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Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what types of Government support are available to first-time house buyers, with particular reference to the Wirral, West constituency. 
Yvette Cooper: The Government are committed to supporting first time buyers. Support is available through the provision of affordable housing and low cost home ownership schemes such as the First Time Buyers Initiative.
The First Time Buyers Initiative is part of the HomeBuy low-cost home-ownership scheme which the Government introduced in April 2006. This initiative targets key workers and other eligible groups that have sufficient income to sustain home ownership, but are currently prevented from entering the housing market.
No figures are available specifically for Wirral, West constituency, however Wirral received in excess of £7 million from the Housing Corporation Affordable Housing Programme in the period 2004-07. This has resulted in 123 homes for low cost home ownership and 213 homes for social rent being made available. In addition, Wirral metropolitan borough council has secured approximately 300 affordable houses over the last two years in negotiations with developers.
Following the recent Spending Review the increased Regional Housing Pot allocations for 2008-11 will deliver additional affordable housing across the region, for which Wirral have the opportunity to further increase the supply of affordable homes for sale.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions her (a) ministers and (b) officials had with the Plain English Campaign on home information packs; and whether the home information pack template was submitted to the Plain English Campaign for assessment. 
Yvette Cooper: The Plain English Campaign was consulted by the Department on the home information pack forms (the home information pack index, sale statement, home use and home contents forms). All other documents in the home information pack are produced by bodies other than the Department.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people she estimates will not have been able to return to their homes before Christmas Day 2007 as a result of damage from this years floods. 
John Healey: I wrote to the hon. Member on 19 December 2007. Since then further data have been provided by local authorities and as of early January around 9,150 households of the households originally affected remain displaced.
I met with representatives of flood affect councils and the insurance industry on 10 December and agreed a package of concerted actions to help people still badly affected by the floods. Getting people back into their homes as quickly as possible is a Government priority
and I announced on the 20 December that £1 million of extra funding will be made available to the small number of councils with a large number of households not yet back in their own homes after the floods:
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how the Government Office for the North West plans to ensure that bids from areas wishing to become housing growth points will provide (a) enough affordable housing for purchase and (b) enough housing for rent to meet the needs of the area. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 10 December 2007]: The responsibility for assessing housing growth point expressions of interest rests with Communities and Local Government, with Government Office for the North West (GONW) providing support to this process. GONW has provided advice to local authorities on the issues that their area should be addressing in their expression of interest, including the need for affordable housing. The assessment exercise will ensure that these issues are appropriately considered.
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 10 December 2007]: The responsibility for assessing housing growth point expressions of interest rests with the Department of Communities and Local Government, with Government Office for the North West (GONW) providing support to this process.
Government Office North Wests role has included articulating Government policy to regional stakeholders including local authorities, facilitating quality bids and assisting Communities and Local Government and other Government agencies to gain a full understanding of the local circumstances.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what occasions representatives of the Government Office for the North West (GONW) have met representatives of Warrington Borough Council to discuss future housing plans; who was present at each of these meetings; and what attempts have been made by GONW to discuss these issues with hon. Members representing the borough. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 10 December 2007]: Representatives from Government Office for the North West (GONW) are in regular dialogue with local authorities regarding housing issues in the region.
The GONW Housing Intervention team facilitates and attends various regional and sub-regional working groups to which local authorities are invited to field representatives. However, they have not had one to one meetings with Warrington borough council (BC) on specific housing related issues.
Jo Lappin, Deputy Regional Director, Housing, Planning and Transport, has met with representatives from Warrington BC on a number of occasions since April 2007 as detailed in the following list, during these discussions the issue of housing in the borough was raised.
Thursday 12 Aprilmeeting with Diana Terris, Chief Executive
Monday 12 Novembermeeting with Diana Terris, Chief Executive
Friday 16 Novembermeeting with Andy Farrall, Strategic Director for Environment and Regeneration
Rt Hon Beverley Hughes MP, North West Regional Minister
Jo Hawley, Private Secretary to Beverley Hughes MP
Jo Lappin, Deputy Regional Director, Housing, Planning and Transport, GONW
Diana Terris, Chief Executive of Warrington Borough Council (WBC)
Cllr lan Marks, Leader of WBC (Lib Dem)
Cllr Keith Bland, Deputy Leader of WBC (Conservative)
Dr Robert Barr, Executive Member of WBC, Planning and Regeneration
Cllr Terry O'Neil, Leader of the Labour Group at WBC (Labour)
Andy Farrall, Strategic Director for Environment and Regeneration
Peter Crompton, Director, BE Group
Paul Hafren, Principal, Warrington Collegiate Institute
Mike Ralph, Planning Director, Modus Properties
Alan Charters, Construction Director, Miller Developments
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what occasions Judith Armitt, the Thames Gateway Chief Executive, has visited Thurrock in an official capacity since her appointment; and for what purposes. 
13 Novembervisit with Ruth Kelly to RSPB visitors centre
15 FebruaryMeeting with Leader of Thurrock council (n.b. although this meeting took place in Westminster, the original meeting would have been on 18 January in Thurrock, but was cancelled due to bad weather)
26 MarchTour of Thurrock with Urban Development Corporation (UDC)
29 MarchMeeting at Thurrock UDC offices
10 MayMeeting at Thurrock UDC offices
23 MayTour of Thames Gateway with Permanent Secretary
31 MayThurrock UDC Board meeting at their offices
20 JulyMeeting at Thurrock UDC offices
10 SeptemberMeeting at Thurrock UDC offices
3 OctoberTour of Thurrock with CABE
5 NovemberMeeting in Southend with representatives from South Essex local regeneration partnerships followed by tour of the DP World London Gateway development at Shellhaven, Thurrock, with Yvette Cooper MP.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she (a) informed the Permanent Secretary in the relevant Department of the donations she received as part of her campaign for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party and (b) registered them with the Cabinet Office in accordance with the Ministerial Code. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she plans to require CON29 local authority searches to include information on licensing decisions, reviews, applications or enforcement action under the Licensing Act 2003. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will bring forward proposals to amend Part II (Public Supply or Works Contracts) of Chapter 9 of the Local Government Act 1988 to take account of the Governments commitment to fairness in competitive tendering arrangements under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations. 
John Healey: When contracting in circumstances where the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) are to be applied, best value authorities are permitted to take into account relevant workforce matters.
The Local Government Best Value (Exclusion of Non-commercial Considerations) Order 2001 (SI 2001 No 909) made under Section 19 of the Local Government Act 1999 provides, in respect of best value authorities, for certain workforce matters set out in Part II of the Local Government Act 1988 to cease to be prohibited matters in the contractual process. This is to the extent that they are relevant to the achievement of best value and for the purposes of TUPE.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received on her consultation for the proposed future financial provision for the North Yorkshire Fire Service. 
John Healey: We received a written representation from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, and my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Dhanda), met a delegation of members and officers from the authority on 8 January.
John Healey: I announced the proposed local government finance settlement to the House on 6 December 2007, Official Report, column 981. The House will have the chance to debate the matter in due course.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department and its predecessors have spent in Stroud district since 2002, broken down by specific initiative. 
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the effect on the level of recycling of Christmas-related waste; and what steps she has taken to assist local authorities in dealing with such recycling. 
Based on a sample of 20 local authorities in 2005-06, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimates that 190,000 tonnes of additional recycling will take place in the UK as a result of waste generated because of Christmas.
WRAP helps local authorities to promote recycling at Christmas through the Recycle Now programme, and works with the Woodland Trust to promote Christmas card recycling and the availability of dedicated collection points. The target for this year (2007-08) is to recycle 100 million Christmas cards.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what requirements her Department has placed on regional development agencies in spending monies allocated via the single pot from her Department. 
John Healey: Sponsorship of the regional development agencies (RDAs) rests with the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR). However, Communities and Local Government works closely with BERR to agree the RDAs tasking framework and to ensure that their corporate plans reflect the Departments priorities.
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