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Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether any payments have been withheld by his Department from projects awarded funding under round one of the Union Modernisation Fund. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform for how many projects awarded funding under round one of the Union Modernisation Fund an independent accountants report has been received by his Department. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the
value of payments made by the Union Modernisation Fund was in each year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what council tax benefits were paid in each local authority in Hampshire in each year since 2000-01; what estimate she has made of the number of eligible people failing to claim such benefits in each local authority; and if she will make a statement. 
Estimates of the number eligible but not receiving council tax benefit are not available below the level of Great Britain. Estimates of the numbers eligible and not receiving council tax benefit in Great Britain can be found in the series Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up. Copies of the report are available in the Library.
|Council tax benefit expenditure for Hampshire local authorities (in nominal terms)|
1. Figures are presented to the nearest 100,000.
2. Figures presented for years up to 2005-06 are audited, but may change in future if local authorities' accounts are amended after a decision or appeal. Figures for recent years are more likely to be amended than older data. 2006-07 figures are from initial final (pre-audited) subsidy claims, so are subject to change once audited data become available.
3. Local authority level information includes council tax benefit expenditure reimbursed by the DWP, that funded by local authorities, and expenditure relating to asylum seekers, which since 1999-2000 has been funded by the National Asylum Support Service (part of the home office).
4. Figures relate to what local authorities spend on claimants and include discretionary expenditure (mainly disregards of War Pensions), and overpayments except where benefit has been granted in advance (where the benefit is paid in the form of a rebate).
5. Totals may not sum due to rounding.
6. Figures up to 2005-06 are available at:
Information sourced from Local Authority claims for Council Tax Benefit subsidy
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research,
including opinion research and polling, her Department has (a) undertaken in-house and (b) commissioned from external sources in relation to council tax revaluation in England. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many invitations to tender her Department and its predecessor have issued since 2002; and for what purpose in each case. 
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will give examples of the use her Department has made of the Compact Codes of Good Practice on Community Groups and on Black and Ethnic Minority Organisations in its work on communities, cohesion and integration; and if she will make a statement. 
Communities and Local Government has a Public Sector Agreement Target to reduce the perception of discrimination in key public services, and in the labour market, and to increase the perception of community cohesion in key areas of the country. The CSR announcement of 9 October set out our key objectives for the coming three years, including further targets on reducing discrimination, and a key target to increase the representation of BME groups in public lifeas magistrates, councillors, school governors etc.;
Following publication of the Quirk Review, Making Assets Work, in May 2007, the Government accepted its recommendations and an implementation plan is now being taken forward in partnership with all relevant public bodies;
The recommendations of the December 2004 Home Office framework for community capacity building, Firm Foundations, have been taken forward and are reflected in the Local Government White Paper and the Action Plan for Community Empowerment, Building on Success.
We have led the development of the Take Part scheme for citizenship learning for adults, which will promote active citizenship.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many claims have been made against (a) her Department and (b) its agencies under the Sex Discrimination Act since 2002; and what the outcome of each case was. 
Mr. Dhanda: Since the Department for Communities and Local Government came into being in May 2006, three sex discrimination cases have been brought against it or its agencies under the Sex Discrimination Act. Two were withdrawn after agreement was reached without admission of liability by the Department. The third was withdrawn by the claimant.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department spent in total on travel, subsistence and hospitality in the last year for which audited figures are available. 
John Healey: As stated in the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Resource Accounts 2006-07 (HC 836, 12 July 2007), the total expenditure on travel, subsistence and hospitality was £5.709 million, including expenditure for the Government offices.
All expenditure incurred on travel, subsistence and hospitality by civil servants and Ministers of the Department is conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Civil Service Management Code and the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers, as well as published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on principles set out in Government Accounting.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many of her Departments public service agreement targets (a) take and (b) do not take account of rural proofing. 
Mr. Dhanda: Communities and Local Government (CLG) lead on two cross-department public service agreements. Both have been developed taking account of rural proofing and in discussion with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
The Delivery Agreement for Increase long-term housing supply and affordability encompasses both urban and rural areas. CLG will be working in partnership with DEFRA to ensure issues in rural communities are addressed. As a partner, DEFRA have specific responsibilities with regard housing in rural areas which are set out in paragraph 3.14 of the Delivery Agreement.
The recent housing Green Paper Homes for the future: more affordable, more sustainable outlines Governments plan for delivering the additional homes this country needs. It includes (chapter 1) specific proposals for meeting the rural challenge.
The rural context was considered in developing PSA 21 Build more cohesive, empowered and active communities. DEFRA play a key role in helping build more cohesive, empowered and active rural communities, which is set out in the Delivery Agreement in paragraphs 3.21 to 3.23 inclusive.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) whether district, town and parish council elections will be held in South Bedfordshire District in May 2008 following
the proposals for a unitary council for this area in 2009; and if she will make a statement; 
John Healey: On 25 July my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced that she was minded to implement Bedford boroughs proposal for unitary status and that we intend formally to invite all other councils in Bedfordshire to propose a unitary solution that would meet the criteria for that remaining area. We have yet to take final decisions on the structural arrangements in Bedfordshire and whether, as a consequence, there are to be district, town and parish elections in 2008.
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