Previous Section Index Home Page


Mobility Allowance (Wandsworth)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in the London Borough of Wandsworth are in receipt of the mobility allowance. [53875]

Maria Eagle: The number of people in receipt of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance in the borough of Wandsworth on 30 November 2001 was 6,080.

Carers

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which categories of carer will be credited into the state second pension; and for each of those categories, who will be (a) credited automatically and (b) need to make a claim. [54516]

Maria Eagle: Carers will qualify for state second pension for each complete tax year they do not work at all, or earn less than the annual national insurance lower earnings limit and they are looking after:


All qualifying carers will receive an additional pension from state second pension automatically.

Pensions

Mr. David Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many UK pensioners in receipt of pensions are living abroad, broken down by country of residence. [54464]

Maria Eagle: The information is not available in the format requested. The available information is in the table.

Number of British pensioners in receipt of pensions living abroad: May 2001, by country of residence

CountryNumber
All853,840
Australia216,870
Canada141,185
USA113,420
Republic of Ireland86,525
Spain42,190
New Zealand35,785
South Africa34,085
Italy28,300
Germany25,705
Jamaica23,230
France17,505
Cyprus7,075
Pakistan5,995
Netherlands5,755
Other(9)70,215

(9) All other countries with individual case load less than 5,000.

Notes:

1. Figures may not sum to overall total due to rounding.

2. Figures are for GB pensioners excludes NI pensioners.

Source:

Matching, Intelligence and Data Analysis Service. May 2001.


8 May 2002 : Column 209W

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have personal pension funds. [46918]

Mr. McCartney [pursuant to his reply, 16 April 2002, Official Report, c. 892W]:

The information is in the table.

The number of people who have a personal pension

Million
Numbers contributing to a personal pension4.08
Numbers receiving income from a personal pension0.80
Total number of people with a personal pension4.88

Notes:

1. Information is drawn from the Family Resources Survey (FRS) for the year 2000–01 and covers Great Britain only.

2. Due to the size of the FRS sample and the fact that the survey relies on self-reporting of pension income the information may be subject to a margin of error.


TRANSPORT, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE REGIONS

Local Government Finance

Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what steps he is taking to ensure that the new grant formula that will replace SSA will (a) be improved and (b) address the needs of all classes of authority; [53637]

Mr. Raynsford: We are working to develop options for fairer and more intelligible grant distribution formulae. We will consult on options over the summer and will consider the responses when we come to take decisions.

Parish Councils

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the financial impact on parish councils of the 1996 Accounts and Audit Regulations; and if he will make a statement. [54647]

Dr. Whitehead: I am aware of the impact that accounting and audit requirements can have on parish councils as a consequence of complying with the Accounts and Audit Regulations 1996. For this reason, last year we increased the income threshold, below which local councils are subject to the least onerous accounting regime, from £5,000 to £50,000. In addition, the Audit Commission has introduced a new 'lighter touch' audit framework for local councils, with the aim of making the audit process simpler and therefore cheaper. The new regime should result in lower audit costs for most small councils.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he plans to introduce an internal audit requirement for parish councils; and if he will make a statement. [54648]

Dr. Whitehead: The Accounts and Audit Regulations 1996 already impose a requirement for parish councils and other authorities to maintain an adequate and effective

8 May 2002 : Column 210W

system of internal audit. We plan to consult later this year on proposals aimed at strengthening this requirement by providing for all authorities to follow best practice in carrying out their internal audit role.

Mobile Phone Masts

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will set out his definition of the amenity grounds on which local authorities may refuse planning applications for mobile phone masts. [54442]

Mr. Byers [holding answer 7 May 2002]: Planning decisions are based upon the land-use merits of each proposal; an assessment must be made of the impact of the proposed development on amenity. Each planning case is likely to have a unique set of relevant facts, and the courts are final arbiters of what is material. The Department's advice on materiality is set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 1 (PPG1), "General Policy and Principles".

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what research his Department has commissioned into planning guidance on the siting of mobile phone masts in other member states in the European Union. [54654]

Mr. Byers: None.

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what action has been taken to carry out the Stewart report recommendation to appoint an ombudsman to examine decisions on the siting of base stations where there is disagreement at the local level. [54504]

Ms Keeble: The Stewart Group's report on mobile phones and health suggested that the appointment of an ombudsman would help with planning decisions on siting of base stations, for example, where agreement could not be reached locally. The Government's response to the report made clear that while the Government are sympathetic to the objectives of the proposal, it feels there are better ways of achieving them, bearing in mind that there is no comparable arrangement in relation to other kinds of development. The role of an ombudsman would not sit comfortably with the existing appeal process within the planning system.

As regards siting, the Government's view is that the objectives are met by the planning process. When considering applications for new development, local planning authorities consult local people and take their views into account in making decisions. Where an authority refuses an application the developer can appeal to the Secretary of State. Pre-applications discussions with authorities and with local people also have an important part to play, providing opportunities to explore alternative approaches to the siting and appearance of masts.

Rural Housing

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 29 January 2002, Official Report, column 172W, on rural housing, what representations he has received on the (a) proposals for a tariff in rural areas and (b) level of such a tariff. [54804]

8 May 2002 : Column 211W

Ms Keeble: We have received over 500 responses to our consultation on reforming planning obligations. In the consultation we have proposed that planning obligations should take the form of a standardised tariff, set through the local plan process, and to include a contribution towards affordable housing. This could apply in rural as well as urban areas. The consultation document proposes that tariffs would be set by local authorities, subject to safeguards

We are now in the process of analysing these responses, and expect to publish a policy statement setting out the way forward in the summer.

8 May 2002 : Column 212W

Housing (Redbridge)

Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list, by project, the total investment in housing capital improvements in the London borough of Redbridge, (a) in each of the past five years and (b) expected for 2002–03. [54117]

Ms Keeble: Information on local authorities' and other housing providers' investment in housing capital improvements by project is not held centrally.

The table sets out Government and Housing Corporation allocations for housing capital improvements in the London borough of Redbridge for the current year, and each of the past five years.

Housing capital improvements in the London borough of Redbridge
£ million

1997–981998–991999–20002000–012001–022002–03
Housing investment programme(10)2.3351.4211.7295.9303.2603.753
Capital receipts initiative0.8892.2752.081
Cash incentive scheme0.1710.158
Major repairs allowance4.4834.036
Estate action(11)0.5920.9340.257
Disabled facilities grant0.4880.8510.6630.6630.7470.750
Approved development plan(12)3.7494.7613.6993.6124.87619.285

(10) Basic Housing ACG

(11) Expenditure relates to a single estate action project on the Triptree Estate in Barkingside, which received a total of £4.748m in Estate Action funding from 1993–94 to 1999–2000.

(12) Allocated by the Housing Corporation to registered social landlords.



Next Section Index Home Page