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Not everyone on the local authority waiting list is necessarily in urgent housing need. The waiting list includes those who consider social housing as their preferred or one of a number of housing options, and those who decide to get onto the waiting list ladder before they need or want to move houseparticularly where the priority system is heavily based on waiting time. The size of the waiting list is not an indicator of absolute need, it is only useful as a broad indicator of housing demand in an area.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to increase the availability of affordable housing in (a) Reading and (b) the Thames Valley region. 
Mr. Iain Wright: We are committed to a substantial increase in affordable housing. The long-term aspiration is to deliver 70,000 affordable homes a year in England by 2010-11. These affordable homes will be funded mainly by the Homes and Communities Agency established last year to improve the effectiveness of housing delivery.
The growth programme funds infrastructure to support housing growth. Within the Thames Valley Reading, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury Vale and Didcot will receive a total of £21 million in 2009-10 from growth programmes. In addition in Reading the Homes and Communities Agency has committed to funding over 800 new affordable homes this year. Across the rest of the Thames Valley investment through the Homes and Communities Agency is due to deliver a further 1,200 affordable homes this year.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the management and maintenance allocations were to each London local
authority in (a) real and (b) cash terms in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Iain Wright: I have placed tables in the Library of the House showing allocations for Management and Maintenance allowances shown in 2007-08 prices, and in cash terms, for each local authority in London in each year since 1997.
In general local authorities' allowances increase year on year in line with inflation. Fluctuations in allowances between years reflect the response of the system to changes in underlying data arising, for example, from changes in stock numbers, crime data, and the index of deprivation.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she plans to reply to the letters of 3 December 2008 and 30 January 2009 from the hon. Member for Forest of Dean on the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, reference FD9865. 
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much of the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund monies (a) allocated by her Department in (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08 and (b) carried forward to 2008-09 have been spent, broken down by district; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund allocation was £525 million for 2006-07 and £525 million for 2007-08. I have placed in the Library of the House a table showing the amounts paid to each local authority for the years 2006-07 and 2007-08. Any money carried over from 2006-07 had to be used by the end of 2007-08.
Neighbourhood Renewal Fund was provided on a non-ringfenced basis for 2007-08; local authorities could therefore make their own decisions on carrying forward a level of funding and Government did not compel local authorities to submit details on the amount carried forward between years.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much each of the Humber ports paid in business rates in (a) 2004, (b) 2005, (c) 2006, (d) 2007 and (e) 2008; and for how much each such port is liable in respect of each year since 2005 following the new assessments made in 2008. 
Mr. Austin Mitchell:
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has for the administration of the scheme to enable
businesses to pay backdated rates bills over eight years in relation to (a) port and (b) other businesses; whether her Department has issued instructions to local authorities on the claiming of arrears; and what estimate she has made of the cost to the Exchequer of the payment scheme. 
John Healey: The Department has issued a Business Rates Information Letter (BRIL 2/2009) on the policy for a schedule of payments, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House. I have also written to the leaders of billing authorities confirming that the legislation has been put in place. The impact of the policy is set out in the impact assessment which was laid before this House on 10 February accompanying the Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Local Lists) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2009 (SI 204).
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has refused to implement fast track arrangements for port businesses which are unable to provide the VOA with previous rating assessments in relation to the review of their new rating assessments; and if she will make it her policy to allow such businesses to gain access to fast track arrangements by submitting notional figures for previous assessments. 
John Healey: The Valuation Office Agency has implemented the fast track arrangements for all ports businesses affected by a backdated liability for business rates as a result of the review of businesses within ports.
Where ratepayers have failed to submit appeals (proposals) in accordance with the legislation, these have been treated as invalid. It is in the interests of fairness to all ratepayers that the regulations, which determine how appeals should be made, are applied consistently. However the Valuation Office Agency has continued to deal with and respond to these cases in accordance with the fast track arrangements despite the absence of a valid appeal.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department allocated to small business rate relief in each year since 2005; and how much was claimed in such relief in each local authority area in each year. 
I have placed in the Library of the House a table showing (a) the number of businesses that were in receipt of small business rate relief in each local authority in England as at 31 December 2006, the only year for which this information is currently available and (b) the total relief granted in each local authority in England in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether Ordnance Survey has reduced its retail prices for items which attract value added tax since December 2008. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The change in the standard rate of VAT effective from 1 December 2008 has been applied to business prices for all Ordnance Survey data products and services that are subject to VAT at the standard rate.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people there are on housing waiting lists in City of York constituency; and how many there were in each of the last 15 years. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Information is available on numbers of households rather than people. The number of households registered on local authority housing waiting lists in each local authority, as at 1 April each year, is published on the Communities and Local Government website in table 600. The latest available data are at April 2008. The link for this table is given as follows:
Local authorities in England report the numbers of households on their housing waiting list as at 1 April in their annual housing strategy statistical appendix returns. The City of York constituency is included in the unitary authority of York. The number of households on local authorities waiting lists in the unitary authority of York is given in the following table. Data are not available prior to 1997.
|Number of households on the waiting list (excludes households looking for transfers)|
Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA)
Further information on the number of households on the local authority housing waiting lists for England, can be found in the statistical release Local Authority Housing Statistics England: 2007-08: Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) and Business Plan Statistical
Appendix (BPSA). This was published on 22 January 2009 on the Communities and Local Government website at:
Not everyone on the housing waiting list is necessarily in urgent housing need. The housing waiting list includes those who consider social housing as their preferred or one of a number of housing options, and those who decide to get onto the waiting list ladder before they need or want to move houseparticularly where the priority system is heavily based on waiting time. The size of the housing waiting list is not an indicator of absolute need, it is only useful as a broad indicator of housing demand in an area.
Margaret Beckett: As part of the community infrastructure business case requirements and owing to the value of the Roscommon Way Extension scheme (in excess of £10 million) the Departments for Transport and Communities and Local Government requested that Essex county council complete a full Major Schemes Business Case. This was subsequently submitted in May 2008. It contained an initial environmental assessment which included noise, air quality, landscape, townscape, heritage, biodiversity and water environment analyses. Building on this assessment, the county council has submitted a planning application which includes a detailed environmental impact assessment, which proposes a raft of mitigation measures including invertebrate relocation, avoidance of water courses and careful landscaping to minimise the noise impact.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people she estimates were sleeping rough in York in (a) winter and (b) summer in each of the last 15 years. 
|Number of rough sleepers in York|
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