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5 Jun 2007 : Column 336W—continued

Energy Technologies Institute: Wales

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many bids from Welsh research bodies or consortiums were made to host the Energy Technologies Institute; and what criteria were adopted in choosing the five short-listed bids. [138406]

Malcolm Wicks: One bid to host the Energy Technologies Institute was received from Wales. This was from the Welsh Energy Research Centre, an independent all-Wales collaborative body formed by research groups from the universities of Cardiff, Swansea, Glamorgan and Bangor, and from the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research. This bid was not shortlisted.

The key selection criteria used to identify the five short listed bids were:

Reputation and Culture

Space, Facilities and Location

Commitment to ETI

Low Carbon Buildings Programme

Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment his Department has made of the impact of recent changes in solar
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photovoltaics grant levels under the low carbon buildings programme on household demand for the technology. [136986]

Mr. Darling: The changes we have made to the programme will allow us to use funds available in a more flexible way, supporting an increased number of microgeneration installations across all technologies, which is a fundamental aim of a demonstration programme such as this.

Marketing: Trade

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what guidance he has provided for regional development agencies (RDAs) on international marketing strategy; and by what criteria he measures the effectiveness of strategies adopted by RDAs. [138754]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 22 May 2007]: Each RDA is responsible for developing and delivering its own international marketing strategy. UK Trade and Investment works closely with RDAs to strengthen their marketing strategies through operational support overseas and collaborative promotion of the UK economy as a whole. There is no formal guidance or measurement for this activity.

Minimum Wage: Enforcement

Jon Cruddas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many employers were fined for underpayment of the national minimum wage in each year since 1999. [139477]

Mr. Timms: I have been asked to reply.

To date no employers have been fined for underpaying the minimum wage. In January 2007 the DTI published the NMW penalty notice policy. In line with this, since February 2007 Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has been issuing penalty notices for those who fail to comply with an enforcement notice. In May 2007 the DTI published a consultation document to explore options for issuing penalties in all cases where arrears are due and for awarding fair arrears to workers.

Jon Cruddas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what monitoring processes his Department has in place to detect employers claiming excessive deductions from minimum wage payments for accommodation costs. [139479]

Mr. Timms: I have been asked to reply.

HMRC operates a national minimum wage helpline, which any worker or third party can call to register a complaint about possible non-payment of the minimum wage. Complaints about non-payment of minimum wage can also be made via the HMRC website. HMRC also has a risk assessment programme to identify employers and sectors at risk of breaching the minimum wage rules, including those at risk of claiming excessive deductions for accommodation costs.

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Public Buildings: Energy

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will discuss with ministerial colleagues the proposition that all Government Departments, local government and public sector organisations should be instructed that it is a requirement (a) that all new public buildings should install low carbon electricity and heat generators powered by natural elements and (b) that they be encouraged to do the same for existing buildings. [140073]

Angela E. Smith: I have been asked to reply.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is already working with other Departments to determine how to improve the overall energy efficiency of both new and existing non-domestic buildings, including those owned or occupied by the public sector. An integral part of the work looking at how low and zero carbon technologies can contribute to this improvement.

Additionally, the UK Government sustainable procurement action plan, which was published on the 5 March 2007, sets out detailed plans about how the Government will move towards a sustainably built and managed central Government estate. This includes using sustainable procurement to make rapid progress against the cross-Government sustainable operations targets announced in June 2006.

Rover Group: Subsidies

Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much and what proportion of the own resources of (a) Advantage West Midlands and (b) English Partnerships has been spent since establishment, excluding private sector leverage and European Union funding resources directly allocated by Government to deal with the MG Rover situation, on projects located within the administrative boundaries of Birmingham city council. [138072]

Margaret Hodge: Excluding private sector-leverage and European Union funding directly allocated by Government for MG Rover, Advantage West Midlands and English Partnerships have spent the following amounts on projects located within the administrative boundaries of Birmingham city council.

Advantage West Midlands from 1999-2000 to present date
Amount spent ( £000 ) Percentage of annual spend

























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English Partnerships— spend in 2004-05 and 2005-06 only( 1)
Amount spent (£000) Percentage of total budget







(1) EP spend pre-1999 has not been provided due to the disproportionate costs of retrieving the information.
(2) 0.5 per cent. of this (£2,752,925) was refunded by AWM in 2006-07 which meant HP's actual expenditure was 0.1 per cent. (£53,970)
Further expenditure was incurred during 2006-07 but cannot be reported until year end accounts are completed.

House of Commons Commission

Departments: Property

Grant Shapps: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, how much was raised from the sale of property by the House in each of the last five years. [139311]

Nick Harvey: No land or buildings have been sold during the last five years.

Grant Shapps: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, (1) what properties the Commission (a) owned and (b) rented in each of the last five years; [139353]

(2) what recent estimate has been made of the value of the (a) Commons part of the Palace of Westminster and (b) other parts of the parliamentary estate that fall under the responsibility of the Commission; [139375]

(3) what the cost to the Commission of leasing buildings and office space was in each of the last five years. [139470]

Nick Harvey: Title to the freehold of the Palace of Westminster is held by the Sovereign. Title to the remaining freehold property on the House of Commons part of the parliamentary estate is held by the Corporate Officer of the House of Commons. This includes the following land and buildings:

The House has long-term leases on both 22 John Islip street and 102 Rochester Row, and the buildings at 7 Millbank and 2 The Abbey Garden are rented. During the last five years parts of 4 Millbank have also been rented for short periods to provide decant facilities during the refurbishment of buildings within the parliamentary estate.

At 31 March 2007 the value of the Commons share of the Palace of Westminster was £716,742,302 and other freehold and long-term leased property on the parliamentary estate totalled £393,716,798. Further details about the parliamentary estate are published
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in the House of Commons Administration Resource Accounts 2005/6 (HC1453).

The rents incurred on leased buildings were:












These figures include both rent and landlord service charges where appropriate.

Food: Wastes

Mrs. Moon: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what estimate has been made of the volume of food waste generated by the food outlets on the Commons parliamentary estate in each of the last three years; what steps have been taken to minimise this output and deal with the remainder in an environmentally appropriate manner; and if he will make a statement. [139764]

Nick Harvey: Food waste is not recorded or monitored separately from other general waste, except used cooking oil. The quantities of cooking oil collected in the last three years are as follows:








This used cooking oil is sent to a processing plant which converts it to biodiesel fuel.

Following a joint meeting between officials and the House's waste management contractor in December 2006, it was concluded that an insufficient quantity of suitable waste is produced on the parliamentary estate for it to be economic or practicable to collect separately food waste for composting. Only a small amount of raw food waste suitable for composting is produced, as most fresh fruit and vegetables purchased by the Refreshment Department are pre-prepared off-site.

Food waste is disposed of within the general waste stream; this is collected and sent for incineration, which is harnessed for electricity generation.

The potential for schemes such as composting and the generation of methane from biodegradable waste will continue to be reviewed on a regular basis and we have set ourselves challenging targets taking account of such future developments in recycling.

The House has set a target of 44 per cent. for recycling of waste in 2007-08, and the current policy for waste recycling is to increase this target by 5 per cent. per year.

Palace of Westminster: Security

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether Ministers attending the House
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for Question Time or other Parliamentary business should wear their security passes in a visible position at all times. [138047]

Nick Harvey: In his statement of 11 September 2003, Mr. Speaker said that although he recognised that it was impractical for Members to wear their passes at all times, it was essential for them to carry their passes and to co-operate with the security staff if they are asked to produce them. Members are advised not to wear passes in the Chamber to avoid them being shown on television. Members should avoid wearing passes away from the parliamentary estate. No distinction is made between Ministers and other Members.

Work and Pensions

Absent Parents

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what definition his Department uses for absent fathers; and how many and what proportion of British men fit this definition, broken down by age group. [137526]

Mr. Plaskitt: Following the introduction of the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000, the Department has ceased to use the term ‘absent parent’, using the more appropriate term, ‘non-resident parent’ in its place.

However section 3(2) of the Child Support Act 1991 defines a parent of a child as an ‘absent parent’ if

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