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Nice Presidency Conclusions

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his policy towards paragraph 20 of Annex I of the Nice Presidency Conclusions; and if the paragraph applies to the UK. [144639]

Miss Melanie Johnson: I have been asked to reply.

Paragraph 20 of Annex I on the Nice Presidency Conclusions applies only to member states participating in Economic and Monetary Union. However, as stated in the pre-Budget report, one of the Government's key objectives is

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Online Services

Mr. Coaker: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when she plans to publish information on the progress towards the Government's target that all services should be online by 2005. [146027]

Mr. Ian McCartney: A report on progress by Departments and their key agencies is being published today. Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of the House and it will be published on the website

The report contains information supplied by Departments based on all the services they deliver to the citizen and to business as contained in their Public Service Agreements and Service Delivery Agreements.

Anti-drugs Schemes

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will publish the conclusion of studies of the outcomes of anti-drugs schemes in schools, indicating the proportions that resulted in (a) a reduction of drug use, (b) an increase in drug use and (c) no change. [145784]

Marjorie Mowlam: There are at present no such studies awaiting publication. The Government have agreed to commission a long-term study on the impact of drug education. This will begin shortly and will be a joint project between the DfEE/DH/HO and UKADCU. The study will help the development of a UK evidence base as part of the UK Anti Drugs Strategy. The study will look at which types of educational input, and factors such as socio/economic cultural and span of education, have most impact on influencing behaviour.

Royal Household

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will list the work done in each year from 1992 to 2000 by the Central Office of Information for the Royal Household and its value; when this relationship ended; how the value of that work was transformed into grant-in-aid to the Royal Household; and for what reason. [145192]

Marjorie Mowlam: Work carried out by the Central Office of Information (COI) for the Royal Household comprises organising media facilities for royal visits, issuing press notices, preparation of press summaries and work on the Royal website. Its value was as follows:


(18) Excluding VAT

For the years up to and including 1997-98 work was paid for from the COI vote. In 1998-99 the Royal Household was provided with a grant-in-aid from the

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COI vote with which to procure information and communication services in order to match operational responsibility and financial control with the aim of achieving best value for money. In respect of 1999-2000 and subsequent years, the COI vote was transferred to the Department for Culture Media and Sport. The Central Office of Information trading fund continues to provide services to the Royal Household on a payment basis.


Environmental Policies

Mr. Baker: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, what percentage of waste produced by Lambeth Palace is recycled; whether the energy used by Lambeth Palace is purchased by a supplier committed to using energy produced by renewable means; and what motor vehicles are provided for use by the Archbishop of Canterbury. [145385]

Mr. Stuart Bell: A policy was initiated some years ago at Lambeth Palace whereby all used white paper, newspapers and bottles are recycled. Garden waste is reused as mulch.

The Church Commissioners as owners and managers of the property are responsible for the supply of its energy needs. Electricity for Lambeth Palace is supplied by London Electricity.

One motor car is provided for the Archbishop of Canterbury to enable him to undertake his official duties. The car is five years old and operates on unleaded fuel.

Wealth Accumulation

Mr. Baker: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, what consideration is given during the execution of their duties by the Church Commissioners to the references made in scripture to the accumulation of wealth. [145414]

Mr. Stuart Bell: The Church Commissioners' decisions are governed by the duty, laid on them by Parliament and the General Synod, to manage their inherited assets to provide sustainable financial support for the Church of England's ministry, especially in areas of need and opportunity. They are advised on ethical investment issues by the Church of England's Ethical Investment Advisory Group whose members include, as do the Commissioners, a number of senior clergy.

Communion Silver

Mr. Baker: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, what is the present market value of all communion silver included in the financial statements of the Church Commissioners; and what plans the Church Commissioners have to realise the value of this property. [145416]

Mr. Stuart Bell: Most of the Church of England's communion plate is owned by individual churches and cathedrals, and no central record exists. No specific allowance is made in the Church Commissioners' annual financial statements for the few items of communion plate owned by them for use at See houses.

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Mr. Baker: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, what the value was of communion silver (a) bought and (b) sold in each of the last 20 years. [145415]

Mr. Stuart Bell: I refer the hon. Member to my earlier answer. There is no central record of transactions involving communion plate owned by the Church of England.


Mr. Baker: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, (1) what was the total cost of (a) stipends, (b) staff, (c) administrative, (d) housing and (e) other costs for each (i) diocesan and (ii) suffragen bishop within the Church of England for each of the last 10 years; [145381]

Mr. Stuart Bell: As stated in my answers on 18 May 1999 and 23 November 1999, the Commissioners' current policy is not to make public expenditure on individual bishops' houses or working costs. Total revenue expenditure by the Commissioners on bishops' stipends, housing and funding their working costs for the years 1990 to 1999 inclusive was:

£ million

YearStipendsHousingWorking costs

(19) The totals for expenditure on stipends in 1998 and 1999 include pension contributions payable under the Pensions Measure 1997

Spending on bishops' houses and working costs is subject to close budgetary control. That on repairs to buildings is limited to the minimum consistent with their proper maintenance, bearing in mind that some are listed buildings. Diocesan boards of finance are responsible for suffragan bishops' houses and the Commissioners do not have figures for that expenditure.

Spending on working costs is that necessary to support the bishops in their ministry. It consists of the salaries and pensions of their staff, the costs of running their offices, official travel, Church meetings and functions, and other miscellaneous costs. All this expenditure is subject to detailed and continuous audit, to ensure that it is in line with the Inland Revenue's requirement that it is "wholly, exclusively and necessarily" incurred in the performance of a bishop's duties.

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Mr. Baker: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, how much was spent in the last year for which figures are available on (a) housing for bishops and (b) Church programmes aimed specifically at the homeless. [145384]

Mr. Stuart Bell: In 1999 revenue spending on bishops' houses by the Church Commissioners was £3.3 million. Figures for expenditure on suffragan bishops' houses, which are owned by diocesan boards of finance, are not available.

Church programmes to help the homeless are carried out by a wide variety of agencies, charities and parishes. They are numerous, are often locally based, and respond to local needs. Details of their expenditure are not held centrally.

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