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18 Dec 2007 : Column 1243Wcontinued
Detailed proposals for the scheme, which will include the proposed financial contribution of the current, and any future partners, will be developed in 2008. The cost of moving the NIMR to its new site has therefore yet to be determined and will in
part rely upon the detailed analysis of the scientific advisory team and the yet to be appointed project director and his/her team. While the project cost has been broadly estimated by the consortium at around £500 million, this figure is indicative only and has yet to be finalised for future programme evaluation purposes, as has the total cost to the MRC. The annual cost of the centre will therefore be determined as the final scientific plan is developed.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many scientists have been consulted about the proposal to move the National Institute for Medical Research from its current site. 
Ian Pearson: The MRC is working closely with staff at the NIMR to discuss progress and develop the proposals for the UKCMRI. Representatives from each partner organisation will contribute directly to the development of the scientific vision through the Scientific Advisory Committee.
Previous consultation on the renewal of the NIMR have involved the MRC Council, whose members are predominantly scientists, and specialist groups such as the Forward Investment Strategy Group and the Task Force whose membership comprised leading UK and international scientists. More generally, the proposed relocation of the NIMR was included in the Research Council's Roadmap 2007 which still is the subject of a public consultation.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what the full terms of reference are of the Scientific Advisory Committee announced by the Prime Minister on 5 December to oversee the establishment of the proposed UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation; 
(2) by what process appointments will be made to the Scientific Advisory Committee announced by the Prime Minister on 5 December to oversee the establishment of the proposed UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation. 
Ian Pearson: The remit of the Scientific Advisory Committee to be chaired by Sir Paul Nurse will be to advise the consortium on: scientific direction, supporting facilities, high level design principles to maximise scientific synergy and the scale and scope of space for translational activities. They will also consider the potential for collaboration with other organisations.
The membership of the Scientific Planning Committee will bring together representatives from the partner organisations with additional independent members identified in consultation between Sir Paul Nurse and consortium partners.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department spent developing the proposal to move the National Institute for Medical Research to the site formerly occupied by the National Temperance Hospital. 
Ian Pearson: Prior to June 2006, when plans for the UKCMRI began to develop, the MRC had spent £0.8 million on development costs in relation to the National Temperance Hospital site. Detailed proposals for the UKCMRI will be developed in 2008. However, a significant proportion of this earlier expenditure has directly informed the MRC's contribution to its development of an outline business case for UKCMRI.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much was spent on average per skills for life course place in each year since 2003; and what the equivalent figure is expected to be in each year to 2011. 
Mr. Lammy: The following table outlines the cost for each Skills for Life enrolment through the Learning and Skills Council's (LSC) further education funding budget in 2005-06 and the estimated cost per enrolment from 2006-07 onwards.
|Cost per enrolmentFE only (£)|
This information is based on the LSC's 2005-06 data return which provides the most complete set of enrolment data returns in 2005-06 and is the earliest dataset available to model this information. Further education funding also accounts for 75 to 80 per cent. of total Skills for Life funding each year.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission whether it is the Houses policy to use (a) incandescent light bulbs and (b) LED lights for the festive decorations on the Commons part of the Parliamentary Estate. 
Nick Harvey: The Houses energy policy requires that energy efficiency is considered in relation to carrying out works around the estate. In relation to festive lighting the larger Christmas trees provided by the House in New Palace Yard and Westminster Hall, are fitted with LED bulbs. The remaining trees are provided with incandescent bulbs.
It is not House policy to stipulate that all festive decorations brought on to the parliamentary estate must contain LED rather than incandescent lights. Some of the festive lights have been used for several years.
To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what his Departments policy is on the
selection of (a) real and (b) artificial Christmas trees for festive decorations on the Commons part of the Parliamentary estate; and how real trees are disposed of. 
Nick Harvey: Real Christmas trees are provided by the House for general areas such as New Palace Yard and Westminster Hall and for catering areas. They are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way being turned into mulch. Artificial trees in some staff areas, for example at reception desks and in offices, are purchased by staff themselves and used from year to year.
Mr. Doran: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what response the Commission has made to the review by Sir Kevin Tebbit of the management and services of the House. 
Nick Harvey: The Commission has considered comments made on the Tebbit review in the debate in Westminster Hall on 18 October and taken into account the views of the Administration, Audit and Finance and Services Committees. A response to the 56 recommendations has been agreed by the Commission and will be published on 19 December as HC 193. Copies will be available on the website at:
The process of implementing the review has already started and will continue throughout 2008.
Mr. Amess: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission when he expects the Visitor Reception Building to open; what the expected cost of the new building was (a) at the commencement of building, (b) on 1 January 2006, (c) on 1 January 2007 and (d) on 1 November 2007; and what the final cost is expected to be. 
Nick Harvey: The works were originally planned to be completed on 8 September 2006 and we now expect the site to be handed over to the Houses before Christmas 2007. The building is expected to open in early 2008. An exact date will be announced in the new year.
The original cost for the visitor reception building (which was part of a wider project of works in the Westminster Hall area) stated in the business case was £8,687,500. Work started on 9 January 2006. On 1 January 2007 the estimated cost was £8,727,500. Taking into account the delay and remedial work, by 1 November 2007 the cost was estimated at £11,200,000. While this is now expected to be the total cost of the building, some additional equipment will cost up to £250,000. Professional fees for completing the project and reviewing the lessons learned may add about £1 million more to the total cost. All the costs are shared between the Commons and Lords in the proportions of 60:40.
Mr. Amess: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission which company won the contract to build the Visitor Reception Building; whether the contract was advertised; how many companies applied for the contract; how many were short listed; what criteria were used for choosing a company; what recent discussions the House of Commons Commission has with the successful company about completing the contract; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The company which won the competition to construct the visitor reception building is William Verry Ltd. The contract was advertised under EU rules: in all 14 expressions of interest were received and six companies short-listed. Evaluation criteria used for choosing a company were:
Financial: The liquidity and/or stability of the company.
Resources: Staff with relevant experience of the roles proposed and of projects of similar extent and nature, plus reserve capacity for the company.
Experience: The company having relevant experience of similar projects in terms of content, the duties undertaken and value.
Discussions with the contractor have continued throughout. Following the appointment of a recovery project manager in the summer of 2007, the Commission approved a supplemental agreement with the contractor providing for completion of the building by 31 January 2008.
Mr. Amess: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what research has been (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated by the House of Commons Commission on the maximum number of persons permitted to stand on the ramp leading to the Visitor Reception Building; who the House of Commons Commission consulted about (i) the design and (ii) construction of the ramp; why the ramp is not covered; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The design of the entrance ramp was included within the general scope of work performed by the consultant structural engineer, Messrs TPS Consult Ltd., who carried out an evaluation of the loading capacity of the ramp based on the current loading-capacity design guidelines for footbridges: the number of persons who may be permitted to stand on it are only limited by the available space to do so.
The design of the visitor reception building was considered in detail by the local authority and English Heritage, who were insistent the new building should not detract from the architecture of the Palace of Westminster Hall. Accordingly the ramp was not covered as to do so would have impact the view of Westminster Hall as seen from St. Margarets Street.
Handling of visitors in the new entrance will be managed by the visitor assistants stationed at the kiosk by St. Stephens. They will control access to the fast-track and normal channels, to achieve a regular flow of visitors along the ramp, and into the visitor reception building. These plans have been evaluated by the Metropolitan police and the Central Tours Office. The design and construction of the ramp are part of the original design.
Mr. Amess: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission who the House of Commons Commission consulted about the location of the Visitor Reception Building; what consideration the House of Commons Commission has given to alternative entry to the Palace of Westminster when Westminster Hall is in use; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The location of the visitor reception building is based on the first report from the then Accommodation and Works and Administration Committees in 2003-04 (HC 324) which was approved by the House on 12 May 2004.
With the advent of the new security search arrangements in the Visitor reception building, all visitors will enter the Palace via the North Door of Westminster Hall and exit the same way. When events occur in Westminster Hall, visitors will be received through the best available search facility. The VRB will continue to be used, and visitors will if necessary be escorted via Star Chamber Court to their destination. Alternative entry points at Portcullis House and Black Rods Garden will also be used.
Mr. Amess: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what discussions the House of Commons Commission has had with the Metropolitan Police on the (a) design, (b) location and (c) construction of the Visitor Reception Building since the project was initiated; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The Metropolitan police have been involved at every stage of the project.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farmers did not comply with the action programme under the Nitrates Directive in each year since 1991; and how much total funding was deducted in each year from subsidy payments as a result. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 17 December 2007]: The Environment Agency is responsible for enforcing compliance in England, with the Action Programme under the nitrates directive. Inspections are undertaken either as part of the cross-compliance enforcement regime (the Action Programme is a statutory management requirement) or as part of the standalone enforcement regime under the nitrates directive. Available enforcement statistics are summarised in the following table:
|Number of farmers non-compliant|
|(1) 12 December 2007.|
The cases of non-compliance tabled have, to date, led to 162 producers in England having their subsidy reduced since cross compliance was introduced in 2005. Calculating the total amount of funding deducted in each year from subsidy payments would require intensive interrogation of the single payment scheme database. Therefore it is not possible to provide these figures within the time available.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effect on farming incomes of the removal of agriculture building relief; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: I have been asked to reply.
The withdrawal of the agricultural buildings allowance (ABA) is part of a package of measures which also saw the reduction of the main rate of
corporation tax and the introduction of a £50,000 annual investment allowance, allowing 95 per cent. of businesses to write off all their expenditure on plant and machinery in the year in which it is made. The effect of this package will vary according to the particular circumstances of a business.
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