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Lewisham London Borough Council
Haringey London Borough Council
Lambeth London Borough Council
Tower Hamlets Local Strategic Partnership
Metropolitan Police-Islington and Barking and Dagenham
Isle of Wight Council
Thanet District Council
Southampton City Council
Kent County Council
Thames Valley Police-Slough
East Devon District Council
Dulverton Town Council
Plymouth-Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership (New Deal for Communities-Third Sector)
Carlisle City Council
Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council
Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council
Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council
Hull Primary Care Trust
Daventry District Council
Luton Borough Council
Hertfordshire County Council
Buckinghamshire County Council
Portsmouth City Council
Bristol City Council
CLG provides grant funding to the PBU who provide advice and support to areas implementing participatory budgeting. We provided £260,000 in grant funding to the PBU in 2008-09 and we have allocated £270,000 in grant funding for 2009-10.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment he has made of the effects on local authorities of the implementation of the EU Services Directive. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: We have approached the implementation of the EU Services Directive in accordance with our commitment to ensure that all new burdens falling on local authorities, including those arising as a result of the implementation of EU Directives, are fully considered and properly funded so that there is no upward pressure on council tax bills.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department has taken in response to the review of the Audit Commission of the use of fees and charges by local authorities. 
In the last decade, the Audit Commission have issued two national reports on local authority fees and charges. The first, published in 1999, was entitled "The Price is Right". It identified a number of issues for authorities to consider when setting fees, and also found that the legal framework for council charges was complex and confusing and the framework should be reviewed to provide the best authorities with the freedom to improve and innovate. The Government took action to
provide greater flexibility for local decisions in this area by introducing a power for councils to charge for discretionary services. This power, which was implemented by section 93 of the Local Government Act 2003, is limited to cost recovery and the authority may only charge a person for providing a service if he or she has agreed to its provision.
The Commission's second report, entitled "Positively Charged" was published in 2008 and it also made a number of recommendations for local authorities to consider and found that the rationale for centrally imposed restrictions on the level of fees was not always clear. However, the Government consider the level of centrally set fees carefully to try to ensure that the appropriate balance between the policy objectives of the service covered by the fee, and its level is struck.
The Government believe that councils should avoid imposing double taxation on citizens by adopting proposals that deliver only a basic level of service, and impose charges for anything above this. We also believe that councils must not see raising income-whether through charges or taxation-as an alternative to cutting out waste and driving down expenditure. Anyone who pays a tax or a charge for a local service has the right to expect that the authority in question will strive to keep costs down and improve efficiency.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what assessments of Staffordshire County Council's social services department have been undertaken since 2007; 
Barbara Follett: The Department for Communities and Local Government does not hold records of the inspections and assessments taking place in individual councils. However, inspectorates have advised that:
The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which was established in April 2009, and one of its predecessors, the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), has carried out the following assessments of Staffordshire county council since 2007:
reviews of Staffordshire county council's fostering services and of its adoption service, both in January 2007;
published its annual performance assessment of Staffordshire county council for 2007-08 in October 2008;
carried out an inspection of Staffordshire county council in March-April 2009 to find out how well the council was safeguarding vulnerable adults. The results were published as a CQC review of "Independence, Wellbeing and Choice"' in June 2009;
published its 2008-09 annual performance assessment of the council in December 2009, which includes details of Staffordshire's adult social care services.
Audit Commission inspection of the Supporting People framework in 2008;
Ofsted reported on Staffordshire's fostering services in May 2008;
Ofsted/CQC reported on services for safeguarding and looked after children in August 2009. (Ofsted assumed responsibility for assessing and inspecting children's service including children's social care services in April 2007);
Ofsted published annual ratings of Staffordshire children's services in November 2007, December 2008 and December 2009.
CQC and Ofsted contributed to the comprehensive area assessment (CAA) introduced from April 2009. The multi-inspectorate CAA report on Staffordshire in December 2009 included CQC's performance assessment and Ofsted's annual rating. CAA Reports are available on the Oneplace website:
Mr. Ian Austin: The Department does not collect information on mortgage possessions and arrears. Information is published separately by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) and the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 6 January 2010, Official Report, column 381W, on multiple occupation: licensing, for what reason the report has not yet been published; and whether he expects it to be published before May 2010. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The Building Research Establishment Report is ready for publication. Publication was originally delayed due to Purdah prior to the local authority elections last year, and the ministerial changes that followed. We are currently awaiting a suitable publication date prior to May 2010.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what methodology the Valuation Office Agency uses to value closed circuit television for the purpose of calculating business rates. 
Barbara Follett: To the extent a closed circuit television system is rateable, separately or as part of a larger rateable hereditament, valuation officers have used a cost based methodology to value them.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much income Ordnance Survey received from the sale of (a) licences and (b) maps in each of the last three years. 
|Revenue from licences||Revenue from paper maps|
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on whether funding under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 may be spent on religious buildings. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The Government's policy on the use of Planning Obligations is set out in Circular 05/05 and local authorities must have reason for departing from it. Communities and Local Government has also published practice guidance on Planning Obligations.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what activity his Department has undertaken as part of the task and finish groups referred to in the Government response to the Rugg review of the private rented sector. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Four task and finish groups were established as part of the consultation process for the Government's response to the Rugg review of private rented sector housing. Three of these groups (considering proposals for a national register, regulation of letting and managing agents and regulation of managing agents for leasehold properties) each met twice during the consultation period. A further group, considering local letting agencies, has met four times to date and continues to do so.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what recent meetings (a) officials and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with organisations which aim to remove the barriers to the private rented housing sector for low income households on housing waiting lists; 
Mr. Ian Austin: As part of the consultation process on the Government's response to the Rugg review of private rented sector housing, a group was set up with key stakeholders to explore how local authorities could work more effectively with the private rented sector to house low-income individuals and households, particularly through a Local Lettings Agency (LLA) approach.
This group has met four times to date-in July, September (twice) and December 2009-and plans to meet again shortly. My officials will be sharing the outcome of the group's work on LLAs with the staff of local authorities, voluntary organisations and industry bodies-including case studies on LAs who have introduced an LLA-during the spring.
In addition, Ministers and officials meet from time to time on this and other PRS issues with local authorities, senior staff from organisations including Crisis and Shelter and industry bodies such as the National Landlords Association (NLA) and the National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS).
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when his Department plans to publish its response to the consultation on its proposals for implementation of the recommendations of the Rugg review of the private rented sector. 
Mr. Ian Austin: We have been carefully considering the over 250 responses we received to our consultation on proposals in response to the Rugg review of the private rented sector. A summary of those responses will be published shortly.
Barbara Follett: The South West Secretariat which supports the SW Councils receives funding from a number of sources. Communities and Local Government (CLG) funds the Strategic Leader Board's planning, transport and housing functions; grant funding is also received from CLG to support the delivery of improvement and efficiency across the public sector. The Home Office provides funding for work on migration and asylum. In addition local authorities, including town and parish councils subscribe to the organisation.
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