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15 Dec 2009 : Column 987Wcontinued
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what payments (a) the Fire Service College and (b) his Department has made to ICE Ltd in each of the last five years; and to what projects these payments relate. 
Barbara Follett [holding answer 14 December 2009]: The information is as follows:
(a) The Fire Service College have made the following payments to ICE Ltd:
|Business area: Centre for Leadership||£|
(b) The Department has made no payments to ICE Ltd in the last five years.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 10 November 2009, Official Report, column 275W, on domestic waste: waste disposal, if he will make it his policy to review the design standards to assess whether they are sufficient to house the number and volume of wheelie bins provided by waste collection authorities to households. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The Government plan to carry out an evaluation and review of Part H (Drainage and waste disposal) and its guidance as part of the Future of Building Control Implementation Plan and will introduce any necessary revisions in 2013.
We have reviewed domestic waste disposal within the waste category of the Code for Sustainable Homes (the Code) as part of the Code's general review before its planned consultation later this year. Given the variability of frequency of waste collections by local authorities, we propose to amend the calculation methodology for external space to link it to the frequency of collections by the local authority. Where a local authority does not provide the waste containers and collects fortnightly, the BS5906:2005 space standards (l00 litres for the first bedroom and then a further 70 1itres for each additional bedroom) should be doubled. We are not proposing that you can reduce the space requirements for more frequent collections. Additionally, we propose that where the local authority does not limit the volume of waste collected weekly, then compliance with BS5906:2005 is required. We intend to publish our conclusions from the Code consultation in summer 2010.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 14 October 2009, Official Report, columns 965-68W, on fetes, how many (a) forms and (b) permits are required for the purposes of operating a fete. 
Barbara Follett: We have made no such estimate.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance documents issued by his Department to fire and rescue authorities on integrated risk management plans relate to (a) the location of fire stations and fire appliances, (b) the hours of operation of fire stations, (c) the priority given to protecting life, (d) the priority given to protecting property and (e) socio-economic and geo-demographic targeting of support. 
Mr. Malik: Decisions on operational issues such as the location of fire stations and fire appliances, the hours of operation of fire stations and the priority given to identified and assessed risks are taken by individual Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs) as part of the integrated risk management planning process.
A range of IRMP-related guidance has been issued to FRAs and is available on the Communities and Local Government website at:
The guidance, which is non-prescriptive, is designed to provide advice and assistance on IRMP and its associated processes, allowing local authorities and local communities to make appropriate decisions at the local level.
The Department has also provided each fire and rescue service with a suite of software called the fire service emergency cover (FSEC) toolkit. This toolkit allows each fire and rescue service to undertake a risk-based assessment of their area. FSEC is based upon a geographical information system, which takes account of a range of factors including socio-economic and geo-demographic data, and uses bespoke software to calculate the probable losses based on a particular set of response strategies in terms of lives lost and property costs. That then enables the FRA to determine its optimum prevention, protection and response strategies appropriate to its own area.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the recent impact assessment in respect of delays to the FiReControl projects; which fire services were identified as higher risk; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the full results of the impact assessments. 
Mr. Malik: We undertook an impact assessment of project delay, working with the fire and rescue services. No fire and rescue service identified unmanageable risks as a result. A small number of fire and rescue services identified increased risks and we are working with them to mitigate these. The information provided by the fire and rescue service was on a confidential basis.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what mechanism exists for the transfer of individual fire and rescue authorities control functions to regional control centres; and whether he can direct such a transfer. 
Mr. Malik: The Government are committed to working in partnership with the Fire and Rescue Service to deliver the benefits which FiReControl will bring. This commitment is set out in the 'Fire and Rescue Service National Framework 2008-11'. Powers exist under sections 22 and 29 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 to direct a move to the FiReControl network, as a last resort.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the cost of measures taken as a result of delays to the Firelink and FiReControl projects; and which of them are included in the FiReControl business case. 
Mr. Malik: Firelink delays have resulted in additional costs in project management which have been recovered from the contractor. The Firelink project has also incurred additional costs for project management in providing an interim solution to enhance integration with existing control rooms due to FiReControl delay. The cost is estimated at £4.6 million Under FiReControl, the estimated cost of the delay in July is £40 million. We have entered into a royalties deal with our supplier on future sales of the system to recover these costs for the taxpayer while enabling the system to be developed. The cost of any delay are referred to in the FiReControl business case.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 1 December 2009, Official Report, column 643W, on floods: Cumbria, whether expenditure incurred by local authorities below the 0.2 per cent. threshold in respect of the recent flooding in Cumbria will be reimbursed under the Bellwin scheme. 
Barbara Follett: No. The threshold has been set at 0.2 per cent. of a local authority's calculated annual revenue budget. This is because the Government, throughout the lifetime of the Bellwin scheme, have thought it reasonable to expect authorities to cover costs themselves up to a certain level. Every local authority is required to maintain reserves, one of whose main purposes is to meet unexpected costs. Successive Governments have retained the threshold and it has never been waived, even during the 1987 storms, the 2000 floods, the foot-and-mouth crisis or the 2007 summer floods.
The threshold applies to annual spending and not to spending on each incident. So authorities who report more than one incident in the same financial year take spending on all reported incidents into account in calculating whether they have exceeded the threshold.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the effect on his Department's policy on the protection of green belt land of the decision of the Planning Inspectorate of 20 October 2009 in respect of the appeal of Libra Demolition Ltd against the refusal of Leeds City Council to grant outline planning permission for a residential development. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The site referred to is not in the green belt. However, the case is subject to legal proceedings at present, so it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of people classed as homeless and in priority need are under the age of 25 years in Leeds city area; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Information about English local housing authorities' actions under the homelessness legislation (part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) is collected at local authority level, and published by the Department in the quarterly Statistical Release on Statutory Homelessness, available both in the Library and via the CLG website at:
Data collected include the number of households accepted by local housing authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need,
and therefore owed a main homelessness duty (to secure that suitable accommodation is available).
Data on age of applicants accepted as owed a main homelessness duty are available at national level and provided in table 10(b) of the statistical release, found at the link above and in the Library. The first age band shows applicants who are aged between 16 and 24 years old (all applicants must be 16 or over).
Data are also available at a national level on applicant households with dependent children accepted as owed a main homelessness duty, in table 5 of the statistical release mentioned above. However the actual number of children is not held centrally.
During the July to September quarter 2009, there were 123 homeless acceptances in Leeds, of which 30, or 24 per cent. were from applicants aged 16 to 24 and 84, or 68 per cent. were households with dependent children.
A table showing the number and proportion of accepted applicants aged between 16 and 24 years and applicant households with dependent children, at local authority level has been placed in the Library.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what estimate he has made of the proportion and number of homeless people aged 18 years or under; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the proportion and number of homeless people aged 25 years or under. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Information about English local housing authorities' actions under the homelessness legislation (part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) is collected at local authority level, and published by the Department in the quarterly Statistical Release on Statutory Homelessness, available both in the Library and via the CLG website:
Data collected include the number of households accepted by local housing authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty (to secure that suitable accommodation is available). If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority must secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available, and this information is also collected.
Figures on the number and proportion of applicants under the age of 25 who were accepted as owed a main homelessness duty, was given in response to my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West (John Battle) today (PQ 306600).
A table showing the number and proportion of households with children (and the actual number of children) in temporary accommodation can be found in the statistical release mentioned above.
We also hold centrally data on the number of 16 to 17-year-old applicant households in temporary accommodation, and on 30 September there were 1,590 in this category, 3 per cent. of the total number of households in temporary accommodation on this date.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 11 November 2009, Official Report, column 525W, on housing, how many first-time buyers purchased a home with a mortgage in the UK in each year from 1979 to 1995. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The numbers of first-time buyers purchasing a home with a mortgage in the UK in each year from 1979 to 1995 are presented in the following table:
|First time buyers purchasing with a mortgage, UK|
| Source: Council of Mortgage Lenders.|
Today there are 1.6 million more home-owners than in 1991 and 1 million more than in 1997.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities have responded to his Department's consultation on the Housing Revenue Account. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The Department received 155 responses from local authorities to the consultation on proposals to reform the Housing Revenue Account subsidy system.
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