|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
John Healey: The Department has not made an assessment of the effects of energy prices on local authority costs. However, a recent report by the Audit Commission Crunch Time? The Impact of the Economic Downturn on Local Government Finances. identified expenditure on gas, electricity, fuel and food as areas which have seen the highest level of inflation in council expenditure. However, it also found that this made up less than 2 per cent. of total local authority spending and that inflation was now reducing, easing some of the in-year pressures. It reported that fuel prices are now lower than they were in April 2008. The Government expect the significant fall in the price of crude oil to feed into the cost of other goods and to impact on energy bills in due course.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of (a) 4 February 2009, Official Report, column 1293W, on Minister for Yorkshire and the Humber: Lloyds TSB and (b) 29 January 2009, Official Report, column 779W, on Lloyds TSB, for what reasons a copy of the minutes of the 14 January meeting was deposited in the Library contrary to normal practice; and if she will make a statement. 
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what proposals for gas storage facilities have (a) been granted planning permission and (b) have had planning permission rejected in each of the last five years; 
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the previous rating system for port businesses ended; and how much was paid under this system by Associated British Ports in (a) Hull, (b) Grimsby, (c) Immingham and (d) Goole for (i) 2000 to 2005 and (ii) 2005 to 2008. 
John Healey: Prescription rating in ports ended in March 2005, but prescription applied only to the port operator. Separate properties within ports have always been separately liable for business rates and prior to the ports review around 1,600 were so listed and liable.
|Port||2005 Rating list (before review)||2005 Rating list (post review)||Effective date|
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) (a) assessed port businesses for non-business rates and (b) notified the businesses concerned; and what consultations the VOA had with port businesses in 2005. 
John Healey: The date from which the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) assessed port businesses for non-domestic business rates and the date from which the businesses concerned were notified of their assessments varies according to the facts and circumstances of each property. Such information could be assembled only at disproportionate cost.
John Healey: Separately occupied properties within ports have always been liable to be rated separately in the same way as separately occupied property situated outside a port. The effective date applicable to an individual rating valuation is governed by statutory regulations.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment was made by her Department and its predecessor of the individual rating valuations of port businesses in 2005; and how these valuations were issued. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what changes have been made to maximum parking standards for (a) residential and (b) non-residential development since 1997. 
Mr. Iain Wright: In exercising their planning functions local planning authorities are required to have regard to the Government's overarching planning policy on parking which is set out in Planning Policy Guidance note 13: Transport (2001), one of the key objectives of which is to reduce the need to travel, especially by car. PPG13 is clear that local authority policies in preparing their development plans should set maximum levels of parking for broad classes of development, including residential and non-residential development, and that there should be no minimum standards for development, other than parking for disabled people.
In relation to residential development, Planning Policy Guidance note 3: Housing (2000) advised that car parking standards that resulted in development with more than 1.5 off-street car parking spaces across a local authority area on average were unlikely to reflect the Government's emphasis on securing sustainable residential environments. This advice has subsequently being replaced by Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing (2006), which gives local planning authorities the flexibility, consistent with the objectives of PPG13, to set their own residential parking policies taking account of the expected levels of car ownership, the importance of promoting good design and the need to use land efficiently.
In terms of non-residential development, PPG13 sets out national maximum car parking standards. Again, within the context of reducing the need to travel by car required by PPG13, draft PPS4: Planning for Sustainable Economic Development (2007) proposes to devolve responsibility for setting non-residential car parking standards to local authorities so that they can reflect local circumstances. We are currently working to finalise the policy.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield of 1 February 2008, Official Report, column 696W, on pollution, whether the costs to local authorities under the landfill tax escalator and Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme are (a) passed on to the polluter and (b) compensated by central government under the new burden principles. 
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she has taken to encourage private sector organisations to participate in the Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative. 
Since its launch in 2003, the Government's Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative (PSFPI) has highlighted practical ways in which private sector organisations can help to deliver its objectives. Among the steps taken are the holding of national and regional conferences for suppliers, publication of guidance, funding of regional projects to develop local supply chains and direct engagement with key stakeholders such as the foodservice companies and the British Hospitality Association. Further information can be found on the PSFPI website at:
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations she has received on Veolias planning application for an energy from waste plant at the site of the former Rufford Colliery, Rainworth, Nottinghamshire; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Khan: In addition to my hon. Friend, my hon. Friend the Member for Mansfield (Mr. Meale), has requested that the planning application be called in for the Secretary of States own determination. The Secretary of State has also received representations from three county councillors, one district councillor, Newark and Sherwood district council, a campaign group called PAIN (People Against Incineration) plus 12 members of the public, asking that the application be called in.
Sir Alan Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons she decided to apply the recovery procedure to the three wind farm applications in the borough of Berwick-upon-Tweed on 26 August 2008. 
Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate her Department has made of the number of social rented homes which did not meet the Decent Homes standard at the latest date for which figures are available; and when she expects the remainder of the additional £200 million of funding for the Decent Homes programme to have been spent. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Landlord statistical returns show that at 1 April 2008 there were 714,000 social homes that did not meet the decent homes standard which represents 18 per cent. of the social housing stock,
In the pre-Budget report we announced that we would bring forward from 2010-11 £250 million to sustain and accelerate the Decent Homes programme. We expect all this money to have been spent by the end of March 2010.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 29 October 2008, Official Report, column 1149W, on non-domestic rates, whether the domestic or composite hereditament premises of diplomatic missions will have liability for charges for the collection of household waste under proposed pilot schemes. 
Bill Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps have been taken to increase awareness of safe drinking levels and the health risks associated with alcohol dependency amongst (a) adults aged over 45 years and (b) young people under 18 years living in the North East. 
Dawn Primarolo: It is the responsibility of primary care trusts (PCTs) to take forward initiatives and campaigns to increase awareness of lower risk drinking levels and the health risks associated with alcohol dependency in their areas. Information on action taken in the North East can be obtained from PCTs across the North East directly.
However, in May 2008 the Department launched a national communications campaign to improve the publics understanding of units of alcohol. The campaign messages were delivered across television, newspapers, outdoor, radio and on-line channels. Phase one focused on improving peoples knowledge of how many units of alcohol are in the alcoholic drinks they consume, while phase two focused on improving peoples understanding of the link between their alcohol consumption and their health.
Initial assessment of the campaign shows that there is an increased agreement, from 77-82 per cent. that we tend to drink more than is good for us. This has clearly been influenced by the campaign as for those aware of the campaign this figure rises to 85 per cent., while for those not aware of the campaign this figure is 72 per cent.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|