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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking to incentivise councils to promote environmental sustainability with economic growth. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department has taken a wide range of steps to incentivise councils to promote environmental sustainability with economic growth as set out in a range of documents including the Local Government White Paper and Planning White Paper.
In December 2007, we published, as a package, the annex to Planning Policy Statement 1 on Climate Change and draft Planning Policy Statement 4 on Sustainable Economic Development. When PPS4 is published in its final form these national statements of policy will be applied by councils to achieve sustainable development.
John Healey: The amount of revenue reserves held by Tamworth borough council in each of the last 10 years is shown in the following table. Information for England has been published in Statistical Releases and editions of Local Government Financial Statistics.
|Level of revenue reserves|
1. Figures are as supplied by the local authority to Communities and Local Government.
2. Comparisons across years may not be valid due to changing local authority responsibilities.
Communities and Local Government Revenue Outturn (RO) returns
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance has been issued to local authorities on taking into account the needs of carers when drawing up local area agreements. 
draft statutory guidance Creating Strong., Safe and Prosperous Communities, which was published for public consultation on 20 November covering the new legal framework for local area agreements; and
operational guidance Development of the new LA A framework covering negotiations of LAAs for 2008-11.
This guidance describes the process for setting targets in local area agreements, drawn from the National Indicator Set (which contains an indicator, NI 135, which specifically addresses the needs of carers). It does not cover how to set individual targets to take into account the needs of carers, as this will be a matter for individual negotiation in each LAA.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what funding she intends to allocate to supporting community engagement when major infrastructure projects are initiated through proposed revised planning procedures; 
(2) if she will ensure that communities affected by proposals for a major infrastructure project in the East Midlands will have access to the services of the East Midlands Planning Aid Service; 
Mr. Iain Wright: As the Planning White Paper Planning for a Sustainable Future made clear, the Government are committed to ensuring that members of the public get the advice and support they need to get involved in the new development consent process for major infrastructure projects proposed under the Planning Bill.
During the Second Reading of the Bill on 10 December 2007, the Secretary of State announced that we would therefore put an extra £1.5 million per annum into Planning Aid, an organisation that helps members of the public and particularly hard-to-reach groups engage in the planning process.
This extra money will ensure that affected individuals and communities are supported so that they can participate effectively in the new planning process for major infrastructure projects and make their views heard.
For the 12-month period from December to January 2007, Planning Aid assisted 23,575 individuals and 1,428 community groups. For the same period, the East Midlands Planning Aid service assisted 1,496 individuals and 108 community groups.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what her definition of quality of life is in relation to the well-being powers of the Local Government Act 2000; 
John Healey: The Local Government Act 2000 gave local authorities the power to do anything which they consider is likely to achieve the promotion or improvement of one or more of the economic, social or environmental well-being of their area. The only limitations on this power are that local authorities are nor enabled through the Act to raise additional funding, or undertake an action that is specifically prohibited elsewhere in law.
The Act did not attempt to set out a definition of quality of life. Instead it required every local authority (in consultation with others) to draw up a strategy setting out how they intend to promote the economic, social and environmental well-being of their particular area over the long term.
The Government carried out an independent evaluation of the take-up and usage of the well-being power. The results are contained in Formative Evaluation of the take-up and implementation of the well-being power which can be found on the CLG website.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research her Department has commissioned on the relative costs of mineral extraction from (a) land and (b) marine sources in the last five years. 
However DEFRA is funding a study to investigate the feasibility of assessing the relative impacts of exploitation of marine and land sand and gravel reserves. The study is due to be completed in March 2008. The project is funded through the Marine Environment Protection Fund, and administered by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science.
if regard is to be had to the development plan, for the purpose of any determination to be made under the planning Acts, the determination must be made in accordance with the plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
This means that applications will be decided by mineral planning authorities, in accordance with their minerals development plan document, but taking into account other factors, such as Government policy set out in Minerals Policy Statement 1 Planning and Minerals and other relevant considerations.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the likely impact of the provisions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Government are committed to assess the impact of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. My Department will carry out an initial evaluation during 2008 involving consultation with business, industry and the Fire and Rescue Service.
Wychavon District Council;
Buckinghamshire County Council;
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council; and
London Borough of Hackney.
These areas have been selected with the aim of ensuring that results from the pilot will be sensitive to differences between rural, urban, county and district level authorities so the pilot can inform successful delivery of the Place Survey across all areas of England.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what advice she has given to local authorities on implementing the pollution prevention guidelines on vehicle washing and cleaning in policy planning guidance 13; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Planning Policy Guidance note 13: Transport sets out the Government's overall policy on planning for transport. Its objectives are to integrate planning and transport at the national, regional, strategic and local level and to promote more sustainable transport choices both for carrying people and for moving freight. Planning Pollution Statement 23: Planning and Pollution Control, and its Annex 1: Pollution Control, Air and Water Quality set out how the planning system can contribute to improvements in water quality. The policy expects local planning authorities to take into account the diffuse pollution that could be created by a proposed development and any measures the developer proposes to mitigate the impact. Neither documents provide specific advice on vehicle washing and cleaning.
The Environment Agency issued a revised Pollution Prevention Guideline 13 on vehicle washing and cleaning in October 2007. This is good practice guidance for all landowners and tenants to help prevent pollution from vehicle washing and cleaning using automatic wash systems, high pressure or steam cleaners and washing by hand. Local authorities should be aware of pollution prevention guidelines and implement them where it is appropriate to do so. The principal enforcement agencies for pollution prevention guidelines are the Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the Heritage Service for Northern Ireland and the water companies for pollution and trade effluent respectively. DEFRA is working with the Environment Agency to tackle non-agricultural diffuse water pollution as part of its work under both the water framework directive and Future Water, DEFRA's recently published Water strategy. In particular, DEFRA is considering the introduction of simple general binding rules, which will provide a new approach to regulating such activities along with proportionate forms of enforcement, such as fixed penalty notices. A DEFRA consultation on this issue is anticipated later this year.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent on (a) leaflets, (b) posters, (c) other advertising, (d) the branded mobile unit and (e) merchandising to support outreach activity on the risk from illegal imports of products of animal origin in each year since 2001. 
|Leaflets and posters (including printing and distribution)|
|Other advertising (including press, radio, television, internet and outdoor)|
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