Mr Matthew Green: When I was elected in 2001, I calculated that I probably represented one of the least policed areas of the country. At that time, before the increase, West Mercia had the second lowest number of police per head of population in the country. My constituency of 63,000 electors had only 63 police officers, which was about half the average for West Mercia. I am delighted to say that when West...
Mr Matthew Green: My hon. Friend is absolutely right: West Mercia faces a £517,000 shortfall in what it would have projected to spend next year without allowing for growth.
Mr Matthew Green: It is not a cut in this year's budget. No; it is an enforced holding down of next year's budget. That is what nomination is; in effect, it will result in a cut in what probably would have been spent next year. It is semantics to argue about whether we should call it a cut. I shall briefly mention some of my concerns about the process for deciding next year's nomination. When the Minister for...
Mr Matthew Green: Will the Minister give way?
Mr Matthew Green: An important point about safety is that the Ordnance Survey maps used by hill walkers show where payphones are. Most people will use the same maps over the next five to 10 years—they do not buy maps that frequently—and if a lot of phone boxes are removed, they may well go down a hillside to what they believe is the nearest box and discover that there are none there. That could lead to...
Mr Matthew Green: I thank my hon. Friend for giving way. Is not the economic argument that is used against many of our rural phone boxes the same as that used for the lack of improvement to mobile phone coverage? Providers are saying that they cannot be bothered to go into rural areas because it does not make them enough money. They must accept that rural areas need to have a service delivered one way or another.
Mr Matthew Green: The point is not that money should not be targeted, but that an existing structure, such as the local council, should deal with the targeted money—there need not be a new invention every time.
Mr Matthew Green: Does the hon. Gentleman support the capping of Nottingham city council? I understand that the local Conservative group does. Given his comments, I would be intrigued to know.
Mr Matthew Green: May I begin by congratulating the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen) on his excellent speech? He clearly outlined many of the problems faced in attempting regeneration in his constituency. Although his constituency provides excellent examples of the difficulties that are faced by Government, and the Government's failure to find solutions to them, the problems go far beyond...
Mr Matthew Green: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many homeless households in priority need were in temporary accommodation on (a) 1 May 1997 and (b) 1 May 2004, broken down by Government Office Region.
Mr Matthew Green: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) if he will list the local authorities that failed to submit a P1E return with the number of homeless households in priority need placed in temporary accommodation for the most recent quarterly statistics; and if he will make a statement; (2) what measures he has taken to ensure that all local authorities submit a P1E return detailing the number of...
Mr Matthew Green: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the average length of time a homeless household in temporary accommodation in each Government Office Region had to wait before being made an offer of a permanent (a) one-bed, (b) two-bed, (c) three-bed and (d) four-bed or more home in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2004.
Mr Matthew Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the budget for the Arts Council for 2004–05 is; how much of this budget has been committed this year, and to what projects this money has been committed.
Mr Matthew Green: The Deputy Prime Minister will be aware that one of the areas that has made the best use of the housing renewal pathfinder projects is Liverpool, particularly in relation to its development of neighbourhood projects. Will the right hon. Gentleman take this opportunity to praise Liverpool city council for the effective use that it has made of this scheme?
Mr Matthew Green: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he expects to publish the Government's response to the Barker Review of Housing Supply in the UK.
Mr Matthew Green: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the progress of the framework being drawn up by the Housing Corporation and the London boroughs for the pooling of nominations for new lettings across London on a sub-regional basis.
Mr Matthew Green: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of (a) newly-arising need for social housing and (b) the backlog of need for social housing.
Mr Matthew Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much money the New Opportunities Fund was allocated in 2003–04; and whether any of this money has not been committed.
Mr Matthew Green: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the expenditure in 2004–05 arising as a result of the use of temporary accommodation to house homeless households in priority need.
Mr Matthew Green: Does the hon. Lady share my dismay at the fact that Conservative peers in the House of Lords caved in to pressure by the Government and allowed those powers to be transferred—after several attempts at ping-pong—whereas the Liberal Democrats held firm in trying to prevent their being transferred?