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Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of first-time home buyers there were in each year between 1987 and 1996. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The numbers of first-time buyers purchasing a home with a mortgage in the UK in each year between 1987 and 1996 are presented as follows. This shows between 1987 and 1996 there were 4,689,400 first-time buyers. There were 5,272,500 between 1997 and 2008.
|Number of first-time buyers purchasing with a mortgage, UK|
Council of Mortgage Lenders
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate her Department has made of the number of
applications for judicial review of discussions taken by the Infrastructure Planning Commission which will be made in the first three years of its operation. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The number of judicial reviews the Infrastructure Planning Commission is likely to face in the first three years of its operation depends on a number of unknown variables. As such it is not possible to make a meaningful estimate of their number. However, I am confident that the Commission will ensure its decisions are robust and would be able to defended legal challenges vigorously.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which (a) employment and (b) classes of employment are incompatible with source as a councillor in a local authority where the authority is or, is deemed to be, the employer. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 9 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1695-6W, on local government finance, if she will seek to obtain information on the levels of exposure of local authorities to the Madoff hedge fund. 
Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what capitalisation directions to local authorities have been issued by her Department for back pay for equal pay claims to date; and for what value in each case. 
In 2006-07, Communities and Local Government approved capitalisation directions for equal pay for 35 authorities totalling £160.5 million. A full list of these authorities and the sums they received is available at:
In 2007-08, 46 applications for equal pay capitalisation were approved, totalling £500 million. The full list of authorities who received capitalisation directions, including the amount of capitalisation used is available at:
A further £455 million approved for 34 councils in 2008-09. The amount of capitalisation used by each individual authority will not be published until September 2009. However, a list of the councils who received directions is available at:
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what guidance has been provided to local authorities on (a) the setting of investment strategies in respect of the local government pension scheme and (b) appropriate levels of exposure to equities; 
John Healey: Investment decisions in the local government pension scheme in England and Wales are the responsibility of designated administering authorities whose decisions are subject to the provisions governing the management and investment of funds. Authorities are required to publish a Statement of Investment Principles, including their policy on the expected rate of return on investments, the types of investments to be held and the way in which risks are measured and managed. Decisions must be taken on the basis of expert advice, and comply with the regulations and with each authoritys published Statement of Investment Principles and Funding Strategy Statement. Authorities must have regard also to guidance issued by CIPFA on the preparation of these statements and on funding and investment issues.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 24 February 2009, Official Report, column 550W, on mobile homes, if she will place in the Library a copy of her Department's ad hoc survey on local authorities in England. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The 2006 ad hoc survey of park home sites in England has now been placed in the Library. The data were provided by local authorities and my Department is not responsible for their accuracy.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what information her Department and its agencies hold on the amount of mortgage lending which has funded mortgages (a) for new build, (b) for first-time buyers and (c) with high loan to property value ratios in the last (i) six and (ii) 12 months. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department holds data on completed mortgages used for house purchase via the Regulated Mortgage Survey (RMS) which is supplied by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The RMS covers about 60 per cent. of the UK mortgage market and includes details on whether the mortgage was used to purchase a new build property, whether the buyer was a first-time buyer and the loan amount and the purchase price of the property.
From this survey we have the following information on the amount of mortgage lending which has funded mortgages for house purchase (a) for new build, (b) for first-time buyers and (c) with high loan to value ratios in the (i) six months to February 2009 and (ii) the 12 months to February 2009:
|Mortgage lending for house purchase (based on amount loaned) as a percentage of all mortgage lending for house purchase|
|Six months to February 2009 (Percentage)||12 months to February 2009 (Percentage)|
| Notes: 1. These data are not necessarily representative of all mortgage lending as they are based on the Regulated Mortgage Survey data that Communities and Local Government hold which include only mortgages for house purchase and cover only about 60 per cent. of the market. 2. The total gross mortgage lending for house purchase is published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.|
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many households in each local authority area have received assistance under her Department's mortgage rescue scheme in circumstances where a housing association has purchased a property that would otherwise have been repossessed; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: As part of the monitoring arrangements for the Government mortgage rescue scheme, headline data will be published on a monthly basis on the Departments website starting this month. We plan to publish data for January, February and March 2009 on 21 April 2009.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to her Department's announcement of 31 March 2009 on business rates, what the estimated cost to the Exchequer will be of the proposed changes. 
John Healey: The impact assessment, which will be prepared alongside the necessary secondary legislation, will set out details of the cost to the Exchequer and include costs to local government which are being considered as part of the Governments new burdens rules.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to her Department's announcement of 31 March 2009 on business rates, (1) whether an impact assessment of the proposals has been prepared; 
John Healey: There are approximately 1.7 million hereditaments in England that could potentially be eligible for deferring the increase in their business rate bills. An impact assessment will be undertaken as part of the process of making the necessary secondary legislation.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to her Department's announcement of 31 March 2009 on
business rates, what funding will be provided to local authorities to cover the costs of rebilling. 
John Healey: Any policy which increases the cost of providing local authority services is subject to the new burdens principle. The Government are committed to ensuring that all net new burdens falling on local authorities are fully and properly funded. The business rates announcement is covered by the new burdens principle, and the potential net impacts on local authorities will be fully funded.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the eligibility criteria are for small business rate relief in (a) England outside London and (b) London. 
|Rateable value threshold criterion||Multiplier payable||Relief granted||Note|
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers local authorities have to exclude gardens from brownfield designation within their local development framework. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Residential gardens are contained within the definition of previously-developed land in Annex B of Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS3). However, paragraph 43 of PPS 3 says that local authorities can, when deciding the priority for the location of new housing, set out in their local development framework the contributions expected from different categories of previously-developed land. This could include residential gardens. If garden development is a particular issue for an authority, then they could also introduce a plan policy on development in gardens which, for example, could set out the circumstances and type of development that would or would not be acceptable.
On the 2 April the Government announced, via a response to a parliamentary question from the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam, a review into the evidence on the extent and impact of housing development on garden land in order to establish whether there was a genuine problem. Further details can be found at:
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