Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance (a) her Department and (b) the Standards Board for England have issued on the applicability of (i) the code of conduct for councillors and (ii) codes of conduct for local authority employees to the Mayor of London's senior policy advisers. 
John Healey: Neither Communities and Local Government nor the Standards Board have issued guidance on the applicability of either the code of conduct for local councillors or codes of conduct for local government employees to advisers of the Mayor of London.
John Healey: The Government accepted a Lyons inquiry recommendation to review all reliefs and exemptions within business rates and the pre Budget report 2007 announced that this review had concluded, although a specific review into agricultural de-rating of business rates in England was not conducted.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many civil servants in her Department worked on the Governments review of business rate reliefs and exemptions following the Lyons Inquiry. 
The review of Business rates reliefs was undertaken as part of the ongoing maintenance of the
business rates system by Communities and Local Government, so no team was specifically set up for this task.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 11 December 2007, Official Report, column 554W, on planning, what the timetable is for the publication of the counter-terrorism supplement; and what its status will be in planning law. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Government intend to publish during the summer of 2008 the counter-terrorism supplement which will accompany planning policy guidance Safer Places. In drafting this supplement the Home Office will be consulting with key stakeholders both within Government, with industry and with professional bodies involved in planning and design.
Government statements of planning policy must be taken into account, where relevant, in decisions on planning applications and in the preparation of planning policies. Planning Policy Statement 1: Delivering Sustainable Development (PPS1) makes clear that the creation of safe and accessible environments where crime and disorder or fear of crime does not undermine quality of life or community cohesion is a key planning objectives which planning authorities should take into account. PPS1 also says that planning authorities should have regard to good practice set out in Safer Placesthe Planning System and Crime Prevention. The counter terrorism supplement which will accompany Safer Places will, therefore, equally be capable of being a material consideration in the determination of planning applications and in the preparation of planning policies.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the new burdens doctrine contained in the central-local concordat over-rides the polluter pays principle. 
John Healey: When developing policies, Government consider the polluter pays principle. In introducing new policies Government are committed to ensuring the net new burdens it places on local government are fully fundedso no additional pressure is placed on council tax.
John Healey: Predictors of Beaconicity; was the title of a report by the Warwick Business School which looked at the factors associated with high and low levels of engagement with the Beacon Scheme. The Beacon Scheme identifies authorities and their partners that are delivering the best services to their local citizens and can share good practice.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the gross expenditure of each regional assembly in England outside London was in the last year for which figures are available. 
|Gross expenditure (£)
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what contribution to the revised West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy house building requirements would be made in (a) Warwickshire and (b) Worcestershire as the result of the construction of an eco-town at Long Marston. 
Caroline Flint: I am unable to comment on individual proposals at this stage. The number of homes in individual proposals is indicative at this stage, but ranges between 5-20,000 in most proposals, which is in line with the eco-town criteria. We intend to publish a shortlist soon, once an individual assessment of proposals has taken place. There will be considerable opportunity for consultation before decisions on individual proposals are made.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the likely effect on housing need if the right to buy policy is extended to registered social landlord tenants; and if she will make a statement. 
Social HomeBuy was introduced as a voluntary pilot scheme in April 2006 to provide new opportunities for social tenants who do not have right to buy or right to acquire or cannot afford outright purchase, to buy a share of their rented home. 77 RSLs and nine local authorities are currently offering the pilot scheme to their tenants.
The Government announced in December 2007 that Social HomeBuy will continue as a voluntary scheme to increase opportunities for social housing tenants to access home ownership, when the pilot period ends in March.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions her Department has had with officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on (a) marine spatial planning and (b) planning for major infrastructure developments in the marine environment. 
John Healey: Officials from my Department are members of the Working Group preparing the Marine Bill. They have had detailed discussions with Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs about a range of issues, including those of concern in the question. The Planning Bill gives effect to the results of those discussions.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Hertford and Stortford (Mr. Prisk) of 15 January 2008, Official Report, column 1169W, on the UK Location Strategy, if she will place in the Library a copy of the UK Location Strategy submitted to Ministers by the Geographic Information Panel. 
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many representations she has received from residents of Worcestershire opposing the proposal to build an eco-town at Long Marston. 
Caroline Flint: I am unable to comment on individual proposals at this stage. We intend to publish proposals shortly once an individual assessment has taken place. There will be considerable opportunity for consultation before decisions on individual proposals are made.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 12 December 2007, Official Report, column 685W, on wardens, what warden schemes are funded by local area agreements according to records held by the Government Offices for the Regions. 
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has for consultation between the proposed infrastructure planning commission and the proposed marine management organisation on the licensing of offshore wind farms producing over 100MW of power. 
John Healey: The White Paper Planning for a Sustainable Future sets out the process for decisions on development consents for renewable energy developments offshore. Those generating over 100 megawatts would be taken by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), while those up to and including 100MW would be determined by the proposed Marine Management Organisation (MMO).
The MMO will be able to advise the IPC on the marine aspects of these major projects, including on conditions on developments, and will also monitor and enforce compliance. The Planning Bill would give the Secretary of State a power to specify relevant statutory consultees for the pre-application and examination phases, and we will consider whether we will need to exercise this power in relation to the proposed MMO when it is created.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on encouraging members of the armed forces to improve their driving skills through (a) the Advanced Drivers Test and (b) refresher driving courses; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: The MOD recognises and promotes the benefits of improving driving skills to all members of the armed forces. The Departments guidance (JSP 800, Pt 5) encourages transport managers, road safety committees and road safety advisers to participate in national safe driving awards, and to develop driving skills. Any driver who has had familiarisation training on a particular vehicle but has not driven that vehicle for a period of 12 months or more, should receive refresher training.
For many years, MOD has worked with organisations such as the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, to provide service personnel with the opportunity to take an advanced driving test. The Army provides many of its personnel with a pre-paid test voucher in order to do so.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what licence is required for military personnel in theatre to drive the (a) Snatch land rover, (b) WMIK, (c) E-WMIK, (d) M-WMIK, (e) variants of Pinzgauer Vectors, (f) Mastiff and (g) Future Ridgeback vehicles. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: MOD policy is to comply with Department for Transport Driver Licensing regulations at all times, whether on operations or not. All the vehicles listed weigh over 3.5 tonnes; therefore all drivers of these vehicles are required to hold a category C licence.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what procedures are used to return non-UK citizens serving in the armed forces to their country of origin on discharge (a) if they have completed basic training, (b) on completing their engagement and (c) before they have completed their engagement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Non-UK citizens wishing to join the UK armed forces travel to the UK at their own expense and we do not normally return them to their countries of origin at public expense when they are discharged. It is therefore very much a personal decision, in line with Home Office policy, as to whether non-UK citizens return to their country of origin on discharge. An individual will normally be granted 28 days upon discharge to allow time for an application for further leave to remain to be lodged, or depart from the UK. Once an application is lodged they are able to remain in the UK legally while the application is processed.
The only exception to the rules is for Gurkhas, who are enlisted in Nepal and brought to the UK at public expense, and are now discharged in the UK and then returned to Nepal (if they wish) at public expense.
These policies have been agreed with the Home Office in order to ensure that they are not abused. They balance recognition of service in the British Armed forces towards naturalisation with preventing its use as an improper method of entry into the UK.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 21 January 2008, Official Report, column 1580W, on armed forces: housing, how many of the extra 30,000 single living accommodation bed-spaces planned by 2013 he expects to be (a) new and (b) improved bed-spaces. 
Derek Twigg [holding answer 31 January 2008]: The Ministry of Defence has a target to upgrade 30,000 single living accommodation (SLA) bed-spaces to the top condition grade (grade 1) by 2013 and for budgeting purposes, it is assumed that these bed-spaces will be new build. However, existing SLA may be upgraded to grade 1 standard where it is more economic to do so.