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The chief executive's office of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) was in direct contact concerning this issue with representatives of those same trade associations back in Junevery shortly after receipt of the legal advice which prompted the change of view on the validity of proposals to reduce rating assessments on account of the ban.
Staff in VOA local offices made every effort to contact those pubs who had made proposals earlier on, which were then treated as invalid, to tell them about the change of view. Various members of staff made presentations to local rating forums/trade groups in order to heighten awareness.
An article has recently been published in the Morning Advertiser (a widely read licensed trade magazine)primarily this provides answers to questions about the 2010 rating revaluation, but also the opportunity was taken to further clarify the smoking ban issue.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what (a) internal and (b) external legal opinions her Department has received on (i) changes to business rates for ports and (ii) associated new forms of valuation. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with what frequency local authorities are required to conduct place surveys, broken down by authority (a) type and (b) tier; and what estimate she has made of the average cost of a survey to a local authority. 
John Healey: The place survey will be conducted once every two years in every local authority area in England, regardless of authority type or tier. Fieldwork for the 2008 place survey took place between September and December 2008. The next place survey is therefore due to take place in the autumn of 2010.
The latest estimate of the cost to a local authority of conducting a single years place survey puts the figure at £15,000. This estimate takes into account a range of costs related to survey administration including staffing, printing and postage costs.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of local authorities who
have access to section 106 monies for the purpose of building social housing which have not yet spent this money; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Information on the number and value of agreed planning obligations for affordable housing 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 Departments website. New research covering 2007-08 has been commissioned and will be published in the summer.
The findings estimate the total value of affordable housing agreed using planning obligations has risen from around £1.2 billion in 2003-04 to £2 billion in 2005-06. Of this amount for 2005-06 £211.5 million was estimated to be attributed to agreed direct payments and the remainder account for in-kind payments. The value of affordable housing delivered in 2005-06 was estimated at £1.4 billion. The estimated value of affordable housing delivered against agreements should be considered in context, as not all of the permissions to which the agreements are attached will be implemented and some others will be renegotiated.
The Government are clear that local authorities should be open and accountable over the collection and use of s106 monies. We will explore whether more can be done to strengthen this local accountability through the Empowerment White Paper published in July 2008.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff are employed by regional improvement efficiency partnerships (RIEPs) in each region; and how many staff in each RIEP work on cohesion-related issues. 
John Healey: Information on staff employed by regional improvement efficiency partnerships (RIEPs) is not held centrally. The National Improvement and Efficiency Strategy devolves responsibility to RIEPs for identifying where resources should be spent and using their resources in the best way to obtain the help they may need to assist councils and support to drive LAA outcomes. This is in line with the 2006 Local Government White Papers aim to devolve power to local areas and the communities they represent and so improve local service delivery and quality of life for local people.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much each regional improvement efficiency partnership will spend on cohesion and integration issues in (a) 2008-09 and (b) each of the following two years. 
Information on how much the regional improvement and efficiency partnerships will spend on cohesion and integration issues is not held centrally. The National Improvement and Efficiency Strategy devolves responsibility to RIEPs for identifying where resources should be spent and using their resources in the best way to obtain the help they may need to assist councils and support to drive LAA outcomes. This is in line with
the 2006 Local Government White Papers aim to devolve power to local areas and the communities they represent and so improve local service delivery and quality of life for local people.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people have responded to the south-east plan proposals (a) via the website of the Government office for the south- east and (b) via the official consultation form. 
(a) People responding via the website: 146
(b) People responding via the official form: 3,673.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many responses to the south-east plan have been received from addresses in the Guildford borough council area. 
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many private sector landlords in London own fewer than 10 properties; and what proportion housing stock in London such properties represent. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Based on the Private Landlords Survey for 2006, indications of the number of small landlords have only been modelled at the national level. The limited sample size is insufficient to provide a robust basis for deriving model-based regional estimates.
Mr. Iain Wright: Based on the Survey of English Housing, average private rents in England (net of charges for services) are estimated to have risen from £92 per week in 2000-01 to £123 per week in 2006-07, an increase of 34 per cent.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department has taken on the Communities and Local Government Committees recommendation in its Second Report of Session 2006-07, on coastal towns, HC 351, that the Government need to take action to reduce the number of out-of-area placements and to ensure that when children are placed out of their local area there is improved communication between authorities. 
The Committees report on coastal towns raised the important issue of the difficulties that can arise when looked-after children are placed away from their home area. We are determined that every looked-after child must be provided with the appropriate support by the local authorities responsible for their care.
The Children and Young Persons Act 2008 recently received Royal Assent and section 8 sets out the considerations that local authorities must have regard to when they are considering making a placement for a looked-after child. This includes giving first consideration as far as is reasonably practicable to a placement being near a childs home and within the local authoritys area. We will be issuing regulations and statutory guidance on section 8 which will provide more detail about the responsibilities of placing authorities. This will include that where children have to be placed at a distance from their home areas, the placement is the most suitable to meet their needs; and that relevant information about the child is shared with the local authority in the area where the child has been placed. Furthermore, section 16 of the Act reaffirms local authority responsibilities to ensure visits to looked-after children including those placed out of authority and a long way from their homes.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 13 October 2008, Official Report, column 990W, on urban areas: research, what account her Department has taken of proposals for polycentric mega-city regions in the formulation of its policy. 
John Healey: The findings of the POLYNET Interreg 11B project have helped to further my Department's understanding of the dynamic and complex economic interrelationships between cities and city-regions, and their role in driving economic growth and prosperity. The study formed part of the evidence base that influenced reforms proposed in the Review of Sub-National Economic Development and Regeneration.
John Healey: Notification change codes are used to indicate the reason for a change made to a council tax valuation list entry. Code CL26 is used where the list entry is amended to correct an inaccuracy.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 29 October 2008, Official Report, column 1155W, on waste disposal, what (a) advice and (b) guidance has been issued to local authorities by (i) her Department and (ii) the Audit Commission on achieving efficiency savings by moving to alternate weekly collections of household waste. 
John Healey: No advice or guidance has been issued to local authorities by the Department or the Audit Commission that specifically deals with the achievement of efficiency gains by moving to alternate weekly collections of household waste. The Department has issued general guidance to councils on the measurement of efficiencies; the current version of this guidance is available at:
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 16 December 200 8 ]: Any request for information regarding individual cases is treated as being confidential by the UK Border Agency and is not normally disclosed to third parties. This is, of course, unless they are authorised representatives of the applicant. This is not a question of secrecy for its own sake, but simply a matter of protecting the privacy of the individual.
Jacqui Smith: The Home Office has spent a total of £9,985 producing the Alcohol Disorder Zones: A short Guide to Setting up and Managing ADZs. This includes the editing and proof reading costs as well as the cost of printing hard copies of the guidance. No advertising costs have been incurred in respect of ADZs.
No direct costs were incurred in respect of the original version of the ADZ guidance produced earlier in 2008. The original guidance was produced by a small number of officials who have worked on this policy area, in addition to other duties. It is not possible to quantify the cost or the time that has been spent working and consulting on this policy area.
Mr. Alan Campbell: The Home Office has been informed that 244 local authorities in England and Wales have introduced at least one designated public place order (DPPO) with 654 DPPOs being implemented overall.
Jacqui Smith: The event team at the Clothes Show counted 12,145 visitors who engaged with the activities on the stand. As solely active participants in the tasks were counted, this figure does not include the spectators coming to view the stand, which we estimate to have been a significantly higher number.
In addition to the stand, Clothes Show visitors were exposed to high impact Know Your Limits posters outside changing rooms, and messages inside the cubicles and mirrors in changing rooms throughout the exhibition. The total number of attendees to the event was estimated to be 190,000.
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were proceeded against at magistrates courts for the offence of sale of alcohol to a drunken person under section 141 of the Licensing Act 2003 in 2007; how many were found guilty of the offence in all courts; and how many were issued with a penalty notice for disorder for the offence, broken down by police force area. 
Jacqui Smith: Data showing the number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty of all courts for the offence sale of alcohol to a drunken person under section 141 of the Licensing Act 2003, England and Wales broken down by police force area in 2007 can be viewed in table 1.
The number of Penalty Notices for Disorder (PNDs) issued for the offence of sale of alcohol to a drunken person under section 141 of the Licensing Act 2003, England and Wales, also broken down by police force area in 2007, can be viewed in table 2.
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