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Barbara Follett: Over the last three years the Department has used several different suppliers to find temporary and agency staff and, the details of the many individual contracts involved can only be disaggregated at a disproportionate cost.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 1 March 2010, Official Report, column 957W, on departmental temporary employment, what the total amount spent on employing temporary staff was in each of the last three years. 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of written questions for answer on a named day his Department has answered on the due date in the current session of Parliament. 
Hilary Armstrong: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made on each of the adults facing chronic exclusion pilots, which began in 2007; and which of them have been continued and included in other Government programmes. 
Turning Point Connected Care
South West London and St. George's New Directions Team
NOAH Enterprise, Luton
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average cost was of a dwelling purchased by a first-time buyer in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) each Government Office Region and (d) each local authority area in (i) 1996-97 and (ii) the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many cases relating to major works affecting local authority leaseholders have been brought before leasehold valuation tribunals in each year since 2005-06. 
John Healey: It is not possible without disproportionate cost to say how many cases relating to major works affecting local authority leaseholders have been brought before leasehold valuation tribunals in each year since 2005-06.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the Personal Care at Home Bill's compliance with the new burdens doctrine for local authorities. 
Barbara Follett: As with all policies and programmes the Government are committed to assessing the costs to local authorities of the Personal Care at Home Bill. This will be funded through a combination of additional grant and from local authority efficiency savings and will only be introduced from April 2011.
the costs of delivering local services has fallen, with recent low levels of inflation and affordable pay settlements;
Budget 2010 announced new measures to free-up local resources by reducing burdens and targets and making reductions in ring-fencing;
we have made record amounts of investment in local government, with councils receiving £8.6 billion more over the current spending review period.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government of 17 March 2010, Official Report, column 279WH, on port business rates, what steps have been taken to improve the Valuation Office Agency's fast-track process following his discussions with Treasury Ministers. 
Barbara Follett: Under its fast-track arrangements for ratepayers with backdated bills, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has pledged to give an initial response to points raised in a proposal within 10 working days and a final decision within two months in all but the most complex cases. As at 4 November 2009, the VOA statistics show that they have met the fast-track timescales on 97 per cent. of proposals received.
Where the ratepayer is not in agreement with the decision, the VOA refers appeals to the independent Valuation Tribunal for England (VTE) for early listing. Once a proposal is transferred to the VTE as an appeal, it is outside the fast-track system and falls into the usual appeals process.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many fast track reviews of rating assessment of port companies were (a) initiated and (b) completed in 2009; how many will continue into 2010-11; how business rates are being collected from companies which have not yet been assessed; and whether such companies are deemed to be listed for business rates. 
Barbara Follett: Under the fast-track arrangements for ratepayers with backdated bills, which it introduced on 24 November 2008, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) pledges to give an initial response to points raised about proposal within 10 working days and a final decision within two months in all but the most complex cases.
Up until 17 March 2010, 1,026 formal challenges have been subject to the fast-track arrangements, of these, 644 have been resolved and 382 are outstanding. 197 have been transmitted as appeals to the valuation tribunal following issue of the valuation officer's considered decision. In practice, although ratepayers and their agents have been invited to support early listing dates, very few have taken this offer up.
Rates are a tax on properties capable of beneficial occupation. When one appears on the ratings list, its occupier, which may be a business, becomes liable for this tax. All properties that appear on the ratings list are similarly liable and their rates will be collected by the billing authority in the usual way. However, if for any reason, including an exemption, a property does not appear on the ratings list, it means that rates are not being collected in respect of that property.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what procedures were used to implement the separate rating of port companies in each year since 1999; and how many such companies were (a) visited and (b) notified of their rating by a representative of the Valuation Office Agency in each year since 1999. 
Barbara Follett: The principles concerning separate rateability where there is 'exclusive occupation' and 'paramount control' are long established and predate the ports review as well as the end of prescribed rating. The lead case on this subject is a House of Lords decision which dates back to 1936-Westminster Council v. Southern Railway Company and W.H. Smith and Son. There was, therefore no 'implementation' of a new separate ratings policy either after or before 1999. In other words, any property, other than a statutory port authority, that met the separate assessment criteria, even before 1999, should have been rated separately.
Information was collected from the statutory port operators, ratepayers and through physical inspection of the property. In cases where the information supported separate assessment, the ratepayer was served a notice informing them of the assessment.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what changes in rateable values in the 2005-10 Rating Cycle have been provided to port operators as a result of the new regime of retrospective business rates on firms operating in ports. 
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has undertaken costings of the policies of (a) the Conservative Party and (b) the Liberal Democrat Party at the request of Ministers or special advisers in the last 36 months. 
Mr. Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will call in for examination the decision of the Planning Inspectorate on the application for a development sited at Nashe Drive in Stoke-on-Trent South constituency; and if he will examine the consistency of the Inspectorate's decision in this case with the determinations in previous similar cases in the area. 
John Healey: Once the decision of the Planning Inspectorate has been issued the Secretary of State cannot call in for his consideration either of the two appeals that have been determined in the Nashe Drive, Stoke on Trent area. The only way that the decision for the change of use to the hot food takeaway which had been refused planning permission could have been reconsidered was if it was successfully challenged in the High Court on a point of law. As the decision was not challenged it is final. The other appeal was allowed subject to conditions.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many homes in Great Britain had cavity walls and no cavity wall insulation at the end of (a) 2008 and (b) 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: We estimate that by the end of 2008, approximately 10 million homes in Great Britain had received cavity wall insulation, leaving around 3.5 million homes with cavities still possible to be filled without significant practical difficulties. Approximately 600,000 cavities were treated during 2009, taking the total number of filled cavities to just over 10.5 million and leaving an estimated 2.9 million homes with cavities considered practical to fill. The Government have committed to filling all cavity walls, where practical, by the end of 2015.
Mr. Greg Knight:
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what guidance his Department issues on the criteria to be
applied to assess whether a battery is easily removable from an appliance under the requirements of the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009; and what guidance his Department has issued on whether models of the Apple iPhone on sale in the UK meet such requirements. 
Ian Lucas: Government guidance notes to accompany the Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008 were published by the Department in August of that year (URN 08/1130). These include an explanation of the requirement for appliances to be designed in such a way as to allow ready removal of their batteries, unless certain conditions relating to, for example, safety or performance, apply.
The notes also give answers to common questions regarding removability, but do not provide advice on every type of appliance, nor on individual products, such as the Apple iPhone. However, the appointed regulator, the National Measurement Office, has had contact with a number of companies, including Apple, to discuss the processes and procedures they have in place for ensuring compliance with the legislation.
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