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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 10 February 2003


Civil Defence

Gregory Barker: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps are being taken by his Department to ensure that local authorities are working in conjunction with the St. John's Ambulance to prepare local civil defence plans for England and Wales. [96249]

Mr. Alexander: The Government welcome the contribution of the voluntary sector in this area and has published clear guidance on the use and training of volunteers and voluntary organisations in chapter 6 of its core guidance document, "Dealing With Disaster" (3rd edition). This sets out the arrangements, which focus primarily on local authority led mechanisms, for the registration, co-ordination and training of volunteers and voluntary organisations, including the St. John's Ambulance. The document, which is held by all local authority emergency planning units, emergency services headquarters and most of the main headquarters of the national voluntary organisations, is a public document and can be obtained from the Government's resilience website: www.ukresilience.info

The National Voluntary Aid Society Emergency Committee (NVASEC) provides a national United Kingdom-wide forum for addressing voluntary sector matters in respect of national integrated contingency planning. NVASEC membership comprises representatives of the three Voluntary Aid Societies (VAS): the British Red Cross Society (BRCS) (chairing), St. John's Ambulance and St. Andrew's Ambulance. Representatives from the Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS), the Department of Health, Cabinet Office and Ministry of Defence are also invited.

Civil Service Pension Scheme

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will list the companies selected to replace Equitable Life as providers of the Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contributory Scheme; and whether this list will be amended. [96177]

Mr. Alexander: The CSAVC Scheme has three providers. Equitable Life and Scottish Widows were appointed when the scheme was set up in 1988. Standard Life Assurance Society was appointed as a further provider from 1 January 2002.

Equitable Life remains available for CSAVC investment, other than in respect of its with profits fund. This was closed to new members from August 2001 although contributing members could opt to continue their contributions if they wished.

The suitability of all providers is kept under review.

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Labour Market (Ethnic Minorities)

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when the Strategy Unit's report into the labour market position of people with minority ethnic backgrounds will be published. [96600]

Mr. Alexander: The Strategy Unit's report on the labour market outcomes of ethnic minorities will be published in due course.

Ministerial Travel

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many ministerial journeys were made by train in 2002; and of those, how many were (a) first class and (b) standard class. [94988]

Mr. Alexander: Since Machinery of Government changes in May 2002, Cabinet Office Ministers have made six first class train journeys in relation to ministerial responsibilities. All travel complies with the requirements of the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers.

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many ministerial flights were made by air in 2002; and of those, how many were (a) first class, (b) business class and (c) economy. [94989]

Mr. Alexander: Since Machinery of Government changes in May 2002, Cabinet Office Ministers have made two First Class Flights and two Business Class Flights.

Service Delivery Agreement

Tony Wright: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when the Central Office of Information's service delivery agreement for 2003 to 2006 will be published. [94109]

Mr. Alexander: The Central Office of Information (COI) is currently in the process of revising its Framework Document and preparing its Annual Business Plan. It is anticipated that the COI will announce and publish its revised Service Delivery Agreement (SDA) at the same time as announcing its annual performance targets to Parliament.

The COI will publish annually agreed external performance targets before summer recess by means of a Written Statement, and report against these in its Annual Report and Accounts. Copies of these are available in the Libraries of the House.

The current SDA, which was published as part of the Spending Review 2000, is available on-line at the COI's website.

Children at Risk

Alistair Burt: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what action he is taking to ensure that services for adults in difficulty consider the needs of the adult's family as well as the individual needs, through (a) the proposed Children at Risk Green Paper and (b) the National Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy; [93727]

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Mr. Boateng: I have been asked to reply.

The Government recognise that professionals working with adults in difficulties need to consider carefully the interests of the children involved. The National Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy, which is being prepared by the Cabinet Office Strategy Unit for publication this summer, is considering the impact of alcohol misuse upon families.

The Green Paper on Children at Risk, to be published this spring, is examining the range of services available to children and young people who are at risk of educational failure, offending, victimisation and abuse, and poor health. The Green Paper will look more broadly at how families can be best supported, including considering how the adverse impact on children of parental health issues, such as substance misuse, can be minimised.


Air Quality (Gloucestershire)

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what plans she has to improve the air quality in Gloucestershire in the areas close to the M5; and if she will make a statement; [96917]

Alun Michael: Local authorities have a statutory duty under the Environment Act 1995 to review and assess the local air quality in their area against the air quality objectives for seven pollutants prescribed in regulations for the purpose of local air quality management. Where it is likely that the air quality objectives will not be met by the relevant deadline, the local authority must designate an air quality management area and produce an action plan setting out the measures they intend to implement to work towards meeting the air quality objectives.

The M5 passes through four local authority areas. Three of these local authorities (South Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury, and Stroud) have declared air quality management areas in respect of nitrogen dioxide emissions in the vicinity of the M5 motorway. All three local authorities have completed a further review and assessment following the declaration of their air quality management areas to further verify the need for the declarations.

South Gloucestershire is now consulting on whether to revoke its air quality management area. Stroud and Tewkesbury have justified the need to retain their joint

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air quality management area. All authorities have been liaising with the Highways Agency; the organisation responsible for the management of the M5. The local authorities will have to draw up an air quality action plan and work with the Highways Agency to look for solutions to improve the local air quality within the area affected by the M5.

Vehicle Emissions

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimates she has made of the total automotive emissions in the UK to the atmosphere in the latest available year for (a) particulates, (b) fine particulates, (c) sulphur dioxide, (d) carbon dioxide, (e) benzene, (f) 1,3-butadiene, (g) carbon monoxide and (h) oxides of nitrogen. [96832]

Alun Michael: The most recent year for which published data are available is 2000. In that year the estimates for emissions in kilotonnes from all vehicle types were as follows:

PM10 31.4
PM2.5 25.9
Sulphur dioxide5.92
Carbon dioxide (as carbon)31,525
Carbon monoxide2,881
Oxides of nitrogen629

The figures for particulate matter (PM) cover exhaust and tyre and brake wear emissions and are provided for the two size fractions for which data are available—PM10 (particulates, less than 10 microns diameter) and PM2.5 (fine particulates, less than 2.5 microns diameter).

These data are taken from the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory, published annually by DEFRA, and available on the internet at http://www.naei.org.uk

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