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21 Oct 2009 : Column 1500W—continued


Number of retained duty system firefighters, 1999 to 2008

1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Bedfordshire and Luton

131

126

138

151

139

106

150

154

157

170

Cambridgeshire

365

364

371

344

327

350

369

373

365

354

Essex

457

460

464

477

472

475

488

534

548

543

Hertfordshire

267

266

265

261

208

268

257

261

228

256

Norfolk

448

443

443

405

426

435

501

514

527

534

Suffolk

400

396

404

401

415

399

425

452

487

493

East of England

2,068

2,055

2,085

2,039

1,987

2,033

2,190

2,288

2,312

2,350

England

13,022

13,021

13,097

13,002

13,048

13,015

13,543

13,927

14,212

14,166

Sources:
(i) HM Chief Inspector for Fire's Annual Report and
(ii) Fire and Rescue Service Operational Statistics Bulletin

Fire Services: Standards

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent guidance his Department has given to fire and rescue authorities on their Service Improvement Plans. [292807]

Mr. Malik: Fire and Rescue Authorities produce Service Improvement Plans as part of the Integrated Risk Management Planning process.

FRAs are required by the Fire and Rescue Service National Framework to have in place and maintain an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) which reflects local need and sets out plans to tackle effectively both existing and potential risks to communities. The IRMP enables the authority to tailor cover for fire and other incidents to local circumstances-evaluating where risk is greatest and allocating resource accordingly.

A range of guidance on the drawing up of IRMPs has been issued to FRAs and is available on the Communities and Local Government website.


21 Oct 2009 : Column 1501W

Fire Services: Working Hours

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department has issued to fire and rescue authorities in the last 24 months on the European Working Time Directive and retained firefighters. [292626]

Mr. Malik: The Department has not issued any guidance to fire and rescue services on the EU Working Time Directive and retained duty system firefighters in the last 24 months. "Integrated Risk Management Planning Guidance Note 6", which gives general guidance on how the Working Time Regulations might affect the fire and rescue service and was issued in 2004, remains current.

Homelessness

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people have (a) applied to their local authority for housing and (b) been designated as intentionally homeless following a repossession in each of the last three years. [294071]

Mr. Ian Austin: CLG does not hold information on the number of households who, following repossession, apply to their local authority for housing and are found intentionally homeless.

CLG issued supplementary guidance to local housing authorities in August on how they should exercise their homelessness functions, and apply the various statutory criteria, when considering whether applicants who are homeless having lost their home because of difficulties in meeting mortgage commitments are intentionally or unintentionally homeless. This guidance reminded authorities about the correct questions they must ask when deciding whether a former homeowner has become homeless intentionally.

Housing: Construction

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether a full impact assessment has been produced relating to the costs of the provisions in the Lifetime Homes Standard on building a house. [293360]

Mr. Ian Austin: In June 2007 the Department published a consultation on "Making a Rating Mandatory" within the Code for Sustainable Homes. This included an impact assessment which identified costs and benefits of building to the Lifetime Homes Standards. The document can be downloaded at:

We will be consulting on proposed changes to the Code for Sustainable Homes in due course, and this will include our proposal to make Lifetime Homes Standards mandatory at Code Level 4. The consultation will be supported by a full impact assessment.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department carried out an impact assessment of (a) the revision of Planning Policy Guidance 3 and (b) its policies on (i) density and (ii) brownfield classification in 2000. [294138]


21 Oct 2009 : Column 1502W

Mr. Ian Austin: An Impact assessment was undertaken for PPG3 but the impact assessment undertaken for PPS3 has superseded the assessment for PPG3. This assessment is available on the Communities and Local Government website:

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the errors were in the House Building Statistical Release published on 20 August 2009 which caused it to be withdrawn. [294883]

Mr. Ian Austin: The errors in the House Building Statistical Release published on 20 August 2009 affected the numbers of starts and completions reported for the June quarter 2009.

In line with the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice for Official Statistics, we will be publishing a revised release as soon as possible. Once a release date for the corrected figures is known this will be announced on the UK National Statistics publication hub and the Communities and Local Government departmental release calendar.

Housing: Energy

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what (a) research his Department has undertaken on and (b) resources his Department has committed to assist the preparedness of the house construction industry to meet new environmental energy-saving targets for new homes in the last 12-months. [292783]

Mr. Ian Austin: Communities and Local Government has commissioned and contributed to a range of research projects on the energy performance of new homes in the last 12-months. These projects were carried out to help inform the recent consultation to revise Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) of the Building Regulations and proposals to both strengthen performance standards and improve compliance with these standards.

Officials have liaised with construction industry including housebuilders in the drawing up of these proposals, which includes a training and dissemination strategy.

My Department has also been working with industry on our policy that all new homes will be zero carbon from 2016. Delivery of the policy is supported by the Zero Carbon Hub partnership who are looking at areas where additional skills and training are needed. All this work has been resourced as part of normal business planning.

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the construction industry on its preparedness for new environmental and energy-saving targets. [292784]

Mr. Ian Austin: The Department has been engaging with representatives of the construction industry on meeting the requirements of zero carbon policies for new buildings and on preparing for the introduction of new water and energy efficiency standards in Building Regulations planned for 2010.


21 Oct 2009 : Column 1503W

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what (a) research his Department has undertaken on and (b) resources his Department has committed in the last 12 months to the various trades in the construction industry on ensuring existing homes meet the new environmental and energy-saving standards. [292785]

Mr. Ian Austin: Building work on existing homes was included in proposals to strengthen energy efficiency standards as part of the recent consultation to revise part L (conservation of fuel and power) of the Building Regulations.

Housing: Regeneration

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been spent on each Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder; what the total expenditure has been; how many properties have been demolished in each; and how many new (a) affordable and (b) market price properties have been built in each. [293169]

Mr. Ian Austin: Total allocations from 2002-03 to 2009-10 for the nine original HMR pathfinders are given in the table:

HMR pathfinder 2002-03 to 2009-10 (£ million)( 1)

Birmingham Sandwell

139

East Lancashire

270

Hull and East Riding

113

Manchester Salford

322

Merseyside

295

Newcastle Gateshead

200

North Staffordshire

178

Oldham Rochdale

184

South Yorkshire

245

(1) Includes preparation and early actions.

From 2006-07, approximately £75 million has also been allocated to the three areas of wider lower demand; Tees Valley, West Yorkshire and West Cumbria making a total of more than £2 billion allocated to the HMR programme since 2002-03.

Total new build, refurbishment and demolition figures for HMR pathfinder areas, from the beginning of the programme to March 2009, are given in the table. Data differentiating affordable and private new build housing are not held in a readily available format and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


21 Oct 2009 : Column 1504W
HMR pathfinder New build( 1) Refurbishments( 1) Demolitions( 1)

Birmingham Sandwell

224

8,700

1,300

East Lancashire

16

4,300

2,000

Hull and East Riding

167

400

600

Manchester Salford

935

12,300

2,800

Merseyside

1,059

9,900

1,600

Newcastle Gateshead

274

5,100

2,400

North Staffordshire

198

6,200

1,400

Oldham Rochdale

323

3,200

800

South Yorkshire

538

9,000

3,100

(1) HMR funded: as set out in the funding agreements between HMR pathfinders and CLG/HCA.

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