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(1) Directive 2006/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council
(2) In particular the judgment on joined cases C-53/02 and C-217/02
(3) Under article 9 of the directive
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 18 December 2007, Official Report, column 1332W, on local government finance, what the average assumed collection rate of (a) the business rate and (b) council tax of each type of billing authority is for the purposes of allocating formula grant. 
The Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State, is currently considering 22 planning appeals that involve minerals and waste development. None of these involve the local planning authority as the appellant. The following table summarises the details of these.
|Date appeal received||Appellant||Development type|
Mr. Iain Wright: Policies in minerals development plan documents are assessed thoroughly for their soundness during their independent examination. The criteria for this assessment is set out in paragraph 4.24 of Planning Policy Statement 12 Local Development Frameworks. It covers matters of procedure, conformity, coherence, consistency and effectiveness.
There is no obligation on mineral planning authorities to identify alternative extraction sites in their development plan documents, although some do. Minerals Policy Statement 1 Planning and Minerals only requires them to identify sites, preferred areas and/or areas of search, in order to maintain an adequate and steady supply of minerals for the economy and society.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make it her policy to ensure that records with photographs are kept by every local authority social service department of the children that come into their care from ports of entry. 
In order to respond to this question, my Department will need to gather information from other Government Departments and from representatives of the local authority sector about current operational arrangements when unaccompanied asylum seeking children present at ports of entry. When I have had the opportunity to consider this information then I shall write to the hon. Member and place a copy of that reply in the Library.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to encourage planning authorities to identify for protection land that may be needed for future rail use; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Planning Policy Guidance Note 13: Transport (PPG 13) advises planning authorities on the safeguarding of transport routes, in order to widen transport choices for both passenger and freight movements. It also advises that local authorities should consider the potential of disused railway lines and routes for possible future transport use and for walking or cycling routes. Where land is not required and proposals for transport routes are unlikely to be implemented, Planning Policy Statement 12: Local Development Frameworks asks planning authorities to avoid blight by making this clear and to ensure that their policies and proposals are reviewed as part of the next review of their development plan.
Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will (a) adapt planning policy to promote the use of wood reserves as a renewable energy source and (b) ask the Biomass Task Force to examine the contribution of (i) wood and (ii) wood processing to the Government's renewable energy targets. 
Mr. Iain Wright [holding answer 7 February 2008]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on 7 February 2008, Official Report, column 1332W, about planning policy for renewable energy. In line with a recommendation in the final report of the Biomass Task Force (2005), the Forestry Commission through their Woodfuel Strategy for England (2007) examined the steps which would need to be taken in order to increase the contribution wood and wood processing make to the Government's renewable energy targets. The strategy sets a target to release an additional two million tonnes of woody biomass into the supply chain, annually, by 2020. In achieving the target, the focus will be on the 60 per cent. of English woodlands that are currently under-managed as bringing these woodlands back into management will deliver a number of additional benefits including boosting currently threatened woodland flora and fauna. Wood processing products will also form part of the mix, as will waste wood and arboricultural arisings.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment her Department has made of the impact of quarries on (a) residential areas and (b) areas of outstanding natural beauty. 
Mr. Iain Wright: No collective assessment has been made of the impact of quarries on residential areas or areas of outstanding natural beauty. The Secretary of State only makes assessments in deciding individual planning applications which come before her. In all other cases, planning applications for quarries are decided by the appropriate mineral planning authority, who will take into account all impacts, including those on residential areas and areas of outstanding natural beauty. All likely impacts are set out in environmental impacts assessments which accompany minerals applications.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of local planning authorities have had the core strategies of their Local Development Framework approved by the Government; and what her Departments targets were for those strategies. 
Local Planning authorities to have adopted the necessary Development Plan Documents, in accordance with their Local Development Schemes, to bring forward developable land for housing in line with PPS3.
By March 2011, 80 per cent of local planning authorities to have adopted the necessary Development Plan Documents, in accordance with their agreed Local Development Scheme.
Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the provision of connections to street-lighting in inner London by EDF; what estimate she has made of the time taken by EDF to reconnect street lights in inner London in the latest period for which figures are available; and if she will hold discussions with (a) EDF and (b) other companies providing connections to street lighting on steps to be taken to expedite connection times. 
In October 2007, Ofgem introduced a set of key performance indicators with regard to connections and faults repairs for street lighting services. DNOs are required to report on their performance in respect of each local authority against a number of criteria and meet those criteria in 90 per cent. of instances overall. Performance against criteria will be published by Ofgem annually.
|Standard 2 New /t ransferred c onnections||EDFELPN|
|New works 1-10 Jobs||Rqmt||Performance|
Ofgem will discuss both aggregate figures shown above for the first quarter and performance within each local Public Lighting Authority (PLA) area with EDFE. Ofgem also considers feedback received from PLAs at various forums and will take up specific issues with DNO management when necessary.
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