Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what information she holds on the number of deaths caused by fire in (a) houses of multiple occupation, (b) the private rented sector, (c) the council/social rented sector and (d) private houses in each year for which figures are available. 
The Department holds data for the UK on the number of deaths caused by fire, including by type of accommodation, and whether it was a multiple occupancy dwelling. Data are not collected by type of
tenure. Comparable data are available since 1994. Data for England are shown in the following table.
|Fire deaths in England, 1994 to 2007
|Multiple occupancy dwellings
|Flats, maisonettes, etc.
Mr. Iain Wright [holding answer 8 December 2008]: The area of green belt land in each region in England in each year since 1997 for which data have been collected is set out in the following table. The figures are in hectares.
Figures after 2005 exclude 47,300 hectares of land that were re-designated as New Forest National Park. National Park status confers a higher status of protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty than green belt. The conservation of the natural beauty of the landscape and countryside should be given weight in planning decisions in these areas. Therefore figures for 2006 and 2007 are not directly comparable with those for earlier years.
|Area of designated green belt land by region
|(1) This figure excludes green belt in New Forest DC and Test Valley BC (47,300 hectares) which have subsequently been designated as New Forest National Park in 2005.
1 hectare = 2.471 acres.
Communities and Local Government Statistical Releases: Green Belt Statistics, England
John Howell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made in enabling data held by Ordnance Survey in vector format to be used by other parties, including on a commercial basis. 
Mr. Iain Wright [holding answer 8 December 2008]: The HM Treasury/Shareholder Executive assessment of trading funds has considered the potential for innovation and growth from increasing commercial and other use of public sector information including Ordnance Survey vector data. It will shortly publish some key principles for the re-use of this information, and consider how these should be applied to ensure that Government policy is fully reflected in practice.
As part of the assessment, Ordnance Survey is in the process of undertaking a strategic review of its operations and underlying business model. The aim is for Ordnance Survey data (including vector data) to be made more freely available for exploitation for the benefit of the wider UK economy. Further details will be announced in due course.
John Howell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what income Ordnance Survey received from each local authority in England and Wales in 2007; and what percentage of Ordnance Surveys income in that year was accounted for by work for local authorities. 
Mr. Iain Wright [holding answer 8 December 2008]: For reasons of commercial confidentiality income derived from each local authority is not published. However, Ordnance Surveys total direct revenue from the local government sector (including fire and police services, national park authorities and other sector bodies) in England, Scotland and Wales for the year ended 31 March 2008, was £21.26 million. This represented 18 per cent. of Ordnance Surveys total turnover. A significant proportion of local government income came from the local authority Mapping Services Agreement (MSA), a collective purchasing agreement competitively tendered by Local Government Information House Ltd. (LGIH) on behalf of local government. Apportionment of the single charge for each data lot in the MSA tender to individual local authorities is determined by LGIH.
Since the MSA is currently subject to an active re-tendering process, release of further detailed information about the value contributed by individual local authorities could be prejudicial to the conduct of the tender process.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 25 November 2008, Official Report, column 1276W, on regeneration: coastal areas, whether her cross-departmental working group on coastal towns held discussions with hon. Members whose constituencies include seaside towns. 
John Healey: No discussions have taken place so far, but the cross-departmental working group on coastal towns would be keen to hear from hon. Members whose knowledge and expertise could help to better inform action on improving outcomes in coastal towns.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 25 November 2008, Official Report, column 1276W, on regeneration: coastal areas, whether hon. Members whose constituencies include seaside towns were consulted in connection with the regeneration framework consultation. 
John Healey: My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, made a written statement to the House on 17 July 2008 before she published Transforming Places; changing lives: a framework for regeneration. A copy of the consultation document was made available in the Library. The document was also sent to all local authority chief executives in England.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assumptions were made about levels of (a) activity in the housing market and (b) employment when drawing
up the South West Spatial Strategy; and if she will assess the effects of the (i) economic downturn and (ii) turbulence in the banking sector on the strategy. 
Mr. Khan [holding answer 9 December 2008]: The regional spatial strategy focuses on the long-terma strategy to deliver sustainable development in the region over the next 15-20 yearsto provide long term supply of housing needed to meet the demand for new homes and to address the long term shortages which affect affordability. Despite the current economic climate the medium- to long-term need for housing in the South West remains high.
In proposing changes to the overall housing provision, the Secretary of State had regard, among other things, to: the independent examining panels recommendations; the Housing Green Paper Homes for the Future: More Affordable, More Sustainable; further advice from the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit; ONS Household Projections; and assessments of economic growth potential. The full reasons for the proposed changes to the overall housing provision are set out in the schedule of the Secretary of States Proposed Changes and Reasons, published in July 2008. The Secretary of State is currently considering responses to the consultation on the proposed changes.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of rent for a the average cost of commercial property in each month since May 1997; what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the removal of empty property tax relief on commercial property rents; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: An impact assessment detailing the impact of the empty property reforms was published by Communities and Local Government in May 2007 accompanying the introduction of the Rating (Empty Properties) Bill and a further assessment was laid before this House on the 26 February accompanying the Non-Domestic Rating (Unoccupied Property) (England) Regulations 2008Number: 386.