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Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what timetable her Department has set for bringing forward legislative proposals to change the Widdicombe rules on restrictions on political activity by local authority officials. 
John Healey: Provisions to amend the Widdicombe rules by removing the salary bar link to politically restricted posts were introduced by Government amendment to the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill during its Third Reading on 29 April in the other place.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Departments methodology for its annual calculation to adjust the business rate multiplier in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) the previous September allows for a reduction in the multiplier when RPI is negative; and if she will make a statement. 
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with which representative bodies her Department had discussions on the business rate deferral scheme (a) in the three months prior to and (b) following the announcement of the scheme. 
John Healey: Ministers and officials from the Department regularly meet representatives of the business community and local government to discuss business rates matters. Since the announcement of the business rates deferral scheme officials have in particular held discussions on its implementation and administration.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she plans next to review the rateable value limits in (a) England and (b) London; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: Various rateable value thresholds are used in the non-domestic rating system to target rate relief at smaller properties. We will consider all rateable value thresholds in light of the 2010 revaluation over the course of the rest of this year.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) of 8 May 2009, Official Report, columns 453-54W, on non-domestic rates: Greater London, what the title of the substantive Valuation Office Agency document was from which the section on the sub-location concept was taken. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department has prepared an impact assessment in respect of changes to the business rate liability of microgeneration equipment to be applied during the 2010 rates revaluation. 
John Healey: The 2010 revaluation is undertaken under section 52 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988. As we are not introducing a new policy proposal, scheme or new legislation, under the guidance published by BERR on their website, the revaluation does not require an impact assessment.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make it her policy to bring forward legislative proposals to prohibit the retrospective application of business rates to firms in ports. 
John Healey: The policy underpinning the requirement for backdating where appropriate is to ensure a rateable property pays its fair amount of rates from the point the property should be rated to ensure all business are treated fairly.
The statutory framework of business rates gives Ministers no discretion to remove a liability to taxation, and we do not believe it would be in the interests of fair competition or in line with the principles of taxation for such a liability to be waived.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the potential change in non-port rateable values in Milford Haven Port Authority as a result of the Valuation Office Agency's review of ports rates liability. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson) of 7 May 2009, Official Report, column 382W, on the Church of Scientology, what (a) criteria and (b) methodology the Valuation Office Agency uses to determine whether a faith community is deemed to be eligible for a place of worship business rate exemption. 
John Healey: Schedule 5 para. 11(1) to the Local Government Act 1988 provides the criteria for exemption from non-domestic rating for places of public religious worship. Premises occupied by a faith community will be exempt providing:
It is a place of religious worship
The worship is public
The premises are certified as a place of religious worship by the Registrar General or belong to the Church of England or the Church in Wales.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 8 May 2009, Official Report, column 454W, on regeneration, what steps her Department has taken to guard against repetition of such financial irregularities. 
Worked with RDAs to agree a comprehensive set of instructions and guidelines that clarify at the start of the programme round what is required to ensure compliance with the regulations and to maintain a high level of financial control. These materials include specific reference to the weaknesses identified in the previous programme round.
Commissioned and carried out independent scrutiny of the management and financial control systems used by RDAs and CLG to ensure compliance with programme requirements.
Established an independent audit authority that will carry out a programme of audits of expenditure throughout the lifetime of these ERDF programmes.
Established comprehensive governance arrangements that provide for ongoing scrutiny of risk and a ready means of escalating and resolving any emerging problems in programme delivery, financial control and management.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding her Department has allocated to each regional development agency for (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12. 
Mr. Khan: The Department of Communities and Local Government does not directly allocate funding to the regional development agencies. Regional development agencies are instead funded through a single programme, which is administered by their sponsor Department, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
|Total single programme allocation (£)|
|Regional development agency||2009-10||2010-11|
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 7 May 2009, Official Report, columns 400-2W, on Valuation Office, if she will place in the Library a copy of a Billing Authority Report submitted via the e-BAR facility. 
Billing Authorities send information to the Valuation Office Agency. This information, required to assist in maintaining valuation and rating lists, is
called a billing authority report or BAR. Some Billing Authorities submit their BARs electronically using the e-BAR facility. As the e-BAR is electronic, and can be in different formats, it is not possible to provide a typical e-BAR.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 7 May 2009, Official Report, columns 400-2W, on Valuation Office, whether any Billing Authority Report submitted via the e-BAR facility has included information derived from building control data. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 7 May 2009, Official Report, columns 400-2W, on Valuation Office, what the differences are between the Valuebill interface and the e-BAR facility. 
John Healey: The various data exchanges between billing authorities, the Valuation Office Agency, and the National Land and Property Gazetteer covered by the former Valuebill project can be regarded as the Valuebill interface. The e-BAR facility is a development, based on a Valuebill schema, to enable Billing Authorities to send electronic reports to VOA.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) family and friend carers and (b) family and friends foster carers are providing full-time care for a child because of (i) parental drug and alcohol misuse, (ii) the death of a parent, (iii) parental imprisonment, (iv) domestic violence and (v) other reasons. 
Beverley Hughes: Data on the reasons for a child being provided with full-time care by their relative or friend are not collected centrally. This is the case both for family and friends carers who are approved foster carers and for those who are not.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) maintained and (b) independent schools have indicated that they will not take part in the ContactPoint database. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many key stage 1 children were in classes of (a) over 20, (b) over 25 and (c) over 30 pupils in the latest year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
|Maintained primary schools( 1) : Number of Key Stage 1 children in classes( 2,3) . Coverage: England. Year: January 2009 (provisional)|
|Class size||Number of pupils|
|(1) Includes middle schools as deemed.|
(2) One teacher classes as taught during a single selected period in each school on the day of the census in January.
(3) Includes reception classes.
(4) Includes all pupils in large classes, including those with excepted activity.
Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10.
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