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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the Answer of 21 July 2008, Official Report, column 779W, on McKinsey, if she will place in the Library a copy of each document provided to participants in the Communities High Level Seminar. 
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the change in revenue which will result from the planned revaluation of national non-domestic rates in April 2010. 
John Healey: No estimate has been made of the change in revenue which will result from the planned revaluation of national non-domestic rates in April 2010. After a revaluation, the overall national multiplier is set to ensure that the national non-domestic rates yield stays the same, only allowing for a change in inflation.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her estimate is of the percentage change in the level of business rates bills in England between 2008-09 and 2009-10. 
John Healey: The legislation requires that the transitional scheme be designed with the objective of being self financing. We will be consulting on the details of the 2010 scheme over the summer 2009.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations her Department has received on the abolition of empty property tax relief for commercial premises in the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: The Department have received representations on empty property tax relief from industry representative groups, individual property owners both directly and through ministerial correspondence.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 24 November 2008, Official Report, column 111W, on non-domestic rates: empty property, if she will place in the Library a copy of the written representation from the urban regeneration companies. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the Answer of 6 October 2008, Official Report, column 351W, on non-domestic rates: ports, how the figure of approximately £200 million for the aggregate rateable value was calculated. 
John Healey: The figure of £200 million was an initial estimate, for England, of the aggregate of the port operators and port occupiers properties in the large ports of their rating assessments, based on information available at the time.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much small business rate relief was claimed in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2005-06; and if she will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what planning advice or guidance her Department and its predecessors have issued to local planning authorities on diversity and equality in planning since 1997. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department (then the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) published Diversity and Equality in Planning: A good practice guide in 2005, aimed at helping planners to better understand the important role that planning can play in supporting the Government's commitment to tackling disadvantage.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the Infrastructure Planning Commission will start assessing planning applications; and what the target time is for the Commission to process such applications. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Our expectation is that the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) will be ready to begin receiving applications in spring 2010. In most circumstances, cases will be decided within a year from application.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the official engagements were for the Minister for (a) London, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber, (c) the South East, (d) the North West; (e) the East of England, (f) the East Midlands, (g) the South West, (h) the North East and (i) the West Midlands in their roles as regional ministers from 1 to 31 January 2009; and what the length of time spent on each engagement was. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the official engagements were for (a) the Minister for the North West, (b) the Minister for the East of England, (c) the Minister for the East Midlands, (d) the Minister for the South West, (e) the Minister for the North East and (f) the Minister for the West Midlands in their roles as regional ministers from (i) 1 to 31 October, (ii) 1 to 30 November and (iii) 1 to 31 December 2008; and what the length of time spent on each engagement was. 
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many general needs lettings were made by (a) local authorities and (b) registered social landlords to nationals of (i) EEA countries and (ii) non-EEA countries in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Margaret Beckett: Information on the number of foreign national households allocated social housing is collected in the Continuous Recording of Letting form (CORE). A question on nationality was first introduced to the form for the 2006-07 data collection period. CORE is collected on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government by St. Andrews University. Historically CORE has only collected information from registered social landlords. An increasing number of local authorities are now providing information through this process as well, but there are still some gaps in the data.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much local authority housing stock in West Chelmsford constituency has been sold under the right-to-buy scheme in each year since 1997. 
The following table shows the number of local authority right to buy sales in the borough of Chelmsford , for each year since 1997-98. Chelmsford borough council transferred its housing stock to registered social landlords (RSLs) in March 2002. There have consequently been no sales of local authority housing stock under the scheme in Chelmsford since that date.
The preserved right to buy scheme is available to RSL tenants who were formerly local authority secure tenants and moved to RSL landlords with their homes under the stock transfers. Figures for preserved right to buy sales alone are not available at local authority level, but combined figures for RSL right to buy, right to buy and right to acquire sales are available, and the following shows these figures for the borough of Chelmsford.
|LA right to buy sales in Chelmsford||RSL sales of social housing in Chelmsford|
Quarterly P1B returns submitted by local authorities to Communities and Local Government, and Regulatory and Statistical Returns (RSR) submitted by Social Landlords to the Tenant Services Authority.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the likely effects of the reduction in levels of sub-prime lending upon social mobility. 
Margaret Beckett: The Government recognise that access to financial assets can play a key role in determining future outcomes. We are committed to supporting people's ambitions to own their own home, where this is sustainable, and we are determined to improve access to assets for all families.
We recognise that, despite the recent fall in house prices, the turbulence in the global financial markets has resulted in severe restrictions on mortgages and in many cases a requirement for purchasers to have significant deposits, making it harder for first time buyers to get on the housing ladder.
We are taking a range of measures in response to these difficult market conditions. For example, we have introduced HomeBuy Direct, a new scheme offered in partnership with house builders that is designed to help up to 18,000 first-time buyers into affordable home ownership with the aid of an equity loan of up to 30 per cent. (which can be used as a deposit). We are also taking steps to improve mortgage funding markets, as this is key to lowering mortgage costs and increasing the availability of affordable mortgages. Following on the Crosby Report's recommendations on mortgage finance markets, the Government will provide up to £50 billion of guarantees on new mortgage lending (and eventually on other assets).
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the costs of renovating social housing which does not meet the decent homes standard in (a) Ribble Valley, (b) Lancashire and (c) nationally to a condition which does meet the standard. 
Local authorities are refurbishing the houses in their areas either at or above the decent homes standard. What the improved standard is and how it will be achieved will be determined by local circumstances and the level of resources that can be brought to the programme locally.
Ribble Valley borough council transferred its housing to a registered social landlord, Ribble Valley Homes, on 31 March 2008 under large scale voluntary transfer arrangements, in order to deliver the Decent Homes investment required.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will ensure that Valuation Tribunal decisions relating to council tax liability cases are published in full on the Valuation Tribunal Service website, with personal information redacted. 
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