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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons her Department has declined to give local authorities greater powers to use temporary stop notices to tackle unauthorised development in relation to caravans on unauthorised sites. 
Mr. Iain Wright:
The Government's policy is to increase the provision of sites for Gypsy and Travellers, linked to firm but fair use of enforcement powers. In March 2007 Communities and Local Government consulted on an amendment to the temporary stop notice regulations, which would give further powers to local authorities to prohibit the stationing of a caravan already on an unauthorised site, if there was an alternative, authorised site for the residents to move onto. Consultees from various sectors stated use of the proposed new powers would be extremely limited while the need for authorised site provision is so high. We are
prepared to revisit the proposed amendment at an appropriate time when authorised provision has been increased to an extent that the powers may be of practical benefit to local authorities.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Government plan to issue a formal response to the Quirk review of Community Management and Ownership of Assets. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Government published Opening the Transfer Window: The Government's Response to the Quirk Review of Community Management and Ownership of Assets on 22 May 2007, in which they made a commitment to implement the Quirk Review's proposals in full.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) whether the £50 million for community cohesion announced in her Departments press release of 6 October is (a) new additional funding, (b) part of an existing funding stream and (c) replacing an existing funding stream; and over what period the funding will be made available; 
(2) by what criteria allocations will be made to local authorities from the £50 million for community cohesion announced in her Departments press release of 6 October; and whether the funding will be ring-fenced. 
The criteria upon which community cohesion related allocations are to be made have yet to be decided upon. Further allocation details will be announced as part of local government settlement in December.
Mr. Iain Wright: In 1997 the Government set a target to clear the £19 billion backlog of repairs to council housing. In 2001 this target was incorporated into the new Decent Homes target to bring all social housing into a decent condition.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what change there has been in the council housing repair backlog since 2001; how many houses were awaiting repair in 2001; and how many are awaiting repair. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Latest local authority annual Business Plans estimated that 1 million local authority dwellings were awaiting improvement work as at 1 April 2007, compared with 2.2 million at the same point in 2001.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her most recent estimate is of the number of (a) housing association properties, (b) directly managed properties and (c) arms length management properties which will not meet the decent homes standard by 2010. 
Mr. Iain Wright: We expect 95 per cent. of social sector homes to be decent by 2010, this will leave around 200,000 social homes below the decent homes standard. This breaks down to around 40,000 non-decent homes owned by registered social landlords and 160,000 owned by local authorities. We do not yet have detailed information which will allow us to break down the local authority data between those homes managed by ALMOs and those directly managed by the council.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department spent on (a) champagne and wine and (b) alcohol in the last year for which audited figures are available. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her Departments policy is on staff members flying (a) first class, (b) business class and (c) economy class. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The current policy of the Department for Communities and Local Government is that staff are required to travel economy class unless there are exceptional circumstances agreed beforehand by a senior manager.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reason her Department failed to meet its service delivery agreement target for paying undisputed bills on time in 2006-07. 
During 2006-07, the Department implemented changes to the way the financial support role was delivered. Non-compliance to the procurement processes resulted in a down-turn in prompt payment
performance. Further changes are planned to streamline the invoice processing function, which may lead to an initial minor deterioration in performance. However, medium to long-term performance is expected to improve.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what percentage of invoices for undisputed bills for her Department were paid within 30 days of receipt of the invoice, or within the contractual term if less, in 2006-07; and what the target was for prompt payment of invoices. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Communities paid 74,004 undisputed invoices within 30 days of receipt of the invoice, or within the contractual term if less, in 2006-07. This is 95.37 per cent. of total invoices paid. The target for prompt payment of invoices is 98 per cent.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Beckenham, of 25 July 2007, Official Report, column 1139W, on Departments: carbon emissions, how many individual flights were offset; and what proportion were outside the European Union. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Communities and Local Government offset carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from 1,460 individual flights undertaken during 2006-07. Of these, 9 per cent. were outside the European Union.
Mr. Iain Wright: The accounts were laid in the House of Commons on 12 July 2007, and published by the Stationary Office on that date (HC 836). They were published on the Communities website on 16 August 2007.
Hazel Blears: A table showing the meetings which the ministerial team has had with external organisation and individuals in the period between l July and 1 October has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Dhanda: There are no records of any honoraria payments by Central Department for Communities and Local Government. This does not include the Government Offices or the Departments agencies for whom information is not collected centrally.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will provide a breakdown of the central Government public expenditure by her Department listed as development of English regions on page 36 of her Departments resource accounts for 2006-07 (HC 836). 
Mr. Dhanda: Of the total £l,306.9 million RFR1 E: Development of English Regions spend Central Government Spending, £l,280.5 million was expenditure on the Departments contribution to the funding of the Regional Development Agencies (which was channelled via the former DTI).
The other expenditure of £26.4 million is the total of the following expenditure: £19.3 million on the Northern Way Growth Fund; £6.6 million on Regional Chambers; and £0.5 million on Mersey Basin Business Foundation.
Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations her Department has received on cultish behaviour in the (a) Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, (b) New Kadampa Tradition and (c) Soka Gakkai International. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many fixed penalty tickets were incurred by vehicles within the purview of her Department in the last year for which figures are available; and what the total cost was. 
Communities and Local Government (CLG) operates a general policy whereby the payment of any fixed penalty tickets incurred by civil servants, either during the hire period of a vehicle or while a private car is being used on official business, is the responsibility of the individual undertaking the travel
and not the Department. However, payment of fixed penalty tickets relating to allocated ministerial cars, incurred while carrying out official duties, is deemed to be the responsibility of the department. During the 2006-07 financial year, the Department paid fixed penalty fines to the sum of £200.00.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff are seconded to her Department from outside government; from which outside body each has been seconded; and what the length is of each secondment. 
Mr. Dhanda: There were 108 individuals seconded to the centre of the Department for Communities and Local Government as at 31 August 2007. Information on secondments to the Government offices or the Departments agencies is not collected centrally.
|(a) Type of body from which secondment is drawn|
|Number of secondments|
|(b) Length of secondment as at 31 August 2007|
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assistance civil servants who are not special advisers provided to her and her Department's Ministers in preparing speeches at the Labour Party Conference in September. 
Mr. Dhanda: In accordance with the Ministerial Code, civil servants who were not special advisers provided no direct assistance to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, or to her Department's Ministers, in the preparation of speeches for the 2007 Labour Party Conference.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Fareham of
3 September 2007, Official Report, column 1650W, on departments: training, what the titles were of the conferences that (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants in her Department attended from 1 July 2006 to 30 July 2007. 
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