|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much public funding would be required to establish an eco-town at each of the 15 shortlisted locations. 
Caroline Flint: At this stage the 15 shortlisted locations for eco-towns are subject to consultation and are still to be determined, and later in the year we will make final decisions on locations with potential to be an eco-town. The bulk of investment needed to create an eco-town will come from the private sector, but there will also be projects that we want to help develop through direct funding to local authorities using the Growth Areas fund and from mainstream programmes. In terms of the level of growth funding available for eco-towns I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Banbury (Tony Baldry) on 6 December 2007, Official Report, column 1397W.
Caroline Flint: In the recently published consultation document Eco-townsLiving a greener future we have provided a description of the shortlisted locations and this demonstrates that many make significant use of previously developed land. However in some cases development on greenfield land provides the best opportunities and may be appropriate. All the shortlisted locations for eco-towns are subject to consultation and further assessment.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many inspectors she estimates will be qualified to assess a property for an energy performance certificate by 1 April 2008. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will break down by (a) sex, (b) ethnicity and (c) age, senior
managers and staff of English Partnerships engaged in transition arrangements; and whether this staff profile is likely to be maintained in the Housing and Communities Agency. 
Caroline Flint: Although the precise details of the staff of English Partnerships who will transfer to the Homes and Communities Agency will not be known until nearer the event, the following table sets out the current expectation of those who will transfer, broken down by gender, ethnicity and age as at 31 March 2008:
|Employees by ethnic minority|
|Employees by gender|
|Employees by age band|
Staff from other bodies, including the Housing Corporation, will also transfer to the HCA. Such staff are not included in the aforementioned table. Since the transfer to the HCA is to be treated as if TUPE applied, it is expected that the profile of the HCA will be broadly similar to the profile of English Partnerships, at least in so far as the transfer of English Partnerships staff is concerned.
I can also confirm that, in the Housing and Regeneration Bill, we are amending Schedule 1A to the Race Relations Act 1976 to include the Homes and Communities Agency (Schedule 7, paragraph 5, to the Bill). The Homes and Communities Agency will therefore be subject to the specific duties under the race legislation.
Other amendment of primary legislation is not necessary. The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (as amended by the Equality Act 2006) now contains a
general duty which applies to all public authorities, which would include the Homes and Communities Agency without the need for any further legislative amendment.
Further, we propose to amend the secondary legislation in respect of the specific sex and disability duties to include the Homes and Communities Agency, during the period of transition between the existing bodies and the new Agency.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the cost of implementing the Lifetime Homes Standard, with particular regard to (a) additional building costs and (b) increased plot size. 
Mr. Iain Wright: In Lifetime Homes, Lifetime NeighbourhoodsA National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society, launched on 25 February 2008, we estimated that compliance with the Lifetime Homes Standards could result in modest additional costs of around £547 per new home.
Our assessment of the effect of the introduction of Lifetime Homes Standards on new homes was informed by findings from Designed for Manufacture, Lessons Learned (English Partnerships, CLG, June 2006). We have stated that it is our aspiration to see all new homes built to Lifetime Homes Standards by 2013, and that we will undertake a review of Lifetime Homes Standards take-up across all sectors in 2010. My officials are now considering what work needs to be commissioned to further develop the evidence base for the proposed review. This will include additional research into the potential impact of Lifetime Homes Standards on (a) additional building costs and (b) increased plot size.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes were revalued for council tax purposes following (a) the request of the homeowner and (b) sale of the property in each region of England in each year since 1997; and how many moved (i) up and (ii) down by one council tax band following revaluation in each case. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what regulations cover the provision of (a) information and (b) documents by local authorities on their actions to (i) hon. Members, (ii) local councillors and (iii) members of the public; and what exemptions apply. 
John Healey: Part 5A of the Local Government Act 1972, and the regulations made there under, establish the principle regime for the provision of information by local authorities, which are also subject to a range of other legislative provision and case law on information, including
The Data Protection Act 1998
The Freedom of Information Act 2000
Environment Information Regulations 2004
These statutory provisions give extensive rights of public access to local authority information. In addition to these statutory provisions, the members of local authorities enjoy wide common law rights to access information held by the councils of which they are members.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what incentives her Department offers to local authorities to encourage higher standards of performance as measured under the comprehensive performance assessment. 
John Healey: Incentives were announced in September 2006, with the publication of the analysis of responses to the consultation on proposed changes to the delivery of Local Authority Freedoms and Flexibilities under CPA 2005:
Authorities have exemptions to produce certain statutory plans; freedoms over how to spend fixed penalty notices; powers to trade; and freedoms on unringfenced grants. The precise exemptions and freedoms and norms differ according to the authority's performance under CPA.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to ring-fence Local Authority Business Growth Incentives scheme funding to business development opportunities. 
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire, dated 4 March 2008, transferred from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on solar energy. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether parish councils will be able to apply to the fund created under
the Community Infrastructure Levy proposed in the Planning Reform Bill; what the criteria will be for applications to the fund; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint [holding answer 23 April 2008]: The purpose of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is to support the provision of infrastructure needed to support the development of an area. This infrastructure could be at the regional, sub-regional or local level, including at parish level. The Government's initial proposals for the process of identifying the infrastructure are set out in the Community Infrastructure Levy document of 24 January which is available in the House Library.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether proposals for eco-towns will be included in relevant (a) local development framework plans, (b) regional spatial strategies and (c) regional transport plans. 
Caroline Flint: The planning process remains the route by which eco-town proposals would be decided. In some cases the principle of development has already been established in the local development framework, in others this may involve reviews of and/or new development plans coming forward, and in some cases revised regional spatial strategies (RSS). We expect the RSS reviews announced in the Housing Green Paper (which depending on the region will be prepared between now and 2011) to test the longer term issues that arise from the eco town proposalssuch as the ultimate size of new settlements. RSS reviews are informed by and incorporate the regional transport strategies, which will take into consideration all proposals for growth.
Mark Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the annual cost to the public purse of exempting those who are in receipt of attendance allowance from vehicle excise duty. 
Angela Eagle: The Government offer exemption from vehicle excise duty to those in receipt of the higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance or the war pensioners mobility supplement. The total number of recipients as at the end of September 2007 was 1,125,380.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|