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10 Oct 2005 : Column 279W—continued

Council Tax

Sarah Teather: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether an estimate has been made of the number of appeals likely to arise following the council tax revaluation process; and what funding has been allocated to cover this. [15834]

Mr. Woolas: I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, South (Dawn Primarolo) gave to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) on 29 June 2005, Official Report, column 1547W, and to my answer to the hon. Member for Meriden on 5 July 2005, Official Report, column 298W.

Crown Estate

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the staff costs of the Crown Estate's Communication Department were in 2004–05. [15172]

John Healey: The information requested is as follows.
Crown estate

Financial year

Cost (£)
Number of permanent staff

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the Crown Estate spent on (a) public relations and (b) corporate hospitality in 2004–05 [15173]

John Healey: £443,100 (the non-staff cost of the Communications Department less the cost of production of the Annual Report and Accounts) and £9,570, respectively.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of Crown Estate charges on the Scottish economy; and when he last discussed this with the Crown Estate. [15174]

John Healey: We have made no such assessment. The Crown Estate Commissioners exercise their statutory duties under the Crown Estate Act in the light of the commercial environment faced by Crown Estate tenants and the requirements of good management.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the Crown Estate has raised from dredging works in each of the last 10 years. [15294]

John Healey: The information is as follows:
£ million

Aggregate dredgingContract dredgingNavigational dredgingCapital dredgingTotal

Aggregate—data relate to material used in the construction industry.
Contract dredging—relates to specific extraction for a specific job.
Navigational dredging—refers to material used that has been extracted from navigational works.
Capital dredging—refers to specific projects which are carried out to improve or create access to port facilities, often for larger ships. Material can be used or dumped.

10 Oct 2005 : Column 280W

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 7 April 2005, Official Report, column 1568W, on the Crown Estate, why this information is not collected. [15551]

John Healey: Financial information on piers and marinas in Scotland has historically been recorded differently from that relating to England and Wales.

However, the Crown Estate are taking steps to enable the information concerned to be available in future.

Departmental Contractors

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the contractors based in other EU member states that are providing services to his Department. [15449]

John Healey: The Treasury do not keep central records of the state in which contractors are based so the information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Websites

Sarah Teather: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what websites come under his Department's responsibility; and what the (a) cost and (b) number of visitors to those sites was in the last 12 months. [16025]

John Healey: The costs and traffic figures for each website operated by the Department for which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is responsible, during the 2004–05 financial year, were as follows.
Site addressDirect costs (£)Unique Visits,1331,003,996,000223,108,00018,660
Sites costed within the figure:,340,085,282,049

The term unique visits", refers to the number of different visitors logged during this period. These figures do not include repeat visits nor do they differentiate between different users coming from behind a shared firewall. For example, all Inland Revenue users would appear in the statistics as one visitor so the actual number of visitors is significantly higher.

Energy Efficiency

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of electricity used by buildings in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies came from renewable sources in each year from 1997. [15803]

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John Healey: The data relating to HM Revenue and Customs (including the Valuation Office Agency) are as follows:
Energy efficiency

Renewable energy (Kwh)Total consumption (Kwh)(90)Percentage renewable

Information for the Treasury relating to the period up to July 2004 was contained in the answers which the former Financial Secretary gave on 19 July 2004, Official Report, column 37W to the hon. Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb). All the electricity used by the Treasury since that date has been from renewable sources.

For the agencies responsible to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the information is as follows:
Debt management office0
National Savings and Investments (NS&I)(87)
Office for National Statistics (ONS)
Royal Mint0
Royal Liver Buildings, Liverpool

(87)NS&I's operations are outsourced to Siemens Business Services (SBS). This includes responsibility for the supply of all fuel and utilities to the three buildings at NS&I's operational sites. NS&I have no direct influence over the purchase of electricity by SBS.
(89)100 per cent. for six months, 60 per cent. for six months.

Equality and Diversity

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the Department has spent promoting equality and diversity in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [14656]

John Healey: The Treasury is fully committed to the equality and diversity agenda and has policies and processes in place to ensure that there is no unfair discrimination on any grounds. In the last five years the Treasury has supported internal employee-diversity networks, funded diversity and equality events in the Department; funded diversity awareness raising seminars; supported participants on corporate diversity
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programmes, diversity-proofed policies and management processes and participated in promotional work on the diversity agenda.

Direct staff costs on diversity issues have been in the region of £85 to £90,000 per annum over the last five years.

In addition the Treasury has spent the following amounts within the Department on promoting equality and diversity by awareness raising events and supporting staff with disabilities:

Costs for the years before 2002–03 can only be retrieved from an earlier accounting system and would incur disproportionate cost.

The Treasury also introduced a childcare voucher scheme in January 2004 as part of the programme to promote equality and diversity. The cost of the first year (2004–05) was £120,000.

In addition to these direct costs, employees throughout the Department are directly involved in promoting diversity in the Department i.e. members of diversity support groups, disability champions, diversity champion and senior staff sponsors and in mainstreaming diversity issues in their policy work. Staff costs for this work are not available.

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