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Homes and Communities Agency
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in which constituencies the leaflet Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour, ISBN: 978-1-4098-2156-4, was delivered in the month of February 2010. 
Barbara Follett: The leaflet was delivered to a number of local authority areas that have made tackling antisocial behaviour a priority within their Local Area Agreement and/or which are facing particular ASB challenges within their area. A table of the local authority areas that received the leaflet and the corresponding constituencies has been place in the Library of the House.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent on external consultants and advisers by (a) his Department and (b) each (i) non-departmental public body and (ii) executive agency for which his Department is responsible in each year since 2005. 
Barbara Follett: For the last three years the Department has published in its annual report details of expenditure on consultancy by the Department itself, its executive agencies, the Planning Inspectorate, Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre and Fire Service College as well as the Ordnance Survey and Government offices. Details of expenditure from other non-departmental bodies are not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will place in the Library a copy of a print-out of the section of his Department's staff handbook relating to disciplinary proceedings. 
Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) disciplinary and (b) capability procedures have been (i) initiated and (ii) completed in his Department in each of the last five years; how much time on average was taken to complete each type of procedure in each such year; how many and what proportion of his Department's staff were subject to each type of procedure in each such year; and how many and what proportion of each type of procedure resulted in the dismissal of the member of staff. 
Barbara Follett: In each of the three years following the creation of the Department for Communities and Local Government, 2006, 2007 and 2008, there were less than five disciplinary or capability procedures. As a consequence, further details cannot be provided without compromising individual confidentiality.
In 2009, nine disciplinary procedures were initiated against CLG staff, six of which were completed. These nine cases represented less than 1 per cent. of the Department's total population and each case took, on average, 2.8 months to process. The number of dismissals resulting from the disciplinary procedures is less than five and as a consequence, further details cannot be provided without compromising individual confidentiality.
In 2009, seven staff were the subject of formal capability procedures of which less than five were taken to a formal conclusion. As a consequence, further details cannot be provided without compromising individual confidentiality. These seven cases represented less than 1 per cent. of the Department's total population and each case took, on average, 1.6 months to process. No dismissals resulted from any of these cases.
In 2010, there have been less than five procedures initiated in relation to capability and discipline and as a consequence, further details cannot be provided without compromising individual confidentiality.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many empty (a) commercial and (b) residential properties there were in (i) St. Albans constituency, (ii) Hertfordshire and (iii) England in each of the last five years. 
The empty residential dwelling data include both short-term and long-term empty dwellings as reported annually by all billing authorities in England in October of the year. Data are not available at a constituency level.
Estimates of the number of empty non-domestic hereditaments in the St. Albans local authority area and in England as at 31 March 2008 and 31 March 2009, the only years for which data are available, are shown in the following table. Data for Hertfordshire are not available.
|31 March 2008||31 March 2009|
|n/a = Not available|
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department plans to correct incorrect data lodged on the Energy Performance Certificate Register between 18 September 2008 and June 2009. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Action is taken to correct any Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data that are identified as incorrect either as a result of ongoing quality assurance procedures or as a result of a customer complaint.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which division of his Department is responsible for the (a) development and (b) distribution of software for (i) calculating energy efficiency ratings and (ii) lodging energy performance certificates. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Home Buying, Selling and Energy Performance Division leads on all aspects of Energy Performance Certificate policy. They are responsible for the development and distribution of three software packages used to produce Energy Performance Certificates. These are Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) for new build dwellings, Reduced data Standard Assessment Procedure (RdSAP) for existing dwellings and Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) for non-dwellings.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of the software used to calculate standard assessment procedure ratings for energy performance certificates between September 2008 and June 2009; and whether certificates lodged between those dates are valid. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Only software that has been validated and approved by the Department can be used to produce Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). The standard software produced by the Department is continually monitored and upgraded on a regular basis. Any EPC produced by an accredited energy assessor using approved software is considered to be valid.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 1 March 2010, Official Report, column 959W, on the Homes and Communities Agency: finance, (1) what steps the agency (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to save £30 million from the Community Infrastructure Fund; and if he will make a statement; 
John Healey: As part of the funding for the Housing Pledge, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) was asked to find £183 million across 2009-10 and 2010-11 through efficient and flexible management of its housing and regeneration programmes.
For the Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF) the HCA has sought greater efficiencies within project timescales by local authorities and looked to encourage alternative funding sources either locally or by substitution of funding from other related sources.
In respect of the Land and Property programme and Derelict Land Grant, the additional receipts returned to the HCA were allowed to be retained by the Agency to fund the Housing Pledge. Given the uncertain timing of all Derelict Land Grant receipts, the £26 million had not been earmarked for any specific programme prior to being allocated to the Housing Pledge.
All this has enabled HCA to find £158 million of efficiencies over 2009-10 and 2010-11, the remaining £25 million will be identified by the HCA through the current business planning process where the targets and profiles of programmes are being closely examined and tested.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 1 March 2010, Official Report, columns 958-9W, on the Homes and Communities Agency, what the average salary of a head of function was in 2009-10. 
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will bring forward proposals to allow with immediate effect local authorities to spend all their right-to-buy receipts ring-fenced on housing revenue account housing. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The proposal to allow local authorities to retain capital receipts from the sale of housing assets, including under Right to Buy arrangements, was included in the Government's consultation paper "Reform of council housing finance" issued in July 2009. This is directly linked to the main proposal made in that paper to move towards a new self-financing arrangement for councils which own social housing. I expect to make a further announcement to provide more detail on the self financing package of proposals in the next few weeks.
We have already announced that newly built or acquired council homes can be excluded from the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy system through an agreement with the Secretary of State, which would allow the local authority to keep the full receipt should those homes subsequently be sold.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many homes were vacant for a period of more than six months in each local authority area in each of the last three years; 
Barbara Follett: I have today placed in the Library of the House a table giving details of the number of long-term vacant homes (i.e. vacant for more than six months) and total vacant homes in each local authority area in England in each of the last three years.
These data are as reported on the "Calculation of Council Tax Base for Formula Grant Purposes" (CTB) forms completed by all the billing authorities in England as at a specified date in October each year.
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