|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether moving from a weekly rubbish collection of household waste to a fortnightly rubbish collection is deemed to be a cut in service provision, according to the methodology used by her Department for the purposes of meeting Gershon targets. 
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will take steps to promote Fair Trade Fortnight 2008 among staff within her Department; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Dhanda: Communities and Local Government is taking various steps to promote Fairtrade Fortnight 2008 in its headquarter buildings. Over the next two weeks, our catering supplier is providing an increased range of Fairtrade products, including various snacks and drinks. A wider range of Fairtrade teas and coffees is also being offered in our vending machines. We are advertising the fortnight and new products with various posters in our staff restaurants.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research her Department has evaluated on parental alienation syndrome; what conclusions she has drawn; whether steps are being introduced to take into account research into parental alienation syndrome in family court proceedings; and if she will make a statement. 
We have not undertaken or evaluated research on this subject and have no plans to do so. Many difficulties can emerge following divorce or parental separation and children can be affected in a variety of ways. The Government believe that, where possible, parents should work together to agree contact and residence arrangements themselves and in the best interests of their children. The Children's Plan contains a commitment to improve support during and after family breakdown, including helping children to maintain contact with both parents. Where contact cases come to court, the child's welfare must be the court's paramount consideration. The Children and Adoption Act 2006 has extended the maximum duration of Family Assistance Orders from six to 12 months. This will expand the potential support that CAFCAS8 can provide in assisting families to respect agreements over contact The other provisions in the 2006 Act, when implemented, will give the courts more flexible powers in contact cases, including introducing contact activities, monitoring court-ordered contact, and new enforcement powers.
As of 1 February 2008, the Gambling Commission has issued 144 remote operating licences to companies that allow those licensed to operate online gambling sites. 17 remote casino licences have been granted which allow those licensees to provide online gaming.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield of 29 October 2007, Official Report, column 652W, on home condition reports, what reports she has received on the progress of the Ipsos MORI independent evaluation of the home information pack trial. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many complaints were (a) received, (b) investigated and (c) upheld by the Housing Ombudsman in each of the last 10 years, broken down by the councils and agencies against which complaints were made. 
Mr. Iain Wright: There are about 2,500 bodies registered with the Housing Ombudsman Service (HOS) owning and managing 2.5 million properties. The majority of these are registered social landlords (RSLshousing associations registered with the Housing Corporation). It is a condition of the Housing Act 1996 that all RSLs are members of an approved housing ombudsman scheme. There are also a small number of members which are private rented sector landlords (just under 100) who join on a voluntary basis. The remit of the HOS does not cover councils or local and central Government agencies.
|Total cases received|
This includes cases received which were not subsequently considered to fall within the housing ombudsmans remit and those which were dealt with using mediation and other forms of dispute resolution. The HOS deals with most disputes in a conciliatory manner, using a range of alternative forms of dispute resolution as well as working with landlords and tenants through prevention initiatives to sustain and improve their relationship.
Formal investigations account for a minority of the work considered by the housing ombudsman. The average percentage of investigations into cases over the 10-year period has been 14 per cent., of which 27 per cent. resulted in findings of maladministration and 77 per cent. non-maladministration (although in the latter cases, the ombudsman frequently makes recommendations for improvements to the bodies involved).
The number of cases considered by the HOS has increased over the last 10 years. The number of properties within the housing ombudsmans remit has doubled over this period and awareness of the service and that of member landlords own complaints procedures has increased resulting in the higher volume of complaints submitted to the HOS.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of (a) houses and bungalows and (b) flats and maisonettes built in each year since 2000; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright [holding answer 15 January 2008]: The proportions of new build completions in England that are houses and flats are tabled as follows. The information is presented as proportions not absolute numbers because dwelling type is collected centrally for only about half of the new build activity.
National House Building Council
Mr. Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment the Government have made of the use of West Northamptonshire Development Corporation planning grants for housing on flood plains in Northamptonshire. 
Mr. Iain Wright: To date, West Northamptonshire Development Corporation has referred one housing application in an area of flood risk to the Secretary of State. On assessment, it was decided that there was no reason to call in the application for my right hon. Friend's determination.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her target is for the number of new (a) houses and (b) family-sized houses to be built in Leicester in the next 25 years. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The target for the number of new homes to be built in local authority areas is stated in the relevant regional spatial strategy. For the Leicester city council area, this is the regional spatial strategy for the East Midlands (RSS8) adopted in March 2005. However, that document only covers the period to 2021, and only specifies a figure for the former structure plan area of Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland. That figure is 3,150 homes a year over the period 2001-2021.
The regional spatial strategy for the East Midlands is under review. That review is intended to cover the period 2001-26 and to apportion housing targets down to the local authority level. The Secretary of State is currently considering the recommendations of the panel report into the examination in public of the East Midlands Regional Assembly's draft, with a view to adopting the strategy with any amendments towards the end of this year.
Neither the adopted 2005 regional spatial strategy nor the emerging review includes targets for the size of housing to be delivered. This is because it is not Government policy for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to determine the size of housing that should be built in local authority areas. Instead, Government policy on planning for housing which is set out in Planning Policy Statement 3 requires local planning authorities to state the proportions of market housing demand likely to arise from multi-person households including families with children, and to specify the size and type of affordable housing required in particular areas, through their local development frameworks.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of her letter sent in reply to Mr. Ed Murphy of Kent Road, Peterborough, on the planned residential development on the site in Peterborough known as the Grange Road Allotments. 
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the evidential basis was for the policy proposals on worklessness and housing made recently by the Minister for Housing in a speech to the Fabian Society; what research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on these matters; and what advice she received from officials on those policy proposals. 
Development of future policy proposals will be informed by this debate and by the range of available evidence, which includes the Hills Review of social housing, Housing Corporation research on Housing associations tackling worklessness, CORE data on new social lettings, labour force survey data, family resources survey data and survey of English housing data.
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 (Mr. Pickles) of 30 January 2008, Official Report, column 442W, on Interreg Programme, if she will place in the Library a copy of the minutes of the last meeting of the Monitoring and Steering Committee which scrutinises Interreg III-B/IV-B programmes. 
John Healey: The Interreg Monitoring and Steering Committees determine their own operating procedures and have decided that their discussions should be confidential to ensure that projects can be appraised objectively.
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 (Mr. Pickles) of 30 January 2008, Official Report, column 442W, on the Interreg Programme, if she will place in the Library a copy of the draft IVA programmes submitted to the European Commission and copies of the outline of the IVB and IVC programmes that have been approved. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|