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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent by her Department and its predecessor on (a) make-up artists for media appearances and (b) cosmetics for media appearances in each of the last four years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether ground source heat pumps are taken into account in the valuation of a property for council tax purposes by the Valuation Office Agency. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for how many years the supplementary business rate on London businesses will remain in force to pay for Crossrail. 
John Healey: The Mayor of London envisages levying a business rate supplement across the Greater London Authority area to service debt raised for Crossrails construction, which will cease once the debt has been fully repaid. As with any authority proposing to levy a business rate supplement, the Mayor will be required to undertake a statutory consultation with local businesses and other stakeholders, setting out detailed plans for expenditure, including time scales.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her proposals to allow a supplementary business rate to be levied will apply to London; and whether local authorities will be able to charge the supplementary business rate on top of the Crossrail business rate levy. 
John Healey: We intend that the power to raise local business rate supplements should apply across England but that only the highest tier authority in any area should be entitled to levy them. This means that, in London, the power to levy supplements will rest with the Greater London Authority.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which section in her Department is responsible for answering correspondence from hon. Members and peers; and how many staff work in that section. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what target for Gershon savings the Government has set for (a) each stand alone fire authority and (b) each fire authority which is part of a local authority (i) in total and (ii) as a proportion of expenditure. 
John Healey [holding answer 9 January 2008]: At the start of SR04, all Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs) in England were set a national target to achieve £105 million gross cashable efficiency gains in the years 2005-06 to 2007-08. FRAs were not set individual authority efficiency targets. The evidence received by the Department to date indicates that FRAs are set to exceed this target and have already achieved approximately £132.9 million in cashable efficiency gains in 2005-06 and 2006-07. Based on forecast figures provided by FRAs, a further £44 million will be achieved in 2007-08.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the value was of discretionary housing payments made by each local authority in the last year for which figures are available; and what the value was of contributions made towards such payments by the Government. 
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when Haringey council and Homes for Haringey will be given their full funding under the Decent Homes Programme for improvement to housing stock; and what the reasons are for the time taken to provide the funding. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department has been in discussion with Haringey council and Homes for Haringey since November 2007 over their bid for capital funding support to deliver a Decent Homes investment programme. The bid is a substantial one, and needs to be considered in detail. We aim to conclude our discussions and agree an overall funding total, and specific allocations for 2008-09 and 2009-10, for Haringey, by the end of January.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking on overcrowding in housing following the Tackling Overcrowding consultation. 
Mr. Iain Wright: On 12 December my right hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning, announced an additional £15 million funding for overcrowding and launched an action plan setting out the Governments commitment to tackling overcrowdingcopies have been placed in the Library of the House. We have already announced an increase in the provision of new social housing including a year-on-year increase in the number of family homes, namely those with three or more bedrooms.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate the Valuation Office Agency has made of the number of domestic dwellings with (a) wind turbines and (b) solar panels. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the hon. Member for Truro and St Austell is expected to publish the conclusions of her review of land use and planning. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much of the funding allocated to local authorities to deliver the Community Empowerment Action Plan is (a) new and (b) additional funding. 
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of his working week the Minister for the West Midlands spent carrying out his regional responsibilities in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the receipts from supplementary business rates may be used for capital expenditure other than on infrastructure and revenue expenditure. 
John Healey: The Governments White Paper Business rate supplements, published in October 2007, makes it clear that supplements should be used only to finance investment in economic development that would not otherwise have taken place. In addition to infrastructure projects, the White Paper gives business centres and retail development as examples of capital projects that could be supported by the additional resources raised through business rate supplements. Revenue from supplements could also be used for revenue projects such as increasing the security or improving the environment of a business district.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what factors she took into account when deciding whether to conduct a consultation on introducing supplementary business rates. 
John Healey: There has been extensive public debate on reforms to business rates, including the introduction of supplements, with contributions from the business community, local and central Government as well as independent experts and academics. We also held discussions with stakeholders as part of developing the proposals in our White Paper Business rate supplements, published in October 2007. These included the Local Government Association, the Greater London Authority, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Confederation of British Industry, the British Chambers of Commerce, the British Retail Consortium and the Federation of Small Businesses, as well as representatives of individual businesses.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the business rate multiplier, including each of the different rates for small and large firms, was in each year since the introduction of the uniform business rate. 
John Healey: Details of the national non-domestic rating multiplier since 1990-91 and of the small business non-domestic rating multiplier since its introduction in 2005-06 are in the following table:
|National non- domestic multiplier||Small business multiplier|
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