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To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 13 May 2009, Official Report, columns 51-52WS, on local government, what estimate she has made of the rate of Band D council tax to be charged in each billing authority in Surrey in 2009-10 following the capping and rebilling of Surrey
Police Authority; and what estimate she has made of the change in the average Band D council tax bill in England in 2009-10 following the re-billing. 
John Healey: Subject to the House of Commons approving an order to cap Surrey police authority, the band D council tax charged by the police authority to each billing authority in Surrey in 2009-10 will be a maximum of £193.92. There would be no change to the 2009-10 average band D council tax level in England as published by my Department on 26 March.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of domestic properties in (a) North West Cambridgeshire, (b) Cambridgeshire, (c) the East of England and (d) England were vacant in each of the last five years. 
|Total vacant dwellings as a percentage of total dwelling stock|
|Region||1 November 2004||10 October 2005||9 October 2006||8 October 2007||6 October 2008|
Council Taxbase and Council Taxbase Supplementary (CTB1 and CTB1S) returns from local authorities.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what actuarial assumptions are to be used in the actuarial valuations of the (a) Firefighters Pension Scheme and (b) New Firefighters Pension Scheme. 
John Healey: The Government Actuary is carrying out an actuarial valuation of the firefighters' pension arrangements in England. The report will set out the assumptions and other factors considered before making recommendations about both schemes. When the report is published later this year, a copy will be placed in the Library.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the budget is of the (a) Government Office Network, (b) Regions and Communities Group and (c) Communities Group for (i) 2009-10, (ii) 2010-11 and (iii) 2011-12. 
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of her Department's expenditure on administration of its policy on home information packs in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Housing Green Paper, Homes for the Future: more affordable, more sustainable, published in July 2007, set out the Governments ambition to increase housing supply, in order to bring greater stability and affordability to the housing market.
In the past year, a range of measures have been announced to support the construction industry and boost housing supply. These measures included: bringing forward £550 million of funding from 2010-11 to maintain the supply of new social rented dwellings; £400 million to invest in new social housing over the 2009-11 two
year period; an additional £775 million to support construction activities, including regeneration, decent homes and social rented housing over the next two years; and housing market renewal pathfinders were awarded £311 million for 2009-10 to support a range of activities, including new build.
Last month, the 2009 Budget announced a further £1 billion of additional resources for housing which included a £400 million kickstart housing delivery fund to restart stalled construction activity across the country. This should help developers retain jobs and skills, and boost the supply of homes over the next yearbenefiting first time buyers and social tenants. The Budget also allocated £100 million over two years to enable local authorities to deliver new social housing on land they already own that can be developed only by them.
In order to compliment this investment, the Government are taking a range of measures to ensure that the housing sector grows strongly over the longer term. These measures will: ensure sufficient land for development, through housing allocations in local plans and further action on public sector land, supported by a responsive and efficient planning system; deliver effective and coordinated infrastructure provision; promote a strong and diverse house building sector; continue to ensure the increased long-term supply of social and affordable housing; and. ensure a proportionate approach to land-value capture and cumulative regulation. The Government will report on progress at the 2009 pre-Budget report.
John Howell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment was made of the likely level of demand for MyChoice HomeBuy before its introduction; and what mechanism was established for the allocation of funding to that scheme. 
Margaret Beckett: The MyChoice HomeBuy product was introduced, along with OwnHome (a similar product from different providers) at the beginning of the 2008 to 2011 National Affordable Housing programme, after a competition for new shared equity products. Both MyChoice HomeBuy and OwnHome are open market HomeBuy products. The likely level of demand for open market HomeBuy in the 2008 to 2011 programme was assessed with regard to the levels of demand for previous open market homebuy products.
We do not set specific budgets for HomeBuy products in advance, to allow flexibility within the Affordable Housing programme. The cost of any of the schemes is reviewed on a regular basis within the context of the overall programme. In managing the programme, the Government seek to strike the right balance between this scheme and other programmes such as the provision of new homes and properties for social rent.
We do not set a specific budget for the MyChoice HomeBuy product in advance, to allow flexibility within the Affordable Housing Programme. However, the HCA made up to £133 million available to MyChoice HomeBuy providers in 2008-09 of which
provisional figures show that £115 million was spent by 31 March 2009. Funding for the scheme is reviewed on a regular basis within the context of the overall programme.
The HCA subsequently made £17 million available in 2009-10 to fund MyChoice HomeBuy purchases for those applicants who had been issued with authority to proceed prior to the end of the 2008-09 financial year but had not completed their purchase.
John Howell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many applications for assistance under the MyChoice HomeBuy scheme had been made as at 1 May 2009; how many had been declined; and for what reasons in each case. 
Margaret Beckett: Applicants can, and usually do, apply for several HomeBuy schemes, not just MyChoice HomeBuy. A total of 53,919 applications were received for MyChoice HomeBuy, in the period from April 2008when the scheme was launchedto the end of April 2009. During that time period, 29,148 applicants in total were approved to look for a property. Information on applications declined is not collected centrally.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for which indicators other than those in the national indicator set her Department routinely collects information from local authorities. 
John Healey: The national indicator set is the only set of performance indicators for which the Government collects information from local authorities. With regards to other information collected by my Department, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 2 February 2009, Official Report, columns 965-66W.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which recommendations of Sir Michael Lyons 2007 report on local government finance (a) have been implemented and (b) are planned to be implemented. 
John Healey: The Government responded to the Lyons Inquiry on local government in the Budget report published on 21 March 2007 and in a press notice issued by the Department on the same day. A copy of the press notice is in the Library.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much each local authority has received (a) in cash terms and (b) per capita in (i) planning delivery grant and (ii) housing and planning delivery grant in each year of each scheme. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Data regarding the amounts received by each local planning authority for Planning Delivery Grant (PDG) for the period 2003-08 and Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (HPDG) for 2008-09 together with a per capita calculation for the total of PDG and a separate one for HPDG has been placed in the Library.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much on average local authorities' employer contributions to the Local Government Pension Scheme are as a percentage of an individual's salary. 
John Healey: This information is not held centrally. However, general information about the level of contributions paid into the Local Government Pension Scheme by employers and employees can be found on the Communities and Local Government website at:
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