|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Phil Hope: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister issued a public consultation document on proposals for Part P in May 2002 and received 490 responses from bodies such as trade associations, safety organisations, local authorities, individual electrical contractors and members of the public. Since that time the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has received a large number of letters seeking clarification on detailed points.
Phil Hope: Officials in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister have had discussions with the Financial Services Authority, the Association of British Insurers and a number of insurance brokers and underwriters.
Mr. Syms: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what (a) plans he has and (b) action he has taken to introduce competent person schemes, other than that concerning electrical safety, into building regulations. [202124R]
Phil Hope: There are currently four other authorised schemes which began operation on 1 April 2002: FENSA for replacement glazing, CORGI for the installation of heat-producing gas appliances, OFTEC for the installation of oil-fired combustion appliances and HETAS for the installation of solid fuel combustion appliances. A number of applications to run schemes, mostly in the plumbing, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning sectors, are under consideration.
Mr. Syms: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what preparations he has made for the process of monitoring electricians for six months to ensure their competence in compliance with part P of Building Regulations after 1 January 2005; and what the cost has been. [202127R]
Phil Hope: Electricians who are registered with a competent person scheme will be monitored by their scheme operators, with at least one initial on-site inspection and a further inspection within the first year of membership. This cost is covered by the annual membership fee of a competent person scheme.
Those not registered with a scheme will be monitored by the building control body for all notifiable electrical installation work. The cost of this monitoring is included in the building control fee paid.
Phil Hope: Officials in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister have had many discussions over the past four years with bodies including electrical safety organisations, electrical trade associations, the electrical trade press, potential competent person scheme operators, Government Departments, the Scottish Executive, the National Assembly for Wales, the Health and Safety Executive, the Office of Fair Trading, the insurance industry and local authorities.
Phil Hope: Where a householder employs an electrician who is a member of a competent person scheme the extra cost should be minimal. Where the electrician is not a member of such a scheme the extra cost will be the amount of the building control fee payable. The regulatory impact assessment for part P showed that the extra costs were fully justified by the reduction in deaths, injuries and fires form defective fixed electrical installations.
Mr. Syms: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will amend part P of the Building Regulations to exempt people with significant practical experience of fitting electrical installations from the self-certification regime. [202133R]
Phil Hope: No. The purpose of self-certification schemes is to assess the competence of members of the scheme to ensure that they are sufficiently competent to self-certify their own work without having to submit a building notice to the local authority.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his target time is in 200405 (a) to reply to letters from hon. Members and (b) for the officials in his Office to reply to letters received directly from members of the public. 
Information on the departmental handling of correspondence from Members of Parliament/Peers is published annually by the Cabinet Office. The 2003 annual report is available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister over how many months of a year council tax payers may pay their council tax (a) by standing order and (b) direct debit; and if he will make a statement. 
Regulation 21 and schedule 1 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/613) provide that billing authorities can offer a scheme of 10 instalments, but also allow them to offer greater frequencies up to 52 instalments if they wish. Billing authorities can also make individual agreements with taxpayers which set out payment dates and the amount of each instalment. The regulations do not specify which payments methods
7 Dec 2004 : Column 455W
authorities must offer. It is for individual billing authorities to decide whether to offer other frequencies and which payment methods to offer and promote in the light of local circumstances.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether the estimate of average council tax per dwelling in England in 200405 of £967 includes a measure of the effect of council tax benefit in reducing the amount of council tax paid. 
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his policy is on the use of telephones in his Department by members of staff for their own personal use relating to (a) domestic and (b) international calls; and if he will make a statement. 
Phil Hope: Staff in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister are allowed to make occasional and reasonable use of official telephones for personal reasons. Automatic logs are kept of all calls and regular reviews carried out. Access to all international numbers is only granted to staff who have a business need.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his estimate is of the (a) annual cost and (b) total value of the empty properties owned by (i) his Department, (ii) agencies and (iii) other public bodies for which he has had responsibility in each of the last two years. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the (a) conferences, (b) seminars, (c) workshops, (d) exhibitions and (e) press conferences which have been sponsored by his Department and which took place on non-departmental premises in each of the last two years giving the (i) title, (ii) purpose, (iii) date and (iv) cost of each. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|