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Renewable Energy: Meetings

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will list the meetings which the Housing Minister has held with representatives of (a) the onsite renewable energy industry and (b) housing developers and their representatives since June 2006. [159333]

Yvette Cooper: The Minister for Housing and Planning has met representatives of housing developers on the following dates since June 2006.

Ministers from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform have met several times with representatives of the on-site renewable energy industry since June 2006. The DBERR and the Housing Minister both sit on the task force for zero carbon homes.

Renewable Energy: Trade Associations

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which trade associations representing the onsite renewable energy sector sit on her Department’s climate change planning policy statement sounding board. [159341]

Yvette Cooper: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 29 October 2007, Official Report, columns 644-45W, to the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Paul Holmes).

Renewable Energy: Yorkshire and Humberside

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) for what reasons she has struck out the draft Merton rule policy requiring 10 per cent. onsite renewable energy in all major new developments from the Yorkshire and Humber regional spatial strategy; [159348]

(2) what her Department’s assessment is of the effect of ending the application of the existing Merton rule in the Yorkshire and Humber regional spatial strategy on those individual local planning authorities wishing to use the rule; [161323]

(3) for what reasons she did not accept the independent panel’s recommendations that Yorkshire and the Humber should have a minimum region-wide 10 per cent. on-site renewables planning requirement for all major new developments; [161325]

(4) what events and conferences (a) she and (b) other Ministers from her Department have addressed relating to (i) the construction and housebuilding industry and (ii) the renewable energy industry since July 2006. [161360]

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Yvette Cooper: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Rescue Services: West Yorkshire

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what responsibilities West Yorkshire fire service has in response to water rescue; and if she will make a statement. [159983]

Mr. Dhanda: Fire and rescue authorities have a general power to respond to emergencies under Section 11 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004: this encompasses responding to calls for assistance for water rescue.

Fire and rescue authorities have duties to conduct risk assessments of their area as part of their integrated risk management planning process, and under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. If they conclude there is a risk in their area of incidents requiring a water rescue capability they may procure resources to respond to that risk. The flexibility in this process allows for local discretion and varying levels of risk between fire and rescue authorities. In practice, West Yorkshire fire and rescue authority does respond to water rescue incidents, of both people and animals.

Rural Areas: Grants

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authorities provide grants to support rural post offices and rural community development projects. [161851]

John Healey: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Sports: Chorley

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will take steps to ensure that a copy of the draft feasibility study and completed feasibility study on a sporting village for Chorley commissioned by the north-west regional development agency is placed in the Library. [160447]

Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 23 October 2007]: I have placed a copy of the completed feasibility study in the Library of the House.

Waste Management: Fees and Charges

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will take steps to prevent waste collection authorities from making charges additional to council tax for providing bin bags. [157648]

Joan Ruddock: I have been asked to reply.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990, section 46, allows waste collection authorities to require occupiers to place waste for collection in receptacles of a kind
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and number specified. Bin bags are considered a ‘receptacle’ under the Act. Waste collection authorities may:


British Telecom: Fees and Charges

Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact on social exclusion of British Telecom's recent decision to make additional charges for payment methods other than direct debit. [161663]

Kitty Ussher: The independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), announced on 6 June that it would carry out a full review of communications providers’ additional charges. The review covers charges for non-direct debit payments as well as other additional charges including late payment, restoration of service and early termination fees. It covers fixed and mobile operators and pay TV services.

The review is examining consumers’ awareness of and attitude to these types of charges. The review will consider whether additional charges are sufficiently transparent, whether the charges or their levels are unfair and what action, if any, is necessary. Ofcom expects to announce the conclusions of its review by the end of the year and progress may be monitored on its website:


Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the replies from HM Revenue and Customs of 15 October and 16 October to the letters from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire on his constituents, what his policy is on the maximum time required by HM Revenue and Customs to reply to correspondence from hon. Members. [161248]

David Tredinnick: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to reduce the four month period taken by the Tax Credit Office to reply to written enquiries by hon. and right hon. Members on behalf of their constituents. [161798]

Jane Kennedy: Although it is HM Revenue and Customs practice to reply to the majority of letters from right hon. and hon. Members within three weeks, following the administrative issue I referred to in my statement of 25 July 2007, Official Report, columns 62-63WS, some parts of HMRC's tax credits business have, unfortunately, been subject to delays. HMRC regret this and will continue to try to deal with all cases as quickly as they can.

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These delays are a result of HMRC having to look again at cases potentially affected by the procedural error and to ensure that households/individuals affected by the error are not given incorrect advice in advance of their award being reviewed.

The three months indicated in the recent letter to the hon. Member was intended to be helpful and indicate the latest date by which HMRC hoped to have resolved the enquiry.

Death: Nutrition

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many deaths there were with an (a) primary and (b) secondary diagnosis of (i) malnutrition and (ii) nutritional anaemias in each year since 1997. [161719]

Angela Eagle: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 30 October 2007:

Number of deaths where malnutrition and effects of hunger, or nutritional anaemias,( 1) were the underlying cause of death, or were mentioned on the death certificate, England and Wales, 1997 to 2005( 2)
Malnutrition and effects of hunger Nutritional anaemias
Underlying cause of death Mentioned on the death certificate Underlying cause of death Mentioned on the death certificate














































(1) Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) for the years 1997 to 2000, and Tenth Revision (ICD-IO). Codes selected were:
Malnutrition—ICD-9 260-263, ICD-IO E40-E46
Effects of hunger—ICD-9 N994.2, T73.0
Nutritional anaemias—ICD-9 280-281, ICD-IO D50-D53
(2) Figures are for deaths occurring in each calendar year.

Departments: Accountancy

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what departmental budget items have been reclassified, under Consolidated Budgeting Guidance, following Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 decisions; and what the (a) former and (b) new (i) classification and (ii) sum budgeted is in each case. [160420]

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Angela Eagle: No items within the Treasury Group's budget were reclassified as part of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.

Departments: Complaints

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints about (a) his Department and (b) HM Revenue and Customs were received from members of the public by his Department in 2006-07. [160256]

Angela Eagle: H M Treasury and H M Revenue and Customs do not maintain records in the way requested and the information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Conferences

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was spent from the public purse by his Department and its agencies on organising conferences to be held by them that were subsequently cancelled in each of the last three years. [159022]

Angela Eagle: Defining cancelled conferences as events with more than 100 planned attendees, none of the Chancellor’s departments had any cancellation costs in the last three financial years, except as follows:

Office of Government Commerce, joint with DEFRA







On 7 June 2007, Official Report, column 708W, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury provided information on the cost of cancellations by HM Revenue and Customs. That answer included events with no minimum number of attendees, and none of the events were planned to include more than 100 attendees.

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