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Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what guidance her Department provides to local authorities on the provision of public documents in English; and if she will make a statement; 
Mr. Dhanda: In England, there is no statutory requirement for local councils to provide public documents in languages other than English. Communities and Local Government has not issued any statutory or non statutory guidance to local authorities on the provision of public documents in languages other than English. The independent Commission on Integration and Cohesion recommended that there should be guidance and set out what this might look like as part of its final report. As recently announced, based on the Commissions advice, we will be publishing new non-statutory guidance on translation for local authorities and public bodies in the coming weeks.
Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 16 July 2007, Official Report, column 75W, on the Faith Communities Capacity Building Fund, what investigations took place into the allegations made against the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, the New Kadampa Tradition and Soka Gakkai International before her Department took the final decision to grant funds to the three organisations from the Faith Communities Capacity Building Fund. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many fire control staff are planned in (a) each regional fire control centre and (b) each region following the implementation of FireControl. 
Mr. Dhanda: The following table gives the estimated number of fire control staff for each Regional Control Centre (RCC) following the implementation of FiReControl. These numbers were published in the Full Business Case in June 2007 and include control room operators, managers and other support staff. The actual number of staff employed will be for each RCC company to determine.
|Estimated RCC numbers|
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment has been made of the risk of (a) co-ordinated terror attacks and (b) collective systems failure at the proposed new nine regional fire control rooms; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Dhanda: FiReControl will form part of the UKs Critical National Infrastructure (CNI). The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has been consulted regarding general threats to the UKs Critical National Infrastructure, and specific threats to the fire and rescue services.
Full threat and risk assessments, to HMG security standards, have been conducted (and are continually revised and updated) to examine all threats to the FiReControl system; physical and electronic attacks, both deliberate and accidental. These include threats relating to terrorist activity.
The threats have been considered; together with an assessment of their likelihood and the impact they could have on the business functions of FiReControl, to determine the appropriate countermeasures for the system. These countermeasures consist of a combination of physical, procedural and technical measures.
The FiReControl systems are being designed to ensure they are resistant to collective systems failures across the network. These requirements have been included in the contract for provision of the technology. Risk assessments of system failures were conducted prior to selecting the preferred supplier.
These assessments addressed the reliability of the technology itself, and the possibility of external events which could cause system failure.
To provide a further level of resilience, CLG is developing business continuity plans in conjunction with experts from the fire and rescue service to ensure that the control service can continue if there is a system failure.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the ratio between the mean average price of a house for first time buyers and mean average household income was in (a) England and (b) each Government Office Region in England in (i) 1997 or the earliest time after that for which figures are available and (ii) the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Mix-adjusted house prices for first-time buyers are calculated by Communities and Local Government using the Regulated Mortgage Survey with data being available by calendar year. Data on gross income of main householder plus spouse are available from the CLG Survey of English Housing and are available by financial year. The ratio between the two is given in the tables as follows.
|Mix-adjusted house price, FTBs, 1997 (£)||Gross income of main householder plus spouse, 1997-98 (£)||Ratio of FTB house price to income|
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of first time buyers took out mortgages of 100 per cent. or more of the purchase price of the property in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Iain Wright: For 2006, based on figures from the Regulated Mortgage Survey, Communities and Local Government estimate that 8.3 per cent. of UK mortgages to first time buyers (excluding sitting tenants) were for 100 per cent. or more of the purchase price of the property.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of first-time buyers making purchases in the housing market in England in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many planning applications decided by the First Secretary of State involving development on the Green Belt have been (a) approved and (b) rejected since the creation of the Department for Communities and Local Government; and if she will list the location and type of each development. 
Mr. Iain Wright: I have today placed in the Libraries of the House a table listing all planning applications, involving development in the green belt, decided by the Secretary of State since the creation of the Department for Communities and Local Government on 5 May 2006. Of 42 such applications, 16 were allowed and 26 were refused. The table sets out the development type and location.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she has taken to encourage employers to give equal consideration to job applicants with a hostel address. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Our £90 million Hostels Capital Improvement Programme (HCIP) is making hostels places of change. The key outcome will be to increase the number of people who move on positively from a hostel to a job or training and a settled home. The HCIP offers opportunities to access training, education and job opportunities, which will help counter the negative views often held about hostels.
In addition, we are providing £1.6 million funding to the voluntary sector to develop training and employment services for the homeless, which will help those in hostels move into employment and on to independent living.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of hostel places is reserved for women only; and how many (a) women-only hostels and (b) places in women-only hostels there are. 
Mr. Iain Wright: This information is not collected centrally. The Homeless UK project, run by the Resource Information Service, provides information on hostels and supported accommodation for homeless people in England. Their information shows there are 26 direct hostels for women in England (10.5 per cent. of direct access hostels), including three hostels that have some women only accommodation as part of their provision. These hostels provide a total of around 740 bedspaces. In addition there are 90 projects for single women which are second stage, non-emergency supported accommodation with a total of 2,603 bedspaces.
Mr. Iain Wright: No. Housing associations are not public bodies for the purposes of part 10 of the Local Government Planning and Land Act 1980, under which public requests to order disposal can be made.
Mr. Iain Wright: 339 registered social landlords and other bodies received public funding as part of the 2006-08 Affordable Housing Programme via the Housing Corporation. These organisations may have bid as part of partnership or as an individual specialist provider.
As part of their grant allocation process for the Affordable Housing Programme 2006-08, the Housing Corporation published regional allocation statements. These list lead partners and individual specialist providers and grant allocations that they have received for that programme.
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