Written Answers to Questions

Monday 11 June 2012

Communities and Local Government

Affordable Housing: Coventry

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many affordable homes have been built in Coventry since May 2010; and what steps his Department has taken to increase the number of affordable homes in Coventry during that period. [110295]

Andrew Stunell: There were 303 affordable homes delivered in Coventry city council area between April 2010 and September 2011, the latest period for which data are available, as reported in the Homes and Communities Agency's six monthly National Housing Statistics. Data up to 31 March 2012 will be published by the Homes and Communities Agency on 12 June 2012.

These statistics only cover affordable housing that is delivered through the Homes and Communities Agency's affordable housing programmes; affordable housing delivered outside these programmes is not included. New affordable housing can be delivered through new build and acquisitions, although the majority of the additional supply in Coventry was through new build.

Total affordable completions, including those delivered outside the Homes and Communities Agency's programmes, are published annually in the Department's Affordable Housing Supply statistics available on the Department's website:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/affordablehousingsupply/livetables/

We are investing £4.5 billion over the spending review period to deliver up to 170,000 affordable homes, compared with the 150,000 originally estimated. We estimate that this investment will lever in £15 billion of private sector investment.

Affordable Housing: Newton Abbot

Anne Marie Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many affordable homes have been (a) started and (b) completed in Newton Abbot constituency since May 2010. [108149]

Andrew Stunell: Data are not available by constituency area. There were 57 affordable homes started and 163 completed in Teignbridge district council between April 2010 and September 2011, the latest period for which data are available, as reported in the Homes and Communities Agency's six monthly National Housing Statistics.

These statistics only cover affordable housing that is delivered through the Homes and Communities Agency's affordable housing programmes; affordable housing

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delivered outside these programmes is not included. Housing starts cover new build starts only while completions include both new build and acquisitions.

Data up to 31 March 2012 will be published by the Homes and Communities Agency on 12 June 2012.

Total affordable completions, including those delivered outside the Homes and Communities Agency's programmes, are published annually in the Department's Affordable Housing Supply statistics available on the Department's website:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/affordablehousingsupply/livetables/

Broadband: Rural Areas

Harriett Baldwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance he plans to provide parish councils on their general power of competence to provide a rural broadband service to residents. [109383]

Robert Neill: We have no plans to produce guidance on the general power of competence. How councils choose to use this power will be ultimately up to them. Separate advice on applying to the Rural Community Broadband Fund, which is open to parish councils, is available at:

http://rdpenetwork.defra.gov.uk/funding-sources/rural-community-broadband-fund

Regulation

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department plans to respond to the Cabinet Office's red-tape review. [110385]

Grant Shapps: The Department for Communities and Local Government is leading on the ‘Housing and Construction' theme of the Cabinet Office's Red Tape Challenge, as well as contributing to other themes across Government. The ‘Housing and Construction' theme went live on the Red Tape Challenge website on 12 January 2012 and the results of this theme will be announced following its completion through the Red Tape Challenge process.

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which housing regulations currently being consulted on by the Cabinet Office in its red tape review his Department has recommended be scrapped. [110386]

Grant Shapps: The Department for Communities and Local Government is currently in the process of reviewing housing regulations as part of the ‘Housing and Construction’ Red Tape Challenge theme. Our proposals are yet to be finalised but will be announced in due course.

This review should be taken in context of the policies and measures announced in November's housing strategy. That strategy outlines how the Government are committed to better environmental standards; more affordable housing; security of tenure; legal protection for tenants and leaseholders; and support for the elderly, vulnerable households and those on low incomes.

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We have already taken a series of steps to cut unnecessary red tape, including abolishing home information packs, reducing burdens on short-term holiday lets and removing blanket regulation on houses of multiple occupation that would have reduced choice for tenants, and introduced new freedoms and flexibilities for social landlords via the Localism Act 2011. This review will help inform the scope for further reductions of such unnecessary and disproportionate red tape.

Coastal Areas

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will provide funding for marina projects in seaside resorts. [109827]

Grant Shapps: There are several funding regimes supported by the Government which could offer a potential source of financial help for marina projects in seaside resorts. The Coastal Communities Fund provides money for projects to support economic growth and jobs in coastal communities. Other possible sources of help include the Regional Growth Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.

In January, my Department published a regeneration toolkit. This gives information on a range of tools and funding sources to help local areas to deliver growth and regeneration. A copy was placed in the Library of the House.

Community Development: Lancashire

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding his Department has provided to community projects in the Carnforth area in the last 12 months. [109306]

Grant Shapps: The Department for Communities and Local Government has not directly funded any projects in the Carnforth area in the last 12 months. The Department funds relatively few projects directly.

Council Housing: Waiting Lists

Mark Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether local authorities prioritise housing applications from homeless people who reside in sheltered housing or residential homes. [110149]

Grant Shapps: Local authorities deal with housing applications on a case by case basis. If a household is homeless through no fault of their own, eligible (certain categories of persons from abroad are ineligible) and in priority need then the local authority has a duty to ensure that suitable accommodation is available for them. The priority need categories include someone who is vulnerable because of old age, or physical or mental disability.

Certain people must be given ‘reasonable preference' (i.e. priority) if they apply for social housing. This includes people who are homeless or owed certain duties under the homelessness legislation.

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Empty Property

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to promote the refurbishment of empty and vacant homes. [110590]

Andrew Stunell: We have set aside £160 million to bring empty homes back into use. On 5 March, I announced almost £70 million of that funding for 95 projects that will bring over 5,600 properties back into use across the country, far exceeding original expectations of 3,300 homes. On 29 May, I announced that voluntary and community groups will receive over £25 million to bring properties back into use as affordable housing, ensuring another 1,500 properties that have been identified are lived in once again. 20 local authorities will also each receive a share of £60 million to tackle clusters of empty homes. Using match funding, this will ensure another 5,600 homes are brought back into use.

Under the New Homes Bonus, local authorities earn the same financial reward for bringing an empty home back into use as building a new one. Over the first two years of New Homes Bonus, local authorities will have benefited from £63.2 million as a result of the 21,000 decrease in long-term empty homes.

I have appointed George Clarke as an independent adviser on empty homes. It is also worth pointing out that the Local Government Finance Bill contains provisions for a discretionary empty homes premium on council tax to be introduced next year.

Empty Property: Bolton

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many empty homes there are in Bolton Metropolitan Borough. [110292]

Andrew Stunell: Data on empty homes can be found in the Department for Communities and Local Government live tables on dwelling stock. Live table 615 shows empty homes by local authority district.

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/stockincludingvacants/livetables/

Families: Disadvantaged

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authorities have agreed to participate in the troubled families programme. [109916]

Robert Neill: All 152 upper tier local authorities in England have now agreed to run the troubled families programme in their area.

Fires: Cigarettes

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people died in fires caused by cigarettes in 2011. [109692]

Robert Neill: Fire incident and casualty statistics are currently available for periods up to the end of September 2011. In the 12 months to September 2011, there were

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78 fire-related deaths in England caused by smokers' materials, the category of source of ignition in which cigarettes are recorded.

A decade ago, there were around 100 such fatalities each year. Following the recent introduction of fire safer cigarettes, it is expected that this number will fall further.

First-time Buyers

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding his Department allocated under the FirstBuy scheme in each region in (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13, (c) 2013-14 and (d) 2014-15. [110420]

Grant Shapps: The FirstBuy equity loan scheme will help an estimated 10,500 aspiring home owners in England by March 2013. The FirstBuy prospectus was published by the Homes and Communities Agency in April 2011 and allocations were announced in June of the same year. A list of FirstBuy allocations is available at:

www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/sites/default/files/firstbuy-allocations-by-hca-operating-area.csv

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many house builders are participating in the Government’s FirstBuy scheme. [110401]

Grant Shapps: The FirstBuy equity loan scheme will help an estimated 10,500 aspiring home owners in England by March 2013. FirstBuy allocations to house builders were announced in June 2011 and 108 house builders have subsequently signed contracts with the Homes and Communities Agency to deliver FirstBuy.

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department has spent on promotional material for the Government’s FirstBuy Guarantee scheme. [110434]

Grant Shapps: The Department has not incurred any expenditure on promotional material for the FirstBuy scheme.

Flood Control: EU Grants and Loans

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how much European regional development fund funding has been given to support flood defence schemes in (a) England and (b) Yorkshire and Humberside in each of the last five years; [110699]

(2) what the criteria are for submissions for European regional development fund funding for flood defences. [110700]

Robert Neill: In the last five years, £1,571,212 of European regional development fund was given to one flood defence-related capital project in London. This was the only expenditure in the England fund programme on flood defence.

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No European regional development fund funding from the Yorkshire and the Humber Fund Programme has been committed to, or spent on, flood defence schemes in the last five years.

Flood defences do not generally meet the criteria in the 2007-13 European regional development fund operational programmes although some applications have included aspects of flood defence.

The criteria for submissions of project proposals are defined in each of the nine European regional development fund operational programmes in England. An applicant would need to consider those set out in the relevant operational programme and determine whether their proposal meets them. However, it is unlikely that a flood defence-related project would meet the criteria in most of the operational programmes as the four priorities for the 2007-13 programme are:

Promoting innovation and knowledge transfer;

Stimulating enterprise and supporting successful business;

Ensuring sustainable development, production and consumption; and

Building sustainable communities.

Food: Waste Disposal

Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authorities collect food waste separately from other waste. [109882]

Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government does not hold this information. However the Waste and Resources Action Programme holds information about the number of local authorities that collect food waste. In the UK, 107 local authorities collect food waste separately from other waste. A further 95 local authorities collect food waste mixed in with garden waste and 10 local authorities collect waste in both of these ways. 194 local authorities do not collect food waste separately from other waste at all.

Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authorities use anaerobic digesters to dispose of food waste that is collected separately from other waste items. [109883]

Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government does not hold this information. However the Waste and Resources Action Programme holds information relating to the location of anaerobic digesters. These are located in: Aberdeenshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Cambridgeshire (two), Yorkshire, Devon, North Lanarkshire (two), Gloucestershire, West Yorkshire, Isle of Lewis, Suffolk, North Ayrshire, Leicestershire, Greater Manchester, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire (two), Oxfordshire (two), Perthshire, Plymouth, West Sussex, Hertfordshire, Staffordshire (two), Shropshire (two) and North Humberside. However, the Waste and Resources Action Programme does not hold data as to which of these anaerobic digesters use food waste collected by local authorities, and which simply process other feedstocks (for example pig slurry or abattoir waste).

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Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to discuss the role local authorities might play in reducing household food waste. [109884]

Robert Neill: The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my right hon. Friend the Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr Pickles), works closely with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman), to ensure that we are reducing household waste and provide a comprehensive rubbish and recycling collections service to local taxpayers. To achieve this goal, officials in both departments have worked together in shaping the criteria of the Weekly Collection Support Scheme which will support local authorities to provide a weekly collection of waste alongside delivering environmental benefit and ensuring cost effectiveness.

Advertising: Google

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department and its agencies spent on advertising via Google Adwords since May 2010; and for what keywords. [110435]

Robert Neill: The Department and its agencies spent nothing on advertising via Google Adwords from May 2010 to April 2012. In order to ensure eligible tenants could easily find accurate online information about the changes to the reinvigorated Right to Buy scheme, approved by Parliament and effective from 1 April, the Department has spent £6,122 in total during April and May 2012 in directing traffic to the Right to Buy pages on the DirectGov website. The keywords most used are: right to buy, first time buyer(s), right to buy housing association, first time home buyer, right to buy scheme, council right to buy, buying your council home, buy my council house, right to buy council. Payment is by results—so only key words used by browsers to click through to the site are charged for, on a per click basis.

To place this spending in context, from April 2009 to March 2010, the last Administration spent a total of £212,825 on Google Adwords, against 868 different keywords.

Green Belt

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 30 April 2012, Official Report, columns 1111-2W, on planning permission: green belt, what the very special circumstances are in which development may be permitted on green belt land under the National Planning Policy Framework; and how this varies from the previous planning rules in relation to green belt development. [106889]

Greg Clark: The National Planning Policy Framework maintains robust protections for green belt land.

Paragraphs 87-88 of the framework are clear that “inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in

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very special circumstances” and that “‘very special circumstances' will not exist unless the potential harm to the green belt by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm, is clearly outweighed by other considerations.” This replicates the policy set out in the previous Planning Policy Guidance 2: Green Belts. Paragraphs 89-91 set out in more detail the forms of development that should be regarded as inappropriate and the limited exceptions to this.

As with all national planning policies, these policies will be applied by decision-takers taking account of all the circumstances of a specific case.

Homes and Communities Agency: Housing

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many affordable homes were constructed by the Homes and Communities Agency in the last six months for which figures are available; and what the percentage rise or fall was compared with the previous six months; [110427]

(2) how many homes for social rent were constructed by the Homes and Communities Agency in the last six months for which figures are available; and what the percentage rise or fall was compared with the previous six months. [110428]

Grant Shapps: The Homes and Communities Agency publish statistics on housing delivered through their programmes for social rent and affordable housing. Data for the first six months of 2011-12 were published in November 2011, but exclude affordable housing supply provided outside their programmes, available at:

http://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/sites/default/files/aboutus/official-statistics-release-221111.pdf

The Homes and Communities Agency have reported that they have exceeded their corporate plan targets for affordable housing this year. They will be publishing their official statistics for 2011-12 on 12 June 2012.

The Homes and Communities Agency housing delivery programme has a cyclical financial profile, in that the rate of housing delivery under the former National Affordable Housing Programme has typically tended to gather pace in the second half of the financial year.

The response from the sector to the Affordable Homes Programme reflects the Homes and Communities Agency’s partners’ appetite and capacity to develop, and is a solid position from which to deliver our aspiration for up to 170,000 new affordable homes by April 2015.

This is a period of transition to the new programme and the Homes and Communities Agency have now signed contracts with 122 providers for around £1.7 billion on the Affordable Homes Programme against a budget of £1.8 billion.

We have also asked the Homes and Communities Agency to explore options for accelerating delivery of their programme.

Housing

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of (a) households

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and

(b)

people in the (i) private rented, (ii) social rented and (iii) owner-occupier sector living in overcrowded conditions in (A) 2010 and (B) 2011. [110382]

Andrew Stunell: Levels of overcrowding and under-occupation are measured using the ‘bedroom standard’, which is the difference between the number of bedrooms needed to avoid undesirable sharing (given the number, ages and relationship of the household members) and the number of bedrooms actually available to the household.

The answer is taken from the English Housing Survey 2010-11. Due to small sample sizes it is necessary to combine three years of data (2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11) together to form the estimates. Even so, there is uncertainty around these figures due to sampling effects. It was estimated that in private rented sector over a three year period, 187,000 households (5.6%) lived in overcrowded conditions, in the social rented sector it was 278,000 households (7.3%), and in the owner occupied sector it was 191,000 households (1.3%).

It was estimated that in the private rented sector over a three year period, 787,000 people (10.0%) lived in overcrowded conditions, in the social rented sector it was 1,269,000 people (15.1%), and in the owner occupied sector it was 969,000 people (2.8%).

Housing: Construction

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the effect of the coming-into-force of the National Planning Policy Framework on the Housing Market Renewal initiative. [109961]

Grant Shapps: No specific assessment has been made of the effect of the National Planning Policy Framework coming into force on the housing market renewal initiative as the initiative ended in March 2011. The National Planning Policy Framework, which was published on 27 March 2012, asks local planning authorities to identify and bring back into residential use empty homes and buildings in line with local housing and empty homes strategies.

The last Administration's Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder scheme promoted wholesale demolition of homes. By contrast, this Government are actively promoting getting empty homes back into productive use.

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what proportion of all new (a) dwellings, (b) affordable homes and (c) homes for social rent in England were (i) flats and (ii) houses in each year since 1997; [110430]

(2) what proportion of new (a) affordable and (b) privately built homes had (i) one, (ii) two, (iii) three and (iv) four or more bedrooms in each local authority area in each year since 1997; and what proportion of new (A) affordable and (B) privately-built homes were (1) flats and (2) houses in each local authority area in each year since 1997. [110438]

Andrew Stunell: Tables have been placed in the Library of the House which show the percentage of social rented and affordable homes delivered through the Homes and Communities Agency's Affordable Housing Programme by the number of bedrooms and by houses

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or flats for England and each local authority area. These figures are available only from the Homes and Communities Agency's Investment Management System, so will not cover the total number of affordable homes provided.

Information on the proportion of new privately built homes by bedroom size and dwelling type for England and each region are published in Live Table 254 on the Department's website at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/housebuilding/livetables/

Corresponding data for each local authority area are not available.

Ministerial Meetings

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many meetings the Minister of State for Communities and Local Government has had (a) in total and (b) with journalists since May 2010. [110458]

Robert Neill: Details of Ministers' departmental meetings with external organisations, including meetings with newspaper and other media proprietors, editors and senior executives, are published at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/corporate/transparencyingovernment/ministerialdata

Ministerial Visits: Hull

Alan Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on (a) how many occasions and (b) what dates the Minister for Housing and Local Government has undertaken an official visit to Hull since his appointment. [109101]

Robert Neill: Since May 2010, the following ministerial visits to Hull have been made by the Department for Communities and Local Government ministerial team:

The Hull city council area, on 18 August 2011

The Hull city council area, on 9 December 2011

The recently appointed Independent Empty Homes Adviser visited the Hull city council area on 28 May 2012.

Listed Buildings

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many listed buildings had (a) approved alterations and (b) alterations carried out in (i) total and (ii) each region in 2011. [109710]

Robert Neill: The number of applications decided and granted on the alteration or extension of listed buildings in England and each Government region in 2011 is detailed as follows. Information is not available on the number of works actually carried out.

Number
 DecisionsGranted

North East

680

634

North West

1,428

1,343

Yorkshire and the Humber

1,769

1,598

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East Midlands

1,828

1,673

West Midlands

2,128

1,995

East

3,955

3,658

London

4,531

4,084

South East

6,197

5,651

South West

5,923

5,470

National Park Authorities

484

450

   

England

28,923

26,556

Local Government: Intellectual Property

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 22 May 2012, Official Report, columns 559-60W, on local government: intellectual property, what consideration he has given to expanding the definition of assets of community value under the Localism Act 2011 to include (a) local newspapers and (b) other assets which are intangible or are intellectual property closely associated with the community. [110139]

Andrew Stunell: The intention of the assets of community provisions in the Localism Act is to make it easier for community groups to take over buildings and other land to assist them in saving facilities threatened with closure. Therefore the provisions in the Localism Act 2011 enable only land to be an asset of community value.

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 22 May 2012, Official Report, columns 559-60W, on local government: intellectual property, whether any amendments to the Localism Act 2011 to include assets which are intangible or are intellectual property closely associated with the community within the definition of assets of community value in Wales could be made under powers delegated to the National Assembly for Wales. [110140]

Andrew Stunell: Section 87(1) of the Localism Act 2011 provides that it is land which may be listed as an asset of community value, and section 88 provides detail on the circumstances in which a building or other land is land of community value. There is no power to amend these provisions by regulations, for either England or Wales, to enable intangible or intellectual property to become assets of community value.

Departmental Staff

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many full-time equivalent employees his Department employed in May 2010; and how many it employed at the latest period for which figures are available. [108165]

Robert Neill: As at 31 May 2010, the Department for Communities and Local Government employed 2,108 staff (2,046 full-time equivalent). In addition, the Government offices for the regions employed 1,726 staff (1,646 full-time equivalent), of which 554 staff

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(527 full-time equivalent) were employed by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The Department's total staffing complement was thus 2,662 staff (2,573 full-time equivalent).

As of 1 May 2012, the Department's staffing had reduced to 1,751 staff (1,702 full-time equivalent). The Government offices for the regions have closed.

This May 2012 figure includes some transferred staff now undertaking residual activities of the Government offices for the regions and the regional development agencies, and staff transferred in from other bodies through machinery of government changes. The actual number of staff departures is thus greater than reflected in the figures.

As part of the spending review settlement, the DCLG Group is making a collective 33% real terms saving against its running costs by 2014-15. This equates to savings of over £200 million by 2014-15. In addition, the Department will save a further £190 million from the closure of the Government offices for the regions, taking overall savings on administrative running costs to 42% across the DCLG Group by 2014-15. These savings reflect the coalition Government's agenda of decentralisation, ending the micromanagement of local government, the abolition of regional government, and the broader need to tackle the deficit left by the last Administration.

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many full-time equivalent employees have (a) left and (b) been recruited to his Department in the last two years. [108180]

Robert Neill: The information is as follows:

Departures

From 1 May 2010 to 1 May 2012, 977 staff (934 full-time equivalent staff) left the Department for Communities and Local Government. Additionally, 381 full-time equivalent staff employed by the Department working in the Government offices for the regions left the Department, due to the closure of the Government offices.

Recruitment

86 full-time equivalent staff have been recruited by the Department in the period 1 May 2010 to 1 May 2012. Half of these were recruited before the recruitment freeze began. 25 full-time equivalent of those recruited were civil service fast stream staff, who are exempt from the recruitment freeze, and another 13 were appointed on specialist fixed term contracts, of whom only three are still working in the Department.

Transfers

Some staff were transferred into the Department from the Government offices for the regions and regional development agencies (to undertake residual functions—such as European regional development fund administration) and from other bodies through machinery of government changes. As of 1 May 2012, 379 full-time equivalent transfers were still active and counted on the Department’s official headcount.

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Broader savings

As part of the spending review settlement, the DCLG group is making a collective 33% real terms saving against its running costs by 2014-15. This equates to savings of over £200 million by 2014-15. In addition, the Department will save a further £190 million from the closure of the Government offices for the regions, taking overall savings on administrative running costs to 42% across the DCLG group by 2014-15. These savings reflect the coalition Government’s agenda of decentralisation, ending the micro-management of local government, the abolition of regional government and the broader need to tackle the deficit left by the last Administration.

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what target he has set to reduce headcount across his Department, its non-departmental public bodies and Executive agencies in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [110240]

Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government has recently completed a major programme of restructuring which began in October 2010. The Department's actual planned establishment for 1 November 2012 and going forward is 1,757 full-time equivalent staff.

The Department's arm’s length bodies are expected to make significant savings over the spending review period, though no specific headcount targets have been set.

As part of the spending review settlement, the Department for Communities and Local Government Group is making a collective 33% real terms saving against its running costs by 2014-15. This equates to savings of over £200 million by 2014-15. In addition, the Department will save a further £190 million from the closure of the Government offices for the regions, taking overall savings on administrative running costs to 42% across the Department for Communities and Local Government Group by 2014-15. These savings reflect the coalition Government's agenda of decentralisation, ending the micromanagement of local government, the abolition of regional government, and the broader need to tackle the deficit left by the last Administration.

Morecambe Winter Gardens Theatre

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding his Department plans to provide for the restoration of Morecambe Winter Gardens Theatre. [109305]

Grant Shapps: My Department currently has no committed plans to provide funding, although I understand that the Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust has submitted an expression of interest to the Coastal Communities Fund; any bid will be considered on its merits in due course.

We are committed to helping coastal and seaside towns, and my Department works across Government to support efforts to promote their economic regeneration and strengthen their appeal as places to live, work and visit.

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The Coastal Communities Fund, launched earlier this year, supports the economic development of coastal communities by promoting growth and jobs. Other possible sources of help include the Regional Growth Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.

In January, my Department published a regeneration toolkit. This gives information on a range of tools and funding sources to help local areas to deliver growth and regeneration. A copy was placed in the Library of the House.

Planning Permission

Roberta Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) when his Department expects its review of planning guidance to conclude; [109587]

(2) with reference to the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework in March 2012, which planning guidance he is reviewing; and if he will make a statement. [109701]

Greg Clark: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Daventry (Chris Heaton-Harris) on 17 May 2012, Official Report, columns 246-47W.

Roberta Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what key performance indicators his Department plans to use to judge the success of the National Planning Policy Framework. [109588]

Greg Clark: The Department’s updated business plan for 2012-15 will be published shortly. This will include the indicators to be used to monitor progress in priority areas.

Roberta Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what timetable his Department has set to review the (a) National Planning Policy Framework and (b) the Localism Act 2011. [109927]

Greg Clark: Having shaped the development of the new National Planning Policy Framework, I am determined that Parliament should supervise its implementation, through future debates on planning policy. My Department is keeping implementation of the framework under review and will undertake a post-implementation review after the first year.

There are no plans for a specific review of the Localism Act, which is in the process of being implemented, but we will comply with the requirements set out in the Sunsetting Regulations Guidance published in December 2011.

Sarah Newton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his policy is on holding referendums on Neighbourhood Plans at the same time as political elections. [110635]

Robert Neill: The Government believe it is right that local authorities have the opportunity of holding neighbourhood planning referendums at the same time

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as other elections and referendums happening in the local area to reduce the burden on voters and better manage costs.

Poverty

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many adults of working age were living in income-deprived households in each (a) local authority area and (b) constituency in each of the last three years by the most recent indices of multiple deprivation data. [110379]

Andrew Stunell: We do not compile statistics on the number of adults of working age living in income-deprived households. However, the Indices of Deprivation 2010 do provide a count of people of all ages experiencing income deprivation and these are available for each local authority. We do not produce the indices of deprivation at constituency level.

Summary indicators for local authority districts include the “income scale score”. This is a count of individuals experiencing income deprivation. It includes adults of working age, older people, children and asylum seekers. The data are available at the following link (see column G—income scale):

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/statistics/xls/1871689.xls

It is not possible to provide these estimates for the last three years as the indices of deprivation are not compiled every year. The Indices of Deprivation 2010, published in March 2011, are the most recent indices and have updated the 2007 indices. Most of the indicators are based on 2008 data.

There are alternative measures of the number of people in income deprivation. The Department for Work and Pensions publishes estimates of the number of working-age adults falling below various thresholds of contemporary median income for the United Kingdom, based on the Family Resources Survey, but these are not available at local authority level. Please see Table 5.3tr in the publication “Households Below Average Income—An analysis of the income distribution 1994/95-2009/10 May 2011” which is available at the following link:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/hbai/hbai2010/index.php?page=contents

Private Rented Housing

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the total amount spent by local authorities on the enforcement of housing quality standards in the private rented sector was since May 2010. [110465]

Andrew Stunell: This information is not held centrally.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will take steps to encourage closer partnerships between private landlords and local authorities. [110685]

Andrew Stunell: Many local authorities already do excellent work in partnership with private landlords where that helps to address local priorities. They do this

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through training, accreditation and awareness-raising, alongside direct engagement through local letting agencies and private leasing schemes. We welcome these schemes, but know that they work best when tailored to local circumstances, and have no plans for any top down intervention from central Government.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has considered providing incentives to encourage private renting rather than home ownership. [110686]

Andrew Stunell: Both home ownership and private renting have an important place in the housing market. They fit different people's needs and aspirations at different times in the housing cycle. Recent growth in the size of the private rented sector underlines how it can respond flexibly to changing circumstances. This growth was achieved in response to the market conditions and without any specific intervention from my Department. We continue to support the sector by ensuring that it is not overburdened with unnecessary regulation.

Redundancy

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many of his Department's employees have been made redundant in the last two years. [108066]

Robert Neill: 977 staff left the Department for Communities and Local Government in the period 1 May 2010 to 1 May 2012. They did so for a variety of reasons including redundancy, retirement, resignation, transfer and early exit.

Of these, 466 were made redundant, seven on a compulsory basis. All others left on a voluntary basis.

Additionally, 765 staff were made redundant from the Government Offices for the Regions and 192 were employed by the Department. Of those 765 staff who were made redundant, 154 were made redundant on a compulsory basis, 58 of whom were employed by the Department.

As part of the spending review settlement, the DCLG Group is making a collective 33% real terms saving against its running costs by 2014-15. This equates to savings of over £200 million by 2014-15. In addition, the Department will save a further £190 million from the closure of the Government Offices for the Regions, taking overall savings on administrative running costs to 42% across the DCLG Group by 2014-15. These savings reflect the coalition Government's agenda of decentralisation, ending the micromanagement of local government, the abolition of regional government, and the broader need to tackle the deficit left by the last Administration.

Right to Buy Scheme

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether it is his policy that like-for-like replacements under Right to Buy will be (a) provided in the local area, (b) at the same rent levels and (c) with the same number of bedrooms. [110406]

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Grant Shapps: For the first time ever, this Government have committed to re-invest the additional receipts from right to buy sales in new affordable rented housing. Our aim is, across the country as a whole, to deliver a new home for each additional home sold under the reinvigorated right to buy. We are inviting local authorities with an appetite to replace homes sold under the right to buy to enter into an agreement with us that allows them to retain and spend the additional funds on replacement homes for affordable rent. It will be up to individual local authorities to decide on the appropriate replacement housing mix to meet the needs of their area.

Any receipts not used locally will be pooled and re-invested in new affordable housing by the Homes and Communities Agency (in London, the Greater London Authority) to provide homes across England—local authorities will be able to bid for this money as well.

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the oral answer of 12 March 2012, Official Report, column 14, to the hon. Member for Reading East (Mr Wilson) on Right to Buy, how his Department arrived at the estimate of 100,000 sales and replacements. [110407]

Grant Shapps: This Government want as many tenants as possible to meet their aspirations to become home owners. We have forecast the additional and total Right to Buy sales using the Department's Affordability Model—an econometric model developed by academics at Reading University. These forecasts are set out in the Right to Buy impact assessment which was published on 12 March, available at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/rightobuyia

Social Rented Housing

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many social homes were vacant for a period of more than six months in each local authority area in 2011. [110383]

Andrew Stunell: Figures on housing association-owned social rented homes which are long-term vacant in each local authority district area are published on the Department for Communities and Local Government website in live table 615, available at the following link. Data on the duration of vacancy for social rented housing association homes in each local authority area are not collected centrally, so estimates for how many are long-term vacant are produced using data on whether each vacant dwelling is available for immediate letting as a proxy measure.

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/stockincludingvacants/livetables/

Figures on social rented homes owned by each local authority which are vacant, split by duration of vacancy, are published on the Department for Communities and Local Government website in the Business Plan Statistical Appendix, available at the following link. Combining the figures in columns BA (vacant for between six and 12 months) and BI (vacant for over 12 months) will give the total numbers vacant for at least six months.

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http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/localauthorityhousing/dataforms/hssabpsa1011/bpsadatareturns1011/

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many households with children were on the social housing waiting list in each of the last three years; and how many children there were in households on that waiting list in each of those years; [110384]

(2) how many households with at least one pregnant member were on the social housing waiting list in each of the last three years. [110418]

Andrew Stunell: The Department collects data from local authorities on the number of households on their waiting lists for social housing and the number of bedrooms required. These data are published each year in the Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix returns available from

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/localauthorityhousing/dataforms/

Local authorities will maintain their own records on the types of households waiting for social housing but the Department does not centrally collate this information.

Social Rented Housing: Veterans

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he plans to bring forward proposals to ensure local authorities prioritise the needs of armed forces veterans with regard to social housing. [110031]

Grant Shapps: We have finished consulting on plans to change the law, by regulation, so that former service personnel with urgent housing needs are always given high priority on waiting lists, and that personnel who move from base to base do not lose their qualification rights.

We have also consulted on new draft statutory social allocations guidance for local councils, setting out how their allocation schemes can give priority to current or ex-service personnel, including through the use of local preference criteria and local lettings policies.

The responses to consultation were positive; we aim to issue the final guidance shortly and will lay the regulations as soon as possible thereafter.

Sustainable Communities Act 2007

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects to introduce regulations providing for the involvement rights of people under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007; and if he will make a statement. [108752]

Greg Clark [holding answer 22 May 2012]: We are finalising the regulations under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 and will lay them in Parliament shortly.

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he plans to bring forward regulations arising from the Sustainable Communities Act 2007. [108840]

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Greg Clark: We are finalising the regulations under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 and will lay them in Parliament shortly.

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he plans to bring forward regulations under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007. [109144]

Greg Clark: We are finalising the regulations under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 and will lay them in Parliament shortly.

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what date he expects to lay regulations under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007. [109324]

Greg Clark: We are finalising the regulations under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 and will lay them in Parliament shortly.

Third Sector

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on how to support voluntary and charitable organisations applying for local authority funding; and if he will make a statement. [110741]

Andrew Stunell: The Department has not issued any specific guidance in this area.

The Best Value guidance for local authorities, published in September 2011, sets out some reasonable expectations of the way authorities should work with voluntary and community groups and small businesses when facing difficult funding decisions.

The Localism Act 2011 now means local authorities have greater power, independence and flexibility, and with this, local compacts are becoming more important as a basis for improving the relationship between local authorities and the voluntary sector. Local compact partnerships are key to ensuring organisations are better able to influence and deliver services which will have the most positive impact within their community.

Wind Power

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether it is his policy that a region that has achieved its renewable energy targets will be able to refuse applications for onshore wind farms. [110587]

Robert Neill: Planning law requires that applications for planning permission must be determined in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Wind Power: Lancaster

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to prevent repeat planning applications for land-based windfarms which have previously been rejected in the Lancaster area; and if he will make a statement. [109312]

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Robert Neill: Our planning reforms are putting unprecedented power in the hands of communities to shape the places in which they live. These reforms make the local plan, produced by local people, the key to delivering sustainable development that reflects the vision and aspirations of local communities. In those specific instances where local planning authorities have previously refused permission within the past two years for two or more substantially similar proposals on the same site, or a substantially similar proposal had been rejected on appeal, they have powers to decline to determine applications.

Culture, Media and Sport

Creative Industries

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what plans he has to support the creative industries in the north-east. [109733]

Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) does not provide direct support to the creative industries in individual regions, however, we have established the Creative Industries Council as a joint forum between the creative industries and Government to focus on areas where there are barriers to growth facing the sector such as access to finance, skills and growth.

Creative England was established in October 2011 with the core purpose of supporting the sustainable growth of independent creative businesses, and the talent that feeds them, in every part of England outside London. In London, the Mayor has responsibilities for promoting economic development and supporting growth in the creative industries.

In addition, in Budget 2012, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), announced the introduction of three new tax reliefs for high end TV, video games and animation, building on the success of the film tax relief.

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) what estimate he has made of the number of people employed in the creative industries in the north-east in each of the last five years; [109736]

(2) what assessment he has made of the contribution of the creative industries to the economy in the north-east. [109737]

Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) does not currently produce regional data for creative industries estimates, either for employment or for gross value added (GVA). DCMS is currently engaged in a project with partners to update the data and information provided on the creative industries.

DCMS does, however, provide regional data on creative industries for the number of enterprises (head offices) and local units (workplaces) on a consistent basis for the last three years.

This has been published on the DCMS website and can be found by clicking on the ‘Key findings and table’ documents located on the following webpage:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/publications/8682.aspx

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Creative Industries: East of England

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what plans he has to support the creative industries in the eastern region. [109949]

Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport does not provide direct support to the creative industries in individual regions however we have established the Creative Industries Council as a joint forum between the creative industries and Government to focus on areas where there are barriers to growth facing the sector such as access to finance, skills, and growth.

Creative England was established in October 2011 with the core purpose of supporting the sustainable growth of independent creative businesses, and the talent that feeds them, in every part of England outside London. In London the Mayor has responsibilities for promoting economic development and supporting growth in the creative industries.

In addition, in Budget 2012 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the introduction of three new tax reliefs for high end TV, video games and animation, building on the success of the film tax relief.

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) what estimate he has made of the number of people employed in the creative industries in the eastern region; [109950]

(2) what assessment he has made of the contribution of the creative industries to the economy in the eastern region. [109951]

Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) does not currently produce regional data for creative industries estimates, either for employment or for gross value added (GVA).

DCMS does, however, provide regional data on creative industries for the number of enterprises (head offices) and local units (workplaces) on a consistent basis for the last three years.

This has been published on the DCMS website and can be found by clicking on the ‘Key findings and table' documents located on the following webpage:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/publications/8682.aspx

Creative Industries: Greater London

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what plans he has to provide support for the creative industries in London. [110118]

Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport does not provide direct support to the creative industries in individual regions however we have established the Creative Industries Council as a joint forum between the creative industries and Government to focus on areas where there are barriers to growth facing the sector such as access to finance, skills, and growth.

Creative England was established in October 2011 with the core purpose of supporting the sustainable growth of independent creative businesses, and the talent that feeds them, in every part of England outside London.

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In London the mayor has responsibilities for promoting economic development and supporting growth in the Creative Industries.

In addition, in Budget 2012 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the introduction of three new tax reliefs for high end TV, video games and animation, building on the success of the film tax relief.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) what estimate he has made of the number of people employed in the creative industries in London; [110119]

(2) what estimate he has made of the contribution of the creative industries to the economy in London. [110120]

Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) does not currently produce regional data for creative industries estimates, either for employment or for gross value added (GVA).

DCMS does, however, provide regional data on creative industries for the number of enterprises (head offices) and local units (workplaces) on a consistent basis for the last three years.

This has been published on the DCMS website and can be found by clicking on the ‘Key findings and table' documents located on the following webpage:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/publications/8682.aspx

Creative Industries: Morecambe

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what funding his Department has provided for the creative arts in the west end district of Morecambe in the last 18 months. [109314]

Mr Vaizey: The Department does not provide direct funding for the arts. The Government’s funding of the arts is the responsibility of Arts Council England which makes its decisions independently of Ministers.

However, Arts Council England has provided the following information about its funding for organisations in the west end district of Morecambe, as identified by their provided postcodes, over the last 18 months.

Funding programmeFunding amount (£)

Grants for the arts

197,864

Managed funds

22,966

Regularly funded organisations

126,695

Total

347,525

Creative Industries: South East

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what plans he has to provide support for the creative industries in the South East. [110040]

Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport does not provide direct support to the creative industries in individual regions however we have established the Creative Industries Council as a joint forum between

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the creative industries and Government to focus on areas where there are barriers to growth facing the sector such as access to finance, skills, and growth.

Creative England was established in October 2011 with the core purpose of supporting the sustainable growth of independent creative businesses, and the talent that feeds them, in every part of England outside London. In London the Mayor has responsibilities for promoting economic development and supporting growth in the creative industries.

In addition, in Budget 2012 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the introduction of three new tax reliefs for high end TV, video games and animation, building on the success of the film tax relief.

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) what assessment he has made of the contribution of the creative industries to the economy in the South East; [110041]

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of people employed in the creative industries in the South East. [110042]

Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) does not currently produce regional data for creative industries estimates, either for employment or for gross value added (GVA). DCMS is currently engaged in a project with partners to update the data and information provided on the creative industries.

DCMS does, however, provide regional data on creative industries for the number of enterprises (head offices) and local units (workplaces) on a consistent basis for the last three years.

This has been published on the DCMS website and can be found by clicking on the ‘Key findings and table' documents located on the following webpage:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/publications/8682.aspx

Blue Plaques

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what criteria are used to determine the (a) subject and (b) location of blue plaques. [109825]

John Penrose: I have asked the chief executive of English Heritage to write directly to my hon. Friend with this information.

A copy of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Broadband

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent discussions he has had with BT about improving broadband speeds for businesses; and if he will make a statement. [110101]

Mr Vaizey: As the improvement of broadband speeds is one of the Government's priorities, the Secretary of State has regular discussions on this matter with a number of companies, including BT.

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Broadband Delivery UK

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps Broadband Delivery UK is taking as part of the Government’s policy of increasing small business procurement. [109453]

Mr Vaizey: Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) has provided local authorities with a small and medium enterprise (SME) strategy which sets out an approach to maximise the opportunities for SMEs to benefit from the public sector intervention in the broadband marketplace, and to help maximise benefit to the local economy. Local bodies will be able to promote the capability of local SMEs, and BDUK is committed to ensuring that SMEs are able to play a full role in the delivery of broadband services at a local level.

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 15 May 2012, Official Report, column 60W, on broadband, what the dates were of the correspondence between Newcastle city council and Broadband Delivery UK. [109454]

Mr Vaizey: Dates of meetings and e-mails to and from Broadband UK and Newcastle city council surrounding their bid to become a super-connected city, feedback on their bid and subsequent support to achieve super-connected city status, are set out in the table.

E-mails have primarily related to BDUK and Newcastle city council jointly making progress on the Local Broadband Plan and Newcastle working towards identifying match funding.

The dates of telephone calls are not recorded.

Dates of meetings

28 March 2012

24 April 2012

Dates of e-mails

14 December 2011

11 January 2012

12 January 2012

29 February 2012

22 March 2012

27 March 2012

2 April 2012

3 April 2012

4 April 2012

13 April 2012

17 April 2012

23 April 2012

24 April 2012

1 May 2012

2 May 2012

4 May 2012

10 May 2012

23 May 2012

Broadband: Warrington

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will make an assessment of the effect on businesses of slow broadband speeds in Warrington; and if he will make a statement. [110102]

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Mr Vaizey: There is growing evidence that broadband connectivity and higher broadband speeds improve economic growth and productivity, which is why the Government are investing £680 million in the lifetime of this Parliament with the aim that the UK should have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015.

Charitable Donations

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether he has undertaken an impact assessment on the potential effect that the proposed charity tax relief cap on philanthropy will have on (a) museums and galleries, (b) ballet and dance schools, (c) theatres and concert halls and (d) drama schools in each region. [109741]

Mr Vaizey: No.

Claims Management Companies

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) what recent discussions his Department has had with (a) Ofcom and (b) independent broadcasters on the number and tone of television advertisements for the services offered by claims management companies; [109699]

(2) what recent representations his Department has received from consumer representative organisations on the number and tone of television advertisements for the services offered by claims management companies. [109700]

Mr Vaizey: I have had no discussions with (a) Ofcom or (b) independent broadcasters on the number and tone of television advertisements for the services offered by claims management companies. Neither have I received any representations from consumer representative organisations about this matter.

Complaints

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many complaints about the work of his Department and each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies were received in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [108943]

John Penrose: The majority of correspondence received by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) concerns issues relating to the work of the Department, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies. According to the information held by the Department, there were 36 cases specifically recorded as a complaint in 2010-11 and seven cases recorded in 2011-12.

Copyright: Journalism

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether he has made an assessment of the difficulties experienced by (a) freelance journalists and (b) other self-employed people in being offered contracts stipulating that their copyright should be assigned to the employing body and requiring the individual to accept full liability for what is published. [110625]

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Mr Vaizey: In general, businesses including soletraders, are assumed to be free to enter into whatever contracts they agree between themselves. Contracts form part of normal commercial practice and it is up to the partners to the contract to agree on what it contains, including assignment of copyright or liability provisions.

Correspondence

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many letters to Ministers in his Department were (a) not answered, (b) not answered within six months and (c) not answered within three months in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; how many such letters were from hon. Members; and if he will make a statement. [109430]

John Penrose: The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members’ and Peers’ correspondence. The hon. Gentleman's researchers can find the most recent statistics in the ministerial written statement, published on 15 March 2012, Official Report, columns 30-33WS. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House. The responses to other correspondence to Ministers in this Department are not monitored in the way requested.

Debts Written Off

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much bad debt was written off by his Department in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [110220]

John Penrose: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport had no bad debt write offs in 2010-11. The value of write offs in 2011-12 was £2,200. These all related to recovery of grants under a discontinued scheme and had been discounted as doubtful debts in earlier years.

Disclosure of Information

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on the updating of published data in line with the Government's transparency agenda in each month since September 2011. [110716]

John Penrose: Work to update and publish information for the various strands of transparency reporting is integrated with other work of the Department's finance, procurement, public bodies and communications teams. The tasks undertaken form a small part of each member of staff’s time and it is not practical to maintain detailed costings for this work.

Empty Property

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will list the empty or largely empty buildings owned by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [110839]

John Penrose: The Department does not own any buildings, they are all leased. The properties held in the name of the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics,

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Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), are owned by the Crown.

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many buildings owned by his Department and the bodies for which he is responsible have been empty for more than two years; and if he will make a statement. [110857]

John Penrose: The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) does not own any properties, they are all leased.

DCMS does not hold this information for its arm’s length bodies. Accordingly, I have asked their chief executives to respond to the hon. Member.

Copies of the replies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Fraud

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the level of (a) procurement and (b) other fraud affecting his Department's spending in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [110179]

John Penrose: In line with other Government Departments, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) does not make an estimate of the level of (a) procurement and (b) other fraud affecting Departmental spend. Identified fraud is published on our website in the quarterly data summary:

www.culture.gov.uk/images/publications/DCMS_QDS _Apr2012.pdf

The Cabinet Office will be providing support and guidance to all Departments moving forward on how to undertake proactive exercises in order to quantify fraud and error that was previously unknown, and DCMS will work with them, as appropriate, on this important topic.

Listed Buildings

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many listed buildings there are in each region. [109711]

John Penrose: The hon. Gentleman's researchers can find this information on English Heritage's National Heritage List for England at

http://list.english-heritage.org.uk

Listed Buildings: VAT

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether he has undertaken an impact assessment on the potential effect of the planned rise in VAT on alterations and repairs to listed buildings on (a) theatres, (b) galleries, (c) museums and (d) other arts organisations located in listed buildings. [109612]

John Penrose: DCMS has not made an impact assessment of the potential effect of the planned rise in VAT on alterations to listed buildings for these organisations, but has instead encouraged its arm’s length bodies

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which represent these organisations, to identify the impact of this change and respond directly to HM Revenue and Customs’ consultation.

Museums that are eligible for support through the HMRC VAT Refund Scheme for National Museums and Galleries are able to recover VAT paid on building alterations.

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether his Department has estimated the number of arts organisations located in listed buildings likely to vacate that property due to the planned rise in VAT on alterations and repairs to listed buildings in the next three years. [109705]

Mr Vaizey: No.

Local Broadcasting: Wales

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with (a) the Minister for Education and Skills and (b) other Ministers in the Welsh Government on local television in Wales and Welsh language provision on such channels in the last 12 months. [109238]

Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), met the First Minister of the Welsh Government the right hon. Carwyn Jones AM, on 6 July 2011 to discuss general broadcasting issues, including local TV, and visited Newport on 26 August 2011 to meet a broad range of stakeholders to discuss local TV in particular. Throughout the local TV policy development process, the Department consulted the Welsh Government. While our new local TV framework does not mandate Welsh language programming, it does require the licensed local TV services to cater for the tastes, interests and needs of the people living and working in the locality.

Mobile Phones

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) what assessment he has made of the deadline by which Everything Everywhere, once it has divested its 1800 MHz spectrum, must make it available for use by a new owner; and if he will place any such assessment in the Library; [109706]

(2) what recent discussions he has had with the European Commission about the deadline by which Everything Everywhere, once it has divested its 1800 MHz spectrum, must make it available for use by a new owner. [109707]

Mr Vaizey: I have made no assessment of these issues and I have not had discussions with the European Commission on this matter.

The deadline for clearing the spectrum is contained in a set of commitments given by Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom to the European Commission as part of the European Commission's assessment of the T-Mobile/Orange merger which created Everything Everywhere. The European Commission had jurisdiction to consider that merger (pursuant to the EC Merger Regulation), and as such it was the European Commission's decision to accept the commitments, including the deadline.

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The commitments require that by 30 September 2013 at the latest 2x10 MHz of 1800 MHz spectrum is cleared and available for use by someone other than Everything Everywhere and that by 30 September 2015 a further 2x5 MHz of 1800 MHz spectrum is to be similarly cleared and made available to the same party.

John Glen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) what assessment he has made of the effect of Ofcom's decision to permit Everything Everywhere to offer 4G service in advance of other mobile network operators on (a) competition and (b) prices for the consumer in the mobile network market; [110677]

(2) what assessment he has made of whether (a) the sale of 1800 MHz spectrum by Everything Everywhere and (b) any amendment to Everything Everywhere's spectrum licence will have implications for the conduct of the 4G spectrum auction. [110679]

Mr Vaizey: I have made no assessment of these issues.

Ofcom, the independent spectrum regulator, has undertaken a consultation on whether to permit a variance to Everything Everywhere's license at 1800 MHz to allow 4G services, but has yet to announce its final decision on this matter.

John Glen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport when he anticipates that 4G network provision will be opened to additional providers. [110678]

Mr Vaizey: Ofcom, the independent spectrum regulator, anticipates that the auction process for the 4G spectrum will begin at the end of 2012 and that successful bidders could start deploying networks before the end of 2013. The auction process is open to all including new market entrants.

Museums and Galleries: Lancaster

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what funding his Department has provided for museums in the Lancaster area in the last 12 months. [109315]

Mr Vaizey: There are currently no museums in the Lancaster area receiving funding from this Department.

The Arts Council and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) did not provide funding to museums in the Lancaster area in the last 12 months. The MLA’s museum functions were absorbed by the Arts Council in October 2011.

However, Helmshore Mill and Queen Street Mill museums in the Lancaster area benefited from renaissance museum development funding, which was part of the £300,000 awarded to the north-west for museum development support by MLA in 2011-12.

Mutual Societies

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the number of full-time equivalent staff who will transfer from his Department, its non-departmental

11 Jun 2012 : Column 30W

public bodies and executive agencies workforce to a mutual in

(a)

2011-12 and

(b)

2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [110200]

John Penrose: No staff within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) or its agency, The Royal Parks have or are due to transfer to a mutual in 2011-12 and 2012-13.

DCMS does not hold this information for its arm’s length bodies. Accordingly, I have asked their chief executives to respond to the hon. Member.

Copies of the replies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

National Lottery

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what national lottery grant funding has been given in each parliamentary constituency in each of the last two years. [109690]

John Penrose: The hon. Gentleman's researchers can find this information on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's Lottery Grants Database at:

www.lottery.culture.gov.uk

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what the total value of Lottery ticket sales in the Leicester South constituency (a) has been since the National Lottery began and (b) was in each of the last two years. [109697]

John Penrose: The National Lottery operator, Camelot, collects regional sales data based on their sales regions, which do not map to parliamentary constituency areas and do not include a breakdown of online ticket sales. These sales regions are not comparable with those used for the location of lottery grants awarded on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's Lottery Grants Database, so this information is not available. For a more detailed examination of this issue the hon. Gentleman may like to read my blog at:

http://blogs.culture.gov.uk/main/2012/01/scandals_weary_old _nonsense_an.html

Olympic Games 2012

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps he has taken to ensure that products from illegal Israeli settlements are not purchased by (a) his Department and (b) the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, whether directly or through third parties. [109478]

John Penrose: We aim to ensure that all goods are ethically sourced but, within this, do not specifically monitor whether we are purchasing these particular products.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games are a private organisation operating independently of Government, and, therefore, the Department is unable to respond on their behalf.

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Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what his strategy is to make best use of the opportunity afforded by the large number of Sports Ministers from other countries visiting London for the 2012 Olympic Games. [109975]

Hugh Robertson: The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games provide a unique opportunity to further strengthen the UKs extensive international partnerships through sport, increase our influence in international sports and to share knowledge and experience of hosting the games with future and prospective host nations. A key part of our engagement during the games will be the sixth Commonwealth Sport Ministers Meeting which the UK is hosting and which I will chair. The meeting will take place at Banqueting House on the 25 July.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is also working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UK Trade and Investment to strengthen opportunities for global trade and exports from UK business. Together with VisitBritain, we are using sport to boost inward tourism from priority markets through the GREAT campaign. Discussions with visiting Ministers will support that work.

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether his Department is aware of claims that professional musicians have been asked to perform for free at the Olympic village during the London 2012 Olympics; and what assessment it has made of whether any oral request would breach the Principles of Co-operation agreement the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has made with the TUC; and whether it has had any discussions with LOCOG about this matter. [110129]

Hugh Robertson: We have made no assessment or had any discussions with LOCOG on this matter, for which they are completely responsible. As well as agreeing to a set of Principles of Co-operation with the Trade Union Congress, LOCOG has a long-standing understanding with the Musicians' Union that it would not pay volunteers (such as volunteer cast performers or amateur musicians) or headline acts, but that all other professional musicians would be paid.

Departmental Administration Costs

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much was spent on the administration of his Department in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12. [109832]

John Penrose: The following amounts were spent on the Department's administration for the financial years in question. The figures do not include depreciation and impairment of departmental assets.

The Department intends to reduce its inflation-adjusted administration costs (less depreciation) by 50% from the start of the spending review period in 2010-11 to the end of the period in 2014-15. The increase in 2011-12 reflects spend required to deliver the broadband project and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, both of which will decline in future years. It also includes spend on information economy, broadband and spectrum policy

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functions transferred from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as from 2011-12, which have increased this Department's cost base.

 £ million

2009-10

49.908

2010-11

46.515

2011-12 (expected)

53.397

Sources: 2009-10 and 2010-11: DCMS annual report and accounts—2010-11 (net outturn against final administration budget figures in Table 3.2 on page 85, less depreciation and amortisation figures in Table 11 on page 90) http://www.culture.gov.uk/publications/8309.aspx 2011-12: current anticipated final out-turn—subject to finalisation of figures and audit.

Pay

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many staff working for his Department, its executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies are employed through off-payroll engagements costing less than £58,200 per annum; and if he will make a statement. [110816]

John Penrose: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and its agency, The Royal Parks (TRP), do not employ anyone within the Department through off-payroll engagements except for agency staff. DCMS currently employ 15 agency staff at a rate equivalent to less than £58,200 per annum and TRP currently employ five agency staff at a rate equivalent to less than £58,200 per annum.

DCMS does not hold this information for its executive agencies or arm’s length bodies. Accordingly, I have asked their chief executives to write directly to the hon.

Member with this information.

A copy of the letters will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Public Lending Right

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many authors claimed through the Registrar of the Public Lending Right in the latest period for which figures are available. [109970]

Mr Vaizey: In 2010-11, 23,366 authors received a Public Lending Right (PLR) payment. Full details about the distribution of payments to authors can be found in the PLR's Annual Report and Accounts 2010-11, available in the House Library.

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the (a) number of and (b) likely cost of redundancies, should the Registrar of the Public Lending Right be abolished. [109971]

Mr Vaizey: Decisions about staffing have not yet been taken, as these will be for the organisation that takes over the Public Lending Right (PLR) functions and will depend on how it chooses to fulfil those functions. The Department is running a public consultation about the future administration of the scheme, which is open

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until 30 July 2012, and decisions about the transfer of functions to another body are subject to that consultation.

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether the Government's preferred option for the future of the Public Lending Right scheme will result in jobs being transferred from Teesside to British Library offices in London. [110001]

Mr Vaizey: Part of the basis of the Government's preferred option for the future of the Public Lending Right scheme is that it would not result in jobs being transferred from Teesside to London.

Publications

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many publications have been issued by his Department since May 2010. [109814]

John Penrose: The hon. Gentleman's researchers can find details of all DCMS publications since May 2010 at:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/publications/default.aspx

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many (a) circulars and (b) consultation documents were issued by his Department in each of the last two years. [110504]

John Penrose: The hon. Gentleman's researchers can find the information on consultations at:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/consultations/default.aspx

The DCMS newsletter, the review, is issued every fortnight.

Tourism

Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether tourism from England, Scotland and Wales to Northern Ireland is counted as outbound tourism. [109905]

John Penrose: Tourism from England, Scotland and Wales to Northern Ireland is not counted as outbound tourism.

Transport

Agricultural Vehicles

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the average road distance travelled by agricultural vehicles per annum was in each of the last 10 years; [109677]

(2) what estimate her Department has made of the number of miles travelled on public roads by agricultural vehicles in 2011. [109680]

Mike Penning: Estimates for vehicle miles travelled by agricultural vehicles are not available.

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Annual traffic estimates are produced for 11 different vehicle types. Some agricultural vehicles are included within these broader categories. Agricultural machinery (other than tractors and mechanical diggers), such as combine harvesters, is excluded from traffic estimates.

Annual estimates for 2011 will be published on 28 June 2012. Current 2010 annual estimates are available on the Department for Transport website here:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/statistics/releases/traffic-estimates-2010-revised/

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many spot checks the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency carried out on agricultural vehicles in each of the last five years. [109678]

Mike Penning: Vehicle and Operator Services Agency carried out the following number of checks on agricultural vehicles:

Financial yearMechanical checksDrivers hours and weighing checks

2007-08

504

89

2008-09

641

113

2009-10

683

83

2010-11

628

49

2011-12

307

52

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many oil spillages caused by agricultural vehicles were cleared in the last year for which figures are available; and by whom. [109679]

Mr Paice: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Data on numbers of oil spills caused by agricultural vehicles which were cleared are not held centrally by this department.

Airlines and Tour Operators

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research her Department has undertaken into consumer awareness of the consequences and protections for consumers when airline or tour operator businesses fail. [110067]

Mrs Villiers: The Civil Aviation Authority is currently trialling questions on passenger views on financial protection in the event of tour operator failure in the CAA Passenger Survey, with a view to including questions in a full survey over the summer.

In their report on their inquiry into Reform of the Air Travel Organisers' Licensing Scheme, the Transport Select Committee recommended that the Department should conduct research into the views and opinions of passengers regarding financial protection. We will consider how best to address this recommendation in our reply to the committee.

Bus Services

Mr Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate she has made of the projected payments of the bus service operator's grant to be made to each operator in each year from 2011-12 to 2014-15; [110146]

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(2) what payments of bus service operator's grant were made to each operator in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each of the last five years. [110147]

Norman Baker: The Department does not hold information on projected future payments of Bus Service Operators Grant.

The following links provide information on payments made to individual operators (in alphabetical order) up to (i) 31 March 2010 and (ii) 31 March 2011.

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110504135837/http:/www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/buses/busgrants/bsog/661224

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/bsog-grants-paid-to-20120331/bsog-grants-paid-2011.pdf

Bus Services: Morecambe

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she has taken to increase funding for bus services and to increase the number of routes in the Morecambe Heysham area. [109308]

Norman Baker: As set out in the recent publication ‘Green Light for Better Buses', available in the Library of the House, the Government have continued to support local bus services with significant funding, through concessionary travel reimbursement and bus service operators grant. In addition, we have recently provided a further £115 million to encourage bus usage; £70 million for Better Bus Areas; £30 million for green buses; and £15 million for smart ticketing. We have also made available around £200 million for local major bus infrastructure improvements. 35 of the 39 successful bidders for round one of the £560 million Local Sustainable Transport Fund included bus-related elements.

Bus Services: Rural Areas

Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she has any plans to encourage an increase the number of bus stops in villages and hamlets. [110160]

Norman Baker: The placement of bus stops in England is at the discretion of bus operators and local authorities. It is not a matter for central Government. For some communities, particularly in the most sparsely populated rural areas, traditional bus services and stops are not always a viable option. The Government has recently provided a total of £20 million to 76 local authorities in England across two rounds of the Supporting Community Transport Fund. This is supporting the establishment and development of more community transport links, run by not-for-profit organisations.