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Mr. Paul Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will hold discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the use of private finance initiatives in UK Government-sponsored projects in Wales. 
In assessing where PFI is appropriate, the Governments approach is based on its commitment to efficiency, equity and accountability and the principles of public sector reform. PFI is only used where it can meet these requirements and deliver clear value for money without sacrificing the terms and conditions of staff.
Where these conditions are met, PFI delivers a number of important benefits. By requiring the private sector to put its own capital at risk and to deliver clear levels of service to the public over the long-term, PFI helps to deliver high quality public services and ensure that public assets are delivered on time and to budget.
Mr. Paul Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the (a) advantages and (b) disadvantages of tidal power generation in the Severn Estuary; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hain: The Governments energy strategy outlined in our Energy White Paper (EWP) demonstrates that we firmly believe it is vital that we keep all our options open, including the various opportunities and technologies that tidal power has to offer us.
Wales is supremely well placed to harness the benefits of tidal and wave power because we have such an extensive coastline. However, we are some way off from drawing final conclusions. That is why the Government are working with the Welsh Assembly Government, the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), the South West Regional Development Agency and other key interested parties to look strategically at the tidal resource in the UK.
As our EWP states, the SDC launched a study, the purpose of which is to consider whether the impact of climate change justifies the potential costs and benefits
of all tidal technologies including the barrage and tidal lagoons, and their public acceptability. The SDC aims to publish the report this towards the end of the summer.
The work that the SDC is undertaking will not be the only study on tidal technologies. Further detailed studies will need to be conducted, and that these will also include for example, assessments on the environmental impact and the EU Birds and Habitats Directive. So the SDC study will by no means be the last word, but a progressive next step.
It is vital that we consider all options if we are to respond to the twin challenges of climate change and security of supply. Tidal technology has an important role to play in meeting these challenges.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much was spent on the (a) Casino Advisory Panel, (b) casinos impact scoping study and (c) development of the (i) Gambling (Inviting Competing Applications for Casino Premises Licences) Regulations 2007 and (ii) Gambling (Categories of Casino) Regulations 2006. 
The Gambling (Inviting Competing Applications for Casino Premises Licences) Regulations 2007 and Gambling (Categories of Casinos) Regulations 2006 were prepared by officials and lawyers working for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. No external costs were incurred in the development of these regulations.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 14 June 2007, Official Report, column 1178W, on the Olympic Games, on what date KPMG stopped providing ongoing advice on the cost of the Olympics. 
KPMG were contracted to provide advice to the Department until July 2006. Following that KPMG have been contracted by the Olympic Delivery Authority to provide ongoing assistance in compiling their cost estimates.
James Purnell: The Government have no role in the building or improvement of local radio infrastructure. Ofcom has responsibility for spectrum planning issues, while broadcasters themselves are responsible for transmission matters, including the building and maintaining of transmitters.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to require the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission to apply to a court before (a) confiscating a driving licence and (b) removing a passport; what the reasons are for the proposed element of judicial involvement in each case; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: As is currently the case with the Child Support Agency, the Commission will need to apply to the court to seek an order disqualifying the non-resident parent for holding or obtaining a driving licence.
The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill does however make provision for the Commission to administratively disqualify the non-resident parent for holding or obtaining travel authorisation. The disqualification would though be suspended, pending a court hearing, in the event that the non-resident parent lodged an appeal against the decision within 28 days of receiving the notification.
The loss of a driving licence has the potential to have an immediate and serious impact on the non-resident parents day to day life, as well as implications for othersbecause people driving while disqualified are also uninsured. We have therefore decided that this decision should remain with the court. By contrast, most people require passports on relatively few occasions during the year, such as when taking foreign holidays.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many officials in his Department are (a) involved in assisting European Council negotiations, (b) involved in assisting and advising the European Commission, (c) seconded to the European Commission, (d) involved in monitoring EU decisions, communications, regulations and directives, (e) involved in enforcing compliance with EU decisions, communications, regulations and directives and (f) involved in other work related to the European Council, Commission or Court of Justice. 
Officials throughout the Department for Work and Pensions are involved in a full range of EU business. Those working specifically on the activities listed total: 16 in the International Employment and Social Policy Division; four in the Private Pensions Policy and Regulation Division; two in the Family, Poverty and Work Division; nine in the Law, Governance and Special Policy Group; eight in
European Social Fund Division; and 25 in Jobcentre Plus, supporting EU labour market mobility. The Department has two officials seconded to the European Commission, but a complete breakdown of the figures as requested would incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people (a) died and (b) were injured as a result of accidents on and around (i) local authority and (ii) privately owned beaches in each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions she has had with (a) local authorities, (b) the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and (c) other interested parties on (i) responsibility and (ii) facilities for beach safety; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: The provision of information and practical beach safety measures is at the discretion of beach owners, including local authorities. Awareness of these issues is high among coastal authorities and many undertake these activities as part of their strategy to support and encourage tourism.
In February 2007, following discussions between the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the Local Government Association Coastal Special Interest Group and the Department, the group wrote to all coastal local authorities in England, recommending to those with specific responsibilities for managing beaches, the offer by the RNLI to provide local authorities with a risk assessment service at no cost.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what arrangements her Department had in place to monitor the Bedfordshire Citizen Service Partnership; and what information her Department holds on arrangements for oversight and scrutiny of the partnership put in place by Bedfordshire county council. 
Bedfordshire county council was responsible for putting in place arrangements to monitor progress on the project. The Department requested quarterly progress reports and a final implementation report from the lead authority. Progress reports from the Citizen Service Partnership indicate that a Joint
Committee was established, made up of one nominated member from Bedfordshire county council, Luton council, Mid-Bedfordshire district council and South Bedfordshire district council. The responsibility of the Joint Committee was to facilitate all the functions in relation to the electronic delivery of services on behalf of the authorities. It met quarterly.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to increase black and minority ethnic engagement and participation in rural community life in south-west England; and what discussions she has had with South West Action for Communities in Rural England Network on this matter. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Commission on Integration and Cohesion was commissioned to investigate issues relating to Cohesion and Integration in August 2006. A report was published on 14 June. Over the next few months the Government will be engaging widely with partners, and will respond fully in the autumn. This will include taking into account issues affecting black and minority ethnic engagement in rural communities.
The Department for Communities and Local Government funded the Black South West Network to work with the South West ACRE (Action for Communities in Rural England) Network to enhance black and minority ethnic engagement in the region.
In March 2007 a multi-agency group, chaired by the South West Regional Assembly, was established to examine the effects of migrant workers on communities in the region and to identify actions necessary to support both those workers and the communities, both urban and rural, in which they live.
John Healey: Good progress has been made in delivering value for money for local taxpayers, as shown from information contained in annual efficiency statements since 2004-05. The Local Government White Paper sets out steps to ensure a performance framework remains in place to underpin continual improvement in value for money .
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what percentage of the total population in each South West local authority area were of ethnic minority origin in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Housing associations registered with the Housing Corporation are not defined or categorised as community controlled. There are 246 housing co-operatives registered with the Corporation in England of which one operates in Colchester, Essex. In addition five registered social landlords in England have been established on Community Gateway principles of community empowerment and devolution of management and ownership. Six others are currently seeking registration with the Corporation on this basis, of which one is based in Braintree in Essex.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) if she will appoint a nine-member all party executive for the East Midlands region as a sounding board for regional issues; 
John Healey: I refer the hon. Member to the oral statement made to the House on 17 July 2007, announcing the publication of the review of sub-national regeneration and economic development. The review sets out the Government's proposals for the future of regional institutions including regional assemblies.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if the Minister for the South West will make it his policy (a) not to support the continued existence of the South West Regional Assembly and (b) not to allocate any functions or any funding to that Assembly. 
John Healey: I refer the hon. Member to the oral statement made to the House on 17 July 2007 announcing the publication of the Review of Sub-national Regeneration and Economic Development. The review sets out the Governments proposals for the future of regional institutions including regional assemblies.
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