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19 Dec 2006 : Column 1809W—continued

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Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps her Department is taking to ensure that architects use wood and other sustainable materials when designing buildings to be used for the 2012 Olympic games; and if she will make a statement. [110303]

Mr. Caborn: The Government are committed to ensuring that we deliver not only the best Olympic Games and Paralympic Games ever, but also ensure that they are socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable, leaving a lasting legacy for the Lower Lea Valley and the UK as a whole. We are working closely with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the body responsible for constructing the Games facilities, as well as the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (London 2012 Organising Committee) to realise this aim.

In the Candidate File, which set out the commitments for the Games, we promised to make sustainable development integral to every aspect of our vision for the Games. To deliver this, sustainable development criteria will be taken into account in planning, tendering and procurement decisions by both the ODA and the London 2012 Organising Committee. The ODA committed to identifying, sourcing and using environmentally and socially responsible materials in its draft Sustainability and Progress Report published in July 2006. Following consultation on this draft, the ODA’s Sustainable Development Strategy will be published in January, containing further detailed commitments on the use of materials.

The London 2012 Organising Committee will manage its procurement policy separately from the ODA, but will also adopt fair and sustainable procurement principles. Their procurement policy and associated strategy is currently being developed and a Sustainable Development Plan for the Olympic Programme overall will be published in the spring.

Procurement Projects

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 7 December 2006, Official Report, column 597W, on procurement projects, who the recipients were of the funding for the reviews of (a) public libraries standards and (b) BBC News Digital Services. [109529]

Mr. Lammy: The contract to review Public Libraries Standards was awarded to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The contract to review BBC News Digital Services was awarded to the London Business School.

TV Licence

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions she has had with the chairman of the BBC on the future of the television licence. [109619]

Tessa Jowell: Prior to his resignation, I had a number of discussions with the former Chairman of the BBC over the period of our review of the future level of the television licence fee.

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Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much VisitBritain spent on promotion, broken down by target audience. [109394]

Mr. Woodward: In 2005-06, VisitBritain’s expenditure on promotion was as follows:

Target market £000

Long haul

N America



















‘England International’ in France, Germany, Ireland and Netherlands


Domestic marketing




Prime Minister


Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Prime Minister what Christmas lights are in use at No. 10 Downing street; and what assessment he has made of their environmental impact. [110152]

The Prime Minister: My Office and the Cabinet Office’s total facilities management service provider continues to seek improvements in environmentally friendly Christmas decorations year on year.

Departmental Website

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Prime Minister how much public money has been spent on maintaining his website in each year since it was set up; and if he will make a statement. [108459]

The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Twickenham (Dr. Cable) on 30 October 2002, Official Report, columns 850-51W. The running costs of the website in the subsequent financial years are set out in the following table.

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Financial year Cost (£)









Downing Street Ministerial Flat

Mr. Heald: To ask the Prime Minister what the cost (a) in notional rent and capital charges and (b) of routine maintenance for his ministerial flat above 11 Downing street was in the 2005-06 financial year. [102711]

The Prime Minister: Information on notional rent is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The cost of routine maintenance on the flat above 11 Downing street for the financial year 2005-06 was £35,293.

Hospitality and Travel Costs

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Prime Minister how much was spent by his office on (a) travel and (b) hospitality in (i) 1995-96 and (ii) 2005-06. [110375]

The Prime Minister: Since 1999, the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. Copies of these lists are available in the Library of the House. Information on the number of officials accompanying Ministers on overseas visits is included in the list. All Ministers’ travel arrangements are in accordance with the arrangements for official travel set out in chapter 10 of the ministerial code, and the accompanying guidance document “Travel by Ministers”.

For the figures for overseas travel in 1996-97 and 2005-06, I refer the hon. Member to the written statement I made on 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 86WS. Information prior to 1996-97 was not held centrally.

For information on hospitality by my Office for 2005-06, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings (Mr. Hayes) and the hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Amess) on 11 October 2006, Official Report, column 788W. For information on hospitality for 1995-96, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave my right hon. Friend the Member for Rotherham (Mr. MacShane) on 9 February 1998, Official Report, column 17W.

Ministerial Code

Andrew Selous: To ask the Prime Minister if he will investigate the compliance with the Ministerial Code of the attendance in an official capacity by the Minister for Housing and Planning at the Regeneration and Housing Conference at Putteridge Bury on 11 December. [110372]

The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning attended the conference in an official capacity.

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 19 December 2006

Communities and Local Government

“Preventing Extremism Together”

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding her Department has allocated in following up recommendations in the Preventing Extremism Together working document since August 2005; and what funds she expects to receive from other Departments to support the working plan. [104344]

Mr. Woolas: It is not possible to say how much has been awarded to the development of these recommendations since they are for both the Muslim communities and Government to consider and, where appropriate, take forward. For the Government, these recommendations form part of a wider strategy to tackle extremism and build cohesion in Muslim communities and so feed in to numerous strands of work. The unit responsible has an overall budget of £1.5 million for this financial year.

2005 Code of Practice on Consultation

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many local authorities have adopted the 2005 Code of Practice on Consultation; [110415]

(2) what steps she has taken to encourage local authorities to adopt the 2005 Code of Practice on Consultation. [110416]

Mr. Woolas: The Code of Practice on Consultation was last revised in 2004. The Government regards effective consultation as a critical component of good public policy development, and the Code sets out best practice in this area.

The Code is non-statutory and it is for individual local authorities to determine their own approach in this area, but the Department actively encourages authorities to make use of the Code in exercising their responsibilities.

Information about how many authorities have adopted the Code is not collected centrally bythe Department and to do so would involve disproportionate cost.

Anschutz Entertainment Group

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many civil servants from the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister accompanied the Deputy Prime Minister's visit to the Canary Wharf offices of Anschutz
19 Dec 2006 : Column 1814W
Entertainment Group (AEG) on 17 August 2005;and whether minutes were taken of the meeting'sdiscussion. [104052]

Angela E. Smith: On 17 August 2005 the Deputy Prime Minister visited the Canary Wharf offices of the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) as part of a wider East London Gateway tour that also looked at wider regeneration on the Greenwich Peninsula.

As with all Ministers on official business, the DPM was accompanied by civil servants to provide him with support as appropriate. Due to the nature of the visit, which included a presentation and tour of the AEG marketing suite, no meeting agenda or formal discussion took place. There were no minutes taken.

Buildings Energy Efficiency

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make a statement on progress in (a) drawing up specifications and (b) training of personnel in buildings energy efficiency certification. [110312]

Yvette Cooper: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) has accredited ABBE as the first awarding body for the Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) qualification. There are a number of organisations offering training for DEAs and this number is expected to increase over the coming months.

Charity Commission

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Charity Commission for England and Wales recognises the International GCSE as an acceptable substitute for a GCSE for the purposes of recruitment. [104282]

Edward Miliband: I have been asked to reply.

I understand from the Charity Commission that they recognise broadly equivalent international qualifications, including the international GCSE, when recruiting for positions within the Commission.

Climate Change

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what account the forthcoming Climate Change Policy Statement will take of the impact of out-of-town grocery shopping on climate change. [109711]

Yvette Cooper: The draft Planning Policy Statement (PPS): “Planning and Climate Change” was published for consultation on 13 December. It sets out how planning, in providing for the new homes, jobs and infrastructure needed by communities, should help shape places with lower carbon emissions and resilient to climate change. This includes delivering patterns of urban growth that help secure the fullest possible use of sustainable transport for moving freight, public transport, cycling and walking; and overall reduce the need to travel, especially by car. The approach in the draft PPS builds on existing planning policy for town centres and transport.

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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which projects (a) her Department has commissioned and (b) the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister commissioned by the consultancy Ecotec; and what the (i) cost and (ii) purpose was of each. [104047]

Yvette Cooper: The Department for Communities and Local Government has commissioned Ecotec Research and Consultancy Ltd. at a value of £1,010,239 inc. VAT, to investigate change in deprived neighbourhoods.

Expenditure on Ecotec, Research and Consultancy Ltd. by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is recorded as being;

Expenditure by ODPM (£)







Identifying prior expenditure would be at disproportionate cost.

This expenditure was on a variety of ODPM projects, including;

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