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Some Ordnance Survey staff have second language skills which are used when expedient. Ordnance Survey contracts a commercial agency to provide the bulk of
its language translation needs. In the twelve months to 31 January 2009, Ordnance Survey spent £20,055 on external language translations; predominantly in the translation of documentation and web-based information into Welsh in support of its commitment to the Welsh Language Act 1993.
Margaret Beckett: The Design for Manufacture (DFM) competition was launched in April 2005 and was run by English Partnerships until the end of last year. English Partnerships was replaced in December 2008 by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), operating on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government. The competition was the Governments challenge to the house building industry to build high-quality, well-designed homes for £60,000. The figure of £60,000 relates to a target construction cost for building a two-bedroom home and does not reflect the development cost or sale price.
The competition is expected to deliver more than 1,100 high-quality, well-designed, sustainable homes. Of these, developers were asked to build around 30 per cent. for the target construction cost of £60,000 or less. However, the other 70 per cent. were expected to be larger and smaller homes built at an equivalent cost-efficiency.
Construction of all of the homes being built through the DFM competition is still under way, so it is not possible to predict how many homes will be completed for the target cost. However, the HCA last year commissioned a professional firm of chartered surveyors and cost consultants to analyse cost data received from the various developers building the homes.
It is not practical at this stage to compare the sites in this study and draw any firm conclusions, as the property designs and types are so varied. Also, the sites are located in different areas in the country and each site has reported different obstacles to overcome. However, early indications from this study show that out of a sample of 135 units surveyed and completed at the time of the study, and with appropriate cost adjustments to reflect price inflation since the competition was launched in April 2005, 79 were built for close to or less than £60,000.
John Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many employees of Durham County Council have salaries in the range (a) £80,000 to £89,999, (b) £90,000 to £99,999, (c) £100,000 to £149,999, (d) £150,000 to £199,999 and (e) £200,000 and above. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate
she has made of the costs incurred by local authorities which have a proposed eco-town site in their area arising from the eco-town initiative to date. 
Margaret Beckett: We are working closely with local authorities and have encouraged promoters of eco-towns to engage locally with authorities and key stakeholders. It is not possible for this Department to estimate the total costs incurred by individual local authorities with an eco-town proposal in their area, some of which is planning and assessment work which would be needed in any event. As part of the assessment process we have agreed to contribute to local authority costs in supporting this process, and so far £820,000 has been allocated to provide support to local authorities and agencies to undertake work in support of the eco-towns assessment process, including funding for impact reports.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what consultancy advice (a) the Town and Country Planning Association, (b) Mr. Jim Duggan and (c) Mr. David Locke are providing to her Department on eco-towns; and at what cost in each case. 
Margaret Beckett: As set out in the written ministerial statement given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper) on 7 March 2007, Official Report, column 128WS, we asked the Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) with Professor David Lock, then Chair of the TCPA, to provide further advice on the practical application of the key sustainability and development criteria for eco-towns. More recently the TCPA has continued to advise my Department through developing best practice guidance on the laying out and planning of eco-towns and similar development, and co-ordinating the input of experts to this. This is generic guidance which is publicly available and at no time have TCPA been involved in advising us or assessing any individual eco-town projects.
To manage any potential conflicts of interest with Professor Locks role as a planning consultant and Chair of the TCPA at that time, a protocol of roles and responsibilities was drawn up and is publicly available on the TCPAs website. Professor Locks involvement in advising this Department on eco-towns has only been through the TCPA and their work on the practical application of the key criteria for eco-towns. Professor Lock stood down as Chair of the TCPA last year, having served two terms in that role. In terms of the funding that we provide to the TCPA for this work I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) on 14 January 2009, Official Report, column 771W.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department has spent on its eco-towns initiative to date; under what budget headings such expenditure has been incurred; and what estimate she has made of such expenditure incurred in 2008-09. 
Margaret Beckett: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar on 25 November 2008, Official Report, column 1265W. This sets out details about spending on the eco-towns programme, and the following table provides an update on the costs related to technical consultancy and marketing. This is of course ongoing work involving private consultants, and it would not be appropriate to provide further details of the anticipated costs at this time. In terms of costs in relation to the recent judicial review, the Departments legal costs were awarded to the Secretary of State. Such costs are the subject of agreement between the parties and in the absence of this a judge will decide the amount in a detailed assessment hearing. It is therefore not possible to provide an estimate in advance of this process.
TCPA work on practical guidance and best practice advice to local authorities and other stakeholders, including running the Eco-towns Expert Group, running events with stakeholders and producing worksheets
|(1) Contract valuethis work is not complete|
(2)( )Contract value so farthis work is not complete
(3 )The Challenge Panel members were entitled to claim the Government rate of £350 per day when working for the Panel.
(5)( )Allocated funding for 2008-09
(6)( )Allocated funding for 2008-09
(7) Contract value so farthis work is ongoing
All figures for expenditure have been rounded to the nearest 100. However, please note that a large proportion of the overall figure represents contract value, not all of which has been realised (work is still to be completed).
|Number of health and safety near misses 1998-2008|
|RIDDOR( 1 ) Dangerous occurrences||Potential injury to persons||Potential damage to vehicles||Potential damage to operational equipment||Potential damage to buildings||Total|
|(1) Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR)|
(2) Three fire and rescue services were unable to provide data.
(3) Three fire and rescue services were unable to provide data.
Annual returns to Communities and Local Government
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 12 February 2009]: Individual energy performance certificates are provided to prospective buyers and tenants of properties by sellers and landlords. All EPCs are lodged in a central register, and I have no current plans to provide public access to this register.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she has considered the merits of awarding a certificate of compliance to bed and breakfast establishments which have complied with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 
Mr. Khan: Fire certificates were abolished when the raft of fire safety legislation was replaced by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. There are no plans to reintroduce any certification regime for fire safety in England.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effect on the bed and breakfast industry of variations in application of the provisions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 between local authorities. 
Mr. Khan: As no two premises are likely to be the same, a one size fits all' approach to fire safety is inappropriate. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is non-prescriptive. It is for the responsible person to assess what fire safety measures will best deliver an adequate level of protection in the light of the specific circumstances of their premises.
In carrying out their audit and enforcement responsibilities, individual fire safety officers will use their professional judgment and expertise to consider the extent to which the fire safety measures in place in a particular building deliver an adequate level of compliance with the provisions of the Order. Under the Regulators' Compliance Code local fire and rescue authorities are expected to implement the Hampton principles of better regulation when delivering these functions.
We have commissioned a qualitative evaluation into the initial impact of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 on representatives from the business community, the enforcing authorities and the fire safety industry and hope to be in a position to publish this shortly.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she has made an assessment of the merits of awarding a grant to bed and breakfast establishments to assist them in complying with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 
Mr. Khan: All those with responsibility for commercial premises or other buildings to which the public have access should ensure that an adequate level of fire protection is in place to minimise the risk to life in the event of a fire. These costs will vary according the nature of individual premises and the risks associated with their use.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) enforcement notices were issued, (b) prohibition notices were issued and (c) prosecutions were brought by fire authorities against bed and breakfast establishments under the provisions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in (i) England, (ii) Devon and (iii) East Devon in each year since it came into force. 
Mr. Khan: The first full year for which this information is available is 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008. During this period Fire and Rescue Services in England reported issuing 947 enforcement notices and 71 prohibition notices, and bringing seven prosecutions to hotels or bed breakfast premises. The information provided to the Department from Fire and Rescue Services does not require distinction between hotels and bed and breakfast premises.
Separate information on Devon and East Devon is not centrally held. The figures for the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority area are 173 enforcement notices, two prohibition notices and no prosecutions.
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