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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate has been made of the annual cost to local authority employers of the Local Government Pension Scheme as a result of the (a) recent and (b) planned changes. 
John Healey: The new-look Local Government Pension Scheme, which came into effect on 1 April, was planned as the basis of a future service cost of 19.5 per cent. of payroll, formed of 6.3 per cent. of pay from employees, and 13.2 per cent. of payroll from employers. The actual costs for local authority employers are emerging from the results of the 2007 scheme valuation exercise. The information is not yet fully available centrally.
To maintain the stability of scheme costs, and achieve a fair and equitable balance between the provision of current and future benefits, and their cost for members, employers and taxpayers, new arrangements for sharing future cost-pressures and risks will be in place by 31 March 2009 to feed into the next, 2010, valuation exercise.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 31 March 2008, Official Report, column 715W, how many times the Minister for the East of England: Essex, has visited the area administered by Essex county council since her appointment; and for what reasons. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Minister for the East of England has not yet visited the area administered by Essex county council. She will be visiting Chelmsford on July 7 for a meeting with Essex county council and other county partners.
John Healey: Schedule 7 to the Local Government Finance Act 1988 prescribes the formulae by which non-domestic rating multipliers are set each year and sets out the process to be followed, including in relation to notifying authorities of the multipliers.
John Healey: The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is keen to make the rating system more transparent. Prior agreement seeks to involve ratepayers and their representatives actively in the rating revaluation process by exchange of information, discussion andwhere possibleagreement of a consistent approach to the valuation.
Prior agreement works best where the property type is of a discrete nature and where the number of different occupiers is limited. The VOA will look at the possibilities for prior agreement in these circumstances.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what advice her Department has provided to the London borough of Hillingdon in the development of its local planning policies, framework and guidance, with particular regard to (a) the proposed development of the third runway and (b) a sixth terminal at Heathrow airport. 
Mr. Dhanda: The London borough of Hillingdon has been advised that in order for the council to submit a sound core strategy (as part of the Local Development Framework), it must develop some strategic spatial development options for the borough and that it is not possible to do this without recognition of Heathrow as a key driver of economic development within the area.
However, it is recognised that the council would not wish to produce a Local Development Framework that sets out a strategy based only on expansion at Heathrow (beyond T5) and therefore advice on a possible approach has been given. The approach is for the council to consider appropriate strategic spatial options for development in the borough that take as a starting point a range of scenarios for the future development of the airport, including for example, additional capacity by addition of a third runway. This approach would allow the core strategy strategic spatial options to take account of the impact of these scenarios on future development patterns for housing and employment land within the borough.
The council has been advised that it is not appropriate for realistic strategic spatial options, that are not supported by the council, to be excluded from consideration, particularly in relation to the expansion of Heathrow (beyond T5) which is Government policy.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Valuation Office Agency's Value Significant Code FC records a property as being (a) inside a conservation area and (b) outside but adjoining a conservation area. 
John Healey: Value significant codes (VSC) allow the Valuation Office Agency to record electronically property features that may have a positive or negative effect on value. The value significant code FC is recorded for properties both within a conservation area and outside but adjoining or in close proximity to a conservation area. A VSC does not necessarily signal that a property's council tax band should be altered.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what types of amenity or positive facility are currently treated by the Valuation Office Agency as qualifying for a classification of Value Significant Code FO. 
John Healey: Value significant codes (VSC) allow the Valuation Office Agency to record electronically property features that may have a positive or negative effect on its value. Examples of the use of the code FO might include properties whose value is enhanced due to their proximity to open fields, a village green or extensive landscaped grounds. Other VSCs may indicate that a property's value is affected negatively, for example with no mains drainage or located on an unadopted road. Presence of this, or any other, VSC does not necessarily signal that a propertys council tax band should be altered.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many domestic properties in England are classified by the Valuation Office Agency with the Value Significant Code OS. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what account the Valuation Office Agency takes of the location of a property on a gated estate when revaluing it for the purposes of (a) non-domestic rates and (b) council tax. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the presence of a traveller encampment near to a property has a value significant code used by the Valuation Office Agency for the valuation of a domestic or composite hereditament. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many public libraries in (a) England and (b) Wales were on the Valuation Office Agencys 2005 Rating List in the last period for which figures are available. 
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 31 March, if she will break down the £400,000 of private funding attracted by Manton neighbourhood management pathfinder by (a) funder and (b) regeneration activity supported. 
|Funding Source and Amount||(£)||Regeneration Activity Supported|
Mr. Dhanda: For 2007-08, the Community Development Foundation received £1,175,749 from the Department for Communities and Local Government to support nine independent Regional Empowerment Consortia with their work in supporting improvement in the quality and effectiveness of community empowerment practices undertaken by local and regional partners.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when her response to the examination in the public report on the (a) South West and (b) East Midlands regional spatial strategies will be published. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Secretary of State's Proposed Changes, which constitute the response to the Examination in Public Panel Report, for the South West and East Midlands are due to be published in spring 2008.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made on development of each of the regional spatial strategies; what the timetable for implementation of each is; and if she will make a statement. 
|Date of implementation|
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers her Department and the regional government offices have to intervene in local authority targets setting the context of local area agreements. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what role she plays in approving or amending the final version of the regional spatial strategies of each government office region in England outside London. 
The Secretary of State receives the Examination in Public Panel Report and produces Proposed Changes which are subject to an eight-week consultation period. Having considered representations made, the final RSS incorporating any further changes is published together with a statement of reasons for any changes made.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the names and addresses are of each Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership; and how much funding is allocated to each in 2008-09. 
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