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22 Nov 2007 : Column 1018Wcontinued
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the provisions of the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Bill, if enacted, on the distribution of free food to the homeless. 
John Healey [holding answer 21 November 2007]: Following consultation on the provisions of their forthcoming London Local Authorities Bill, London councils confirmed on 16 November that London boroughs will not be proposing any provisions related to the distribution of free food. Accordingly, the Government has made no assessment of such a provision.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the basis is for the assumptions for rent receipts allowances and interest rates for future years being used in the six authorities' pilot study for examining the removal of local authorities from the national housing revenue account. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The modelling work used as an assumption that current policies would continue. On this basis, it assumed that rents would increase at RPI + 0.5 per cent. following convergence with formula rents in 2011-12 and that allowances would rise in line with GDP. Interest charges were based on local consolidated rate of interest forecasts. The modelling work however also tested sensitivity to changes in all the variables which have an impact on a business plan, including debt levels, interest and inflation rates, expenditure levels, rental and other income, and sales. The 30-year model business plans run well beyond medium term forecasts and policy commitments so it is important to consider a wide range of scenarios.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what data will be used to measure each national indicator; and what the source of each dataset will be, broken down by indicator. 
John Healey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 15 November 2007, Official Report, column 372W.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the formal responsibilities are of the Ministers for (a) the north east, (b) the north west, (c) Yorkshire and the Humber, (d) London, (e) the south east, (f) the south west, (g) the East Midlands, (h) the West Midlands and (i) the east of England. 
Hazel Blears: All regional Ministers have the same formal responsibilities. These responsibilities are set out in The Governance of Britain (Cm. 7170 published on 3 July 2007).
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions her Department has had on the development of successor arrangements for the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund with (a) Birmingham city council, (b) Birmingham strategic partnership and (c) and local authorities; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: We confirmed at the time of the CSR announcement, that we intend to respond to the recommendations of the Sub-National Review and concentrate greater regeneration effort on tackling worklessness through the establishment of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund.
The new Indices of Deprivation 2007, due to be released shortly, will provide more up-to-date data on the pattern of deprivation on which to base our decisions. Further details will be available at the time of the Local Government Finance Settlement in December.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what amount of rent benefits was paid in each local authority in Hampshire in each year since 2000-01; what estimate she has made of the number of eligible people not claiming such benefits in each local authority; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: I have been asked to reply
Estimates of eligible people not claiming housing benefit are not available below Great Britain level.
Estimates for Great Britain are published in the Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up series. The latest date for which figures are available relate to 2005-06. Copies are available in the Library.
Information regarding the total amount of housing benefit paid in each local authority in Hampshire since 2000-01 is in the following table.
|Total housing benefit paid in each local authority in Hampshire since 2000-01|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest £100,000.
2. Figures prior to 2006-07 are audited, but may change in future if local authorities audited accounts are amended after a decision or appeal. Figures for recent years are more likely to be amended than older data.
3. 2006-07 figures are initial final (pre-audited) and are subject to change.
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. From 1999-2000 onwards, housing and council tax benefit expenditure on asylum seekers was funded by the National Asylum Support Service, and is therefore excluded from the figures presented in GB level DWP benefit expenditure tables. However, local authority level information includes all expenditure on these benefits relating to asylum seekers, as it is not possible to isolate at this level that part which applies to asylum seekers.
6. Years up to 2005-06 are available at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd4/HBandCTB_expenditure.asp
Information sourced from local authority claims for housing revenue account subsidy and housing benefit and council tax benefit subsidy.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps his Department is taking to increase the uptake of the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme among small businesses. 
John Healey: Changes introduced in 2006 by Communities and Local Government to the Small Business Rate Relief scheme removed the previous requirement to make an application for relief every year, making it easier for eligible ratepayers to apply for and benefit from relief. The 2007 pre-Budget report and Comprehensive Spending Review announced the Government's intention to bring forward proposals to simplify the current set of business rate reliefs, of which small business rate relief is one, to provide greater clarity for ratepayers and certainty for those who administer the business rate system.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many antisocial behaviour order injunctions were instigated by registered social landlords in the Peterborough city council area in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Collection of information on the use of antisocial behaviour injunctions by RSLs is performed by the Housing Corporation via its annual regulatory and statistical returns.
The information is provided by individual RSLs on a national basis (i.e. the number of injunctions they have instigated across all their operations). It is therefore not possible to aggregate data for a particular locality (in which a number of different RSLs own or manage housing stock).
Overall data for 2005-06 shows an increase in the use of antisocial behaviour injunctions (ASBIs) by RSLs (758). They are proving a popular and effective tool to combat antisocial behaviour (by comparison, RSLs reported the use of 318 ASBOs over the same period).
Martin Cave's review identifies aggregation of performance data against local authority areas as one the new housing regulator (OFTENANT) should take up.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she plans to reinstate the meeting of the Social Sector Working Party. 
John Healey: The chief executive of LEASE chairs the Social Sector Working Party. He postponed the planned meeting of 11 September because a number of the members could not attend. Subsequently the chief executive has retired and a new chief executive, Anthony Essien, took up post on 15 October 2007. Working Party members have been notified that there will be a short delay in arranging the next meeting. We would expect the next meeting to take place early in the new year.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many troops were contributed by each of the nations participating in International Security Assistance Force operations in Afghanistan in the last period for which figure are available. 
Des Browne: The current ISAF strength is approximately 42,000 personnel from 38 countries. The UK is the second largest contributor with approximately 7,800 personnel. Details of individual national contributions are available on the ISAF website,
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the Department for Work and Pensions on the receipt of (a) war disablement pensions and (b) Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments in the calculations of child support payments. 
Derek Twigg [holding answer 20 November 2007]: There have not been any discussions held regarding this matter.
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