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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the cost of building a home which meets the (a) Lifetime Home Standard and (b) Code for Sustainable Homes Level (i) four, (ii) five and (iii) six. 
Mr. Ian Austin: In "Code for Sustainable Homes: Impact assessment-December 2009", published 18 December 2009, page 73, figure 38 sets out the range of costs for building to the Lifetime Homes Standard as being between £575 and £875. This impact assessment supports the consultation on the Code for Sustainable Homes.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) whether he plans to issue guidance to potential bidders for construction of the new eco-quarters on the submission of proposals for the development of land on or adjacent to (a) flood plains, (b) green fields, (c) green belt, (d) areas of
outstanding natural beauty and (e) sites of special scientific interest; 
(2) what timetable has been set for the construction of homes in the new eco-quarters; what target has been set in respect of the number of homes to be built; and to what Code for Sustainable Homes level such homes will be built; 
John Healey: In my written ministerial statement of 1 December 2009, Official Report, column 119WS, I announced the responses we had received to take forward exemplar green developments to the standards that we set out in "Planning Policy Statement: eco-towns" (PPS), published on 16 July 2009. The PPS sets out the planning context and the standards, including for homes, waste and transport that these developments must meet. The PPS should also be read alongside the Government's national policies on the different aspects of spatial planning in England, including for housing and green belt development.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he has made an assessment of the (a) outcomes and (b) cost-effectiveness of the millennium communities scheme. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The millennium communities is an active programme that is demonstrating how mixed-use, environmentally positive communities can be created on difficult, brownfield sites. It will continue to deliver outputs up to at least 2012. An evaluation of the longer-term outcomes and cost-effectiveness of the Millennium Communities programme would be expected to be undertaken following its completion.
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is responsible for delivering the programme on behalf of Communities and Local Government. Communities and Local Government scrutinises the HCA's expenditure and performance in line with the HCA's Financial Framework, and against the aims and objectives set in the HCA's Corporate Plan.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman) of 19 May 2009, Official Report, column 1346W, on housing: construction, for what reasons no homes had been built in the Hastings Millennium Community at the time of that answer. 
At Ore Valley there has been significant progress as a result, either directly or indirectly, of Homes and Communities Agency funding. A new community centre has already been completed, a college campus is close to completion and an adventure play ground is due to be completed in March 2010. The primary care trust is planning to develop a health centre at the site and
improvements are planned at the nearby station. However, delays have resulted from high abnormal development costs and design challenges associated with working in a difficult topography. The housing market in this area is also traditionally weak. This has made it difficult to attract a development partner for the residential elements. Despite this, and the recent market downturn, a development agreement is due to be signed very shortly with Bellway Homes.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) length and (b) notice period is of the contract of each member of the Infrastructure Planning Commission. 
Subject to paragraph 4(2) in Schedule 1 of the Planning Act 2008, these appointments can be terminated early by the Secretary of State giving three months notice, in writing. A commissioner may also resign, again giving three months notice, in writing.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what declarations of (a) interest and (b) political activity each member of the Infrastructure Planning Commission has made. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what means of redress leasehold tenants have in respect of service charges levied by a local authority freehold landlord. 
The right to ask a leasehold valuation tribunal (LVT) to determine the liability to pay and reasonableness of service charges that they are asked to pay under the terms of their lease, where they contribute towards service charges the costs of which vary;
The right to be consulted where the landlord is to carry out works that will cost an individual more than £250, or a long term agreement where the costs under the agreement will exceed £100 per individual;
The right to ask for information about service charges and insurance of the property, including the right to ask for a summary of service charges and to inspect the supporting documentation and receipts etc.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will make an estimate of the incidence of the over-charging of leasehold owners of flats on building insurance by property agents who share commission with freeholders. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Information is not available on the number of incidents where leaseholders of flats may have been 'overcharged' in respect of the contributions paid towards the buildings insurance premium as a consequence of commission being paid to the freeholder and/or managing agent. I am not therefore able to provide an estimate.
However, where leaseholders of flats believe that any demand made of them through their service charges for contributions towards building insurance is unreasonable, they have the right to ask a leasehold valuation tribunal to determine the reasonableness of the demand.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects regulations on the provisions of section 27 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 to be brought into force. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Section 27 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 regarding Local Freedoms comes into force on 12 January 2010, two months after Royal Assent. Section 27 does not provide for the making of regulations.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Ensuring that councils have a wide range of powers and freedom to support and enable councils to be innovative and act in the local interest is something that this Government have long been committed to, as demonstrated through our introduction of the Well-being power in 2000 and in 2003 through the introduction of new freedoms and flexibilities, such as the power to trade. Following the "Strengthening Local Democracy consultation", Government have legislated to allow local authorities and other best value authorities to take part in mutual insurance arrangements and this consultation also asked whether there are other similar arrangements-beyond mutual insurance-which councils believe could be beneficial but which are potentially out of scope of existing powers .
In "Putting the Frontline First", and again in the pre-Budget report we have also committed to further exploring, subject to the overall fiscal position, what
other finance mechanisms, powers and flexibilities could support local authorities to drive growth and innovation most effectively.
In relation to the hon. Member's call for a 'power of general competence', there is a question as to whether, once the inevitable prudential restrictions are applied, such a power would look very different to the current power of well-being. However, these are complex issues, needing careful consideration-which we are committed to taking forward as a matter of priority. The consultation ended on 2 October and we will be publishing our final response in due course.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has issued any recent guidance to local authorities in respect of indirectly elected local authority leaders continuing in office following a change in the political composition of a local authority. 
Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the Government grant was per capita for the (a) Sevenoaks, (b) Sedgefield, (c) Chorley and (d) average English district in (i) 1997-98 and (ii) 2008-09. 
|£ per head|
Communities and Local Government Revenue Outturn (RO) returns for 1997-98 and 2008-09.
The definition of central Government grant used here is the sum of formula grant (revenue support grant and redistributed non-domestic rates) and specific grants inside Aggregate External Finance (AEF), i.e. revenue grants paid for council's core services. For 2008-09 it also includes Area Based Grant (ABG).
Figures exclude grants outside AEF (i.e. where funding is not for authorities' core services, but is passed to a third party, for example, rent allowances and rebates), capital grants, funding for the local authorities' housing management responsibilities and those grant programmes (such as European funding) where authorities are simply one of the recipients of funding paid towards an area.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment has been made of the likely effects of the proposed new (a) public sector equality duty and (b) duty to tackle socio-economic disadvantage in the Equality Bill on the (i) local government funding settlement, (ii) the setting of a council tax by local authorities and (iii) the spending allocation decisions of local authorities. 
Barbara Follett: The Government are committed to ensuring that all new burdens falling on local authorities, whether from the Equality Bill or any other policy, are fully considered and properly funded so that there is no upward pressure on council tax bills. Where appropriate, funding is provided through the formula grant system or through specific grants.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what information his Department holds on the average level of (a) salary, (b) car mileage allowances and (c) other allowances received by (i) chief executives, (ii) assistant chief executives and (iii) deputy executives of (A) district councils in Lancashire, (B) unitary councils in Lancashire and (C) metropolitan councils in the north west; and what the average level of fee is for each returning officer in each Lancashire constituency. 
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what types of organisation would be entitled to free access to postcode datasets from April 2010 if such datasets were made available for reuse under the Smarter Government strategy; 
Mr. Ian Austin: The Department launched a public consultation on 23 December 2009 in order to seek views and comments on what Ordnance Survey datasets should be made available for free re-use under the Making Public Data Public agenda. During the consultation period, the Department will engage with key stakeholders, including Royal Mail which owns the Postcode Address File database, in order to seek their views on elements of the proposals. A final decision on implementation will be taken in light of the outcome to consultation.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he plans to reply to the letter of 29 October 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr G. Jarvis. 
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