Previous Section Index Home Page

25 Jun 2008 : Column 341W—continued


Communities and Local Government

32 Smith Square: Valuation

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the rateable value of the offices at 32 Smith Square, Westminster was last assessed by the Valuation Office Agency. [212789]


25 Jun 2008 : Column 342W

John Healey: The rateable value of the offices at 32 Smith Square was last assessed by the Valuation Officer when he compiled the 2005 rating list for the City of Westminster. This came into force on 1 April 2005. Full details of the assessment history of all hereditaments are available on the Valuation Office Agency's website at:

Community Relations: Religion

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2007, Official Report, column 405W, on community relations: religion, when she expects to announce the independent review to examine with communities how to build the capacity of Islamic seminaries; who she expects to carry out the review; when she plans that it should report; what she estimates it will cost; and if she will make a statement. [212964]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department has been developing the terms of reference for the review in close consultation with community partners, academics and practitioners. The Secretary of State expects to be in a position to announce full details of the review shortly.

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 29 November 2007, Official Report, column 679W, on community relations: religion, what funds have been allocated to the National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group for the three years from 2008-09. [212965]

Mr. Dhanda: The following funds have been allocated to the National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group (NMWAG) for the three years from 2008-09.

£

Running costs Projects

2008-09

40,000

150,000

2009-10

40,000

200,000

2010-11

40,000

200,000


Council Tax

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of her Department's research report on council tax rebilling costs, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister reference 050324. [212727]

John Healey: I have today placed in the Library of the House a copy of the research report ‘Council Tax Rebilling Costs’, which was completed in March 2005 and has been available publicly since then.

Council Tax: Valuation

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 8 May 2008, Official Report, column 1076W, on council tax: valuation, on what date the Board met in each month from March 2003 to November 2005. [213589]


25 Jun 2008 : Column 343W

John Healey: The Valuation Office Agency's Programme Board for the postponed council tax revaluation in England met on:

Departmental Assets

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government over what period her Department depreciates the asset value of its (a) vehicles, (b) computer hardware, (c) bespoke computer software, (d) standard computer software, (e) furniture and (f) telecommunications equipment. [213212]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department depreciates its assets over periods consistent with the accounting standards laid out in the Financial Reporting Manual, published by HM Treasury.

Departmental Buildings

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how frequently her Department restates the asset values of its building estate. [213392]

Mr. Dhanda: Asset values of land and buildings are restated, in the Department's resource accounts, at current value using professional valuations (in accordance with Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors guidance and Financial Reporting Standard 15) every five years and values are adjusted using the appropriate indices in intervening years. The resource accounts provide values at each 31 March, the Department's financial year-end.


25 Jun 2008 : Column 344W

Departmental Leave

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many privilege day holidays civil servants in her Department receive; and on what days they fall in 2008. [212678]

Mr. Dhanda: Staff in Communities and Local Government are entitled to two and a half days privilege leave. For 2008 this will be as follows:

Staff working part-time have their privilege leave calculated on a pro rata basis.

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 27 March 2008, Official Report, column 351W, on ministerial policy advisers, which former special advisers have (a) received approval from and (b) been refused permission by her Department or its predecessor to take up an outside appointment on leaving their post since May 2005. [210917]

Mr. Dhanda: Personal information about the applications submitted by special advisers, and other Crown servants, is made public only in accordance with the principles and practices followed in the operation of the Business Appointment Rules. This information, which includes details of the appointments of the most senior staff and statistical data about cases at the more junior levels, is published on the website of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (www.acoba.gov.uk) and in its reports.

Departmental Pay

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of staff in her Department received bonus payments in each of the last five years; what the total amount of bonuses paid has been; what the largest single payment was in each year; and if she will make a statement. [213295]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department for Communities and Local Government made bonus payments to 495 staff under the terms of pay settlements for 2007. This represents 22 per cent. of the total work force as at 1 April 2007. This does not include staff in Government offices. For staff below the senior civil service, bonuses are paid to staff who exceed against their objectives for the year. For the senior civil service, bonuses are non-consolidated, non-pensionable cash payments that reward excellent performance during the year and are based on a judgment of how well an individual has performed relative to their peers. The total amount paid as bonus payments under these arrangements in 2007 was £1,018,350 and the largest single payment was £16,270. The Department has a special bonus scheme to reward exceptional performance over a limited period, in
25 Jun 2008 : Column 345W
particularly demanding tasks or situations. The maximum bonus under these arrangements is £600 but records are not available to show the number of payments made under this scheme in 2007-08. The Department has not yet reached agreement on the level and award of bonus payments for 2008.

For the period before that, I refer the hon. Member to the replies given by my hon. Friend the Member for Basildon (Angela E. Smith) on 18 June 2007, Official Report, column 1523W, and on 6 December 2006, Official Report, column 456W.

For the total amount of bonuses paid in the last five years, I also refer the hon. Member to my replies to the hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr. Hammond) on 2 June 2008, Official Report, column 538W, and 11 December 2007, Official Report, column 543 W.

Departmental Procurement

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 2 June 2008, Official Report, column 538W, on departmental procurement, what the minimum expenditure is that has to be authorised by a purchase order and prior approval by a budget holder. [212687]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department’s policy is that no purchase order will be raised without authorisation by a delegated budget holder. Additionally the Department's finance system enforces a further separate approval process to safeguard improper use funds.

Departmental Public Participation

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Maidenhead of 2 June 2008, Official Report, column 539W, on departmental public participation, what the topic of the housing-related research commissioned from Dorset County Council was. [212719]

Mr. Dhanda: In the answer of 2 June 2008, Official Report, column 539W, we had added the following information.

This was added in error as the money for Dorset county council was not related to housing related research. The payment related to consultancy support for a business improvement package website. We are taking steps to rectify the answer.

Departmental Security

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many departmental identity cards or departmental passes have been reported lost or stolen in the last 24 months in (a) her Department and (b) each of its Executive agencies. [210879]

Mr. Dhanda: Five departmental passes have been reported as stolen by staff in the HQ buildings for Communities and Local Government during the period June 2006 to June 2008.


25 Jun 2008 : Column 346W

A further 122 replacement departmental passes have been issued in the same period. It is not possible to say how many of the passes were lost other than by theft. Security passes may need to be replaced for a variety of reasons including loss, theft, damage, or change of name and the Department does not record the reasons for the replacement of a departmental pass.

Identity cards are used in very limited areas within the Department and none have been reported lost or stolen in the period.

The Government office for the West Midlands re-issued all of their passes on 1 January 2008. No records have been retained about losses up to that date. Seven passes have been replaced in 2008 to date. A further 113 passes have been replaced and two reported as stolen in the remainder of the GO network. Although CLG has overall responsibility for these, the Government offices carry out functions on behalf of ten Departments.

In addition, a further 69 passes have been reported lost by the Executive agencies.

None of the passes for the HQ buildings, GOs or agencies have the name or address of the building, department or organisation to which it refers, on them. The Department assesses all cases of lost or stolen passes to determine any increased vulnerability to security. Additional controls and procedures are introduced as necessary.

Departmental Trade Unions

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which trade unions represent members of staff in (a) her Department and (b) its agencies. [212488]

Mr. Dhanda: The following trade unions are officially recognised by the Department and its agencies to represent members of staff: Association of First Division Civil Servants (FDA), Prospect and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS).

In addition, the Fire Service College, an Executive agency of the Department, also recognises the General Municipal and Boilermakers Union (GMB) and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

Employment: Young People

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what measures she has in place to determine what the level of youth employment is in each region of England. [208995]

Mr. Watson: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated June 2008:


Next Section Index Home Page