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30 Apr 2008 : Column 433W—continued

Traffic Management Act 2004

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what considerations underlay the decisions to introduce permits under the Traffic Management Act 2004; what baseline data she plans to collect in respect of these permits; and whether she plans to review the operation of these permits. [201262]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government wanted to provide local authorities with additional tools for managing works on their road network and minimising unnecessary disruption to road users. Permit schemes can accomplish this by enabling traffic managers to positively control all works activities carried out on their network by both utility companies and highway authorities, in the interests of road users.

The Department is committed to reviewing permit schemes and we will do this after the first full year of scheme operation. This review will provide evidence to determine whether permit schemes are delivering the expected benefits and whether permit fee levels are appropriate.

The data required to establish the baseline in respect to permit schemes will be taken from the noticing information exchanged between highway authorities and statutory undertakers, together with additional information recorded on highway authorities' local registers.

Transport: Exhaust Emissions

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what specific matters her Department’s Environment Directorate is examining in pursuance of their sub-objective to tackle the climate change impacts of transport through putting a price on carbon. [201274]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The functions of the Environment and International Directorate of the Department for Transport include the management of the Department’s programme on climate change and the delivery of certain, but not all, individual policy elements of that programme. Some specific matters which bear upon the price of carbon in relation to transport are:

Communities and Local Government

Council Tax: Students

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 28 March 2006, Official Report, columns 920-21W, on council tax, whether she (a) has made and
30 Apr 2008 : Column 434W
(b) plans to make changes to the operation of student council tax exemption for grant calculation purposes. [202516]

John Healey: I announced the 2008-09 and provisional 2009-10 and 2010-11 settlements on the 24 January 2008. The taxbase projections used in the calculation of these settlements reflect a change to use the average of student council tax exemption numbers from counts as at 31 May 2007 and 8 October 2007, rather than use a count solely as at 8 October 2007. The full calculation is shown in the Local Government Finance Report (England) 2008-09 (HC262) approved by the House on 4 February 2008.

Councillors: Pensions

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what records her Department holds of the local authorities which have introduced pensions for councillors. [202602]

John Healey: Central Government does not collect this information.

Cycling

Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether (a) her Department and (b) her Department’s non-departmental public bodies provide (i) tax-free benefits and (ii) other allowances for their staff to purchase bicycles under the Cycle to Work scheme; and if she will make a statement. [197627]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department for Communities and Local Government does not currently offer a Cycle to Work scheme to its employees. Nor does it offer any other tax-free benefits in kind to encourage green commuting. The same tax rules apply to benefits in kind provided to employees of Government Departments as to any other employee.

Information on whether any of the Department’s non-departmental public bodies operate a Cycle to Work scheme is not held centrally.

Digital Broadcasting: Television

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the status is of the DigiTV Project originally sponsored by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. [202619]

John Healey: The DigiTV Project began in 2002 as part of the then ODPM's Local eGovernment Programme. Although this programme and the Department's involvement ended in April 2006, DigiTV continues under the ownership of Kirklees council. It is currently being used to deliver local services via digital television and mobile phones to citizens in 74 local authority areas.


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Electronic Government

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much she has allocated to the London Connects e-Government regional partnerships since inception. [202635]

John Healey: From 2002-06, the London Connects regional partnership received £1,510,000 in Local e-Government Programme capital funding.

Energy Performance Certificates: Valuation

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans the Valuation Office Agency has to use data from energy performance certificates on non-domestic dwellings to inform non-domestic rates valuations. [202590]

John Healey: None.

Geographical Information Systems

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library copies of the original datasets used to calculate the geographical barriers sub-domain in the English Indices of Deprivation 2000, including data for
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each electoral ward of (a) road distance to a general practitioner surgery, (b) road distance to a general store or supermarket, (c) road distance to a primary school and (d) road distance to a post office or sub post office. [202462]

John Healey: This Department does not hold the underlying data that were used in the construction of the English Indices of Deprivation 2000.

Housing

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average dwelling size of new homes was (a) in the latest period for which figures are available and (b) in each previous year for which figures are available; and whether such figures are broken down by (i) social and (ii) private sector dwellings. [194413]

Mr. Iain Wright: We do not have information on dwelling size but do have data on numbers of bedrooms. The following table shows the proportions of new build completions in England by number of bedrooms for private dwellings and registered social landlord dwellings. The information is presented as proportions not absolute numbers because number of bedrooms has been collected centrally for only about half of the new build activity since 2001-02.

Proportion of dwellings by tenure and number of bedrooms
Percentage of all dwellings
Financial year
All dwellings 1991-92 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000

Private enterprise

1 bedroom

15

13

11

9

8

6

5

5

5

2 bedrooms

31

31

30

29

28

26

24

24

24

3 bedrooms

31

33

35

36

36

37

38

37

36

4 or more bedrooms

23

22

24

26

28

31

32

35

35

All

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

Registered social landlords

1 bedroom

39

34

25

21

20

21

19

18

20

2 bedrooms

41

40

45

45

45

44

42

44

44

3 bedrooms

18

23

28

30

31

32

33

33

32

4 or more bedrooms

2

3

3

4

4

4

6

5

5

All

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

All tenures

1 bedroom

19

17

14

12

11

8

7

7

7

2 bedrooms

32

33

33

32

32

29

27

27

26

3 bedrooms

29

31

33

34

35

36

38

36

35

4 or more bedroom

20

19

19

22

23

26

28

30

32

All

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


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