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12 Mar 2003 : Column 322Wcontinued
Mr. Wood: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has to extend the programme of new house building planned for the south-east to other areas of the UK where social housing is scarce and in high demand. 
Mr. McNulty: All regions will benefit from increased resources for affordable housing. From 200405 these resources will be put together with housing investment programme funding to form single regional housing pots. The precise split of resources in each region between affordable housing and other local authority housing investment for 200405 and 200506 will be made in the light of recommendations from the new regional housing boards.
Phil Sawford: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what meetings he has had with (a) the Government Office for the East Midlands, (b) the East Midlands Regional Assembly, (c) the East Midlands Region Local Government Association, (d) Northamptonshire County Council, (e) Kettering Borough Council, (f) hon. Members from Northamptonshire, (g) Daventry District Council and (h) the East Midlands Regional Development Agency to discuss Sustainable Communities in the East Midlands; and who (i) was invited and (ii) attended. 
Mr. McNulty: My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister met Mr. Derek Mapp, Chairman of East Midlands Development Agency, and Mr. Mick Young, Chairman of the East Midlands Regional Assembly and Leader of Northamptonshire County Council, on 16 January 2003 in Milton Keynes, in advance of the publication of "Sustainable Communities, Building For the Future". Also present were the Leaders of Bedfordshire County and Milton Keynes Unitary Authorities, the Chair of the South East of England Development Agency, the Chief Executive of the Housing Corporation and the Chair of English Partnerships.
In addition, my right hon. Friend Lord Rooker met a group of members and officers of the regional planning bodies for the East Midlands, East of England and South East on 10 October 2002, shortly after the publication of the advisory report "Milton Keynes and South Midlands Study".
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Phil Sawford: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he expects to receive a report from the Shadow Regional Housing Body on housing priorities for the East Midlands; what the status is of the Shadow Regional Housing Body; which organisations and individuals are represented on the Shadow Regional Housing Body; and what public consultation will be undertaken by the Shadow Regional Housing Body prior to the formulation of the Regional Housing Strategy. 
Mr. McNulty: The Regional Housing Board has been set up in response to the "Sustainable Communities: Building for the Future" report published on 5 February, and it will submit an outline Housing Strategy to Ministers, including recommendations on housing allocations for 200405 and 200506, by the end of July 2003. The Regional Housing Board is currently made up of the Regional Director of the Government Office East Midlands, and senior representatives from the Housing Corporation, East Midlands Development Agency, Regional Assembly and English Partnerships in accordance with the "Sustainable Communities: Building for the Future" report. The Regional Housing Board will consult the Regional Assembly's Housing Reference Group on draft issues and priorities before preparing the outline Housing Strategy. This will be followed by an opportunity for written representations.
Phil Sawford: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he appointed the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies at Birmingham University to undertake a study of housing demand and supply in the Milton Keynes and South Midlands area; what the timescale is for this study; and which local authorities and other bodies will be consulted as part of the study. 
Mr. McNulty: The Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) was not appointed by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister, but by the East Midlands (Shadow) Regional Housing Board on 19 December 2002. CURS were selected following a formal tender process, to produce a source material report for the East Midlands Regional Housing Strategy by 28 March 2003, which will cover the whole region. CURS are using a wider range of reference material to produce the report including Local Authority Housing Strategies, and are consulting the Government Office for the East Midlands, Housing Corporation and East Midlands Development Agency. In addition, before completing the report, CURS will meet with the East Midlands Regional Housing Strategy sub-groups, which include Local Authority representation, and talk to the Regional Assembly's Housing Task Group.
Mr. McNulty: Pendle reported in their 200102 Housing Revenue Account Business Plans that they need to spend about £5.5 million on outstanding capital works to their 3,942 council dwellings (including renovation, demolition and conversion). This includes about £1 million needed to make all their currently non-decent dwellings decent. In addition there may be works arising in the future that also need to be undertaken.
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Burnley transferred all their 5,330 council dwellings in March 2000 to a Registered Social Landlord (RSL). At that time they planned to spend about £22 million on their stock over 30 years for improvement and maintenance.
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what consultation was undertaken with (a) representatives of local authorities and (b) the 42 local authorities named in the announcement to recent changes to the right to buy scheme. 
Mr. McNulty: No consultation was undertaken. The data used to identify the 42 local authorities named in the announcement on 22 January were obtained from statistical surveys of local authority housing departments routinely conducted by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and from the Land Registry.
Ms Bridget Prentice: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his policy is on whether there should be one tenancy for all housing groups, the terms of which should comply with the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations. 
Mr. McNulty: In March 2001 the then Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions asked the Law Commission to undertake a review of housing tenure law. The Commission are looking at the possibility of a single form of tenure for the social housing sector and in recognising the importance of the review, they have considered compliance with the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations.
The Law Commission is due to make their recommendations on this issue in the summer of 2003 and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will then consider how to take forward the Commission's recommendations and the results of their consultations.
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 4 February 2003, Official Report, column 234W, under what criteria the pressure on local housing markets was measured in the local authority areas mentioned by him in his statement of 22 January. 
Mr. McNulty: The 42 areas listed in the Deputy Prime Minister's statement of 22 January are those that appear to be under the greatest housing market pressure, as evidenced by a high incidence of homelessness and high local house prices. The sources of the homelessness data were statistical surveys of local authority housing departments, routinely conducted by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister:
"Quarterly Housing Activity Return (PIE)".
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Mr. Leslie: Service personnel are liable for council tax in the same way as any other person who works abroad and who has the intention of returning to their home. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has no plans to issue any guidance to local authorities concerning service personnel and council tax liability.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what measures his Department (a) has put in place and (b) plans to put in place to stop (i) forgeries and (ii) breach of copyright of logos of local authorities on proofs of identity. 
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many cases of (a) misuse, (b) forgery and (c) breach of copyright of logos of local authorities on proofs of identity have (i) occurred and (ii) been successfully prosecuted in the last three years. 
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