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Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Communities and Local Government on the Greener Futures Initiative and the future of the electric heating industry in the UK. 
Malcolm Wicks: BERR continues to have regular discussions with the Department for Communities and Local Government on the Building a Greener Future: policy statement, and the implications it will have for wider energy policy, both at ministerial and official level. These have primarily focused on the coverage and definition of zero carbon homes, the role of clean energy technologies in delivering the zero carbon homes commitment, the impacts on the competitive energy market and the need to maintain consumer protection. I am also a member of the Zero Carbon Homes taskforce, established last year to identify the barriers to implementation of the 2016 zero carbon target and put in place measures to address these. I took part in the meeting of the taskforce on 26 October alongside the Minister for Housing.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many grants have been made through the Domestic Low Carbon Buildings Programme; and what proportion of valid applications this represented. 
Of these offers 3,407 grants have been made, representing 52 per cent. of all offers and 2,072 have been withdrawn by the applicant or have expired representing 31 per cent. of all offers. In addition some 26 of the 6,593 valid applications have been rejected at the claim stage as a result of not meeting the terms and conditions of the programme. The remainder (1,088, 17 per cent.) have not yet applied for payment of grant.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the implications of the Comprehensive Spending Review are for funding of (a) the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and (b) the decommissioning of nuclear power stations. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 12 November 2007]: The Comprehensive Spending Review provides the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority with funding to deliver a full programme of nuclear decommissioning and clean up in line with its strategy and business plans.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the decommissioning costs for Magnox power stations if decommissioning starts (a) now, (b) in 2008 and (c) in 2009. 
Malcolm Wicks: None. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is responsible for estimating the costs of decommissioning at its sites and for delivering safe, effective and efficient clean up and decommissioning. Estimates of the cost of decommissioning its sites, including the NDAs Magnox nuclear power stations are derived from Life Time Plans (cradle to grave estimates of the cost, scope, and schedule of nuclear decommissioning and clean up programmes in respect of the site in question). Details are available on the NDA website at www.nda.gov.uk
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which decommissioning contracts and works at Winfrith have been the subject of a gateway review by the Office of Government Commerce; and which proposals in the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency's three-year business plan will be the subject of future Gateway reviews. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 12 November 2007]: There have been two Gateway O reviews by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) carried out at the Winfrith site. Gateway O reviews are strategic assessments of a programme and it is recommended that they are repeated every two years. The Winfrith site restoration programme and the Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor decommissioning have been subject to reviews.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's three-year business plan has identified a requirement for OGC Gateway reviews of the competitions for parent body organisation contracts for the management of the low level waste repository and the Sellafield site.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions he has had with Energy Solutions Ltd on the future funding of (a) the Southern Bundle of former Magnox sites and (b) Berkeley power station. 
Malcolm Wicks: My Department has had no discussions with Energy Solutions Ltd about future finding of the Southern Bundle of former Magnox sites and Berkeley, nor has the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the costs were of (a) redundancy and (b) severance packages negotiated for former Magnox power station staff in each of the last 10 years for which records are available. 
|As at 31 March each year||£ million|
Further information is available on the NDAs website at: www.nda.gov.uk
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many security breaches were reported at nuclear power facilities in the United Kingdom in each year since 1997; where each breach occurred; and what the circumstances were of each breach. 
Malcolm Wicks: The information requested could be collated only at disproportionate cost. However, since 2001, the Office for Civil Nuclear Security, the security regulator, has produced an annual report entitled The state of security in the civil nuclear industry and the effectiveness of security regulation. General information on security breaches and reports made under the Nuclear Industries Security Regulations 2003 can be found within these reports, which can be accessed at
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many contracts were awarded by his Department and its predecessor to Opinion Leader research in each year since 1997; and what was (a) the title and purpose, (b) the cost to the public purse and (c) the dates of (i) tender, (ii) award, (iii) operation and (iv) completion and report to the Department for each such project. 
These figures represent the total cost of all projects. It is not the Departments normal practice to publish the financial details of individual contracts, on the grounds that contracts with these companies are agreed under an implied duty of confidence, and include information that the companies would not want to make public or share with competitors. Information on payments made under contracts issued by the Department is only held centrally from 2003 onwards, and could not be produced for earlier periods without disproportionate cost.
A project commissioned by the Small Business Council to explore small and medium sized enterprises attitude to regulation. This project was put out to tender in September 2003 and the contract awarded in October 2003. A report Evaluation of Government Employment Regulations and Their Impact on Small Business was published in March 2004.
An assessment of the effectiveness of Government research spending carried out for the former Office of Science and Innovation in 2004 and 2005.
An evaluation, carried out between the autumn of 2006 and June 2007, of the Departments debt advice project, which employed debt advisers giving face-to-face debt advice to the financially excluded. Their report, Evaluation of the Financial Inclusion Fund Face-to-Face Debt Advice Project was published on the Departments website in September 2007.
An evaluation of two vulnerable worker pilot projects, set up as part of the Governments Success at Work strategy. This project was put out to tender on 29 September 2006, and the contract awarded on 7 November 2006. The project is ongoing with the contract scheduled to be completed in July 2008.
In addition to the sums above and in the current financial year, Opinion Leader were appointed by the Department, acting through the Central Office of Information, to conduct deliberative research with the public, as one part of the Governments consultation on the future of nuclear power. The project was put out to tender on 11 April 2007 and the contract awarded on 30 April 2007.
In this case, I have already told the House that the total value of the contract is £772,626. Of this amount £655,452 was paid to Opinion Leader for activities associated with the design, delivery and reporting for the public deliberative events, and the remaining £117,174 has been paid to cover the costs of Dialogue by Design, a specialist sub-contractor has managed the online consultation website on behalf of the Department. The final costs of the web-based activity have yet to be determined as they are dependent on the volume of materials received. Opinion Leaders report will be published as part of our response to the consultation.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will place in the Library a copy of the (a) confidentiality agreement which sub-postmasters have been asked to sign in relation to the network change programme and (b) the programmes key messages for customers document. 
Mr. McFadden: None. Post Office Ltd. (POL) is responsible for implementing the post office transformation programme at a local level. They are developing a rolling programme of some 50 local consultations on detailed area plans, based on groups of parliamentary constituencies.
The first area plans went out to local consultation on 2 October this year and will continue to be rolled out at regular intervals until next July, with the whole programme scheduled to take around 15 months to complete. The area plans for Northern Ireland are scheduled to go to public consultation in April 2008. The Government do not have a role in proposals or decisions for individual post offices. The final decisions on which post offices will close will be taken by POL in light of the responses received to the area consultations.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many submissions have been received by the six-week consultation over post office closures in (a) the Kent Plan Area, (b) the East Midlands Plan Area and (c) the East Yorkshire with Bassetlaw and North Lincolnshire Plan Area; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many post office staff have had disciplinary action taken against them for (a) breaches of confidentiality and (b) failing to deliver network change programme key messages; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Certification Officer has produced on the use of (i) direct debit mandates, (ii) standing order mandates and (iii) check off payments from salaries for trade union subscriptions. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has produced guidance on the law relating to the payment of trade union subscriptions direct from pay (a practice known as "check off) in a publication entitled Payment of union subscriptions through the check off. The Department has not produced guidance on the payment of subscriptions by direct debit mandates and standing order mandates. The Certification Officer has not produced any guidance in these areas.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which trade unions have political funds according to the records held by the Certification Officer; and in what year the fund was established in each case. 
Mr. McFadden: According to the records of the Certification Officer, 28 trade unions have political funds. Their names and the years in which their current political funds were established are given in the following table. The Certification Officer's records begin in 1976.
|Name of union||Date political fund established|
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