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I said that I would update the House on costs as soon as we reached financial close with Kier Group and that is what I am now doing. On December 14 2004, Official Report, House of Lords, column 117WS, volume 428, I announced that the cost of running the Supreme Court would be approximately £8.4 million per annum at 2004-05 prices. This would be the equivalent of £10.4 million at 2010-2011 prices, the first full year of the Supreme Court's operations. We have refined these estimates based on our developing understanding of the building design and business requirements. Our estimate of the running costs is £12.3 million per annum at 2010-11 prices and is set out in the table.
|Running Costs||WMS2004||WMS 2004inflated*||WMS 2007||Increase (Cost growth)|
|* Assumes inflation rate of 3.5 per cent. per annum to first full year of operation - i.e. 2010-11|
The Middlesex Guildhall project will be carried out using a lease and lease-back arrangement where the capital construction costs will be met over a 30-year period. Having reached financial close we can announce the real cost in terms of an annual rental figure. The annual rent to be paid by Ministry of Justice to Kier will be £2.1 million per annum, increasing at a rate of 2.5 per cent. per annum, for a period of 30 years from completion of the works and is included in the Building Costs above. This is less than the comparative figure included in the Building Cost (£3.8 million in table above) quoted in my statement of December 2004.
In December 2004, we estimated the capital construction costs to renovate the Guildhall as approximately £30 million (£36.9 million when inflated). This previous figure was established on the basis of a traditional procurement and included VAT. On a like-for-like basis the capital construction costs of the renovation are now expected to be £36.7 million This is within the costs announced in that statement. As I pointed out in my written ministerial statement of October 2006, this figure did not include Ministry of Justice professional adviser fees and the non-capital element of the fit out costs including loose furniture, IT services and library books. These set-up costs related to the Middlesex Guildhall are expected to be an additional £14.3 million. The Ministry of Justice programme team will cost a further £5.9 million over the five years of the programme.
Significant progress has also been made since my last statement to ensure that there is minimal impact on the London criminal justice system following the closure of the seven Crown courtrooms at Middlesex Guildhall on 30 March
2007. The number of Crown Court sitting days in London has not been affected by the closure and work undertaken by the courts is now allocated to nearby court centres. In December 2006, following a successful appeal, the Department obtained planning consent for the construction of additional courtrooms at the Isleworth Crown Court Centre. The additional courtrooms will replace the loss in overall capacity by the closure of the Middlesex Guildhall. We are currently in commercial negotiations with Geoffrey Osborne (Building) over the plans and costs for the development at Isleworth. Our current plans are to commence construction in summer 2007 and open the new courts in the spring of 2009.
The Minister for the Cabinet Office (Hilary Armstrong): I am today launching a review of Government consultation policy. The centrepiece of the review is the paper, published today, entitled Effective Consultation: Asking the Right Questions, Asking the Right People, Listening to the Answers.
Consultation helps public bodies make better-informed decisions on matters of policy and helps them improve public-service delivery. Consultation also helps improve the accountability of these bodies to the public, to business and to civil society. Government are most credible when they listen, and show that they are listening, to the customers of public services, the countrys experts, businesses, charities and NGOs and those who are most directly affected by the Governments actions.
The code of practice on consultation has been in place since 2001 and has spread best practice across Government, facilitating effective stakeholder engagement in relation to formal, written consultations. The Effective Consultation paper looks to the future of Government consultation policy, asking how Departments can improve their approach to consultation.
The paper can be viewed at: www.consultations.gov.uk
The Minister for Industry and the Regions (Margaret Hodge): I have decided to reappoint Bryan Jackson as chair of the East Midlands Development Agency for a further three years. The reappointment will begin on 14 December 2007 and will expire on 13 December 2010. I have placed further details of this reappointment in the Library of both Houses. This reappointment was made in accordance with the code of practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.
He retired from the position of managing director of Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd. in 2004, after 14 years, having spent the previous 23 years with Ford Motor Company. During his career, he has worked in many disciplines holding senior positions and managing several different plants in the UK and Europe covering the full range of vehicle manufacturing.
He was chairman of the East Midlands Regional Council of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in 2000-02 and he is active in the field of economic development and education, both locally and nationally.
He is currently an adviser to Toyota Motor Europe, as well as chairman of Total Motivation, a company specialising in efficiency and personal development and Deputy Chairman of Unipart Manufacturing Group.
The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Douglas Alexander): In my statement of 20 July 2006, Official Report, column 56-57WS I announced that the Government had accepted the broad thrust of the independent review of Airport Policing by Stephen Boys Smith and outlined some of the reports key recommendations. I also made a commitment to make a further statement in due course about progress.
The reports recommendations focused on how police and the aviation industrys security activities could be better harmonised to improve effectiveness and efficiency. In particular, how to achieve an appropriate balance between the various stakeholders for delivering all aspects of security at airports was considered. The Government fully accept that any policing element of airport security should be transparent and understood as part of a wider package of security measures at airports.
We have welcomed stakeholders general support of the reports diagnosis and their endorsement of its conclusions about the need to define agency accountability; to enhance liaison between stakeholders at all levels; and to further develop the Multi-Agency Threat and Risk Assessment (MATRA) approach that is already in place at airports. All stakeholders recognise the fundamental need for clarity, transparency and agreement of their roles and responsibilities in the complete security package at airports. There has also been wide support for the conclusion that the system of designation be discontinued.
However, the Government do not underestimate concerns about the detail of possible solutions, in
particular the identification and calculation of any policing costs to be borne by the industry; the ability of industry to recover agreed costs from passengers; and the affordability of those costs.
Since the report was concluded, constructive dialogue has been ongoing between national representatives of industry, the police and police authorities and Government. A shared security vision for UK airports has been agreed along with the principles to be used to develop the airport security plans to achieve that vision. We welcome the greater mutual awareness, trust and commitment demonstrated by all stakeholders.
First, MATRA remains strongly recommended best practice for all airports. We maintain that such joint agency consideration of threat and risk should be the cornerstone for current and future security activity at airports. BAA and the Metropolitan Police Authority are working together at Heathrow Airport to enhance their MATRA and to develop a shared multi-agency airport security plan. More generally for all airports, work is already underway to deliver national threat assessments to airports so that all suitably security cleared MATRA members can evaluate the security situation from the same knowledge basis. It is acknowledged by all stakeholders that an enhanced MATRA process may identify improved options for tackling particular security issues. Some of these may need to be delivered by the police but it is recognised that a dedicated and permanent police presence may not be required at some airports.
Secondly, existing legislation is being reviewed to clarify the current responsibilities of stakeholders for security at airports to assist in resolving areas of disagreement. We are taking that work forward as quickly as possible with the agencies concerned.
Separately, complementary legislation has been introduced requiring aerodrome managers and police at designated airports to agree necessary dedicated policing resources and to clarify what the cost to the aerodrome manager should be. This is then set out in a Police Services Agreement (PSA). Some airports already have, or have had, service level agreements in place and it may be deemed by the parties to them that they remain fit for purpose and contain the requisite information to comply with the Civil Aviation Act 2006.
All this work is being drawn together to clarify the security responsibilities of all stakeholders at all airports and create the clear and transparent funding process recommended by the review. No legislative changes can be made until that work is complete but we are working to identify a suitable parliamentary opportunity for this.
Although the review did not focus on airport security, it was an examination of a key element in the protection of our airports against a range of threats. It is naturally not a report for public disclosure, however I will make another statement providing further updates in due course.
In December the Government published their Command Paper Personal Accounts: A New Way to Save. During the 15-week consultation period that followed, we received 82 responses from the pensions industry, stakeholders and the public. Our consultation response that we have published today shows that while there is a range of opinion on some of the details, there is also a clear consensus around the aims and core structure of personal accounts.
Personal Accounts will provide a huge boost to retirement saving in the UK; helping the 7 million people who are currently not saving enough for their retirement and generating £4 billion to £5 billion of new saving.
Members interests will be at the heart of Personal Accounts. The scheme will be managed by a board of trustees and we announce today that there will be an influential members panel which will be able to nominate one third of the trustees.
Personal Accounts will also be designed to meet the needs of a specific target group, people on moderate to low incomes without access to a workplace pension.
They will complement rather than compete with existing provision. In setting the level of the contribution cap we have sought to find the right balance between giving the individual sufficient flexibility to save while protecting existing good pension provision. We announce today that the annual contribution limit will be £3,600 in 2005 earnings.
The Work and Pensions Select Committee published its report on Personal Accounts in March this year. I am today publishing the Governments response to the conclusions and recommendations of that report. I am grateful to the Committee for its work and analysis. We agree with the Committees comment that achieving a low level of charges and maximising simplicity are particularly important aspects of Personal Accounts.
We have designed the objectives for the Personal Accounts delivery authority and scheme trustees to ensure that this can be achieved. The trustees of the scheme will be required to act in the best interests of members and the delivery authority will be tasked with delivering a scheme that will meet members needs with low charges, appropriate investment choices and a panel for future members.
We believe that our proposals in response to the consultation and the Committees recommendations strike the right balance between providing clarity for industry and employers while giving the delivery authority the flexibility it needs to implement the programme of reform.