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21 Jan 2008 : Column 1522W—continued

Margaret Hodge: The tables show (a) the average expenditure per visit for overnight trips by UK residents to the Yorkshire region and (b) the average
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expenditure per visit for visits by non UK residents to the Northern Lincolnshire region for the latest years for which data is available.

Information on visits at constituency or ward level by domestic and foreign tourists is not available.

Average expenditure per visit( 1) of domestic overnight tourists( 2)
£
Yorkshire( 3)

2002

131

2003

147

2004

158

2005

142

2006

139

(1) Expenditure includes items such as package holidays, accommodation, travel to and from the destination and during the trip, services and advice, buying clothes, eating and drinking out, shopping, entertainment and other items relating to the trip.
(2) The methodology for the UKTS changed in 2005 meaning that comparisons with previous years should be treated with caution. This change occurred as a result of concerns with the quality of 2004 data, which is thought to be an under-representation of the true position.
(3) North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston-upon Hull, North Lincolnshire and North-East Lincolnshire.
Source:
UK Tourism Survey (National Tourist Boards)

Average expenditure( 1) per visit by overseas residents
£
Northern Lincolnshire( 2)

2002

250

2003

333

2004

267

2005

333

2006

240

(1) Expenditure excludes fares for travel to and from the UK.
(2) Figures are based on small sample sizes and as such should be treated with extreme caution, and used solely as an indicative estimate.
Source:
International Passenger Survey (ONS)

Communities and Local Government

Allotments

Dr. Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps the Government is taking to increase the availability of allotments. [179163]

Mr. Iain Wright: The provision of allotments is the responsibility of local authorities. The Smallholdings and Allotments Act 1908 places a duty on local authorities to provide allotments where they perceive demand for them in their area.

Planning Policy Guidance Note 17 (Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation) requires local authorities to assess the needs of their communities for a range of open spaces, and to address any identified deficiencies. It also suggests that authorities should allocate sites within their plans for the provision of new open spaces.


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To further support local authorities, we are currently revising the good practice guide for the management of allotments in conjunction with the Local Government Association.

Arm's Length Management Organisations

Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether under Clause 225, sub section (2) of the Housing and Regeneration Bill a specified person to whom management functions of a registered provider may be transferred could be an arm's length management organisation. [179370]

Mr. Iain Wright: I can confirm that the new management transfer power proposed for the social housing regulator OFTENANT at clause 225 of the Housing and Regeneration Bill permits the regulator to transfer management functions of social housing owned by a registered provider to any other specified person (that is, any organisation). This includes arm’s length management organisations.

Clause 225 is a new power recommended by the Cave Review of social housing regulation. It gives OFTENANT the power to address systematically poor management without transferring ownership of the assets. The power could be used in respect of all a provider’s homes or a proportion of them, so it could be used to address issues on a specific estate. The owner of the homes would be subject to the regulatory regime and would ensure the managing agent met any relevant standards. This power could only be exercised following an inquiry under clauses 183 to 186 and is subject to appeal to the High Court.

Similarly, if OFTENANT directed the registered provider to put social housing management functions out to competitive tender, under clause 223, an arm’s length management organisation could tender for the work and be selected as manager.

Cheshire County Council; Reorganisation

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate of the cost of the re-organisation of Cheshire County Council has been made by her Department; and if she will publish the information on which this estimate is based. [180205]

John Healey: The Secretary of State has assessed the financial estimates made by Cheshire county council and certain Cheshire district councils in connection with their proposals for the creation of unitary authorities in Cheshire. Those estimates were made public by the councils on their websites.

Community Centres: Closures

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) village halls and (b) community centres closed permanently in each of the last 10 years. [180387]

John Healey: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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Community Relations: Emergency Services

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether consideration has been given to establishing wardens to co-ordinate between local communities and the emergency services in the event of a civil disaster. [172058]

Gillian Merron: I have been asked to reply.

The Civil Contingencies Act (2004) requires frontline responders (eg the emergency services, Environment Agency and local authorities) to ensure effective arrangements are in place to protect their communities in an emergency, which includes how best to involve their communities to meet the needs of the local area.

Departmental Marketing

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many posters or displays there are in the offices of her Department and its agencies displaying the names and photographs of Ministers; and what the cost has been of producing such posters or displays in the last five years. [179839]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department for Communities and Local Government has spent £5,402 plus VAT on display boards which show the names and photographs of Ministers in the foyers of the Department’s two main central London buildings.

Information for our agencies is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Home Information Packs

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether (a) the authorised or (b) required elements of a home information pack will inform buyers of the potential impact of underground works, such as the new Crossrail development. [173289]

Yvette Cooper: Information on proposed railway or road schemes, which may involve underground works, forms part of the property search dealing with inquiries made of local authorities. This search is a required element of the home information pack.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment she has made of the effect on the housing market of the introduction of home information packs. [174317]

Yvette Cooper: I refer the hon. Member to the home information packs update written ministerial statement made on 22 November 2007, Official Report, columns 140-42WS.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the potential use of home information packs to be made by lawyers in the conveyancing process. [175355]


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Yvette Cooper: The home information pack (HIP) includes evidence of title and standard local searches. Providing it in a HIP will mean this information will be available for lawyers at the start of the conveyancing process. Many solicitors have also become pack providers.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether (a) the authorised and (b) required elements of a home information pack will inform buyers of the potential impact of underground works. [176604]

Yvette Cooper: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today (PQ 173289).

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which three mortgage lenders from the top 30 do not accept personal searches in a home information pack. [176612]

Yvette Cooper: The information requested is contained in the Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook which sets out individual lenders’ policies on acceptance of personal searches.

Home Information Packs: Pilot Schemes

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) whether the full conclusions of each geographic dry run for home information packs will be published (a) by the end of 2007 and (b) before home information packs are extended to one or two bedroomed homes; [173221]

(2) whether IPSO-MORI have concluded their work on the home information pack dry-run and pilot research. [173286]

Yvette Cooper: I refer the hon. Member to the home information packs update written ministerial statement made on 22 November 2007, Official Report, columns 140-42WS.

IPSOS-MORI is still in the process of finalising its conclusions and a copy of the research report will be placed in the House Library once the project has been finalised.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in what locations home information pack pilots and dry-runs took place; and over which periods of time in each case. [176178]

Yvette Cooper: The Department’s area trials began in Bath, Newcastle, Southampton, Northampton, Huddersfield and Cambridge from 6 November 2006 with trials in the London borough of Southwark and North West Wales commencing on 12 February 2007. The final phase, including processing the information and drawing conclusions is still being finalised by IPSOS-MORI.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) whether the full conclusions of each geographic dry run for home information packs will be published (a) by the end of
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2007 and (b) before home information packs are extended to one or two bedroom homes; [176590]

(2) whether IPSO-MORI have concluded their work on the Home Information Pack dry-run and pilot research; [176600]

(3) what the timetable is for the publication of the results of the pilot studies from the Home Information Pack dry run. [176177]

Yvette Cooper: I refer the hon. Member to the home information packs update written ministerial statement made on 22 November 2007, Official Report, columns 140-42WS.

IPSOS-MORI is still in the process of finalising its conclusions and a copy of the research report will be placed in the Library of the House once the project has been finalised.

Homes and Communities Agency

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers the Homes and Communities Agency will have in relation to the provisions of (a) regional spatial strategies, (b) local authority local development frameworks and (c) the Mayor of London's spatial plan for the purposes of development under its oversight. [171646]

Yvette Cooper: The Housing and Regeneration Bill makes provision for the Homes and Communities Agency to have a role in relation to regional spatial strategies and local development frameworks in specified circumstances.

Clause 18 of the Bill adds the Homes and Communities Agency to section 4 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 so that if the Homes and Communities Agency has been made the local planning authority for any area that falls within the responsibility of the Regional Planning Board (for example as English Partnership has in Milton Keynes), the Regional Planning Board must seek the agency's advice when revising the regional spatial strategy, or when reviewing and monitoring its implementation.

Clause 13 of the Bill gives the Secretary of State the power to designate an area and in doing so may confer specified planning functions upon the Homes and Communities Agency. The functions which may be conferred upon the Agency are set out in clause 14 and include powers in relation to the production and maintenance of local development documents. The Agency will not have any powers in relation to local development frameworks at the outset and are only likely to be conferred in exceptional circumstances.

The Agency has been given no specific powers in relation to the Mayor of London's spatial plan, nor does the Bill make provision to confer planning functions on the Agency in relation to that plan where an area within Greater London is designated under clause 13.

Housing

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many domestic dwellings are on the valuation list in England. [180161]


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John Healey: The number is 22,418,512 as at 5 November 2007.

Housing Data Domain Group

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 16 October 2007, Official Report, column 1035W, on the Housing Data Domain Group, if she will place in the Library a copy of the minutes of the meeting of the Neighbourhood Statistics: Housing Data Domain Group of 2 October 2006. [176455]

Mr. Iain Wright: The minutes of the Neighbourhood Statistics Housing Data Domain Group meeting of the 2 October 2006 have been placed in the Library of the House.


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