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Housing: Standards

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many architectural assessments of each Kickstart development were made; and if he will place in the Library a copy of each such assessment. [321558]

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John Healey: The Kickstart projects architectural merits are dealt with as part of the Building for Life assessment.

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what scores were given to each Kickstart development during its first assessment; for what reason each was subsequently re-scored; and what score was later applied to each development. [321559]

John Healey: The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) commissioned the Commission for Architecture and the Build Environment (CABE) to carry out Building for Life assessments on Kickstart round one schemes. The breakdown of Building for Life scores under Kickstart round one can be found on the HCA's website. The Building for Life scores were only part of the total design assessment. For the lower scoring schemes, the HCA supplemented these assessments with further information to enable the suitability of bids to be considered in their wider community and local authority context.

The HCA and CABE will produce detailed reports on all aspects of the delivery of rounds one and two, including design, following the conclusion of round two. These reports will include details of the design assessments undertaken.

Mortgages: Government Assistance

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many households in Birmingham have received assistance through (a) the Mortgage Rescue Scheme, (b) the Homeowners Mortgage Scheme and (c) Support for Mortgage Interest. [321567]

John Healey: Mortgage Rescue scheme summary monitoring statistics are published on a quarterly basis on the Department's website. Statistics for the October to December 2009 period were published on 11 February 2010 and can be accessed using the following link:

Quarterly figures reported by local authorities from January to December 2009 are provided in a table which has been placed in the Library.

For management information on Homeowners Mortgage Support I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) on 16 December 2009, Official Report, column 1297W. This information is not monitored at local authority level.

Help is provided towards the interest on mortgages (known as support for mortgage interest (SMI)) as part of income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance, income-related employment and support allowance and pension credit.

The following table provides figures for Birmingham local authority.

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Table 1: Income support, jobseeker's allowance ( I B) and pension credit claimants who are receiving help with mortgage interest in Birmingham local authority, August 2009
Benefit Number







Notes: 1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 100. 2. Figures have been up-rated using 5 per cent. proportions against 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study totals. 3. No estimate is available yet for the number of employment and support allowance (income-related) cases. Source: Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate, 5 per cent. sample.

Caseload-number of claimants

Pension credit was introduced on 6 October 2003 and replaced minimum income guarantee (income support for people aged 60 or over). The vast majority of people who were previously in receipt of the minimum income guarantee transferred to pension credit in October 2003.

Pension credit is claimed on a household basis and therefore the number of people that pension credit helps is the number of claimants in addition to the number of partners for whom they are also claiming.

The best statistics on benefits are now derived from 100 per cent. data sources. However, the 5 per cent. sample data still provide some detail not yet available from the 100 per cent. data sources. In this case reliable data for mortgage interest support are not available from the 100 per cent. data so the 5 per cent. data have been used. The latest of which is August 2009.

Non-Domestic Rates: Ports

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 2 March 2010, Official Report, column 1152W, on non-domestic rates: ports, what assessment has been made of the effect of the ending of prescription of rating (a) on the work of the Valuation Office Agency, (b) businesses within the prescribed ports and (c) the system of rating businesses separately. [321733]

Barbara Follett: There has been no assessment made of the effect of the ending of prescribed rating on the work of the Valuation Office Agency. The impact on businesses occupying properties subject to prescribed rating, like the port authorities, was that their rateable value was ascertained by the same rules of assessment that apply to all other non-domestic properties instead of by a prescribed formula.

The ending of prescribed rating did not affect decisions on whether or not property occupied by other businesses within ports should be assessed separately for non-domestic rates. The principles concerning separate rateability where there is "exclusive occupation" and "paramount control" are long established. The leading case on the subject is a House of Lords decision from as far back as 1936-Westminster Council v . Southern Railway Company and W.H. Smith and Son.

The review of ports by the Valuation Office Agency was done to ensure that all individual business properties within and outside ports are rated fairly and that the burden of contributions to funding local government is shared equitably amongst businesses around the country.

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The Government have listened to the concerns of businesses with significant and unexpected backdated bills, including some businesses within ports. It has legislated to enable such bills to be repaid over an unprecedented eight years rather than in a single instalment, helping affected businesses to manage the impact on their cash flows during the downturn by reducing the amount they are required to pay now by 87.5 per cent.

As at October 8 2009, local authorities have reported that ratepayers occupying 221 properties within ports had fully discharged their backdated liability and ratepayers occupying a further 200 business properties within ports had been granted a schedule of payments.

Property Development: Floods

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations he has received on Planning Policy Statement 25, on flooding; and if he will make a statement. [321866]

John Healey: We have received over 100 representations in response to the consultation proposals published in August 2009 for making some limited amendments to Planning Policy Statement 25, Development and Flood Risk. The great majority of these responses have expressed support for the proposed amendments. We expect to publish shortly a summary of the consultation responses, and a revised version of PPS25 with refinements to further improve the policy's implementation and effectiveness.

Social Rented Housing: Overcrowding

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his most recent assessment is of the appropriateness of statutory standards on overcrowding in social housing. [321605]

Mr. Ian Austin: The Government are committed to addressing overcrowding and to updating the statutory standards.

The £15 million overcrowding pathfinder programme is helping both to develop effective strategies for tackling overcrowding, and to build evidence to support updating of the statutory standards.

Social Rented Housing: Sheffield

Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes in Sheffield are still awaiting completion of Decent Homes work for which funding has been allocated; and how much such funding has been allocated. [322587]

John Healey: As at 1 April 2009, 10,057 local authority homes in Sheffield were reported to be non-decent. For 2009-10, the figures allocated to Sheffield for spending on decent homes is £76,007,000 for the ALMO, £6,300,000 from Local Authority Supported Capital Expenditure (LASCE) and £27,600,000 from the Major Repairs Allowance (MRA), although not all the LASCE and MRA is spent on decent homes. The figure for 2010-11 for the ALMO funding is £45,702,000 but we do not have the final figures for LASCE and MRA.

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Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been spent under the Decent Homes programme in Sheffield through (a) Sheffield Homes and (b) other housing associations to date. [322588]

John Healey: Sheffield Homes came into operation in 2005. For the period 2005 to 2009, Sheffield city council reported £585.5 million capital expenditure on their HRA stock. Not all of this will relate to Decent Homes.

Housing associations have largely funded decent homes improvements through their own resources, and my Department does not collect information about housing association investment to deliver the Decent Homes standard in their own stock.

Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes in Sheffield have been improved under the Decent Homes programme to date. [322589]

John Healey: Between 2001 and 2009 Sheffield's non-decent dwellings reduced from 47,700 in 2001 to 10,057 in 2009. Sheffield city council have forecast that the number of non-decent homes will be reduced to 5,044 by the end of this year. The actual number of dwellings improved will be greater than the difference between these figures, since it will include both dwellings that were non-decent in 2001 and others that have become non-decent and been improved in the period since then.

Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much money Sheffield city council has been allocated for building new social housing in the last two years; and what estimate he has made of the number of houses which will be provided with such funding. [322590]

John Healey: The following table shows the funds allocated for affordable housing in Sheffield to registered social landlords and other providers through the Homes and Communities Agency's National Affordable Housing Programme for 2008-09 and 2009-10 to the end of February 2010.

2008-09 2009-10 to end February 2010

Rent Low cost home ownership Rent Low cost home ownership

Grant (£ million)










Homes and Communities Agency

In addition, £1.53 million grant for 27 units has been allocated to Sheffield city council under round 1 of the Local Authority New Build programme.


Antisocial Behaviour: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many curfew orders have been issued by courts in York since the introduction of such orders; and how many of those people have been proceeded against for breaching them. [322095]

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Claire Ward: The available information is provided in the following table.

The data presented in the table are for curfew orders (under Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 Section 37) given in York courts to offenders as a sentence. Data are not held centrally for the number of curfews issued by courts as part of other sentences such as the requirements of community orders under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Section 177 or other Acts. Data are not held centrally for the number of curfews ordered as a condition of bail.

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Due to data quality issues we are unable to provide information on breaches. Work is currently under way to resolve this.

For information purposes: the data which have been provided do not include local child curfew schemes (set up under the powers provided by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and sections 48 and 49 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 which has been repealed by the Police and Crime Act 2009).

Total curfew orders( 1) issued in criminal courts in York, all offences, 1998 to 2008

1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Crown court












Magistrates court












(1) Curfew orders under s.38 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000. These figures do not include community orders imposed with a curfew requirement. The magistrates court data include the adult and youth court.
1. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
2. These data are presented on the principal offence basis. Where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence the principal offence is the one for which the heaviest sentence was imposed. Where the same sentence has been imposed for two or more offences the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.
Sou rce:
Ministry of Justice Court Proceedings database

Care Proceedings

David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many children under 18 years of age who are the subject of (a) pre-court and (b) court orders are not in education, employment or training. [322413]

Maria Eagle: Figures from the Youth Justice Board indicate that there were 1,708 young people aged under-18 in England and Wales in 2008-09 with final warnings with an intervention, who were not receiving any education, employment or training when their order closed. There were 10,547 young people with relevant community-based penalties or community elements of custodial sentences who were not receiving any suitable education, training or employment.

The data have been supplied by the Youth Justice Board and drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing and may be subject to change over time. Differences in counting rules may mean that figures from other databases are not directly comparable.

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