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Cumbria county council; Allerdale district council; Barrow district council; Copeland district council
Bradford city council; Kirklees MBC; Leeds city council; Wakefield MBC
Funding for the period 2008 to 2011 was announced on 28 February 2008, Official Report, column 83WS. This covers the authorities as listed, with the exception of West Yorkshire, where funding for the South East Wakefield area of West Yorkshire is to be channelled through the South Yorkshire pathfinder.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate her Department has made of the number of failed home sales in England and Wales in each of the last eight quarters. 
Margaret Beckett: The latest estimate of the level of failed property transactions was made as part of the 2006 HIPs baseline research published in January 2007. This research estimated that 23 per cent. of buyers with completed transactions had previously had a failed transaction during their current house-buying experience.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to issue guidance to local authorities with funds frozen in Icelandic banks on the appropriate level of any write-off of affected funds. 
John Healey: The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) will be publishing professional advice to local authorities about the accounting aspects of the current situation and the factors they need to take into account in setting their budgets for 2009-10.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department issued to councils which signified in September 2008 their intention to (a) place deposits in overseas banks and (b) invest in overseas funds. 
John Healey: It is a matter for local authorities to determine their own investment policies, within Government guidance to local authorities on investments, which was issued in 2004 following the 2003 Local Government Act. This emphasises that priority should be given to the security and liquidity of invested funds. The guidance is available at:
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Local Better Regulation Office will be able to designate itself as a primary authority and instruct councils to take enforcement action. 
The Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) cannot nominate itself for the role of primary authority. LBRO may give directions in relation to enforcement action, but in limited circumstances. Where a proposed enforcement action has been referred to LBRO, and it confirms a primary authority's view that what is proposed is inconsistent with advice that the business has given, LBRO may direct the enforcing authority to take alternative action.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what correspondence she has had with Gloucestershire county council on unitary authority status; and if she will publish it. 
John Healey: Gloucestershire county council did not respond to the our "Invitation to Councils", issued in October 2006, to submit unitary proposals and our records show no correspondence with the county council about unitary authority status, other than a freedom of information request in 2006 for information about representations received on the unitary issue. The information requested was provided.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will bring forward proposals to provide compensation for single property mortgage holders who are in negative equity. 
Margaret Beckett: Government are working actively with key stakeholders to provide support to homeowners during this period of unprecedented market turmoil. There are no plans to provide compensation for households experiencing negative equity. However, Government are already taking action to provide support for households affected by current market conditions through a mortgage rescue scheme targeted at the most vulnerable households, expanded provision of debt advice and increased support for homeowners who lose their jobs. Government continue to explore options to provide additional support.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions (a) she and (b) the Minister for Housing has held with (i) the Secretary of State for Justice and (ii) the Chief Secretary to the Treasury in respect of the rate of use of charging orders by banks (A) nationalised and (B) in receipt of capitalisation by public money, resulting in the repossession of homes of people unable to keep up mortgage payments; and if she will review the application of such charging orders. 
Margaret Beckett: Ministers have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals on a wide range of subjects. Information relating to internal meetings, discussion and advice is not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations she has had from the Citizens Advice Bureaux in respect of mortgage holders facing repossession of their homes by banks or building societies when difficulties arise with mortgage payments. 
Government are working closely with a range of stakeholdersincluding the Citizens Advice Bureauxto help vulnerable households in financial difficulty and facing repossession remain in their homes wherever possible. We are concerned about recent data released from CAB which show a 51 per cent. increase in new mortgage and secured loan inquiries for the period July to September 2008 compared with the same
period in 2007. That is why Government are taking urgent action to support vulnerable homeowners during these difficult times.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what information her Department holds on the number of housing repossessions which took place as a percentage of the total mortgage book of the UK's top 10 mortgage providers in the last 12 months. 
Margaret Beckett: Communities and Local Government does not collect or hold such data. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) publishes figures on mortgage arrears and repossessions on a quarterly basis drawn from a representative sample of UK lenders covering around 95 per cent. of balances. CML does not publish sectoral data.
Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will take steps to ensure that banks take into account the tenancy rights of tenants whose landlord has a buy-to-let mortgage before making application for repossession of the property. 
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her Department has budgeted for neighbourhood management pathfinders in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. 
John Healey: Funding for neighbourhood management pathfinders now forms part of the un-ringfenced area based grant. The allocation for 2008-09 is £10.7 million; proposed allocations for 2009-10 and 2010-11 are £5.1 million and £4.9 million respectively. 2008-09 is the final year of funding for the first round of pathfinders; the 2009-11 figures therefore represent funding for the second round pathfinders only.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what projects are funded by her Department through regional development agencies; and what the budget of each is for 2008-09. 
Mr. Khan: My Department does not fund projects through regional development agencies directly. Regional development agencies are funded through the Single Programme, which is administered by their sponsor Department, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. CLG is one of six contributing Departments to the Single Programme and is contributing £1.548 billion to the Single Programme for 2008-09. Spending priorities for each regional development agency are set out in their corporate plans, which are available on their websites.
|Regional development agency||Total Single programme allocation for 2008-09 (£1000)|
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations her Department has received from local authorities on whether the plans for free swimming for over-60s will impose a net financial cost on local authorities. 
Margaret Beckett: The Government are keen to promote a strong private rented sector that acts professionally and meets the needs of all its customers. In January this year, we commissioned Julie Rugg and David Rhodes at the centre for housing policy at York university to carry out an independent review looking at how the sector is operating and what can be done to improve the experience of both landlords and tenants. The review, published on 23 October, puts forward some very interesting ideas on how to raise standards and professionalism in the sector which we will be considering in consultation with stakeholders.
We have already introduced measures to protect tenants deposits. Under the Housing Act 2004, landlords are required to protect the deposits for all assured shorthold tenancies that have been created since 6 April 2007 in one of three Government-approved schemes. These arrangements are designed to safeguard the interests of
both landlords and tenants, ensuring good practice in deposit handling, so that when a tenant pays a deposit and is entitled to get it back, he or she can be assured that this will happen. The arrangements also include measures to assist with the resolution of disputes, which are designed to make disagreements over the repayment of the deposit faster and cheaper to resolve. The scheme has got off to an excellent start. In the first year, nearly one million deposits totalling over £900 million were protected under the new arrangements at the rate of 2,500 deposits a day.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what venues were visited by KPMG during its review of the responsibility standards for the production and sale of alcoholic drinks, commissioned by her Department. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: The Home Office was sent this information from KPMG. However, we believe that this information is commercially sensitive, and it is not our practice to make public information received from third parties.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many proposals have been made under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 to use animals in scientific procedures in 2008 to date; and how many of these have been accepted. 
Meg Hillier: In 2008 to date under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 we have received 610 applications for project licences, 2,059 applications for personal licences and two applications for certificates of designation. In response, so far, 458 project licences, 1,933 personal licences and one certificate of designation have been granted.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how best practice on measures to combat antisocial behaviour is (a) assessed and (b) shared with others by her Department. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: The Home Office antisocial behaviour ActionLine generates and evaluates case studies with the help of frontline practitioners on measures to combat antisocial behaviour. This information is available on the antisocial behaviour practitioner website:
In addition, the effective practice database on the crime reduction website contains over 40 examples of
how agencies across England and Wales have used a problem solving approach to tackle antisocial behaviour in their areas:
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