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5 Dec 2007 : Column 1239Wcontinued
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what entertainment or hospitality members of the Department's management board received in each of the last three financial years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Dhanda: Paragraph 4.3.5 of the Civil Service Management Code sets out the rules on the registration of hospitality. The Government are committed to publishing an annual list of hospitality received by members of departmental boards. The first list for 2007 will be published as soon as it is ready after the end of the current calendar year.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been spent by her Department on advertising in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Dhanda: Figures for advertising and marketing campaigns in the financial year 2006-07 were published in the Department's Annual Report on 17 May 2007, which is available in the Libraries of the House.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff in her Department (a) were disciplined and (b) had their employment terminated as a result of a poor sickness record in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Dhanda: The central part of the Department for Communities and Local Government took no formal disciplinary action nor dismissed anyone as a result of poor sick records in the last five years to March 2007. Most sickness absence cases are managed informally by managers. This reply does not cover the Government offices or the Department's agencies.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department is on course to meet the commitment in the sustainable operations on the Government estate targets (a) to source at least 10 per cent. of its electricity from renewables by 31 March 2008 and (b) to increase recycling figures to 40 per cent. of waste by 2010. 
Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 4 December 2007]: Communities and Local Government has already exceeded both of these targets.
In 2006-07, the Departments HQ estate and its Executive agencies sourced 92 per cent. and 52 per cent. of their electricity from renewables respectively. This target is met by procuring renewable green tariff electricity.
In the same year, the Departments HQ estate and Executive agencies recycled 57 per cent. and 56 per cent. of their waste, respectively.
These figures do not include the regional Government offices or the selected non-departmental public bodies that contribute to the Departments performance against these targets.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department has adopted the Carbon Trusts Carbon Management programme. 
Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 4 December 2007]: Communities and Local Government signed up to the Carbon Trusts Carbon Management Programme in May 2006. The Department and its Executive agencies are in the process of implementing various recommendations identified through the programme.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department met the target in the sustainable operations on the Government estate review to reverse the then upward trend in carbon dioxide emissions by April 2007. 
Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 4 December 2007]: Communities and Local Governments HQ estate has not met the target to reverse the upward trend in reported carbon emissions from offices by April 2007. Our office-based Executive agencies have met the target.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department is working towards an accredited certified environmental management system for its whole estate or some of its buildings. 
[holding answer 4 December 2007]: Communities and Local Government already has an ISO14001 accredited certified environmental management system which covers its main headquarter buildings, one of its Executive agencies and Government office for Londons building. The remaining organisations that
contribute to the Departments sustainable operations performance are working towards accredited certified systems.
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authorities area action plans have been deemed (a) sound and (b) unsound by planning inspectors after public examination. 
Mr. Iain Wright [holding answer 29 November 2007]: The following local authorities have:
|(a) Had Area Action Plans found Sound (Approved)|
|(b) Had Area Action Plans found Unsound (Refused)|
|Local a uthority||Title|
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average time taken to respond to an emergency telephone call by the fire brigade was in Suffolk for each of the past five years. 
Mr. Dhanda: The following table shows the average response times taken by the fire and rescue services in Suffolk between 2001 and 2005, the most recent calendar year for which data are available. The table shows the time from the initial call to attendance, and the time from mobilisation to attendance (i.e. the actual driving time).
|Average response time (in minutes) to fires by brigade area and year of call, Suffolk, 2001 - 05( 1, 2, 3)|
|First call to attendance||Mobilisation to attendance|
|(1) Excluding late call and heat and smoke damage only incidents.|
(2) Excluding incidents not recorded during periods of industrial action in 2002 and 2003.
(3) A small number of incidents with response time greater than an hour have been excluded so that results are not skewed by likely reporting errors.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make a statement on the (a) investigations carried out and (b) lessons learned on the recent Warwickshire factory fire tragedy. 
Mr. Dhanda: As a result of the tragic events of 2 November at Atherstone on Stour in Warwickshire, three key investigations have been initiated. Firstly, the police are conducting an investigation in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Secondly, the fire and rescue service are examining the origin, causes and spread of the fire. Thirdly, there is currently a fire and rescue service accident investigation into the implications of the fire. The chief fire and rescue adviser, Sir Ken Knight, is in close contact with the ongoing investigations and is keeping me informed at all times. In addition to these investigations, there will be a coroners inquest which, as part of its investigation, will examine the evidence submitted by the investigation teams. However, until the exact details are known, it would be inappropriate to comment further on the investigations in progress.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans the existing versions of the regional spatial strategies have to review the green belt designations in each Government office region. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The following summarises the proposals in the existing versions of the regional spatial strategies regarding the green belt in each Government office region:
North East p roposed changes stage
Policy 6.5 ensures that the green belt continues to safeguard the countryside from encroachment and check the unrestricted sprawl of Tyne and Wear.
North West c urrently preparing proposed changes
Policy RDF5, no need for any exceptional change to the Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire green belts until 2011 and the Warrington green belt until 2021.
Yorkshire and Humber p roposed changes published for consultation
Policy YH9 confirms that the extent of the green belt in Yorkshire and Humber should not be changed, but that localised boundary reviews may be needed in order to deliver development in the most sustainable locations. Specific mention is made to defining the green belt around York and the potential need for strategic reviews in parts of West Yorkshire.
East Midlands c urrently preparing proposed changes
The EIP into the East Midlands Draft RSS closed on 19 July 2007 and the EIP Chairs Panel Report was published 28 November 2007. The Independent Panel Chair recommended a strategic review of the boundaries of the existing green belt to the north, east and south of Nottingham. Any future review of the green belt will be conducted in line with the process set out in PPG2.
West Midlands Phase 1 p roposed changes published and Phase 2 is due to be submitted in December 2007
Phase 1 proposes no change to the extent of the existing green belt in the Black Country and Phase 2 is still being developed, so policies on the extent of the existing green belt have not yet been defined.
East of England p roposed changes published for consultation
Policy SS7, the broad extent of green belts in the East of England is appropriate, and will be maintained. However, strategic reviews of green belt boundaries are needed in the following areas to meet regional development needs at the most sustainable locations:
Stevenage, involving land in Stevenage and North Hertfordshire;
Kernel Hempstead, involving land in Dacorum and probably St. Albans district;
Harlow, involving land in Harlow, East Hertfordshire and Epping Forest district; and
Welwyn/Hatfield, involving land in Welwyn Hatfield district and potentially St. Albans district;
South East c urrently preparing proposed changes
Policy CC10a, the existing green belts in the region will be retained and supported and the opportunity should be taken to improve their land-use management and access as part of initiatives to improve the urban rural fringe. If there are any cases for small scale local review, these can be pursued through the LDF process.
South West a waiting panel report before beginning proposed changes process
Policy 3.35, the extent of the green belt, is revised in policies SR3, SR11 and SR27 (Section 4), based on a strategic green belt review, to accommodate urban extensions required in the West of England in Cheltenham/Gloucester and South Dorset.
There are currently no green belt reviews planned in the London region.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent on housing benefit in (a) Peterborough constituency and (b) Peterborough City Council area in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Plaskitt: I have been asked to reply
Information on housing benefit expenditure is not available at constituency level.
The available information is in the following table.
|Housing benefit expenditure for Peterborough local authority district|
1. Information sourced from local authority claims for housing revenue account subsidy and housing benefit subsidy.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest £100,000.
3. 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.
4. 2006-07 figures are initial final (pre-audited) and are subject to change.
5. From 1999-2000 onwards, housing benefit expenditure on asylum seekers was funded by the National Asylum Support Service, and is therefore excluded from the figures presented at Great Britain. 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. 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).
DWP Benefit expenditure tables
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