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Advisory NDPBs

Tribunal NDPB

We share responsibility for the Design Council with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).

Most of these executive NDPBs will be required to have a funding agreement. Work is well in hand to finalise the drafts. The majority should achieve formal signature soon. The British Library, Gambling Commission, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and the Public Lending Right have already finalised their agreements. These four are all for three years.

Satellite Broadcasting: Freeview

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment his Department has made of the effects of the introduction of Freesat on the level of the take-up among consumers of Freeview services. [206972]

Andy Burnham: Freesat is available to 98 per cent. of UK households and may enable those who experience difficulty in receiving Freeview service, to access subscription-free digital television. Some consumers may also install Freesat to access subscription-free high definition TV. However, it is too early to say what impact Freesat take-up will have on that of Freeview.

Television: Telephone Services

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with (a) television broadcasters and (b) Ofcom on recent cases of television broadcaster misconduct in the use of premium rate telephone services in viewer competitions and voting; and if he will make a statement. [205794]

Andy Burnham: I have had no recent discussions on this issue. However, there have been previous discussions with television broadcasters and Ofcom regarding the regulation of these services.


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Television: Licensing

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which organisations receive funding from the licence fee; and how much they each receive. [207381]

Andy Burnham [holding answer 2 June 2008]: The BBC is the only organisation that receives direct funding from the licence fee. Licence revenue for 2008-09 is estimated at £3.5 billion.

TV Licensing: Manpower

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people are employed by TV Licensing; and at what cost. [207384]

Andy Burnham [holding answer 2 June 2008]: This is a matter for the BBC. I have, therefore, asked the BBC's Head of Revenue Management to write to the hon. Member for South-West Surrey direct. Copies of the reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Communities and Local Government

Building Act 1984: Prosecutions

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) companies and (b) individuals have been (i) prosecuted and (ii) convicted of an offence under the Building Act 1984, broken down by (A) offence and (B) local authority, in each of the last five years for which information is available. [207192]

Mr. Iain Wright: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Computers

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she has issued guidance to staff in her Department to switch off personal computers when not in use; and if she will make a statement. [208171]

Mr. Dhanda: Communities and Local Government issues guidance to all staff to switch off their personal computers when not in use as part of the Department’s wider carbon reduction strategy. The Department’s Sustainable Operations Policy states that:

This guidance is also contained within staff induction material.

Fire Services

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what estimate she has made of the number of fire and rescue authority staff on enhanced pensions who are to be
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made redundant as a result of the implementation of the FiReControl project; what estimate she has made of the cost of meeting the pension contribution top-up costs of these staff; and if she will make a statement; [205341]

(2) what estimate she has made of the net costs of redundancy, retraining and redeployment in respect of the FiReControl project as at 31 March; and if she will make a statement. [205346]

Mr. Dhanda: The employment of staff after the transfer is a matter for the Local Authority Controlled Companies (LACCs) that have been established to run the RCCs. Under TUPE arrangements existing members of Fire and Rescue Authority (FRAs) control rooms will transfer to the new Regional Control Centres (RCCs). Some staff subsequently could be made redundant—either because there is no suitable alternative post for them, or because it is unreasonable for them to transfer to the new location.

Under new burdens principles, funds will be available to meet the costs of redeployment, retraining and where necessary redundancy costs.

Until the TUPE process takes place, it is not possible to identify which individuals might have to be made redundant, and hence whether they are entitled to enhanced pensions.

Green belt: Standards

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to paragraphs 6.62 to 6.64 of her Department's Annual Report for 2008, Cm 7394, what steps she plans to take following the failure to meet the Government's target on the area of disputed green belt land in each region over the period 2003 to 2007. [207739]

Mr. Iain Wright: Responsibility for creating and amending the area of green belt lies with regional planning bodies and local planning authorities. Proposals to make changes to green belt must be put forward in draft development plans, which are subject to public consultation and then to independent examination.

National policy on green belts is set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 2, ‘Green Belt’. This makes clear that permanence is the essential characteristic of green belt and that their boundaries should be altered only exceptionally. If such alterations are proposed, the Secretary of State in her role as consultee on the draft development plan will wish to be satisfied that the authority has considered opportunities for development within the urban areas contained by and beyond the green belt.

Houseboats: Planning Permission

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the permanent mooring of a houseboat requires planning permission; what permitted development rights exist; and what national planning guidance has been issued by her Department on houseboats or riverside development. [208099]


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Mr. Iain Wright: Houseboats fall outside of planning control unless moored for so long in the same place that they can be regarded as bringing about a material change of use of land. The permanent mooring of a boat for residential purposes where there was not one previously is likely to be a material change of use of land and planning permission would, therefore, generally be required. Similarly, works associated with the mooring of the boat might require planning permission if they amount to operational development. Ultimately, it is for the local planning authority to decide whether planning permission is required.

There are no specific permitted development rights for houseboats. No specific national planning policy guidance has been published in respect of houseboats or riverside development.

Housing: Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the correlation between housing conditions and the number of antisocial behaviour orders issued to residents; and if she will make a statement. [207291]

Mr. Iain Wright: Neither my Department, nor the Home Office who lead on antisocial behaviour orders, has commissioned or evaluated research on the correlation between housing conditions and the number of antisocial behaviour orders issued to residents.

Housing: Islington

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) wholly private, (b) part rented/part purchased, (c) local authority and (d) housing association new dwellings were completed in the Borough of Islington in each of the last three years; and how many of each she expects to be completed in 2008-09. [207685]

Mr. Iain Wright: The information requested is as follows:

New build for Islington
Private new build completions( 1) Low cost home ownership new build( 2) Local authority new build completions( 1) RSL social rent new build( 2)

2004-05

166

6

0

167

2005-06

353

24

0

198

2006-07

629

353

0

220

(1) Source: P2 new build as reported by Islington borough council and the National House-building council.
(2 ) Source:( )Housing Corporation
Note:
Information on completions in 2007-08 is not yet available. Information on forecast completions for 2008-09 is not available on this basis.

Housing: Leeds

Mr. Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was taken from Leeds City Council in negative housing subsidy in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08. [207506]


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Mr. Iain Wright: No money has been taken from Leeds city council in negative housing revenue account subsidy in (a), (b), or (c).

Leeds is a net recipient of subsidy and received the following sums in each of the years shown as follows:

Subsidy received (£)

2005-06

29,769,285

2006-07

27,214,716

2007-08(1)

31,323,761

(1 )Not yet audited; may be subject to some change.

Housing: Registration

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will introduce measures to require all landlords letting residential property to register with their local authority. [207453]

Mr. Iain Wright: We commissioned an independent review of the private rented sector in January. This is being carried out by Julie Rugg and David Rhodes of the Centre for Housing Policy at York university and will report in October. The review is looking at all aspects of the sector, including measures to raise standards and encourage the delivery of professional housing management. It would therefore be inappropriate to express any views at this stage that may pre-empt the findings of this review.

Institute for Public Policy Research

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what projects or research have been commissioned from the Institute for Public Policy Research by her Department and its agencies in the last 12 months; and on what topics. [207558]

Mr. Dhanda: Communities and Local Government has not commissioned any research projects from the Institute for Public Policy Research in the last 12 months.

Details of research projects commissioned by Communities and Local Government are available from our research database (RD) at:

Newts: Conservation

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what planning regulations and directives protect the great crested newt. [208094]

Mr. Iain Wright: The great crested newt is listed on Annexes II and IV of the Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (the habitats directive). It is protected under schedule 2 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations 1994 and schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Administrative guidance on the application of the law relating to planning and nature conservation is contained in the Government circular: ‘Biodiversity and Geological
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Conservation—statutory obligations and their impact within the planning system’.


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