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29 Oct 2008 : Column 1148Wcontinued
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what datasets Ordnance Survey has purchased from the company MapInfo. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Ordnance Survey has purchased no datasets from Pitney Bowes MapInfo. The standard MapInfo software product includes sample datasets but these are not used by Ordnance Survey.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much Ordnance Survey has spent on overseas travel for its staff in the last 12 months; and which (a) cities and (b) countries have been visited. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Ordnance Surveys total expenditure on overseas travel in the 12 months to 30 September 2008, was £180,320 on overseas travel. The cities and countries visited were as follows:
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she plans to take to implement her proposal to make parish polls more accessible contained in the Community Empowerment White Paper. 
John Healey: Any changes to the current arrangements for parish polls will require legislation. We plan to consult on making parish polls more accessible in the new year. Following consultation we will give consideration to the detail of any legislative changes that may be necessary.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to amend (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation on the manner in which the Secretary of State may specify circumstances for the intervention on and determination of planning applications. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Government have no plans to amend any primary or secondary legislation, nor their policy on the circumstances in which the Secretary of State may intervene in the determination of planning applications. The Government are, however, currently reviewing the extent to which planning applications should be automatically referred to the Government for consideration for call-in. Having undertaken a consultation exercise between 7 January 2008 and 31 March 2008, work is now in progress on preparing a composite new direction.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what projects her Department is undertaking through the Preventing Violent Extremism programme; and what the budget of each is. 
Mr. Khan [holding answer 28 October 2008]: Our overall budget for the Preventing Violent Extremism programme in the current comprehensive spending review period (2008 to 2011) is £84.5 million. Of this, £45 million is being paid through Area Based Grant (ABG) to local authorities, and it is for those authorities to determine how the funds are invested locally: they are not ring-fenced.
The allocation of the remaining funding has not yet been finalised, but we expect to support projects in a number of areas including: theological understanding; building community resilience; engaging and empowering young Muslims and Muslim women; local partnerships and delivery; faith institutions; and research and evaluation.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been allocated to regional efficiency improvement partnerships in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. 
John Healey: In respect of 2008-09 funding, I refer the hon. Member to the answer he was given on 21 April 2008, Official Report, column 1414W by my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Dhanda).
Decisions in respect of 2009-10 funding will be released with the main estimates for 2009-10.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 21 April 2008, Official Report, column 1412W, on regional empowerment consortia, how much her Department has allocated to regional empowerment consortia in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10. 
Mr. Khan: For 2008-09 the Community Development Foundation received £1,645,000 from the Department for Communities and Local Government to support nine independent regional empowerment consortia. Subject to satisfactory performance review the Community Development Foundation will receive for 2009-10 a further £1,715,000 to continue this support.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 16 October 2008, Official Report, column 1411W, on regional planning and development, whether she has received notification from Castle Point borough council that it has set a target for submission to her of the Local Development Plan of March 2009; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Secretary of State has not received formal notification from Castle Point borough council of its latest timetable for progressing its core strategy which is the primary development plan document in the local development framework.
However the borough council has told the Government office for the east of England that it intends to publish a pre-submission consultation in December 2008 with formal submission to the Secretary of State to follow in February 2009.
The council has also indicated that it intends to review its local development scheme next year with submission to Secretary of State expected by March 2009.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the timetable is for the Government to publish its assessment of whether to introduce a competition test to the planning system for retail development. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Government published their response to the Competition Commissions (CC) inquiry into UK groceries retailing in July. The CC recommendation to introduce a competition test in planning decisions on larger grocery stores is an important recommendation both for the Commission and for large grocery retailers. The Government are carefully considering this recommendation and Tesco have appealed this decision to the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
We will report more fully on our decision in the light of developments. Our published response can be viewed on the BERR website at:
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many social tenants participated in the (a) right to buy and (b) right to acquire scheme in each year since the introduction of each scheme. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Information is available on the numbers of social housing sales, rather than the number of social tenants participating in the RTB and RTA schemes.
The following table shows: (a) the numbers of local authority right to buy sales in England since the scheme was introduced in 1980 and the numbers of registered social landlord right to buy and preserved right to buy right sales and (b) the number of registered social landlord right to acquire sales since its introduction in 1997.
|Year( 1)||LARTB sales( 2)||RSL RTB and PRTB sales( 3,4)||Total right to buy sales||Total right to acquire sales( 5)|
|(1) Figures for individual years are rounded and may not add to the total.|
(2) Local authority right to buy figures are from returns (PIB) from local authorities to Communities and Local Government.
(3) Registered social landlord right to buy and preserved right to buy figures are from the Regulatory and Statistical Return to the Housing Corporation.
(4) Figures are not available for individual years for the number of registered social landlord right to buy are before 1996-97, although it is estimated that there were approximately 100,000 RSL RTB sales up to 1995-96.
(5) Right to acquire figures are from Housing Corporation information.
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