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Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the merits of (a) the Wiltshire Fire Service Salamander scheme and (b) other fire service youth community projects. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Department commissioned research, published in March 2006, looking into the effectiveness of youth training and diversion schemes. The research found that where schemes were evaluated independently there are examples of projects that have achieved clear and demonstrable outcomes for young people. Such outcomes include boosting young peoples confidence and motivation; changing attitudes towards offending and antisocial social behaviour; and achieving re-engagement with education. The Wiltshire Fire Service Salamander scheme was not launched until July 2006 and therefore did not form part of the Departments research.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of young people who have participated in youth community projects run by fire services in England in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Department provided £11.4 million funding for 2006-08, through its Fire Prevention Grant, to Fire and Rescue Services in England to develop a range of schemes, some of which are youth community projects. The Department has commissioned evaluation of the grant scheme, including levels of participation, which will be published later this year.
Mr. Dhanda: The Department does not hold centrally a list of youth community projects run by fire and rescue services in England. The results of a recent London fire brigade national survey of youth focused projects run by fire and rescue services will be jointly published by London fire brigade and the Department later in the summer.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the total insured fire losses for (a) dwellings and (b) commercial premises in each fire and rescue service were in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available, broken down by region. 
Mr. Dhanda: The information requested is not available centrally. However, the ABI represents the majority of the UK insurance market and publishes annual statistics on the total value of claims from domestic and commercial fires each year. This information is available by subscribing to the ABIs statistical service.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the Prime Ministers Statement of 11 July 2007, Official Report, columns 1449-51, on the draft legislative programme, what the Governments policy on Green Belt (a) designation and (b) protection is. 
Proposals for new green belt should be considered through regional spatial strategies in the first instance. Local planning authorities proposing to establish a new green belt should demonstrate why normal planning and development control policies would not be adequate and whether any major changes in circumstances have made the adoption of this exceptional measure necessary. It should also show what the consequences of the proposal would be for sustainable development.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) chemical and (b) fuel (i) spills and (ii) suspected spills the fire and rescue service in each fire authority area and each region attended in each year since 2001. 
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many households in England and Wales were classified as homeless in each of the last three years, broken down by region. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Information about English local authorities actions under homelessness legislation is collected quarterly at local authority level. This information includes the number of households accepted by local authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty. The duty owed to an accepted household is to secure suitable accommodation. If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority may secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available.
Data on the number of households in England accepted as being owed a main homelessness duty are also published in the Departments quarterly statistical release on Statutory Homelessness, which also provides data on the number of accepted households in temporary accommodation at the end of each quarter. Table 3 of the release provides a breakdown of acceptances by Government Office region for each year from 1997 onwards. The tables are published on our website and placed in the Library each quarter. The latest release was published on 10 March 2008, and contains data for the period up to December 2007, and is available at:
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many former armed forces service personnel were estimated to have been homeless in (a) 1997 and (b) 2007. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Information about local authorities actions under homelessness legislation is collected quarterly at local authority level, in respect of households rather than people. Information reported includes the number of households accepted by local authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty. The duty owed to an accepted household is to secure suitable accommodation.
Since 2005, data have been collected on the number of accepted households whose reason for loss of last settled home was having left HM forces. In 2007, 211 applicants accepted as owed the main homelessness duty cited the reason for loss of their last settled home as having left HM forces, representing 0.3 per cent. of total acceptances
Information is also available by the priority need of the household. In 2007 there were 36 households accepted as being in priority need primarily as a result of being vulnerable through having served in HM forces. This represents less than 0.1 per cent. of all acceptances in the year. However some ex-forces personnel will be hidden within other priority need categories, for example, the presence of dependent children or having a mental illness), and so will not show up as ex-forces in these figures.
Local authorities who conduct rough sleeper counts collect information on any individuals sleeping rough, and these are published annually on our website. Figures include those rough sleepers who have previously served in HM forces, but these are not shown separately.
Rough sleeping among ex-armed forces personnel has dropped. There are no specific data for 1997 but studies at the time suggested between a quarter and one fifth of rough sleepers had been in the armed forces at some stage. There is specific information for London provided under the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) recording system. In 2006-07, for those rough sleepers in London contacted by services, 5 per cent. had spent some time in the armed forces in the past. This has remained consistent over the last four years.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homeless households were in temporary accommodation in (a) each Government Office region and (b) each local authority in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Information about English local authorities actions under homelessness legislation is collected quarterly at local authority level. Data on the number of households in temporary accommodation in each Government office region are published in the Departments quarterly statistical release on Statutory Homelessness, at the end of each quarter.
Table 7 of the statistical release provides information on temporary accommodation by Government office region for each year from 1997 onwards. The tables from the latest release, published on 10 March 2008, have been deposited in the Library of the House and are available from our website at:
Mr. Iain Wright:
Under section 167 of the Housing Act 1996 (the 1996 Act), local authorities must allocate housing in accordance with their allocation scheme. Such schemes must give reasonable preference to certain categories of person (e.g. those who are homeless, those in overcrowded housing and those who need to move on medical or welfare grounds). The legislation also allows (but does not require) local authorities to take into account other factors in determining relative priorities between those in the reasonable preference categories, including whether or not a person has a local connection with the local authority district. Local connection is defined by s.199
of the 1996 Act. This is particularly relevant in the case of service personnel, since, under the current legislation, a person will not establish a local connection with an area because of residence or employment while he is posted there in the armed forces.
The homelessness legislation (Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) provides an important safety net for people who become homeless or threatened with homelessness. In particular, English local housing authorities must secure suitable accommodation for applicants who are eligible for assistance, homeless through no fault of their own and fall within a priority need group. The priority need groups include applicants who are vulnerable for some reason, including those vulnerable as a result of having been a member of the armed forces.
The Housing and Regeneration Bill which is currently before Parliament will amend section 199 to remove the provisions which prevent members of the armed forces from establishing a local connection in a district through employment or residence and will ensure that members of the armed forces are put on an equal footing with civilians when applying to local authorities for social housing and/or homelessness assistance.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the launch of the Green Homes Service. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Ministers and officials have regular discussions with Ministers and officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, including on policies to promote the environmental sustainability of homes.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many individuals who are not UK citizens are housed by (a) Cross Keys Homes and (b) other registered social landlords in Peterborough under the Accession (Immigration and Worker Registration) Regulations 2004. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Information on individuals housed by registered social landlords who are not UK citizens and who are subject to the Accession (Immigration and Worker Registration) Regulations 2004 is not collected centrally.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment her Department has made of the impact of immigration on housing demand in the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will issue guidance to (a) home improvement agencies and (b) other agencies responsible for introducing energy efficiency measures on the effect of different weather conditions on older Bradstone-built houses when adapting those houses through the installation of cavity wall insulation. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department for Communities and Local Government has no plans to issue further guidance on cavity wall insulation beyond that which already exists within the Building Regulations Part Csite preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture. This indicates that the complete filling of cavities in a cavity masonry wall, for all property types, is not recommended in certain locations and under certain weather conditions.
Further guidance on the installation of cavity wall insulation is provided by the Energy Saving Trust and also within Building Research Establishments booklet BR 262Thermal insulation: avoiding the risks.
Mr. Iain Wright: Figures for the number of affordable homes built in the London borough of Bexley are tabulated in the table. The figures include Social Rent and Intermediate Affordable Housing new build; they exclude affordable housing acquisitions.
|New build affordable homes in the London borough of Bexley|
|New affordable homesNew Builds|
Registered Social Landlord new build figures from the Housing Corporation, Local Authority new build completions from P2 returns
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what measure of inflation her Department uses in calculations affecting shared equity home ownership schemes sponsored by her Department and its agencies. 
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