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30 Mar 2010 : Column 1119W—continued


The definition of central Government grant used here is the sum of formula grant (revenue support grant and redistributed non-domestic rates), specific grants inside Aggregate External Finance (AEF) (i.e. revenue grants paid for council's core services), specific and special revenue grants outside AEF (i.e. where funding is not for authorities' core services, but is passed to a third party, for example, rent allowances and rebates), area based grant (ABG) and expenditure financed by capital grants from central Government.

The definition of council tax used here is council taxes financed from council tax benefit grant but excludes council taxes financed from local authority contributions to council tax benefit.

Other sources is defined as sum of interest and investment income-external receipts and dividends, sales fees and charges and in-year capital receipts.

Other sources exclude income reported by local authorities under 'other income' in RO returns as this includes internal recharges, which distorts the comparative figures on income.

Comparison across years may not be valid owing to changing local authority responsibilities.

Fire Services: Greater London

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the letter of 9 March 2010 from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State to the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, what consideration Ministers in his Department have given to postponing the opening of the new London Regional Fire Control Room until after the London 2012 Olympics. [324620]

Mr. Malik: Under current planning assumptions the Regional Fire Control Centre for London is due to become operational during September 2011. In view of
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the proximity of this date to the Olympic games, I have written to the chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority to ask if they wish to move this date back until after the Olympics. I have also offered to explore the possibility of moving their current control into the Regional Control Centre so that London can benefit from the facilities and enhanced resilience the new building offers during the Olympics. I await LFEPA's formal response.

Fire Services: Risk Assessment

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Drew) of 16 December 2009, Official Report, columns 1269-70W, on fire services: risk assessment, what the risks identified on the FiReControl risk register are; what level of risk is assigned to each; and what steps are being taken to mitigate each risk. [324009]

Mr. Malik: The FiReControl risk assessment is published as Appendix M of the FiReControl Full Business Case, published in May 2009. These risks are organised under nine main categories, with the level of risk and the mitigation set out-these are kept under review. The business case can be found at:

Fires: Hoaxes and False Alarms

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) genuine and (b) malicious false fire emergency calls were received in each fire authority in the North West in (i) 2008 and (ii) 2009. [325039]

Mr. Malik: The relevant data that are held centrally are for financial year periods and cover all emergency calls, with no distinction as to whether relating to a reported fire or other type of incident.

In preparing this answer it became evident that the figures provided in the answer to a very similar question on 28 April 2009, Official Report, columns 1170-76W, were of numbers of false alarm incidents attended, rather than of emergency calls. The data available for the periods requested by both questions are therefore shown in the tables.

Total emergency calls( 1) handled, fire and rescue services in the north-west, 2002-03 to 2008-09

2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09

Cheshire

31,102

33,506

29,254

28,757

28,435

24,294

22,300

Cumbria

13,444

14,710

14,594

14,082

13,258

12,199

9,411

Greater Manchester

101,348

113,111

88,927

89,066

95,724

85,026

75,010

Lancashire

48,508

53,171

44,383

42,189

44,727

38,471

34,849

Merseyside

68,494

72,236

61,459

58,635

61,506

52,524

45,537

North West

262,896

286,734

238,617

232,729

243,650

212,514

187,107

(1) Duplicate calls for incidents counted individually
Source:
Annual Returns from Fire and Rescue Services to Communities and Local Government


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Malicious false alarm calls handled, fire and rescue services in the north-west, 2005-06 to 2008-09( 1)

2002-03 to 2004-05( 1) 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09

Cheshire

-

785

636

570

432

Cumbria

-

450

447

407

349

Greater Manchester

-

5,128

5,061

4,493

3,062

Lancashire

-

1,758

1,714

1,476

1,498

Merseyside

-

1,568

1,188

1,024

723

North West

-

9,689

9,046

7,970

6,064

(1) Data prior to 2005-06 not held centrally
Source:
Annual Returns from Fire and Rescue Services to Communities and Local Government

Home Information Packs

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will place in the Library a copy of each item of written correspondence sent by the Home Department's Design and Technology Alliance to his Department on inclusion of a home security assessment as part of a home information pack. [319044]

Mr. Ian Austin: We are not aware of any correspondence with the Design and Technology Alliance about the inclusion of a home security assessment in the home information pack.

Homelessness: Reading Berkshire

Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he made of the number of people homeless in Reading East constituency in each year since 1997. [324577]

Mr. Ian Austin: Homelessness prevention measures funded by Communities and Local Government have had a major impact. In the last six years the quarterly level of statutory homelessness cases has reduced by 71 per cent.

Information on homelessness is not collected at constituency level.

Summary tables including the number of households accepted as owed a main homelessness duty by each local authority as at the end of each year between 1997-98 and 2008-09 have been deposited in the Library of the House as stated in the question from the hon. Member for Castle Point (Bob Spink) on 23 June 2009, Official Report, column 843W.

Information has also been collected and reported since 1998 on the number of people who sleep rough-i.e., those who are literally roofless on a single night. Local authority data and count guidance can be found on the CLG website:

Homes and Communities Agency: Hotels

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2010, Official Report, columns 271-72W, on housing: conferences, how much of the Homes and Communities Agency's expenditure on accommodation was related to (a) hotel room bookings and (b) use of mini-bar and dining facilities. [325272]

Barbara Follett: The cost of hotel room bookings for the HCA's attendance at the MIPIM conference in March 2010 was: £4,282 plus a transaction fee of £124.

No costs were incurred for use of the mini bar or dining.

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2010, Official Report, columns 271-72W, on housing: conferences, in which hotel (a) Homes and Communities Agency employees and (b) his Department's officials were accommodated for the MIPIM International Property Conference 2009. [325274]

Barbara Follett: For HCA attendees, three self-catering apartments were hired at a minimum hire of one week and were used for hosting key meetings and briefings and offering basic office facilities.

Departmental officials stayed in Apartment 22, 6 Rue Moliere.

Homes and Communities Agency: Travel

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2010, Official Report, columns 271-72W, on housing: conferences, how much of the Homes and Communities Agency's expenditure on travel was for (a) rail fares, (b) taxis and (c) air travel. [325273]

Barbara Follett: The total return air travel cost was £1,528. Airport car transfer Nice/Cannes was €270.

No rail costs were incurred.

Housing

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what local priorities the Homes and Communities Agency has set for the Investment Statement of each region; and what assessment he has made of the progress of each region in meeting each regional priority target in (a) each of the last three years and (b) the spending period 2008-11. [324151]

John Healey: For the National Affordable Housing Programme 2008-11, the Housing Corporation included as part of their prospectus a summary of regional priorities based on regional assemblies' regional housing strategies. In addition, each Housing Corporation region produced an investment statement setting out the regional investment priorities. The link to the website is as follows:

The Housing Corporation and now the Homes and Communities Agency publish regional investment statements on their website on a quarterly basis. The links to the websites are as follows:


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Investment decisions taken by the Homes and Communities Agency must fit with local, regional and national priorities.

The Housing Corporation for 2007-08 published an outturn statement reporting on delivery in each region in that particular year on their website, in addition to their annual report.

Housing: Asbestos

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps (a) local authorities, (b) housing associations and (c) owners of other publicly-funded housing are required to take in order to (i) remove and (ii) mitigate risks from asbestos in their properties; what requirements there are to provide information to tenants on the (A) presence of and (B) risks from asbestos; and if he will make a statement. [325290]

Mr. Ian Austin: All sectors of social housing are covered by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) which lists asbestos as potential category 1 hazard. In assessing asbestos as a hazard, landlords need to take account of its location, potential for damage, extent of any present damage and whether it is a chrysotile or amphibole product.

Asbestos removal should be carried out in conjunction with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance and should normally be done by a contractor licensed by the Health and Safety Executive. Mitigation of risk from asbestos is covered in the HHSRS guidance, section 4, full detail as are available at:

There is no requirement for social landlords to inform residents about the presence of asbestos in their stock. The HHSRS guidance advises that where asbestos has been identified as present, the material should be in good condition, sealed, inaccessible, labelled and the location recorded by the landlord.

Information on the risk from asbestos is available to tenants from local authorities, the Health and Safety Executive and the Direct.gov website. There is no requirement for landlords to provide this information although many choose to do so.


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