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Local authorities in England report the numbers of households on their housing waiting list as at 1 April in their annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix returns. Not everyone on the waiting list is necessarily in urgent housing need. The waiting list includes those who consider social housing as their preferred or one of a number of housing options, and those who decide to get onto the waiting list ladder before they need or want to move houseparticularly where the priority system is heavily based on waiting time. The size of the waiting list is not an indicator of absolute need, it is only useful as a broad indicator of housing demand in an area.
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department for Communities and Local Government's Green Paper "Homes for the future: more affordable more sustainable" (July 2007) describes the steps that we have already taken through the development control process to encourage developers to utilise land for building homes more swiftly. We have said that we will consider whether further measures are needed. We have also proposed to explore further how to ensure consistent and comprehensive declaration of developers' total residential land holdings within their accounts.
The Callcutt Review of House Building Delivery, which we expect to receive later this year, will examine the acquisition, holding and disposal of land for house building, and the influence of land supply on levels of house building production. In addition, the Office of Fair Trading has announced a market study into house building in the UK. The study, expected to report in summer 2008, will consider whether land which is suitable for new homes is being brought forward for development. We will consider land banking further in the context of these wider reviews.
Mr. Iain Wright: The Register of Surplus Public Sector Land was set up in 2003. It is managed by English Partnerships on behalf of Communities and Local Government and in collaboration with other Government Departments, their sponsored bodies and other public sector organisations.
The register provides a single reference point for all participating public sector organisations on the nationally available supply of surplus land. It helps to ensure that wider Government objectives, including housing needs and regional economic and housing strategies, are factored into land disposal decisions. The register identifies land held by central Government and its agencies that is surplus to operational requirements, and allows a 40 day period for public bodies to express an interest in this land before it is placed on the market.
John Healey: We have asked the Standards Board for England to monitor the operation of the revised code of conduct for members following its implementation in April 2007, and to make recommendations, as it sees fit, about any further revision with effect from April 2008.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities had their bid for disabled facilities grant capital allocation for 2007-08 not met in full; what criteria are applied to decide the proportion of bid met; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: In 2007-08 216 local authorities (LAs) in England did not have their bid for Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) funding in full. Despite substantially increasing the Government funding available for the national DFG programme, from £57 million in 1997 to £126 million in 2007-08, there is still considerable demand for the grant.
The national budget is divided up between the regions using a formula which takes into account data from the English House Condition Survey on the number of disabled people in each region living in unsuitable housing and a regional building cost index.
Government offices (GOs) are responsible for overseeing the allocation of DFG resources. In order to assist the GOs in this process the department supplied them with the LA bid for DFG funds and a local needs indicator, which is the number of individuals in each LA in receipt of either disability living allowance or attendance allowance. The GOs take these factors into
account and balance them with any local data or information which they think is relevant in order to allocate DFG resources.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she will publish the Governments response to the consultation on the Disabled Facilities Grant Programme: the Governments proposals to improve programme delivery. 
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what requests she has received from (a) Bassetlaw District Council, (b) Nottinghamshire County Council and (c) Manton Neighbourhood Renewal Pathfinder for inclusion in the participatory budgeting pilot. 
John Healey: During 2006, members of the Manton Community Alliance, the delivery body for the Manton Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder, attended two workshops on participatory budgeting (PB) run by the Participatory Budgeting Unit (PB Unit), run by Church Action on Poverty, and part funded by the Department.
Early in 2007, following these seminars and further discussions, the Manton Community Alliance invited the PB Unit to make a presentation to their board on developing a PB pilot in Manton. In May 2007, the Manton Community Alliance Board voted to develop a PB project and engaged with the PB Unit to assist in this process.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from which local authorities her Department has received representations on the Government's estimation of their populations; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: Communities and Local Government receive representations from local authorities about the data used in the local government finance settlements, including the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) population estimates and population projections.
In this context, Communities and Local Government has received specific representations regarding the ONS population data from the following 45 authorities, including two police authorities and two fire and rescue authorities:
Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Bristol, Calderdale, Corby, Cumbria, Derby, Durham (CC), Haling, East Lindsey, Ellesmere Port and Neston, Enfield, Gateshead, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth, Leeds, Leicester, Lewisham, Luton, Merton, Milton Keynes, Newham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumbria Police, Norwich, Oldham, Pendle, Plymouth, Redbridge, Rushmoor, Sheffield, Slough,
South Cambridgeshire, South Yorkshire Fire, South Yorkshire police, Southwark, Sunderland, Telford and The Wrekin, Tyne and Wear Fire, Westminster.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether representatives of her Department made any written submission or representation to the Lyons Inquiry on local government. 
John Healey: No formal written submissions or representations were made to the Lyons Inquiry on local government on behalf of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister or Communities and Local Government.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has (a) to offer financial support to local government for equal pay between men and women and (b) to promote equal pay in local government; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: Equal pay is not a new pressure on local government and we expect local authorities to manage it proactively and affordably. We have given local authorities greater flexibility in dealing with this pressure by amending the capital finance regulations, and have also revised the process of equal pay capitalisation. On 28 September I announced the allocation of £500 million equal pay capitalisation directions to 46 authorities, giving them the financial flexibility to make one-off back-payments to thousands of employeesmostly women.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many appeals the Planning Inspectorate has ruled on in the last 24 months related to development on floodplains. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons the Town and Country Planning (Residential Development on Greenfield Land) (England) Direction 2000 was cancelled. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Town and Country Planning (Residential Development on Greenfield Land) (England) Direction 2000 was introduced as a transitional measure on the introduction of Planning Policy Guidance Note 3: Housing in March 2000.
Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing (PPS3) published in November 2006 introduced a new and less restrictive approach to the supply of land for housing, in order to help us achieve the step change in delivery we need to provide an increase in the supply of new homes. Local authorities are required to have a rolling five-year supply of land for housing, giving priority to the release of brownfield land. The national target is that 60 per cent. of housing development should be on brownfield land.
PPS 3 gives local authorities the responsibility for deciding the most suitable location for housing, taking account of their local circumstances and the availability of deliverable brownfield sites. It is no longer appropriate therefore to require them to refer larger greenfield sites to the Secretary of State as the Greenfield Land Direction did, and to keep this requirement in place would mean that it takes longer to make decisions on planning applications which could delay the delivery of necessary new housing on suitable sites.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent on printing hard copies of (a) the 2007 Housing Green Paper, (b) the 2007 Planning White Paper and (c) the 2007 Sub-National Review document; and how many copies were printed of each. 
In line with the requirements on the supply of command papers we printed 600 copies for The Stationery Office (TSO) plus 4,550 additional copies at a cost of £11,712.
In line with the requirements on the supply of command papers we printed 650 copies for The Stationery Office (TSO) plus 5,950 additional copies at a cost of £17,779.
This was published by HM Treasury and no printing costs were incurred by Communities and Local Government.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the provisions of the new PPS25 on development on flood plains apply to the development of power generation infrastructure, including electricity sub-stations. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Yes. Power generation infrastructure, including electricity sub-stations is included in PPS25, table D2 Flood Risk Vulnerability Classification. They are defined as essential infrastructure as it is acknowledged that power stations and grid and primary substations may need to be located in flood risk areas. This is because power stations often need a ready supply of water and sub-stations need to be located near to the communities they supply. The PPS25 sequential test will ensure that they are located in low risk areas where possible, but where there are no alternative lower risk locations for this type of development then the exception test will ensure that they are safe.
Recent flood events during the summer have highlighted the importance of essential infrastructure being protected during flood events and PPS25 aims to ensure that any new electricity infrastructure that is essential in areas at risk of flooding is designed and constructed to be operational during floods.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 19 June 2007, Official Report, column 1679W, on the Public Sector Relocation Independent Review, whether her Department has destroyed any documents relating to the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government since the transfer of the documents from the inquiry to the responsibility of her Department. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The review of sub-national economic development and regeneration, published on 17 July 2007, made clear reformed regional development agencies will in due course assume responsibility for a single integrated regional strategy. The timing of this is dependent on the necessary legislation.
In the meantime, regional assemblies will continue to receive central Government grant to enable them to carry out their responsibilities as regional planning bodies, to exercise regional housing board functions and to scrutinise RDAs regional economic strategies.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the change in funding will be for regional development agencies when they are designated as regional planning bodies. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Funding for regional development agencies for the next three years will be determined through their forthcoming comprehensive spending review settlement. The level and timing of any additional funding in relation to additional planning functions will be dependent on the measures set out in the legislation necessary to enable the regional development agencies to assume these functions.
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