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Rural Services

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total cost was of producing and distributing the Rural Services Review, including staff time allocated to the project. [195277]

Alun Michael: The Rural Services Review, published on 1 November 2004, continues the commitment from the Rural White Paper "Our Countryside: the future" to inform rural people how they can ensure fair access to public services for their community.

The total cost of production and distribution of the Rural Services Review is set out in the table:
Cost of Rural Services Review

Final spend (£)
(plus VAT)
DesignStairway Communications9,814 plus 383 total
= 10,197
Print (50,000 run)17,800
(no VAT charged)
(of 30,000 copies)
Proof readingCOI324
Staff costs(6)22,864

(5) These costs are based upon estimates as final invoices have not yet been received.
(6) Defra staff costs for this project were £22,864. This figure is based upon average pay rates, by grade and location and includes accommodation overheads.

The total production, distribution and staff costs give a unit cost for the Rural Services Review of £1.68 a copy.

The Rural Services Review came about as a consequence of the evaluation of the Rural Services Standard, which took place during 2003. The review builds upon the recommendations of the independent evaluation report produced by the University of Gloucester. A copy of this report is available on the Defra website at http://defraweb/rural/pdfs/rss_review.pdf.

The Rural Services Review identifies key standards that affect people living and working in the countryside and illustrates the difference the standards can make, through the use of case studies. Copies of the review are available through Defra publications (08459 556000) or online at
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Sustainable Energy (CHP Provisions) Order

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures her Department (a) has undertaken and (b) plans to undertake to comply with the Sustainable Energy (CHP Provisions) Order 2003. [194430]

Alun Michael: The Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate requires all Departments to source at least 15 per cent. of electricity from Good Quality Combined Heat and Power by 2010 (with allowance made for those Departments that already purchase 100 per cent. renewable energy.) Within Defra the following action has been taken:

Tsar Appointments

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tsars have been appointed with responsibilities which cover part of the work of her Department; and if she will make a statement. [191918]

Alun Michael: The Secretary of State has not appointed any tsars covering the work of any part of the Department.


Sustainable Energy (CHP Provisions) Order

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Solicitor-General what measures (a) the Crown Prosecution Service, (b) the Serious Fraud Office, (c) the Treasury Solicitor's Office and (d) the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers (i) has undertaken and (ii) plans to undertake to comply with the Sustainable Energy (CHP Provisions) Order 2003. [194438]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Fraud Office, the Treasury Solicitor's Department and the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers do not currently occupy premises whose heating and electrical supplies are provided by CHP systems. Each Department regularly reviews their heating and electrical power consumption to ensure that the supplies they use are obtained and consumed in the most sustainably efficient and cost effective way.


Cullen Report

Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland for what reasons parts of the Cullen report on Dunblane are to be protected for 100 years; and if he will make a statement. [190639]

Mr. Darling: This is a matter for the Scottish Executive.
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The Public Records (Scotland) Act 1937 makes provision for the preservation, care and custody of the public records of Scotland. There is not, however, any statutory basis for closure of records created by Scottish public bodies.

By contrast, in England and Wales the Public Records Act 1958 (as amended by the Public Records Act 1967) sets a statutory "closure period" of 30 years after which records must, with limited exceptions, be made available to the public. The 1937 Act does not impose similar obligations on Scottish Executive departments, but in practice those procedures are followed in Scotland.

The criteria for closures longer than 30 years were defined in a White Paper on Open Government published in 1993 (Cm 2290), which stated that it is for the department responsible for depositing the material to decide on the closure period.

Documents containing information about individuals, whose disclosure would cause either substantial distress, or endangerment from a third party to persons affected by disclosure or their descendants can be subject to a variable closure period of between 40 and 100 years.

At the conclusion of Lord Cullen's inquiry, the papers were lodged with the then Scottish Record Office. As is normal practice, the closure periods were identified by the SRO, in consultation with the Secretary to the Inquiry and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. In light of the obvious sensitivities in relation to the information about children and alleged offences against them the productions were closed for 100 years. This closure was in accordance with the Government guidelines published in the White Paper "Open Government" Cm 2290 (1993) and Lord Cullen was content with these arrangements.

However, subsequently the Lord Advocate decided that the material from the Dunblane inquiry should be catalogued by staff at the National Archives of Scotland in a way which did not lead to the identification of children. The cataloguing of the productions has recently been completed. Officials from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service are currently reviewing this material and considering what information is suitable for release either in its entirety or in an edited format. However, the sensitive nature of the information contained in some of the material will obviously prevent its release before the end of the 100-year closure period.

Gambling Bill

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has been informed that the Scottish Executive plans to bring forward a sewel motion in respect of the proposals contained in the Gambling Bill; and if he will make a statement. [196311]

Mrs. McGuire: Following consultation with Scottish Ministers, the Gambling Bill contains provisions conferring functions in reserved areas on the Scottish Ministers. Since the Bill therefore varies the executive competence of the Scottish Ministers the consent of the Scottish Parliament will therefore be sought by the Scottish Executive in accordance with the Sewel Convention.
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Accident Group

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what investigation has been undertaken into the closure of the Accident Group; and if she will institute an inquiry by her Department into the affairs of that company. [195115]

Mr. Sutcliffe: A winding up order was made against AG (Manchester) Ltd. (formerly called The Accident Group Ltd.) on 15 January 2004. As a result, the Official Receiver was appointed first liquidator and has a duty to investigate the causes of the company's failure and generally it's promotion, formation, business, dealings and affairs and the conduct of its directors. These investigations are continuing.

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