Mr. Straw: Under Standing Order No. 118, all affirmative statutory instruments (other than those referred to the Scottish or Northern Ireland Grand Committees) automatically stand referred to a delegated legislation Committee. However, notice may be given of a motion in the name of a Minister of the Crown under sub-paragraph (3)(a) that an instrument shall not stand so referred, in which case it is taken on the Floor of the House. Negative instruments may be taken in a delegated legislation Committee under paragraph (4).
21. Ben Chapman: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what recent discussions the Church Commissioners have held with the Department of Trade and Industry on the work of the Clergy Working Group. 
Sir Stuart Bell: The Clergy Working Group (on which the Church of England was represented) produced a statement of good practice setting out minimum standards for the terms and conditions of service of ministers of religion. The Church of England has committed itself to these principles and General Synod has drafted legislation which has been sent to DTI officials, with whom we regularly communicate.
27. Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what guidelines the Commissioners have issued on the question of discrimination against employees on the grounds of sexual orientation. 
Sir Stuart Bell: In November 2003 the Archbishops Council issued general advice to dioceses and parishes on the effect of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003.
26. Mr. Hollobone: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what recent discussions the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission has had on the effectiveness of the Electoral Commission. 
Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission is an independent public body. The Speaker's Committee has a statutory obligation to ensure that any estimate of the income and expenditure of the Commission and accompanying five-year plan which it lays before the House is consistent with the economical, efficient and effective discharge by the Commission of its functions. The Committee discussed the Commission's Estimate for 2007-08 and its five-year plan for 2007-08 to 2011-12 on 21 March and these will be laid before the House shortly. Outside that framework, there is no specific requirement for the Speaker's Committee to discuss the effectiveness of the Commission.
Justine Greening: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) how many people in his Department and its predecessor participated in (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in each year since 1997-98; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how many people in his Department and its predecessor who participated in (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in each year since 1997-98 were paid between (i) £0 to £25,000, (ii) £25,001 to £50,000, (iii) £50,001 to £75,000, (iv) £75,001 to £100,000 and (v) over £100,000; and if he will make a statement. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: Special advisers may attend conference as permitted in their terms of appointment. No permanent civil servants in my Office have attended conference in their official capacity or been given permission to do so in 2007.
The Deputy Prime Minister: I meet regularly with ministerial colleagues to discuss a range of issues. As the hon. Member will be aware, I also chair the Cabinet Committee on the Future of the Post Office Network.
Hilary Armstrong: The requirement to maintain civil servants' impartiality is set out in the Civil Service Code, the Ministerial Code and the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers. Copies of these documents are available in the Library for the reference of Members.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2007, Official Report, column 823W, on the Policy Review, what the cost has been of the IPSOS-MORI contract. 
Mr. Hain: Revaluation was undertaken by the Valuation Office Agency and costs were met by the Agency out of the funding it receives from the Welsh Assembly Government. The total costs up to 31 March 2005 of delivering the revaluation were £5.198 million.
Mr. Hain: The key aim of council tax revaluation and re-banding was not to increase the yield but to redistribute the council tax more fairly across the population of Wales, on the basis of more up-to-date property values.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many and what proportion of properties in Wales moved from bands (a) A, (b) B, (c) C, (d) D, (e) E, (f) F, (g) G and (h) H to each other band in the Welsh Council Tax revaluation. 
At a revaluation, bands are reviewed according to the physical characteristics of the dwelling when the list comes into effect (1 April 2005 in Wales). Therefore, some of the increases in banding will be as a result of physical changes that could not have been taken into account during the life of the 1993 lists because there had been no change of ownership since their completion.
|Revised A Bandings||Revised B Bandings||Revised C Bandings||Revised D Bandings||Revised E Bandings||Revised F Bandings||Revised G Bandings||Revised H Bandings|
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what guidance the Department has issued to local authorities in relation to their certification of bailiffs on debt enforcement involving the disabled or vulnerable. 
Ms Harman: My Department worked closely with creditors and the enforcement profession to produce and issue the national standards for enforcement agents, available from the DCA website. The standards are a best practice guide intended for use by all enforcement agents, public and private, the enforcement agencies that employ them and the major creditors who use them. The standards have been widely endorsed by the trade associations representing bailiffs and advise that discretion should be used when dealing with those who might be potentially vulnerable, including the elderly, people with a disability and single parent families.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of (a) certificated bailiffs, (b) uncertificated bailiffs and (c) bailiffs doing work requiring certification who do not hold current certification. 
Ms Harman: The regulatory impact assessment for the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill published on 30 January 2007 estimates that there are 1,200 uncertificated bailiffs. As at 30 March 2007 the Register of Certificated Bailiffs maintained by HMCS currently lists 1,482 certificated bailiffs. There should be no bailiffs doing work requiring certification who do not hold a current certificate.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the procedure is for complaining about the activity of (a) an uncertificated and (b) a certificated bailiff. 
Ms Harman: Complaints made against bailiffs, be they certificated or non-certificated, can be made by telephone or writing to the firm that the bailiff works for, the organisation who employed the bailiff to act on their behalf or the magistrates court that issued the enforcement order. Complaints against certificated bailiffs can also be made to the court that granted certification to the bailiff and to the Enforcement Officers Association, or the Association of Civil Enforcement Agencies, which are responsible for promoting higher standards within the profession. HMCS leaflet EX345 details the procedure for complaints about bailiffs and recommends seeking legal advice before starting this process.
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