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22 July 2008 : Column 1159W—continued


22 July 2008 : Column 1160W

Eco-towns: Curborough

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received regarding her Department's advertisement regarding the proposed eco-town at Curborough, near Lichfield; what response she has made to such representations; and if she will place in the Library a copy of each representation received and response made. [216422]

Caroline Flint: We used advertorials to encourage people to respond and take part in the consultation process for eco-towns, and they provided details of where to obtain more information. The first stage of the eco-towns consultation closed on 30 June and in due course we will provide a statement on the responses received, including those for Curborough.

Eco-towns: Religion

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what consideration was given to the inclusion of references to faith centres during the drafting process for the recent consultation paper on eco-towns. [216614]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 7 July 2008]: As we set out in the consultation document each eco-town location will need its own approach and the consultation document only provides an indication of some of the benefits that eco-towns will provide. Also, as referred to in the consultation document, the Town and Country Planning Association have produced a best practice worksheet on community development, which is available to all those taking eco-towns forward, and provides advice about working with communities, including faith communities. We will be encouraging schemes to put this guidance into practice as individual projects are taken forward, including for example the funding and endowment of community assets which may be available to faith groups, as part of the development gain.

As part of the second stage of consultation we will be consulting on community issues among other criteria in the draft planning policy statement on eco-towns, and we will also be engaging more closely with faith communities to ensure that their views are taken into account in how the programmes goes forward.

In planning for eco-towns local authorities will also need to take account of ‘PPS1: Delivering Sustainable Development’ which requires that they take into account the needs of all the community, including particular requirements relating to age, sex, ethnic background, religion, disability or income.

Empty Property

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to increase the use of empty dwelling management orders. [221217]

Mr. Iain Wright: The Housing Act 2004 introduced voluntary powers for councils to apply to make an Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO). The decision to pursue an Empty Dwelling Management
22 July 2008 : Column 1161W
Order (EDMO) is therefore at the discretion of the individual council where the property is based and we have no plans to amend this aspect of the legislation.

We are confident that the legislation giving local authorities the power to pursue an EDMO is beginning to work well. We always intended that it should be used only as a last resort where other measures have proved unsuccessful. Our policy is to encourage voluntary re-occupation of empty homes but this can only work well where there is realistic compulsion to back them up. EDMOs provide this compulsion and should therefore be a key component of a council’s comprehensive empty property strategy.

Since the legislation was introduced, the number of properties empty for longer than six months has fallen by 4 per cent. from 282,461 to 271,252.

Fire Services: Emergency Calls

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her most recent estimate is of the (a) number of calls to primary fires, (b) response times to primary fires, (c) number of calls to road traffic accidents, (d) response times to road traffic accidents and (e) percentage of targets met with respect to primary fires and road traffic accidents for each fire service in England in the latest period for which figures are available. [220305]

Mr. Dhanda: The most recent estimates for number of calls to primary fires, response times to primary fires, number of calls to road traffic collisions are as follows:


22 July 2008 : Column 1162W
Primary fires and road traffic collisions attended by fire and rescue services
Primary fires, 2007 Q2

Number of fires Average response time (minutes) Number of road traffic collisions, 2006-07

Non metropolitan authorities

Avon

767

7.8

761

Bedfordshire and Luton

346

7.4

439

Buckinghamshire

375

7.9

605

Cambridgeshire

477

9.7

762

Cheshire

562

7.6

721

Cleveland

372

5.4

468

Cornwall

184

9.8

519

County Durham and Darlington

438

8.1

451

Cumbria

310

8.5

360

Derbyshire

489

8.4

787

Devon

625

8.0

1,126

Dorset

289

8.5

588

East Sussex

425

7.0

731

Essex

615

7.5

1,617

Gloucestershire

385

9.2

544

Hampshire

725

7.2

1,370

Hereford and Worcester

289

9.3

747

Hertfordshire

431

6.9

556

Humberside

729

6.8

694

Isle of Wight

78

8.3

100

Isles of Scilly

0

0.0

n/a

Kent

781

7.1

1,268

Lancashire

951

7.0

816

Leicestershire

417

7.0

961

Lincolnshire

374

10.0

725

Norfolk

439

8.8

1,671

North Yorkshire

367

8.7

705

Northamptonshire

410

7.6

647

Northumberland

206

7.7

260

Nottinghamshire

756

6.6

753

Oxfordshire

309

9.6

458

Royal Berkshire

394

8.1

660

Shropshire

241

8.1

336

Somerset

261

9.9

499

Staffordshire

553

8.4

970

Suffolk

322

10.1

539

Surrey

461

8.9

997

Warwickshire

285

8.0

613

West Sussex

366

8.7

912

Wiltshire

297

9.5

690

Metropolitan authorities

London

3,457

5.7

5,318

Greater Manchester

2,361

7.0

1,092

Merseyside

1,214

5.9

902

South Yorkshire

1,037

7.3

1,152

Tyne and Wear

1,023

5.4

488

West Midlands

1,529

6.1

2,220

West Yorkshire

1,454

6.9

1,109

Source:
returns to Communities and Local Government

Response times to reach road traffic collisions are not held centrally.

Targets with respect to primary fires and road traffic collisions are a matter for each Fire and Rescue Authority and are not held centrally.


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