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Heating

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) domestic and (b) non-domestic ground source heat pump installations there are; and what percentage of dwellings have ground source heat pumps installed. [219665]

Malcolm Wicks: I have been asked to reply.

As part of a consortium of organisations including the microgeneration industry and energy NGOs, we commissioned research on the growth potential for microgeneration in England, Wales and Scotland, which included current levels of uptake. It found that there were an estimated 750-2,000 ground source heat pump
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installations at the end of 2007. It did not estimate how many were domestic or non-domestic installations.

The research can be accessed at:

Heating: Solar Power

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) domestic and (b) non-domestic solar thermal hot water installations to buildings there were in each year since 2004; and what percentage of all buildings this represents. [219670]

Malcolm Wicks: I have been asked to reply.

As part of a consortium of organisations including the microgeneration industry and energy NGOs, we commissioned research on the growth potential for microgeneration in England, Wales and Scotland, which included current levels of uptake. It found that there were an estimated 90,000 solar thermal installations at the end of 2007, up from 78,000 at the end of 2004. It did not estimate how many were domestic or non-domestic installations.

The research can be accessed at:

Home Information Packs

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effects of home information packs on the incidence of (a) gazumping and (b) gazundering in the housing market. [223644]

John Healey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend the Housing Minister gave to the hon. Member for Winchester (Mr. Oaten) on 10 September 2008, Official Report, column 1989W.

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the maximum shelf life of each element of a commissioned home information pack is. [223646]

Mr. Dhanda: The elements of a home information pack (HIP) have no shelf life under the regulations as there is no requirement for sellers to update any document in the HIP as long as the property remains on the market.

Housing: Low Incomes

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will take steps to ensure that building affordable family homes is a key component of delivery for development in (a) Warrington and (b) other housing growth point areas. [223641]

John Healey: Government do not set the levels and mix affordable housing in an area. This is set by local authorities through their local development frameworks as part of regional and local planning processes.


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However, in order to emphasise the importance of delivering affordable housing, levels of affordable housing ambition were one of the criteria on which bids for new growth point status were appraised and is a key component of the assessment process for funding from the Growth Fund, which we have recently consulted on. The response to the consultation can be found on the Communities and Local Government website at www.communities.gsi.gov.uk. A copy has been placed in the Library.

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) councils and (b) housing associations are offering the Social HomeBuy scheme. [223648]

John Healey: There are currently (a) 10 local authorities and (b) 69 housing associations offering the voluntary Social HomeBuy scheme to their tenants.

Housing: Waiting Lists

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people there are on housing waiting lists in each housing authority area in Cornwall and Devon; and what percentage of the population this represents in each housing authority area. [223586]

John Healey: Information on local authority waiting lists is collected in respect of households rather than individuals. Where local authorities and registered social landlords operate a common register, households registered with the registered social landlords will be included in the data. However, registered social landlords are independent bodies and can keep their own waiting lists.

Information on the number of households on local authorities’ waiting lists broken down by Government office region and local authority and the percentage of households this represents is published on the Communities and Local Government website in Table 600 at:

Copies of this table are available in the Library.

Local Government: Maladministration

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many complaints of maladministration upheld by the Local Government Ombudsman resulted in a formal ruling that was not implemented by the local authority in question in each year since 1997-98; and to which local authorities such rulings related. [223617]

John Healey: Where the Local Government Ombudsman finds maladministration that has caused injustice, a report is issued that includes recommendations for a remedy for the complainant, with around a 100 reports issued annually.

The following table lists local authorities who have failed to provide satisfactory remedies since 1997-98.


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Authorities who have failed to provide satisfactory remedies
Year of issue of report Authority

1997-98

Mid Suffolk DC

Salford City C

Walsall MBC

1998-99

None

1999-2000

Newark and Sherwood DC

Basildon DC

Sefton MBC

2000-01

Eden DC

Rossendale BC

North Warwickshire DC

2001-02

East Riding of Yorkshire

2002-03

Chichester DC

Portsmouth City Council

2003-04

Dudley MBC

2004-05

None

2005-06

Blackpool BC

2006-07

East Riding of Yorkshire

2007-08

Trafford MBC


Property Information Questionnaires

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the information collected from property information questionnaires will be sorted in an electronic database. [223645]

Mr. Dhanda: There are no plans to do so. As set out in our consultation paper, the property information questionnaire would be completed by individual sellers and provided to prospective buyers as part of the HIP.

Property: Sales

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what forecast she has made of the likely number of residential property sales in each of the next 12 months. [223564]

Caroline Flint: Communities and Local Government (CLG) does not make forecasts for the housing market and so has not made any forecasts of the number of residential property sales in each of the next 12 months. However, CLG does closely monitor the housing market and takes action to support it where necessary.

Supporting People Programme

Mr. Neil Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was distributed via Supporting People grants to each
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relevant local authority in England in each of the financial years 2006-07 to 2008-09; what amount each local authority would have received had the formula been applied without damping in each such year; and what the equivalent figures are estimated to be for (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11. [223500]

John Healey: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer of 9 January 2008, Official Report, column 553W, given to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles).

The formula used to calculate the funding allocations is available at:

It includes estimated undamped allocations for all authorities for the years 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11, and can also be used to calculate estimated allocations for previous years.

Thermal Insulation

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what percentage of households with lofts installed loft insulation in each year since 2004; and what proportion of these were first-time installations. [219679]

Mr. Woolas: I have been asked to reply.

Virtually all loft insulation installed in existing homes since 2004 has been installed via Phase 1 and Phase 2 of Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC). Both phases were administered by Ofgem and cover Great Britain, but not Northern Ireland.

An independent review of EEC1 (2002-05), Evaluation of the Energy Efficiency Commitment 2002-05 (Eoin Lees Energy), showed that there were 226,245 professional insulations of lofts which previously had no insulation during this period. An additional 528,496 lofts, which already had some insulation, were topped up professionally. The programme also subsidises loft insulation via DIY outlets, and it is estimated that around 335,000 lofts were insulated by the householders themselves during the EEC1 period.

Ofgem is due to report on EEC2 (2005-08) on 1 August 2008. Based on the second year report for EEC2, the average number of professional insulations during 2005 and 2006 was 380,000 per year(1). However, it is not yet known how many of these were in previously uninsulated properties.

Work and Pensions

Bereavement Benefits

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will revise the regulations determining bereavement benefit to ensure that (a) widows and widowers are informed in writing of entitlements to the benefit and (b) benefits are backdated to the date of entitlement for widows or widowers who do not receive such notification timeously. [223669]


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Mr. Timms: The Department for Work and Pensions makes every effort to ensure that individuals who have been bereaved are aware of their possible entitlement to bereavement benefit.

As well as provision of information through traditional sources, such as leaflets, Jobcentre Plus continues to work in partnership with registrars and coroners to ensure that information is made available to bereaved people.

We have no plans to revise the regulations.

Care Homes: Winter Fuel Payments

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons those living in care homes are classified as ineligible for winter fuel payments by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [223161]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Residents of care homes who are not in receipt of pension credit are entitled to a shared winter fuel payment of either £100 if they are aged 60 to 79 or £150 if they are aged 80 or over (this winter it will be £125 and £200 respectively). This is because they share the accommodation with other people who are also entitled to the payment and are responsible for a share of the heating costs.

Residents of care homes who are in receipt of Pension Credit are not entitled to a winter fuel payment. This is because historically people living in a care home and in receipt of an income-related benefit have received public funding for their care and accommodation costs including heating. Originally this was through the income-related benefit itself but for many years now has been through funding from the local authority. As this is still the case for the vast majority of people receiving Pension Credit, the winter fuel payment is not payable.

Children: Maintenance

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many (a) liability orders and (b) deduction of earnings orders have been issued by the Child Support Agency to non-resident parents in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) the UK in each year since 1997; [217169]

(2) how many Child Support Agency cases have been passed to the bailiffs in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each year since 1997. [217170]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The administration of the Child Support Agency is the matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to my hon. Friend with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:


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