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5 Nov 2008 : Column 550W—continued

Regional Planning and Development: Greenbelt

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which regional spatial strategies proposed the weakening of green belt protection in specific locations in the most recent drafts submitted to her Department. [230304]

Margaret Beckett: Regional spatial strategies (RSS) do not express any planning policies which refer to specific sites, they identify broad locations. Emerging RSSs are recommending green belt reviews as follows:

North E ast

Policy 9.5 ensures that the green belt continues to safeguard the countryside from encroachment and check the unrestricted sprawl of Tyne and Wear. The supporting text notes that the general extent of the region's green belt should be maintained, rather than weakened, with detail boundaries to be defined in local development frameworks.

North W est

Policy RDF4 indicates that there is no need for any exceptional substantial strategic change to the green belt before 2021 in Warrington and 2011 in the rest of the region. After 2011 there will be presumption against such change but strategic studies could indicate the need for change and indicate options for implementation, which would be fed into review of RSS.

Policy RDF4 does allow for potential changes to the green belt of a more localised and detailed nature to be addressed through LDF process but only with agreement of the regional planning body. The policy confers such agreement on potential green belt changes associated with expansion of Manchester and Liverpool airports and a multi-model freight proposal at Newton le Willows.

Yorkshire and Humber

RSS policy YH9 confirms that the extent of green belt should not change, but that green belt round York needs defining. Specific mention is also made of a potential need for strategic review of the West Yorkshire green belt, which extends into Leeds, Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees.

West M idlands

The west midlands regional spatial strategy Phase 2 revision Preferred Option identifies the need for the release of green belt round Coventry and Redditch which will be considered by an independent panel at the Examination in Public next year.

East M idlands

In their report on the Draft East Midlands RSS the independent panel recommended that the Nottingham-Derby green belt

In the Proposed Changes, issued for consultation in July 2008, the Secretary of State disagreed with the panel's recommendation. Instead the principle of Nottingham-Derby green belt was reaffirmed, and it
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was not accepted that sufficient evidence had been advanced to justify the wholesale deletion of the green belt elsewhere as recommended by the panel.

East of England

The published RSS, issued in may, says there should be a local review of green belt in Broxbourne, and that strategic reviews of green belt boundaries to meet regional development needs are needed in:

South E ast

The current regional plan (2001) does not seek to review any green belt. The Government's Proposed Changes to its draft replacement (the South East Plan) include proposals for selective green belt release at Oxford and Guildford, and possibly south of Woking. Where reviews result in the loss of green belt land the draft states that a broader review should be considered to determine whether additional land should be designated. The Secretary of State is working to finalise the plan by early next year.

South W est

Following consideration of the recommendations of the independent panel that considered the draft RSS, the Secretary of State published her proposed changes to the RSS in July 2008. These include proposals to revise the general extent of the Bristol and Bath, Gloucester and Cheltenham and South East Dorset green belts to accommodate urban extensions as part of the most sustainable solution for delivering housing and other development. Changes are also proposed to the general extent of the Bristol and Bath green belt to provide for regionally significant development at Bristol International airport and the Port of Bristol, and to the south-east Dorset green belt to provide for development at Bournemouth airport. The Proposed Changes are currently the subject of public consultation; which ends on 24 October 2008.


The published London Plan, February 2008 (consolidated with alterations since 2004), does not propose any changes to the London green belt.

Voluntary Organisations: Manchester

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding her Department and its agencies have given to (a) the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations, (b) Greater Manchester Voluntary Sector Support and (c) Greater Manchester Voluntary Sector Learning Consortium in the last 24 months. [233232]

Mr. Khan: The Department paid £3,000 to the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations in February 2007.

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Work and Pensions

Child Support

Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the transfer of Child Support Agency cases to the 2003 maintenance scheme; and if he will make a statement. [227686]

Kitty Ussher: The new Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act sets out the new arrangements for child maintenance, driven by our commitment to extend choice and tackle child poverty.

We expect the new gross income statutory maintenance scheme to be introduced in 2011 and then all clients will be able to choose to either apply to the new gross income scheme or make a private arrangement. It is currently planned that this process will take around three years. We will therefore not be transferring cases from the original child maintenance scheme to the current scheme introduced by the reforms in 2003.

Instead from 27 October 2008 we will extend choice to all parents to allow them to agree appropriate arrangements between themselves including moving into voluntary maintenance arrangements.

Departmental Training

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what personal training courses at public expense he has undertaken since his appointment. [230950]

James Purnell: The Secretary of State has not undertaken any personal training courses at public expense since his appointment.


James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 19 June 2008, Official Report, column 1187W, on Dorneywood: official hospitality, what use his Department has made of Dorneywood for official engagements in the last 12 months. [222131]

James Purnell: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Mr. Watson) on 20 October 2008, Official Report, columns 90-91W.

Fuel Poverty: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) households and (b) pensioner households he estimates are in fuel poverty in York; how many there were in York in 1996-97; and if he will make a statement. [230255]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I have been asked to reply.

The most recent year for which sub-national estimates of fuel poverty are available is 2003. The data for fuel poverty levels for 2003 come from the Fuel Poverty Indicator dataset, available online at

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In 2003, there were around 4,600 households in the local authority of York living in fuel poverty (6 per cent. of all households). The data are not split by type of household.

There is no consistent source of data available for sub-regional estimates of fuel poverty for 1996-97.

Incapacity Benefit: Chelmsford

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of the working-age population in West Chelmsford constituency received incapacity benefit in (a) June 2001, (b) May 2005 and (c) the latest period for which figures are available. [233185]

Jonathan Shaw: I will let the hon. Member have such information as is available as soon as possible.

Maternity Benefits

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total monetary value was of unprocessed maternity allowance claims at the end of each quarter in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [230289]

Mr. McNulty: The information is not available.

Pension Credit

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK received pension credit in each year since its inception. [231419]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is in the following tables.

Number of household recipients and individual beneficiaries of pension credit in Jarrow, South Tyneside, the North East and Great Britain—2003-08
Jarrow constituency South Tyneside local authority
Household recipients Individual beneficiaries Household recipients Individual beneficiaries

November 2003





February 2004





February 2005





February 2006





February 2007





February 2008





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North East (GOR) Great Britain
Household recipients I ndividual beneficiaries Household recipients Individual beneficiaries

November 2003





February 2004





February 2005





February 2006





February 2007





February 2008





1. Case loads are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Household recipients are those people who claim pension credit either for themselves only or on behalf of a household.
3. Individual beneficiaries includes both claimants and their partners.
DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent. data

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the average take-up rate of pension credit was by those over 70 years old in the latest period for which figures are available; [231823]

(2) what the average take-up rate of pension credit was by those between the ages of 65 and 70 years in the latest period for which figures are available; [231824]

(3) what proportion of pensioners eligible for means tested benefit support did not claim their full entitlement in each of the last 10 years. [231837]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The latest estimates of take-up of means-tested benefits in Great Britain, covering income support, pension credit, housing benefit, council tax benefit and jobseeker’s allowance (income based) are published in the report “Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 2006-07”. Earlier reports with estimates of take-up on income related benefits are available from 1990 onwards.

Pension credit take-up estimates are not available by age group.

It is not possible to construct a robust estimate of the proportion of pensioners eligible but not receiving all their possible means tested benefit support.

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