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Fire Services: Fuels

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what contingency plans are in place to ensure the provision of fuel for fire service vehicles during periods of fuel shortages. [211518]

Mr. Dhanda: Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, the fire and rescue service is required to plan for contingencies, and this includes planning for dealing with interruptions in fuel supplies. Typically they do this by maintaining their own stores of diesel, sufficient to see them through an extended period of disruption. As a member of the Local Resilience Forum they also work with other local emergency responders to co-ordinate their planning against such contingencies.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations she has received on the supply of fuel to fire appliances during the strike by fuel supply drivers. [212160]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department has received no such representations.


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Fire Services: Standards

Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average fire appliance response time was to primary fires for each fire and rescue service in England measured from first fire appliance mobilised to first attendance of the fire appliance in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007. [211339]

Mr. Dhanda: The following table, shows the average response times of fire and rescue services in England in 2006, from mobilisation to attendance for primary fires. Data for the 2007 calendar year are not yet available.


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Table 1: Average response times to primary fires( 1) by FRS area, England, 2006
FRS area Average response time

England

7.22

England—Non-met counties

7.98

Avon

7.79

Bedfordshire

7.29

Berkshire

7.67

Buckinghamshire

8.52

Cambridgeshire

9.67

Cheshire

7.63

Cleveland

5.57

Cornwall

9.83

Cumbria

8.74

Derbyshire

7.75

Devon

7.48

Dorset

8.14

Durham

8.16

East Sussex

6.85

Essex

7.89

Gloucestershire

9.05

Hampshire

7.52

Hereford and Worcester

8.49

Hertfordshire

7.12

Humberside

6.44

Isle of Wight

7.22

Kent

7.51

Lancashire

6.90

Leicestershire

7.88

Lincolnshire

10.25

Norfolk

9.09

North Yorkshire

8.69

Northamptonshire

7.67

Northumberland

8.33

Nottinghamshire

6.64

Oxfordshire

9.08

Shropshire

8.54

Somerset

9.67

Staffordshire

8.78

Suffolk

9.22

Surrey

8.49

Warwickshire

8.05

West Sussex

8.59

Wiltshire

9.79

Isles of Scilly

7.30

England—Met counties

6.37

Greater Manchester

6.77

Merseyside

6.14

South Yorkshire

6.93

Tyne and Wear

5.47

West Midlands

6.24

West Yorkshire

7.02

Greater London

5.53

(1) A small number of incidents with response time greater than an hour have been excluded so that results are not skewed by likely reporting errors.

Floods: Finance

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations she has received from local authorities on meeting the costs of the floods of summer 2007; and if she will make a statement. [211537]

John Healey: Consultation with local authorities and others closed on 29 May 2008 for the new Restoration Fund, which Government have been able to make available following a successful bid to the European Union Solidarity Fund.

Local authorities are currently being asked to supply data on the costs they have incurred, to help inform decisions about payments from the Restoration Fund. I intend to make announcements on funding allocations before the parliamentary summer recess.

Green Belt: South East

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 12 May 2008, Official Report, column 1393W, on the green belt, if she will reject the South East Plan Examination in Public Panel's proposals to remove green belt protection in (a) Blackwater Valley, (b) Elmbridge, (c) Guildford, (d) Oxford, (e) Redhill and Reigate, (f) Tandridge, (h) Tunbridge Wells and (i) Woking. [211496]

Mr. Dhanda: The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is currently considering the report of the independent panel into the examination of the draft regional spatial strategy and it would be inappropriate to comment on what may or may not be included in any proposed changes.

Homelessness

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many households were classed as homeless in each of the last three years, broken down by region. [211329]

Mr. Iain Wright: Information about English local authorities' actions under the homelessness legislation is collected quarterly at local authority level.

Information collected includes the number of households accepted by local housing authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty (to secure that suitable accommodation is available). If a settled
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home is not immediately available, the authority must secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available.

Since 1998, information has also been collected on the number of people who sleep rough—that is, those who are literally roofless on a single night.

National and regional data on acceptances and temporary accommodation are published in our quarterly statistical release on statutory homelessness. This is published on our website and placed in the Library of the House each quarter. The latest release was published on 12 June 2008, and provides national and regional acceptance figures in Table 3, and temporary accommodation figures in Table 7, both back to 1997:

Rough sleeping figures are also published on our website, back to 1997:

A set of more detailed homelessness tables have been deposited in the Library of the House which gives a summary of rough sleeper estimates by Government office region.

Housing: Planning Permission

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the timetable is for the publication of responses to the consultation on whether to remove permitted development rights to households paving over front gardens. [211074]

Mr. Iain Wright: The Government published a summary of responses to a consultation on proposals for changes to householder permitted development rights on 29 November last year. The analysis showed that 68 per cent. of those that responded on this issue favoured some form of national restriction on the paving over of front gardens. The document is available on the department’s website at:

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced on 7 February as part of the Government’s Water Strategy, “Future Water”, our intention to impose a restriction on permitted development rights relating to the paving of front gardens. The
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interim impact assessment that accompanied the announcement can be found at:

Changes to permitted development rights will come into force on 1 October this year.

Local Authorities: Codes of Practice

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance has been provided to local authorities on drawing up codes of conduct for local authority employees in the last five years. [211383]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department has not in the last five years provided any guidance to local authorities in relation to codes of conduct for local authority employees.

Morning Star

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many copies of the Morning Star her Department and each of its agencies procures via subscription each week; and at what cost. [210822]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department and its agencies do not have subscriptions in place for the Morning Star.

North-West

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding has been allocated by her Department, its agencies and non-departmental bodies to (a) Lancashire and (b) north-west england in each year since 1997; and for what purpose the funds were allocated in each case. [210624]

Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 12 June 2008]: Information on funding provided by the Department to the Lancashire area as a whole is not available other than at disproportionate cost. The main elements of funding provided by Communities and Local Government and its predecessor departments to Lancashire county council since 2002-03 are listed in the following table, (figures in £ millions). Information for earlier years is not readily available.

2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09

Revenue support grant(1)

347.7

406.9

445.4

430.4

36.0

33.4

33.3

National non-domestic rates

303.3

303.0

287.2

349.1

186.7

199.1

239.1

Housing market renewal fund(2)

6.6

22.8

43.2

46.0

48.8

52.0

Local area agreements/area based grant(3)

25.6

52.3

Supporting people(4)

0.7

31.5

31.7

29.9

29.4

29.7

29.7

Public service agreement performance fund

1.9

0.1

7.9

7.4

(1) Prior to 2006-07 support for schools was included in formula grant; from 2006-07 onwards support for schools has been provided via dedicated schools grant which is paid through the Department for Schools and Families and is not shown here.
(2) Funding paid to Lancashire county council as accountable body for the East Lancashire housing market renewal pathfinder. The amount shown against 2003-04 was a payment covering 2002-03 and 2003-04.
(3) Payments were made via local area agreements in 2007-08 and area based grant in 2008-09.
(4) The Supporting People programme went live in April 2003. Prior to this date the Government contributed towards administration costs of establishing the programme.

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