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Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the budget was of each of the government offices of the regions in 2007-08; and what the planned budget is of each in each of the next four years. 
Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 20 February 2008]: The running cost budget for each of the Government offices in 2007-08 is set out in the following table. The provisional budget for 2008-09 has also been included in the table.
|Government office||Budget in 2007-08||Provisional budget in 2008-09|
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 5 February 2007, Official Report, columns 1028-9W, on homelessness, what evidence Chorley borough council received on levels of rough sleeping in Chorley from local organisations working on homelessness before carrying out its rough sleeper count. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Chorley borough council consulted with all key local partners prior to the November 2007 rough sleeper count with a view to identifying which areas should be covered on the count, in accordance with the guidance for local authorities published by Communities and Local Government. The consultation was carried out via the Chorley Homeless Prevention Partnership Group and identified a number of possible sites where rough sleepers may be bedded down in the area. All sites were included on the count route.
Mr. Iain Wright: Tackling homelessness is a key priority for this Government and we have made major progress, reducing rough sleeping by 73 per cent. since 1998 and ending the long-term use of bed and breakfast accommodation for families with children under the homelessness legislation.
We strengthened the statutory protection through the Homelessness Act 2002, providing one of the strongest statutory safety nets in the world for homeless families with children and vulnerable people. This includes a requirement for local authorities to have a strategy in place for tackling and preventing homelessness and ensuring that accommodation and support is available to people in their district who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Under the Homelessness (Priority Need for Accommodation) (England) Order 2002, we widened the categories of people who have a priority need for accommodation under the homelessness legislation to include, among others, 16 and 17-year-olds and young people aged 18 to 20 previously in care at any time between the ages of 16 and 18.
Since 2003, we have seen a year on year reduction (over 45 per cent.) in the number of households accepted under the homelessness legislation. The number of households in temporary accommodation is also reducing and local authorities are on course to meet the target of halving the number of households in temporary accommodation to 50,500 by 2010.
We have provided significant investment for homelessness prevention. This includes our recent announcement of £200 million homelessness grant funding for local authorities and the voluntary sector over the next three years. This represents the biggest ever cash injection for homelessness services and demonstrates the commitment that reducing homelessness remains a top priority for this Government.
We have also invested £90 million capital funding in 2005-08, to improve hostels and day centres used by rough sleepers so they can move into education and employment and make the transition from the street to a settled home. A further £70 million capital funding is being made available in 2008-11 to build on the success of improving hostels and day centres.
We fund the National Homelessness Advice Service (NHAS) which is a partnership between Citizens Advice and Shelter, to ensure high quality advice on homelessness prevention through the network of participating Citizens Advice bureaux and other voluntary agencies across England.
The Supporting People Programme launched in 2003 has been helping the most vulnerable in society, including young people and people at risk of homelessness, to live independently by providing accommodation and support to help them make the transition to economic and social independence. Since 2003, we have invested Supporting People funding of over £8.7 billion in local authorities to spend on the areas where they have identified need. To date, around £1.3 billion has been allocated to clients who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
In November 2006, we announced measures to further prevent and tackle youth homelessness. This includes a commitment that by 2010, no 16 or 17-year-olds should be placed in bed and breakfast accommodation by a local authority under the homelessness legislation, except in an emergency. The number of 16 and 17-year-olds in bed and breakfast accommodation has fallen by almost one-third from September 2006, when there were approximately 1,000 young people in bed and breakfast accommodation, to around 700 young people at the end of June 2007.
We are also working to improve access to homelessness mediation across the country (including family mediation for young people), so that there is a universal expectation of such services and we are promoting the use of supported lodgings schemes and other supported housing provision to ensure appropriate accommodation, advice and support is available for young people who can no longer stay in the family home.
Mr. Dhanda: Since Communities and Local Government was created in May 2006, six members of staff in the senior civil service have been awarded an honour, of whom three are still serving in the Department.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the total capital receipts under the right to buy; what the effect of these in public sector borrowing has been; when the revenue received was spent; and what plans she has for the treatment of further revenues. [Official Report, 19 March 2008, Vol. 473, c. 7MC.] 
|Housing capital investment supported by CLG||Right to Buy (RTB) Receipts||Set Aside/Pooling||Investment greater than set-aside/pooling|
|(1) Information available at only disproportionate cost (2) Programmed expenditure (3) Estimated pooled housing capital receipts|
The table also shows the value of capital receipts set-aside from 1997-98 to 2003-04 (the last year in which the set-aside regime existed). Under this regime, with-debt local authorities were required to set-aside a proportion of the capital receipt generated by the disposal of a Housing Revenue Account (HRA) asset, for the repayment of housing debt. When set-aside exceeds RTB receipts, it is because set-aside includes a proportion of receipts from not only RTB, but also whole-stock transfers, non-RTB dwelling sales, and sales of other HRA assets such as housing land.
When capital receipts from the sale of a Government-owned asset are received, the sales reduce public sector net borrowing in a manner such that the amount of sales is equal to the amount of the reduction. To the extent that a proportion of these receipts are retained and spent by the local authorities through pooling or set-aside, then that spending will offset the initial reduction.
Under the set-aside regime, with-debt authorities were free to use the proportion of their housing receipts that had not been set aside for any capital purpose they saw fit. Debt-free authorities were free to use the whole of their housing receipts for any capital purpose. The Department does not record when authorities actually spent these receipts.
From 1 April 2004 set-aside no longer applied to most housing receipts. All local authorities, both with-debt and debt-free, paid over or pooled the same amounts to the Secretary of State which would have formerly been set aside. Until the introduction of
the pooling regime, set-aside was the mechanism that allowed a proportion of housing capital receipts to be redistributed for investment elsewhere.
When an authority set aside an amount, the need for central Government revenue support for that amount of borrowing through HRA subsidy disappeared, thereby enabling central to provide support for borrowing elsewhere.
RTB sales reduce public sector net borrowing and since receipts are cash and therefore interchangeable with all other capital receipts, they are not hypothecated to any particular spending at any particular time. However, the table shows that the Government have consistently invested more in housing than they have received in receipts. In 2005-06, the amount paid to Government from all housing receipts is estimated to have been nearly £1.1 billion. The amount invested in housing was nearly £5.2 billion, i.e. almost five times the amount received in receipts.
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to monitor the expenditure of local authorities on LINks; what restrictions there are on the ways in which such local authority money can be spent; and how compliance with such restrictions is monitored by her Department. 
The level of the local authority contribution to the local involvement network (LINk) is a matter for individual councils. Government funding for local authorities responsibilities in this area has been added into Area Based Grant.
As part of its annual reporting to the Secretary of State, a LINk will be asked to declare the amount of funding made available to it in order that it might carry out its activities as set out in the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.
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