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Audit Commission

House of Lords written question – answered on 6th November 2009.

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Photo of Baroness Whitaker Baroness Whitaker Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what account the Audit Commission took of the role of good design in its publication Building Better Lives.

Photo of Lord McKenzie of Luton Lord McKenzie of Luton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (also in the Department for Communities and Local Government), Department for Communities and Local Government, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (also in the Department for Communities and Local Government), Department for Work and Pensions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government) (also in Department for Work and Pensions), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions) (also in the Department for Communities and Local Government)

This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission, and I will ask the chief executive of the Audit Commission to write to the noble Baroness direct.

Letter from Steve Bundred, Chief Executive, Audit Commission, dated 6 November 2009.

Your Parliamentary Question outlined above has been passed to me for reply.

The Audit Commission did not look explicitly at the role of good design in its national study on the strategic housing role. The report Building better livesGetting the best from strategic housing reports councils' concerns that affordable housing targets encouraged them to build large numbers of small flats even if that was not the type of housing that best met the needs of their locality. If councils are prepared to allow such an interpretation of targets to colour their housing strategy, this suggests that the strategy is neither robust enough nor founded in understanding of local needs.

A copy of this letter will be placed in Hansard.

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