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Information and Communications Technology;
Following a review last year, the Task Force is now focusing on sustainability issues, including climate
change, and how our strong trade and investment links with the Chinese could promote the development of sustainable cities.
19. Mr. Bone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on the minimum number of post offices necessary to fulfil the Governments new access criteria. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: The House will be aware that the consultation period on the future of the post office network finishes tomorrow. I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues on a wide range of issues. I also chair the Cabinet Committee on the future of the post office network. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry will take full account of the consultation responses and then present his proposals to the Committee, for collective agreement. The Government will then make clear their final proposals in due course.
(2) pursuant to section 14.E of the model contract for political advisers, if he will place in the Library a copy of the relevant section of the staff handbook guide on severance pay for Downing street political advisers. 
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Prime Minister what the place of residence at the time of elevation was of each peer created since 24 March 2005, broken down by (a) nation within the UK and (b) region of England for peers resident in England at the time of elevation. 
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The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 5 March 2007, Official Report, column 1668W to the hon. Members for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Davies), North-East Hertfordshire (Mr. Heald) and Bexleyheath and Crayford (Mr. Evennett).
Mr. Woolas: In March 2006, we announced six beacons from the West Midlands that have been disseminating excellence and good practice in their theme to other local authorities across the region and nationally.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 24 January 2007, Official Report, column 1894W, on EU Directive 2002/91/EC, whether her Department holds a copy of a European (a) Commission and (b) Parliament Impact Assessment. 
Ruth Kelly: A summary of the overall benefits expected to arise from member states implementation of EU Directive 2002/91/EC was published by the European Commission in April 2003. We are not aware that the European Commission or European Parliament has published any further impact assessments.
We have already published our own Regulatory Impact Assessment for implementing the technical parts of this directive in the April 2006 amendment of the building regulations and will be publishing an impact assessment for the remaining parts of the directive in due course.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking to close the gap between the highest and lowest performing councils. 
Mr. Woolas: The responsibility for improving council performance rests primarily with local authorities themselves, with the wider local government sector playing an important role in providing support and challenge to drive better performance. Performance levels are continuing to improve, prompted by CPA and supported by the joint capacity building programme we have established with the LGA. The White Paper Strong and Prosperous Communities set out our proposals for a new performance framework for local government, which will support continued improvement for all. In addition, we are working with local government to develop a national improvement strategy which will help to focus improvement and capacity building support where it is most needed.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate her Department has made of the number of councils in (a) London and (b) other areas of the country which are improving (i) strongly and (ii) well. 
Mr. Woolas: Assessment of council performance is carried out by the Audit Commission. The Commissions report CPA The Harder Test: Scores and analysis in single tier and county councils was published on 22 February. The report includes comparisons by region of Comprehensive Performance Assessment direction of travel judgements.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what strategy she has put in place for (a) the use of renewable energy and (b) meeting energy targets in her Departments buildings; and if she will make a statement. 
Vera Baird: My Department currently sources 13 per cent. of its electricity from renewable sources and this figure is set to rise as part of the strategy to move all sites on to the Office of Government Commerce by solutions (OGCbs) energy provision framework contract.
The strategy to increase energy efficiency by 15 per cent. per m(2) by 2010 and 30 per cent. by 2020 relative to 1999-2000 levels includes energy surveys of buildings, introduction of low-cost and no-cost measures and training staff in good energy housekeeping measures. Work to re-baseline the Departments 1999-2000 levels is to be undertaken following the take-up of non-central Government sites in March 2005.
Damian Green: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many people were convicted for being on the electoral register when not entitled to vote in each of the last five years. 
Bridget Prentice: The Electoral Administration 2006 created a new offence of providing an electoral registration officer with false or incorrect information. This provision came into force in September 2006 and to date, I know of no convictions under it.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the potential effect of individual electoral
registration on the ability of the CORE keeper to detect potential fraud. 
Bridget Prentice: Under current policy proposals the CORE information system will be able to assist in the detection of potential instances of absent voter fraud which will be the responsibility of the respective ERO to investigate. It is not expected that a system of individual registration would strongly impact on the ability of the CORE keeper to detect potential fraud.
(2) why the right hon. Member for Leicester, East was informed by her Department that responsibilities for the appointment of Lords Lieutenant has been passed to the Office of the Prime Minister. 
Ms Harman: The Department does not hold records of all Deputy Lords Lieutenant appointed since 1997. I will however, obtain a list of all Deputy Lords Lieutenant in post and write to the hon. Member with the information and copies will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Ms Harman: Up until 1 April 2005 magistrates courts were the responsibility of locally managed magistrates courts committees who were not required by statute to inform the Department of any magistrates court closures unless they were subject to an appeal under Section 56 (3) of the Justices of the Peace Act 1997 (now repealed).
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what arrangements her Department has in place for members of the public publicly to register the existence of a (a) will and (b) living will. 
Ms Harman: There are no arrangements in England and Wales for a public register of wills of living persons. There are facilities under section 126 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 for a person to lodge his or her will at the Principal Registry of the Family Division for safe keeping during his or her lifetime but these records are not available to the public. A will only becomes a public record after the person who made it has died and the court has made a grant of probate in respect of it.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 includes provision for the making of binding advance decisions. The Act applies to England and Wales only. There is no provision for the registration of advance decisions.
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