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Hazel Blears: Over 200 projects are currently being delivered through the preventing violent extremism Pathfinder fund, which is building resilience to violent extremism in around 70 priority local authorities.
Mr. Dhanda: Representations from stakeholders about the terms of the current regulations governing the ill-health retirement of firefighters are being carefully considered. A statement will be made once our assessment of the representations is completed.
It is not the intention of the current regulations, nor the explanatory guidance produced by Communities and Local Government, either in 2004 or 2006, to adversely affect firefighters' entitlement to an ill-health pension.
Pension benefits for life are available to those who are permanently unable to perform the duties of a firefighter. Otherwise, the Department believes that another post within the fire and rescue authority, or alternative local authority employment, should be considered.
23. Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make a statement on the financial position of Ujima Housing Association and consequent action taken by the Housing Corporation under the Housing Act 1996. 
Yvette Cooper: On 20 December, Ujima issued a statutory notice to the Housing Corporation and sought a winding up order from court on the basis that it was unable to meet its debts when they fell due. Statutory notices were also issued by some secured creditors of Ujima on 20 December (in relation to defaults against credit agreements) and on 21 December (confirming the appointment of receivers). This latter action triggered a Moratorium under Part I of the Housing Act 1996, during which time the Housing Corporation may put proposals to secured creditors to safeguard the interests of tenants, taxpayers and creditors.
Following the acceptance of the Housing Corporation's proposal by the secured creditors of Ujima Housing Association, the Housing Corporation on 14 January, appointed Grant Thornton as Manager under the 1996 Act to implement the transfer of Ujima's assets and liabilities to London and Quadrant Housing Group. We anticipate that the transfer should be complete this week.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what criteria her Department used to determine the membership of the Councillors' Commission; and what (a) remuneration and (b) expenses members of the Commission are entitled to. 
substantial understanding of local government and the role of a councillor;
experience of community activism;
good understanding of the business/commercial perspective on councillors as employees;
awareness of ethics in public life; and
sound understanding of the Government's agenda for local government.
The Chair in particular was required to command the confidence of the stakeholders, especially the local government sector. None of the Commissioners were remunerated for their work, but their expenses were covered in relation to any costs arising from attending Commission meetings, events and other related visits.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 3 December 2007, Official Report, column 874W, on departmental pay, how many of those earning over £100,000 were employed (a) as special advisers and (b) in a political role in each year since 2002. 
Mr. Dhanda: Since 2003, the Government have published on an annual basis the number of special advisers in each pay band. For the most recent information I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister on 22 November 2007, Official Report, columns 147-151WS.
John Healey: When setting the levels of the floors within the local government finance settlement we need to strike a balance between affordability, the floor level and the scaling factor applied to authorities above the floor.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff have been seconded to (a) her Department and (b) each of its executive agencies, in the last 12 months; from which outside body they were seconded; and what the length was of each secondment. 
Mr. Dhanda: Fifty-two secondments to Communities and Local Government began during the 12 months to 31 December 2007. The planned lengths of these secondments and the outside bodies from which the secondments were drawn are given in the following tables.
|Length of secondment||Number of secondments|
|Outside body||Number of secondments|
There were no secondments to the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in the last 12 months. There was one secondment to the Planning Inspectorate from North Somerset council which is planned to last for nine months. There were 12 secondments to the Fire Service college beginning in 2007. These were drawn
from local fire and rescue services listed as follows. Each of these secondments is intended to last for three years.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Cleveland Fire and Rescue Service
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service
Fife Fire and Rescue Service
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service
Central Scotland Fire and Rescue Service
John Healey: The Department's work on digital inclusion is aimed at ensuring that all local authorities and local strategic partnerships have the capacity and capability to take advantage of new technologies in supporting communities and place shaping, and delivering on the Local Government White Paper.
This work includes continuing support to the winner of 2007's digital challenge competition, Sunderland city council, and the nine other finalists in their efforts to jointly develop good practice on digital inclusion initiatives and to promote digital inclusion as an aid to the successful delivery of local area agreements; a new digital inclusion theme for the beacon scheme in 2008; and funding the national digital inclusion team which runs a programme to explore and exploit the application of digital technologies to benefit socially excluded people across England.
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