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15 Dec 2009 : Column 992Wcontinued
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment he has made of the incidence of housing benefit fraud in East Lancashire; and if he will make a statement. 
Helen Goodman: I have been asked to reply.
Department for Work and Pensions fraud and error estimates, published in the Fraud and Error in the Benefit System series, provide fraud and error estimates at a national level. The estimates are derived from the examination of a sample of benefit payments. The sample sizes are too small to produce valid estimates at sub-national level, so therefore information for East Lancashire is not available.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what requirements there are on a householder to make adjustments for the purposes of energy efficiency to a dwelling that householder proposes to extend. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Minimum standards for energy efficiency are set out in Part L of the Building Regulations (England & Wales), 'Conservation of fuel and power'. Part L requirements apply only when certain categories of building work are carried out to existing dwellings, including adding an extension. Guidance issued under Part L sets out a number of energy efficiency provisions, in relation to the performance of the fabric and services of any new extension.
Where an extension is added onto a building (including a dwelling) and the floor area of the existing building exceeds 1,000m(2) then additional consequential energy efficiency improvements to the existing building may also be required.
CLG recently consulted on proposals to raise Part L standards in 2010 and plans to publish a summary of responses early in 2010.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department and its predecessors spent on housing in each year since 1997-98 expressed in real terms in 2009 prices. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Data on public expenditure by department and function are published annually in "Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses". The latest edition was published in June 2009 (Cm 7630) and includes data from financial year 1997-98 up to and including 2007-08.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much of the £21 million for low-carbon heating systems announced in April has been spent in each region. 
Mr. Ian Austin: There has been no expenditure as yet under the Low Carbon Infrastructure Fund but contracts are in place to enable allocated monies to be spent this financial year. The regional breakdown of committed expenditure is as follows:
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average purchase price of a first-time buyer's property was in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The average mix-adjusted purchase price of a first-time buyer in each year since 1997 is available on our website at:
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what payments (a) the Fire Service College and (b) his Department have made to ICE Ltd in each of the last five years; and to which projects these payments relate. 
Barbara Follett: The information is as follows:
(a) The Fire Service College have made the following payments to ICE Ltd:
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(b) The Department has made no payments to ICE Ltd in the last five years.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers local authorities have in respect of the placing of dog refuse bins and litter bins on unadopted land. 
Barbara Follett [holding answer14 December 2009]: My Department is not responsible for the placement of dog refuse bins and litter bins.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his Department's latest estimate is of the average level of employer contribution as a percentage of the employee's salary made by each administering local authority within the Local Government Pension Scheme. 
Barbara Follett: No estimate has been made.
Mr. Stewart Jackson:
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 16 October 2009, Official Report, column 1107W, on Atherton Associates, whether Ministers in
his Department have met representatives of Atherton Associates in the last 36 months to discuss unitary restructuring. 
Barbara Follett: No Minister from this Department has met with Atherton Associates in the last 36 months.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what mechanisms are used to (a) collect, (b) check and (c) publish statistical data for the purposes of the (i) local spending reports and (b) Total Place initiative. 
Barbara Follett: Expenditure data published in local spending reports are official statistics and are collected, checked and published in line with guidelines for such statistics.
Total Place data are collected and owned by the pilot areas involved on a voluntary basis. CLG has commissioned a report which will summarise and comment on these findings and will be published following agreement of a final draft.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what planning guidance is in place in relation to building marinas on (a) protected coastline and (b) adjoining green belt land. 
Mr. Ian Austin: There is no planning policy or guidance specific to marinas on protected coastlines or within or adjoining green belt. Our policy on the latter is set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 2, Green Belts, available on the website:
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the number of households with a (a) mortgage and (b) second-charge loan which have been repossessed in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The Department does not collect information on mortgage possessions and arrears although information for the United Kingdom as a whole is published separately by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) and the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
The latest CML information is at:
The latest FSA information is at:
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which documents will have priority in cases where the contents of national policy statements differ from planning policy statements and planning policy guidance notes. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Where applications for a development consent order are made to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), decisions will have to be made in accordance with the national policy statement although the IPC may also have regard to other matters which it thinks are both important and relevant. As the primary consideration for the IPC when it makes decisions on applications for development consent, national policy statements will take precedence over planning policy statements and planning policy guidance notes.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether church buildings which are used for purposes other than religious worship are liable for business rates. 
Barbara Follett: As stated in the Local Government Finance Act 1988, if church halls, chapel halls and similar buildings are used only for the purposes of the organisation responsible for the conduct of public religious worship, they are, like the church or place of public religious worship, exempt from business rates.
However, where the building is also used for other purposes, it may be rated accordingly.
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 974W, on non-domestic rates: Greater London, what the title was of the guidance note from which the section on sub-location codes was obtained; and if he will place in the Library a copy of that note. 
Barbara Follett: The title of the document is "Review of sub-location codes". A copy has been placed in the Library.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the operators of mobile libraries are liable for the payment of business rates. 
Barbara Follett: Mobile libraries are not rateable. The operational base from which they work may have a liability for rates.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage rise in rateable values for an average hereditament from the 2005 Rating List to the draft 2010 rating list would entail a real terms revenue neutral change in business rates based on the 2010-11 standard rating multiplier. 
The percentage rise in rateable values that would entail a real terms revenue neutral change in business rates based on the 2009-10 and the provisional 2010-11 small business multipliers is 18.2 per cent. This percentage was calculated by setting the Notional Chargeable Amount (NCA) for a given hereditament in 2009-10 equal to the NCA for that hereditament in
2010-11. The NCA is the product between the multiplier for the relevant year and the rateable value (RV) of the hereditament in that same year. This calculation assumes that hereditaments would not be eligible for any relief, i.e. that its bill would coincide with the NCA.
The five-yearly business rates revaluations make sure each business pays its fair contribution and no more by ensuring the share of the national rates bill paid by any one business reflects changes over time in the value of their property relative to others. The 2010 revaluation will not raise a single extra penny for Government.
Over a million properties will see their business rate liabilities come down as a result of revaluation. The Government intend to put in place a £2 billion relief scheme to limit the impact on the minority with bill increases. That is on top of the wider support available to help ease business pressures including discounted rate bills for small businesses and deferring tax payments.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) maximum and (b) minimum volume of fuel is which is to be stored at the Oikos terminal for the duration of BP's leasehold contract. 
Mr. Ian Austin: According to HSE records the current hazardous substances consent for the Oikos terminal is for a maximum of 473,508 cubic metres of highly flammable liquids which may include petroleum and petroleum mixtures (no minimum is specified). This would be approximately 355,131 tonnes of petroleum.
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will make it his policy to provide support to the areas of the mapping sector not accounted for by the operations of Ordnance Survey. 
Mr. Ian Austin: There are no plans to provide explicit financial support to the mapping sector outside Ordnance Survey.
Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the announcement of 17 November 2009 on the Making Public Data Public initiative, when he expects to begin the consultation regarding access to Ordnance Survey data. 
Mr. Ian Austin: We expect the consultation to be launched during the week beginning 14 December 2009.
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