§ Caroline Flint
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what guidance he has given to local authorities about improving the quality of life of their tenants through estate management. 120W
§ Mr. Mullin
This Department has been represented on several of the policy action teams (PATs) set up in response to the Social Exclusion Unit's report "Bringing Britain together: a national strategy for neighbourhood renewal", including PAT 5 on Housing Management and PAT 8 on Anti-social Behaviour. PAT 5 found that good housing management is crucial in ensuring that tenants in social housing enjoy a high quality of life. The work of both teams will feed into the Social Exclusion Unit's overall strategy on neighbourhood renewal, to be published later this year.
The quality of life for tenants can be greatly improved by involving tenants more effectively and more thoroughly in the management of their homes, including tenant management if that is what the tenants themselves want. From April this year all councils will be introducing tenant participation compacts. This Department published guidance for local authorities in June last year to help them develop, implement and review their local compacts.
We are also broadening our programme of grants paid under section 16 of the Housing and Planning Act 1986 to promote and develop greater participation. Guidance on the full range of grants available for this purpose will be published in the spring.
Under Best Value, local authorities will need to review their housing services, including those relating to estate management, with a view to securing improvements, having regard to a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness. This Department will shortly be publishing guidance for local housing authorities on the application of Best Value to housing.
§ Caroline Flint
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what administrative measures are available to enforce tenancy agreements between local authorities and their tenants. 
§ Mr. Mullin
Tenancy agreements set out both the rights, and responsibilities, of tenants. Local authorities should ensure that their agreements are clear and unambiguous, so that there can be no doubt about the standards expected and the circumstances in which the authority will take action if there are problems. In the event of a breach of a tenancy agreement, local authorities may wish to begin possession proceedings using the grounds set out in Part I of Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1985 (as amended by the Housing Act 1996).
Local authorities may, alternatively, wish to seek an injunction against the tenant concerned to prevent further breaches of the tenancy agreement. The 1996 Act enables the courts to attach a power of arrest to such an injunction if there is violence, or a threat of violence.