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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes in England there are with a GG value significant code according to Valuation Office Agency records. 
|County area||Councils involved|
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what measure of council tax the Office for National Statistics uses to make comparisons between the tax and spending levels of local authorities. 
John Healey: Information on council tax and local authority revenue expenditure is given in table 5 of the statistical release, Local authority revenue expenditure and financing England: 2007-08 Final Outturn available at:
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers to levy fines have been conferred on local authorities by her Department and its predecessors since 2003. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has issued to local authorities on special expenses in unparished areas; and whether the percentage increase in council tax including special expenses is taken into account by her Department in determining whether to cap a local authority. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 29 April 2009, Official Report, column 1372W, on local government finance, on what date she expects to write to local authorities inviting bids for funding; what the maximum grant level will be; and when she expects to begin processing such applications. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Homes and Communities Agency will shortly be inviting local authorities to bid for this funding, and will announce at the same time the timetable for decisions. There will be no maximum grant level set; bids will be assessed on value for money.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which Government departments and agencies participate in the regional funding allocation process in respect of regional assemblies and local authorities. 
John Healey: The current regional funding advice exercise is being led jointly by Her Majesty's Treasury, the Department for Transport, the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and my Department. Guidance on the exercise was issued by these Departments in July 2008 and can be found at
The guidance states that regions' advice will be valuable in informing decisions in the areas of transport, housing and regeneration, economic development and skills and that regions should consult with stakeholders that deliver relevant outcomes.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her latest estimate is of the proportion of deposits held by local authorities in Icelandic banks that will be returned; what the timetable is for the return of such deposits; and whether interest will be paid. 
John Healey: The administrators of Heritable and KSF, and the Resolution Committees of Glitnir and Landsbanki have made public their own estimates of what percentage of the principal and interest might be repaid in each case and by when.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make it her policy to support the Mash the State campaign to encourage the accessibility of data held by local authorities. 
This is a voluntary initiative and it is a matter for individual local authorities to provide information to their citizens in whichever ways are most appropriate to meet the needs of their citizens. However, the Government supports the general principle of this campaign to encourage the accessibility of local authority data.
To this end, as was announced in the Communities in Control White Paper in 2008, we have developed the Timely Information to Citizens project, including approximately £1.2 million funding for around 20 pilot projects to support the development and take-up of good practice for local authorities on provision of information to their citizens. This project includes encouragement and support for local authorities to make the information held in their systems available for reuse by others.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress her Department has made in achieving its target of a 30 per cent. reduction in data collections from local authorities to date; which data collections have stopped; and which data collections continue to be collected. 
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent estimate she has made of the direct and indirect costs of local government inspection to (a) local and (b) central government. 
John Healey: The Audit Commission, which is sponsored by the Department for Communities and Local Government, is the only inspectorate of local government to charge a fee element to authorities for inspection. The reply I gave to the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Bone) on 3 March 2009, Official Report, columns 1547-48W, set out the estimated costs relating to the Audit Commission 2008-09 comprehensive performance assessment inspection programme for local authorities. There are no definitive figures to calculate the indirect costs of inspection to local government (such as staff time). The Department does not hold information about the costs of inspection of local authorities by other local services inspectorates.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what rights (a) parish and (b) town councils have to (i) comment on planning applications and (ii) make recommendations to the planning authority. 
As prescribed in Article 13 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995, parish or community councils can have a specific role in the decision making process for planning applications. It becomes a statutory duty on a local planning authority to notify the parish council about relevant applications, if the parish itself requests such notification. The purpose of notification is to invite comments, on specific applications.
The local planning authority may not determine a planning application until either a parish intending to comment has done so, or at least 21 days have elapsed following notification. The local planning authority must take into account any timely and relevant comments when reaching its decision. Its decision and the reasons for it must also be made publicly available.
John Healey: Before confirming publication arrangements for the Place Survey the Department is conducting a review to ensure the data are of sufficient quality. This is a responsibility that the Department takes very seriously. It is vital that the general public as well as the local government community can have trust in all official statistics that are used to measure local government performance. The review is being structured around the principles laid out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, published in January this year by the UK Statistics Authority.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many hereditaments have a rateable value of (a) between £10,000 and £15,000 in each Government Office Region outside London and (b) between £10,000 and £21,500 in London, according to Valuation Office Agency records. 
|2005 Rating List as at 31 March 2009|
|Number of hereditament s over £10,000 or under £21,500|
|Government office region||Under £15,000||Under £21,500||Number of hereditaments|
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