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Keith Hill: No sites have transferred to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister or English Partnerships to date. It is expected that the first vacant sites will transfer shortly. A list of those sites transferring will be made available at that time. The future use of each site will be determined by reference to local planning policies and strategies and in consultation with the relevant local authorities. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister expects many of the sites to be suitable for the provision of affordable housing.
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what research his Department (a) has (i) conducted and (ii) commissioned and (b) plans to commission into the costs of providing services in rural areas; 
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(2) what assessment he (a) has made and (b) plans to make of the impact of population dispersal in a local authority area on the cost of providing local government services; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what assessment he (a) has made and (b) plans to make of the impact of settlement patterns in a local authority area on the cost of providing local government services; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Raynsford: I announced on 2 February 2005, Official Report, column 912, that the Local Government Finance formula freeze had come to an end, and that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister would aim to introduce revised funding formulae in 200607. In general in 200607, our priority is to review and replace funding formula which no longer reflect the pattern of service provision on the ground, or which are calculated using very out of date data.
Several funding formulae currently contain a sparsity top-up which is calculated using information from the 1991 Census. This top-up recognises the higher costs of service delivery that are likely to occur in sparsely populated areas.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is not currently planning to undertake any research into the extra costs of providing services in rural areas. However as part of the current formula review the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will re-assess how best to take account of sparsity in these funding formulae. This work will need to consider which data best reflect differences in the cost of providing services in rural areas, be it data on population density, settlement patterns or population dispersal.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much money the Government have given to neighbourhood renewal programmes in each year since 1997; and which neighbourhoods have been included in such programmes. 
The Neighbourhood Renewal Unit (NRU) was set up in April 2001. The funding for neighbourhood renewal programmes in each year since the establishment of the NRU is tabled as follows:
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|200405 (Forecast spend)||817|
Most NRU funding is targeted at the 88 most deprived local authority areas in England which are listed. In addition 18 areas also listed separately receive funding for Neighbourhood Management partnerships and Norwich received funding for its new deal for communities partnership.
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