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Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his Department's policy on the Total Place initiative is; and how many councils he expects to participate in pilot schemes under the initiative. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Total Place is an ambitious initiative that will consider how a 'whole area' approach to public services can lead to better services at less cost through 13 pilot areas covering 63 councils from across England.
This work forms part of the Operational Efficiency programme (OEP) strand led by Sir Michael Bichard which seeks to create the environment where collaboration and innovation on the frontline leads to reduced costs and new ways of working.
Each of the pilots has picked at least one particular theme to explore in detail how delivery partners in the pilot area will work together, to identify innovative ways to deliver better, customer-led services for less. It will help them to bring together the evidence on the needs of their customers, and on what is being spent, by which agencies, and on what services, to address those needs.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has issued any recent guidance to local authorities on (a) religious segregation in municipal facilities and (b) compulsory dress codes in swimming pools. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has performed an impact assessment in relation to the proposals contained in its consultation paper on changing council government arrangements for mayors and indirectly elected leaders. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The focus of the Changing Council Governance Arrangements consultation were proposals set out in the white paper, "Communities in Control: Real People, Real Power." An impact assessment for those proposals was published on the Department's website on 9 July 2008 and can be found at:
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what consideration he has given to addressing a deficit in the Local Government Pension Scheme through (a) raising the retirement age and (b) increasing employee contributions. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the effects of the changes made to the Code of Conduct on Local Authority Publicity in 2001 on the content, publication and distribution of local authority unsolicited newspapers. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has made no assessment of the effect of the changes made in 2001 to the code of recommended practice on local authority publicity. However our consultation on the code earlier this year invited views on how the code might be revised and we shall be publishing our response to the over 300 comments we received before the end of the year.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) if he will amend the Code of Conduct on Local Authority Publicity to prevent local authorities publishing newspapers which directly compete with commercial local newspapers by incorporating similar content; 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
Later this year we will be publishing our response to the over 300 representations we received on our consultation earlier this year about possible
revisions to the code of recommended practice on local authority publicity. These responses did not show any widespread concern about council freesheets and newsletters.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) when he expects to reply to the letter of 24 July 2009 from the hon. Member for Billericay on funding for the Decent Homes programme; 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in what month in 2009 his Department plans to start publishing figures on the number of households which have received support from the Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme. 
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people in each London borough have (a) applied for and (b) been granted assistance under the Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme in each quarter since the scheme's inception; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of (a) net and (b) gross revenue from business rates in (i) 1997-98, (ii) 2008-09, (iii) 2009-10 and (iv) 2010-11. 
Barbara Follett: Details of the gross and net revenue (in £ millions) from business rates in (i) 1998-99, (ii) 2008-09, (iii) 2009-10 are shown in the following table. Data for 1997-98 are not available.
|Gross revenue||Net revenue|
Data for 1998-99, 2008-09 and 2009-10 are taken from the local lists and are collected on national non-domestic rates (NNDR1 and NNDR3) returns completed by all billing authorities in England. Data for 1998-99 and 2008-09 are outturn data; data for 2009-10 are budget data. NNDR data for 2010-11 are not yet available. However an estimate of the gross revenue for 2010-11 has been provided using the figure used in consulting on the 2010 revaluation transitional arrangements. This figure assumed zero inflation. No estimates have been made of the net revenue figure for 2010-11. The 2010-11 data were calculated on a different basis to those collected on the NNDR forms and so the figures are not strictly comparable.
The data for 2010-11 are published in Table 1 of the consultation paper "The Transitional Arrangements for the Non-domestic Rating Revaluation" published on 8 July 2009. This paper can be found on the Communities and Local Government website at:
Gross revenue is defined as the yield from non-domestic rates that could be collected in the year, irrespective of the year to which it relates, before the deduction of reliefs and before any allowances for the cost of collection.
Net revenue is defined as the yield from non-domestic rates that could be collected in the year, irrespective of the year to which it relates, after the deduction of reliefs and before any allowance for the cost of collection.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what changes are proposed to the thresholds for (a) small business rate relief, (b) empty property rate relief and (c) supplementary business rates following the 2010 non-domestic rate revaluation. 
Barbara Follett: The rateable value thresholds in the Small Business Rate Relief scheme will increase from 1 April 2010. Eligible businesses, who generally occupy only one property, with a rateable value of £6,000 or below (increased from £5,000) may apply for 50 per cent. relief. Eligible ratepayers with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000 (increased from £5,001 and £10,000 respectively) may apply for relief on a sliding scale between 50 and 0 per cent.. Eligible ratepayers with a rateable value between £12,001 and £17,999 or £25,499 in Greater London (increased from £10,001, £14,999 and £21,499 respectively) may apply for their rates liability to be calculated using the small business non-domestic multiplier. Additional properties with a rateable value up to £2,599 (increased from £2,199) can be disregarded in deciding whether the single occupancy criterion has been met. However, the rateable values of such properties are included in determining whether or not the threshold criterion has been met.
No decisions have been made on changes to the threshold for empty property relief as a result of revaluation 2010. Hereditaments with a rateable value of £50,000 or less will be exempt from the business rate supplements. In addition there is discretion within the Business Rate Supplements Act 2009 for levying authorities to increase the liability threshold.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether (a) a small firm and (b) a rural proofing impact assessment has been undertaken in respect of the 2010 rates revaluation. 
Barbara Follett: Regular revaluations are a standard part of the business rates system and are required by statute. Therefore, no impact assessment has been undertaken by my Department on the overall implementation of the 2010 business rates revaluation. An impact assessment on the proposed transitional arrangements scheme for revaluation 2010 was published on 8 July and includes sections on rural areas and small firms.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the change in revenue to accrue from empty property rates relief in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10. 
Barbara Follett: Local authorities reported they granted £1,294 million of empty property relief in 2007-08 and £487 million of empty property relief in 2008-09. They estimate they will grant empty property relief of £570 million in 2009-10.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Robert Neill) of 3 June 2009, Official Report, column 591W, on non-domestic rates: religious buildings, what criteria the Registrar General uses when determining whether to certify the premises of a faith community or religion as a place of religious worship. 
The Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 provides for places of meeting for religious worship to be certified to the Registrar General but does not apply to the established Church. When considering the registration of a building which has been certified as a place of religious worship, the Registrar General applies the judgment by the Court of Appeal in the Segerdal case. The main finding in the judgment is that the words 'place of meeting for religious worship' in the Act connote a place of which the principal use is for people
to come together as a congregation to worship God or do reverence to a deity. Apart from the Church of England and the Church in Wales, any faith or denomination which meets these criteria would be capable of recognition under the 1855 Act.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will place in the Library a copy of the Valuation Office Agency's valuation scales for the 2010 business rates revaluation. 
Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent progress has been made on the disposal of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Malik: The Department and the Shareholder Executive commissioned a site development study on the QEIICC in late June. This is about to be finalised and considered. A further update on progress will be provided at the time of the pre-Budget report 2009.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 21 July 2009, Official Report, columns 118-9WS, on the Tackling Race Inequalities Fund, when he expects funding to be allocated to each organisation listed. 
The Tackling Race Inequalities Fund (TRIF) managing agent-the Community Development Foundation (CDF)-has issued a total of 24 funding agreements to the TRIF funded organisations that have approved workplans; they are currently in contact with the
organisations to agree administrative processes, and the last organisation regarding their detail work programme. CDF has received 13 signed funding agreements and paid over grant funding on receipt of a grant claim from these TRIF funded organisations.
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