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12 Mar 2009 : Column 748W—continued

London Thames Gateway Development Corporation

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 19 March 2008, Official Report, column 1215W, on Thames Gateway Development Corporation Planning Committee: business interests, on what date consent was given by the Secretary of State for the appointment of Mr. Alan Clark to the planning committee. [262214]

Margaret Beckett: My right hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper) approved the appointment of Mr. Alan Clark to the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation Planning Committee on 30 July 2007.

Mortgages: Government Assistance

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what date the Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme will become operational; and what estimate she has made of the number of households which will participate in the scheme in 2009-10. [262001]

Margaret Beckett: We are currently working with lenders to agree the Master Guarantee for the Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme, which we expect to be open for business with the first lenders in April. We will publish a full impact assessment when the Master Guarantee Deed has been finalised.

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many households have received assistance under the Mortgage Rescue Scheme to date. [262140]

Margaret Beckett: The £200 million Government Mortgage Rescue Scheme has been operational across the country since 1 January 2009, following successful
12 Mar 2009 : Column 749W
‘fast tracking’ by 80 local authorities in December 2008. There has been widespread interest in the scheme. An informal telephone survey of 60 local authorities conducted by officials at Communities and Local Government on 18 February 2009 showed that over 500 applications have been made, resulting in approximately 180 cases meeting the eligibility criteria. Formal monitoring arrangements for all local authorities are currently being finalised, and we expect regional data on the number of households receiving assistance under the scheme to be available from April 2009.

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 12 February 2009, Official Report, columns 73-6WS, on departmental expenditure limits, what future liabilities under the Homeowner Mortgage Support scheme she expects the non-cash provision to cover. [262585]

Margaret Beckett: The non-cash provision for the Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme is in respect of any guarantees issued under the scheme in 2008-09. We are currently working with lenders to agree the Master Guarantee for the Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme. We expect to be open for business with the first lenders in April, in which case no liabilities will have been entered into in 2008-09 and the non-cash provision will not have been needed. We will publish a full impact assessment when the Master Guarantee Deed has been finalised.

National Policy Statements

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many national policy statements she expects to be published; when each will be published; and what the subject of each will be. [262443]

Margaret Beckett: The Department for Communities and Local Government published a Route Map for implementation of the Infrastructure Planning Commission regime, including the current timetable for preparation of National Policy Statements, on its website on 27 January. Copies are also in the House Library.

Given the complexity of the implementation programme and the need for consultation on, and parliamentary scrutiny or approval for, many aspects of the regime, the
12 Mar 2009 : Column 750W
timings given may well change. We will keep the Route Map under review and update it if there are significant changes.

Neighbourhood Renewal Fund

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding her Department provided under the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund partnership in each year since 2001-02; and what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of that funding. [263162]

John Healey: Neighbourhood Renewal Fund allocations were as follows:

£ million

2001-02

200

2002-03

300

2003-04

400

2004-05

450

2005-06

525

2006-07

525

2007-08

525


The Department commissioned an independent evaluative study of Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (NRF), published in November 2008, which examined effectiveness, outcomes and impact. This study confirmed the ways in which NRF contributed to neighbourhood renewal and found the Fund to have provided value for money. It can be found on the Communities website at:

Non-Domestic Rates

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many hereditaments there were on the ratings list in each of the last 24 months in (a) England and (b) Wales. [262104]

John Healey: The following table details the number of hereditaments within the rating lists for the period 31 January 2007 to 31 December 2008.


12 Mar 2009 : Column 751W

12 Mar 2009 : Column 752W
2005 rating lists
Number
As at England Wales Total

31 January 2007

1,683,571

101,946

1,785,517

28 February 2007

1,684,647

101,791

1,786,438

31 March 2007

1,686,927

101,939

1,788,866

30 April 2007

1,686,486

101,767

1,788,253

31 May 2007

1,686,741

101,862

1,788,603

30 June 2007

1,687,470

101,921

1,789,391

31 July 2007

1,688,221

102,041

1,790,262

31 August 2007

1,688,558

102,009

1,790,567

30 September 2007

1,689,659

102,121

1,791,780

31 October 2007

1,690,644

102,195

1,792,839

30 November 2007

1,691,452

102,197

1,793,649

31 December 2007

1,692,505

102,308

1,794,813

31 January 2008

1,693,265

102,437

1,795,702

29 February 2008

1,693,810

102,450

1,796,260

31 March 2008

1,694,145

102,521

1,796,666

30 April 2008

1,693,496

102,425

1,795,921

31 May 2008

1,693,214

102,435

1,795,649

30 June 2008

1,693,164

102,436

1,795,600

31 July 2008

1,694,113

102,536

1,796,649

31 August 2008

1,695,211

102,653

1,797,864

30 September 2008

1,697,022

102,839

1,799,861

31 October 2008

1,697,937

102,898

1,800,835

30 November 2008

1,698,789

103,030

1,801,819

31 December 2008

1,698,498

103,127

1,802,844


Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage change there will be in (a) national non-domestic rate liability and (b) government grants to local authorities on average in April 2009. [262135]

John Healey: The multiplier used to calculate non-domestic rates liabilities will increase by 5 per cent. from April 2009 but individual authorities' circumstances will vary as a result of the number and value of reliefs granted.

The percentage change in overall government revenue grants to local authorities (those grants within Gross Aggregate External Finance which is made up of revenue support grant, national non-domestic rates and other specific grants) in England in 2009-10 will be 4.2 per cent.

Non-Domestic Rates: Business

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 20 January 2009, Official Report, column 1277W, on non-domestic rates: business, whether the 2010 rates revaluation will be revenue-neutral (a) in the first year and (b) over the five year cycle. [261904]

John Healey: At the 2010 revaluation the small business multiplier will be reset to ensure the gross rates yield expected for 1 April 2010 (the first day of the 2010 rating list) will be the same, in real terms, as the gross rates yield expected for 31 March 2010 (the last day of the 2005 rating list). Therefore, the process of introducing new rateable values on 1 April 2010 will be revenue neutral in real terms. Thereafter, the rates yield may vary in the normal way with, for instance, ongoing changes to the rating list.

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the percentage change in business rates for (a) small and (b) medium and large firms which will take effect in April 2009 in (i) England and (ii) the City of London. [261996]

John Healey: The small and standard business rate multipliers set to take effect in April 2009 in (i) England and (ii) the City of London are shown in the following table along with the annual increase in pence and percentage terms.

2008-09 2009-10 Increase (pence) Percentage increase

England

Small Business Rate Multiplier

45.8

48.1

2.3

5.0

Standard Business Rate Multiplier

46.2

48.5

2.3

5.0

City of London

Small Business Rate Multiplier

46.2

48.5

2.3

5.0

Standard Business Rate Multiplier

46.6

48.9

2.3

4.9


Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether an impact assessment has been prepared in relation to the planned increase in levels of business rates from April 2009. [262447]

John Healey: Impact Assessments are not required where a predetermined formula, such as the rate of inflation, changes the rate of a tax.


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