Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has to write off local authority debt in respect of council housing in Bolton; and if he will make a statement. 
Andrew Stunell: Bolton council is currently undertaking a formal statutory consultation and ballot of their tenants on a proposal to transfer their homes to a new landlord. My predecessor agreed that this transfer should proceed to consultation with tenants in a ministerial statement on 16 December. The transfer of homes would require housing debt to be transferred from local to central Government. I am content for this consultation to proceed.
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Vauxhall (Kate Hoey) of 15 June 2010, Official Report, column 368W, on council housing: construction, how much his Department contributed to local authorities from the National Affordable Housing Programme for the building of new homes in the last five financial years. 
Andrew Stunell: The Homes and Communities Agency provided £97 million grant in 2009-10 to support local authorities build new council housing under the Local Authority New Build programme (a subset of the National Affordable Housing Programme). There was no direct support for new council housing in the previous four financial years.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many council cabinet members receive remuneration; and how much each local authority has allocated for expenditure on such remuneration in 2010. 
Robert Neill: My Department does not hold this information. Each council makes available locally for public inspection the allowances paid to each of their councillors. We are committed to ensuring that councillors' remuneration is published in a more open and standardised way to increase transparency.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers in his Department are entitled to the use of (i) a car with a dedicated driver, (ii) a car from the Government car pool and (iii) a taxi ordered through a departmental account. 
Robert Neill: There are no individual, members of staff with Communities and Local Government who have a contractual right to the use of a car with a dedicated driver, a car from the Government car pool or a taxi ordered through a departmental account.
Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what his policy is on setting minimum standards for space in the home for new residential housing developments; 
Robert Neill: The Government have not yet decided upon their detailed approach towards the issue of standards for new residential housing developments. It has, however, committed, in the Coalition Government document 'The Coalition: our programme for government', to publish and present to Parliament a simple and consolidated national planning framework covering all forms of development and setting out national economic, environmental and social priorities. We will set out how we intend to do this in due course. Our abolition of the minimum density target in the revised version of Planning Policy Statement 3 will, however, encourage the greater provision of family homes.
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations he has received on proposals for local authorities to issue bonds to raise finance for infrastructure projects; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: The Department has not received any recent representations on this issue. Under the prudential system local authorities are able to borrow for capital projects without Government consent, provided that they can afford the borrowing costs. Authorities are free to choose the source of these loans, and may borrow, should they wish to do so, by issuing bonds. The Government are committed to looking at how greater use could be made by authorities of this way of raising finance.
Jacob Rees-Mogg: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers planning authorities have to penalise persons who have proceeded with unauthorised developments in circumstances where it has been established that the developer was aware of the applicable regulations. 
Robert Neill: Local planning authorities have a range of discretionary powers to deal with unauthorised development. Key among these is the issue of an enforcement notice, failure to comply with which is a criminal offence and may lead to prosecution in the courts. The penalty for non-compliance is a fine of up to £20,000 on summary conviction or an unlimited fine on conviction on indictment. In determining the amount of any fine to be imposed the court shall in particular have regard to any financial benefit which may have accrued or appears likely to accrue to the offender as a consequence of the offence.
Andrew Stunell: The estimate of the cost of repairs backlog contained in the council housing finance consultation document is £3.2 billion. Funding for capital investments in council housing post 2010-11 will be decided in the spending review.
Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects the abolition of the Standards Board for England to take place; and if he will ensure that it is replaced by an effective system for dealing with complaints against members of local authorities. 
Robert Neill: We will implement the commitment in our Programme for Government to abolish the Standards Board regime as soon as practicable, and intend to repeal the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000 which established the Standards Board through our Bill to devolve greater powers to councils, announced in the Queen's speech for this session.
David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will allocate funding to the land instability remediation works in the Ironbridge Gorge; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: The allocation of departmental budgets for the whole Parliament will be decided in the spending review, which will be published in the autumn. Departments will then determine how to allocate their resources within their sectors.
David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has completed its review of the Ironbridge Gorge Land Instability Report produced by Telford and Wrekin Council. 
Robert Neill: My Department commissioned Advantage West Midlands to procure consultants (Wardell Armstrong) to verify the nature and scale of the land instability problems in the Ironbridge Gorge. My officials have completed the review of the consultants' report and the long term strategy for addressing the land instability issues in Ironbridge Gorge will be considered in the spending review, which will be published this autumn.
Christopher Pincher: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he plans to limit the maximum permissible height for wind turbines located near residential areas. 
Robert Neill: We are currently considering proposals for permitted development rights for small scale renewable and low carbon energy technologies and the height limits that might apply, and will set out the next steps on permitted development rights shortly. Looking ahead, we will radically reform the planning system to give neighbourhoods far more ability to determine the shape of the places in which their inhabitants live, based on the principles set out in the Conservative party publication 'Open Source Planning'. In the Coalition Agreement the Government stated that they will publish and present to Parliament a simple and consolidated national planning framework covering all forms of development. We will make an announcement on how we propose to take forward the national planning framework and the implications for specific areas of planning policy.
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the effects on local authorities with high levels of multiple deprivation of the reduction of funding allocated to the Working Neighbourhoods Fund announced on 10 June 2010. 
Robert Neill: The Working Neighbourhoods Fund is paid as part of the Area Based Grant. All local authorities that are eligible for the Working Neighbourhoods Fund have received a reduction in their Area Based Grant funding. This ensures that councils have the flexibility to take decisions locally on how to deliver the savings needed.
Where revenue grants to local authorities have been reduced, no local authority will face a reduction of more than 2% overall. It is for local authorities to decide where their priorities and opportunities for efficiencies lie across the totality of their responsibilities.
As I said in my earlier answer to the hon. Member for Cardiff North (Jonathan Evans) the Secretary of State has already discussed inward investment with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and we will both discuss it with other ministerial colleagues in the weeks and months to come.
Mrs Gillan: Subject to the approval of Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales, we are aiming for the referendum to be held by the end of the first quarter of next year. It will then be for the people of Wales to decide the outcome of the referendum on further law-making powers for the National Assembly for Wales.
(3) whether she has had discussions with (a) the Welsh Assembly Government and (b) Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council on the decision by Companies House to close its operations at Nantgarw. 
Mrs Gillan: I am naturally concerned for all people in Wales who find themselves in such circumstances, and I have discussed this issue with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. He has assured me that staff are being kept fully informed of developments.
Gwydyr House has not been subject to refurbishment work for some years and its current poor state of repair is not in keeping with our obligations for
managing a Grade II* Listed Building. My officials are currently looking at a number of options to restore Gwydyr House to a state that ensures the building remains structurally safe and provides an acceptable working environment for staff. In addition, work will be undertaken during the summer recess to strengthen the structure of the first floor, which has been dangerously weak for a number of years.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer of 7 June 2010, Official Report, column 12W, on departmental manpower, what the salary range is of staff employed at each grade in the private office of each Minister in her Department. 
|Grade||Salary bands (£)|
|S of S office||PUSS office|
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