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Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many civil servants have left the (a) Prime Minister's Office and (b) Cabinet Office to work elsewhere (i) in and (ii) outside the civil service since 27 June 2007. 
194 left to work for another Government Department (of which 112 members of staff transferred in the machinery of government moves of the Better Regulation Executive and Prime Minister's Delivery Unit);
31 members of staff were loaned out to another Government Department (three of which on a machinery of government move);
16 members of staff were seconded to an external organisation;
95 left to work outside the civil service;
12 people retired or were dismissed.
Gillian Merron: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him and the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 17 October 2007, Official Report, column 1135W.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans his Department has to make use of data on the national identity register when it is established; and what the estimated cost to his Department of that use is. 
The Cabinet Office will be working with the Home Office prior to the introduction of the national identity scheme to establish how identity
information held on the proposed national identity register might be used to provide easier access services for our customers. It is too early in the process to establish the detailed costs and benefits.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what Government policy is on (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants making bets on political events (i) with and (ii) via a commercial organisation. 
Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 5 December 2007, Official Report, column 1344W, on public participation: incentives, if he will place in the Library a copy of each of the handouts provided to participants at the forum. 
Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 5 December 2007, Official Report, column 1344W, on public participation: incentives, what the cost to the public purse of the forum was. 
Gillian Merron: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire (Mr. Vara) on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 1083W, by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster, North (Edward Miliband).
Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster for which regulators and inspectorates his Department has had responsibility in each year since 1997; what the budget was of each such body in each year; and what the cost to the public purse was of any restructuring of each such body in each year. 
Gillian Merron: Details on all Cabinet Office sponsored public bodies, including those with regulatory and inspection functions, are published annually. Information covering the period 1997-2006, including details of expenditure, is available in the "Public Bodies" publication which can be downloaded from the Civil Service website (www.civilservice.gov.uk/about/public/bodies.asp). More detailed information on expenditure appears in individual bodies' annual reports and accounts.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the budget of the Social Exclusion Task Force was in (a) each of the last five years and (b) each year of the 2007 comprehensive spending review period. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent research her Department has commissioned into the potential effect on health of mobile telephone masts. 
Research on the potential health effects from mobile phone technology is evaluated by the Health Protection Agency (HPA). The HPAs Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation, in its comprehensive scientific review of Health Effects of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields, concluded that
exposure levels from living near to mobile phone base stations are extremely low, and the overall evidence indicates that they are unlikely to pose a risk to health.
Responding to continuing concerns however, the independently managed Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme, jointly funded by Government and Industry, has supported a number of studies into the possible health effects of technology relating both to masts (base stations) and hand-held mobile phones. These studies, some in progress and some already published, are described on the MTHR website at www.mthr.org.uk. None of the research published in its 2007 report so far demonstrates that biological or adverse health effects are produced by radiofrequency exposure from mobile phones or base stations.
Your Parliamentary Question on what the running costs were of the Audit Commission in 1996-97 and what the estimated rate is for 2007-08 has been passed to me for reply in the absence of our Chief Executive, Steve Bundred.
The running costs of the Commission, based on total operating costs, were £93.1m for 1996/97. The estimate for 2007/08 is £216.6m.
A copy of this letter will be placed in the House of Commons Library.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her Departments powers are in respect of (a) each of its non-departmental public bodies, (b) each of its executive agencies and (c) the Government Offices of the Regions to (i) grant and withdraw delegated personnel responsibilities, (ii) oversee and control the exercise of delegated personnel responsibilities, including those for pay, and (iii) ensure compliance with all equality legislation. 
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what (a) criteria and (b) process will be used to determine the geographical (i) location and (ii) distribution of eco-town sites; and what her policy is on the distribution of such towns across the English regions. 
Yvette Cooper: Our approach to taking forward eco-towns is set out in the eco-towns prospectus, and as the Prime Minister has indicated we would like to see a spread of schemes across the regions. We expect to publish the proposals for eco-towns shortly, once we have completed an initial assessment of the applications received. There will be considerable opportunity for consultation on the proposals including the local authorities and the public before the process is completed.
Once potential eco-towns have been selected their planning and development can be delivered through the operation of the spatial planning system, which may require the review of existing plans. Where necessary, the Government will commit resources to facilitate the operation of the planning process, so as to minimise delay. As set out in the eco-towns prospectus, there may be circumstances where use of the New Towns Act powers might be used.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who will run the citizens juries for the design of the new eco-towns; what procurement process has been undertaken in the selection of that individual, organisation or company; and how much has been allocated from what budget for such juries. 
Yvette Cooper: On 30 October I confirmed that an ideas competition would be run to develop and set the design standards for 10 new eco-towns. As part of this there will also be an opportunity for public involvement to judge the short-listed eco-towns designs through a citizens panel. Final details of the competition, being undertaken with CABE, the Princes Foundation and RIBA, will be announced shortly. We expect to undertake the procurement process to select the organisation to run the citizens jury shortly.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what planning process will be used for construction of an eco-town that is not (a) supported and (b) proposed by the relevant local authority. 
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she plans to announce the sites which she will take forward to the next stage as possible sites for eco-towns; and what processes will be adopted to ensure the full engagement of (a) local authorities and (b) the public before final decisions are taken. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 18 December 2007]: We are consulting with local authorities in the relevant areas covered by proposed eco-towns in January 2008 as part of an initial assessment of bids and expect to publish proposals shortly. There will be considerable opportunity for consultation and engagement involving local authorities and the public before the process is completed.
Where a planning application for an eco-town is submitted it will be determined in the normal way under the Planning Acts. Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory purchase Act 2004 requires that the application is determined in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. We will set out the full planning process as part of the announcement, and this may include reviewing the RSS or development plan. As set
out in the Eco-towns Prospectus, there may be circumstances where use of the New Towns Act powers might be used.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received on the proposed eco-town at Throckmorton; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The eco-towns prospectus, launched on 23 July alongside the Housing Green paper, sets out the vision and outline criteria for eco-towns. The aim in terms of health is to promote a healthy and sustainable environment through design and planning to deliver physical and mental benefits.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what factors she takes into account in appointing commissioners to the Equality and Human Rights Commission; and what assessment she makes of the experience or knowledge of appointees in (a) the field of human rights and (b) the rights of faith communities. 
Commissioners are appointed on the basis of relevant experience or knowledge of discrimination and human rights and the desirability of the Commissioners together having experience and knowledge relating to the relevant matters.
Individuals with knowledge or expertise in human rights and discrimination on grounds of religion or belief were invited to apply for the post of Commissioner. Applicants were then asked to demonstrate at application and interview an understanding of issues relevant to discrimination on grounds of religion or belief and a commitment to human rights.
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