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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the full original dataset of polling information compiled by Ipsos MORI as part of its research study of the home information pack area trials. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research her Department has conducted on the mechanisms and processes by which local authorities respond to petitions from local residents. 
As part of the consultation on Local Petitions and Calls for Action, which closed on 20 March 2008, the Department commissioned a series of focus groups with the public on petitions, and received
149 consultation responses from local authorities, some of which detailed their processes for responding to petitions.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average satisfaction rate with local councils according to (a) Audit Commission assessments and (b) performance against best value performance indicators was in each year since 1997. 
John Healey: Satisfaction with local authorities has been measured through the best value user satisfaction survey, which was undertaken by local authorities every three years from 2000-01 to 2006-07. The data from these surveys were collated and analysed by an external IT contractor on behalf of the Audit Commission and the Department. The latest general report is published on the DCLG website at:
The satisfaction survey collects information on 13 attitudinal best value performance indicators. Overall satisfaction with each local authority is measured by best value performance indicator 3, and the averages for local authorities in England are as follows.
The Audit Commission assesses councils' performance through comprehensive performance assessment. It does not make separate assessments of customer service satisfaction with councils. In determining the overall CPA performance ratings and direction of travel statements of councils, the Audit Commission will take into consideration the results in the best value user satisfaction surveys, as well as other non-attitudinal evidence on performance.
Since the CPA (the performance management framework for councils in England) was introduced in 2002 councils throughout England have continued to significantly improve their overall performance, as the following table illustrates.
|CPA 2002 results||CPA 2003 results||CP A 2004 results||cpa 2005 results||CPA 2006 results||CPA 2007 results|
|(1) The Audit Commission introduced a new framework for CPA in single tier and county councils from 2005-08, CPAThe Harder Test. This framework is a harder and different test to the framework used from 2002-04 and CPA categories were renamed from 2005 onwards to reflect this change.|
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding is provided by the Government for local authorities to provide translation and interpretation services, broken down by (a) local authority and (b) language. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the business rates multiplier is for (a) businesses eligible for the small business rate and (b) other businesses in 2008-09. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the current rate of employer contribution is to each public sector pension scheme for which her Department has responsibility. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations have been made by respondents to the Housing Green Paper in relation to planning appeals made by developers on the grounds that insufficient land for development has been identified by a local authority. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received on the East of England Development Agencys involvement in the bottling plant proposal for the Northwick Road/Canvey jetty area of Canvey Island; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: No representations have been received on the East of England Development Agencys involvement in the bottling plant proposal for the Northwick Road Canvey jetty area of Canvey Island.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will call in a planning approval granted by councillors at the corner of Oak Road and London Road in Hadleigh to assess its compatibility with the Castle Point local development framework. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The primary responsibility for development control within an area rests with the local planning authority. It is for the authority to decide in the first instance, with particular regard to the provisions of the statutory Development Plan and any other material considerations, whether a particular development should take place. The Secretary of State rarely intervenes in the consideration of individual planning applications and then only when planning issues of national or regional significance are involved. To do so more often would be to undermine the responsibility of local authorities for planning in their area.
Government policy in Planning Policy Statements 1 and 12 states that planning decisions should be taken in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Officers at the Government Office for the East of England (GO East) studied the Councils Planning Committee Report for this proposal and were satisfied that the decision to grant planning permission would be made in accordance with local plan policy and, in view of the fact that the planning issues raised were of no more than local significance, it was considered that the Secretary of States intervention was not be appropriate.
Now that planning permission has been granted, there is no set procedure by which the Secretary of State can intervene. She does have certain powers which could be invoked if a development of land use was judged to be so grossly wrong as to do serious damage to the wider public interest. In this instance, and for the reasons given above, such action would not be justified. It is now for Castle Point borough council to monitor the development to ensure that it is carried out in accordance with the terms of the planning permission.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities were directed to rescind planning consents owing to flood risk in each of the last five years; when each direction was issued; and in respect of which location. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Section 100 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provides a mechanism for the Secretary of State to initiate proceedings for the revocation or modification of planning permission.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the Answer of 22 April 2008, Official Report, column 1902W, on Planning: Travelling People, what funding has been provided to assist local residents in challenging illegal or unauthorised developments by travellers. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Government fund Planning Aid gives free, independent advice to individuals and community groups, including tenant and resident groups, on the full range of planning issues. The Government provided grant funding for Planning Aid of £1.7 million in 2007-08, which is rising to £3.2 million in 2008-09.
The Government have also published a guide to the effective use of enforcement powers against the unauthorised development of caravan sites. This informs interested members of the public how the planning enforcement system can prevent the stationing of caravans on land in contravention of planning control.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers she has to impose a new unitary arrangement upon a two-tier area; what trial has to be observed; and what period of consultation she expects to be undertaken. 
John Healey: Our powers to create new unitary structures for an area are limited to implementing, with or without modification, proposals made by one or more councils for the whole or part of an area, or alternative proposals made by the Boundary Committee following a request to the Committee for advice on the councils' proposals.
Before implementing a proposal the Secretary of State must consult every authority affected by it (except the council or councils which made it) and such other persons as she considers appropriate, unless the proposal is made jointly by every council affected by it; and before making an alternative proposal the Boundary Committee must consult persons who may be interested.
We would expect any consultation by the Secretary of State or by the Boundary Committee to last at least the normal 12-week period for public consultations, unless the particular circumstances warrant a different period.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much and what proportion of (a) council tax and (b) business rates was uncollected in each billing authority in the last year for which figures are available. 
John Healey: A table giving details of the amount and the proportion of (a) council tax and (b) non-domestic rates that was uncollected by each billing authority in 2006-07 has been deposited in the Library of the House.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2008, Official Report, column 121W, on the Valuation Office, if she will place in the Library a copy of the current version of the Valuation Office Agency's form Dwelling Survey V09072. 
A copy of the current version of this form is available in the Valuation Office Agency's
Council Tax Referencing Manual, and I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on 18 October 2007, Official Report, column 1279W.
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