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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many councils have made a net improvement in their comprehensive performance assessment (CPA) scores since CPA was introduced. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether anonymous complaints, which do not amount to an allegation of criminality, will be considered under the revised standards board regime. 
Mr. Khan: The Prime Minister appointed the Minister for the South East (along with Ministers for each of the other English regions) in June 2007. Their specific roles were specified in the Governance of Britain Green Paper, published on 3 July 2007. Their three key functions are to act as:
Regional Leaders: working with members, officials and colleagues from all sectors to get beneath the headlines and into the detail of the problems facing the regionand to look for the solutions.
Government champions: speaking at a number of key regional events to promote national policies, using these events also to explore how the region can draw on its experience to offer solutions back to Whitehall Departments.
Regional Champions: working with colleagues within Whitehall to promote the regions successes; to champion the needs of the region and to ensure that the region's voice is heardincluding membership on both the Regional Economic Council and the Council of Regional Ministers in response to the current economic situation.
Mr. Khan: Under the provisions of the Planning Bill, draft national policy statements will be subject to parliamentary scrutiny. The Bill does not require parliamentary approval of national policy statements.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the earliest date is on which national policy statements can come into force following Royal Assent to the Planning Bill. 
John Healey: Before national policy statements can be designated, they must meet the requirements in the Bill: appraisal of sustainability, public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny. Given this, we believe that the earliest that NPSs are likely to be designated would be in the latter part of 2009.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department provides to local authorities on how long their planning enforcement cases should take to be (a) investigated and (b) completed; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Under-Secretary for Communities and Local Government, my hon. Friend the Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Wright) on 23 October 2008, Official Report, column 495W.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in respect of which of her Departments public service agreements rural proofing of departmental policies is stipulated. 
Mr. Khan: Communities and Local Government leads on two cross-government Public Service Agreements (PSA 20, Increase long term housing supply and affordability and PSA 21, Build more cohesive, empowered and active communities). Communities and Local Government also contributes to a number of PSAs led by other Government Departments as set out in the relevant PSA Delivery Agreements. It is a requirement for all new policies and programmes to be subject to an impact assessment which includes rural proofing.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what the estimated aggregate monetary value is of unclaimed small business rate relief in England in the last year for which figures are available; 
Without a ratepayer making a claim for the relief it is not always possible to establish whether
all the eligibility criteria, including whether the ratepayer occupies only one property in England, have been met. Therefore there is no estimated value of unclaimed small business rate relief.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what the estimated yearly cost to the public purse of small business rate relief was in the latest period for which figures are available; 
John Healey: The small business rate relief scheme is designed to operate at no cost to the public purse. A supplement on the multiplier, used to calculate the rate bills of those not receiving the relief, is set before the start of each year. The supplement is set at a level which attempts to eliminate any surpluses or deficits in previous years.
Figures showing the net effect of the small business rate relief scheme on local authorities' contributions to the national non-domestic rates pool were published in a statistical release on 17 September 2008 and can be found on the Communities and Local Government website
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 19 October 2007, Official Report, column 1343W, on the Standards Board for England: finance, whether a decision has been taken on the total grant to be allocated to the Standards Board and Adjudication Panel for 2008-09. 
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether qualified stonemasons who are not on the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons may be employed by local authorities to carry out stonemasonry work. 
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many and what proportion of civil servants in his Department are members of the (a) Classic, (b) Classic Plus, (c) NUVOS and (d) Premium civil service pension schemes. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many civil servants in his Department were recruited through the fast stream; and what the average salary of those officials is. 
Paul Goggins: There are 20 staff currently employed within the Northern Ireland Office who were recruited through the fast stream process. The current average salary of these officials is £38,000. This figure does not include staff who were recruited into the fast stream prior to joining the Northern Ireland Office.
Paul Goggins: Open recruitment is used in the Northern Ireland Office to fill individual posts where the skills and qualifications required are not available from within the civil service. It is also used for basic entry level recruitment, such as officer grades in the Northern Ireland Prison Service. The following table provides details of the number of posts advertised along with advertising costs for each of the years requested.
|NIO Core Department||NIO Agencies|
|Number of posts||Advertising costs (£)||Number of posts||Advertising costs (£)|
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many security passes have been reported (a) lost and (b) stolen by staff in (i) his Department and (ii) agencies sponsored by his Department in each year since 2001. 
The loss of a pass, by whatever means, must be reported to the issuing office, the relevant building security and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. As soon as a pass is reported missing it is electronically deactivated and cannot be used.
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