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Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what contingency preparations his Department made for the possibility of a general election in autumn 2007; and what the costs were of those preparations. 
The guidance covering the conduct of official business during a general election was last issued in May 2005. This guidance, and other relevant procedures and processes, are kept under constant review by Departments so that they are ready to be put in place when a general election is called.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many people were employed by his Department and its predecessor on 1 January in each of the last five years; and how many of these staff were (a) permanent employees, (b) temporary staff and (c) contractors. 
|Civil servants permanent||Others|
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many hectares of brownfield land were (a) reclaimed and (b) redeveloped by the South East England Development Agency in the last year for which figures were available; and what the annual target range was for that indicator. 
Mr. Timms: SEEDA is on target to remediate over 200 hectares of brownfield land over our three year corporate plan period 2005-08, which is within our target range for this output. A shortfall in 2006-07 was caused by delays with delivery of some large projects, which will create a surplus against the target range in 2007-08. SEEDA does not hold a specific record of when brownfield land is developed.
|Brownfield land remediated in the South East by SEEDA|
Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform by what date domestic consumers will be entitled to request a free visual display meter from their energy companies; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Government propose to require companies to provide display devices at the request of electricity customers for a two-year period from 2008. It is currently consulting on this and other proposals, and will take final decisions following that consultation.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will estimate the value of the Merton rule to the UKs microgeneration industry in (a) 2005, (b) 2006, (c) 2007 and (d) 2008. 
Malcolm Wicks: In line with the Department for Communities and Local Governments Planning Policy Statement 22 on Renewable Energy, some 120 local planning authorities have set targets for the use of on-site renewable energy in new developments. As recognised by our Microgeneration Strategy, such policies play an important role in stimulating the renewables industry and create a market for microgeneration technologies. The first authority to formalise the policy was the London borough of Merton. While we have not estimated the monetary value of Merton style policies, I know that the microgeneration business regard them as an important driver for their market.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether the use of agency staff by the Post Office is in line with regulations relating to the Employment Act 2003. 
Mr. McFadden: To date the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate has not received any information to suggest that the regulations governing employment agencies, the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003, are not being complied with by Royal Mail.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the impact of the manner in which Postcomm has imposed the universal service obligation on the profitability of (a) Royal Mail and (b) Royal Mail's competitors; and what comparison he has made with the process of liberalisation in other EU countries. 
Mr. McFadden: Assuring the provision of a universal service and liberalising the postal market are matters for Postcomm, the Postal Services Commission. The Regulator regularly reviews universal service provision and market conditions in both the UK and other EU member states. Its reports are made publicly available on its website at:
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations the Energy Minister has received from the renewable energy industry on the future of the Merton rule. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Department has had representations at all levels from the renewable energy industry around proposed changes to the planning system, and the future of Merton style policies. We work closely with business to ensure that relevant issues are understood and taken into consideration in the development of new policy.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions the Energy Minister has held with the Housing Minister on the future of the Merton rule; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: We are working closely with colleagues in the Department for Communities and Local Government developing policies in this area. Discussions on the final detail of proposed changes to planning policy are ongoing.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) whether the report he commissioned on a Severn Barrage will consider the potential economic impact of the Barrage on the city of Bristol; 
(3) whether the report he has commissioned into a potential Severn Barrage will consider all major options for renewable energy generation facilities in the River Severn including the benefits and disadvantages of the status quo; and when the report will be concluded. 
Malcolm Wicks: The feasibility study, for which the detailed remit and budget are now being scoped, will consider all key aspects of a tidal barrage in the Severn Estuary, including environmental, social and economic issues. The Government are committed to taking forward the feasibility study in an open and transparent way, which will include engaging with business, environmental and community groups.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what business, environmental and community groups will be consulted with regard to the report he has commissioned on the Severn Barrage; and how such groups are being made aware of the report; 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 16 October 2007]: The feasibility study, for which the detailed remit and budget are now being scoped, will consider all key aspects of a tidal barrage in the Severn Estuary, including environmental, social and economic issues. The Government are committed to taking forward the feasibility study in an open and transparent way, which will include engaging with business, environmental and community groups.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) prosecutions and (b) convictions there were of retailers for selling alcohol to persons under 18 years old for consumption off the premises in each of the last 10 years. 
Maria Eagle: The information requested on prosecutions and convictions of retailers for selling alcohol to persons under 18 years in each of the last 10 years is provided in the following table. It is not possible to identify from the data whether these sales were on or off licensed premises.
In addition to court proceedings, the offence of sale of alcohol to a person under 18 can attract a penalty notice for disorder (PND). The offence was added to the PND scheme on the 1 November 2004, and there were 113 penalty notices issued for the offence in November and December of that year. Additionally, another 2,058 penalty notices were issued in 2005. Data for 2006 will be available in November 2007.
|Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for selling alcohol to under-age customers, England and Wales, 1995 to 2005( 1, 2, 3)|
|Proceeded against||Found guilty|
|(1) These data are provided on the principal offence basis.|
(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the police forces and courts. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
(3) Covers the offences: selling etc. intoxicating liquor to person under 18 for consumption on the premises under the Licensing Act 1964 S.169 A and B as added by Licensing (Young Persons) Act 2000 S.1, wholesaler selling intoxicating liquor to a person under 18 under the Licensing Act 1964 S.181 A(1) as added by Licensing Act 1988 S.17, sale of alcohol to a person under 18 under the Licensing Act 2003 S.146 and allowing sale of alcohol to a person under 18 under the Licensing Act 2003 S.147. Sections 146 and 147 of the 2003 Licensing Act only came into effect from 24 November 2005, so data prior to 2005 is not available. The first two offences cannot separately identify on and off premises consumption although both are covered by the statutes.
RDS, Court proceedings database, Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Ministry of Justice.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the reoffending rates are of those released from approved premises in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will list his Department and its predecessors (a) executive agencies, (b) executive non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), (c) advisory NDPBs, (d) tribunal NDPBs, (e) trading funds and (f) public corporations for each financial year since 2005-06. 
Maria Eagle: The Ministry of Justice was launched on 9 May 2007 from the merger of Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA), National Offender Management service (NOMS), and Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR). NOMS and OCJR were part of the Home Office prior to 9 May 2007 and details of their related public bodies for 2005-06 and 2006-07 will be covered by the Home Office.
The list of Executive agencies related to DCA for 2005-06 were: HM Courts Service, HM Land Registry, the National Archives, and the Public Guardianship
Office. The list of NDPBs, trading funds and public corporations for 2005-06 are included in the Public Bodies Directory 2006, published on the civil service website at:
The list of Executive agencies related to DCA for 2006-07 were: HM Courts Service, HM Land Registry, the National Archives, Public Guardianship Office, and the Tribunals Service. The list of NDPBs, trading funds and public corporations for 2006-07 are included within the DCA Public Bodies Directory 2007, a copy of which will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
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