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Mr. Sanders: To ask the Solicitor-General what procedures exist within the Treasury Solicitor's Department to ensure that its employees comply with the provisions of (a) data protection and (b) freedom of information legislation. 
The Solicitor-General: The Treasury Solicitor's (TSol) departmental intranet contains written guidance for all staff on dealing with provisions under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and Data Protection Act (DPA). This includes TSol guidance on handing FOI requests and Data Protection, an FOI checklist and a Records Management Manual. There is also a section within the TSol Staff Handbook on handling Information and Records Management.
In addition to the training provided on the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act to all employees at the time of implementation, every new employee since January 2005 has received specific induction training on how to handle an FOI or DPA request in accordance with our legislative obligations.
Coventry now has dedicated Neighbourhood Policing teams providing a visible presence, engaging communities and problem solving. Improving public confidence in
dealing with the crime and antisocial behaviour that matters locally is a key priority for community safety partners and Coventry has benefited from a wide range of community safety approaches in the last 12 months. In particular, Coventry has received funding as part of the Tackling Knives Action Programme which saw increased police patrols and safety arches.
Coventry's Community Safety Partnership (CSP), with the police as a key partner, has a number of activities and interventions in place to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour, and its causes. The CSP actively participated in the Home Office sponsored Not in My Neighbourhood Week in November 2009 with multi-agency street briefings, community clean-ups and community surgeries.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to his Department's press release of 14 October 2009, on Connecting Communities, what criteria were used to determine the allocation of funding to neighbourhoods. 
Barbara Follett: Connecting Communities neighbourhoods have been identified by examining a range of hard and soft data around cohesion, deprivation and crime, perceived unfairness in the allocation of resources and feedback from people working locally. The funding allocated to each neighbourhood is based on the individual plans that they have drawn up which focus on giving people a bigger say in local issues, addressing specific local concerns and increasing access to local services and opportunities.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many performance reviews were undertaken in respect of staff of (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in each of the last five years; in how many cases performance was rated as unsatisfactory or below; how many staff left as a direct result of such a rating; and what percentage of full-time equivalent staff this represented. 
|Total number of reviews||Number of reviews rated unsatisfactory or below|
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his Department's timetable is for the production of its staff handbook in an alternative electronic format that can be published online; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the staff handbook when available on CD-ROM. 
Barbara Follett: The work to reproduce Communities and Local Government's staff handbook in an alternative electronic format is due to be completed at the end of March 2010 and a copy will be placed in the Library.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department is currently considering a timetable for the next English Index of Multiple Deprivation. Once a decision on a publication date has been reached, this will be announced on the National Statistics Publication Hub, in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will make an estimate of the irrecoverable financial losses incurred by local authorities consequent on the Cumbria floods in 2009. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Local authorities are responsible for assessing their own risk and putting in place contingencies through the use of insurance, self insurance and reserves to provide both security and value for money for their communities to deal with emergencies like the Cumbrian flooding. It will be a matter for authorities to make any assessments on irrecoverable costs and how they are managed.
The Government operate a scheme of emergency financial assistance (Bellwin) to assist local authorities in covering costs they incur as a result of work in coping with emergencies such as, typically, floods.
In recognition of the exceptional nature of these floods, the Government and the North West Development Agency (NWDA) has made available direct financial assistance in addition to support and advice to the Cumbria area.
Funding for bridge and road repairs, construction of a temporary footbridge and a free train shuttle service.
£1 million Community Recovery Grant available to local authorities to use to help local people and businesses.
£2.95 million worth of schemes to provide assistance to businesses, the farming and tourism industries along with funding and additional support to the local authorities.
The Bellwin scheme that provides emergency financial assistance to local authorities to help meet uninsurable costs they incur when dealing with the aftermath of a major emergency in their area. Set at 100 per cent. rather than 85 per cent. above threshold.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department plans to take to assist arm's length management organisations to raise finance for renovation work on their properties; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Arm's length management organisations (ALMOs) maintain council housing stock on behalf of their parent local authorities. ALMOs are funded by a management fee that is agreed between the ALMO and its local authority. Capital funding support for local authorities is allocated in the form of supported capital expenditure allowances within the housing revenue account subsidy system. The Department does not fund ALMOs directly.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department has given to (a) local authorities and (b) regional assemblies on opening offices overseas. 
Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities have (a) sold community assets to social enterprise or third sector organisations and (b) taken decisions to sell such assets in each of the last three years. 
Barbara Follett: The Government do not keep centralised information on this but a recent survey, carried out by SQW Consultants on behalf of the Development Trust Association, found that, out of the 119 local authorities in England who replied to it (33 per cent. of the total), 80 per cent. had completed asset transfers to social enterprises or other third sector organisations in the two years 2007-09. The survey also found that, among those authorities, more than 350 asset transfer projects are currently under way. It should be noted however that the survey does not relate to sales alone but to transfers on a range of tenures.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to his Department's press release of 26 August 2008 on redress, what plans he has to require local authorities to offer (a) high street vouchers and (b) monetary compensation to local residents in cases where a local authority service has failed. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The evidence considered by the review of redress, to which the press release of 26 August 2008 referred, 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. Communities and Local Government therefore has no plans to require local authorities to offer high street vouchers and monetary compensation to local residents in cases where a local authority service has failed.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what legal costs his Department incurred in respect of each completed judicial review on local government restructuring. 
|Challenge against the Secretary of State brought by:||Legal costs to Department (£)|
In relation to all challenges against the Secretary of State, with the exception of Devon county council's, costs were awarded in full to the Secretary of State and have been recovered in full from the local authorities, with the exception of Shrewsbury and Atcham and Congleton borough councils where we are in the process of recovering costs. In the case of Devon county council the parties agreed to a settlement in respect of costs which saw the Secretary of State recover half of his costs.
|Challenge against the Boundary Committee where the Secretary of State has been named as an interested party brought by:||Legal costs to Department (£)|
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects to announce his decision in respect of bids selected by the Local Government Association in its role as Selector under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007. 
The Government are consulting the Local Government Association in its role as selector under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 and are seeking to reach agreement on which of the 199 short-listed proposals should be implemented. Many of the proposals are complex and raise significant practical issues but the
Government are anxious to make progress as quickly as possible on those proposals that offer practical benefits and new ways of meeting local needs.
Jacqui Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department provides on the role of hon. Members as members of (a) local strategic partnerships and (b) working groups appointed by local strategic partnerships. 
Barbara Follett: In July 2008 the Department published statutory guidance "Creating Strong, Safe and Prosperous Communities" which sets out key elements of the local performance framework including the role of local strategic partnerships (LSPs). It recognises that LSPs are a collection of organisations and representatives coming together voluntarily to work in partnership; they are not statutory bodies.
It is for local areas to determine the arrangements that best suit local circumstances. The guidance therefore deliberately does not prescribe membership and members' roles for local strategic partnerships or their working groups.
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