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Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 22 January 2008]: In 2004, the then Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) (now the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory ReformDBERR) commissioned Hayes McKenzie to report on claims that infrasound or low frequency noise emitted by wind turbine generators were causing health effects. Hayes McKenzie reported to the then DTI in May 2006 that there was no evidence of health effects arising from infrasound or low frequency noise generated by wind farms. The report recommended further work on the specific issue of Aerodynamic Modulation (AM).
A Government-funded research study, entitled Research into Aerodynamic Modulation (AM) of Wind Turbine Noise, undertaken by Salford University, reported in 2007 that although the incidence of AM could not be fully predicted, the incidence of AM and the number of people affected was probably too small to make a compelling case for further research:
Considering the need for further research, the incidence of AM and the number of people affected is probably too small at present to make a compelling case for further research funding in preference to other types of noise which affect many more people. On the other hand, since AM cannot be fully predicted at present, and its causes are not fully understood we consider that it might be prudent to carry out further research to improve understanding in this area.
On consideration of the Salford report the Government decided that there was not at present a compelling case for further work into AM, and that it would not carry out further research, but it would continue to keep the issue under review.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects the forms to be available to enable former members of the Womens Land Army and Womens Timber Corps to apply for their badge of recognition. 
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what changes were made to the regulation of political funds of Northern Ireland trades unions, during periods of direct rule from Westminster, since the Trade Union and Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 came into force. 
The Secretary of State ceased to be in charge of the Northern Ireland departments on 8 May 2007 when devolution was restored and the Northern Ireland Executive took over responsibility. Papers relating to the Trade Union and Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 which provides for the regulation of political funds of trade
unions in Northern Ireland are kept by the Department of Employment and Learning Northern Ireland (DEL).
DEL has advised me that Part V of the 1995 Order has been changed a number of times during periods of direct rule by the following enactments: the
Employment Rights (Disputes Resolution) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 (S.1.1998/1265 (N.I.8)); the Employment Relations Order (Northern Ireland) 1999 (S.1.1999/2790 (N.I.9)); and the Employment Relations Order (Northern Ireland) 2004 (S.I.2004/3078 (N.I.19)).
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether it is his Departments policy to use (a) incandescent light bulbs and (b) LED lights for festive decorations on departmental premises. 
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what his Departments policy is on the selection of (a) real and (b) artificial Christmas trees for his Departments festive decorations; and how real trees are disposed of. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department is split across sites and has four Christmas Trees on its Estate. Two of these trees are real and are recycled by our foliage company. One of the artificial trees is reused each year. The other artificial tree is hired from our foliage company and returned to them at the end of the hire period.
Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps his Department (a) has taken and (b) intends to take by (i) 2012 and (ii) 2020 in relation to adaptation to the effects of climate change as they affect his departmental responsibilities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 6 December 2007]: The steps the Department has taken and intends to take are set out in the Sustainable Development Action Plan (SDAP), Learning for the Future, covering 2006-08. We recently submitted a progress report on this to the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), the Governments independent watch dog on sustainable development.
We are currently working on the content of a new SDAP that will cover 2008-10. This will incorporate the Governments overall intentions as laid out in the recent Climate Change Bill and the cross-Government Adaptation Policy Framework to be published in the spring.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people in his Department are responsible for liaising with the Department for Children, Schools and Families. 
Mr. Lammy: Following the machinery of government changes last year, three separate Departments were established with clear demarcation of responsibility. However, we have sought to maintain effective communication links across the three new Departments to minimise disruption to our customers. A range of officials in DIUS are in regular discussion with the Department for Children, Schools and Families across a number of issues, covering both policy and the provision of corporate services. The issues being discussed and number of people involved varies.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many letters his Department and its predecessors received from hon. Members and Peers in each session of Parliament since 1997. 
The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members/Peers correspondence. Information relating to 2007 will be published as soon as it has been collated. The report for 2006 was published on 28 March 2007, Official Report, columns 101-04WS. Reports for earlier years are available in the House Library.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps his Department takes to check the employment status of foreign nationals in the United Kingdom to study. 
Foreign nationals with permission to study in the United Kingdom may work up to 20 hours per week during term time or full-time during vacations without the need to seek permission from their local Jobcentre Plus office or to obtain a work permit. It is the responsibility of an employer to establish that a foreign national is entitled to take employment in the UK. The Border and Immigration Agency has provided a helpline for employers to check the status of foreign nationals who seek to work in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps his Department has taken to implement the recommendations of the evaluation of the Union Learning Fund, 2001 to 2005, undertaken on behalf of the former Department for Education and Skills by York Consulting Ltd. 
Mr. Lammy: The main recommendations of the evaluation of the Union Learning Fund (2001-05) concern improving the level of management information provided by participating trade unions, particularly on learner referrals and outcomes; improving the level of support provided to help Union Learning Representatives (ULRs); and engaging strategically with employers to help ensure the long term sustainability of union learning activity initiated by the Union Learning Fund (ULF).
Officials from my Department have been working with unionlearn the TUCs new learning organisation to address these issues. Work has been done to improve the management information systems of ULF projects which will capture more information on the numbers taking Skills for Life, Level 2 and Level 3 courses. Additional support systems have been put in place at national, regional and local level to help Union Learning Representatives to carry out their duties more effectively. A new electronic tool, the Climbing Frame has been developed which is designed to help ULRs support learners to progress through different levels of study and a new Quality Award for learning providers that helps ULRs to identify accessible high quality provision for learners.
These strengthened support systems for ULRs will help to secure the future sustainability of union learning initiatives and underpin the work that unionlearn is doing to help those trade unions involved in ULF to develop effective strategic partnership working with employers. Over 200 learning agreements were established last year between unions and employers involved in ULF, helping to embed successful projects into long-term planning.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many students in Barnet have (a) applied for, (b) enrolled for and (c) received an education maintenance allowance during the 2007-08 academic year; what assessment he has made of the effect of education maintenance allowances on staying-on rates in education in Barnet; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The LSC operate the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) scheme for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and hold the information about take-up and payments made under the scheme. Mark Haysom, the LSCs chief executive, will write to the hon. Gentleman with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.
We do not collect information on the impact of EMA specific to Barnet, however EMA was subject to a thorough evaluation during its pilot stage. The results indicated an increase in participation by 16-year-olds of 3.8 per cent. points nationally and 4.1 per cent. points nationally for 17-year-olds.
In addition a further analysis of the impact of EMA on participation and attainment was commissioned by the LSC and a copy of the results, with a summary of the key findings, was placed in the House Library on 3 December 2007.
I am writing in response to your Parliamentary Question that asked; "How many students in Barnet have (a) applied for, (b) enrolled on a course to be supported by and (c) received an education maintenance allowance during the current academic year; what assessment he has made of the effect of education maintenance allowances on staying on rates in education in Barnet."
EMA take-up is defined as young people who have received one or more EMA payments in the academic year.
The following table shows EMA applicants, enrolments and take-up for Barnet Local Authority Area:
EMA take-up data showing the number of young people who have received one or more EMA payments during 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07 and to date in 2007/08 is now also available on the LSC website, at the following address:
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many and what proportion of (a) children and (b) families (i) who are black and minority ethnic, (ii) with English as an additional language, (iii) with special needs and disabilities and (iv) with a lone parent (A) have been provided with information on and (B) are accessing Sure Start programmes and services; what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of those programmes and services; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what the capacity of provision for child care through Sure Start programmes was in each of the last five years; how many and what proportion of (a) families and (b) children (i) received information on and (ii) accessed this provision over this period; what average proportion of capacity was used over that period; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: All Sure Start Childrens Centres provide information and advice to parents and carers on a range of subjects including local child care and education services for three and four-year-olds. Centres serving the most disadvantaged communities in England must provide integrated early learning and full daycare as part of their core services while centres serving less disadvantaged communities may provide integrated early learning and daycare places where local demand is not being met by existing, good quality providers. The information requested about different groups of families receiving information and taking up services, including integrated early learning and daycare, is not collected centrally by my Department. Data on the capacity of provision for child care through Sure Start programmes in the last five years are not collected centrally.
The ongoing National Evaluation of Sure Start (NESS) produced initial findings on the impact of the early Sure Start Local Programmes in November 2005. These gave a very early indication that Sure Start is succeeding in making a difference to a large number of
parents and children and is doing particularly well in affecting parenting practices. Because we know that some Sure Start Childrens Centres have more work to do to reach the most disadvantaged families from April this year we have committed additional resources which will enable local authorities to fund two more outreach workers in centres serving the most disadvantaged communities.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate has been made of the additional number of mobile phone masts required to meet future demand of further generations of mobile telecommunications equipment. 
The Government encourage mast and site sharing wherever possible, and network operators have an obligation under current planning procedures to demonstrate that they have considered all mast and site sharing options. Future sharing of network infrastructure would reduce the rate of growth of base station sites.
There is no current estimate of the number of additional mobile phone masts required to meet future demand of further generations of mobile telecommunications equipment. This is due to the fast moving nature of the telecommunications industry.
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