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Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what regard a local authority must have to views of tenants before termination of an arm's length management organisation; and what duty there is on an authority to consult with tenants before termination. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Should a local authority consider winding up its arms length management organisation (ALMO), it should take account of the views of all stakeholders, but most importantly the tenants whose homes are managed by the ALMO. Departmental guidance states that a local authority should consult its tenants on any significant changes to its housing management arrangements. That consultation should be no less rigorous than that undertaken to establish support for the establishment of the ALMO.
Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance she issues to local authorities on the termination of arm's length management organisations, with particular reference to the demonstration of the benefits of termination to tenants. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department updated the general guidance issued to local authorities on ALMOs within the Review of Arms Length Housing Management Organisations June 2006. This included guidance on consulting tenants should there be significant changes proposed to a local authority's housing management arrangements.
The document does not refer specifically to the demonstration to tenants of the benefits of winding up an ALMO. However, the Department believes that existing
ALMO arrangements should remain in place unless an alternative can be shown to have demonstrable benefits for tenants.
Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether Decent Homes funding allocated to an arm's length management organisation is automatically switched to an alternative housing manager in the event of its termination. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Funding allocated to an arms length management organisation (ALMO) would not be switched to an alternative housing manager in the event of an ALMO being wound up. The funding is contingent on the ALMO delivering a Decent Homes investment programme on behalf of its local authority.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authorities offer recycling facilities for (a) batteries, (b) light bulbs and (c) energy-saving light bulbs. 
The Department does not gather statistics on which local authorities collect specific products for recycling. All local authorities in England are providing collection facilities for waste electrical and electronic equipment which includes the most common type of energy saving light bulbs. We are preparing regulations to implement the EU batteries directive which requires greatly increased collection of portable batterieswe are in discussion with local authorities about the part they can play in achieving our targets. Information on the recycling facilities that are available in particular areas can be found on the Recycle Now and Recycle More websites.
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what estimate she has made of the average building carbon dioxide emission per square metre of floor area in each year since 2004; 
(2) what estimate she has made of the average building carbon dioxide emission per square metre of floor area for (a) schools, (b) other public sector buildings, (c) commercial and industrial buildings and (d) retail buildings in each year since 2004; 
(5) what estimate she has made of the average non-domestic building energy use per square metre of floor area for (a) schools, (b) other public sector buildings, (c) commercial and industrial buildings and (d) retail buildings in each year since 2004; 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department does not hold or make estimates of the average carbon dioxide emissions or energy use from buildings in the form requested. However, the Departments report Monitoring the Sustainability of Buildings, published in 2007, provides a comparison of figures on average energy use and annual carbon emissions per square metre for domestic and non-domestic buildings in 2004 and 2006. This can be viewed on the Departments website at:
Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) on what dates the Central-Local Partnership has met since December 2007; and what arrangements have been made for regular meetings; 
John Healey: Over the past year, there have been a number of meetings between Government Ministers and Local Government Association Group Leaders on different topics, under the umbrella of the Central-Local Partnership. We are currently considering the future role and terms of reference of the Central-Local Partnership. One of the roles of a renewed Central-Local Partnership is to monitor the operation of the Central-Local Concordat, and to revise it for the future as necessary.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether voluntary organisations and other third sector bodies in Wales will have access to the Empowerment Fund announced at page 3 of the White Paper, Communities in Control, Cm 7427. 
John Healey: Our consultation document, The Empowerment Fund: Consultation on proposals for funding third sector organisations to empower communities across England, published on the Department's website on 9 July 2008, sets out proposed eligibility criteria for access to the fund. Under those criteria eligible organisations must both be able to operate across England and be undertaking activities largely for beneficiaries within England.
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people have been registered as council tenants in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Information specifically on the number of people registered as council tenants is not available. However information is available on local authority dwelling stock. This information at constituency level is not held centrally.
|Gateshead||South Tyneside||North East||England|
As reported by local authorities.
Communities and Local Government Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix return (HSSA)
Information on dwelling stock owned by local authorities for 1997 to 2007 broken down by Government Office Region and local authority is published on the Communities and Local Government website in Table 116 at:
John Healey: The Government support the conclusions of Sir Michael Lyons' independent inquiry, that council tax as a property based tax is broadly sound and should be retained. However we keep the detail of council tax administration continually under review. We are currently considering the feasibility of enabling local authorities to transfer the enforcement of council tax debts from magistrates courts to county courts in appropriate cases.
From 1 April 2008 the rating arrangements for empty non-domestic properties were changed such that, in the majority of cases, empty properties are now liable for 100 per cent. of the occupied rate following a three-month exemption period (six months for industrial properties such as factories and warehouses).
Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made on her plans to reform council tax bands; what steps she plans to take on such reform in the next 12 months; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: We have no such plans. The Government have made it clear that any reform to the council tax banding system would only take place in the context of a general revaluation which we confirmed in September 2005 will not take place during the lifetime of this Parliament.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of properties there were in each band in each council tax collection authority in England on 1 April 2008. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on how many occasions her Department and its predecessors instructed the Treasury Solicitor to seek leave to appeal to the House of Lords from (a) the Court of Appeal and (b) the House of Lords itself in each of the last 10 years; and on how many occasions the application was rejected. 
Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what account her Department takes of the level of energy efficiency of buildings before entering into agreements to (a) rent and (b) purchase those buildings. 
we will ensure all new builds, office relocations and major refurbishments achieve an overall BREEAM Excellent rating and specifically an Excellent rating in the areas of energy and water, unless site constraints or project objectives mean that this requirement conflicts with the obligation to achieve value for money on a whole life basis. Where site constraints or project objectives conflict with this requirement, a project should at least achieve an overall BREEAM rating of Very Good and an Excellent rating in the areas of energy and water.
An Excellent rating in the Energy section of the BREEAM for Offices 2008 version requires significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions compared to those stipulated in the existing building regulations and assesses a building's performance against sub-metering, external lighting, lifts and low or zero carbon technologies.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the 10 highest payments made by her Department were under property compensation cases brought against it over the last 12 months for which figures are available; which of the cases were (a) contested and (b) uncontested by her Department; and what the nature of each incident was. 
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