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Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 28 January 2009, Official Report, column 644W, on rented housing: private sector, whether her Department has made an assessment of the effect of the use of credit scoring by landlords and estate agents on those wishing to obtain private rented sector accommodation who previously had their privately-owned property repossessed. 
Mr. Iain Wright: We have not made any such assessment. The release of the results of credit scoring by landlords and estate agents would understandably be restricted by Data Protection issues. We would not expect landlords or agents to discriminate against tenants who had previously had their privately owned property repossessed providing the tenant in question had met the requirements of their tenancy agreement.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the cost to (a) local authorities, (b) regional assemblies and (c) her Department has been for the production of each regional spatial strategy. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Local authorities play a leading role in developing the regional spatial strategy, both as members of the regional assembly and as individual authorities. Information about the amount of resource they individually contributed to the production of the regional spatial strategy is not held centrally.
Regional assemblies were resourced both by the Department and by their membership, which includes local authorities. Regional assemblies have a range of responsibilities which include preparation of regional spatial strategy. The breakdown of the use of resources for different functions is not held centrally.
The Department provides an additional budget to cover the costs of Examinations in Public and subsequent publication costs for proposed changes to regional spatial strategy. During the past three years this amounted to £1.5 million in 2006-07, £1.4 million in 2007-08 and £1.18 million to date during the current financial year.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to publish the results of the joint research project with the water industry on the effectiveness of measures to control discharge of grease from hot food premises into drains; and if she will make a statement. 
In addition, to get direct contact with potential users a technical seminar is being planned to inform environmental health officers and people who maintain sewers about strategies for mitigating nuisance from fats, oil and grease.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the policy of (a) her Department and (b) the Tenants Services Authority is on the use of cash incentive payments to social tenants to vacate their properties and move to private sector accommodation. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department for Communities and Local Government expects local authorities to achieve the best use of their social housing stock in seeking to meet local housing needs. Cash incentive schemes can often be an effective measure, especially where family sized accommodation is in high demand, to encourage social tenants to move to smaller social rented properties, or to move into private accommodation. A regulatory reform order which allows local authorities to run schemes without the Secretary of States consent, came into force on 1 April 2003. The regulatory reform order allows local authorities to set the size of grant payable to take into account the local housing market.
The Tenant Services Authority (TSA) expects the housing providers it regulates to provide good quality housing services that are responsive to tenants characteristics and circumstances. This includes being responsive to local authority housing duties and to national, regional, and local mobility and exchange schemes. Housing providers should promote choice and opportunity and must help to meet need.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of homes in the social housing sector which do not meet the Decent Homes standard in each region in England. 
|Social housing stock summary as at 31 March 2008|
|Region||RSL homes which fail DHS||LA homes which fail DHS||Total|
1. Registered social landlord data from the Regulatory Statistical Return Part Q4 (long) Part Q6 (short).
2. Local authority data from the Business Plan Statistical Appendix.
Since 2007 the number of non-decent homes in local authority stock has reduced from 618,000 and from 254,000 in the RSL sector. The overall reduction in the percentage of non-decent homes in the social sector since 2007 is from 21.8 per cent. to 18.0 per cent. in 2008.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what surveys her Department has undertaken of (a) workplace stress and (b) staff morale in the Department in the last 36 months. 
Mr. Khan: Since March 2006, the Department undertook a Health and Wellbeing survey, which incorporated questions on stress in November 2008. We have also undertaken the following staff attitude surveys:
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding her Department has provided to the Supporting People in Surrey scheme in each year since its inception; and how much such funding she expects to be allocated to the scheme for the remainder of the 2007 comprehensive spending review period. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Since 2003 administering authorities have been allocated funding through the Supporting People programme to support the most vulnerable people in their communities through the provision of housing-related support. The Government have invested over £8.7 billion since the programme began in 2003; and announced a further £4.9 billion funding up to 31 March 2011. Surrey county received a Supporting People programme grant allocation of:
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 4 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1284-85W, on homelessness, what definition of housing-related support the Supporting People programme has; who the Supporting People programme aims to help; whether further expenditure is planned; and how many of the 40 court desks providing free legal representation at repossession hearings are available in courts serving Sefton and Liverpool. 
Support services which are provided to any person for the purpose of developing that persons capacity to live independently in accommodation, or sustaining their capacity to do so.
The Supporting People programmes main aim is to help end social exclusion by preventing crisis and more costly service intervention and enabling vulnerable people to live independently both in their own home and within their community. The Supporting People programme helps a wide range of vulnerable people including: older people, victims of domestic violence, teenage parents, people with learning difficulties, the homeless and those with mental health problems.
The Legal Services Commission has lead responsibility for funding court desks. Since 2008 Communities and Local Government have been working closely with the Legal Services Commission to increase coverage of this
service by funding around 40 of the smaller desks throughout England. Communities and Local Government has offered to continue funding these desks in 2009-10.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate has been made of the take-up rate of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme; and what estimate has been made of the proportion and number of deposits that are unprotected. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Over 1.2 million deposits for tenants with assured shorthold tenancies have been protected since tenancy deposit protection provisions commenced in April 2007. This has protected almost £1 billion of tenants money. We do not hold figures on the proportion or number of deposits that are unprotected.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on how many occasions in the last three years a planning application for commercial wind turbines has been called in on the grounds that it involves planning issues of more than local importance. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Since 1 January 2006 only one application for a commercial wind turbine has been called in for decision by the Secretary of State. The application was for a single wind turbine at Mill Plain, Glyndebourne, called in on the grounds that the proposal may conflict with national policies on important matters.
13. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether his Department has concluded its discussions with the Home Office and local authorities on the funding of the Jean Charles de Menezes inquest; and if he will make a statement. 
I am pleased to tell the House that an agreed sum of just under £2.5 million will be provided exceptionally by the Home Office in full and final settlement of the excess costs that they have incurred.
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