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Mr. Dhanda: The position of chief executive of the Fire Service College has not yet been advertised. Sally Sheen, currently director of Training Delivery and deputy chief executive, has been appointed acting chief executive and accounting officer for the Fire Service College Trading Fund with effect from 1 July 2008.
Mr. Dhanda: The Department does not release personal information about individual members of staff. It is a matter of public record that on 30 May the current chief executive announced that she would be retiring from the college at the end of June.
Caroline Flint: The Home Condition Report remains a valuable element of the Home Information Pack. The Government will continue to work with stakeholders to make a success of the voluntary uptake of the HCR. The mandatory option has not been ruled out should this voluntary approach not work.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effects of current housing market conditions on meeting the Government's house building targets. 
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what requirements of the Code for Sustainable Housing will apply to homes in eco-towns; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: One of the key criteria for eco-towns is that the development as a whole should reach zero carbon standards, be planned in a way which supports low carbon living and incorporates high standards of water efficiency. As we set out in the Eco-towns Prospectus, schemes should use the Code for Sustainable Homes as a guide on sustainability issues and in Eco-townsLiving a greener future we have set out how eco-towns could achieve higher standards in these areas.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how the new home developments planned in eco-towns are to be incorporated into (a) regional spatial strategies and (b) local development frameworks. 
Caroline Flint: The way in which housing developed as part of the eco-towns programme contributes to regional spatial strategies and local development frameworks is set out in the consultation document, Eco-townsLiving a greener future, in particular in Annex A, paragraph 6.
Under the European Communities Regulation on the European Grouping of Territorial Co-operation (EGTC) and the UK 2007 regulations giving full effect to the European regulations, the initiative to participate in such a grouping lies with those bodies intending such participation. The regulations provide that any body wishing to become a member of such a grouping must first seek approval from the appropriate
authority, which in the case of bodies formed under UK law is currently the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance has been given to local authorities on the use of CCTV systems to monitor members of the public. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has given no guidance to local authorities on the use of CCTV systems to monitor members of the public. Policy responsibility for this area lies with Home Office. CCTV operated by local authorities is covered by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and by the Data Protection Act 1998.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make it her policy to collect information and to report annually on local authority expenditure on consultancy services. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what (a) duties and (b) powers she has to intervene where a political grouping within a local authority is subject to influence by extremists. 
Mr. Dhanda: Guidance for Local Authorities on Community Cohesion Contingency Planning and Tension Monitoring published last month reflects the reality that there are individuals and organisations in society, whose activities, motivated by extremist views, may have a negative impact on local community relations.
All local authority members must observe the Code of Conduct for Local Authority Members (the Code), which prescribes the standards of conduct expected of members and co-opted members of local authorities in England. The Code includes provisions, for instance, which provide that members must treat others with respect, must not do anything which may cause their authority to breach any equality enactments and must not conduct themselves in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing their office or authority into disrepute.
Anyone who has concerns that a local authority member has breached the provisions of the Code may make a written allegation to their local authoritys standards committee. Standards committees will consider such allegations and, in all but the most serious of cases, reach determinations and where appropriate impose a sanction.
Standards committees are independent of central Government and the Secretary of State has no powers to intervene in their consideration of allegations. The conduct regime is overseen by a NDPB called the Standards Board for England, who issues guidance and monitors the work of local authority standards committees.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the report produced for her Department by Comtel Ltd on the review of the local finance team structure. 
Please note that due to an error in the reply to the hon. Member's question on 20 May 2008, Official Report, column 263W, the wrong supplier has been attributed as the producer of this report. I can confirm that this contract was awarded to Alsbridge Ltd, though the report itself was prepared by Hitachi Consulting who are a registered subcontractor to Alsbridge on the OGC Buying Solutions Catalist Framework.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what role the housing targets set out in regional spatial strategies play in determining the level of revenue support grant for a local authority. 
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 1089W, on official hospitality: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, what the date was of the Chinese Ambassador's visit to Mr. Chu's China Palace with the then Deputy Prime Minister. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers councils have to (a) create a policy in their Local Development Framework and (b) issue Supplementary Planning guidance, that (i) protects gardens from over-development and (ii) separates gardens from other types of brownfield land for the purposes of meeting brownfield development targets. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Local authorities have always had the power to turn down applications for inappropriate housing development in back gardens and new planning policies in Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing (PPS3) that came into force in April 2007 have strengthened those powers further.
Local authorities have powers under Part II of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 to prepare local development documents, and in doing so must have regard to national policies issued by the Secretary of State. Through PPS3, councils have now been given the ability to set local policies that specifically protect gardens and separate gardens out from their wider
brownfield development targets. For instance, they could choose to concentrate housing development on available vacant or derelict land rather than on previously-residential or garden land. They can set separate targets in their Local Development Framework for different kinds of brownfield land, to distinguish between residential sites and other kinds of brownfield land.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 11 June 2008, Official Report, column 281W, on flood control: Canvey Island, what factors are impeding regeneration of Canvey Island. 
Caroline Flint: Canvey Island is part of the Thames Gateway regeneration area and Castle Point borough council and Essex county council could receive grants, subject to satisfactory HM Treasury compliant appraisals, to deliver the Governments Thames Gateway objectives. These grants would support various regeneration objectives such as improving skills, employment opportunities, transport infrastructure, better public spaces and appropriate housing growth. This support would be in addition to the Governments primary mechanism for establishing local priorities for action, including regeneration priorities, which is through the negotiation of improvement targets set out in local area agreements. Negotiations of these targets are conducted between government offices for the regions and local and regional strategic partners from public, private and third sectors.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the Regeneration Framework being considered by her Department, what recent analysis of deprivation in (a) Merseyside, (b) Wirral and (c) Birkenhead she has completed; what steps she plans to take in light of the analysis; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Indices of Deprivation 2007 (ID 2007) which were published on 6 December 2007 provide a deprivation score and rank for each area in England. Analysis of the ID 2007 has contributed to the Regeneration Framework which will be published for consultation in the summer.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the guidance given to local authorities on producing electronic billing authority reports for the Valuation Office Agency. 
Jim Knight: Ofsted judges the effectiveness of teaching and learning as part of school inspection. The latest published figures from Ofsted covering the 2006-07 academic year show that teaching and learning were judged good or outstanding in 52 per cent. of secondary schools, and satisfactory or better in 95 per cent.. There was a notable increase that year in the proportion of secondary schools where teaching and learning were found to be outstandingup from 5 per cent. to 8 per cent.
Jim Knight: Our plans to improve the quality, and expand the number and range of apprenticeships available for young people were outlined in World-class Apprenticeships. We are introducing an entitlement to an apprenticeship place for all suitably qualified young people who want one and our ambition is that one in five of all young people will be an apprentice. The expansion of apprenticeships will support our plan to raise the participation age in learning.
14. Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when he next expects to meet representatives of the Confederation of British Industry and other business organisations to discuss diploma qualifications. 
Jim Knight: We have regular discussions with the CBI and other business organisations. The CBI were involved in the Expert Advisory Group on Diplomas in Humanities, Languages and Science. There are 81 businesses represented on the first 14 Diploma Development Partnerships (DDPs) others are being engaged as the three new DDPs are established. The change in curriculum that Diplomas represent, will help meet the business challenges of the global economy of the 21st century
16. John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps his Department is taking to reduce levels of bullying of children with disabilities and special educational needs. 
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent steps his Department has taken to reduce levels of bullying of children with disabilities and special educational needs. 
Kevin Brennan: We have produced tailored guidance which provides schools with comprehensive advice on how to prevent and tackle the bullying of children with special educational needs and disabilities. Heads and governors have statutory duties to prevent the bullying of these children which are outlined in the guidance. We are funding the Anti-Bullying Alliance and National Strategies to provide support and challenge for local authorities and schools to ensure the guidance is implemented effectively on the ground.
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