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10 Jun 2009 : Column 896W—continued

Sub-Saharan Africa: Politics and Government

Mr. Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps his Department has taken to assist the development of civic society and democratic institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. [275138]

Mr. Thomas: Following the 2006 White Paper on International Development, the Department for International Development (DFID) launched a £130 million Governance and Transparency Fund. Details of this are available on the DFID website:

DFID also supports democratic institutions and civil society through its country programmes. We have projects providing parliamentary support, either recently completed or ongoing, in eleven African countries.

Increasingly our support to parliaments is embedded in broader integrated governance and accountability programmes. For example: in Malawi we are supporting a programme to develop more accountable and responsive governance, including support to Parliament, the electoral commission, the media and civil society; in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we support a programme to strengthen democracy and accountability; and in Uganda we support a “Deepening Democracy” programme, including a parliamentary support component.

Communities and Local Government

Council Tax

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will estimate the net effect on public expenditure of a system of central (a) collection and (b) administration of council tax [278074]

Ms Rosie Winterton: No.

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Housing: Low Incomes

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of availability of mortgage finance for households wishing to purchase under (a) Homebuy Direct, (b) Ownhome, (c) OpenMarket HomeBuy, (d) the First-Time Buyer’s Initiative, (e) MyChoice HomeBuy, (f) New Build HomeBuy, (g) Social HomeBuy and (h) Rent to HomeBuy. [277971]

John Healey: For (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) which are shared equity schemes, we have no evidence that purchasers are unable to obtain mortgage finance.

For (f) and (g), which enable purchasers to buy on shared ownership terms, I refer the hon. Member to the answer he was given by my hon. Friend the Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Wright) on 14 May 2009, Official Report, column 1008W. No mortgage is necessary for Rent to HomeBuy. Prospective purchasers pay a below market rent, while saving for a deposit, and then buy on New Build HomeBuy terms.

Local Government: Pensions

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects to bring forward measures obliging local authorities to publish details of the remuneration and pensions provision of chief executives and senior members of staff; and if he will make a statement. [278018]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The statutory consultation on draft regulations about disclosure of senior pay in public bodies began on 30 March. It proposes that local authorities include remuneration disclosure in their 2009-10 annual accounts. Subject to a careful consideration of responses, I plan to make and lay the final regulations later this year.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects to reply to the letter to his predecessor dated 7 April 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. Ed Cox. [279134]

Mr. Denham: I have now replied to my right hon. Friend’s letter.

Social Rented Housing: Sales

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many properties owned by registered social landlords were sold to tenants between 1997 and 2000. [277966]

John Healey: The following table shows the number of registered social landlord properties sold to tenants between 1997-08 and 2000-01.










Homes and Communities Agency Investment Management System (IMS), and Regulatory and Statistical Returns (RSR) to the Tenant Services Authority (TSA)

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Sales to tenants include sales through Right to Buy, Preserved Right to Buy, Right to Acquire and Voluntary Purchase Grant. Sales to tenants have been defined to mean where the tenant is currently occupying the property they are purchasing.

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many social housing tenants have made right to buy claims in each region in each year since 1997; how many such claims were accepted in each year; and how many sales were completed in each year; [277967]

(2) what the discount granted to social tenants under the right to buy scheme has been in each year since 1997. [277970]

John Healey: A table showing local authority Right to Buy claims, acceptances and sales for each region for each year since 1997 has been placed in the House Library. This table includes figures on the total value of the discount granted and the information requested on Right to Buy discounts.

The local authority Right To Buy data are taken from P1B returns from local authorities to CLG.

Regional estimates of Right to Buy and Preserved Right to Buy sales of properties owned by registered social landlords are also available for 1999-2000 to 2007-08. These are included in Live Table 675 on the CLG website:

Figures on the number of claims and acceptances are not available for RSL RTB sales.

Culture, Media and Sport


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which government office regions have established regional beacons for creative industries. [278539]

Barbara Follett: The North East, Yorkshire and Humber, North West, West Midlands, South West, South East, East and East Midlands regions are all part of a network of regional beacons examining business support given to the Creative Industries by Business Link. A national best practice guide is due to be published by the end of July.

Departmental Marketing

Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much has been spent by his Department on advertising in weekly and regional newspapers in the last five years. [277160]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The information requested by the hon. Member is not separately recorded on the Department’s accounting system. To provide the information would incur disproportionate cost.

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Members: Correspondence

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 2 March 2009, Official Report, column 579, when he plans to write to the hon. Member for North East Milton Keynes. [278053]

Mr. Bradshaw: I will shortly be writing to the hon. Member for North East Milton Keynes about this issue. I apologise for the delay in doing so.

Public Houses: Rural Areas

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent representations his Department has received from owners of pubs or organisations representing pubs on the regulatory burden for smaller rural pubs; and if he will make a statement. [278717]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Department has not received any recent representations on the regulatory burden for smaller rural pubs.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced on 5 February a number of new initiatives to support rural businesses, including public houses. These new schemes will complement existing initiatives such as “Pub is the Hub” which was set up in 2001 through the Rural Action Programme of Business in the Community to encourage breweries, pub owners, licensees and local communities to work together to help retain and enhance rural services in isolated areas.

In addition, the Government have now published their response to the community pubs inquiry report. Hard copies are available in the Vote and Printed Paper Office, and it is also available on the DCMS website:

The inquiry report recommendations covered the policy interests of several Government Departments and DCMS collated a cross-government response.

Sports: Coventry

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent steps his Department has taken to provide funding for young people to participate in (a) cultural and (b) sporting programmes in Coventry. [278466]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 8 June 2009]: The majority of Exchequer funding provided in general support of these activities is channelled to local authorities via settlements from the Department for Communities and Local Government. DCMS works with other Departments and our network of sponsored bodies (NDPBs) to set overarching objectives relating to the sectors for which we have policy responsibility in Government. Recent information relating to Coventry is provided, with much of the detail provided by our family of NDPBs:


Free s wimming

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Coventry city council has opted in to both the under 16 and over 60 Free Swimming Programme and will receive revenue monies directly from DCMS. The local authorities that have opted to offer the scheme to both age groups have also received a share of a £10 million capital fund to spend on modernising or improving pool provision in time for the start of the two-year scheme in 2009. Those local authorities that will offer free swimming to both age groups also stand to benefit from a further £25 million capital challenge fund in both 2008-09 and 2010-11 to spend on improving pool facilities.

PE and sport strategy for young people

Coventry, like the rest of England, will benefit from the Government's PE and Sport Strategy for Young People (PESSYP)—the “five hour offer”—which will create a world-class system for PE and sport in England, in which all five to 16-year-olds have access to five hours of high-quality PE and sport per week—and all 16 to 19-year-olds can access up to three hours high-quality PE and sport a week—by 2011.

‘Sport Unlimited’ is a Sport England initiative to get more children and young people taking part in sports outside of school in line with PESSYP. 964 young people were involved in Sport Unlimited projects delivered between September 2008 and March 2009, with 713 young people attending 60 per cent. of the sessions. It is predicted that 1,627 young people will be involved in Sport Unlimited activities within Coventry throughout the summer and autumn terms of year 2.

One million active people

Sport England has a target of getting one million people doing more sport by 2012-13. This strategy will be driven by National Governing Bodies of sport (NGBs) through community clubs, coaches, officials and volunteers, including in Coventry.

Cultural programmes

A new national organisation, Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE) has been created to generate transformational cultural and creative programmes for children and young people across England to enhance their aspirations, achievements, skills and life chances, including Creative Partnerships—the Government's flagship creative learning programme. Creative Partnerships has worked on 222 projects with Coventry schools (LEA area) making school more exciting for young people. In the wider Creative Partnerships area, Creative Partnerships has involved 13,250 young people, and 1,651 of their teachers.

In addition there are six organisations in Coventry (Open Theatre Company, Warwick Arts Centre, Talking Birds Theatre Company, Arts and Media Training, Belgrade Theatre and Theatre Absolute) that are classed by Arts Council England as Regularly Funded Organisations. The latter, Theatre Absolute, has a particular focus towards young people who are at risk.

Lottery f unding

Finally, organisations supporting young people in Coventry are also likely to have benefited from awards from national lottery distributors, including the Big Lottery Fund. Details of such awards can be found on the National Lottery database at

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Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many investment banks he has visited on official business in the last six months. [278118]

Kitty Ussher: Treasury Ministers’ official duties entail visits throughout the United Kingdom.

Budget April 2009

Mr. Harper: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in full each submission his Department has received on Budget 2009. [278173]

Kitty Ussher: Treasury Ministers and officials receive representations from a wide range of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such representations. However, many representations are available publicly on the respective organisations’ websites.

Cabinet: Glasgow

Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many (a) special advisers and (b) officials of his Department accompanied (i) him and (ii) the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to Glasgow for the Cabinet meeting on 16 April 2009; [273953]

(2) what car journeys (a) he and (b) the Chief Secretary to the Treasury took in attending the Cabinet meeting in Glasgow on 16 April 2009; [273954]

(3) how much expenditure was incurred by his Department in respect of the Cabinet meeting in Glasgow on 16 April 2009; [273955]

(4) what expenditure on (a) travel, (b) accommodation and (c) food (i) he, (ii) the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and (iii) officials in his Department incurred in connection with the Cabinet meeting in Glasgow on 16 April 2009. [273973]

Kitty Ussher: For information relating to the Cabinet and public engagement event held in Glasgow on 16 April I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, on 3 June 2009, Official Report, column 487W.

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