|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Ian Austin [holding answer 4 June 2009]: The following table summarises the investment in housing since 1997. This includes grants to the private sector, contributions to registered social landlords, and expenditure on council-owned housing stock.
|Investment in housing (£ million)|
|(1) Unaudited figure; this was the planned expenditure for 2008-09.|
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the effect of his Departments plans to refocus housing and planning delivery grant on the level of grant allocated to local authorities. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (HPDG) Consultation on allocation mechanism for year 2 and year 3 was published on 12 May 2009. The closing date for responses is 23 June 2009, consideration will then be given to the responses to the proposed changes to the allocation mechanism.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent guidance his Department has issued to local authorities and planning bodies on ensuring that affordable housing development meets local needs. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Planning Policy Statement 3, published in November 2006, says that local development documents and regional spatial strategies should be informed by a robust, shared evidence base, in particular, of housing need and demand, and that this evidence should be used to set an overall target for the amount of affordable housing to be provided.
In August 2007, the Government published guidance on completing a strategic housing market assessment. The guidance sets out a framework that local authorities and regional bodies can follow to develop a good understanding of how housing markets operate. It promotes an approach to assessing housing need and demand which can inform the development of local development documents and regional spatial strategy planning for housing policies.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the remuneration for the post of chairman of the Infrastructure Planning Commission will be made personally to Sir Michael Pitt. 
John Healey: The remuneration due to Sir Michael Pitt as chair designate of the Infrastructure Planning Commission is being paid to him in accordance with the terms of his appointment, following the deduction of the appropriate income tax and national insurance contributions.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the councillor call for action powers in the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 were implemented; and if he will make a statement. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Councillor call for action gives councillors a new right to raise matters of local concern with their councils overview and scrutiny committee. It is a valuable tool for equipping councillors to act as powerful advocates for the communities they serve and to strengthen still further their role as community champions.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on their use of external legal advice; and if he will make a statement. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department has taken to promote the uptake of collaborative procurement strategies within local authorities, as recommended in HM Treasury's May
2009 review, Operational Efficiency Programme: collaborative procurement. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Surveys commissioned by the Department have shown that over three-quarters of councils already use purchasing consortia. To promote further action in this area, Bill Roots's Review of arrangements for efficiencies from smarter procurement in local government, published in February, recommended that Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships (RIEPs) should act as the conduit for best deals, with local authorities deciding which deals to buy into. This would require effective communication between RIEPs and local authorities about the opportunities and benefits from engaging in collaborative procurement. The LGA and RIEPs are deciding how to implement these recommendations, which support delivery of those in the Operational Efficiency Programme (OEP).
In respect of fire and rescue authorities, Spikes Cavell have been commissioned to undertake work on spend management. The revised Fire and Rescue Service National Procurement Strategy, due to be published in July, will reflect the recommendations from the OEP.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) of 5 May 2009, Official Report, column 141W, on planning permission, by how much grant allocation will be reduced if a local planning authority does not complete its priority development plan documents in accordance with the agreed time scale (a) in 2008-09 and (b) under the plans for the new Housing and Planning Delivery Grant system. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The mechanism for Housing and Planning Delivery Grant HPDG was set out in the Housing and Planning Delivery GrantAllocation Mechanism and Summary of Consultation Responses which was published in July 2007. The mechanism for determining HPDG for 2008-09 is set out in that document which can be found at:
|Percentage of grant paid|
|Development plan document (DPD) stage||On time||>35 and <190 days late||>189 and <365 days late|
We are currently consulting on proposed changes to the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (HPDG) Consultation on allocation mechanism for year 2 and year 3 which was published on 12 May 2009. The closing date for responses is 23 June 2009. The consultation document does not propose any changes to the mechanism for the delivery of development plan documents.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance has been given to local planning authorities on Section 106 agreements with (a) parish councils and (b) voluntary organisations applying to build community facilities. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The Government's policy on the use of planning obligations (also known as section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) is contained in Circular 05/2005: Planning Obligations. Further guidance on the use of planning obligations is provided by the publication Planning Obligations: Practice Guidance, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government in 2006. Both publications are available on the Department's website.
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations his Department has received on the infringement of land title or other rights by planning law in the last two years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Communities and Local Government received 69 responses to the consultation paper Overriding easements and other rights: Possible amendment to section 237 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, which was published in August 2007. The responses indicated a strong degree of support for the proposed amendment and the amendment was included in schedule 9 of the Planning Act 2008. The consultation paper and a summary of the consultation responses is available at:
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was allocated through the Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund to each regional Government office in (a) 2006-07, (b) 2007-08 and (c) 2008-09. 
Mr. Malik: The funding provided through the £6 million Preventing Violent Extremism Fund in 2007-08, and the funding provided through the Area Based Grant in 2008-09 to support local Prevent work, is paid directly to local authorities. A list of funding for 2007-08 and 2008-09, broken down by Government office region, is provided in the following table:
|Regional breakdown of PVE pathfinder funding 2007-08 and 2008-09|
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether an impact assessment has been produced for his Departments plans for a national registration system for landlords in the private rented sector. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has to review planning guidance issued by his Department in respect of development on flood plains following the recommendations made in the Pitt Report on the summer flooding 2007. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Sir Michael Pitts review of the summer 2007 floods found that the policy approach in Planning Policy Statement 25, Development and Flood Risk, (PPS25) is sound and should be rigorously applied. The Government agreed with the review reports recommendations on planning and flood risk. We are therefore continuing to keep the operation and effectiveness of PPS25 under review.
We are currently considering what amendments it would be appropriate to make to update the Practice Guide to PPS25, which provides practical advice to local authorities on implementing the policy, to ensure the guidance remains relevant and clear.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will bring forward legislative proposals to provide for (a) the application of preservation orders to trees situated alongside railway embankments and (b) local authorities to intervene in respect of Network Rail proposals to remove such trees. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Local planning authorities can already make preservation orders to protect trees on Network Rail property, including railway embankments. Local planning authorities can also intervene on proposals by Network Rail to undertake works on such trees. Network Rail, as a statutory undertaker, has an exemption within the legislation to undertake works to protected trees which is necessary for public safety. Otherwise it must apply to the local planning authority for consent to undertake work to its protected trees, as any other person or organisation would.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|