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Difficult to let properties;
Taxpayers who can comply with the council's Mooring Policy.
Property affected by the proximity of a electricity generating wind turbine;
Hard to sell property;
Problems with a chalk mine;
Property damaged by fire;
RAF personnel where redundancy was delayed owing to events abroad;
New unfinished property;
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department and its predecessors spent on carbon offsetting in each of the last three years; and to which companies payments for carbon offsetting were made in each such year. 
Mr. Dhanda: Communities and Local Government spent £2,730 to offset 275 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from its ministerial and official air travel in 2006-07. These figures do not include data from the Departments Executive agencies or the regional Government offices.
The GCOF is being managed by EEA Fund Management Ltd., who won the contract to source and deliver 255,000 Certified Emission Reduction Credits, with a provision for a further 50,000 credits, over three years from a range of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. Credits will be supplied from the project portfolio of Trading Emissions plc, to whom EEA is the investment adviser.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions her Department has had with the Environment Agency on the Buckingham Flood Alleviation Scheme. 
John Healey: My Department has not held any recent meetings with the Environment Agency to discuss the Scheme. However, there may have been discussions held at a regional level on the Buckingham Flood Alleviation Scheme.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate her Department has made of the cost to the (a) public purse, (b) local community and (c) local economy of the flooding in Buckingham of 21 July 2007. 
John Healey: We do not hold information about the total costs to specific local areas of the county. Nor do we hold figures for the financial impact on local economies which is also difficult to quantify. However, the South East Regional Development Agency has reported that 110 businesses were affected across the South East. Only one business in Buckingham applied to the RDA for grant aid and as a result received a payment of £1,382.04.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what provision for appeals against decisions made by the Infrastructure Planning Commission she plans to put in place; and what role the Planning Inspectorate will play in such procedures. 
John Healey: Under the proposals in the Planning Bill, decisions made by the Infrastructure Planning Commission will be challengeable through a claim for judicial review rather than through an appeal mechanism.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Infrastructure Planning Commission considers (a) air quality and (b) noise pollution factors in determining major infrastructure planning applications. 
Under the proposals in the Planning Bill, when determining major infrastructure applications, the Infrastructure Planning Commission will be required to have regard to the relevant National Policy Statement,
other matters which may be set out in secondary legislation and any other matters which the Commission thinks are important and relevant to its decision.
National Policy Statements will be subject to an appraisal of sustainability and will take into account other government policies, including policies on air quality and noise impacts, where they are relevant. The Infrastructure Planning Commission will also have to ensure that relevant provisions of European Community environmental law are complied with, including those covering air quality and noise pollution.
John Healey: Subject to gaining parliamentary approval for the necessary primary legislation, we expect the first appointments to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) to be made in spring 2009 with the IPC ready to advice applicants later the same year. We expect the IPC to begin determining applications in 2010 and we will be consulting with potential applicants about the appropriate length of time between national policy statements, regulations and guidance being issued and the new regime coming into effect.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what consideration she will give to expertise in (a) air quality and (b) noise pollution in planning decisions relating to road or aviation infrastructure when making appointments to the Infrastructure Planning Commission. 
John Healey: The White Paper Planning for a Sustainable Future stated that commissioners would be appointed from a wide range of fields such as national and local government, community engagement, planning, law, engineering, economics, business, security, environment, heritage and health, as well as, if necessary, specialist technical expertise related to a particular sector.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reason the hon. Member for Warrington North was not (a) notified of or (b) invited to her briefing on the Orford Park Project. 
Mr. Dhanda: I understand that Warrington borough council made a request to meet the Regional Minister for the North West in the margins of a conference she was attending, in order to brief her on the Orford Park Project. This meeting was arranged on the afternoon of Wednesday 7 May.
In accordance with paragraph 10.9 of the ministerial code, the hon. Member was notified about, and invited to the event on Thursday the 8 May, via the Private Office of the Regional Minister for the North West.
Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has issued to local authorities on the production of local cultural strategies; and whether such strategies are submitted to her Department. 
Mr. Dhanda: Councils are no longer required to produce or submit free-standing local cultural strategies. Instead they are expected to subsume planning for the longer-term cultural priorities for their area within their broader Sustainable Community Strategy. This approach is in line with a wider process of devolving greater freedoms to councilsin part by reducing the number of statutory plans they were required to produce.
Guidance on how best to achieve this expectation was issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in June 2004 entitled Leading the good life: guidance on integrating cultural and community strategies.
Guidance on Sustainable Community Strategies was first issued in 2000. This has since been updated in draft form as part of a broader package of guidance also covering, for example, Local Strategic Partnerships and Local Area Agreements. This guidance, entitled Creating Strong, Safe and Prosperous Communities, was issued in draft on 30 November 2007. Following a public consultation on this guidance which closed on 12 February we will be issuing the final guidance this summer. This guidance states that
The purpose of a Sustainable Community Strategy is to set the overall strategic direction and long-term vision for the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of a local area
Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what information her Department holds on local authorities equity to debt ratios; and what guidance her Department provides to local authorities on appropriate levels for those ratios. 
John Healey: Communities and Local Government collects data on the amount and nature of local authority borrowing, lending and investments to varying levels. Analyses of these data are published. The Department is also currently collecting data that could be used to calculate local authority equity (the difference between their assets and liabilities) as part of the Whole of Government Accounts exercise, but this exercise is still in its experimental phase.
By statute local authorities debt is secured on their revenues and not their assets. The Department does not therefore provide guidance on equity to debt ratios for local authorities. We have, however, given statutory backing to the Prudential Code issued by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy on the affordability of borrowing by
local authorities, and to the Institutes code of practice on treasury management as it applies to local authorities.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 3 April 2008, Official Report, column 1275W, on regional planning and development, if she will place in the Library a copy of each development plan independent examination report published by a planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State to date since the coming into force of the 2004 Act. 
I am sure the hon. Lady will understand that because of the nature of the work under way and the importance of the matters under consideration it would not be wise to commit, as she requests, to a more definitive timeframe.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department plans to take to increase awareness of the tenancy deposit protection scheme among (a) tenants and (b) landlords. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department was involved in an extensive publicity campaign in the run-up to the launch and immediately after the scheme's introduction. We will continue to encourage the three tenancy deposit protection scheme providers to promote awareness of the requirements to landlords. We also encourage consumer organisations, such as the Citizens' Advice Bureau and Shelter, to help increase tenants' awareness.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what percentage of landlords of assured short hold tenancy property to which tenancy deposit protection applies have registered with the tenancy protection schemes established under contracts let by her Department. 
Mr. Iain Wright:
Over one million deposits for tenants with assured shorthold tenancies have been protected since tenancy deposit protection provisions commenced
in April 2007. We do not hold a breakdown of the number or percentage of landlords this represents.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library copies of the Valuation Office Agencys Billing Authority Newsletter from the last 36 months. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many sites in (a) Castle Point constituency and (b) constituencies adjacent to Castle Point monitor air quality. 
Jonathan Shaw: The are no national air quality monitoring sites within Castle Point constituency, although we are aware of the local authority monitoring site at Furtherwick Park School on Canvey Island. This is in the London Air Quality Monitoring Network, and is managed by Kings College London.
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