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Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of (a) primary crewing and (b) dual or mixed crewing for aerial platform fire-fighting appliances. 
Mr. Malik: The Department has not undertaken any assessment of the effectiveness of primary crewing or duel or mixed crewing for aerial platform fire-fighting appliances. The Audit Commission assesses fire and rescue authorities' use of resources as part of their comprehensive area assessment. It is for fire and rescue authorities to decide the location and crewing arrangements for their firefighting resources. It is also their responsibility to undertake any necessary assessments of their crewing arrangements, based on their integrated risk management plan (IRMP) which reflects local need and sets out plans to tackle both existing and potential risks to communities. The IRMP enables the authority to tailor cover for fire and other incidents to local circumstances, evaluating where risk is greatest and allocating resources accordingly. Fire and rescue authorities are required to undertake consultation on their IRMP with their communities and other interested parties such as adjacent fire and rescue authorities prior to its implementation.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking to improve training for firefighters for dealing with (a) flooding incidents, (b) urban search and rescue calls, (c) water rescues and (d) terrorist incidents. 
Mr. Malik: The Department's new dimensions project has provided the fire and rescue service (FRS) with enhanced capabilities for high volume pumping, urban search and rescue, and mass decontamination of the public, to respond to incidents on the largest scale, both terrorist-related and natural events such as flooding. The sector-led National Resilience Authority, funded by the Department, provides operational assurance that the capabilities remain fit for purpose for the long term, and this includes a strong focus on training, including development and central purchasing of training on behalf of the FRS. The Department also directly funds fire and rescue authorities (£4.9 million in 2009-10) in recognition of local training costs for new dimensions.
Ultimately, it is for each authority to ensure that its personnel are trained for the roles they carry out. Supporting this, the Department, working with the sector, has produced an FRS operational assessment toolkit which covers training, including the requirement for civil resilience training. A sector qualifications strategy under development by Skills 4 Justice will develop a fire and rescue water safety qualification.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects the final guidance on good practice will be published in accordance with recommendation 41 of the Pitt Report. 
In line with our commitment in the Government's response to Sir Michael Pitt's Review, in August 2009 we published final guidance on good practice in relation to the management and co-ordination of local operations, as part of revised Emergency Response and Recovery Guidance (section 4.1).
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment his Department has made of (a) the level of flood risk in the Thames Gateway and (b) the effects on the availability of insurance policies for new build dwellings in that area of flood risk. 
Mr. Malik: The Environment Agency has recently finished consultation on its Thames Estuary 2100 (TE2100) Plan, which assesses increasing tidal flood risk in the Thames estuary floodplain over the century, and recommends actions to manage the increasing risk over that time. The Environment Agency findings show that the standard of protection provided by the tidal defences, is higher than previously anticipated. Under current climate change guidance the main estuary defences, maintained and renewed when necessary, will continue to protect estuary communities against tidal surges, that on average may only occur once in a 1,000 years, up to around 2070. The final TE2100 plan, which will direct future tidal flood risk management in the estuary, will be submitted to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the spring.
All local planning authorities have to undertake their own strategic flood risk assessment to inform their development planning process as detailed in Planning Policy Statement 25 (PPS25). PPS25 also requires that planning applications for new developments located within flood risk areas are supported by a flood risk assessment, to assess the risk of flooding from all sources, and demonstrate how the development can manage those risks so it is safe.
The Government's position on flood risk and the effect on the availability of insurance is set out in a joint Government and Association of British Insurers (ABI) statement published in July 2008. ABI have also said that their members will insure buildings that comply with PPS25.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 15 June 2009, Official Report, column 32W, on Departmental building, whether his Department has issued guidance on the maximum duration of validity of a local authority search within a home information pack before which it is deemed to be out of date; and what responsibilities (a) estate agents and (b) sellers have to update the searches in the case of material changes. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding has been allocated to the (a) Housing and Planning Delivery Grant and (b) Local Authority Business Growth Incentive Scheme for (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12. 
Barbara Follett: In the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (HPDG) consultation of 2009 we announced that, given the changed economic circumstances, we had taken the opportunity to review the position and make some hard choices about our priorities. In conclusion, we have scaled back the increase in HPDG by £25 million in year two (2009-10) and £50 million in year three (2010-11) to reflect the decline in housing completions and the lower number of plans being submitted. The baseline of HPDG is still increasing significantly so the effect of this change is that HPDG funding will increase from £100 million in year one (2008-09) to £200 million in year three (2010-11). We will continue to keep these issues under review.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent estimate he has made of the likely effect of the proposals in the 2010-11 draft Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Subsidy Determination published on 10 December 2009 on the total net outturn of HRA subsidy for 2010-11. 
John Healey: Any HRA subsidy forecast for a future year can change very significantly due to interest rate and stock movement changes, and other information submitted by local authorities through HRA subsidy returns. We will not have data from local authorities to inform estimates of any subsidy surplus for 2010-11 until after the first subsidy claim forms are received at the end of March 2010.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the effects on community cohesion of the activities of Islam4UK. 
The Prime Minister and I have publicly commented Islam4UK's recent announcements appear intended to provoke anger and division between communities. They have not succeeded. Last week we saw local Wootton Bassett residents and the Wiltshire Islamic Cultural Centre united in opposition to Islam4UK's "irresponsible and irrational" actions.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has undertaken research into the practice of land banking by (a) developers and (b) supermarkets in the last five years. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what timetable he has set for the introduction of a national register of landlords; and whether legislation will be required to establish such a register. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department has issued to (a) local authorities and (b) arm's-length management organisations on the level of service charges levied by them on their leaseholders. 
The Social Landlords Mandatory Reduction of Service Charges (England) Directions 1997 require them to reduce bills in certain cases when special Government assistance is applied for from specified programmes.
The Department's 2006-07 Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Manual also provides guidance to local authorities on appropriate accounting treatment of mixed leaseholder and tenanted blocks, including general advice on how to account for income and expenditure on works to common parts.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which areas have adopted participatory budgeting; what funding his Department has provided to support the use of that practice in each such area. 
Barbara Follett: The Participatory Budgeting Unit (PBU) collates information on our behalf on bodies that have adopted it. Initiatives are being led by a variety of types of organisation including councils (all types), police authorities, primary care trusts and the third sector.
Salford City Council
St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council
Lancaster City Council
Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council
Manchester City Council
Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
Liverpool City Council
Greater Manchester Police-Tameside, Stockport, Bolton and Rochdale
Lancashire Police-Wyre and Blackburn
Cheshire East Council
Alston Moor Parish Council
Wigan Community Network (Third Sector)
Newcastle upon Tyne City Council
Sunderland City Council
Wansbeck District Council
Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council
Hartlepool Borough Council
West Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Trust (New Deal for Communities-Third Sector)
Coast and Country Housing (Redcar)
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
Northumbria Police-Sunderland, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Newcastle
Bradford Local Strategic Partnership
York City Council
Sheffield City Council
Leeds City Council
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
Hull-Preston Road Neighbourhood Development Company (New Deal for Communities-Third Sector)
North Lincolnshire Council
Scarborough Borough Council
South Yorkshire Police-Rotherham, Barnsley and Sheffield
West Yorkshire Police-Wakefield
Birmingham City Council
Staffordshire County Council
Walsall-The new horizons community enterprise (New Deal for Communities-Third Sector)
West Bromwich-Greets Green Partnership (New Deal for Communities-Third Sector)
Hampton Bishop Parish Council
Coventry City Council
West Midland Police-Birmingham
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Leicestershire County Council
Manton Community Alliance (Third Sector delivering neighbourhood management pathfinder)
Mansfield District Council
Nottingham Neighbourhood Development Company (New Deal for Communities-Third Sector)
Bassetlaw District Council
Leicester City Council
Nottinghamshire Police-Mansfield and Nottingham
Norfolk County Council
Huntingdonshire District Council
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