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Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff the Improvement and Development Agency employs; how many staff work on cohesion, integration and migration issues; and what the cost of employing staff working on cohesion, integration and migration issues is expected to be in (a) 2008-09 and (b) each of the subsequent two years. 
Mr. Khan: The Department does not hold information on the number of staff at the Improvement and Development Agency employs as it is owned by the Local Government Association which is a voluntary body organisation acting on behalf of its members, not a government funded organisation.
Mr. Iain Wright: The revision to Planning Policy Statement 4, Sustainable Economic Development, is currently in draft, and was consulted on in 2008. The Government are currently considering the responses to the consultation. A summary of consultation responses was published on 8 August, 2008. When issued in its final form the statement will have the status of national planning policy.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many former prisoners are employed by her Department; and what her Department's policy is on employing former prisoners. 
Mr. Khan: All new recruits to Communities and Local Government are required to complete a Criminal Record Declaration Form which is then kept on their personal file. The Department does not keep a central record of former prisoners.
David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what guidance her Department has provided to local authorities on the production of health impact assessments relating to opencast coal mining planning applications; 
Mr. Iain Wright: Environmental impact assessments for opencast coal mining proposals should identify all the likely significant impacts associated with the development and how they will be controlled or be subject to mitigation. These impacts will include those which may have a direct effect on people, including impacts on health.
Government planning policy on controlling and mitigating the environmental effects of minerals extraction is set out in Minerals Policy Statement 2 (MPS2) and its associated annexes on dust and noise. MPS2 clearly states that where effective mitigation of unacceptable impacts through planning conditions or obligations is not possible, planning permission for a development should be refused.
Information on the number of planning applications for opencast coal mining with Environmental Impact Assessments (including those covering impacts on health) is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many opencast coal mining planning applications have been decided (a) by local authorities and (b) following call-ins during the last 10 years. 
Only one opencast coal application has been decided in the last 10 years following call-in of the planning application by the Secretary of State. This was the Cutacre opencast coal site, between Over Hulton and Lower Hulton in Wigan Metropolitan borough council. This was decided in July 2001.
Mr. Iain Wright: Ordnance Surveys net assets as set out in its 2007-08 annual report and accounts were approximately £82 million. Estimates of the market value of individual Government-owned businesses, including the Ordnance Survey, are commercially sensitive. Their publication could prejudice the delivery of best value for money to the taxpayer in the management of its assets.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the Answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) of 19 November 2008, Official Report, column 514W, onValuation Office: databases, if she will place in the Library a copy of the specification
and plans used by Ordnance Survey to align the databases. 
Mr. Iain Wright: There is no published specification or plan for the database alignment work being undertaken by Ordnance Survey, as this work involves a process of continuous improvement, based upon an evolving specification. This has been continuously developed as the project has progressed. The result is a pattern of work-flow based upon the outputs of an address matching software engine and manual editing.
To ensure better cross-Government standardisation of address data, and to support the principles of the Digital National Framework (DNF), this cross reference table (X-ref) is available free of charge to any organisation, whether they are an Ordnance Survey customer or not.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) of 19 November 2008, Official Report, column 514W, on Valuation Office: databases, what the estimated cost to Ordnance Survey of the database alignment exercise is. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The work of database alignment forms one part of Ordnance Survey's continuous process of product development and enhancement, which involves a number of integrated processes, and as such the costs of this specific aspect are not presently recorded separately. Doing this at the present time could be established only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding her Department has provided for Ordnance Survey to meet the costs of staff salaries in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Iain Wright: As a trading fund, Ordnance Survey is a public body subject to the Civil Service Pay Guidance released annually by HM Treasury. Ordnance Survey is therefore part of the civil service pay remit process, in which HM Treasury approves a pay remit for Ordnance Survey in line with Government policy on public sector pay settlements.
The current Ordnance Survey pay remit approved by HM Treasury on 6 December 2007 covers a three year settlement for the years 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10, and includes arrangements for transition to a new reward structure designed to address a number of longer term reward issues.
The remit reflects the individual labour market position of Ordnance Survey's work force, particularly the recruitment and retention position; consistency with the achievement by the Bank of England of its CPI inflation target of 2 per cent. affordability by Ordnance Survey; and value for money for stakeholders. It was reviewed by HM Treasury in October 2008, and reconfirmed.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authorities have not spent any Section 106 moneys on capital programmes within their districts in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Information on the value of Section 106 moneys not spent on capital programmes by each local authority is not collected centrally. However, the Department for Communities and Local Government has produced research reports into the value of planning obligations in England for 2003-04 and 2005-06 based on a sample of authorities across the country. These reports are available on the Department's website. New research covering 2007-08 has been commissioned and will be published in the summer.
The research report for 2005-06 estimated that of £4 billion in planning obligation agreements, approximately £3 billion would have been delivered in practice. The shortfall would have been due to the fact that not all of the permissions to which the agreements were attached would be implemented and some others would be renegotiated. The table below shows how the estimated £4 billion was categorised.
|The total value of planning obligations in 2005-06 (£)|
|Percentage of total|
As stated in the answer to your earlier question  appropriate openness over the collection and use of si06 monies is an important element of local authority accountability and the Government recommends in planning Circular 05/05 that authorities keep accurate records which can be used to inform the public. In July, the Government announced in the Empowerment White Paper that it will explore whether more can be done to strengthen this local accountability.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what advice her Department provides to local authorities who receive repeat planning applications which have already been rejected by the planning inspectorate. 
Mr. Iain Wright:
Advice on repeat applications is set out in ODPM Circular 08/2005. This notes that local planning authorities have had the power for some time
to decline to determine an application for planning permission which was the same or substantially the same as an application that, within the previous two years, the Secretary of State had called in and refused or had dismissed on appeal.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to improve the guidance her Department has issued on the changes to domestic permitted development rights; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Guidance on the new householder permitted development rights effective from 1 October 2008 is available via the interactive house on the Planning Portal. In addition, on 16 December the Departments chief planner wrote to all local planning authorities to inform them that we have posted a schedule of frequently-asked questions on the Planning Portal website. This information can be found at:
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local planning authorities have made it their policy to recommend to householders that they obtain a certificate of lawfulness before exercising their permitted development rights in respect of household extensions. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many new local authority and housing association dwellings were started in England in each year since 1979-80. 
|Local authority starts||Registered social landlords starts|
New build starts from P2 monthly and quarterly returns submitted by local authorities and the National House-Building Council to CLG.
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