Written statement to Parliament

Reports from research commissioned by the previous administration

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Today the Government is publishing the first group of reports presenting the findings from research projects commissioned by the previous …


Today the Government is publishing the first group of reports presenting the findings from research projects commissioned by the previous administration.

There is a significant backlog of unpublished reports that were produced by the previous government and over the next few months we will be publishing these reports in groups themed on a particular topic.

The reports and findings are of general policy interest, but do not relate to forthcoming policy announcements. We are publishing these documents in the interests of transparency and as part of our Freedom of Information commitment to publish the results of all commissioned research. For transparency, all completed work is being published regardless of format or robustness.

The sixteen reports published today represent the findings from eleven research projects at a total cost of £691k. These findings cover the topics of Housing; Local Government and Building, Planning and the Environment.

The Government is concerned to ensure its research delivers best possible value for money for the taxpayer and that sums expended are reasonable in relation to the public policy benefits obtained. DCLG has put in place scrutiny and challenge processes for future research.

All new projects will be scrutinised to ensure the methodology is sound and that all options for funding are explored at an early stage. This includes using existing work from other organisations, joint funding projects with other departments or organisations and taking work forward in-house.

Housing

(i) Behavioural change and the housing sector: A scoping study report. This report by Ferrari et al considers the benefits and implications of applying behavioural economics to analyse the motivations and decisions made by different actors in the housing supply and demand chain.

(ii) Choice-based lettings, potentially disadvantaged groups and accessible housing registers: A guide to positive practice. The Guide provides advice on how to set up and operate choice-based letting schemes to ensure that social housing applicants are not disadvantaged by the proactive nature of Choice Based Lettings.

(iii) Choice-based lettings, potentially disadvantaged groups and accessible housing registers: A summary guide to positive practice. This report is a shorter, standalone summary of the Choice-Based Lettings, Potentially Disadvantaged Groups and Accessible Housing Registers: A Guide to Positive Practice. This summary contains all the key messages of the longer report.

(iv) Costs and effectiveness of accessible housing registers in a choice-based lettings context. This report examines the cost and effectiveness of accessible housing registers in a Choice Based Letting context.

Local Government

(v) Strategic commissioning for place shaping: Volume 1 - A report written by practitioners for practitioners and Volume 2 - Case studies. The long-term evaluation of local area agreements and local strategic partnerships includes two action learning sets, short projects where practitioners meet and share learning about how to improve the day to day working of particular aspects of local area agreements. The sets cover strategic commissioning for place shaping.

(vi) Long term evaluation of local area agreements and local strategic partnerships: Performance management of local strategic partnerships and local area agreements - An action learning set report written by practitioners for practitioners. The long-term evaluation of local area agreements and local strategic partnerships includes two action learning sets, short projects where practitioners meet and share learning about how to improve the day to day working of particular aspects of local area agreements. The sets cover performance management of local strategic partnerships and local area agreements.

(vii) Report on the 2009 survey of local strategic partnership partners: Main report and Annexes. This research was commissioned as part of the long-term evaluation of local area agreements and local strategic partnerships. It captures the views of local partners - from the public, private and voluntary sectors - on a range of subjects, including how effective they think their partnership is, and the local area agreements and other powers help partnerships achieve their objectives.

(viii) Long term evaluation of local area agreements and local strategic partnerships: Collaboration, innovation and value for money - Final report of the call-down project. This report, part of the long-term evaluation of local area agreements and local strategic partnerships, explored the ways in partnerships had made use of innovation to meet shared priorities, and examined the contribution of value for money considerations in the process of innovation design and implementation.

(ix) Understanding performance in a flexible, decentralised approach to delivery. This report provides help and worked examples in moving between geographies as a way to understand performance, to meet cross-cutting policy requiring local information at bespoke geographic areas independent of formal administrative or statistical units.

(x) Using and developing place typologies for policy purposes. This report supports area-based policy making, particularly in regeneration and local economic development, and the monitoring and comparison of local government performance. It provides advice on how to make policy sensitive to the enormous variability in neighbourhoods, districts, cities or towns by using methods for categorising places.

(xi) A study to determine whether it is possible to produce Gross Value Added data for upper tier local authorities. This report details the ONS Regional Accounts’ methodology used to produce gross value added estimates at nomenclature of units for territorial statistics (NUTs) level 3 estimates, and evaluates whether the methodology can be extended to upper-tier authorities for which gross value added estimates do not currently exist.

Building, Planning and the Environment

(xii) Evaluating the effectiveness and outcomes of DCLG funded interventions into the delivery of core strategies. This report evaluates the effectiveness of DCLG funded support packages used to promote the delivery of ‘core strategy’ development plans for those local authorities that were encouraging higher levels of housing growth under the previous Government.

(xiii) Code for sustainable homes water calculator. This report reviews the Water Efficiency calculator for new dwellings, which supported the Code for Sustainable Homes.

(xiv) Building regulations system and the planning system - A better regulation approach for sustainability. This report analyses the interface between planning and Building Regulations in the context of environmental sustainability, to investigate the overlaps, synergies and gaps between the two systems.

(xv) The scope of an MOT test for buildings. This report covers a scoping study into the possible development of an MOT test for buildings and whether it was feasible to have periodic tests carried on buildings.

(xvi) The use of civil sanctions to enforce building regulations. This report looks at the possibility of adopting some or all of the civil sanctions made available under the Regulatory Sanctions and Enforcement Act 2008 for the purpose of achieving higher levels of compliance with the Building Regulations.

These reports and findings are of general policy interest, but do not relate to forthcoming policy announcements and are not a reflection of the current government’s policies and priorities. DCLG is publishing these reports in the interests of transparency.

These reports are available on the DCLG website (see link, top right). Copies have been placed in the Library of the House.