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Though it clearly was not the intention of Parliament in passing the 2006 Act to change the entitlement of Commonwealth and Republic of Ireland citizens to sit in the House of Lords, Ministers have concluded that
15 Dec 2009 : Column WS243
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office (Meg Hillier) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
On 30 June, the Home Secretary confirmed that we would accelerate the rollout of identity cards by extending the initial coverage from Greater Manchester to other locations in the north west of England early in 2010. Following a successful implementation of the National Identity Service in Greater Manchester and at Manchester and London City airports on 30 November, the next phase of the rollout will be commenced from Monday 4 January 2010. From that date, most citizens living or working in the north west will be eligible to make applications for identity cards at a fee of £30.
Initially, they will be able to apply at the offices of the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) in Manchester city centre. From February 2010, they will also be able to apply at new enrolment facilities in existing IPS offices in Liverpool and Blackburn.
To find out more about identity cards, register interest in obtaining a card or to request an application pack, visit www.direct.gov.uk/identity or call 0300 330 0000.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government and Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): My right honourable friend the Minister for Housing and Planning (John Healey) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
The Growth Fund provides capital and revenue funding to the 75 growth partnerships in growth areas and growth points across 163 local authorities in England, supporting their planned housing growth, enabling housing development to be brought forward, tackling barriers to delivery and ensuring that new development is planned as sustainable communities. Provisional funding allocations for 2009-10 and 2010-11 were published in December 2008.
The exceptional economic circumstances and global recession has affected the availability of finance, credit and mortgages. The Government have taken action to help people stay in their homes, stay in work, and to help firms stay in business. The Government have also continued to focus on providing the affordable homes that people need. The Government are clear that getting house-building across the country started, and providing the affordable homes that people need, is a priority during the current exceptional economic circumstances.
The Government set out the housing pledge as part of building Britain's future on 29 June, with a £1.5 billion package of measures to build an extra 20,000 new affordable homes in 2009-10 and 2010-11, of which over 13,000 will be for social rent, and 10,000 open market homes. As a result, the Government are now investing £7.5 billion in 2009-10 and 2010-11 to deliver up to 112,000 affordable homes and around 15,000 private homes.
While the majority of funding for the pledge comes from other government departments' programmes, given the importance attached to stimulating the housing market, I also reviewed our own investment programmes in Communities and Local Government to support the pledge. As such, the Government have switched £128 million capital funding from the Growth Fund in 2010-11 to support the pledge. All regions have benefited from the pledge funding, which has been considerably greater than the impact of the 2010-11 switch from growth funding.
Given the impact of the exceptional economic circumstances on the delivery of homes and infrastructure, there is uncertainty that it will be possible to use Growth Funds in the way envisaged when multi-year allocations were made before the global recession. Switching some grant money from the Growth Fund will mean it is still used for housing purposes and that the fundamental aims of the Growth Fund-to support housing growth-will still be met.
I wrote to the leaders of all local authorities in the growth areas and growth points about the housing pledge on 17 July, highlighting the opportunities for additional funding, and set out the planned adjustment to the Growth Fund. The Government's preferred approach was to make a pro-rata reduction to the provisional 2010-11 capital allocation of each growth area and growth point. Provisional revenue allocations for 2010-11 remain in full. The Government believe this approach would provide certainty on funding decisions in a timely manner, is fair and transparent. Consultation on the proposed changes lasted six weeks.
The consultation showed that although respondents did not welcome any reduction in funding they did show general support for the Government's preferred approach of a pro-rata reduction for every growth area local authority and the Government will therefore revise funding allocations for 2010-11 as set out below. Revised funding allocations will be paid by the Homes and Communities Agency to the nominated accountable body for each growth area and growth point in the first quarter of 2010-11. Local authorities in growth locations will still have the flexibility to prioritise how funding is used to best support local priorities.
|Revised Funding Allocations for 2010-11|
|Location||Provisional 2010-11 Revenue Allocations||Revised 2010-11 Provisional Capital Allocation||Total 2010-11 Provisional Capital and Revenue Allocation||Total Capital and Revenue Funding 2008-09-2010-11|
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