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10 Dec 2007 : Column 217Wcontinued
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many items of post sent by his Department and its predecessor were reported missing by the intended recipient in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Thomas: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within Departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A statement on Departments procedures will be made on completion of the review.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when he last discussed the security implications of nuclear waste being transported through London with (a) the Mayor of London and (b) the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Government's security regulator for the civil nuclear industry, the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS, part of the Health and Safety Executive), has had no discussions with the Mayor of London on the security implications of spent nuclear fuel being transported through London. However, the OCNS has discussed this matter with the Metropolitan police and on a regular basis with the British Transport police.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps are being taken to ensure that radioactive waste from nuclear power stations is secure; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Security measures at licensed nuclear sites and for the transportation of nuclear material (including spent nuclear fuel) are kept under continuing review in light of the prevailing threat and we are satisfied that existing procedures are robust and effective.
The Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS), part of the Health and Safety Executive, is the Government's regulator for security in the civil nuclear
industry and is responsible for ensuring, inter alia, that the industry complies with the demanding requirements of the Nuclear Industries Security Regulations 2003 (NISR 03).
The NISR 03 make provision for the protection of nuclear material, both on sites and in transit, against the risks of theft and sabotage, and for the protection of sensitive nuclear information, such as site security arrangements.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much was spent by his Department and its predecessor on first-class train tickets in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department spent £1,077,296 on first-class train tickets during the 12-month period November 2006 to October 2007.
All travel is undertaken in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code and the Ministerial Code.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what advice he has received on regional strategies and regional development agencies from the Ministers for (a) the North East, (b) the North West, (c) Yorkshire and the Humber, (d) London, (e) the South East, (f) the South West, (g) the East Midlands, (h) the West Midlands and (i) the East of England. 
Mr. Timms: Two of the nine RDAs, Advantage West Midlands and the East of England development agency, are in the process of reviewing the Regional Economic Strategies (RES): the other RES were reviewed prior to the appointment of Regional Ministers. The Ministers for the West Midlands and the East of England have worked with RDAs both on finalising the RES and on the work of the RDAs in their regions more generally. All the regional Ministers outside London have given advice on appointments to the boards of the RDAs, using the specifications, panel report and supporting documentation supplied by the selection panel for the RDA board appointments.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what renewable energy developments are now being investigated where hitherto Britain has not led the way, with reference to the Prime Ministers answers to questions following his speech on climate and energy policy on 19 November 2007. 
In order to meet the challenging target of 20 per cent. of the EUs energy to come from renewable sources by 2020, we are taking steps to increase the amount of electricity, heat and transport fuel generated from renewable resources. I understand the question relates to my right hon. Friends
comments on biomass, marine and tidal range power and wind, each of which has a part to play in meeting this target.
We already plan to increase the capacity of offshore wind farms from the 400 MW currently installed to more than 8 GW, and we will shortly be announcing proposals to allow a further significant expansion. We are considering the barriers to further deployment, including the potential difficulties that wind farms pose to air traffic and defence radar and ensuring an appropriate balance between enabling offshore wind farms and protecting shipping. We will ensure that the new Marine Bill responds sensitively to the environmental issues that are posed by offshore wind farm development.
We are also exploring the potential for major new investment in energy from wave and tidal sources, and we have already announced a study of the feasibility of generating tidal energy from the River Severn. This alone could provide 5 per cent. of Britains electricity needs. We have also announced that we will include tidal lagoons and barrages below 1 GW capacity within the scope of the renewable obligation, potentially benefiting projects such as those being proposed for Rhyl and Swansea Bay.
Meeting our target will also require greater use of renewables to heat our homes and our buildings, so we will introduce new measures to bring forward renewable heat with a call for evidence in January prior to a full consultation. And as we expand renewable heat we will need to ensure that wherever feasible and economic we generate electricity and heat together. So instead of all our energy being generated remotely, more can be supplied locally, making more efficient use of our energy resources. In transport we will do more to stimulate sustainable forms and sources of bio fuels.
We are also legislating to reform the renewables obligation and bring forward newer technologies, and we will introduce in our Planning Bill new measures to speed up the planning system for major infrastructure projects while ensuring that public are properly consulted.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps the Government have taken to provide Wi-Fi access to the general public in public buildings. 
Mr. Timms: Some public authorities make wireless access available to the public in their buildings. For example, some 23 per cent. of library services currently deliver Wi-Fi with 42 per cent. actively planning to offer Wi-Fi in the future. Most of these services are providing Wi-Fi entirely free to the end user. This is a matter for public authorities individually. There is no Government policy on Wi-Fi access to the public in public buildings.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what is the estimated cost of extending the life of Wylfa power station for nine months beyond its planned closure date; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has asked Magnox Electric Ltd to prepare a business case for extending the life of Wylfa power station by nine months beyond its planned closure date for consideration in early 2009. The business case will include a robust estimate of the costs of an extension. An initial study in November 2005 estimated that the cost of an extension would be some £110 million.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if his Department will collect information on the number of academies which use (a) selection by aptitude and (b) selection using banding as part of their admission arrangements; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: We do not collect this information. Academies must abide by the schools admissions code as it applies to maintained schools, which includes statutory requirements on selection by aptitude and selection using banding.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what consideration he has given to making academies set up prior to the 2006 model funding agreement more accountable for any permanent exclusions. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 29 November 2007]: Following the consultation exercise that ended in September 2007, Ministers will shortly consider a range of options for the financial consequences of permanent exclusion from academies.
Any decisions about new arrangements that might be introduced, including those affecting academies that already have signed funding agreements, will be announced in due course.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he plans to take to create an independent body to assess and report upon examination results and standards; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: We plan to publish a consultation paper setting out our proposals for the future of qualifications regulation and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority shortly. This will set out the steps we plan to take to create the new independent regulator. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will make a statement to the House to announce the start of the consultation.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what marks were required in Key Stage 2 tests in (a) English and (b) mathematics to achieve a level (i) 4 and (ii) 5 in (A) 1999, (B) 2006 and (C) 2007. 
Jim Knight: The following tables give the marks required to achieve a level 4 and a level 5 in the Key Stage 2 English and mathematics tests in 1999, 2006 and 2007.
|1999Key Stage 2 English and mathematics|
|2006Key Stage 2 English and mathematics|
|2007Key Stage 2 English and mathematics|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many and what proportion of schools built under the Building Schools for the Future programme have (a) up to and including 1,000 pupils, (b) 1,001 to 1,500 pupils, (c) 1,501 to 2,000 pupils and (d) more than 2,000 pupils; 
(2) how many and what proportion of schools to be built under the Building Schools for the Future programme are expected to have (a) up to and including 1,000 pupils, (b) 1,001 to 1,500 pupils, (c) 1,501 to 2,000 pupils and (d) more than 2,000 pupils. 
Jim Knight: The number of pupils in the schools that are expected to be rebuilt or refurbished in waves 1 to 3 of Building Schools for the Future is set out in the following table. This includes the early wins and the Bristol Brunei academy, which opened in September.
These are the current plans, which may change as projects develop. Plans for schools in later waves of the programme have not yet been finalised.
|Number of pupils||Number of schools||Percentage of total|
1. Includes mainstream and special schools.
2. Waves 1 to 3 only.
3. Does not include recently built schools which are only receiving ICT funding under BSF.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of each local authority's likely total spending on the Building Schools for the Future programme; what the timetable of the programme is in each authority; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The latest allocation details for each local authority in Building Schools for the Future waves 1 to 4 are set out in the following table. For wave 4 authorities the detailed split between conventional funding (capital grant) and PFI credits is still to be determined. Some of these allocations may also be subject to change as projects develop, particularly for wave 4. Work is ongoing on initial funding envelopes for waves 5 and 6. Local authorities joining the programme in wave 7 or later will receive their allocations on or after 2011-12.
|Indicative funding (£ million)|
|Local authority||Conventional||PFI credits|
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