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5 Mar 2008 : Column 2495W—continued


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Preliminary projections of visitor numbers to the games in 2012 were included in “The Value of the Olympic and Paralympics Games to UK Tourism”, a study carried out from VisitBritain and VisitLondon, published in September 2007. This study projected an additional 321,000 inbound visitors to London in 2012, contributing to an additional 1.7 per cent. in total tourism industry revenue.

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many inbound tourist visits were made to England in 2007; and what the visitor spend was. [187493]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 21 February 2008]: Information on inbound tourism visits to England in 2007 is not available. However, the latest provisional monthly figures for inbound tourism to the UK are shown in the following table. These figures are subject to quarterly revisions in light of more accurate data on passenger figures the coming available at the end of each quarter. Therefore data should be treated with caution.

Overseas residents visits and spend in the UK—October to December 2007( 1)
2007 Percentage change on previous year

Visits (millions)

7.7

2

Expenditure (£ billion)

4.0

2

(1 )Please note that all estimates are based on a sample survey and are therefore subject to sampling and other sources of error.
Source:
International Passenger Survey ‘First Release’ (ONS)

The latest full year data on inbound visits and spend to England relate to 2006, where overseas residents made an estimated 27.6 million visits spending £13.8 billion.

Communities and Local Government

Council Housing: Sales

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what central government receipts were from council house sales in (a) St. Albans and (b) Hertfordshire in each of the last 10 years; and what percentage of total revenues from council house sales this represented in each area in each year. [189480]

Mr. Iain Wright: The information requested is tabled as follows.


5 Mar 2008 : Column 2497W
£000
Right to buy receipts Set aside/pooling( 1)

St. Albans

1997-98

(2)

3,643

1998-99

(2)

3,299

1999-2000

(3)659

5,318

2000-01

7,586

5,642

2001-02

3,426

2,522

2002-03

2003-04(4)

9,615

2004-05

6,000

1,080

2005-06

3,343

1,185

2006-07

3,738

2,019

Hertfordshire( 5)

1997-98

(2)

40,100

1998-99

17,268

34,305

1999-2000

43,871

60,362

2000-01

60,317

30,682

2001-02

50,621

54,704

2002-03

63,481

36,568

2003-04(4)

70,048

2004-05

39,669

8,180

2005-06

26,835

10,794

2006-07

23,467

14,309

‘—’No data
(1) The table does not provide the percentage of right to buy receipts set aside or pooled, because only the total amount of housing receipts set-aside/pooled is collected.
(2) Information available only at disproportionate cost.
(3) Data only available for one quarter.
(4) No data on set-aside were collected for 2003-04 as a result of the transition to the pooling regime which was introduced in 2004-05.
(5) For some years, the figures for Hertfordshire may actually be higher, because data may be missing from some of the authorities.

The table shows the total capital receipts from right to buy (RTB) sales of local authority dwellings in St. Albans and Hertfordshire. The figures for Hertfordshire are the aggregate of figures for the following 10 authorities that lie within that county: St. Albans city council, Broxbourne borough council, Dacorum borough council, East Hertfordshire district council, Hertsmere district council, North Hertfordshire district council, Stevenage borough council, Three Rivers district council, Watford borough council, and Welwyn Hatfield district council. The figures are net of discount and are as reported by local authorities.

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 the set-aside regime, with-debt local authorities (that is, authorities with outstanding major long-term loans) 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. Debt-free authorities (that is, authorities with no outstanding major long-term loans), on the other hand, were free to use the whole of their housing receipts for any capital purpose. 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.

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 by with-debt authorities. 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.


5 Mar 2008 : Column 2498W

The process of pooling is currently being reviewed as part of the wider review of housing finance.

Council Tax: Parking

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2008, Official Report, column 1019W, on council tax: parking, how many domestic dwellings in England have been assigned the dwellinghouse coding for parking of (a) G1, (b) G2, (c) G3, (d) G4, (e) G5, (f) G6, (g) G7, (h) G8 and (i) G9, according to records held by the Valuation Office Agency. [191657]

John Healey: As at 4 February 2008 the number of domestic dwellings in England for which the Valuation Office Agency has assigned these dwelling house codes are:

Number

G1

6,835,670

G2

1,084,727

G3

34,439

G4

8,872

G5

1,184

G6

770

G7

170

G8

163

G9

278


Council Tax: Tax Yields

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will publish figures for the cash revenue from council tax in (a) 1997-98, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08, broken down by billing authority. [191638]

John Healey: A table giving details of the council tax collected in each billing authority in England in 1997-98 and 2006-07 has been deposited in the Library of the House. Data for 2007-08 are not yet available.

The figures in the table are shown in thousands and are the amount collected within the year, irrespective of the year to which the money relates. The figures therefore include both arrears received for previous years and prepayment of council tax for subsequent years, but exclude amounts funded by council tax benefit.

Comparisons across years may not be valid owing to changing local authority responsibilities including to the creation of unitary authorities.

Domestic Violence: Refuges

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many domestic violence refuge places there are per head of the population in each local authority area; [188276]

(2) what plans she has to review the provision of domestic violence refuge bedspace numbers. [188275]

Mr. Iain Wright: This Government take extremely seriously the issue of protection for people at risk of domestic violence. We do not currently hold the information
5 Mar 2008 : Column 2499W
requested centrally. However we plan to commission new research that will look at the provision of refuge bed spaces and the effectiveness of other housing interventions across the country.

As my hon. Friend will be aware, I agreed during the committee stage of the Housing and Regeneration Bill to consider her amendment which would allow people who are homeless because of domestic violence to have priority need and be owed a homelessness duty. I will report back to my hon. Friend and the House in due course.

Domestic Wastes: Waste Disposal

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average percentage rate was for satisfaction with household waste collection facilities measured under best value performance indicators in each year in which the information has been collected. [191574]

John Healey: Best value user satisfaction survey results show that 79 per cent. 84 per cent. and 86 per cent. of residents were satisfied with waste collection in 2006-07, 2003-04 and 2000-01 respectively. A report containing these results, published by the Audit Commission, has been deposited in the Library.

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the percentage rate was of satisfaction with household waste collection facilities for each local waste collection authority in each year that best value performance indicators statistics have been compiled. [191650]

John Healey: These data are published by the Audit Commission and a copy of the relevant reports has been deposited in the Library.

Ecobuild 2008

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what involvement her Department had in the Ecobuild 2008 Exhibition and Conference. [191459]

Caroline Flint: The Department had a stand at Ecobuild that provided up to date information on a range of departmental policies, and Communities and Local Government officials spoke at a number of workshops. Also, I gave a speech at Ecobuild on the 27 February—a copy of which can be found on the Department’s website at:

Eco-Towns

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to what minimum energy efficiency standard domestic dwellings in eco-town developments will need to be built. [191640]

Caroline Flint: As set out in the Eco-towns Prospectus, homes and the whole eco-town development should be built in a way to incorporate energy systems that can reach zero carbon standards.


5 Mar 2008 : Column 2500W

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many individual dwellings will be built, on average, in each eco-town; and over what period. [191641]

Caroline Flint: The average number of dwellings expected to be built in each eco-town ranges between 5-20,000. We expect there to be up to five eco-towns by 2016 and 10 by 2020.

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government against what technical criteria eco-town bids will be assessed. [191642]

Caroline Flint: Eco-towns will be assessed against the criteria set out in the Eco-towns Prospectus, and in relation to technical aspects these are covered in the environment and carbon criteria. Assessments will also be informed by the Code for Sustainable Homes, which as the Prospectus sets out will be used as a guide on sustainability issues.

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many eco-town bids she expects to be approved. [191769]

Caroline Flint: We expect that there will be 10 eco-towns developed through the eco-towns programme.


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