|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has for implementation of the policies outlined in the Local Democratic Renewal Programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Government are preparing to consult shortly on a range of issues around local democratic renewal. A number of questions around future policy will be posed in that consultation, and we will take forward ideas in the light of comments received.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The reform of the parish cheque payment system is the subject of continuing discussions with the National Association of Local Councils and other interested parties. Once these discussions are concluded it is our policy to look for an appropriate legislative vehicle to replace the relevant legislative provisions.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department is taking steps to protect local authorities against vexatious objections to the local authorities auditing system. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Code of Audit practice makes it clear that auditors should reject objections that disclose no reasonable cause for action, are frivolous or vexatious objections to the local council auditing system.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) which (a) specific and (b) area-based grants are distributed to local authorities by each division of his Department; 
(2) what recent estimate has been made of the annual cost to (a) his Department of distributing each grant made by it to local authorities and (b) local authorities of administering each such grant. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government believe in giving local authorities greater flexibility to take decisions on local priorities. The introduction of the area based grant has reduced ring-fencing, giving councils increased flexibility to manage their budgets. Alongside this, the new local performance framework has provided a simplified and more effective structure for priority setting and performance measurement.
Cornish Language 2009
Housing Option Grant 2009-10
Minor Repairs and Adaptations "Handyperson" Grant 2009-10
Overcrowding Grant 2009-10
Supporting Local Delivery Grant for Local Improvement Adviser Support 2009
Planning Sector-Led Support 2009-10
Homelessness Revenue Grant 2009-10
Fire and Rescue Authorities Capital Funding 2009-10
Olympic Park Grant 2009-10
Growth Fund 2009-10
Olympic Security Funding-Dorset Fire and Rescue 2009-10
Olympic Security Funding-LFEPA 2009-10
Timely Information to Citizens 2009-10
FiReControl Implementation Funding 2009-10
Preventing Repossession Revenue Grant 2009-10
Minor Repairs and Adaptations "Enhanced Services" Grant 2009-10
Capacity Building and Efficiency Grant for Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships 2009
Fire and Rescue Authorities Capital Funding (Diversity Recruitment Target Commitment) 2009-10
Empty Shops Funding 2009-10
Local Public Service Agreements Performance Reward Grant 2009-10
Supporting Worklessness Delivery Grant for Regional Efficiency and Improvement Partnerships 2009-10
Business Rates Deferral Scheme 2009-10
Community Infrastructure Fund 2009-10
Fund to Manage Transitional Impacts of Migration (No 2) 2009-10
Local Authority Business Growth Incentives
Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (capital element)
Warden Resource Centre Grant
Coastal Communities Regeneration Handbook
Housing and Planning Delivery Grant
Supporting People Programme Grant
Disabled Facilities Grant
Rent Officers Pension Liabilities
New Dimension Grant.
Area based grant is paid by Communities and Local Government on behalf of the Government as a whole, in monthly instalments. Funding streams from this Department which are being paid through area based grant in 2009-10 are:
Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (resource element)
Stronger Safer Communities
Supporting People Administration
Working Neighbourhood Fund
Preventing Violent Extremism
The Department does not routinely estimate the costs of distributing grant each year, although it does consider the cost-effectiveness of proposals as part of the policy development process. It also assesses whether there will be any new burdens on local authorities, and ensures that these are fully funded when a policy is implemented.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what methodology his Department's (a) Total Place and (b) Place Shaping approach to local service delivery was based. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Total Place project is based on a refinement of the methodology developed by the Leadership Centre for Local Government. The idea emerged from an in depth analysis of the leadership of places run by the leadership centre in February 2007.
Our planned approach to local service delivery was set out in the 2006 Local Government White Paper "Strong and Prosperous Communities", which was in turn informed by the work of the Lyons Inquiry into the future role, function and funding of local government. The improved delivery of services through local strategic partnerships and local area agreements has been further developed by provisions within the Local Government and Public involvement in Health Act 2007, and its success is being measured both through the new comprehensive area assessment and through evidence including the Citizenship Survey and Place Survey.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department provides to local authorities on the procurement of halal meat; and whether that guidance differentiates between stunned and pre-stunned meat. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department for Communities and Local Government has not issued any guidance to local authorities on the procurement of Halal meat. However, the Food Quality Standards, published by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in November 2008, offers guidance to public authorities on purchasing Halal food. The standards can be accessed using the following link:
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment has been made of the effects of the level of availability of high loan-to-value mortgages on the ability of first-time buyers to obtain mortgages. 
The current median average loan-to-value percentage secured by first-time buyers is 75 per cent., down from 90 per cent. in December 2007. However, the Government have substantially increased investment in low cost home ownership products; such as HomeBuy Direct which provides a 30 per cent. equity loan that can be used as a deposit.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how much money has been allocated to the (a) Mortgage Rescue and (b) Homeowners Mortgage Support scheme for expenditure in (i) Test Valley borough and (ii) Southampton; and whether his Department has placed a limit on the number of households which may be assisted under each such scheme; 
John Healey: The £285 million Government Mortgage Rescue Scheme has been operational across the country since 1 January 2009. The Government do not allocate money directly to local authorities under the scheme. It is a demand-led scheme, with the number of vulnerable households benefiting in each local authority dependent on numbers of eligible applicants approaching their local authority for assistance.
As part of the monitoring arrangements for the scheme, headline data for January to May 2009, provided by local authorities and broken down by Government office region, are available on the Department's website
The Homeowners Mortgage Support scheme provides enhanced support for homeowners who have fallen on difficult times by enabling them to reduce their mortgage interest payments to affordable levels. The Government do not allocate money directly to households under the scheme. There is no target or limit to the number of households who may be assisted under the scheme in any particular region or area. Official figures on numbers of households entering HMS will be published later this year.
Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the number of people who will be assisted by the Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme in (a) West Derbyshire and (b) the UK in the next 12 months. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will establish a cross-Government review on the effect of the new regime of retrospective business rates on (a) businesses and (b) cross-border trade. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 13 March 2009, Official Report, column 768W, on non-domestic rates: small businesses, what timetable his Department has set for the publication of data on the take-up rate of small business rate relief. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: No timetable for this work has yet been set. We are currently examining data reported by local authorities on the annual national non-domestic rate return to assess their quality before making a decision on whether they are suitable for publication.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 24 April 2009, Official Report, column 921W, on non-domestic rates: small businesses, what the maximum cash value of small business rate relief, including the value of the lower small business multiplier to a firm in (a) London and (b) outside London is in (i) 2008-09 and (ii) 2009-10. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Eligible businesses which have been granted small business rate relief have their rates calculated using the small business rates multiplier, and those under £10,000 in rateable value also receive a discount. The maximum value of the small business rate relief will apply to properties of £5,000 rateable value, as properties up to that value receive the maximum 50 per cent. discount.
The City of London authority is allowed to add an additional supplement onto the rates multiplier of 0.4p in the pound. This means the maximum cash value of small business rate relief that could be granted to a firm in the City of London was £1,175 in 2008-09 and £1,232.50 in 2009-10.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 24 June 2009, Official Report, column 962W, on non-domestic rates: ports, if he will place in the Library a copy of the items of correspondence. 
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 8 July 2009, Official Report, columns 912-13W, on non-domestic rates: ports, what guidance his Department provided to the Valuation Office Agency on the 2005 revaluation. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The assessment of rateable value and the maintenance of rating lists is the responsibility of the Valuation Office Agency and not this Department. We do not provide guidance to the Valuation Office Agency on professional valuation issues.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 8 July 2009, Official Report, column 912W, on non-domestic rates: ports, (1) for what reasons the Valuation Office Agency did not initiate its review of all major ports in 2005; how many properties identified by the review as separately rateable had not been assessed; for what reasons those properties were not separately listed in 2005; and when and how the owners of such properties were notified of the findings of the review in respect of their properties; 
(2) how many separate assessments on port businesses were undertaken by the Valuation Office Agency in 2005; whether such assessments were listed in respect of how many other businesses it was established that a separate assessment should be made; when such assessments were (a) made and (b) listed; and how many businesses which were separately assessed in (i) 2005 and (ii) 2006 consequent on the review of all major ports were reassessed in (A) 2007, (B) 2008 and (C) 2009; 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The original assessments in the 2005 rating list were produced in good faith on the basis of the information held by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The VOA did not undertake a review of occupations within ports at this time because it had not identified evidence that such a review was required.
Once evidence that additional properties within ports should be separately assessed came to the Agency's attention, it had a statutory duty to carry out such assessments and enter them onto the rating list.
Over 1,600 properties within the 45 ports in England were separately assessed immediately prior to the completion of the review of each port. After review, some of those properties were no longer separately listed or had their list entry altered.
A total of 748 additional properties were separately assessed for the first time with an effective date of 1 April 2005 as a result of the Agency's review of ports, of which 28 are no longer separately listed. As at 8 July 2009 the number of properties within ports that are separately assessed was 2,207, a net increase of around 600 compared with the position immediately prior to the review of each port.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|