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Mrs. May: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality pursuant to the answer of 2 June 2008, Official Report, columns 528-29W, on departmental coordination, of which cross-departmental groups the Government Equalities Office is a member. 
Barbara Follett: The Government Equalities Offices supports Ministers in their work on Cabinet Subcommittees, for example attending the Domestic Affairs (Communities and Equalities), Inter-Ministerial Group on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Economic Development Official Committee. The Government Equalities Office is also a member of several cross-departmental groups. These include the Cross Departmental Equality Board, the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) Board of Management, the Race Equality Forum and the Employment PSA Delivery Board.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many permanent staff in the Government Equalities Office are classed as (a) staff without posts and (b) part of a people action team. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how much was spent by the Government Equalities Office on subscriptions for magazines, newspapers and other publications in each of the last 24 months. 
Barbara Follett: The Government Equalities Office only subscribes to newspapers and only started doing so in May this year. The cost in that month was £45.63 and we should spend a similar amount each month.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many departmental identity cards or departmental passes have been reported lost or stolen by staff in the Government Equalities Office since its creation. 
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what steps the Government has taken to encourage more black and minority ethnic women to (a) apply and (b) stand as candidates for public office. 
Barbara Follett [holding answer 12 May 2008]: Government are committed to increasing womens representation in political and public life, and recognises that black and minority ethnic women remain particularly under represented. The empowerment of black, Asian and minority ethnic women is one of the Ministers for womens priorities announced in July 2007.
In 2002 the Government introduced legislation that allowed positive measures to be taken by political parties to increase the number of women candidates. In March 2008 we announced an extension to the period during which parties can use all-women short lists for candidate selection for local, national and European elections from 2015 to 2030.
Less than 1 per cent. of local councillors are black, Asian and minority ethnic women. To be more reflective of society this number needs to increase to around 1,000. That is why the Government have established a cross party taskforce to encourage more black, Asian and minority ethnic women to become councillors. This is chaired by Baroness Uddin, the first Muslim woman to sit in the House of Lords.
The taskforce will take into account the findings of the independent Councillors Commission which was set up last year by the Department of Communities and Local Government. This reported in December 2008 and made recommendations to encourage a more diverse range of people to become councillors so that communities are better represented. The Governments response will be published in the summer.
The Department of Communities and Local Government also helps fund Operation Black Vote, an independent organisation which works to increase civic engagement by people from ethnic minority communities. Programmes run by OBV include shadowing schemes for MPs, councillors, and magistrates.
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many deaths among children have been attributed to (a) brain cancer and (b) leukaemia in the last three years. (216378)
The table attached provides the number of deaths with an underlying cause of (a) brain cancer and (b) leukaemia, for children aged under 16 years, for 2004 to 2006 (the latest year available).
|Table 1: Deaths with an underlying cause of (a) brain cancer and (b) leukaemia,( 1 ) children aged under 16 years,( 2) England and Wales, 2004 - 06( 3)|
|(1) The cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes C71 for brain cancer and C91-C95 for leukaemia|
(2) For the purposes of mortality statistics, children are defined as persons under the age of 16. Figures exclude deaths at ages under 28 days.
(3 )Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) how many (a) new builds and (b) major refurbishments were completed by his Department for a cost in excess of £0.5 million in (i) 2005-06, (ii) 2006-07 and (iii) 2007-08 to which the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method or equivalent was applied; how many such buildings were assessed as (A) pass, (B) good, (C) very good and (D) excellent; and if he will make a statement; 
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the standard retirement age in the Prime Ministers Office is; and how many people worked beyond the standard retirement age in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Watson: From 1 October 2006 the Cabinet Office, including the Prime Ministers Office, changed its retirement age from 60 to 65 years for all grades in line with Employment Equality (Age) Regulations. The expectation is that the Department will no longer have a standard retirement age by year 2011, but this is being kept under review.
|(1) Up to 30 September|
(2) From 1 October
In liaison with CLG, the Local Government Association revised a good practice guide, Growing in the Community, in March 2008. The guide advises local authorities to reduce waiting lists for allotments by promoting vacancies across local authority boundaries. A free copy was sent to all local authorities and is now available on request from the LGA.
Planning Policy guidance 17 encourages local authorities to assess the needs of their communities for a range of open spaces, and to address deficiencies. It also suggests that authorities should allocate sites within their plans for the provision of new open spaces.
PPG17 advises local authorities to use the information gained from their assessments of needs and opportunities to set locally derived standards for the provision of open space, sports and recreation facilities in their areas. Local standards should include:
1. Quantitative elements (how much new provision may be needed).
2. A qualitative component (against which to measure the need for enhancement of existing facilities).
3. Accessibility (including distance thresholds and considering of the cost of using a facility).
Mr. Iain Wright: It is for local planning authorities to determine in the first instance whether a material change of use has occurred or would occur, and also whether planning permission is required. These decisions need to be made on a case by case basis taking into account individual circumstances, and by reference to the Town and Country (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) and the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (as amended).
A bail hostel with the characteristics of a residential institution and where there is provision of accommodation and care may be considered to be a class C2 use. Alternatively, a bail hostel could be regarded as sui
generis, that is, of its own kind, if it is not considered that it could fit comfortably into any use class. In general, if a local planning authority considers a bail hostel to be within class C2 or sui generis, then planning permission would usually be required for a change of use from a domestic dwelling.
Where there is a group of people living together in a single household in a domestic dwelling, it would not necessarily be the case that a material change of use would occur simply because the residents were subject to other restrictions or controls. If the amenity impacts are consistent with those typical of a residential dwelling, it is likely that there would be no requirement for planning permission. This, however, would be for the local authorities to determine.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what dates meetings have taken place between Ministers and officials from her Department and representatives of the Co-operative Wholesale Society since 1 May 2005 on the development of the Co-operative Wholesale Societys land within Harborough District; where each meeting took place; and who attended each. 
Caroline Flint [holding answer 7 July 2008]: There have been no meetings between Ministers at Communities and Local Government and the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) since 1 May 2005. As part of the process for taking forward the eco-towns programme officials have met with members of CWS, who have submitted proposals for an eco-town at Pennbury (Stoughton). The majority of these meetings have been as part of the further assessment of the proposal, in particular following its shortlisting in April and along with the relevant local authorities. This includes attendance at the eco-town joint technical group meetings and also the Eco-towns Challenge Panel. As we further consult and assess the shortlisted eco-town proposals we expect these meetings to continue.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authorities are due to receive a negative housing revenue account subsidy in 2008-09; what the level of each negative subsidy is; and how many local authority tenants there are in each of these local authorities. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The data are shown in the following table. We do not collect information on the number of tenancies in each authority; the table shows the number of relevant dwellings for each authority.
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