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10 Jun 2008 : Column 142W—continued

Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government: Manpower

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people are employed in the Cultural Services Improvement Unit of the Improvement and Development Agency. [209395]

Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 6 June 2008]: At present two members of staff are employed in Cultural Services Improvement Unit. They are in the process of integrating the unit into the core business of the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) and expect to have completed this transformation by October 2008.

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Local Area Agreements: Greater London

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities in London have taken up local area agreements. [208839]

John Healey: The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 places a duty on all responsible local authorities in England to prepare and submit an LAA from 2008-09 onwards. This includes all 33 local authorities in London. New LAAs will be approved in June 2008.

Local Government Finance: Suffolk

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average grant per capita to (a) district councils and (b) county councils in England was in each of the last five years; and what the per capita grant to (i) Suffolk County Council and (ii) district councils in Suffolk was in each such year. [209410]

John Healey: The average central Government funding per capita to shire counties in England, Suffolk county council, shire districts in England and districts in Suffolk for the last five years is shown in the following table.

£ per head
2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Shire Counties






O f which:

Suffolk County Council






Shire Districts






O f which:







Forest Heath












Mid Suffolk






St. Edmundsbury






Suffolk Coastal












Communities and Local Government Revenue Outturn (RO) returns

Central Government funding is defined here as the sum of Formula grant (Revenue Support Grant and redistributed non-domestic rates) and Specific grants inside Aggregate External Finance (AEF), i.e. revenue grants paid for council’s core services.

Figures exclude grants outside AEF (i.e. where funding is not for authorities’ core services, but is passed to a third party, for example, rent allowances and rebates), capital grants, funding for the local authorities’ housing management responsibilities and those grant programmes (such as European funding) where authorities are simply one of the recipients of funding paid towards an area.

Comparisons across years may not be valid owing to changing local authority responsibilities.

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Population figures used in the calculation are the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Mid-Year Population estimates for each relevant year.

Mayors: Greater Manchester

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions her Department has had on the merits of establishing a Mayor for Greater Manchester. [206088]

Mr. Dhanda: Officials regularly have discussions with local authorities, their stakeholders, and others, which from time to time may touch on issues of local governance, including the governance of city regions.

Members: Correspondence

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Yeovil, of 29 April 2008, on strip washing for elderly people. [209622]

Mr. Dhanda: My right hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Baroness Andrews) has now replied to the hon. Member’s letter.

Planning Permission: Environmental Impact Assessment

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many planning applications for local developments required ecological surveys in each of the last three years. [210042]

Mr. Iain Wright: The Department does not hold information on how many ecological surveys local planning authorities (LPAs) require each year.

This type of information may, however, be required by local planning authorities when they require a developer to carry out an environmental impact assessment (EIA). The average number of EIAs required by planning legislation in England over the last three years was about 350-400 cases per year.

Public Libraries: Valuation

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 21 April 2008, Official Report, column 1411W, on public libraries: valuation, how many public libraries in (a) England and (b) Wales were on the Valuation Office Agency's 1995 Ratings List in 1997, or the closest period to that year for which figures were available. [203072]

John Healey: As at July 1998 the number of libraries in the rating lists were:

These details, extracted from the VGA's database at the stated date, accord with the use classification for non-domestic rating purposes. Descriptions used in rating lists reflect the predominant use of the property in accordance with rating legislation and legal precedent.

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They do not distinguish between public and private sector use of a property; do not necessarily include non-fixed assets (such as mobile facilities) and do not pick up secondary uses of property (e.g. public libraries housed within civic centres).

The figures should therefore not be regarded as an authoritative statistical source for other purposes.

Regional Planning and Development: Government Departments

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether it is the policy of the Government that government departments should (a) maintain and (b) increase the number of staff posts located in the four growth zones identified by her Department in its sustainable communities plan. [209873]

Mr. Iain Wright: Staffing issues and the choice of location are matters for individual departments, taking into account their own business needs and an informed assessment of locations. In February 2006 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Office for Government Commerce and Treasury published guidance setting out how Government Departments should take account of regional economic balance considerations when choosing locations for work being transferred out of London and the South East. The guidance explains the details of how departments should reflect Government policy in the decisions they make about new locations for their business.

Regional Planning and Development: Milton Keynes

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the effect on employment in her Department's Milton Keynes and South Midlands Sub-Regional growth area of plans by HM Revenue and Customs to reduce its operations in Aylesbury. [208578]

Mr. Iain Wright: None. HM Revenue and Customs is reviewing its operations across the UK to consolidate its estate and introduce business efficiencies following the creation of the department from the former Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise. The review is still ongoing and HM Revenue and Customs is currently consulting on its proposals, which would involve relocating most of the staff in its Aylesbury office to other HMRC offices within reasonable daily travelling time.


Airports: Health Hazards

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment his Department has made of the public health impact of (a) Heathrow airport and (b) other airports in the UK; and if he will make a statement; [209710]

(2) what studies his Department has commissioned into the incidence of cancer in areas around (a) Heathrow airport and (b) other airports compared to other areas; and if he will make a statement. [209711]

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Dawn Primarolo: Paragraph 12.2 of the Department for Transport White Paper, The Future of Air Transport, 2003, Cm 6046, states that the airport operators are expected to undertake appropriate health impact assessments. Copies of this publication are available in the Library.

The Small Area Health Statistics Unit at Imperial College London, which is part-funded by the Department, is carrying out a study to investigate health effects including cancer incidence around Heathrow airport. The Department has not commissioned studies into the incidence of cancer in areas around other airports compared to other areas.

Asthma: Nurses

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether his Department plans to increase the number of trained asthma nurses in deprived areas; [209572]

(2) how many people with asthma were offered a consultation with a trained asthma nurse during the last year for which figures are available. [209623]

Ann Keen: Education and training for all nurses is the responsibility of their employers in light of local priorities and local assessment of training needs.

Information about consultations with asthma nurses is not collected centrally.

Dementia: Social Services

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the recent findings of the Commission for Social Care Inspection's survey of the services provided to residents with dementia in 100 care homes in England; and if he will make a statement. [209165]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 9 June 2008]: The Department notes the publication of the Commission for Social Care Inspection's (CSCI) report.

Anyone in a care home, regardless of whether or not they have dementia, should expect a high standard of care and, as a society, we should not tolerate anything less. Where necessary, poorly performing care homes are kept under scrutiny by CSCI.

Dental Services: Milton Keynes

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were registered with an NHS dentist in Milton Keynes in each quarter of the last five years; and what percentage of the Milton Keynes population this represented in each period. [210125]

Ann Keen: Information is not available in the format requested.

The number of patients registered with a national health service dentist at 31 March, 1997 to 2006, is available in Annex A of “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report, England: 31 March 2006”. Information is provided by strategic health authority (SHA) and by primary care trust (PCT). Annex C contains information by constituency.

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Annex B contains information on the proportion of the population registered with an NHS dentist in the same time period and is presented by SHA and by PCT. This information is not available by constituency.

This information is based on the old contractual arrangements, which were in place up to and including 31 March 2006. The report, published on 23 August 2006, is available in the Library and at:

Under the new dental contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006, patients do not have to be registered with an NHS dentist to receive NHS care. The closest equivalent measure to ‘registration’ is the number of patients receiving NHS dental services (‘patients seen’) over a 24-month period. However, this is not directly comparable to the registration data for earlier years.

The number of patients seen by quarter for 2006-07 is available in Table Fl of Annex 3 of the report “NHS Dental Statistics for England: Quarter 4: 31 March 2007”. Information is provided by SHA and by PCT. Table F2 contains patients seen as a percentage of the population by quarter for 2006-07. This report, published on 19 June 2007, is available in the Library and at:

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