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Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much central Government expenditure there was on housing in (a) cash and (b) real terms in each year since 1979. 
Mr. Khan: Data on public expenditure by function are published annually in Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses. The latest edition was published in April 2008 (HC 489) and includes data from financial year 1987-88 up to and including 2007-08.
Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to increase access to affordable housing in (a) Warrington and (b) the North West. 
Mr. Iain Wright:
The Joint Economic Commission for the North West is looking at actions to ensure that affordable housing continues to be delivered during the economic downturn. The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has made £526 million available between 2008 and 2011 to support authorities across the North West. In Warrington, the HCA has already allocated nearly £13 million to deliver 318 homes. This is in
addition to a range of other proposals being considered by Warrington borough council, the HCA and local housing associations.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 9 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1697-8W, on Lord Truscott, whether Baroness Andrews was involved in decisions on the application for the development of a natural gas storage facility at Preesall Saltfield, Fleetwood, Lancashire. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Ministerial decisions on recovered planning appeals and called-in planning applications are all taken in the name of the Secretary of State, often by other planning Ministers. In this particular case, the decision was taken by Baroness Andrews. Ministers adhere to strict propriety rules when making decisions on planning cases, as set out at:
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much on average it cost a local authority to service a debt of (a) £500,000 and (b) £1,000,000 borrowed (i) on the private markets and (ii) from the Public Works Loans Board in each of the last five years. 
John Healey: The costs to a local authority of servicing a debt covering money borrowed will depend on a number of factors, such as for example, whether the loan was taken out on a fixed rate or a variable basis. Both the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) and the private sector offer a number of different loan arrangements. Local authorities are under a responsibility to ensure that they can afford the self-financed borrowing, as set out in the prudential system.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of invoice payments made by Eastbourne Borough Council in 2007-08 were made within the Governments 10-day target period. 
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what grants her Department has given to Westminster City Council in each year since 2005-06; what sums were awarded; in what category of expenditure each grant fell; and what grant allocations have been made for 2009-10. 
|2008-09 (forecast)||2009-10 (plan)|
|(1) The outturn for LABGI in 2007-08 was £13.3 million and expenditure for 2009-10 is yet to be announced.|
(2) The Homelessness programme was transferred to the Homes and Communities Agency in December 2008.
(3) Housing and Planning Delivery grant for local authorities in 2009-10 is yet to be determined.
The Westminster city council local area agreement finishes at the end of March 2009. The council will then be able to claim Performance Reward Grant up to a maximum of £7.056 million depending on the level of success it achieves over its 12 targets. The maximum payments that will be made in 2009-10 will be £3.528 million (revenue) and £3.528 million (capital). This programme will operate in a similar way to the local public service agreement programme.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if her Department will take steps to encourage local authorities to sign up to the Information Commissioners Personal Information Promise. 
My officials are working with the Local Government Association (LGA) to ensure that local authorities are aware as to how the Personal Information Promise relates to the guidance contained in LGAs recently published local government data handling guidelines.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the cost of comprehensive performance assessments to
(a) local authorities and (b) the Audit Commission in the latest period for which figures are available. 
John Healey: The reply I gave to the hon. Member on 23 February 2009, Official Report, column 104W, explained that the cost to local authorities of Audit Commission fees for comprehensive performance assessment (CPA) is offset by revenue support grant and that the cost of the Audit Commissions work on CPA is covered by a mixture of those fees and direct grant from my Department.
The letter from the chief executive of the Audit Commission supplied as part of that answer set out two schedules providing details of the Commissions funding, covering its work on CPA for local authorities and for fire and rescue authorities, on an annual basis. Those schedules therefore provide information about the inspection fees paid by local authorities, and the Audit Commissions funding to cover the costs of carrying out CPA, up to 31 March 2008.
The Departments grant funding to the Audit Commission for 2008-09 includes an estimated £15.7 million to complete the final CPA inspection programme for local authorities. In addition, the inspection fees paid to the Commission by local authorities are estimated to be £8.3 million for the year ending 31 March 2009.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether Migrant Workers Northwest has received funding from (a) her Department, (b) the Government Office for the North West and (c) the North West Regional Assembly since 2007. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Migrant Workers Northwest receives no funding from Communities and Local Government, from the Government office for the north-west or from 4NW (the successor organisation to the North West regional assembly).
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will introduce an element of transitional rate relief for non-domestic rates for the 2009-10 financial year. 
John Healey: Transitional relief is used to reduce the impact of revaluations for those most affected by the changes in rateable value. For the last revaluation in 2005, limits were set so that the increases were phased in over a period of up to four years.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the application of small business rate relief and the non-domestic multiplier is planned to be revenue neutral (a) in each year and (b) over the five year revaluation cycle. 
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what timetable has been set for the South West Councils' Strategic Leaders' Board to be designated as a regional planning body. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Secretary of State is currently considering a request from the South West Councils Strategic Leaders Board to be designated as the regional planning body for the region with effect from April 2009.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the South West Council's Strategic Leaders' Board plans to assume the functions of the South West Regional Assembly. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The South West Councils Strategic Leaders Board (SLB) was set up in December 2008. The SLB has proposed that it should be vested with the functions of Regional Planning Body (and also take on the housing and scrutiny roles of the Regional Assembly) as an interim arrangement from April 2009, in advance of introduction of the new regional governance arrangements outlined in the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill. No decision on the timetable has yet been taken.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what arrangements she plans to make for public consultation on the constitution of the proposed Strategic Leaders Board of the South West Council; and what the timetable for the introduction of the board is. 
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether hon. Members representing constituencies in the South West will have any role in relation to the South West Councils Strategic Leaders Board. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what dates the Government Office for each region has funded transport for assistants to Regional Ministers since their appointment; for what purpose in each case; and if she will make a statement. 
The Cabinet Secretary provided guidance to Departments on the support that can be provided to parliamentary assistants to Regional Ministers. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House. Information about the number of visits where assistants to Regional Ministers have used transport provided by Government Offices is not held centrally.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance she has issued on (a) the composition of the proportion of a decision-making body designated as a regional planning body under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 to be comprised of stakeholders and (b) the treatment of hon. Members as stakeholders for the purposes of the 2004 Act. 
Mr. Iain Wright: No specific guidance beyond the provisions contained in Section 2 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and Regulation 4 of the Town and Country Planning (Regional Planning) (England) Regulations 2004 has been issued on either of the points contained in (a) or (b) of the question. However the provisions of the Act and regulations are briefly explained in paragraphs 2.2 and 2.3 of Planning Policy Statement 11: Regional Planning Strategies.
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