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Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) when she expects to lay before Parliament in accordance with section 10 (3) of the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006 a report of any review she has conducted in accordance with section 10 (1) of the same Act; 
(2) when she plans to exercise her powers under section 59 (2)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 so as to provide that development orders made by virtue of that section facilitate development in England consisting of the installation, within the curtilage of a dwelling place, of equipment apparatus or appliances for microgeneration in accordance with section 10 (3) of the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006; 
(3) whether she has formed a view in accordance with section 10(2) of the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006 as to what provision (or further provision) development orders issued under section 59(2)(a) of the Town and Country Planning
Act 1990 should make to facilitate development in England consisting of the installation, within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse, of equipment, apparatus or appliances for microgeneration. 
Yvette Cooper: We will be issuing a summary of responses to the consultation paper on proposed changes to permitted development rights for householder microgeneration in the near future. We are currently considering the many detailed points raised and what changes, if any, are needed to the original proposals. We will then, as required by section 10 of the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006, report to Parliament on the detailed changes for householder microgeneration we propose to make. The necessary changes to secondary legislation will be made as soon as possible after that.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many times the Audit Commission has charged a parish council for inspecting and auditing complaints about accounts made by members of the public under sections 15 and 16 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 in each year since 1998; and what total revenue has been raised from parish councils for such services. 
Further to my letter dated 18 October in answer to your Parliamentary Question above, I am pleased to provide you with the information promised. We are unable to provide figures for 1998-2001. These would, in any event, relate to the previous reporting and audit regime which was quite different to, and significantly more expensive than, the current arrangements that we introduced from 2001-2002. The information would not, therefore, be properly comparable.
|Audit year||Completed parish council audits||Total audit fees (£)||Scale audit fees (£)||Additional fees (£)||Percentage|
|(1) To date|
The additional fees for local councils include charges, where these are made by the auditor, for the following activities which are not separately recorded:
chasing up non-responding and/or non co-operating councils;
correspondence required following non-compliant or incomplete annual return submissions and follow up audit work;
additional work arising from unusual or unexpected items in the accounts, or material variations in the accounts;
matters arising during the audit requiring expert technical or legal support;
questions from the public and matters brought to the attention of the auditor outside the inspection and audit period;
enquiries about the accounts from clerks, members and other interested parties;
dealing with formal objections to the accounts from electors;
co-operating with the police in fraud and corruption cases; and
exercising or considering the exercise of other special auditors powers as required.
The pattern of additional fees reflects the increasing awareness about governance and accountability standards
brought about by the new reporting and audit arrangements for local councils since 2001. The growth in the early years confirms the need for improvements we had identified in introducing the new arrangements. The continuing reduction since 2003-2004 appears to confirm positive responses to findings reported by auditors and the subsequent improvements achieved by local councils.
I trust that this information is helpful.
A copy of this letter will be placed in the House of Commons Library.
Yvette Cooper: As part of the Governments Making Space for Water strategy for flood and coastal erosion risk management, we have strengthened the role of the Environment Agency, to ensure effective management of flood risk to new development:
i) In October 2006 we made the Environment Agency a statutory consultee on all planning applications in flood risk areas, and applications on large sites outside them, which might add to flood risk elsewhere.
ii) On 1 January this year we introduced a planning Direction on flooding, so that where a local planning authority intends to approve a major application against which the Environment Agency has a sustained objection, we consider whether to call it in for decision by the Secretary of State.
Taken with the clearer and stronger policy in Planning Policy Statement 25 (PPS25), we think this will ensure that flood risk is taken account of at all stages in the planning process whilst retaining the decision making role of the local authority.
Mr. Iain Wright: The future of the Planning Portal is currently under review. An assessment of its commercial viability by the study team concluded that the best option would be a joint venture with local government, but allowing for the Portal to continue to develop commercial opportunities. We expect to announce the outcome of the review shortly.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many developments have been approved in Greater London incorporating (a) the Mayors requirement for onsite renewable energy as a condition of planning permission and (b) individual boroughs Merton Rules. 
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Climate Change Planning Policy Statement will encourage all local planning authorities to require onsite renewables in all major new developments. 
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will include representatives of the sustainable and energy efficiency industry trade associations on her Departments Climate Change Planning Policy Statement sounding board. 
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will include trade associations representing the UK onsite renewable energy industry in her Departments zero carbon homes taskforce. 
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she took account of the financial value of the Merton rule to the UKs microgeneration industry in drawing up guidance on climate change in the Climate Change Planning Policy Statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The consultation draft of the Planning Policy Statement (PPS): Planning and Climate Change was supported by a partial regulatory impact assessment (PRIA). The potential additional benefits of the PPS identified in the PRIA included expanded markets and demand for renewable and low-carbon technologies. While not quantifying the estimated monetary value associated with this, the PRIA states that by helping to stimulate markets for renewable, low-carbon and decentralised energy, the PPS would benefit the many small businesses active in this sector.
As I confirmed in the answer given to the hon. Member on 15 October 2007, Official Report, columns 860-61W, the final PPS will support local strategies that
include both site (and area) specific targets and Merton rules. The final PPS will be supported by an impact assessment.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) if she will take steps to ensure a public consultation takes place on her Department's proposals on the Merton rule in the Climate Change Planning Policy Statement; 
Yvette Cooper: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 24 October 2007, Official Report, columns 379-80W. The public consultation on the draft Planning Policy Statement (PPS): Planning and Climate Change took place between 13 December 2006 and 8 March 2007.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received from supermarkets in relation to planning reform in the last 12 months; and if she will place in the Library copies of such representations. 
The Co-operative Movement
Marks and Spencer
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will list the local government financial assistance schemes available through Leeds City Council aimed at tackling urban poverty in the area. 
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