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20 Jun 2008 : Column 1237W—continued

Wheelchairs

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2008, Official Report, column 2401W, on wheelchairs, what progress has been made on publishing the outline model for wheelchair services as part of the transforming community equipment and wheelchair services programme. [212080]


20 Jun 2008 : Column 1238W

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The data analysis process has now been completed and the detailed business case is currently under consideration. The Transforming Community Equipment and Wheelchair Services Programme is working closely with senior executives in the national health service to agree the most appropriate way forward.

Communities and Local Government

Eco-Towns

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) if her Department will advise on the (a) permeability and (b) resilience to floods of materials used for homes in the new eco-towns; and if she will ensure that such materials are used in constructing such houses; [209440]

(2) what criteria homes in new eco-towns must meet in respect of the adaptation criteria for the Government’s climate change objectives. [209441]

Caroline Flint: As we have set out in “Eco-towns—Living a greener future”, eco-towns should show that they are sustainable under present climatic conditions, but are also resilient to future climate change. This will mean taking account of predicted changes in rainfall and increased temperature in building design and construction, not just for homes but all buildings, including schools, shops and offices. The precise features of climate change adaptation that are required will vary from place to place, but we will make sure that the process of locating and designing eco-towns respects the local circumstances, rather than setting a one-size-fits-all blueprint for what a future eco-town should look like.

There is also a strong expectation for eco-towns to have all their built-up parts, including housing fully within Flood Zone 1 (the lowest risk). A water cycle study should be completed for the eco-town and related areas, and this includes an assessment of flood risk and surface water drainage.

Homelessness

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people have been registered as homeless in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England in each year since 1997. [210970]

Mr. Iain Wright: Information about English local authorities’ actions under the homelessness legislation is collected quarterly at local authority level. Constituency level information is not held centrally. The parliamentary constituency of Jarrow falls into two local authorities: South Tyneside and Gateshead.

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 home is not immediately available, the authority must secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available.


20 Jun 2008 : Column 1239W

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.

Summary tables showing the total number of households (a) accepted as owed a main homelessness duty and (b) in temporary accommodation, from 1997-98 to 2007-08, (c) rough sleeper estimates from 1998 to 2007, for each local authority, including South Tyneside and Gateshead, and (d) rough sleeper estimates by Government Office region are provided with this answer and have been placed in the Library.

Extracts from the table, showing data for South Tyneside and Gateshead, are provided as shown.


20 Jun 2008 : Column 1240W

National and regional data on acceptances and temporary accommodation is published in our quarterly statistical release on Statutory Homelessness. This is published on our website and placed in the Library 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:

Table A: Number of households accepted( 1) as owed a main homelessness duty during the year, 1997-98 to 2007-08
Local authority 1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Gateshead

293

413

431

476

648

626

South Tyneside

150

202

225

321

379

595

573

286

294

213


Table B: Number of households in temporary accommodation( 1) , March 1998 to March 2008
Local authority 1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Gateshead

7

13

14

7

10

271

24

16

18

36

South Tyneside

56

61

48

5

6

13

51

26

18

22

11


Table C: Number of rough sleepers (persons), 1998-2007 (mid-year estimates( 1) )
Local authority 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Gateshead

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

South Tyneside

1

3

1

2

2

0

0

0

0

0


Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people aged (a) under 18 and (b) over 60 years old were homeless in each of the last 10 years. [212353]

Mr. Iain Wright: Information about local authorities' actions under homelessness legislation is collected in respect of households rather than persons. 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, is not collected by specific ages, but since June 2006, data has been provided by the age band into which the applicant falls. These age bands include 16 to 24-year-olds, and 60 to 64-year-olds, 65 to 74-year-olds, and 75-year-olds and over. Data is provided in our Statistical Release on Statutory Homelessness, which is published on our website and placed in the Library each quarter:

The latest release was published on 12 June 2008 and contains data from June 2006 up to March 2008. Table 10(b) of the release contains details of acceptances by age band:

Local Authorities: Energy

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities (a) have planned and (b) are implementing decentralised energy networks. [212859]

Mr. Iain Wright: The Department is aware of some local authorities which have taken steps, or are taking steps, to develop decentralised energy networks, for example Woking, and Southampton. The Department, however, does not hold information on this subject which is comprehensive across all local authorities.

Planning

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons her Department plans to abolish the needs test in the new edition of Planning Policy Statement 6. [212655]

Mr. Iain Wright: As set out in the Planning White Paper: “Planning for a Sustainable Future” in May 2007, the need test has proved to be a blunt instrument and can have the unintended effect of restricting competition and consumer choice. For example, a proposal on the edge of a town centre that would support the centre and bring wider benefits can be refused because the identified need is being met by an existing or proposed out of centre development.


20 Jun 2008 : Column 1241W

The Government are reviewing the current approach in “Planning Policy Statement 6: Planning for Town Centres” (PPS6) to assessing the impact of proposals outside town centres and will replace the need and impact tests with a new test which has a strong focus on our town centre first policy, and which promotes competition and improves consumer choice. We intend to publish a consultation paper on proposed revisions to PPS6 later this summer.

Planning: Thames Gateway

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the timetable is for the publication of the 2008-09 Thames Gateway Implementation Plan. [212787]

Caroline Flint: An exercise was undertaken with all the accountable bodies, local delivery partners in the Gateway and other Government Departments between February and May this year to understand their plans for implementing the Thames Gateway Delivery Plan published in November 2007. This has resulted in a clear set of agreed detailed baselines that provide the basis for more robust performance management of delivery and financial spend in the Thames Gateway. There are no plans to create or publish an overarching implementation plan or document.

Social Rented Housing: Lancashire

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what projection she has made of the likely future change in numbers of available social housing units in (a) Chorley, (b) South Ribble, (c) Bolton and (d) Preston. [212324]

Mr. Iain Wright: Social housing is funded by the Housing Corporation which in autumn 2007 published the National Affordable Housing Programme (NAHP) 2008-11 Prospectus, which outlines priorities for funding over the three-year period.

40 per cent. of the initial North West allocation of the 2008-11 NAHP has already been committed, with a total of £8.55 million allocated to 19 accepted schemes in the local authorities areas identified. In contrast to previous programmes, the Housing Corporation has decided not to allocate all the available resources at the first bidding round. Additional allocations are timetabled to be made quarterly, from April 2008 to October 2010 (or when resources are fully committed), to enable housing associations to be more responsive to land acquisition and development opportunities.

The following table provides a breakdown of funding by local authority and Housing Corporation social housing type.


20 Jun 2008 : Column 1242W
Sponsor LA Name Type Total grant requested (£) Number of units

Bolton

LCHO

1,623,000

62

Bolton

RENT

2,316,196

44

Chorley

LCHO

600,000

30

Chorley

RENT

2,217,222

48

Preston

LCHO

150,000

5

Preston

RENT

1,650,000

15

South Ribble

0

0

Total

8,556,418

204

Notes:
LCHO - Low Cost Home Ownership
RENT - Socially Rented

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