allocated £250,000 in Flood Recovery Grant (£200,000 on 13 July and £50,000 on 20 July).
In addition, on 27 June 2007 Bassetlaw district council notified Communities and Local Government of their intention to claim under the Bellwin scheme for the June floods. The Bellwin scheme provides emergency financial assistance from Government to local authorities to help meet the uninsurable costs of immediate action to safeguard life or property or prevent severe inconvenience to inhabitants in the case of an emergency or disaster such as the floods.
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