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Industry: Production

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the most recent industrial production figures published by the Office for National Statistics; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the levels of industrial production for (a) future economic growth and (b) employment levels. [80800]

Miss Chloe Smith: The Office for National Statistics published the latest Index of Production release, covering the third quarter of 2011, on 8 November 2011. This release showed industrial production to have grown by 0.4% in the third quarter and manufacturing output by 0.2%. Manufacturing output is now 7.7% above its low in the third quarter of 2009.

HM Treasury uses a wide range of indicators to assess progress against its economic policy objective of achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries, of which the Index of Production is one. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the Office for Budget Responsibility will be publishing its Economic and Fiscal Outlook alongside his autumn statement on 29 November. This will include a forecast for future economic growth and employment.

Interest Rates

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consideration he has given to altering the 5% surcharge rate introduced by the Finance Act 1970 due to current rates of interest. [79661]

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Mr Gauke: I am replying on the basis that the 5% surcharge in question is that provided by Section 59C Taxes Management Act 1970 (Surcharges on unpaid income tax and capital gains tax).

Following public consultation, these surcharges were replaced by a new penalty regime for failure to make payments of tax on time in schedule 56 of Finance Act 2009. The new regime came into effect on 6 April 2011 for payments of income tax and capital gains tax.

International Monetary Fund

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what contributions were made to the International Monetary Fund in each year from 1997 to 2011. [80815]

Mr Hoban: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) publishes a summary of all members' financial position with the IMF, including contributions to IMF lending resource. The data cover the period 1997 to 2011 on a monthly basis.

This can be found on its website:

www.imf.org/external/np/fin/tad/exfin2.aspx?memberkey1 =1010&date1key=2011-07-31

Mobile Phones: Aerials

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will allocate part of the recently announced £150 million funding for infrastructure projects to improving mobile phone coverage. [79409]

Mr Vaizey: I have been asked to reply.

The Government recently announced that they were providing an additional £150 million to improve mobile phone coverage in the UK. The principal consideration when considering the optimal use of the £150 million for mobile masts will be to fill in not-spots in the national 2G mobile coverage and raise the coverage level to 99% and we will be working with Ofcom and other stakeholders to determine where best to site these new masts.

No decisions on locating masts have yet been made. In making those decisions, consideration will be given to the requirements of hosting other technologies such as 3G to improve the coverage of that technology too. Looking further in the future we envisage that 4G could be hosted on the new structures as well.

PAYE

Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the proportion of small businesses using payroll software from providers with whom he is discussing upgrading their products for real-time PAYE. [80165]

Mr Gauke: Based on 2010 employers' end of year returns, approximately 1 million small employers, or their agents, are using commercial payroll software. A further half a million small employers' returns were submitted using HMRC's free PAYE products.

The majority of small employers will begin submitting real time information in April 2013. HMRC has been liaising with all payroll software developers registered

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with HMRC's Software Developers' Support Team since autumn 2010 to ensure that they develop their payroll software products in time for this.

Employers with nine employees or fewer will be able to download HMRC's free ‘Basic PAYE Tools' to calculate PAYE deductions and send real time information.

Pensions: Misrepresentation

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will take steps to assist individuals who have been mis-sold mortgage endowment policies to achieve legal redress for their losses; [80550]

(2) whether his Department has investigated the role played by the Financial Services Authority in the regulation of the sale of endowment mortgages; [80553]

(3) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the advice the Financial Services Authority offers those wanting to pursue a claim for the mis-selling of endowment mortgages. [80608]

Mr Hoban: All investments, including endowment policies, carry financial risk. The Government cannot legislate to ensure good investment performance. Where a shortfall on an endowment mortgage is now expected, this does not in itself mean that the firm that sold the endowment mortgage was at fault at the time of the sale. However, Financial Services Authority (FSA) rules do require firms to explain the risks associated with investment products when these products are sold.

If a borrower feels the risks were not explained properly to them, in the first instance they should complain to the company through which they bought the product. If a borrower is not satisfied with the firm's response, they may consider referring the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS offers a dispute resolution service for problems relating to financial products. It is free for consumers and, while its decisions are binding on firms, it does not interfere with consumers' rights to take action through the courts.

Although the Treasury sets the legal framework for the regulation of financial services, it does not have investigative or prosecuting powers of its own and is not able to intervene in individual cases.

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the number of people who have experienced a shortfall in their endowment policies sold by solicitors in Scotland since the implementation of the provisions of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. [80551]

Mr Hoban: This is a matter for the Financial Services Authority (FSA), whose day-to-day operations are independent from government control and influence. I understand from the FSA that the information requested is not collected centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Public Sector: Pensions

Matthew Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate expenditure on public sector pensions if no changes were introduced in each year from 2010-11 to 2015-16. [63735]

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Danny Alexander: The following table shows the estimated net expenditure on public service pensions from 2010-11 to 2015-16, with and without the announced policy changes to uprating and employee pension contributions.

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Net expenditure on public service pensions measures benefits paid, less employer and employee contributions received.

Net expenditure on public sector pension schemes
£ billion

2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16

OBR Forecast

5.8

7.0

7.8

8.0

8.7

9.7

includes savings from:

           

Uprating by CPI

0.0

0.4

0.6

1.0

1.4

2.0

Contribution increases

0.0

0.0

1.2

2.3

2.8

2.9

Forecast, excluding policy changes

5.8

7.4

9.6

11.2

12.9

14.6

Notes: 1. The table includes central Government pay-as-you go public service pension schemes and locally administered police and fire-fighters' pension schemes, but excludes the funded Local Government Pension Scheme which does not affect net expenditure. 2. OBR forecast is taken from Table 4.1 5 of the Office for Budget Responsibility's Economic and Fiscal Outlook, March 2011. 3. Savings from uprating by CPI are calculated by HM Treasury and relate to the decision to use the consumer prices index (CPI) as the Government's preferred measure for benefit and pension uprating. 4. Savings from contribution increases are taken from HM Treasury's spending review 2010 policy costings note.

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the potential effects of planned changes to public sector pensions on part-time workers earning less than £15,000 per annum. [79795]

Danny Alexander [holding answer 10 November 2011]: In “Public Service Pensions: good pensions that last”, published on 2 November, the Government set out their intention that

“most low and middle earners working a full career will receive pension benefits at least as good, if not better than they get now”.

To protect those on the lowest incomes from increases to member pension contributions, the Government set out a commitment that those earning less than £15,000 (full-time equivalent) will see no increase in their member contributions, and those earning less than £21,000 (full-time equivalent) will see an increase of no more than 0.6 percentage points in 2012-13 (and no more than 1.5 percentage points in total).

As agreed with the trade unions, the Government will ensure that there is a full equality impact assessment before changes to public service pensions are implemented.

Stamp Duty Land Tax: Public Houses

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has any plans to review the level of stamp duty payable on (a) new leases and (b) renewal of leases for public houses. [80814]

Miss Chloe Smith: My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer keeps all taxes, including stamp duty land tax, under review at the Budget.

Taxation: Environment Protection

Esther McVey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the possible effect on (a) electricity intensive businesses and (b) corporation tax revenue of an increase in the carbon floor price. [79753]

Miss Chloe Smith: An assessment of the impacts of the carbon price floor is given in HMRC's Tax Information and Impact Note published alongside the Budget. This is available online at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2011/tiin6111.pdf

By the end of the year the Government will set out a package of measures to assist those energy intensive businesses whose international competitiveness is most affected by energy and climate change policies in order to reduce the impact of Government policy on the cost of electricity for these businesses.

Owen Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the proportion of taxation gathered from environmental taxes in (a) 2010-11 and (b) each financial year to April 2015. [79777]

Miss Chloe Smith: The Government are currently finalising their definition of environmental taxes. Once this work concludes, a written statement will be placed in the House Library. This will establish a baseline against which the Government’s commitment to increase the proportion of revenue from environmental taxes can be measured.

Taxation: Football

Julian Sturdy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the likely cost to grassroots sports clubs of HM Revenue and Customs' decision to change the tax status of small-sided football leagues. [79630]

Mr Gauke: No estimate has been made. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs' view is that the provision of sports league services is liable to VAT at the standard rate. As a number of providers have been treating these supplies as exempt from VAT, HMRC issued further guidance in February 2011, confirming their view that the provision of sports league services is liable to VAT. There has been no change to the VAT status of sports clubs.

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Unpaid Taxes

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will offer assistance to people affected by his decision to alter the time limit to reclaim the arrears payments of tax; [79659]

(2) whether HM Revenue and Customs will take into account any particular special circumstances of a claimant of tax arrears who has missed his four year deadline. [79660]

Mr Gauke: Finance Act 2008 introduced changes to these and other time limits. Under transitional provisions, for many taxpayers the new time limits will not come into effect until 1 April 2012.

HMRC publicised the changes before they began to come into force and have provided advice and guidance for those affected.

In general, HMRC will only accept claims for repayment of direct tax which are made within the statutory time limits. However, HMRC will repay direct tax in respect of claims made outside the statutory time limits where the over-payment has arisen because of an error by HMRC or another Government Department and where there is no dispute or doubt as to the facts.

Working Tax Credit

Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many households will have a reduction in their entitlement as a result of his proposal to increase the hours requirement for working tax credit for couples with children; and what the average reduction will be for such households. [80162]

Mr Gauke: The measure to restrict eligibility to the working tax credit to 24 hours for couples with children is part of a range of reforms to the tax credits system announced at the spending review.

Estimating the number of households impacted by an individual measure does not give a clear indication of the full monetary impact on an individual household.

The Government published estimates of the distributional impact of the packages of announced tax and benefit measures which can be found at:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/junebudget_annexa.pdf

http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/sr2010_annexb.pdf


Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Bahrain: Politics and Government

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of Bahrain concerning sentences imposed on doctors and nurses who provided medical treatment for those involved in recent public disorder and unrest. [80471]

Alistair Burt: I was deeply concerned to hear of the sentencing of Bahraini medical personnel after the briefest of hearings in a Special Tribunal on 29 September 2011. The sentences appeared disproportionate to the charges brought against the individuals and undermined the Bahraini Government's attempts to move towards dialogue and reform. I spoke to the Bahraini ambassador in London on 30 September to reiterate this.

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I was therefore pleased by the Bahraini Attorney General's announcement the following week that the case would be retried in a civilian court. We continue to encourage the authorities to ensure due process is fairly and transparently followed in all cases.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Politics and Government

Bob Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board. [79732]

Mr Lidington: The Peace Implementation Council (PIC) Steering Board provides essential guidance and support to the High Representative in the exercise of his mandate under the Dayton Peace Agreement. It also performs regular assessments of Bosnia and Herzegovina's progress towards the completion of the ‘5+2' conditions agreed by the PIC for the Office of the High Representative's (OHR) closure. It continues to meet at ambassadorial level in Sarajevo every week, and formally at foreign ministry senior official level every four months. By bringing together the most important international supporters of the Dayton Peace Agreement, the PIC Steering Board plays a vital role in supporting the terms of the Peace Agreement.

The British Government continues to support the work of the High Representative and to take an active role in the Steering Board. It considers completion of the conditions set by the PIC as the right indicators for when Bosnia and Herzegovina can function without the OHR. At its most recent meeting, on 6 July 2011, the Steering Board concluded that this conditionality had not been met and expressed its concern at the lack of progress made in this regard.

Bob Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the potential for inter-ethnic conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. [79733]

Mr Lidington: The security environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina remains broadly calm and stable. However, the political situation remains of serious concern. Failure to form a new state-level Government over a year after elections, the absence of further progress on the EU or NATO accession reform agenda (as highlighted by the European Commission's Annual Progress Report in October), continued nationalist rhetoric and a poor economic situation are of particular concern.

We cannot exclude the possibility that mounting political challenges might impact on the security situation. We will continue to monitor this. We remain resolutely committed to Bosnia and Herzegovina as a sovereign, stable country with functioning state level institutions, irreversibly on the path to EU and NATO membership. We continue to work on the ground in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the International Community, to promote stability and security. In this context the executive mandates of the EU-led peacekeeping mission, EUFOR Althea, and the High Representative remain important safeguards. We look forward to the renewal, for another year, of the executive mandate for EUFOR Althea, by the United Nations Security Council on 16 November.

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British Overseas Territories: Biodiversity

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Overseas Territories White Paper will include a target to halt overall loss of biodiversity by 2020 in all British Overseas Territories. [80451]

Mr Bellingham: The White Paper on the Overseas Territories will be published in 2012. It is too early to comment on what will be included.

Central America

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many officials of his Department are stationed in countries of the System of Central American Integration. [79873]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has approximately 85 staff based in the countries of the System of Central American Integration. This number will rise to approximately 95 as part of the network shift towards Latin America announced to Parliament by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in April. This includes staffing of the new embassy in San Salvador which will open next year. These numbers include UK-based civil servants and staff employed locally. For operational and security reasons, we cannot provide a more detailed breakdown.

Central America: Storms

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance his Department is giving to British nationals adversely affected by the recent tropical depression in Central America. [79863]

Mr Jeremy Browne: We changed our travel advice to warn British nationals of the floods and heavy rains resulting from the tropical depression. Our regional consular team was on stand-by and we issued warnings through our warden network in affected countries.

China: Elections

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Chinese Government on its recent actions against independent political activists wishing to stand in local level National People's Congress elections. [80696]

Mr Jeremy Browne: We are aware of reports that a number of independent candidates have been unable to stand in local level elections in China. Ministers regularly make the case to their Chinese counterparts that political reform is in China's interests. As the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Command Paper on Human Rights and Democracy sets out: societies that enjoy genuinely participatory democracy are more likely to be secure and prosperous in the longer term, as democratic development alleviates poverty, reduces corruption and creates the conditions to sustain economic growth.

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As the Prime Minister has said, democracy is a process, not an event. We recognise that countries develop at different paces and our support will need to be specific to the context. And important though elections are, participatory government is about much more than the simple act of voting. Democracy has to be built from the grassroots up. The building blocks have to be laid, like the independence of the judiciary, the rights of individuals, free media and free association. The Government are committed to engaging with China on these issues.

Cluster Munitions: International Co-operation

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to (a) strengthen the Convention on Cluster Munitions and (b) encourage other countries to eliminate the use of cluster munitions. [81101]

Alistair Burt: The UK is committed to ridding the world of all cluster munitions. We believe the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) is crucial to achieving that goal.

As a former user and producer country, and militarily active state which has given up cluster munitions, we have a positive story to tell. We have shared our experience of giving up and systematically destroying our stockpile of cluster munitions with other countries and been active in promoting the universalisation of the CCM in relevant bilateral meetings and in multilateral fora. In October, the UK hosted, in partnership with Non Governmental Organisations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, a universalisation workshop for Commonwealth countries opened by the Minister of State, my right hon. and noble Friend the Lord Howell of Guildford.

We will continue to use all appropriate bilateral and multilateral opportunities to press for countries to join the CCM and give up cluster munitions.

Departmental Assets

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 7 November 2011, Official Report, column 69W, on departmental assets, if he will list each such completed project; and if he will make a statement. [80266]

Mr Lidington: The completed projects consist of necessary security and safety improvements, the refurbishment of existing facilities and other measures to lower the running costs of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and/or to improve our frontline capability and diplomatic presence.

These include:

Infrastructure at a compound in Marjah;

The purchase of land and the building costs for a new embassy and residence in Tbilisi;

Purchase of a new residence in Warsaw;

Purchase of the residence in Zagreb;

The installation of new boilers in the UK;

Upgrading our computer and communications facilities in our global network of nearly 270 posts including the rollout of video conferencing facilities and improving the ability of our staff to work remotely.

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The majority of capital projects were funded by selling surplus properties within the FCO estate. Details of projects with higher classification are not disclosed in the interests of national security.

Economic and Monetary Union

Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has received of the implications of the proposed European Stability Mechanism for (a) the rule of law in and (b) standards of democratic accountability in the EU; and if he will make a statement. [79830]

Mr Hoban: I have been asked to reply.

The Government receive representations on many issues from a range of stakeholders, but it is not the Government’s practice to disclose details of all such representations.

The European Stability Mechanism will be established on an intergovernmental basis between the 17 euro area countries; the UK will therefore neither participate in, nor contribute to, the mechanism.

It is in Britain’s interests that we have a strong and stable euro area—more than 40% of our exports are to the euro area. We want the euro to be a success, and so we support the euro area's intention to put in place a permanent mechanism to deal with sovereign debt issues.

Foreign Relations

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what procedure is in place to notify him of meetings between other Cabinet Ministers and representatives of foreign governments. [80637]

Mr Lidington: Ministers meet representatives of foreign governments in the normal course of business and travel in accordance with the Ministerial Code.

Kenya: Kidnapping

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what communications he has had with the Kenyan government and the transitional federal government of Somalia relating to the kidnapping of Judith Tebbutt and the death of her husband. [80470]

Mr Bellingham: In ongoing hostage cases, it is our policy when lives may be at risk not to discuss operational details such as the degree of co-operation with other states. More generally, the British high commission is discussing with the Kenyan Government ways in which security can be improved at the coast following recent attacks and the Metropolitan police has supported the Kenyan investigation into David Tebbutt's murder.

Libya: Human Rights

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Libyan Transitional National Council on the safety and security of sub-Saharan African nationals in Libya. [80272]

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Alistair Burt: During his visit to Libya last month, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs raised concerns about reports of human rights abuses committed by Free Libya Forces including the recent reporting by Amnesty International on the treatment of detainees, in particular sub-Saharan Africans. The Chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC) assured him that they were taking action to meet Libya's international human rights obligations and had already begun investigations into these reports. The new Prime Minister, Abdurrahim al-Kib, reiterated the NTC's commitments in this respect the day after taking office. We will continue to raise the issue of minority rights with the NTC and the Transitional Government when formed.

Nicaragua

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to visit Nicaragua. [79924]

Mr Jeremy Browne: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has no immediate plans to travel to Nicaragua. I will be visiting Central America within the next year, but the specific details are not yet finalised.

Nicaragua: Storms

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his counterpart in Nicaragua on the recent tropical depression affecting that country. [79861]

Mr Jeremy Browne: We have not discussed the matter with the Nicaraguan Foreign Minister directly. However, I issued two statements last month expressing sympathy and support for countries affected by the tropical depression and have also passed this message to ambassadors in the United Kingdom. Our non-resident ambassador to Nicaragua discussed the tropical storm with its Government when he visited last week.

Somalia: Armed Conflict

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the humanitarian effect of the recent Kenyan military incursion into Somalia; and what steps he is taking to urge parties involved in the conflict to respect international humanitarian law. [81003]

Mr Bellingham: UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported on 4 November that fewer refugees are arriving at Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya due to the rains and to insecurity in the Kenya-Somalia border area. While we support Kenya's intervention, we have urged Kenya to continue allowing refugees in from Somalia, and not to forcibly return refugees from Somalia over the border. We have also stressed that the intervention should not impede humanitarian operations and should comply with international law. We will work with Kenya, the Somali Transitional Federal Government, the EU and other organisations to ensure that any action is consolidated

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by stabilisation and the development of credible, accountable governance structures.

Sudan: Foreign Investment

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings his Department has had with (a) external organisations and (b) commercial companies on investment in Sudan. [80643]

Mr Bellingham: UK officials provide advice on investment in Sudan to interested British companies on the same basis as for any other country. No central record of contacts is maintained.

Tony Buckingham

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what dates Tony Buckingham visited his Department since April 2010. [80812]

Mr Lidington: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Jones) on 8 November 2011, Official Report, column 157W.

Turkey: EU Enlargement

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the issue of Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 will be a consideration in the Government's policy in respect of the application by Turkey for membership of the EU; and if he will make a statement. [80986]

Mr Lidington: The EU Accession Negotiating Framework of 2005 requires Turkey's unequivocal commitment to good neighbourly relations with all its neighbours. The European Commission's 2011 Progress Report on Turkey's accession to the European Union concluded that no progress had been made in the past year in the normalisation of relations with Armenia.

Her Majesty's Government continue to encourage the normalisation of relations between Turkey and Armenia to improve the stability and security of the region and open up wider trade opportunities for the benefit of both countries and wider Europe.

Turks and Caicos Islands: Prosecutions

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) arrests and (b) criminal prosecutions have been initiated by the Turks and Caicos Islands’ Special Investigation and Prosecution Team. [79874]

Mr Bellingham: The Special Investigation and Prosecution Team continues to conduct itself in line with UK police and prosecution best practice. Until such time as persons are brought before a court, no information will be volunteered about any arrests or charges.

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Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the (a) status and (b) progress of proceedings by the Turks and Caicos Islands Special Prosecutor against Mr Michael Misick. [79876]

Mr Bellingham: I receive regular reports on the progress of the work of the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost to the public purse in (a) the Turks and Caicos Islands and (b) the UK has been of the Turks and Caicos Special Investigations and Prosecution Team in (i) 2009-10, (ii) 2010-11 and (iii) 2011-12. [79877]

Mr Bellingham: In 2009-10 the start-up costs of approximately £660,000 were funded by the UK.

The 2010-11 costs (US$4.6 million) were funded from a discretionary UK grant of £6.6 million to the Turks and Caicos Islands Government which covered the cost of the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team; civil recovery work; and the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police.

For 2011-12 the Turks and Caicos Islands Government budget for the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team is US$6 million.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost has been of the civil recovery activities of the (a) solicitors and (b) counsel appointed by the Turks and Caicos Islands Government in (i) 2009-10, (ii) 2010-11, and (iii) 2011-12 to date. [79878]

Mr Bellingham: In the financial year 2010-11 the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) spent US$4.2 million on the civil recovery programme including for four months work done after the commencement of the programme in December 2009 but not paid until the 2010-11 financial year. In the financial year 2011-12, TCIG has budgeted to spend US$4.2 million on the civil recovery programme. Information on a breakdown of costs between solicitors, counsel, third party experts and disbursements is not readily available.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the (a) status and (b) progress of the civil recovery programme in the Turks and Caicos Islands. [79922]

Mr Bellingham: The civil recovery team recently announced that they had made 29 separate recoveries of land and/or cash amounts. Almost 900 acres of land have so far been returned to the Crown. The value of the land recovered so far is many tens of millions of dollars. By the end of the programme, the team expects to have recovered land worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The team expects to continue to be busy over the next 12 to 18 months. Trials are likely to take place on all the major cases within this timeframe. Appeals may extend this time frame but the team is doing everything it can to move cases along as quickly as possible.

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Yemen

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he (a) has taken and (b) is planning to take to implement the priorities for his Department set out in the Building Stability Overseas Strategy in Yemen. [80512]

Alistair Burt: The principles of the Building Stability Overseas Strategy underpin the UK Government's response to Yemen's manifold challenges. The three lead Departments, the Department for International Development (DFID), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, have for some time worked closely together to deliver an integrated and coherent cross-Government approach. Our strategy has focused on degrading al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula to the point where they no longer pose a strategic threat, and halting Yemen's decline into state failure by reducing conflict and grievances and increasing the capacity of the state.

The current security situation in Yemen has unfortunately meant that we have had to reduce significantly the number of staff we have in country to deliver our strategy, and to suspend or reduce a number of key programmes.

Since the escalation of internal conflict the immediate central objective of UK policy to Yemen is to secure a peaceful and orderly political transition on the basis of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) Initiative. The international community support this policy and this is reflected in the UN Security Council Resolution 2014, unanimously adopted on 21 October. We are working closely with the GCC, EU, US and UN to press all sides to reach an agreement on transition.

Our cross-Government conflict management programmes aim to strengthen popular participation in the political process, to bridge the gap between governed and the governing elite. The programme focuses on tribal and community structures, professionalising security and justice services, refugee and host community conflict reduction, water related conflict issues and election related violence. We also continue to provide training for a very small number of Yemeni officers on key courses in the UK. This training supports the third pillar of the Building Stability Overseas Strategy in helping to build legitimate institutions; and includes elements which enhance an individual's understanding of the control and employment of security forces in accordance with the rule of law.

We are gravely concerned with the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen. Through DFID, and supported by diplomatic efforts in Sana'a, the UK Government are providing £15.4 million in humanitarian support in 2011-12 to meet immediate humanitarian needs in accordance with our strategy.

DFID is also continuing to deliver development assistance to Yemen to support poor and vulnerable Yemenis, principally through on-going support to the Yemeni Social Fund for Development which secures the delivery of essential basic services such as health, education and water.

Future engagement in support of the Building Stability Overseas Strategy will be dependent on the political and security situation in Yemen. The Government hope

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to be able to provide support to strengthen the resilience of the Yemeni economy and help Yemeni civil society to engage in the political process, assist in the development of legitimate institutions and enhance local governance, in order to increase Yemen's ability to manage tensions and shocks and hence reduce instability and conflict in the future.

Communities and Local Government

Building Regulations

Ian Swales: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects to announce the results of his review of Part P of the building regulations. [80915]

Andrew Stunell: We plan to publish the consultation document on the review of Part P of the building regulations in December, with a three month deadline for receipt of responses. Having considered the responses, we would aim to lay amended regulations and publish revised Approved Document P guidance by October 2012.

Building Regulations: Water Supply

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has for minimum water efficiency standards in future revisions of the Building Regulations. [79994]

Andrew Stunell: I currently have no plans to change the 125 litres/person/day water efficiency requirement for new dwellings, which only came into force in the Building Regulations in April 2010.

Domestic Waste: Waste Collection

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from which budget the £250 million of funding identified to support councils to deliver weekly collections of household waste was allocated; and how such funding will be phased over the next three years. [80965]

Robert Neill: The Weekly Collection Support Scheme, announced on 30 September 2011, will make up to £250 million available to English local authorities to help them deliver weekly collections of household waste. DCLG is funding the scheme from unallocated resources, as reported in the annual report and accounts for 2010-11. We intend to make a statement giving further details about the scheme soon, ahead of publishing the full bidding guidance in the new year.

Economic Growth: Liverpool

Mr Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he plans to take following the publication of the report on growth opportunities in Liverpool. [79757]

Greg Clark: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 14 November 2011, PQ 78743.

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Energy Performance Certificates: Holiday Accommodation

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether holiday lets are exempt from the need to have energy performance certificates when they are rented out (a) for less than a cumulative period of four months within a 12 month period and (b) through a licensing arrangement where the holidaymaker does not have exclusive use of the property during the period for their booking. [79899]

Grant Shapps [holding answer 10 November 2011]: Following the Westminster Hall debate initiated by my hon. Friend, 14 June 2011, Official Report, column 230WH, Ministers have reviewed the implementation of the legislation to see if unnecessary regulations on holiday lets could be removed. This has taken place under the auspices of the Government's Red Tape Challenge.

We have listened carefully to the concerns raised by hon. Members and the tourism industry and have concluded that an energy performance certificate should not be required for a holiday let where:

the property is rented out for less than four months in a year; or

it is let under a licence to occupy—regardless of the amount of time it is occupied.

A licence to occupy is an arrangement where the holidaymaker does not have exclusive use of the property; for example, where the property owner or their representative has the right to access the premises during the period of the booking.

My Department will be publishing detailed guidance on this issue shortly. We will also be making appropriate amendments to the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations.

Enterprise Zones: Scotland

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on establishing enterprise zones in Scotland. [77432]

Greg Clark: As enterprise zones are an England-only policy, no relevant discussions have taken place between my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Scottish Government. However, Ministers from DCLG regularly meet colleagues from the Scotland Office to discuss a range of matters.

Fair Communities Scheme

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much and what proportion of the funding for the Fair Communities scheme has been spent since the start of the comprehensive spending review period. [80966]

Robert Neill: Ministers will make an announcement in due course on the Government's integration policy and on the Fair Communities programme.

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Fire Services: Finance

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects to notify fire authorities of their budget allocation for 2013-15. [79932]

Robert Neill: The Government set out consultation proposals this summer for changes to the funding of local authorities, including fire and rescue authorities. We are considering responses to the consultation and anticipate introducing the new funding arrangements from April 2013.

During 2012 we will work with the sector on how to set the baseline for the business rates retention system before consulting formally in summer 2012.

We expect to announce the settlement for local authorities for 2013-14 and the provisional one for 2014-15 at around the same time frame as is usual for the start of a multi-year settlement. Statutory consultation on the 2013-14 settlement will start around late November/early December 2012. Ministers will then take final decisions on the allocations and these will be announced in mid to late January 2013.

Homelessness: Ex-servicemen

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the number of former armed service personnel who became homeless in each of the last 10 years. [79773]

Grant Shapps: Information about local authorities' discharge of their duties under homelessness legislation is collected on quarterly PIE returns.

Information is collected on the number of households accepted as being statutory homeless whose main reason for loss of last settled home was having left the armed forces. This will not include households containing people who have previously been in the armed forces but were made homeless for other reasons. This information was first collected in 2005-06 and is given as follows:

Households with reason of last settled home being having left the armed forces

Number

2005-06

270

2006-07

200

2007-08

220

2008-09

160

2009-10

120

2010-11

150

Note: Figures are rounded to nearest 10 households. Source: PIE returns

Information about English local housing authorities' actions under the homelessness legislation (part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) is collected at local authority level, and a summary is published by the Department in the quarterly Statistical Release on Statutory Homelessness, available both in the Library of the House and via the DCLG website:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/homelessnessstatistics/publicationshomelessness/

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Breakdowns on whether other homeless people were formerly armed forces personnel are not available, eg rough sleepers.

Preventing and tackling homelessness amongst veterans has been one of the priorities of my Ministerial Working Group on Homelessness. The group's first report “Vision to end rough sleeping: No Second Night Out nationwide” published on 6 July, sets out the Government's intention to roll out “No Second Night Out” nationally, the approach being taken by the Mayor of London to quickly identify new rough sleepers and includes a number of commitments to support ex-service personnel. We will continue to work with the Mayor to deliver No Second Night Out in London and to roll out the principles of No Second Night Out nationally. We have already provided an additional £20 million to Homeless Link for a new Homelessness Transition Fund to help delivery.

I intend to write to hon. Members shortly to draw their attention to what we are doing for the armed forces, and will place a copy of this letter in the Library of the House.

Housing: Construction

Guy Opperman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking to encourage parish councils to seek support from outside agencies to help deliver local housing projects. [78148]

Andrew Stunell: Parish councils are not responsible for the delivery of housing projects. However, our neighbourhood planning proposals will give parish councils a greater say in the future of their area, including where they think new houses and other development should go.

The provisions in the Localism Bill include a duty for local planning authorities to provide advice and support to parishes or neighbourhood forums preparing neighbourhood planning proposals. We have also committed £3.2 million for funding four support organisations (Royal Town and Planning Institute, Locality,

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Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment and National Association of Local Councils/Campaign to Protect Rural England) to provide independent advice for communities on planning.

Local Enterprise Partnerships: Wiltshire

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will estimate the level of inward investment to Swindon arising from the creation of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership. [80566]

Greg Clark: The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership is at an early stage of development, with board members currently being recruited, to be in place by January. The partnership has identified investment as one of its three core priority programme areas and set out in its proposal that it will ‘establish a rapid response capacity across the area that will work in partnership with UK Trade and Industry to attract and retain inward investment’. I am therefore confident that, when the board is established, it will make an important contribution to increasing inward investment in Swindon and Wiltshire.

Local Government

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what basis his Department's new Communities and Local Government localities have been determined; and how many people live in each locality. [78805]

Greg Clark: The Department for Communities and Local Government's new approach to working with local areas reflects feedback from local authorities and partnerships about the type of engagement they want from the Department. Our structure of 14 areas is principally based on Local Enterprise Partnership and Homes and Communities Agency geography.

The following table shows the local authorities that fall within and the estimated population for each locality:

Constituent local authorities of the 14 areas Mid-2010 population estimate (thousand)

Bolton, Bury, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Sefton, St Helens, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Warrington, Wigan, Wirral

4,992

   

Cumbria, Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool

1,944

   

County Durham, Darlington, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside, Stockton-on-Tees, Sunderland

2,607

   

Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Doncaster, East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston upon Hull, Kirklees, Leeds, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, Rotherham, Sheffield, Wakefield, York

5,301

   

Coventry, Derby, Derbyshire, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire

4,607

   

Birmingham, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford and Wrekin, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Worcestershire, Staffordshire

4,604

   

Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Luton, Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire

1,544

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East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend-on-Sea, Thurrock, Camden, City of London, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Wandsworth, Westminster, Tower Hamlets

6,556

   

Norfolk, Suffolk

1,582

   

Surrey, Brighton and Hove, West Sussex

2,186

   

Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Peterborough, Buckinghamshire, Rutland

2,434

   

Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, North Somerset, Devon, Plymouth, Torbay, Cornwall, Isles of Scilly

4,546

   

Wiltshire, Swindon, West Berkshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Dorset, Bournemouth, Bracknell Forest, Portsmouth, Reading, Slough, Southampton, Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham, Poole

4,126

   

Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Sutton, Waltham Forest

5,207

Note: The figures in the table are rounded to the nearest thousand and are totals of local authority figures rounded to the nearest 100 population. Source: Mid-2010 population estimates, Office for National Statistics

Local Government: Databases

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what data on (a) renewable energy, (b) greenhouse gas emissions, (c) air quality and (d) conservation and biodiversity local authorities are required to submit to his Department under the Single Data List; [79998]

(2) what data on (a) air quality, (b) renewable energy and (c) greenhouse gas emissions local authorities are required to submit under the Single Data List. [79979]

Robert Neill: Local authorities submit data on greenhouse gas emissions from their own estate and operations to the Department of Energy and Climate Change on an annual basis.

Local authorities submit data annually to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the proportion of local sites where positive biodiversity conservation management is being achieved.

Both of these data collections are recorded on the Single Data List. There is no need for local authorities to also report these data to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Local Government: Pensions

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the proportion of members of the local government pension schemes who are (a) part-time, (b) full-time, (c) male, (d) female, (e) active members and (f) deferred members/pensioners. [80501]

Robert Neill: At the end of March 2011, there were 1,633,000 (39%) active members in the Local Government Pension Scheme in England. At the same date there were 1,187,000 (29%) pensioners and 1,326,000 (32%) former members who are entitled to deferred benefits.

Data are not available broken down by gender or employment status.

This information was published on 12 October 2011 in Table 3 in a statistical release “Local Government Pension Scheme Funds England 2010-11” that is available on the Department for Communities and Local Government website at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/localgovernment/local regional/localgovernmentfinance/statistics/pensionscheme/

The data are as supplied to DCLG by the 81 local government pension scheme administering authorities in England on the annual “SF3 Local Government Pension Funds” forms.

Mayors: Liverpool

Mr Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he has considered giving a wider regional role to any directly elected Mayor for Liverpool. [79758]

Robert Neill: While we recognise that a city led by a directly elected mayor will be well placed to contribute to the economic growth and success of the wider locality, our commitment is to create, subject to confirmatory referendums, directly elected mayors in the largest English cities, including Liverpool.

Multiple Occupation

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what discussions he has had with landlord organisations on the effect on article 4 directions specific to houses in multiple occupation on the availability of places available for rent under proposed changes to the single room rate; [R] [78745]

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(2) whether his Department has carried out an impact assessment on the effect of the introduction of article 4 directions specific to houses in multiple occupation on the availability of rooms suitable for the proposed new single room rate. [R] [78746]

Grant Shapps: The blanket requirement for planning permission for houses in multiple occupation included at the tail end of the last Administration imposed a significant regulatory cost on the private rented sector.

The Government have streamlined these planning requirements, allowing councils to control the number of new houses in multiple occupation via article 4 directions allowing for targeted action in communities where the cumulative impact of such dwellings harms local amenity; this approach will avoid the blanket over-regulation of the whole private rented sector.

The impact assessment produced in September 2010 (DCLG, Houses in multiple Occupation—changes to planning legislation) estimates that this Government's reforms will deliver a net benefit worth £104 million.

By contrast, the impact assessment produced under the last Administration on their planning changes, warned of a “potential reduction in supply of this type of low cost accommodation and therefore potential for rents to increase if there is a reduction in supply” (CLG, Introducing a definition of houses in multiple occupation into the Use Classes Order: Impact Assessment, March 2010, p.8).

In this context, compared to the status quo, this Government's changes will increase the availability of low-cost accommodation for rent.

Planning Permission

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what weight he will place on the representations from the Environment Agency on the National Planning Policy Framework in (a) general and (b) relation to inappropriate developments on floodplains; and if he will make a statement. [78473]

Greg Clark: The Government take the issue of flood risk very seriously and the policies set out in the draft National Planning Policy Framework aim to avoid inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding.

We will give careful consideration to the response from the Environment Agency alongside the others we have received on the draft National Planning Policy Framework to inform our final decisions and we will publish a summary of responses to the consultation in due course.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he plans to publish (a) the summary of consultation responses and (b) his response to the consultation on the draft National Planning Policy Framework. [78936]

Greg Clark: The 12 week consultation period on the draft National Planning Policy Framework closed on 17 October. We are now carefully considering all of the submissions that have been made. Having fully considered the suggestions made, we will then publish the revised text taking into account representations that have been

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made and a summary of responses to the consultation. The Government are committed to the publication of this final version of the Framework by 31 March 2012.

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will propose amendments to the Localism Bill to introduce a third party right of appeal in the planning system. [79198]

Greg Clark: I refer the hon. Member to the answers he was given on this issue on 17 January 2011, Official Report, column 537W, and 29 November 2010, Official Report, column 480W.

Roberta Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions his Department has had with leaders of local authorities on the implications of the draft National Planning Policy Framework. [79319]

Greg Clark: Ministers and officials have been meeting with a wide range of organisations on the draft National Planning Policy Framework, including leaders of local authorities. The Local Government Association and individual authorities have made submissions to the consultation.

Roberta Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when his Department plans to publish its response to the draft National Planning Policy Framework Consultation. [79324]

Greg Clark: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond Park (Zac Goldsmith) today (PQ 78936).

Roberta Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many responses his Department received to its consultation on the draft National Planning Policy Framework. [79430]

Greg Clark: We have received over 14,000 responses to the consultation on the draft National Planning Policy Framework.

By way of comparison, the 2007 Planning White Paper generated over 32,000 responses, and the south-east plan, 7,000.

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on the effect of the draft National Planning Policy Framework on business and industry. [79787]

Greg Clark [holding answer 10 November 2011]: Ministers in the Department for Communities and Local Government meet regularly with Ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to discuss a range of matters.

Information on the anticipated effect of the draft National Planning Policy Framework on business and industry is set out within the Consultation Stage Impact Assessment.

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Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he made of the number of residents interested in producing local and neighbourhood plans prior to the publication of the draft National Planning Policy Framework. [79991]

Greg Clark: We have launched the neighbourhood planning front runner programme, which currently has 126 projects under way, with communities working closely with local councils on the future of their area. We have recently received more than 100 applications to join the next wave of front runners.

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he made of the average cost of producing a local and neighbourhood plan. [79995]

Greg Clark: An impact assessment for neighbourhood plans and community right to build was published on 31 January 2011 and can be found on the Department's website at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/localgovernment/pdf/1829678.pdf

Planning: Biodiversity

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government by what means his Department plans to monitor the use by local authorities of the planning system to protect biodiversity. [79999]

Robert Neill: We are removing the need for local authorities to submit annual monitoring reports on their local plans to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The future emphasis will be on reporting progress on local plans to local people in the interests of local transparency and accountability. In the consultation draft of the National Planning Policy Framework we proposed that planning policies should identify suitable indicators for monitoring biodiversity. Nationally, the Government's proposals for monitoring biodiversity are explained in the Natural Environment White Paper and include periodically publishing a single, concise and integrated report about the state of the environment on land.

Property Development

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his policy is on owners who have undertaken unauthorised developments to a property then carrying out permitted developments on that property. [80497]

Robert Neill: Local councils have a range of discretionary enforcement powers to rectify breaches of planning control. Many permitted development rights, including those for dwelling houses, enable certain types of development to be undertaken with reference to the ‘original building’. Unlawful works would not count as part of the ‘original building’, and permitted development rights may therefore not apply. Local councils are also able to withdraw permitted development rights in response to local circumstances.

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Regeneration: Liverpool

Mr Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his policy is on funding (a) all or (b) some of the projects included in the regeneration strategy for the Liverpool City Region published by Lord Heseltine and Sir Terry Leahy; and what projects in the report his Department plans to fund. [78743]

Greg Clark: My right hon. and noble Friend Lord Heseltine's and Sir Terry Leahy's report into the economic opportunities for Liverpool is an independent report and not intended to be bound by established Government policy. The issues raised by the report will be considered in the context of the work the Minister with responsibility for cities is undertaking as part of his work with the eight core cities, to help them maximise their growth potential.

Mr Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the total cost is of the projects contained in the regeneration strategy for the Liverpool City Region published by Lord Heseltine and Sir Terry Leahy. [78744]

Greg Clark: My right hon. and noble Friend Lord Heseltine's and Sir Terry Leahy's independent report into the economic opportunities for Liverpool is not a Government report and so no Government costing has been made of the proposals it contains.

Social Rented Housing

Roberta Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of houses that have been approved for development through the planning system but have not as yet been built in each local authority area. [79646]

Andrew Stunell: The number of dwellings where permission has been granted but where development has not yet started as at 30 September 2011 is estimated at 255,670 units. A table giving the breakdown by local authority has been deposited in the Library of the House. This information is collected by Glenigan on behalf of the Homes and Communities Agency. These outstanding planning permissions amount to just over one year's projected average annual household growth (232,000 household per annum until 2033).

Sustainable Development

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what definition of sustainable development his Department uses. [80000]

Robert Neill: The classic definition of sustainable definition, set out by the Brundtland Commission, is development that meets the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This is reflected in the Government's vision for sustainable development published in February 2011 and by this Department in its work including the consultation draft of the National Planning Policy Framework.