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Slot Allocations

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to review the European Union rules on slot allocation and protection; and if he will consider changing the PSO criteria to take more account of vulnerable geographically isolated rural locations. [45139]

Mr. Jamieson: A proposal by the European Commission to amend EC Regulation 95–93 which sets out the rules for allocating airport slots was published last year. This is currently being discussed by member states. The UK Government has consulted with interested parties and is currently developing its strategy with regard to the Commission's proposals. Any changes to the rules for imposing public service obligations will need to be agreed at the European level.

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Planning

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when the Government will be issuing a White Paper on Planning. [44726]

Ms Keeble: The consultation period for the Planning Green paper closed on Monday 18 March. To date this department has received around 13,000 representations. Following careful consideration of these responses the Government intends to make a policy statement on the planning system before the summer Parliamentary recess.

Social Landlords

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to engage social landlords in tackling antisocial behaviour. [46092]

Ms Keeble: My Department will publish a consultation paper shortly.

Council Housing

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the changes to Government methodology for calculating empty or vacant council housing since 1997. [44987]

Mr. Byers: Local authorities are asked each year via annual Housing Investment Programme (HIP) returns to give the number of their own dwellings that are vacant at 1 April, whether they are within the authorities area or not. For 1 April 2001, rather than explicitly asking for their vacant dwellings outside their area, this figure was obtained by subtracting the number of their vacant dwellings in their area from the total number of their vacant dwellings.

There have been no other changes.

Homelessness

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many households there were in bed and breakfast accommodation arranged by local authorities under the homelessness provisions of the 1985 and 1996 Housing Acts, for each English region and for Wales, in the first quarter of 1997 and the last quarter of 2001. [44986]

Mr. Byers: Information reported by local authorities in England on the number of households accommodated in bed and breakfast hotels under statutory homelessness provisions on 31 March 1997 and 31 December 2001 is presented.

National information on the number of households in various types of temporary accommodation, including bed and breakfast, is provided in a quarterly Statistical Release published by the Department; corresponding information at local authority and regional level is set out in associated Supplementary Tables. Copies covering recent quarters are available in the Library, and also via the Department's website. The latest editions, published on 14 March, present statistics up to the end of December 2001.

I recently announced a new commitment to ensure that by March 2004 no family with children will be placed in B&B other than in an emergency. This was accompanied

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by changes in housing benefit subsidies to make leasing self-contained temporary accommodation more cost- effective, and an additional £35 million from DTLR to help local authorities find alternatives to B&B.

Homeless households resident in bed and breakfast accommodation(7)

As at 31 March 1997As at 31 December 2001
North East8060
North West150120
Yorkshire60210
East Midland4080
West Midland60230
Eastern90460
London2,8308,700
South East5501,270
South West230990
England4,10012,110

(7) Includes households accommodated pending completion of initial inquiries by the local authority, and a small number of households found to be intentionally homeless for whom accommodation has been provided for a limited period.

Source:

DTLR P1(E) housing activity return (quarterly)


For corresponding information about Welsh authorities, I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the average cost of placing a family in bed and breakfast accommodation is; and what the total cost was in each of the last 10 years. [44714]

Ms Keeble: Information reported to the Department by local authorities about expenditure on accommodation provided under homelessness legislation does not identify average unit costs. Latest available information is published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) in their report "Homelessness Statistics 1999–2000 Actuals". Based on information supplied by local authorities in England, the average gross weekly charge (before deduction of any rent rebate) per B&B unit during 1999–2000 was £276.92.

Total estimated expenditure by local authorities in each of the past 10 years, based on information supplied to CIPFA, was as follows:

Local authority expenditure on bed and breakfast provision: England

GrossNet
1990–91135,695,39180,624,379
1991–92144,496,02773,219,805
1992–93117,012,35449,095,854
1993–9465,675,85821,233,760
1994–9550,691,88516,573,119
1995–9655,775,34819,592,951
1996–9751,190,20817,483,026
1997–9856,689,68024,075,766
1998–99117,837,86853,840,470
1999–2000151,651,90070,804,741
2000–01(8)(8)

(8) Not yet available

Notes:

1. B&B accommodation includes privately owned or managed hotels/guest houses with some shared facilities, but excludes hotel annexes of self-contained accommodation where meals are not provided.

2. Expenditure excludes any apportionment of central or departmental administration.

3. Net expenditure takes into account income arising from charges to clients, and housing benefit subsidy.

Source:

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy

Homelessness Statistics—"Actuals" annual reports


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My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State recently announced a new commitment to ensure that by March 2004 no family with children will be placed in B&B other than in an emergency. This was accompanied by changes in housing benefit subsidies to make leasing self- contained temporary accommodation more cost-effective, and an additional £35 million from DTLR to help local authorities find alternatives to B&B.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

Regulatory Impact Assessment Report

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he intends to reply to the National Audit Office report entitled "Better Regulation: Making Good Use of Regulatory Impact Assessments". [43101]

Mr. Leslie: Officials are continuing discussions with the National Audit Office about progressing recommendations in their report ("Better Regulation: Making Good Use of Regulatory Impact Assessments"). The Public Accounts Committee heard evidence on the National Audit Office Report on 26 November 2001. When the Public Accounts Committee's report and recommendations are published the Government will subsequently respond by Treasury Minute in the normal way.

Public Service Agreements

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the Public Service Agreement targets which have been revised and those which have been introduced since the publication of the 2001 departmental report. [43253]

The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: There has been only one agreed change or revision to the Cabinet Office's public service agreement targets as listed in the Cabinet Office 2001 departmental report "Cabinet Office—The Government Expenditure Plans 2001–02 to 2003–04 Cm5119".

The service delivery agreement target number 8 which covered 'securing successful delivery of the Government's anti-drugs strategy and targets' was transferred along with UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordination Unit to the Home Office as a result of the post-election machinery of Government changes.

A copy of "Cabinet Office—The Government Expenditure Plans 2001–02 to 2003–04 Cm5119" is held in the House of Commons Library and is available via the Cabinet Office website.

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The Cabinet Office departmental report for 2002 which will be published before the summer recess will also detail the Department's performance against its agreed public service agreement targets.


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