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Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make it her policy that temporary and permanent employees of her Department employed at the same grade receive the same hourly rate of pay. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been spent by her Department on staff reward and recognition schemes in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on how many occasions in the last 12 months Ministers in her Department have used their discretion to rule that a parliamentary question for written answer should be answered because it would be in the public interest to do so, even though to do so would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold of £700. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield of 25 January 2008, Official Report, columns 233-4W, on local authorities: grants, what the grant per capita to each local authority (a) was in 2008-09 and (b) is expected to be in 2009-10; and what the average grant per capita to (i) district councils, (ii) unitary councils, (iii) county councils, (iv) metropolitan councils and (v) London boroughs (1) was in 2008-09 and (2) is expected to be in 2009-10. 
Margaret Beckett: As set out in the draft Eco-towns Planning Policy Statement, published on 4 November 2008, the eco-towns initiative has been developed with the aim of getting exemplar projects off the ground. I have made clear that I am not committed to a particular number at this stage, but that we will look at bringing forward up to 10 schemes.
Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what information required to be provided in energy performance certificates is not required to be provided under Part L of Building Regulations. 
Part L of the Building Regulations applies only to new buildings. Energy performance
certificates are required for all buildings being marketed. An Energy Performance Certificate additionally provides an A to G rating similar to the label provided with domestic appliances so that the energy efficiency of buildings can be readily compared. An Energy Performance Certificate is also accompanied by a Recommendation Report that lists measures to improve the energy rating.
|Fire engines, England as at 31 March|
|(1) Figures include reserve fire engines and relate to 1 January|
Annual returns to Communities and Local Government
|Fire service personnel in England as at 31 March|
|(1) Figures exclude non-uniformed staff|
Animal returns to Communities and Local Government
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment she has made of the effect of the provisions of the EU Working Time Directive on the retained duty system in fire and rescue services in England; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Khan: Application of the working time directive, by setting a 48-hour maximum to the working week, would be likely to greatly reduce the hours which firefighters working the retained duty system could be available for duty, especially the substantial numbers who work full-time for their primary employer. The UK Government therefore places great importance on retaining its opt-out from the directive, a position that was acknowledged by the European Union Council of Ministers in June when it agreed in the Common Position that it should be retained, and will continue to defend it.
The amendments to the Common Position voted by the European Parliament on 17 December are the latest step in a complex negotiation, the next phase being for the Council of Ministers to consider the amendments, followed by a process of conciliation between both parties, the presidency and the Commission. Officials from my Department will be consulting a range of fire and rescue service stakeholders to ensure that the potential impact is assessed fully; and working with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, which has the UK lead on the working time directive, to inform the ongoing debate and ensure MEPs and EU member states are briefed appropriately.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the interim operating budget for the Homes and Communities Agency is in the four month period ending at the end of March 2009. 
In agreement with Her Majesty's Treasury, the Homes and Communities Agency's (HCA) budgets for 2008-09 have been agreed on merger accounting principles. This means that the HCA is deemed to have
existed since 1 April 2008 and a full 2008-09 budget has been set. For 2008-09, the HCA will receive funding from my Department of £3.9 billion (of this £86 million is for administrative running costs). A budget of £2 billion has been estimated to cover the four month period ending at the end of March 2009.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what use her Department has made of data held on the (a) home condition report and (b) energy performance certificate register. 
Margaret Beckett: Data on numbers of HCRs lodged to date has been used to inform policy decisions on condition information in the HIP, including the recent announcement to establish a working group to explore options for making sure that consumers have appropriate information about a propertys condition.
The Department has used the data held on the energy performance register to monitor the application of and compliance with the Regulations. The Department is considering further how to make best use of this data in furthering its aims for improving the energy efficiency of buildings and reducing carbon emissions.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield of 19 November 2008, Official Report, columns 507-8W, on housing: low incomes, what type of property attribute or information the field, valuation cloned or not, signifies. 
John Healey: The cloned valuation field indicates whether or not a valuation provided by a landlord in the National Register of Social Housing data for a particular dwelling was produced directly from a survey of that dwelling or by comparison with similar dwellings with a previously determined valuation.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average price of a (a) post-1960s detached house and (b) post-1960s flat within a block of flats in England was according to records collated by the Valuation Office Agency in each six month period since January 1997. 
John Healey: The VOA does not calculate a national average price for properties but does publish twice yearly in its Property Market Report individual average price estimates of a range of properties.
Copies of the Property Market Report covering the period 1997 to 2008 are available in the House of Commons Library. The Property Market Report from 2001 onwards is also available electronically on the VOA website at:
Mr. Purchase: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for how many days a year Ms Jenny Watson is contracted to work for the Audit Commission; and what remuneration she receives for that work. [Official Report, 21 January 2009, Vol. 486, c. 8MC.] 
John Healey: Ms Jenny Watson is not a contractor working for the Audit Commission, but holds office as a member of the Audit Commission having been appointed by the Secretary of State. There are no specific requirements of board members as to the time they should devote to work for the Audit Commission but there is an expectation that this will, on average, equate to two days per month during the course of the year. Ms Jenny Watson receives remuneration of £14,146 per annum, which is the amount specified by the Secretary of State for payment to the majority of the Audit Commission board members.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what meetings the Minister for the South East (a) has had and (b) plans to have with representatives of Lloyds TSB on security of employment of Lloyds TSB employees in that region; 
(2) what meetings the Minister for the East Midlands (a) has had and (b) plans to have with representatives of Lloyds TSB regarding security of employment of Lloyds TSB employees in that region; 
(3) what meetings the Minister for the East of England (a) has had and (b) plans to have with representatives of Lloyds TSB regarding security of employment of Lloyds TSB employees in that region; 
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