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25 Jan 2008 : Column 2300Wcontinued
1 November 2007.
Making available minutes of performance review meetings could prejudice the Department's ability to performance manage NHS Direct effectively, but copies of agendas for these meetings have been placed in the Library. In future, we will publish agendas and a summary of the minutes on the Department's website.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the work commissioned by his Department that (a) has been finished and (b) is ongoing on the implications of merging the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
The Department of Health is working closely with the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act
Commission to prepare for the establishment of the Care Quality Commission. As part of this, two pieces of work have been commissioned by the Department:
a scoping study to more clearly understand what information technology work is needed to support the establishment of the Care Quality Commission. This work is finished; and
a study to identify options for the location(s) of headquarter functions of the Care Quality Commission. This work is ongoing.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Departments policy is on the use of non-geographic telephone numbers for lines used by members of the public; which of the primary care trusts in England advertise such telephone numbers to the public; and what estimate he has made of the number of calls to these numbers in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The provision of telephone services for patients and the public is a matter for the local national health service. The Department did however issue guidance in December 2006 clearly setting out that patients should not be charged more than the equivalent of a local call.
Information on which of the primary care trusts in England advertise non-geographical telephone numbers and how many calls were made to these numbers in the last 12 months is not collected centrally.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to ask the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation to review the weighted-capitation formula in respect of the allocation to Peterborough primary care trust with reference to the provision of general practitioners; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The weighted-capitation formula is used to determine primary care trusts (PCTs) target shares of available resources, to enable them to commission similar levels of health services for populations in similar need.
The Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA) continually oversees the development of the formula. ACRAs objective is to ensure equity in resource allocation to all PCTs.
ACRAs current work programme includes a review of the market forces factor, the need element of the formula and the population base for revenue allocations. ACRAs current review of the formula will be used to inform revenue allocations post 2008-09.
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many country governance assessments have been carried out in the last 18 months; and what account has been taken of
these assessments in his Departments (a) development decisions, including budget support decisions and (b) formulation of country and regional development assistance plans. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: DFID Country Offices were provided with guidance about how to undertake Country Governance Analysis (CGAs) in February 2007. Since then, 16 CGAs have been completed. These have been used, alongside other tools such as Drivers of Change Analysis, to inform programming decisions and Country Assistance Plans (CAPs). They are now a mandatory component of all CAPs. We are currently reviewing experience over the past nine months, and plan to update our guidance in April once that review is completed.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 23 November 2007, on funding to support the new AIDS strategy. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: A reply to the hon. Member for West Worcestershires letter of 23 November 2007 has been issued.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff in his Department are working on policy on conflict resources. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Developments work on conflict resources is managed by advisory and administrative staff in both the UK and in our offices overseas where conflict is a significant barrier to development. We also contribute indirectly to conflict policy development managed by the large multi-lateral donor organisations and non governmental organisations.
As an indicator of the numbers involved, we have 110 staff working centrally on conflict and security issues, including specialist advisory staff, plus 165 staff overseas in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
There will also be a number of other not readily identifiable staff working indirectly in support of those mentioned above.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether carbon capture and storage technology will be made exempt from the Climate Change Levy. 
Angela Eagle: I have been asked to reply.
The climate change levy is a tax on non-domestic use of energy aimed at promoting energy efficiency. There are currently no commercial-scale power generation
plants in the UK which deploy carbon capture and storage, so the issue of liability to pay the levy does not arise.
HMT consulted on the barriers to carbon capture and storage (CCS) deployment in 2006 and the Government announced in the Energy Review that the next logical step would be a full-scale demonstration project. A competition to design and build one of the first ever-commercial CCS demonstration projects was launched by the Prime Minister on 19 November. This demonstration will provide the evidence, which will enable us to take informed policy decisions, including on taxation issues.
All taxes and reliefs are kept under review and any changes are announced by the Chancellor as part of the Budget process.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what elements of the Europe for Citizens programme are operating in the UK. 
Margaret Hodge: I have been asked to reply.
The elements of the Europe for Citizens programme currently operating in the UK include town twinning co-operation projects and structural support for public research and civil society organisations.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what permission the (a) Cabinet Office and (b) Office of Public Sector Information have given to the Labour Party to reproduce Crown copyright photographs of the Prime Minister on the Labour Party website; and what payments have been made by the Labour Party to the Exchequer in relation to such photographs in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Wills: I have been asked to reply.
The majority of Crown copyright material can be re-used without charge under the terms of the online Click-Use Licence. The Labour party has a licence. Charges may be made for re-use of multiple Crown copyright photographs. No payments have been made by the Labour Party in this period.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he (a) last met and (b) next plans to meet the Chairman of the
Environment and Energy Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce, United Kingdom to discuss the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 
Mr. Woolas: The Secretary of State has not met, and has no immediate plans to meet, the Chairman of the Environment and Energy Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce UK, to discuss the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
However, there is a regular formal dialogue between UK Government officials and International Chamber of Commerce members on a range of energy and climate related issues.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the risk of flooding in Crosby constituency from (a) climate change and (b) river overflow; and what proposals he has considered to tackle such (i) flooding and (ii) flood risk. 
Mr. Woolas: The Environment Agency (North West Central Area) is currently undertaking a study into tidal flood risk in the Crosby constituency as part of their Tidal Areas Benefiting from Defences study.
This study is due for completion at the end of March 2008, and will produce a tidal flood outline which takes into account sea level rise due to climate change by the year 2115.
The Environment Agency completed a study of the River Alt taking into consideration fluvial flood risk in 2000. The results of this study are already included in the Environment Agency's Flood Map.
The River Alt and Crossens Catchment Flood Management Plan, which incorporates the Crosby constituency, is currently under development and at the consultation stage.
The Environment Agency is investing approximately £8 million over the next three years in the Crosby constituency, which includes the refurbishment of the Altmouth pumping station, a major and key asset vital to flood protection is this area.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will allocate funding to strengthen the sea defences in Crosby against the increasing number of storm force gales and related flooding. 
Mr. Woolas: A strategic management plan for the coast between Crosby and Formby Point is being developed by Sefton metropolitan borough council with support from the Environment Agency. This plan is considering the most sustainable means of managing the risk posed by coastal erosion and tidal flooding over the next 100 years, incorporating the effects of climate change.
Consultation took place with local communities and interest groups between September and December 2007 and the comments are currently being collated and
assessed. The plan will be finalised during the coming year. Any proposals to refurbish, replace or upgrade defences at Crosby will be evaluated further and incorporated into the national prioritised capital works programme based on their relative merits.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress his Department has made towards its public service agreement target to eliminate fuel poverty in vulnerable households in England by 2010 in line with the Governments Fuel Poverty Strategy objective; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 24 January 2008]: We have been successful in reducing fuel poverty between 1996 and 2005 by 3 million vulnerable households across the UK. However, as indicated in our most recent UK Fuel Poverty Strategy fifth annual progress report, available on the website of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, rising energy prices since 2003 have had an impact on households and we estimate that there may still be 1.2 million vulnerable households in fuel poverty in England by 2010.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 14 January 2008, Official Report, column 859W, on game birds, what steps are taken by his Department to assess the (a) qualifications and (b) objectivity of those who peer review reports referred to by him in answers to parliamentary questions; what steps were taken to assess the objectivity of Professor Emeritus David Coleman; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: In my answer of 14 January 2008, Official Report, column 859W, on game birds, I confirmed that, in general, scientific data referenced in parliamentary questions are drawn from peer reviewed publications or are reviewed by staff within the Department or statutory advisers. As is usual practice, the peer review was organised by the organisation which funded the report.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will re-appoint the current Official Verderer; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: The current Official Verderer was appointed in May 2002 and was re-appointed in 2005 for a second term of office, with the expectation that he would serve until 2008.
The Official Verderer wrote to the Office of the Prime Minister in October 2007 placing his office at the disposal of the Crown, and this offer was accepted. The appointment process for a new Official Verderer, which is being administered by the Forestry Commission and
which will follow the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies, is now under way.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what arrangements are being made to ensure the continuity of funding hitherto provided through the Rural Social and Community Programme. 
Jonathan Shaw: I was pleased to announce, on 14 December, a new investment of £3.45 million to support the network of rural community councils (RCCs) in England for each of the next three years. This funding will be channelled through Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), the lead body for the RCC network. The Government has no plans to continue with other elements of the Rural Social and Community Programme, which was designed to be a two-year investment in building rural community capacity.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Rural Communities Action Network budget details for Humber and the Wolds Community Council will be announced. 
Jonathan Shaw: I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer given on 21 January 2008, Official Report, column 1493W.
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