§ Mr. Willetts
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many complaints about Housing Benefit have been received from each local authority area by the local government ombudsman in each year since 1997. 
§ Dr. Whitehead
This information is not held centrally. However, the table provides a breakdown of the number of complaints received about Housing Benefit in each of the three local government ombudsman areas between 1 April 1997 and 31 March 2001.
Year Area A Area B Area C Total 1997–98 725 206 216 1,147 1998–99 913 171 281 1,365 1999–2000 1,669 258 426 2,353 2000–01 2,704 356 968 4,028
To 31 March 2001, the local government ombudsman areas were: (A) incorporating local authorities in Greater London; (B) incorporating local authorities in southern England (except Greater London), East Anglia, the south-west and most of central England; (C) incorporating local authorities in Birmingham, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and the north of England.