§ Tim Loughton
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many vacant council houses, by local authority area, there are in West Sussex; and what plans he has to work with West Sussex County Council to reduce the vacancy numbers. 
§ Mr. McNulty
The number of vacant council houses, by local authority area, in West Sussex at 1 April 2001 (latest data available) is shown in the table below.
Local authority vacant dwellings in West Sussex by local authority area at 1 April 2001 Local authority LA vacant dwellings Adur 9 Arun 22 Chichester - Crawley 63 Horsham - Mid Sussex - Worthing - Total 94
Chichester, Horsham, Mid Sussex and Worthing no longer own any dwelling stock, having transferred them through the Large Scale Voluntary Transfer (LSVT) scheme.
ODPM's 2001 Housing Strategy Statistical Appendices completed by local authorities.
On 1 April 2001 there were 94 vacant council houses in West Sussex (0.6 per cent. of the stock). A proportion of housing will always be vacant at any given time as a result of the normal process of letting housing, which becomes available to new tenants. We will continue to support authorities in developing effective council housing business plans, which minimise the numbers of vacant dwellings, but have no plans to take any specific action on vacant dwellings with housing authorities in West Sussex (where the proportion of vacant council house dwellings is well below the national average of 2.9 per cent.).63W