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7 Mar 2007 : Column 1982Wcontinued
Mr. Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he has taken to ensure that the terms of the convention on landscape agreed by the Council of Europe in 2000 are taken into account when determining applications for wind farms. 
Malcolm Wicks: The European landscape convention includes measures to
establish procedures for the participation of the general public, local and regional authorities, and other parties with an interest in the definition and implementation of landscape policies
to integrate landscape into its regional and town planning policies.
The Government's policies on planning for renewable energy, including on landscape protection, are set out in planning policy statement (PPS) 22. The PPS is supported by a companion guide which provides practice guidance including on assessing the visual and landscape effects of planning applications for wind turbines.
Where the application is accompanied by an environmental statement this will, inter alia, include a description of the environment, which includes the landscape, affected by the application, a description of the likely significant effects of the development on the environment and a description of the measures envisaged to prevent, reduce and where possible, offset any significant adverse effects on the environment. These matters will be taken into account when deciding whether or not to approve an application.
Public consultation is a central part of established plan-making and development control procedures. In particular, the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires regional planning bodies and local planning authorities to prepare statements of community involvement in which they set their policy on involving their community in preparing regional spatial strategies, local development documents and on consulting on planning applications.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the Answer of 30 January 2007, Official Report, column 318W, on Wind Microgenerators, what has been the total Government expenditure on support for domestic wind turbines; and what assessment he has made of the value for money of this expenditure in terms of electricity generated and CO2 emissions avoided. 
Malcolm Wicks: Since 2002 the Clear Skies programme has provided support for the installation of a range of renewable technologies including micro wind turbines from 0.5kWp to 25 kWp. The Clear Skies programme approved 208 domestic projects with grant commitment of £866,500. 205 installations have currently been completed (with a total installed capacity of 1,363 kWp), and the total grant spend to date is £851,500.
The Low Carbon Buildings programme continues to support the installation of domestic wind turbines. Since April 2006, 1,495 applications have been approved
(total capacity of 2,923 kWp) and the total grant commitment is £1,736,723. 94 projects have currently been completed (total installed capacity of 477 kWp) and the total grant paid is £243,673.
The amount of energy produced and carbon saved by installed micro wind turbines will depend on several factors including size, and type of system (building-mounted or pole mounted), location, wind speed, nearby buildings and the local landscape. At the moment there are insufficient data from the existing micro wind installations to provide accurate information on energy yield and carbon savings. In a previous written reply of 31 January 2007, Official Report, column 318W, I explained that micro wind field trials are about to start and that these trials should provide useful data on the performance of micro wind installations.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps are being taken to encourage councils to provide more cultural services. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has helped to develop a cultural services assessment as part of the Audit Commissions comprehensive performance assessment of English local authorities.
In addition, DCMS is engaged in a three-year programme, in partnership with the Improvement and Development Agency and national cultural agencies, to develop a self-improvement strategy for local authority cultural services.
However, the extent of local cultural service provision is a matter for local authorities to decide.
The Local Government White Paper: Strong and prosperous communities proposed a new performance framework for local government which included introducing a set of up to 200 national indicators related to the Governments priority outcomes for local areas.
These priority outcomes will be defined through the current Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).
As part of the CSR, DCMS is working to ensure that the new set of national indicators will contain an appropriate focus on local governments role in relation to national priorities on culture.
Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the free digital box for those who qualify for it has (a) a return path and (b) an IPTV slot. 
Mr. Woodward [holding answer 2 March 2007]: The Consumer Receiver Requirements (CRR) were drawn up to make sure equipment provided as part of the help scheme would be easy to set up and use. As such they do not allow for internet access.
However, the scheme will allow participants a degree of choice, including a broadband TV option. The scheme will make a contribution to the additional costs for this option.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the number of households which will qualify for assistance in switching over to digital television in (a) Leicestershire, (b) Warwickshire and (c) Northamptonshire, broken down by parliamentary constituency. 
Mr. Woodward: The information requested is as follows.
|Constituency||Households (defined as eligible benefit units)|
1. Totals for constituencies rounded to the nearest thousand.
2. Eligibility for help from the Digital Switchover Help Scheme will be by benefit unit rather than the whole household definition used by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Office to forecast future household growth.
3. The definition of a benefit unit is a couple and any dependent children. It excludes adults deemed to be non-dependents who, if eligible, will be able to claim assistance from the help scheme in their own right.
Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what criteria are used when deciding the suitability of sponsors for the 2012 London Olympic Games. 
Tessa Jowell: The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is currently in discussions about sponsorship with companies from seven sectors. These sectors are banking and insurance, utilities (electricity and natural gas), automotive, telecommunications, airlines, and sportswear.
To assess the proposals, LOCOG will consider the overall value of the offer, including value in kind that the company can provide. In addition, they will also
consider: how the company aligns with Olympic values; how the company aligns with the values of the London 2012 Games; and, how the company intends to activate its sponsorship rights.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions her Department has had about projects in the Leicester area linked to the Olympic Games. 
Mr. Caborn: My Department has not has not been involved in discussions about specific projects in the Leicester area linked to the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
However, the Government are committed to ensuring that people across the UK can benefit from, and participate in, the 2012 Games. We are working closely with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the Nations and Regions Group (NRG), chaired by Charles Allen, which brings together representatives from every nation and region. each nation and region is finalising its plans to maximise the impact of the games in that area, as well as the wider opportunities to deliver a sustainable legacy from the games.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what opportunities there are for businesses in (a) Leicester and (b) the East Midlands region to exploit the commercial opportunities of the 2012 Olympic Games. 
Mr. Caborn: Companies, large and small, in a range of sectors from construction to business services will be needed to deliver the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, creating valuable procurement opportunities across the UK. The London 2012 website (www. london2012.org/en/gettinginvolved/Business/) contains the most up-to-date information about business opportunities, including a new e-tendering facility, advance notice of contracts ahead of tender competitions, and information about past and upcoming business events. The website also allows businesses to register their interest in being a supplier to the Games and sign up to receive e-alerts. 467 businesses from the East Midlands have already signed up for this service.
Working with London 2012, the London Business Board and other agencies, the East Midlands Development Agency (emda) has played a leading role in the development of the national Business Opportunities Network. The Network will be launched soon and will build upon existing information on the London 2012 website about business opportunities and timelines.
Businesses in the region will also stand to benefit from the work of the East Midlands Group for the 2012 Games chaired by emda. It will target business opportunities for the region and deliver a business support programme. A regional business opportunities group has also been established to help the region understand how local businesses want to engage with, and contribute to, the Games. It is chaired by one of Leicesters leading lawyers
and comprises representatives from business organisations, the construction sector and the Learning and Skills Council.
Working below the regional level, each county in the region has set up its own steering group. Leicestershires is chaired by the chief executive of the local sub-regional partnership (Leicestershire Economic Partnership) and comprises representatives from across all sectors.
Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made on the effectiveness of the Africa standby force; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: Progress towards the establishment of the Africa Standby Force (ASF) is reasonably good, though sustained effort and commitment will be necessary, including by African Union (AU) member states, to ensure that the AU is able to meet its current target of having a fully capable, three brigade ASF in place by 2010.
DFID is working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, through the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool, to provide technical and other assistance to the AU and troop contributing countries in Africa to help achieve this aim.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the prospects for lasting peace and security in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
Hilary Benn: The successful elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2006 were a major step forward in securing lasting peace in the DRC. The people of the DRC have a democratically elected President, parliament and provincial assemblies for the first time since 1960. However, the elections are only the first step towards peace and the DRC Government, with co-ordinated support from international partners, will need to tackle several priority issues to maintain the political settlement achieved through the elections and consolidate peace and security:
Reform of the army, police and justice system, to ensure they provide security for DRCs citizens and legal and peaceful means of addressing grievances and resolving disputes;
Ensuring the new democratic system is as inclusive as possible so that all groups feel their voices are heard and that the Government are accountable; and
Ensuring that the Government delivers early and tangible benefits to DRCs population.
I believe that now is a time for cautious optimism for the DRC. Success or failure at sustaining peace ultimately depends on the choice of DRCs politicians, however, the international community can continue to provide vital political, technical and financial support to help increase the chances of success. DFID
has rapidly increased its support to the DRC, from £5.56 million in 2001-02 to £67 million available this year.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much UK aid was given to the Democratic Republic of Congo in each of the last six years; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: Since 2000, DFID bilateral aid to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been as follows:
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