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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what date each regional fire control room lease expires; and what steps he has taken to ensure the continuation of a national network on expiry of the leases. 
|Region||End date of Lease|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much had been spent under each budget heading on the FiReControl Project on the latest date for which figures are available. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many project risks there
are on the FiReControl Risk Register; how many are currently rated high or above; and what the nature is of those risks currently rated high or above. 
Timely completion of FiReControl and Firelink project activities (critical dependencies)
Timely decision making within local authorities and local authority controlled company's (governance and management capacity)
The pace of change within the service (strategic change/impact).
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the purpose is of Integrated Risk Management Plans (IRMPs); what role his Department plays in monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of IRMPs; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Malik: Integrated Risk Management Planning (IRMP) underpins the reforms to the Fire and Rescue Service that flowed from the White Paper 'Our Fire and Rescue Service' published in June 2003. Since then, fire and rescue authorities have shifted their focus from intervention to put a greater emphasis on fire prevention. The aim is to improve community safety, reduce the commercial, economic and social impact of fires and other emergency incidents, and make a more productive use of fire and rescue service resources to meet today's risks. That approach means that each authority now determines its policies and standards for prevention, protection and intervention in the light of the risks identified, which enables it to target those areas or sections of the community that are at particularly high risk. The Fire and Rescue Service National Framework 2008-11 requires IRMPs to be regularly reviewed and revised and to reflect up to date risk information and evaluation of service delivery outcomes.
The Government are committed to enabling local authorities and local communities to make appropriate decisions at the local level. It is therefore not the role of Ministers to intervene in, or even comment upon, the operational proposals of an individual fire and rescue authority's IRMP; that is for elected members of the authority concerned to determine following full consultation with the local community The fire authority is best placed to act on the professional advice of principal officers and to balance the competing local demands on available resources for the benefits of the communities they serve.
A comprehensive review of the adequacy and impact on a nationwide basis of IRMP policy and implementation has been carried out on the Department's behalf by Mott Macdonald, and a report will be published. The report will be considered in discussion with stakeholders.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the technology with which enhanced command support vehicles supplied by his Department to fire and rescue authorities are equipped; what recent work has been undertaken on the vehicles; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Malik: The enhanced command support (ECS) vehicles provide a multi-technology communication platform to support the co-ordination of large, complex deployments of fire and rescue service (FRS) resources. Capabilities include connectivity with other FRSs, emergency service resources and control rooms through radio, mobile phones and land lines. This capability is available for operational use if needed and has already been used to good effect, most recently during last month's floods in Cumbria.
Minor technical issues have been encountered with the satellite communications capability which provides a basic level of communications in the event of an unlikely, but serious and protracted, disruption of other communications systems. We are reasonably confident that these can be resolved and hope to be in a position to deploy the full capability to the FRS by March 2010.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many enhanced command support vehicles have been supplied by his Department to fire and rescue authorities in the last 12 months; what the total purchase cost of those vehicles was; at how many incidents they have been used; and where each is currently located. 
Mr. Malik: The Department has procured nine enhanced control vehicles for use by the fire and rescue service, as part of its new dimension project to provide enhanced response capability to the fire and rescue service. The total purchase cost of these vehicles was £1,459,500. Although the vehicles are not yet fully operational or permanently located with individual FRSs, they have been used to good effect in three incidents and exercises, most recently during last month's floods in Cumbria.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which recommendations made by the Business and Community Safety Forum in their ministerial submission to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Communities and Local Government on 2 April 2009 on dangers of fires in timber-framed construction were (a) implemented and (b) rejected prior to the Peckham fire in November 2009. 
Mr. Malik: I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave him on 8 December 2009, Official Report, columns 302-03W. A copy of the letter of 28 May by my right hon. Friend the Member for Tooting (Mr. Khan) has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Ian Austin: There are no plans to revise the 29 categories of hazard contained in the housing health and safety rating system. The underlying principle of the housing health and safety rating system is that any residential premises should provide a safe and healthy environment for any potential occupier or visitor. It is primarily concerned with those matters which can properly be considered the responsibility of the owner (or landlord).
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the cost to the public purse was of the Government Office for the East of England staff away day in Chilford Hall in November 2009; how many staff attended that away day; and for what reason that location was chosen for that away day. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government Office for the East of England (GO-East) held an event at Chilford Hall in November 2009. Chilford Hall conference centre was selected as it offered good value for money. The cost for the event was £7562.45 (including VAT). Approximately 180 people attended; including 150 GO-East staff, non-executive directors and speakers and regional partners invited to participate.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department has budgeted for supporting the home information pack programme between 2008 to 2011; and how much of that funding will go to local authorities. 
John Healey: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Margaret Beckett) to the hon. Member for Falmouth and Camborne (Julia Goldsworthy) on 6 November 2008, Official Report, column 723W.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what percentage of households in (a) each region and (b) England classified as homeless left the homeless list in each of the last two years; 
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 are available ("homeless acceptances"). If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority must secure temporary accommodation (TA) until a settled home becomes available.
The data include the number of homeless acceptances not immediately provided with settled accommodation, for whom a main homelessness duty was ended during the quarter. A duty can be ended in a number of circumstances, for example, where an offer of settled accommodation is accepted or refused. National figures for the number of homeless acceptances not immediately provided with settled accommodation for whom a main homelessness duty was ended can be found in Table 8 of the latest Statistical Release, accessible from this link:
National and regional figures for the number of households in temporary accommodation or remaining in their existing home, on 31 March 2007 and 31 March 2008, who were homeless acceptances and not immediately provided with settled accommodation are shown in Table 1:
|31 March 2007||31 March 2008|
National and regional figures for the number of homeless acceptances not immediately provided with settled accommodation, for whom a main homelessness duty was ended in each of the last three years is shown in Table 2:
|(1) Provisional data for 2008-09|
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