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21 Jan 2008 : Column 1548Wcontinued
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department is on course to meet the commitment in the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate targets (a) to source at least 10 per cent. of its electricity from renewables by 31 March 2008 and (b) to increase recycling figures to 40 per cent. of waste by 2010. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 10 December 2007]: The Department has already met both targets. In 2006-07, 54 per cent. of our electricity was supplied from renewable sources, with a further 9 per cent. from CHP sources. Waste figures for 2006-07 indicate that the Department recycled 67 per cent. of the waste that it produced.
The Department has plans in place to maintain this level of performance and to enhance it wherever possiblefor example, we are working to extend the range of recycling schemes available across the estate.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department met the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate target to reverse the then upward trend in carbon dioxide emissions by April 2007. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 10 December 2007]: The Department did not meet the target to reverse the upward trend in carbon emissions by April 2007. However, early indications for 2007-08 indicate that the upward trend has been reversed significantly, as the many projects and campaigns in place to reduce energy use begin to show positive results. It is important to note that the range of services offered to the public and the way in which they are delivered has changed dramatically since the baselines were set. Enhanced customer service, such as extended opening and contact times, means the Department has maximised its contribution to the social element of sustainable development; the trade-off for this being an increase in energy use, albeit one that we are successfully addressing.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has spent on English language classes for staff in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions did not spend any resources on specific English language classes for its staff.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance and training his Department provides to employers on health and well-being in the workplace. 
Employers are central to our aspirations of improving the health of the working age population and helping more people with health conditions and disabilities to find and keep work. As
such, a key focus of the cross-government Health, Work and Well-being Strategy is engaging and supporting business. Practical support provided has included supporting Institute of Directors' guidance on managing workplace well-being; the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Workplace Health Connect pilot, which has been testing the provision of free occupational health and return to work advice to smaller and medium-sized employers; and Shift's Action on Stigma campaign, which has developed resources to help line managers deal with employees with mental health conditions. We have also announced our intention to pilot a new advice and support service for employers, specifically focused on managing staff suffering from mental ill-health.
This programme builds on the core activity of the HSE which works with employers and trade unions to make workplaces healthier and reduce the likelihood of injury and ill-health being caused by work. HSE provides a wide range of free and priced written guidance on the management of health and safety, as well as an extensive website. In addition, HSE's public enquiry telephone contact centre, Infoline, provides access to workplace health and safety information, guidance and expert advice.
DWP has also set up a Vocational Rehabilitation Task Group to look at the best ways of encouraging and supporting employers to provide good quality rehabilitative services to their staff. The task group has commissioned an evidence review to assess the impact and cost-effectiveness of such interventions, which will help to guide employers.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many accidents took place at Health and Safety Executive facilities over the last 12 months for which figures are available, broken down by category. 
Mrs. McGuire: Accidents(1) on HSE facilities for the last 12 months are set out in the following table, broken down by category. The last 12 months cut across two work years.
|April 2006 to March 2007||April 2007 to December 2007|
The numbers of RIDDOR reportable accidents on HSE premises remains well below the average for the standard industrial classification that HSE belongs to.
(1) This includes all accidents HSE is required to report under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR).
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions who is meeting the cost of the Health and Safety Executive's inquiry into the Buncefield disaster. 
Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 10 January 2008]: The investigation into the Buncefield incident is being carried out by staff from the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency overseen by an independent Major Incident Investigation Board chaired by Lord Newton. HSE and EA meet their own costs in the first instance. However, both organisations recover these costs from the site operators managing the sites involved in the incident through a statutory charging regime.
The costs of the Major Incident Investigation Board itself are not recovered.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many lone parents claimed income support in each region of the UK, broken down by (a) ethnicity and (b) family size in each quarter since 1997. 
Caroline Flint: The information requested has been placed in the Library.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many work-related deaths in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK were not investigated by the Health and Safety Executive in the last five years. 
Mrs. McGuire: All work-related deaths in Scotland, in the last five years, have been investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
All work-related deaths in the rest of the Great Britain (i.e. England and Wales), in the last five years, have been investigated by the HSE. HSE cannot provide statistics for Northern Ireland as it is not responsible for workplace Health and Safety in this country.
The above work-related deaths are those which are reportable to the HSE under The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR).
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment of health and safety standards in private kennels will be undertaken prior to the provisions of section 68 of Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 commencing on 6 April 2008; and if he will initiate an inquiry into the health and safety standards at the kennels at which a dog attacked a lady handler in December 2007. 
Mrs. McGuire: I am not aware of any plans to undertake health and safety assessments or inspections of kennels in preparation for the implementation of this section of the Act, though kennel operators are free to review their risk assessments and precautions at any time they see fit.
Local authorities enforce health and safety legislation at kennels, and may undertake inspections as part of their routine activities.
Salisbury district council has already initiated an investigation into the incident at West Grimstead on 14 December 2007.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps the Health and Safety Executive recommends to protect kennels staff against attacks by animals. 
Mrs. McGuire: HSE does not have plans to make any recommendations for protecting staff working at kennels. General HSE guidance on assessing risks to health and safety is available. HSE would look to the industry to develop and make specific recommendations, as they have the experience and knowledge to ensure any guidelines are practical and sensible.
Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the International Labour Organisation in 2009. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The United Kingdom has played a significant role in the work of the International Labour Organisation since it was created in 1919; and the Government will, over the course of 2008, consider proposals to mark the 90th anniversary of its founding, including the possibility of national events.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research the Health and Safety Laboratory has conducted into outdoor lighting. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Health and Safety Laboratory has not undertaken any major pieces of research work on outdoor lighting. It has undertaken a variety of lower level projects on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) linked to particular investigations/activities.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to assist local authorities in the introduction of local housing allowance on 7 April 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The Department of Work and Pensions has an extensive programme of support and advice to help local authorities introduce the local housing allowance.
The Department has provided local authorities with £59 million to support the implementation of the local housing allowance.
The Department delivered 20 regional seminars for local authorities throughout summer 2007. A range of implementation and guidance products have already been made available to assist local authorities with specific activities, based largely on examples of good practice provided by LHA pathfinder authorities.
The Department has developed a range of products to support local authorities in communicating with their stakeholders, particularly welfare rights organisations and landlords. A key aim of the LHA is to promote financial inclusion by encouraging tenants to have their benefit paid directly into their own bank accounts, and we have provided advice and information to local authorities to enable them to support their customers in opening bank accounts.
The Department will continue to provide communications, advice and support to local authorities in the run-up to the roll out of the local housing allowance in April 2008.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect of means-tested benefits in retirement on incentives to save. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: As part of its research and analysis programme over the last few years, the Department has published several analyses on incentives to save in a pension, and the role of income related benefits. This includes Projections of Pension Credit Entitlement, Financial Incentives to Save for Retirement, the Pensions BillImpact Assessment, and the Gender Impact Assessment of Pension Reform. These analyses show that, under reasonable assumptions about factors such as investment growth, the large majority of individuals likely to be affected by private pension reformincluding many of those who may end up on income related benefits in retirementcan expect to benefit from saving.
The Department also commissioned work on savings incentives from NIESR (The Effects of Means-testing Pensions on Savings and Retirement) and IFS (The Importance of Incentives in Influencing Private Retirement Savings: Known Knowns and Known Unknowns). These found, respectively, that the introduction of pension credit in 2003 strengthened incentives for lower-income households to save for retirement, and that many individuals face positive incentives to save in a private pension.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many national insurance numbers have been issued to migrants from the EU accession countries in eastern Europe in (a) England, (b) Northamptonshire and (c) Kettering in the last year. 
Caroline Flint [holding answer 20 November 2007]: The available information is in the following table. The figures relate to the countries mentioned in note 5. as figures excluding Cyprus and Malta are not available for the geographical areas requested.
|National insurance number registrations to citizens of EU accession countries in 2006-07 in England, Northamptonshire and Kettering|
|Area||Number of registrations|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Some additional disclosure control has been applied.
2. Local authority is assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant postcode directory.
3. Local authority counts are based on the most recently recorded address of the NINO recipient.
4. Years referred to are financial years.
5. Accession countries are classed as Malta, Rep of Estonia, Rep of Latvia, Rep of Lithuania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Cyprus, Rep of Slovenia, Czech Rep and Slovak Rep.
100 per cent extract from National Insurance Recording System at 14 May 2007
The county of Northamptonshire consists of Corby, Daventry, East Northamptonshire, Kettering, Northampton, South Northamptonshire and Wellingborough local authorities.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what steps his Department is taking to discourage members of the public from attempting to fix faulty gas appliances themselves; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of illegal gas installers; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the number of illegal gas installers working in the UK; 
(4) what estimate he has made of the number of carbon monoxide poisoning incidents caused by illegal gas installers in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mrs. McGuire: The law requires people who work on gas appliances to be competent and, if that gas work is done as business, that business must be CORGI-registered. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) publicises this key message, and the danger and likely illegality of DIY work, through a range of free guidance literature and via its website www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/index.htm. CORGI, approved by HSE to run the gas installer registration scheme, reinforces these messages through regular publicity campaigns, co-ordinated with the gas industry. A reform of the gas installer registration scheme will establish this as a major responsibility of the appointed provider of the new scheme.
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