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Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of proposed communication masts has been taken into account as part of the technical assessment of supplier bids, where information about proposed coverage was provided by the suppliers. This is just one aspect of the assessment of the bids, as the overall evaluation has taken into account three other key areas: project management, procurement and whole life costs. It is the balance of this assessment that determines the outcome of the competition.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many full-time equivalent employee reductions have been made as a result of the Gershon review; what (a) cost savings relating to IT projects and (b) value of efficiency savings (i) were achieved in 200405 and (ii) are expected to be achieved in 200506; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 1 November 2005]: Progress on both headcount reductions in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Central), Government Offices for the Regions and ODPM's executive agencies and on cost savings was reported in the ODPM Departmental Annual Report, 2004. Further progress will be reported in the Autumn Performance Reports, which will include figures for headcount reduction in NDPBs as well as the core Department and at aggregate level in the pre-Budget report.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment his Department has made of the potential environmental impact of its plans for new housing developments in the south-east; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The process for preparing regional plans for new development is set out in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. Accordingly, it is the South East England Regional Assembly which is responsible for appraising the sustainability of alternative development options as part of their drafting of the Regional Spatial Strategy (known as the South East Plan"). After the Assembly submit their draft Plan to Government, there is further public consultation and testing by an independent Panel before the Plan is finalised by Government.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list for each IT project his Department has undertaken since May 1997 which has incurred a total expenditure of £5 million or more (a) the name of the project, (b) its intended purpose, (c) the principal contractors involved and the payments made to each, (d) the original estimate of the cost of the project, (e) the actual outturn of expenditure on the project, (f) the intended date on which the project was to be fully implemented, (g) the actual date on which it was fully implemented or cancelled, (h) modifications which have been made to the project since it was first commissioned, (i) contractors on the project whose contracts have been cancelled, (j) replacement or additional contractors on the project, (k) the most reliable estimate of public expenditure saved as a result of implementing the project and (l) the most reliable estimates of improved performance of departmental functions as a result of implementing the project. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many IT projects have been developed for his Department since 2001; and whether he has agreed to make public (a) in full and (b) in part Gateway reviews for these projects. 
Gateway reviews are conducted on a confidential basis for the Senior Responsible Owner and ODPM have not agreed for any report material to be made public. Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 each request for the release of information contained in a Gateway Review is considered on a case-by-case basis.
Mr. Woolas: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not hold this information for local authorities. However, we are advised that the information could be obtained from each authority and suggest that my hon. Friend contacts the Head of Efficiency at Norfolk county council and the Acting Director of Finance at Norwich city council in order to obtain the relevant figures.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many complaints have been received against the Notting Hill Housing Trust in each of the last five years; and how many have been investigated by the Ombudsman. 
|Netting Hill Housing Trust(14)||(11)650||(11)700||688||470||(12)370|
|Received by the IHO||Investigated by the IHO|
Mr. Woolas: The Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations require an actuarial valuation of each of the Scheme's funds every three years. At the valuation carried out as at 31 March 2004, the independent actuary appointed by the London borough of Brent reported that the fund held assets of £360 million against liabilities of £534 million. Accordingly the actuary set an appropriate employer contribution rate for the three financial years starting with 200506 to secure the solvency of the fund. Brent council has also published a Funding Strategy Statement, as required by the regulations, setting out its approach to managing its pension liabilities.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his current estimate is of (a) the capital costs of the construction of a regional network of fire control centres, (b) the capital costs of the closure and relocation of England's 46 control rooms and (c) the revenue costs of running a network of regional fire control centres over their projected 15-year lifecycle. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The business case, on www.odpm.firecontrol.gov.uk, presents the one-off" and ongoing" costs for regional controls, which are related to (but not the same as) capital" and revenue" figures respectively. Accounting treatment is still under consideration.
The one-off gross cost of implementing networked regional control centres in England is forecast to be £160 million. This figure includes developing and installing the new ICT infrastructure, the costs associated with transition from existing control rooms to the new arrangements, and project management. The buildings will be leased from developers, who will meet the capital costs of their construction.
The business case does not contain any capital costs for closing existing control rooms. However, the one-off costs for relocating control room functions have been included in the £160 million cost referred to above.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his current estimate is of the cost savings which will be achieved through staff reductions arising from the relocation of existing control rooms to regional fire control centres. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: After the last control centre goes live, it is estimated that the new network of regional fire control centres will achieve annual savings of over £20 million (30 per cent. reduction in annual running costs).
Staffing represents the largest cost element under both the current position and regional controls. Consequently, the largest relative savings will be generated in this area. There are additional contributions from the economies of scale achieved through the national infrastructure services contract, the avoidance of infrastructure replacement costs (including related project management), and the economies of scale achieved in servicing control centre accommodation.
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