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Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what categories of project the Positive Futures Programme budget has been spent on; how many people have received assistance from the scheme; what the drop-out rate has been in each year since the Programme began; and what drop-out rate is predicted for the next two years. 
The Positive Futures programme has provided grant funding to projects to work with 10 to 19-year-olds and deliver sports activities, physical activities, arts and performance activities and educational and advice sessions. Spend is not broken down by category of project. Consistent and comparable figures are only available from 2006-07 onwards and data shows that the total number of participants in contact with the programme from October 2006 to March 2008 was 71,062. The latest data on numbers of participants for 2008-09 is expected to be published in December 2009.
Positive Futures is an open access early intervention programme and does not have specified start and end points. Participants do not therefore drop out but do engage with the programme for different periods achieving a variety of qualifications and outcomes through their period of engagement. In 2007-08, 64.5 per cent. of participants recorded engagement levels were in a positive direction (which included gaining qualifications or employment) compared to 58 per cent. in 2006-07. Data on engagement levels for 2008-09 is expected to be published in December 2009. No prediction on engagement levels for the next two years is available.
Mr. Neil Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which organisations attended the event hosted by the Homes and Communities Agency of 21 July 2009 on the proposed Public Land Initiative; and when he expects to announce the approved delivery partners for that initiative. 
John Healey: The Public Land Initiative (PLI) was started in June this year as part of the Prime Minister's Housing Pledge. It will produce 1,250 new homes, including around 500 affordable homes, on a small number of sites owned by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). This is an important new initiative, not just because it will create much needed new homes, but because it is testing out a different approach to procurement and delivery.
The interest from industry has been significant. 152 organisations attended a seminar organised by the HCA in July before the formal procurement started. This event attracted people from across the sector, including traditional housebuilders, construction and development firms, and registered social landlords. I have placed a full list of companies attending this seminar in the House of Commons Library.
In December I will announce final decisions on the firms that make the panel as direct delivery partners, and the allocated sites. I expect the first builders on site by April and the first 50 of the new homes finished within a year of that.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations he has received on changing the level of priority accorded to tackling (a) violent extremism, (b) extremism perpetrated in the name of Islam, (c) extremism perpetrated in the name of neo-nazi and fascist causes and (d) extremism claimed by others; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Malik: We are clear that the threat from al-Qaeda influenced extremism remains the most significant terrorist threat to the UK, although we have recently been able to downgrade the official threat level from 'severe' (an attack is highly likely) to 'substantial' (an attack is a strong possibility).
We are working to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to live in a safe, prosperous and healthy community and are determined to support communities by increasing their capacity to tackle the philosophy or practice of violence in their own communities. A number of related but distinct programmes contribute to this, including promoting community cohesion, preventing violent extremism and tackling hate crime and other forms of extremism.
The level of priority accorded to different types of extremism will depend on the level of the problem in the local area. We are also seeking to work to eradicate the risk of far-right violent extremism. Our objective is to attempt to impact on extremist ideologies that threaten our communities irrespective of their source and origin.
Ministers and officials have frequent formal and informal contact with communities and local authorities where issues and concerns presented by different forms of extremism are discussed. We do not record the number of these representations.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 7 May 2009, Official Report, column 398W, on regional assemblies, what the estimated total revenue cost is of the Regional Assemblies and their successor bodies, including local authority funding. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The estimated total revenue cost for Regional Assemblies and their successor bodies for 2009-10 provided by Central Government remains at £18 million. Local authorities may also provide funding for activities but details of these are not held centrally.
(2) with reference to his Department's press release of 13 August 2009, on the empty shops revival fund, whether local authorities are required to specify how they will spend their allocation before they receive a grant from the fund. 
Barbara Follett: The following table lists the 57 local authorities that have each received £52,631.58 to help them promote alternative uses for vacant shops in town centres, and other ideas for boosting high streets. This is new funding for 2009-10 only, which forms part of the package of support that CLG is providing to boost town centres and high streets, as set out in "Looking after our Town Centres", which we published with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in April.
We allocated this funding to local authorities showing high levels of deprivation and high shop vacancy rates. There was no bidding process. In accordance with the Government's policy on local authority funding, this is unringfenced grant and councils are not required to
inform CLG how they intend to spend this funding. However, we wrote to all local authorities receiving the grant, highlighting some of the ideas and approaches that councils are already taking to boost their high streets and other support available.
Blackburn with Darwen
Kingston Upon Hull
Newcastle upon Tyne
North East Lincolnshire
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps the Government is taking to ensure that rent increases for housing association tenants in England are affordable. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The Tenant Services Authority regulates registered social landlords (RSLs) in England to ensure that they provide decent homes and services for tenants. To protect tenants, TSA regulation places a limit on the maximum amount by which rents can rise each year. This limit is linked to the retail price index (RPI) as at the previous September. Rent can be increased by a maximum of RPI plus 0.5 per cent., plus £2 per week for rents that are below target levels.
In July, as part of a consultation on draft directions to the TSA, the Government published proposals relating to the regulation of RSL rents after 1 April 2010. The consultation paper is available via the Communities and Local Government website at:
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made in discussions with the Tenant Services Authority on future rent restructuring to replace the current guideline limit; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ian Austin: In July, as part of a consultation on draft directions to the Tenant Services Authority, the Government published proposals relating to the regulation of rents set by registered social landlords after 1 April 2010. These proposals are based on a continuation of the rent restructuring policy set out in the document "Guide to Social Rent Reforms" which was published by the Government in March 2001. The consultation paper is available via the Communities and Local Government website at:
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many housing associations in England have increased rents by the full guideline limit in each of the last three financial years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The TSA annually collects (through the RSR form) details of the average actual rent and target rent, for each local authority area by bed size for each housing association with more than 1,000 homes. Because of the impact of new properties being developed each year and the option to re-let properties at target rent, it is not possible to tell from this data whether the landlord has applied the full allowable rent increase.
Using this data, the TSA monitors the convergence of actual rents to target rents and looks to identify evidence of rents increasing too quickly (or falling too
slowly). Where this happens, the TSA's field teams will discuss the issue with the landlord concerned and carry out any necessary investigations.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many social housing units have been built in each of the last 10 years; what the cost (a) in total and (b) per unit was in each such year; how many such units are planned to be built in each of the next five years; what the estimated cost (i) in total and (ii) per unit is in each of those years; and how many households were on a housing waiting list for (A) local authority housing and (B) housing association housing (1) in each of the last 10 years and (2) on the latest date for which information is available. 
Mr. Ian Austin [holding answer 12 October 2009]: We have published on the Communities and Local Government website tables showing affordable housing completions from 1991-92 for both new build and acquisition.
|Allocation year||Total AHP e xpenditure (capital) (£ million)||Allocation cost per unit|
Homes and Communities Agency
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