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My Department published a consultation on draft statutory guidance and secondary legislation to support the petitions duty on 2 December. The consultation includes questions about the most appropriate timescale for bringing the provisions into force. Ministers will take a decision about when to commence the petitions duty after the consultation closes on 24 February.
The Government recognise the importance of embedding the promotion of democracy and engagement of local people at the heart of local government. We have recently consulted on how best to engage with and strengthen the role of local people, to influence decisions in their local area and restore the status of the town hall by boosting the status, powers and accountability of local councils. We will be responding to the "Strengthening Local Democracy" consultation in due course.
The duty to promote democracy is important in helping take this work forward and we want to ensure that its introduction has a positive and proactive response from local government given the likely costs involved in implementing it effectively. We have therefore been looking at when the duty should be implemented. We have concluded that given the current economic situation implementation of the duty should be considered as part of the next spending review.
In respect of the audit and mutual insurance provisions in Part 2, it will be necessary to prepare and consult on draft regulations and guidance before we commence the provisions. Any final decision on commencement will depend on the outcome of this consultation.
The commencement date for construction contract provisions in Part 8 is dependent on the revision of the Scheme for Construction Contracts (England and Wales) Regulations 1998. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will consult on the necessary changes in the new year.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether local planning authorities will be required to amend their Local Development Frameworks to bring them in line with National Policy Statements. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will place in the Library a copy of the recent protocol to the Charter of Local Self-Government; and what steps will be required to implement the Charter's provisions in England. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: I have today placed in the Library a copy of the Additional Protocol to The European Charter of Local Self-Government on the Right to Participate in the Affairs of a Local Authority which I signed on behalf of the United Kingdom at the recent conference of Ministers responsible for local and regional government at Utrecht. We intend, subject to Parliament not disagreeing, to ratify the Protocol as soon as practicable after consultation with the Local Government Association and other stakeholders and formally laying it before Parliament. As will be explained in the White Paper that we will present to Parliament when laying the Protocol, we believe that the United Kingdom already complies with the Protocol and no new legislative provision is required.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will make an assessment of the potential efficiency savings which could be achieved through closer integration of local authority and national park authority (a) planning, (b) personnel and payroll, (c) democratic services and (d) marketing functions. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The English National Park Authorities and the Broads Authority are expected to operate as efficiently as possible. This includes sharing services with local authorities or other organisations whenever that is cost-effective and when they can do so without impeding their ability to deliver the statutory National Park purposes.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much gross revenue has been raised from the parish precept on council tax in each year since 1997-98. 
|Parish precepts: England|
Budget Requirement (BR) returns from local authorities.
Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how much (a) in total and (b) per capita is planned to be provided through the (i) provisional local authority formula grant and (ii) adjusted provisional local authority formula grant in (A) England, (B) the South West Region, (C) each local authority in the South West Region in financial year (1) 2009-10 and (2) 2010-11; 
(2) how much (a) in total and (b) per capita was provided through the (i) local authority formula grant and (ii) adjusted local authority formula grant for (A) England, (B) the South West Region and (C) each local authority in the South West Region in each year from 1997-98 to 2008-09. 
The Department only holds data on adjusted formula grant from 1997-98. This is because it only became necessary to make these adjustments when guarantees were introduced that ensured that no authority could lose grant, year-on-year, on a like-for-like basis. Consequently it is not possible to provide the increases on a like-for-like basis for 1997-98.
The previous year's formula grant is adjusted for changes in function and funding to enable a like-for-like comparison. This is the only purpose of the adjustment: the local authority's grant for the previous year is not changed.
Formula Grant comprises Revenue Support Grant, redistributed business rates, principal formula Police Grant, SSA Reduction Grant (SSA Review), SSA Reduction Grant (Police Funding Review) and Central Support Protection Grant where appropriate.
Before 2006-07, support for schools was paid through formula grant. In 2006-07 funding for schools was transferred to the Dedicated Schools Grant. That is why all authorities which have responsibility for schools will see a large decrease in their grant between 2005-06 and 2006-07 on an absolute (non like-for-like) basis.
Before 2006-07, the main measure of population used in the Local Government Finance Settlement was the sub-national estimates. From 2006-07 onwards, sub-national population projections were used instead. The per head figures have been calculated using the main measure of population used for each settlement.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on the application of the provisions of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 to charged-for discretionary services. 
Barbara Follett: The Department has not issued guidance to local authorities on the application of the provisions of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 where the local authority charges for discretionary services provided by it.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what requirements there are on local authorities to have a policy on redress and compensation for failure of their services. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Local authorities are expected to have an effective complaints system that achieves redress for citizens if things go wrong. An independent review into redress for local authority services, which reported in June 2009, identified that clearly setting out what will happen if things go wrong alongside service standards was one of the areas that makes the biggest difference to the customer experience. The evidence considered by the review team showed that the key factor for people in feeling that their concern had been adequately dealt with was not receiving compensation, but having their problem effectively resolved.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many claims for compensation against Chorley Borough Council for failure to comply with disability equality schemes have been upheld in the last two years. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether an assessment has been made of the effect of the reduction of gilt yields resulting from quantitative
easing on the levels of Local Government Pension Scheme pension deficits. 
Barbara Follett: The actuarial valuation exercise by Local Government Pension Scheme administering authorities due in March 2010 will take full account of this, and all the other factors which are relevant to each of the scheme's pension funds.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 16 February 2006, Official Report, column 2211W, on advanced corporation tax relief, what the monetary value is of the additional sum that has been provided to mitigate the effect of the abolition of advanced corporation tax relief on the local government pension scheme in each year since 1998. 
Barbara Follett: The reply given to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) on 16 February 2006, Official Report, column 2211W, confirmed that the value of the £130 million provided in 1998 to offset the impact of the abolition of advanced corporation tax on the Local Government Pension Scheme has been fully protected through indexation.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will place in the Library a copy of the most recent annual report of each individual administering authority of the Local Government Pension Scheme that is held by his Department. 
Barbara Follett: This information is not held centrally. However, administering authorities are required to publish their annual report locally. A copy of each authority's report can be obtained from that authority and, in some cases, from their website.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average central Government grant per capita was to (a) district councils, (b) unitary councils, (c) county councils, (d) metropolitan councils, (e) London boroughs, (f) police authorities and (g) fire authorities in each year since 1997-98. 
|£ per head|
|(1) From 2000-01 onwards Metropolitan Police Authority data are collected within Greater London Authority. Hence separate data are not available.|
(2) From 2000-01 onwards London Fire and Civil Defence Authority data are collected within Greater London Authority. Hence separate data are not available.
(3) From 2004-05 onwards Combined Fire Authorities (CFA) became precepting authorities.
Communities and Local Government Revenue Outturn (RO) returns from 1997-98 to 2008-09
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