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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what payments her Department and its agencies have made to Itis Holdings in the last 36 months; and what ongoing contracts it has with the company. 
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government where funding for local strategic partnerships comes from; and to whom members of local strategic partnerships are accountable. 
John Healey: Local strategic partnerships (LSPs) are voluntary, non statutory partnerships which are comprised of local public, private and third sector organisations. They derive their funding from voluntary contributions made by the bodies that are represented on the partnership. This is a matter for local decision and as such will vary from area to area.
Local strategic partnership members remain accountable to the organisation they represent, but we are clear that in order for LSPs to operate effectively, members should collectively agree clear and transparent lines of accountability within the partnership. The details remain a matter for local discretion and as such will vary from area to area. Further information can be found at 2.1 to 2.9 of the draft guidance which has been issued for consultation, Creating Strong, Safe and Prosperous Communities, available on the CLG website at:
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will discuss with the Home Secretary the creation of a central record of offences committed under the National Licensing Scheme for houses in multiple occupation; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department has no current plans to establish a central record of offences committed under mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). Implementation of mandatory HMO licensing is conducted at a local level.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the Merton planning rule requiring onsite renewables on the viability of major new developments. 
Caroline Flint: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire (Lembit Öpik) on 16 January 2008, Official Report, column 1259W, which confirmed that the information required to make the assessments sought is not held centrally and could be assembled from local authorities only at a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment she has made of the (a) role and (b) effectiveness of (i) vision boards and (ii) local strategic partnerships. 
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government assessed the role and effectiveness of local strategic partnerships in the Local Government White Paper (October 2006). This drew on the evidence of a programme of evaluation of English LSPs between 2002 and 2006 and a full public consultation which ran from December 2005 to March 2006. The findings of this research and consultation are available on the Communities and Local Government website. Following this assessment, the Secretary of State has recently issued draft guidance for consultation which sets out the role that Government think, subject to the results of consultation, LSPs might be expected to perform and the key governance principles which we recommend they might adopt. This draft guidance is available on the CLG website:
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the estimated time is for an eco-town to be constructed and fully completed, following initial approval from her Departments bidding process. 
Caroline Flint: After consultation on the proposals and consideration of individual schemes, we are looking for the first eco-towns to start within the next two years, and to deliver significant growth over the next decade.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what obligation there is on local planning authorities to levy affordable housing contributions on applications classified as a sui generis use under the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 as amended. 
Caroline Flint [holding answer 17 December 2007]: Planning Policy Statement 3Housing requires local authorities to set targets in local plans for the amount of affordable housing to be delivered in their area, and to set out the range of circumstances in which contributing towards affordable housing will be sought.
It is for local planning authorities to decide, under the Use Classes Order, whether the use of a particular premises is sui generis, and whether it is appropriate to seek affordable housing contributions from proposed new developments which they deem to be sui generis.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from which local authorities making proposals for future unitary structure was further information sought by her Department to assist with assessment in advance of the Government statement on 27 March 2007; if she will place in the Library the (a) questions that were presented to each local authority and (b) their responses; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: Further information was sought from all 26 authorities who submitted proposals in response to our invitation of 26 October. Details were placed on their websites by the relevant authorities. I will place information in the House Libraries in due course.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the cost of Bedfordshire county councils campaign to become a unitary authority to date; how much she expects to be spent in total; and how much these figures represent per council tax payer. 
We have made no such estimate. Spending by Bedfordshire county council in connection with, and in support of, their proposal for unitary status is a matter for the council, its auditors and
council tax payers. The Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity, to which councils are required to conform, provides that councils should not use public funds to mount publicity campaigns whose primary purpose is to persuade the public to hold a particular view on a question of policy.
As National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking if a category of White Irish will be included in the 2011 Census, (181763)
The current version of the ethnic group question being used in the testing programme does include Irish under the White category. However, until the consultation and testing programme is complete and formal approval is given by Parliament in 2010, it is not possible to confirm what questions and response categories are to be included in the 2011 Census.
A White Paper setting out the Governments proposals including the wording of any questions about ethnicity and identity is scheduled to be published in autumn 2008.
Mr. Dunne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Chief Information Officer of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) last reviewed the security procedure for accessing the Child Benefit database within HMRC. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 27 November 2007]: The latest review of the security procedures for accessing child benefit IT systems forms part of HMRCs Internal Audit Annual Programme for 2007-08. Preliminary work on this review began in June 2007 prior to the child benefit data loss incident in October 2007 and will be ongoing until March 2008.
On 20 November, the Chancellor announced an independent review of HMRCs data handling procedures by Kieran Poynter, chair of PricewaterhouseCoopers. The interim report was published on 17 December and is available in the Library of the House.
Tom Brake: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 7 January 2008, Official Report, column 308W, on Child Benefit: personal records, what percentage of households constitute the vast majority referred to. 
At any given time there will be a small minority of households for which HMRC do not hold up-to-date addresses. Some 10,000 people move house each week and there can often be a delay in claimants informing HMRC of their change of address.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make an estimate of the effect on the public finances of the current credit conditions in the economy; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: Table B2 of the 2007 pre-Budget report and comprehensive spending review (Cm 7227) contains the latest estimates for the current budget surplus and net borrowing, as well as the changes to these estimates since Budget 2007. These changes include the allowance made in the pre-Budget report for the impact of financial market disruption on the public finances, along with other factors. Updated forecasts of the public finances will be published in Budget 2008.
Angela Eagle: As set out in the summary of responses to the consultation on the Review of co-operative and credit union legislation in the United Kingdom, the Government see some merit in allowing credit unions the flexibility to provide interest-bearing accounts but they must also consider, among other things, the burdens this could create for smaller credit unions. The Government are currently considering the issue in more detail and will make further announcements in due course.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions the Information Commissioner was contacted by (a) his Department and (b) his Departments agencies to report breaches of data protection security in each of the last five years. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 27 November 2007]: Since April 2005, HMRC has discussed eight data security incidents involving customer information with the Information Commissioners Office as a matter of good practice and to ensure appropriate lessons are learned from such incidents.
Rob Marris: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many 0845 or similar cost telephone numbers are used by (a) his Department and (b) related departmental bodies for public access to services. 
It is not possible to provide information on similar cost numbers as call charges are based on the tariff arrangements that customers have with their service provider and the device they use for the call and the location from which they call, and these data are not available.
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Jane Kennedy: The United Kingdoms net contribution to the EC Budget in 2006-07 can be found at table B11 (page 173) of the pre-Budget report (Cm 7227). Details of the Governments latest forecast of the United Kingdoms net contribution to the EC Budget over the period 2007-08 to 2010-11 can also be found at table B11. These numbers will be updated as usual for the 2008 Budget.
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