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6 Nov 2003 : Column 795W—continued

Private Office Costs

Mr. Flight: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the running costs of Ministers' private offices have been in his Department in each year since 1997. [123103]

Yvette Cooper: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) on 7 May 2003, Official Report, column 771W.

Regional Housing Boards

Mr. Drew: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what arrangements are in place to ensure that there is sufficient expertise on rural housing on Regional Housing Boards; [136038]

Keith Hill: Regional Housing Boards have been formed specifically to include representatives able to act collectively and corporately on all housing issues in their regions, including the needs of rural areas. Each Board is chaired by the Regional Director of the Government Office, the most senior official in each region responsible for rural affairs. Others, particularly the senior representatives from the Housing Corporation, carry rural issues as part of their wider remits. There has also been significant input from rural local authorities and others with an interest in rural issues in development by the Boards of Regional Housing Strategies. The Communities Plan, which introduced the Boards, makes clear that the Countryside Agency must be involved to ensure that all Strategies are rural proofed.

Board membership, quite rightly, varies to reflect regional variations. Current membership is tabled as follows:

6 Nov 2003 : Column 796W

Membership of the English Regional Housing Boards(as at October 2003)

East Midlands
Jane ToddGovernment Office for the East Midlands (Chair)
Nick ReedHousing Corporation
Alison SimpsonEast Midlands Development Agency
Tony AitchisonEast Midlands Regional Assembly
Peter SpringettEnglish Partnerships
David LepperCountryside Agency
Bob WalderHousing Task Group
East of England
Caroline BowdlerGovernment Office for the East of England (Chair)
David MarlowEast of England Regional Development Agency
Brian StewartEast of England Regional Assembly
Cllr Simon WoodbridgeEast of England Regional Assembly
Cllr Paul KirkmanEast of England Regional Assembly
Cllr Trevor MillarEast of England Regional Assembly
Mick SandersEast of England Regional Housing Forum
Denis HoneEnglish Partnerships
Nick ReedHousing Corporation
John DowieGovernment Office for the East of England
John StreetGovernment Office for the East of England
Liz MeekGovernment Office for London (Chair)
Corinne LyonsGovernment Office for London
Anthony MayerGreater London Authority
Neale ColemanGreater London Authority
Mark KleinmanGreater London Authority
Martin PilgrimAssociation of London Government
Genevieve MacklinAssociation of London Government
Chris WoodAssociation of London Government
Michael WardLondon Development Agency
Steven DouglasHousing Corporation
Duncan InnesEnglish Partnerships
North East
Jonathan BlackieGovernment Office for the North East (Chair)
Diana PierceGovernment Office for the North East
Alan ClarkeOne North East (North East RDA)
John WalkerEnglish Partnerships
Cllr Peter MoleNorth East Housing Forum
Cllr Alan NapierNorth East Regional Assembly
John CarletonHousing Corporation
Jolyon HarrisonHouse Builders Federation
Evelyn KempNorth East Council for Tenants and Residents
Cllr Bob BradyAssociation of North East Councils
North West
Keith BarnesGovernment Office for the North West (Chair)
John CarletonHousing Corporation
Steve MachinNorth West Regional Assembly
David SheltonEnglish Partnerships
Cllr Noel SpencerNorth West Housing Forum
Wayne ShandNorth West Development Agency
Peter StycheGovernment Office for the North West
South East
Paul MartinGovernment Office for the South East (Chair)
Mark BilsboroughGovernment Office for the South East
Colin ByrneGovernment Office for the South East
Paul HudsonSEEDA (South East England Development Agency)
Mike GwilliamSouth East Regional Assembly
Clive TurnerHousing Corporation
Trevor BeattieEnglish Partnerships
Cllr Keith HouseSEEDA (South East England Development Agency)
Sheila Drew SmithHousing Corporation
Cllr Keith MitchellSouth East Regional Assembly
Cllr Don TurnerSouth East Regional Assembly
Cllr Paul BizzellSouth East Regional Assembly
Douglas HornerSouth East Regional Assembly
Sharon HedgesSouth East Regional Assembly
South West
Jane HendersonGovernment Office for the South West (Chair)
Thoss ShearerGovernment Office for the South West
Clive TurnerHousing Corporation
Malcolm HanneySouth West Regional Assembly
Bryoney HouldenSouth West Regional Assembly
Colin MoultonSouth West Regional Development Agency
Duncan InnesEnglish Partnerships
Pat CrowsonLocal Government Association
John BarleyNational Housing Federation
David SeatonHouse Builders Federation
West Midlands
Graham GarbuttGovernment Office for the West Midlands (Chair)
Nick ReedHousing Corporation
John EdwardsAdvantage West Midlands (West Midlands RDA)
Simon HodgsonWest Midlands Regional Assembly
Peter MurrayEnglish Partnerships
Steve GregoryRegional Housing Partnership
Rose PoulterWest Midlands Local Government Association
Phillipa HollandGovernment Office for the West Midlands
Yorkshire and the Humber
Felicity EverissGovernment Office for Yorkshire and the Humber (Chair)
Martin HavenhandYorkshire Forward (Yorkshire and Humber RDA)
Liz KerryYorkshire and Humber Assembly
Cllr Peter BoxYorkshire and Humber Assembly
John CarletonHousing Corporation
Mike GahaganSouth Yorkshire Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder
Stuart WhyteHull and E. Riding Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder
David CarrEnglish Partnerships
Cllr Richard LewisYorkshire and Humberside Housing Forum
Michael HallYorkshire and Humberside Housing Forum
John KirkhamYorkshire and Humberside Housing Forum

6 Nov 2003 : Column 797W

Social Housing

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will encourage local authorities and housing associations to build a range of properties with varying numbers of bedrooms in agreements made under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. [136630]

Keith Hill: Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 "Housing" (March 2000) requires local planning authorities to provide wider housing opportunity and choice, and a better mix in the size and type of housing than is currently available.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister recently published for consultation proposed changes to the current policies on planning for housing mix set out in PPG3. The consultation document "Influencing The Size, Type And Affordability Of Housing" proposes that local planning authorities should plan to meet the housing requirements of the whole community by planning for a mix of housing types and sizes that reflects up-to-date assessments. It proposes new policy which would allow local planning authorities, where appropriate local plan policies are in place, to reject developments that conflict with the objective of widening housing choice.

6 Nov 2003 : Column 798W

A local planning authority can secure a range of sizes of housing either by granting permission to a planning application or by attaching a planning condition, where this information is not provided by a planning application. Alternatively, notes could be appended to an outline permission to give the developer guidance as to what precise form of development will be acceptable to the local planning authority. A section 106 agreement can be employed to secure that some of the housing for which planning permission has been granted must be affordable housing, and the agreement can specify the type of that housing.

Total Cost Indicators

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will permit Total Cost Indicators to increase in line with the increase in property prices. [136629]

Keith Hill: The Housing Corporation launched their new approach to investment on 24 October. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has agreed that as part of the phased introduction of the 'new approach' that total cost indicators (TCIs) will be phased out over time. For the Social Housing Grant bidding round for 2004–05 and 2005–06, TCIs have been uprated by an average of 8 per cent. using a range of 5 per cent. to 15 per cent. based on existing TCI groupings.

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