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Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many applications for section 27 consent were (a) made by local authorities and (b) granted in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Ian Austin [holding answer 19 June 2009]: Since 1997, 66 local authorities have submitted an application for section 27 consent to delegate their housing management services to an Arms Length Management Organisation, and 41 to a private company under a private finance initiative. In each case, the application was approved by the Secretary of State. We also receive applications relating to other bodies, but no more than five or six a year.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether consent for transfer of housing stock from a local authority to a housing association has been withheld on one or more occasions following a ballot of tenants. 
Mr. Ian Austin: A local authority would only apply for consent to transfer stock to a registered social landlord after a positive vote in a ballot of tenants. The Secretary of State has not withheld consent for such a transfer to proceed.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what information (a) his Department, (b) the Homes and Communities Agency, (c) the Tenant Services Authority and (d) the Audit Commission collects on rent arrears in local authority housing. 
Mr. Ian Austin:
CLG collect information on rent arrears in local authority housing via the Housing
Revenue Account (HRA) second advance subsidy claim form. This includes information on current tenants' cumulative arrears of rent, former tenants' cumulative arrears of rent and total cumulative arrears as a percentage of rent roll.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people were on local authority housing waiting lists in Castle Point (a) on the latest date for which figures are available, (b) in each of the last five years and (c) in 1997. 
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will publish a summary of representations received by his Department on council tax in the last three years. 
There have been two public consultations regarding council tax in the past three years and a summary of responses, for each consultation, is published on the Communities and Local Government website. The following consultations have taken place:
Inclusion of Efficiency Information with Council Tax Demand Notices: Consultation (3 September 2008)summary of responses available at:
Amendments to council tax and non-domestic rates secondary legislation (8 August 2006)summary of responses available at:
Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the PricewaterhouseCoopers stage 2 financial viability study of the eco-towns programme will be made publicly available before the eco-towns planning policy statement and its associated list of approved eco-town sites is approved. 
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his most recent estimate is of the number of empty dwellings in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) Teesside and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency. 
|Total number of empty dwellings|
|(1) Teesside consists of the unitary authorities of Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on Tees.|
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many expressions of interest were received by the Homes and Communities Agency in relation to the Kickstart Housing Delivery programme before 8 June 2009; and how many were from (a) arms-length management organisations, (b) registered social landlords and (c) private sector developers; 
(4) how many and what proportion of bidders for funding from the Kickstart Housing Delivery programme have applied for support via (a) Affordable Housing Grant, (b) Investment Support and (c) Homebuy Direct; and if he will make a statement; 
John Healey: The amount of grant allocated under the Kickstart Housing Delivery programme will depend upon the mix of bids received. Funding will be allocated under a competitive basis based on value for money.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) by what mechanism the book value of land in relation to applications made by housing developers via the Kickstart Housing Delivery programme will be defined; 
(2) what mechanism is in place to ensure that bank loan finance for housing development schemes has been maximised before financial support is granted via the Kickstart Housing Delivery programme. 
John Healey: At the expression of interest stage, applicants have been asked to provide the most recent book value from information already available. For all projects that are short-listed for funding, the book value will need to be justified, and will be tested through a technical due diligence review.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what mechanism exists to ensure that new homes built by developers with funding from the Kickstart Housing Delivery programme meet Homes and Communities Agency standards. 
John Healey: Homes in receipt of funding under the Kickstart Housing Delivery Programme for Social Rent, Intermediate or HomeBuy Direct must meet the existing HCA standards for these programmes. Bids that do not meet these standards will be judged as ineligible under the Kickstart eligibility criteria.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether provision exists for developers to pay interest on loans from the Homes and Communities Agency in relation to the Kickstart Housing Delivery programme. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what role regional development agencies will play in the distribution of funding via the Kickstart Housing Delivery programme. 
John Healey: RDAs will play no formal role in the distribution of funding via the Kickstart Housing Delivery programme. However, part of the assessment of bids includes an assessment of the schemes contribution to spatial or other regional programmes and priorities.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the likely total cost of the due diligence
process for the Homes and Communities Agency in respect of the operation of the Kickstart Housing Delivery programme. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the definition of a housing-led scheme is in respect of applications for funding made under the Kickstart Housing Delivery programme. 
John Healey: In respect of applications for funding made under the Kickstart Housing Delivery programme, a housing-led scheme is defined as a scheme with at least 75 per cent. of net internal area as housing. Community floorspace required under a S106 agreement can be excluded from this calculation.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what (a) assistance and (b) incentives there are to (i) build and (ii) upgrade homes to energy-efficient standards. 
John Healey: Government are supporting the transition to low and zero carbon new build homes by providing funding for the Zero Carbon Hub, a not for profit company formed to guide, monitor and co-ordinate the zero carbon homes programme. In 2008-09, the Department provided approximately £250,000 grant funding towards the hub to help with set-up costs.
Stamp duty relief for zero carbon homes was announced in Budget 2007 to act as an incentive to developers of new zero carbon homes. The exemption covers the first acquisition of a zero carbon home costing up to £500,000. For homes costing in excess of £500,000 there will be a reduction of £15,000. The exemption is in place for a period of five years ending on 30 September 2012.
Government currently assist householders looking to retrofit their homes by providing: information on current energy performance through energy performance certificates; advice on what can be done and how to do it through funding of the Energy Saving Trust; and help with financing new measures through initiatives such as Decent Homes, the Landlords Energy Saving Allowance, and the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target supplier obligation scheme.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change will be establishing feed-in tariffs in 2010 and the Renewable Heat Incentive in 2011, to incentivise uptake of low carbon and renewable heat and energy production. The roll-out of smart meters to homes will increase awareness of the energy people use and potentially the money they waste, further incentivising energy saving.
Government are currently assessing responses to the Heat and Energy Saving Strategy consultation, which set out the Governments long-term plans for assisting and incentivising householders and landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. A summary of responses will be published alongside the Governments response later this year.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) if he will issue guidance to local authorities on the separate recording of numbers of complaints received from (a) hon. Members and (b) councillors of (i) the same authority and (ii) another authority; 
(2) what guidance his Department gives to local authorities on recording the number of complaints about their services received (a) by mail, (b) by email, (c) by telephone, (d) in person and (e) by other means. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Guidance to local authorities on running a complaints system is issued by the local government ombudsman, who issued updated guidance in April 2009, which makes clear the importance of effective recording of complaints.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Records are only kept centrally of local authority e-auctions that relate to Buying Solutions e-auctions, an Executive Agency of the Office of Government Commerce in the Treasury. The figures from Buying Solutions are as follows:
|Number of local authorities who have tendered contracts through eauctions( 1)|
|(1) Each local authority has been counted once only in each year.|
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