|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Jamieson: Although many drivers are familiar with metric units, it would not be appropriate to fix a date for converting speed limit and distance signs while there is still likely to be a significant proportion of drivers for whom the change could be potentially confusing.
Mr. Stunell: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr. Kirkwood), representing the House of Commons Commission, what steps the Commission has taken to promote energy conservation and efficiency within the parliamentary estate since 1997. 
11 Jul 2002 : Column 1117W
Mr. Kirkwood: One hundred and ten staff of the House have been given special responsibility for energy conservation and efficiency. They receive monthly data on the energy consumption in their respective parts of the estate and manage housekeeping economy measuresfor example, by reporting damaged windows and faulty lamps, and ensuring lights and water heaters are switched off when not in use.
Some £30,000 has been invested each year in energy saving schemes. Recent examples include lighting occupancy sensors and thermal insulation. A contract has recently been let to replace the main Palace boilers and chillers with modern high efficiency plant over this summer recess and the summer recess of 2003. A combined heat and power plant provides electricity and domestic hot water to the Norman Shaw buildings.
Portcullis House was specifically designed to be energy efficient. Cooling for the air conditioning is obtained by drawing cold water from a deep aquifer. Heat exchangers recover energy from discharging warm to cool air. The thermal mass of walls, floors and ceilings balances out daily temperature changes. External light shelves reduce the need for daytime artificial lighting.
Mr. Stunell: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr. Kirkwood), representing the House of Commons Commission, what the estimated level of energy use on the Parliamentary Estate was in each year since 1997; what proportion of energy used is generated from renewable sources; and what plans there are to increase this proportion. 
Mr. Kirkwood: The energy used on the parliamentary estate in each financial year since 1997 is given in the table. Because the size of the estate has changed in this period the figures are calculated per square metre.
|KiloWatt hours per sq. m.|
None of the energy used is generated from renewable sources; this issue was last considered by the Accommodation and Works Committee in November 2000, when it resolved that the situation should continue to be monitored. I have drawn my hon. Friend's question to the attention of the Chairman of that committee.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what plans he has to review salary rates for Select Committee specialists; and if he will make a statement. 
11 Jul 2002 : Column 1118W
To the best of my knowledge, committees have been able to secure suitably qualified staff to act as committee specialists, and have been content with the quality of their work, though I cannot of course tell whether other good candidates have been deterred from applying for such posts by salaries given in press advertisements.
The House recently approved the establishment of a review of committee support staff when it debated the Modernisation Committee's report on Select Committees on 14 May. That review is now beginning: I am sure that the review team will consider carefully the issue the hon. Gentleman has raised today.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who designed her Department's stand for this year's Countryside and Agricultural Show; and what the cost was of (a) the design work, (b) the production of the stand and (c) the stand excluding staff costs, at the shows. 
Mr. Morley: The DEFRA stands being used at this year's agricultural shows were designed and built by two companies. Sabre International Exhibitions and Sasex. In both cases the stands are not new, each having been used at events during 2001. The contracts for this work were awarded following an established process of competitive tendering. While the costs involved are a matter of commercial confidentiality they are in line with commercial rates that Government Departments would expect to pay for stands of this sort.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the EU Management Committee of the common organisations of agricultural markets for sugar is next due to meet; whether experts nominated by the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The EU Sugar Management Committee normally meets weekly on Thursdays. UK representation depends on the agenda items under discussion. Officials from the Scottish Executive and other devolved Administrations attend as necessary in accordance with their interests.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the EU Management Committee on application of the Directive on the standardisation and rationalisation of reports on the implementation of certain Directives relating to the environment is next due to meet; whether experts nominated by the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if she will make a statement. 
11 Jul 2002 : Column 1119W
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what contingency plans she has developed relating to the six and 12-mile inshore fisheries limits in the event that a new derogation is not in place by 31 December. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 27 June 2002]: I welcome the Commission's proposal to renew without any time limitation the current access arrangements for the six and 12-mile limits and their statement that these provisions have reduced fishing pressure in the most biologically-sensitive areas of the sea and provided economic stability for small-scale fishing activity. The proposal would apply from 1 January 2003 and a decision is due to be taken by the Fisheries Council during the course of this year's review of the common fisheries policy. There remains a consensus among member states in favour of renewing the limits.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 27 June 2002]: The International Council for the Exploration of the Seas' Advisory Committee for Fisheries Management has recently reported to the European Commission on the status of sea bass in European waters. The Commission will need to consider its response to this report. I will support any effective controls to ensure the sustainability of bass stocks.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made towards reducing effort by 20 per cent. in those sectors of the UK fishing fleet with the most over-capacity; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: It has been a departmental target to reduce fishing effort, by 20 per cent. between 1997 and the end of December 2001, in those segments of the UK fishing fleet with the most overcapacity. This target was met by the due date.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 27 June 2002, Official Report, column 951, on fisheries, which member states regard relative stability as being in the best interests of all EU members. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 8 July 2002]: Following statements made by Ministers in the Fisheries Council and by officials in Council Working Groups, the following member states have declared that fishing opportunities should continue to be allocated according to the principle of relative stability: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|