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6 May 2009 : Column 237W—continued

Fire Services: Influenza

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment the London Regional Resilience Forum has made of the effect of an influenza pandemic on the operation of a fire and rescue service in London. [272420]

Mr. Khan: The London Regional Resilience Forum is responsible for strategic, multi-agency planning and for ensuring that London as a whole is fully prepared to deal with the consequences of an influenza pandemic on public health and the continuity of essential services in London. It is the statutory responsibility of individual Category 1 responders themselves, including the London fire brigade, to ensure that they are prepared and have business continuity processes in place to manage the effects of an influenza pandemic.


6 May 2009 : Column 238W

Fire Services: Labour Turnover

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many firefighters have (a) entered and (b) left the fire and rescue service in the last 12 months. [272872]

Mr. Khan: The latest data available on the number of firefighters entering and leaving the fire and rescue service are for 2007-08 and are shown in the following table.

Firefighters entering and leaving the fire and rescue service, England, 2007-08

Joiners Leavers

Whole-time

1,014

1,467

Retained

752

1,130

Total

1,766

2,597


Fire Services: Uniforms

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department has spent on the design of new uniforms for fire and rescue services; and what public consultation it carried out on the design. [272878]

Mr. Khan: A nationally available contract for the provision of uniforms, personal protective equipment and other clothing was awarded by Firebuy Ltd., as the national procurement body for the English fire and rescue service, to Bristol Uniforms Ltd. in 2007. The design of the new uniforms was undertaken by this supplier. Firefighers and union representatives were consulted on the design as part of the garment trials in 2006, to which Communities and Local Government contributed £190,000. The views of the general public were also considered through surveys conducted in 2007. Firebuy have subsequently participated in presentations on the new uniform to fire and rescue authorities.

Firebuy

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether papers related to the Firebuy project are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. [272429]

Mr. Khan: Firebuy Ltd., as an executive non-departmental public body of Communities and Local Government, is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000. It has produced a publication scheme in accordance with the FOI Act.

Government Offices For The Regions

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the Government Office Network's Places handbook. [272413]

Mr. Khan: The Places Handbook has been developed as a tool to help Government Office (GO) staff and their partners support the delivery of Government policy. It is an online Handbook that provides quick and easy
6 May 2009 : Column 239W
access to a range of analytical and delivery tools and techniques, as well as links to appropriate data sources. As the Places Handbook is an online facility I have been advised that it is not suitable for placing in the Library. Instead, I am providing the email link to the Places Handbook which is accessed by the public via the internet:

Green Belt: East Midlands

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what changes the East Midlands Regional Plan proposes to make to green belt designation and protection in the region. [273217]

Mr. Khan: The East Midlands Regional Plan, published on 12 March 2009, makes no specific changes to green belt designation in the east midlands. However, the Three Cities Sub-Regional Strategy Policy 2 (Sub-Regional Priorities for Green Belt Areas) states that:

Homes and Communities Agency: Finance

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the budget for administrative costs of the Homes and Communities Agency is in each of the next three years. [270575]

Margaret Beckett: The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) inherited running costs budgets of £86 million per annum from its predecessor bodies. Obviously with the publication of the Operational Efficiency Programme on 21 April, my Department in conjunction with its arms length bodies, is currently reviewing the scope for making further operational efficiency savings in the current spending period. Budgets for 2011-12 fall in the next spending period and decisions have yet to be made.

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 27 April 2009, Official Report, columns 1111-12W, on Homes and Communities Agency: finance, how much each local authority will receive from the £50 million to enable local authorities to deliver new social housing; and how many homes she expects to be delivered through that funding. [272480]


6 May 2009 : Column 240W

Margaret Beckett: The allocation of grant funding is dependent on the bids submitted by local authorities. Likewise the number of homes delivered will depend on the details of the bids submitted, for example whether they are flats or houses.

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much the Homes and Communities Agency spent on producing its Affordable Housing Survey publication; and how many copies were produced. [272509]

Margaret Beckett: The Homes and Communities Agency and its predecessor body, the Housing Corporation, spent £160,000 on producing its Affordable Housing Survey. There were no hard copies produced of the report; it is freely and publicly available on the Homes and Communities website at:

Housing Benefit

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of (a) registered social landlords and (b) local authority tenants were in receipt of housing benefit in each of the last five years. [273346]

Mr. Iain Wright: Estimates of the proportions of registered social landlord and local authority tenants in receipt of housing benefit from 2002-03 to 2006-07 are provided in the following table. These estimates are based on data from the Survey of English Housing.

Social sector households in receipt of housing benefit, England, 2002-03 to 2006-07
Tenure

Local authority Registered social landlord( 1) All social renters (percentage) Total number of social renters (Thousand)

2002-03

64

60

62

2,483

2003-04

64

59

62

2,428

2004-05

62

61

61

2,366

2005-06

62

60

61

2,357

2006-07

63

63

63

2,489

(1) Sometimes referred to as Housing Associations.
Source:
Communities and Local Government, Survey of English Housing

Survey based estimates of the separate numbers of local authority and registered social landlord tenants are not considered robust as a significant number of registered social landlord tenants wrongly report that they are local authority tenants, typically when ownership has transferred due to a large-scale voluntary transfer.

Housing Market

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the written ministerial statement of 8 December 2008, Official Report, columns 24-26WS, on home buying and selling, who the members of the working group on home condition reports are; and what declaration of political activity each has made. [272338]


6 May 2009 : Column 241W

Margaret Beckett: The membership and terms of reference of the “Working Group on Condition Information in the Home Buying and Selling Process” are available on the CLG website at:

There is no requirement on the members of the working group to declare political activity.

Housing: Finance

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much of the £600 million announced for housing in the Budget 2009 is additional to that announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review. [272427]

Mr. Iain Wright: All of it.

Housing: Low Incomes

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) local authorities and (b) housing associations are participating in the Social HomeBuy scheme; and how many properties were sold by each participating organisation in each of the last three years. [272114]

Margaret Beckett: A table has been deposited in the Library showing how many (a) local authorities and (b) housing associations are currently taking part in the Social HomeBuy scheme; and number of sales by each participating organisation per year from 2006-07 to 2008-09.

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 23 April 2009, Official Report, columns 886-7W, on housing: low incomes, what budget has been established for the (a) the National Affordable Housing Programme, (b) Decent Homes, (c) the Community Infrastructure Fund, (d) support for the Department for Work and Pensions programme of Support for Mortgage Interest and (e) other housing and regeneration programmes in (i) 2008-09, (ii) 2009-10 and (iii) 2010-11. [272199]

Mr. Khan: The following table includes capital budgets for each of the listed areas in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11:

Programme
to nearest £ million( 1)

2008-09 2009-10 2010-11

National Affordable Housing programme

2,629

3,471

2,299

Decent Homes

1,291

1,278

848

Community Infrastructure Fund

37

123

160

Support for Mortgage Interest (DWP programme)

0

40

55

Other housing and regeneration programmes (Growth Areas and Thames Gateway, Regional Housing Pot, Housing Market Renewal and the Homes and Communities Agency's Property and Regeneration programme)

1,272

1,462

1,243

(1) Figures are provisional and may be subject to amendment through the financial year

6 May 2009 : Column 242W

In addition, £108/£152/£147 million resource (near cash) has been made available for other housing and regeneration programmes. These figures do not include additional funding to support the housing market announced in the Budget on 22 April 2009:

Programme
to nearest £ million

2009-10 2010-11 Total

Stalled sites fund

320

80

400

Local authority house building

30

70

100

Housing energy efficiency

75

30

105


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