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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 19 December 2005


Carbon Footprint

Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what steps the Commissioners are taking to minimise their carbon footprint. [38093]

Sir Stuart Bell: The Commissioners welcomed the General Synod report 'Sharing God's planet' which requested that church bodies improve their environmental achievements by 2008. Their main aims are to develop a new 'Green Guide' for parsonage building standards and improve our approach to sustainability in our land management plans.


Hugh Bayley: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what advice the Church Commissioners give to church bodies on raising funds through public appeals. [38094]

Sir Stuart Bell: Guidance on fundraising for repairs and maintenance is available from the Council for the Care of Churches and its churchcare" website (www.churchare.co.uk). It is hoped shortly to expand the site to include guidance on the wider use and development of church buildings.

VAT Relief

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what discussions the Commissioners have had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the scope of extending VAT relief to the cost of church car parks. [39157]

Sir Stuart Bell: The scope of VAT relief covers repairs to church buildings and not ongoing costs. In consequence the Commissioners have had no discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on such an extension.


Advice to Ministers/Permanent Secretaries

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in what month his Office expects to makean announcement on advice to Ministers and Permanent Secretaries. [36623]

Mr. Jim Murphy: This Government have done much to strengthen the system for handling of Ministers' financial interests, including the requirement to provide Permanent Secretaries with a list of their interests on appointment to each new office and the facility to seek external advice if needed. Careful consideration is being
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given to the recommendation by the Committee on Standards in Public Life and an announcement will be made in due course.

Civil Servants

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many civil servants worked from home for at least one day a week in the last year for which figures are available. [38018]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The Cabinet Office does not centrally monitor the number of staff who work from home. However, within the newly launched 10 point plan Delivering a Diverse Civil Service" there is senior leadership commitment to work life balance and all senior civil service (SCS) and feeder grade posts should be available on a flexible working pattern basis unless robust and objective justification is provided.

Departmental Research

Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what research projects commissioned by his Department are being undertaken; and what the publication arrangements are in each case. [32992]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The information requested regarding research projects commissioned for the Cabinet Office is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Downing Street (Refurbishment)

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) of 6 June 2005, Official Report, column 302W, on Downing street (refurbishment), when he expects officials to have concluded their consideration of options. [38835]

Mr. Jim Murphy: I have nothing further to add to the reply given by my right hon. Friend, the then Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Hutton), on 6 June 2005, Official Report, column 302W.

Government Departments

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the cost was of re-structuring central Government Departments in each year since 1997. [37932]

Mr. Jim Murphy: This information is not collected centrally. Departmental costs and other expenditure are accounted for in departmental annual reports and National Audit Office (NAO) audits of departmental accounts.



Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average speed travelled by private cars was on the A5 between the A405 and the A40 in (a) 1999–2000 and (b) 2004–05. [37521]

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Dr. Ladyman: The information requested is not available.

Administrative Savings

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what administrative savings have been made by his Department in each of the last eight years. [34948]

Ms Buck: I refer the hon. Member to the information on gross and net controlled administration costs for this Department published annually in the Public Expenditure White Papers for the years since it was formed in 2002–03.

Agency Staff

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff were employed by non-departmental public bodies and agencies for which he has responsibility in 2004–05 in (a) total and (b) each (i) nation and (ii)region of the UK and (c) London. [35963]

Ms Buck: Total Executive NDPB staff numbers by Departments at 31 March 2005 are recorded in table 2 of Public Bodies 2005, a copy of which is in the House Libraries and which is available online at: http://www. civilservice.gov.uk/the_future_of_the_civil_service/agencies_and_public_bodies/publications/pdf/public bodies/publicbodies2005.pdf.

The Department does not hold NDPB data broken down by region of the UK.

The number of staff in individual Executive agencies as at 1 April 2004, including a regional analysis, is available in Civil Service Statistics 2004 which was published in February 2005, a copy of which is in House Libraries. It is also available online at: http://www. civilservice.gov.uk/management_of_the_civil_service/statistics/contents_for_civil_service_statistics_2004_ report/number_of_civil_servants/index.asp.

Air Bags (Motor Vehicles)

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Transportwhether his Department collects statistics on the number of car accidents where safety air bags are inflated. [38730]

Dr. Ladyman: Statistics are not collected on the number of injury car accidents where safety airbags are inflated.

The Department funds the co-operative crash injury study (CCIS) to investigate why car occupants are injured in traffic collisions and to use this information to design countermeasures to reduce the number of casualties in the future. CCIS is an in-depth study that involves specialist teams examining over 1,300 cars per year after they have been involved in police reported injury crashes and correlating the injuries suffered by the vehicle occupants to their causes. The vehicle investigation involves a thorough evaluation of all the cars' safety features, including seat belts and airbag systems. The effectiveness of the airbags once they have deployed is evaluated through this work. CCIS is a representative sample of all the car occupant injury crashes that occur in Great Britain and can be used to
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predict the number of airbags that are inflated or deployed per year in such accidents. Non-injury crashes where airbags deploy are not routinely investigated.

Air Fares

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average real terms price of air fares within the UK was in each year since 1975; and what forecast he has made of average price of airfares over the next 25 years. [38188]

Ms Buck: There is no series giving past data in UK air fares. The national air traffic forecasts published in 2000 assumed a 1 per cent. annual decline in air fares over the period 1998 to 2020. This was revised prior to the Air Transport White Paper to a 2 per cent. per annum decline for the period up to 2030.

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