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8 July 2008 : Column 1498W—continued

Department for Communities and Local Government

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, columns 1397-98W, on the Local Government and Regeneration Division, what (a) boards, (b) working groups and (c) committees there are in each division within her Department other than the Local Government and Regeneration Division. [211490]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department's formal governance structures are described in its 2008 annual report. Progress and performance are monitored through programme boards.

Further to my responses to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar on 3 April 2008, Official Report, column 1266W and 12 May 2008, Official Report, columns 1397-98W, the main programme boards other than those within the Local Government and Regeneration Group are the Housing Supply Delivery, Homes and Communities Agency, Olympics, Thames Gateway, Cohesion, Preventing Violent Extremism, Migration, Planning, Fire and Rescue Service and Resilience, Group
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Corporate Services, European Regional Development Fund and Government Office Transformation boards.

There are smaller boards and various sub-groups and committees beneath these, which look at specific areas of policy. The number and remit of such smaller boards and working groups changes depending on the Department's business at any one time. We do not currently hold a list of these centrally and to compile one could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Information Officers

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average cost to her Department was of employing a press and media officer in 2007-08. [215198]

Mr. Dhanda: The average costs of staff within the Department's Press Office are:


Paybands 6 and 7


Payband 5


Payband 4


These figures include costs for national insurance and pension payments to the Department as well as salary.

Departmental Public Participation

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the Answer of 2 June 2008, Official Report, column 539W, on departmental public participation, how much each piece of work cost; and how many respondents there were to each. [211070]

Hazel Blears: With reference to the answer of 2 June 2008, Official Report, column 539W, the Department undertook 15 polling and survey projects between 29 November and the end of the financial year. These are listed along with the following costs and numbers of respondents for each:

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Name of supplier Polling work Number of respondents Costs (£ excluding VAT)

Andrew Irving Associates Ltd.

Quantitative survey on the Code for Sustainable Homes



Pre and post tracking research on the effectiveness of the ‘Pull your Finger out’ fire safety campaign



Fire Safety Research into the Holiday Accommodation Sector—qualitative group interviews




Fire fighting careers qualitative research and recommendations



Fire Kills Literature Review—qualitative group interviews



Fire Kills consumer research and campaign recognition omnibus survey



Two Workshops in London and Hull on the importance of the English language to building communities



Survey of planning professionals about whether Planning Portal services met their needs



Cragg Ross Dawson Ltd.

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive research




HIPs consumer awareness, qualitative, and omnibus research



Accountability of local council services—omnibus survey



TH Seagrove

Telephone survey of tenant activists on their awareness etc of landlords work in terms of the Respect agenda




Third tranche of 2007 employee survey and the production of aggregated results from the full 2007 employee survey




Senior Civil Service survey



Employee engagement workshop



(1) Attendees
(2) Third tranche
(3 )Aggregated results

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

Name of supplier Polling work Number of respondents Costs (£ excluding VAT)

Dorset county council

Housing related research


This was added in error as the work with Dorset county council did not relate to housing related research. The payment related to consultancy support for a Business Improvement Package website. This is part of central Government’s support for local government transformation by developing an online resource for tools and change management processes. We are taking steps to clarify the original answer.

Government Communications

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff in (a) her Department and (b) its agencies (i) are classified as Government communicators and (ii) have access to the Government Communication Network. [215100]

Mr. Dhanda: Key communications staff for the entire civil service are listed in The White Book, published by the Central Office of Information. This is available in the Library of the House and contains a listing for Members of the Department's Communications Directorate. The book is updated twice yearly.

Information on some agencies and non-departmental bodies is also held in the White Book. Other data is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

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Housing: Construction

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions her Department has had with (a) English Partnerships, (b) the Housing Corporation and (c) the Housing and Communities Agency Transition Team on measures for increasing the number of (i) homes and (ii) affordable homes built each year in the last 12 months. [214793]

Mr. Iain Wright: The Minister for Housing announced on 17 June that she has asked English Partnerships, the Housing Corporation and Sir Bob Kerslake, of the Homes and Communities Agency transition team to work with officials to provide proposals on what more we can do across our programmes to work with registered social landlords, housebuilders and others to minimise the problems we currently face and create the right conditions for rapid recovery.

Also Housing Corporation and English Partnerships have been asked to review their programmes to ensure that committed schemes are progressed and that programmes are actively managed.

A package of measures aimed at speeding up procurement and providing flexibility within the Housing Corporation's affordable housing programme was announced on the 2 July.

Housing: Standards

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many households in (a) local authority, (b) registered social landlord and (c) private accommodation have been assessed by local authority environmental health officers using the Housing Health and Safety Ratings System since its inception; and how many were found to have a Category 1 hazard. [216711]

Mr. Iain Wright: The Department does not hold data on the number of Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) inspections carried out by Local authorities.

Communities and Local Government asked local authorities in England to submit information on dwellings assessed with category one hazards under the housing health and safety ratings system for (a) private, (b) registered social landlords and (c) local authority properties in their 2006-07 annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA). We will be working with local authorities and other stakeholders during 2008 to review the data we are seeking on HHSRS.

Local Authorities: Transport

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what account is taken of low carbon travel in the national indicators for local authorities; and if she will make a statement. [216324]

Mr. Woolas: I have been asked to reply.

Low carbon transport is relevant to the two principal national indicators on climate change mitigation in the new local government performance framework. National Indicator 185, measuring carbon dioxide emissions from
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local authority operations, includes emissions from the local authority’s transport fleet and emissions resulting from vehicles that are not owned or controlled by the local authority where these occur as a consequence of local authority activity (for example, outsourced services). National Indicator 186, on per capita carbon dioxide emissions across a local authority area, captures a wide-range of emissions including those from road transport (with the exception of emissions from motorways over which local authorities have little influence). Under both these indicators, a shift towards lower carbon means of travel can be expected to be reflected in the recorded levels of carbon dioxide emissions.

Parks: Driving Offences

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department issues to local authorities on enforcement of prohibitions on motorcycles being ridden in parks. [216824]

Mr. Dhanda: The Secretary of State has not issued any specific guidance to local authorities on the enforcement of prohibitions on motorcycles being ridden in parks.

The Secretary of State is responsible for confirming local authority byelaws. CLG issue model byelaws and guidance notes for use by local authorities. Some of these model byelaws include those which regulate the use of motor propelled vehicles in parks, open spaces, promenades and so on. Guidance notes are issued alongside the model byelaw sets. These are all published on the CLG website at:

The relevant guidance notes on the use of motorcycles in parks are the guidance notes to model byelaw set 2—Byelaws for pleasure grounds, public walks and open spaces.

Standard of Living: West Midlands

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authority areas in the West Midlands had the (a) highest and (b) lowest levels of deprivation in the latest period for which figures are available. [215828]

John Healey: Based on the Indices of Deprivation 2007 Birmingham is the most deprived authority in the West Midlands on four of the six local authority measures. Stratford-upon-Avon ranks as the least deprived local authority district in the region.

The full listing of authorities and their deprivation ranks can be found at:

Sustainable Communities Act 2007

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking to disseminate information on the (a) duties of and (b) opportunities for local authorities under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007. [217275]

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Mr. Dhanda: The Sustainable Communities Act 2007 received Royal Assent on 23 October last year. To disseminate information on the duties and opportunities provided, we have:

Following the consultation we intend to publish a response to consultation, publish final guidance—to be included in a package of statutory guidance for the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007—and make and lay the regulations shortly. We also intend to consult over the summer on local spending reports, which are required by section 6 of the Act. The first invitation to local authorities to submit proposals under the Act will be made by 23 October 2008.

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