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Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the changes in demand for aggregates over the last five years; when she plans to issue new guidance to local authorities; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright:
The Government monitor on an annual basis the implementation and operation of the 2003 National and Regional Guidelines for Aggregates
Provision in England 2001-16, a process which includes generating revised aggregates demand estimates biannually using up-to-date data. We are currently consulting key stakeholders on draft revised Guidelines for the period 2005-20: public consultation will follow early next year. If the draft revised Guidelines are adopted they will be issued towards the end of 2008.
Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what vacancies exist in the membership of the Boundary Committee; what vacancies have been filled in the last six months; by whom those vacancies have been filled; what the background is of those about to be appointed; and if she will make a statement. 
The Committee's composition is prescribed by section 14 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. The Electoral Commission informs me that, reflecting the statutory requirements, the current membership consists of the Chairman, Max Caller CBE, an Electoral Commissioner, and Robin Gray, Joan Jones CBE, Ann Kelly, Dr. Peter Knight CBE and Professor Colin Mellors, all Deputy Electoral Commissioners. Robin Gray, Joan Jones CBE and Ann Kelly will retire as Deputy Electoral Commissioners during 2008.
Two appointments to the Committee have been made in the last six months: Max Caller was appointed in July 2007 to fill the vacancy in the Chair following the retirement from the Commission of Pamela Gordon on 30 June, and Peter Knight was appointed in October 2007. The Commission has also appointed Jane Earl and Professor Ron Johnston with effect from 1 April 2008.
Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what information is collected by her Department and its agencies on the number of accidental road vehicle fires involving buses; and whether figures are held for road vehicle fires involving articulated buses. 
Mr. Dhanda: Communities and Local Government collate, analyse and publish information on fires attended by local fire and rescue services. With regard to fires in various forms of road transport, fires involving bus and coaches are coded and analysed as a single category. It is therefore not possible to provide separate figures for buses, nor for any sub-category of bus (e.g. articulated buses). Data can be provided for accidental and deliberate bus/coach fires, for each fire and rescue service in England.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which authorities included overage provisions in stock transfer agreements with a registered social landlord. 
Mr. Iain Wright: As my right hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning stated in her answer to my hon. Friend on 18 December 2006, Official Report, column 1634W, the Department does not hold this information centrally and it could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff (a) have applied to work flexible hours and (b) work flexible hours (i) in her Department and (ii) the executive agencies for which the Department is responsible. 
Mr. Dhanda: All Communities' staff below the senior civil service have the right to work flexi-time. However, there is no central recording of take-up. Flexi-time allows staff to arrange their start, finish and meal break times to suit themselves, providing they cover agreed core hours.
Currently 223 staff in Communities work part-time, including those on inward secondment, loan and maternity leave, out of a total 2,357 staff. While the Department captures information of on staff working less than full-time hours as above, arrangements where staff still work full-time via home working or compressed hours are dealt with by line management. Central monitoring of these working patterns is not expected to be introduced until the new year at the earliest.
In July the Department's HQ demonstrated its support for flexible working by revising its Flexible Working Policy, improving the application process for options such as part-time working, compressed hours or home working. Of the 19 staff who have applied for flexible working under the new process, 18 now work flexibly.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many civil servants in her Department (a) transferred to other Government Departments and (b) left the civil service in each of the last five years. 
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent by her Department on renovation and refurbishment of its properties in each of the last five years. 
|Renovation and refurbishments|
|Total cost (£)|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many (a) local authorities, (b) registered social landlords, (c) voluntary sector organisations and (d) others responded to the consultation on her Departments proposals to improve the delivery of the disability facilities grant programme; 
(2) how many respondents to the Departments Disability Facilities Grant programme consultation supported (a) the proposal to reclaim that grant when a property is sold and (b) a proposal to make changes to the means test. 
171 responses commented on the proposal to reclaim grant when a property is sold and 152 were in favour.
253 responses commented on the proposals for changing means testing and 246 responses were in favour.
Mr. Iain Wright: Local authorities in England report their annual Disabled Facilities Grant expenditure through the Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA). The 2006-07 HSSA report is not yet available. A table setting out the 2005-06 local authority expenditure has been deposited in the Library of the House. This includes the Departments contribution of £111 million funding, made available through individual allocations to local authorities.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking to ensure that future funding from the European Commission which it administers is audited correctly. 
John Healey: The Department has been working closely with the European Commission to ensure robust systems are in place for delivering ERDF. As a result of strengthened management and control arrangements the Commission has lifted its suspension on the north east, Yorkshire and the Humber, north west objective 1, West Midlands and Peterborough for the current programmes. The new ERDF programmes will be managed by the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), which are well established non-departmental public bodies that have sound control environments systems that are scrutinised by the NAO.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what action her Department has taken in response to the European Commission's announcement that it will freeze funding to the north west region and that fines may be issued following an investigation into the monitoring of grants; and if she will make a statement. 
The Department and the Government office for the north west have been working closely with the European Commission to deal with their remaining issues. We are using independent auditors to examine
and test the systems responsible for monitoring ERDF projects. Where deficiencies are found we are taking urgent corrective action to ensure they are robust and provide the fullest assurance to the Commission. We intend to demonstrate to the Commission that no financial correction is necessary.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the cost of enabling all local authorities to achieve the Decent Homes standard. 
Mr. Iain Wright: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning on 22 January 2007, Official Report, column 1521W, which provided information on the cost of delivering decent homes for council housing.
Mr. Iain Wright: A table indicating when each stock owning local authority reported that they have met, or reports that they expect to meet the decent homes standard has been deposited in the Library of the House.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of the total annual expenditure of each English local authority the cost of administrative overheads was in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authorities received financial support for (a) arms length management organisations and (b) private finance initiatives in the latest year for which figures are available; how much was provided to each local authority; and how many homes were affected in each local authority. 
Mr. Iain Wright:
Those local authorities receiving financial support for arms length management organisations (ALMOs), the value of supported borrowing
that that support is based on for 2006-07 and the number of dwellings involved are included in the following table:
|Authority||Supported borrowing||Units affected|
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