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17 Dec 2008 : Column 793Wcontinued
Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities have adopted the Local Government Act 2003 byelaws in respect of cosmetic body piercing. 
Dawn Primarolo: I have been asked to reply.
The Department has confirmed cosmetic piercing byelaws have been adopted by 102 local authorities to date.
Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she expects to announce her decision on Halton council's capitalisation bid for the Mersey Gateway. 
John Healey: In line with the timetable set out in the Government's guidance, the Department expects to announce the decision on Halton borough council's capitalisation bid for the Mersey Gateway by the end of January 2009.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) with reference to the written ministerial statement of 13 March 2008, Official Report, columns 20-21WS, on town and country planning, what progress the Government have made in implementing permitted development rights for air source heat pumps and micro-wind turbines; 
(2) when she plans to bring forward delegated legislation to allow air source heat pumps and micro-wind turbines into the permitted development system. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Prime Minister has received two recent letters from members of the public on the noise thresholds under permitted development for householder air-source heat pumps and micro-wind turbines. The Government are committed to permitting the installation of small wind turbines and air source heat pumps without the need for a planning application. However it is important we set the right criteria for noise levels for wind turbines and pumps on homes under permitted development and resolve the issue of possible interference with aviation communication systems. The Minister for Housing and Planning will make a statement to Parliament in the new year.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received from tenants' groups on the rights of tenants in circumstances where the property they occupy is being purchased via a buy-to-let scheme and repossession proceedings are taking place; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: We have not received representations from groups directly representative of private tenants. Several voluntary groups with a clear tenant focus have contacted the Department to express concern about the rights of tenants of privately rented properties where the landlord has failed to keep up with mortgage repayments and is in the process of being repossessed. We are considering these issues as we develop the detail of our repossession package alongside our response to Julie Rugg's independent review of the private rented sector which also reflects on this issue.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 30 January 2008, Official Report, column 446W, on multiple occupation: licensing, if she will
place in the Library a copy of each piece of written guidance on best practice produced by the Local Authorities Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services in support of mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Copies of each piece of written guidance on best practice produced by the Local Authorities Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORs) in support of mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) are available from
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 30 January 2008, Official Report, column 446W, on multiple occupation: licensing, if she will place in the Library a copy of the advice and guidance on best practice in relation to regulation of private sector landlords to which the answer refers. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Copies of each piece of written advice and guidance on best practice produced by the Local Authorities Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORs) in relation to regulation of private sector landlords are available from
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to her answer of 28 January 2008, Official Report, column 119W, on multiple occupation: licensing, for what reasons her Department has no plans to establish a central record of offences committed under mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Implementation of the houses in multiple occupation (HMO) licensing provisions, including enforcement action, is conducted at a local level. Local authorities are under a statutory duty to prosecute those landlords that do not comply with the legislation, and therefore there is no formal role for central Government in this process.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many times the cross-departmental working group on coastal towns has met since February 2008; where each meeting was held; who attended each meeting; and what the outcomes of each meeting were. 
John Healey: The cross-departmental working group has met once since February 2008 on 23 July 2008. The next meeting is scheduled for January 2009.
The 23 July meeting was held at CLG headquarters at Eland House, London. In addition to CLG officials, it was attended by officials from the following Departments and organisations.
Commission for Rural Communities
Government Office for the South East
Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government
South East Economic Development Agency
Margate Renewal Partnership
Thanet District Council
Professor Steve Fothergill, Sheffield Hallam University
The main outcomes from the meeting were:
agreement to publish the results of a benchmarking exercise of seaside towns, undertaken for CLG by Professor Steve Fothergill;
in partnership with the RDA-led Coastal Towns Network, to set up two sub-groups to improve the evidence-base on the challenges and opportunities facing coastal towns. One sub- group is looking at the role of strategic mechanisms and approaches like local area agreements and sub-regional partnerships in improving coastal town regeneration outcomes. The other sub-group is looking at options for raising employment and skill levels in coastal locations; and
to invite Departments and agencies represented on the working group to provide updates on current and proposed initiatives relevant to the support of regeneration and sustainable development in coastal towns.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will extend the deadline for the payment of £200,000 in respect of the timely submission of Castle Point's Local Development Framework to allow for public consultation; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Local planning authorities are rewarded under Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (HPDG) for submitting their development plan documents on time according to the timetable set out in their local development scheme (LDS). LDS timetables are decided by local planning authorities who should have built full provision for public consultation within their LDS timetable. Grant is reduced where documents are not submitted in accordance with the LDS.
The grant award to authorities depends on the number of plans submitted overall, so while £200,000 was paid in the current financial year the amount may well be different next year.
Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if her Department will encourage Newcastle city council to bring forward development briefs for retail developments in Newcastle upon Tyne as a way of stimulating local economic activity within sustainable communities in the city. 
Mr. Iain Wright: In the pre-Budget report, the Government introduced new measures to bring forward £3 billion of capital spending from 2010-11 to 2009-10. The outcome of bringing forward public investment will impact directly on economic activity in the UK, in particular supporting the construction sector.
Local authorities have an important role to play in driving local economic development in their area, building on their place shaping role and we would encourage
authorities to look at how they can support their local communities and local business during the economic downturn.
It is not Government policy, however, to intervene in such a specific way to influence local authorities regarding the detail of how they stimulate their local economies. We are keeping in close contact with them to understand the issues facing them, the actions they are taking and any support required by central Government. We are currently keeping all significant infrastructure projects, including retail developments, under review through the Regional Minister and the Council of Regional Ministers.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the use of the single farm payment to finance flood mitigation measures. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: We have not commissioned or evaluated any research on use of the single farm payment to finance flood mitigation measures.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 16 January 2007, Official Report, columns 968-9W, on the Animal Welfare Act 2006, when he expects the secondary legislation to which it referred will be introduced. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 15 December 2008]: DEFRA keeps under review the timetable of secondary legislation. The following table provides a list of made and proposed secondary legislation and codes.
|Secondary legislation||Date into force|
The Mutilations (Permitted Procedures) (England) Regulations 2007
The Docking of Working Dogs' Tails (England) Regulations 2007
The Mutilations (Permitted Procedures) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2008
Commencement order bringing into force offences relating to the recording of animal fights
Mr. Roger Williams:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what account his Department will take of the recommendations from
the Farm Animal Welfare Council on the welfare of farmed game birds in its preparation of a code of practice on the rearing and breeding of game birds. 
Jane Kennedy: DEFRA is in the process of setting up a working group to draft a code of practice, to be made under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act, which will offer guidance to owners and keepers on how to meet their statutory responsibility to provide for the welfare needs of their animals.
The Farm Animal Welfare Council opinion on certain management techniques will help to inform the working group.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward proposals to include farmed game birds under the protection offered by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. 
Jane Kennedy: Game birds reared for sporting purposes, prior to their release, are already covered by the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (the 2006 Act), as they are animals under the control of man.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions there have been for illegal actions relating to badgers in each of the last five years; how many of these were successful; and what guidelines he issues to police forces on this issue. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: I have been asked to reply.
The Government believe that the cruel treatment of badgers is unacceptable and have put in place comprehensive legislation, including the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, to protect them. The Government also provide funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit, which provides advice for police forces on the detection and investigation of wildlife crime. The police have primary responsibility for the investigation and enforcement of offences against badgers and all forces have officers who have responsibility for investigating wildlife offences.
The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences relating to the Protection of Badgers Act, sections 1(1), 1(3), 2(1)(a), 2(1)(c), 4, 5, and 10 (8), for the years 2003 to 2007 can be viewed in the following table.
These data are on the principal offence basis. The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
Court proceedings data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.
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