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25 Mar 2010 : Column 540W—continued


Communities and Local Government

Affordable Housing

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) local authorities and (b) housing associations offer the Social Homebuy scheme; and what the aggregate size of their housing stock is. [319307]

Mr. Ian Austin: During 2009-10 there are 10 local authorities and 48 registered social landlords offering social homebuy. The total housing stock (as at April 2009) owned by these local authorities was 198,000 and the total stock owned by these RSLs (as at 31 March 2009) was 721,000. RSL stock includes that owned by subsidiaries where the parent RSL is offering social homebuy.

Allotments

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many allotment disposals have been approved by the Government Office responsible for allotment disposals in each local authority area since 1997. [323037]

Barbara Follett: A table providing data on the number of granted applications requesting consent to dispose of statutory allotments, from 1 January 2000 until 31December 2009 broken down by local authority area has been placed in the Library of the House. We do not hold complete data for years prior to 2000.

Arc Manche

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 307W, on Arc Manche, what bids have been made for funding for the Arc Manche Network and Assembly under the Interreg IV round. [324005]


25 Mar 2010 : Column 541W

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Arc Manche Network and Assembly have made no specific bids for funding under the Interreg IV programmes.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 307W, on Arc Manche, if he will place in the Library a copy of each document associated with the bid and award of the £1.1 million grant to support the Arc Manche Network and Regional Assembly. [324006]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department will place a copy of the Espace Manche Development Initiative bid documentation in the Library. The details of the award and grant offer letter are commercially in confident documents and are not available to us. These are held by the French Managing Authority based in Lille and Haute Normandie as Lead Partner for the Project.

Audit Commission: Official Hospitality

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 25 January 2010, Official Report, column 561W, on the Audit Commission: procurement, who attended the Audit Commission's function held at the Reform Club. [324011]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission and I have asked the Chief Executive of the Audit Commission to write to the hon. Member direct.

Letter from Steve Bundred, dated 25 March 2010:

Audit Commission: Training

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 25 January 2010, Official Report, column 561W, on the Audit Commission: procurement, what the purpose was of the extra driver tuition from the AA Driving School procured by the Audit Commission; and what the jobs were of those who received the training. [324012]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission and I have asked the Chief Executive of the Audit Commission to write to the hon. Member direct.

Letter from Steve Bundred, dated 25 March 2010:


25 Mar 2010 : Column 542W

Council Housing: Oldham

Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he has guaranteed to write off the whole of Oldham's outstanding housing debt in the event of the stock transfer ballot being won; when a decision on this matter was taken; and what form that decision took. [324267]

Mr. Ian Austin: Government are committed to clearing the attributable housing debt of Oldham council if its tenants vote in favour of transfer. The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which has responsibility for the delivery of the housing transfer programme, completed its assessment of Oldham's transfer application in October 2009.

The HCA was satisfied that the transfer proposals, including the indicative Overhanging debt total, met the necessary criteria as set out in guidance. Accordingly, the HCA recommended that Oldham be given a place on the transfer programme. In his written ministerial statement of December 2009, the Housing Minister agreed a place on the programme for Oldham, enabling the council to proceed to Stage One of the tenant consultation process.

Council Tax

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authority area had the lowest Band D outturn bill, including all precepts, in each year since 1997-98. [323984]

Barbara Follett: Details of the average Band D council tax in each local authority area in England in each year since 1997-98 are available on the Communities and Local Government website at:

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what cap he plans to put in place in respect of council tax increases in 2010-11. [324030]

Barbara Follett: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement I have made today.

Departmental Termination of Employment

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department spent on (a) flexible and (b) compulsory early severance for staff at each grade at his Department's headquarters in (i) each financial year since 2004-05 and (ii) 2009-10; and in respect of how many staff at each grade severance arrangements of each type were made in each year. [323533]


25 Mar 2010 : Column 543W

Barbara Follett: The following table shows the amount the Department spent on compulsory early severance in the financial years 2006-07 to 2008-09.

£

2006-07 2007-08 2008-09

AA

-

51,848

409,371

AO

271,875

399,341

62,760

EO

996,821

1,142,191

86,915

HEO

1,822,327

1,411,960

138,928

SEO

670,969

722,032

13,851

Grade 7

757,784

307,937

-

Grade 6

129,424

-

-

SCS

136,557

-

183,054

Total

4,785,757

4,035,309

894,879


The following table shows the number of staff who left the Department on compulsory early severance in the financial years 2006-07 to 2008-09.

2006-07 2007-08 2008-09

AA

-

1

8

AO

7

8

1

EO

21

18

1

HEO

25

17

2

SEO

6

6

1

Grade 7

6

4

-

Grade 6

2

-

-

SCS

1

-

1

Total

68

54

14


There were no staff who left the Department on flexible early severance in the financial years 2006-07 to 2008-09.

Communities and Local Government came into existence on 5 May 2006 and information about compulsory or flexible early severance before to this date can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

We are unable to provide details for the current financial year 2009-10 as the figures have not yet been produced in their final form.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department spent on (a) flexible and (b) compulsory early retirement for staff at each grade at his Department's headquarters in (i) each financial year since 2004-05 and (ii) 2009-10; and how many staff at each grade took each type of retirement in each year. [323534]

Barbara Follett: The following table shows the amount the Department spent on compulsory early retirement in the financial years 2006-07 to 2008-09.


25 Mar 2010 : Column 544W
£

2006-07 2007-08 2008-09

AA

-

8,990

131,433

AO

149,733

116,859

-

EO

215,454

77,655

20,571

HEO

635,800

166,882

45,766

SEO

431,587

110,952

-

Grade 7

482,031

254,341

120,677

Grade 6

197,165

25,661

-

SCS

1,154,201

994,597

614,940

Total

3,265,971

1,755,937

933,387


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