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19 Feb 2008 : Column 646W—continued

Sustainable Buildings Task Group

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which recommendations made by the sustainable buildings task group have been implemented; and which are still under consideration. [186452]

Mr. Iain Wright: A table which sets out the recommendations made by the group and summarises progress with each has been deposited in the Library of the House.

Thames Gateway

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of all correspondence relating to the purchase by the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation of (a) the Grays Territorial Army headquarters and (b) industrial land at Purfleet in the financial year 2007-08. [186442]

Caroline Flint: I will arrange for relevant correspondence relating to these land purchases by the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation to be placed in the Library of the House, subject to the exclusion of any information that may compromise commercial negotiations or contravene the Data Protection Act.

Thames Gateway: Finance

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what measures she is taking to facilitate the involvement of private investment funding in the Thames Gateway project; and if she will make a statement. [185482]

Caroline Flint: Significant private sector investment is already going into the Thames Gateway such as DP World’s £1.5 billion investment into the new London Gateway Port in Essex, the new high speed rail link, and development on key sites for example at Barking Riverside. In the future Crossrail will also see significant investment coming into the area.

In November 2007 the Prime Minister launched the Thames Gateway Delivery Plan setting out the Government proposals for investing in the area to help deliver the key infrastructure to create the conditions that will enable investor confidence. The plan sets out how some £9.6 billion of Government funding will be invested to support housing and economic growth along with the necessary transport improvements, schools, health care facilities and other community facilities. The Government will continue to work with private sector partners at all levels to ensure the programme benefits from their expertise and experience.

Together with this Department, the three regional development agencies are establishing a new £200 million strategic economic investment fund to support their economic development and investment plan which will identify major projects that will result in an economic step-change.

In addition, a new Pan-Gateway approach to attracting inward investment into the region is being adopted together with close co-operation with the region’s three regional development agencies and their
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partners to maximise the value proposition of the Gateway to potential investors.

Some £43 billion is expected to be invested by the private sector over the next 20 years on the back of the proposed investment by Government in the Thames Gateway as set out in the delivery plan.

Wind Power: Marketing

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance, advice or instructions have been issued to planning inspectors with regard to the involvement of public money in the promotion, development or financing of on-shore wind farms and its relevance to a planning appeal. [186339]

Mr. Iain Wright: Inspectors reach their decisions having regard to the development plan, published policy and guidance (notably the planning policy statements on renewables and climate change) and any other material considerations. There is no issued guidance, advice or instructions to planning inspectors on

Inspectors receive training on matters relating to their decisions which will include background information relating to issues such as the renewables obligation.

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Arms Trade: Export Controls

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how the Government will extend export laws to control extra-territorial brokering and trafficking of small arms by United Kingdom citizens operating outside the United Kingdom, as announced by his Department on 6 February. [186818]

Malcolm Wicks: On 6 February 2008 the Government published their initial response to a public consultation carried out as part of the 2007 review of export control legislation. The Government’s commitment to extend the extra-territorial trade controls to cover the activities of UK persons anywhere in the world in relation to small arms forms part of that response, which can be viewed in full on BERR’s website at:

The Government have prioritised the implementation of this commitment and intend to act speedily. During the coming weeks, the Government will work closely with stakeholder groups on the detail of how these new controls will operate in practice and will produce guidance to assist industry to operate them, prior to the introduction of secondary legislation.


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British Energy: Finance

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what payments were made to British Energy for contractual historic spent fuel liabilities in each year for which figures are available. [185240]

Malcolm Wicks: The payments made to British Energy for historic spent fuel liabilities were as follows in each of the following financial years:

Financial year Payments made to British Energy (£)

2004-05

184,812,000

2005-06

189,002,000

2006-07

196,389,000


These figures appear in the Department of Trade and Industry's Annual Report and Accounts, available on the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform's website at

Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his assessment is of the contribution to the UK economy of Daresbury Science and Innovation campus; and if he will make a statement. [184819]

Ian Pearson: I have been asked to reply.

The Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus has made a significant contribution to the UK, both economically and scientifically. The Government remain committed to developing the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus, as announced in the March 2006 Budget, so it can continue to do so.

The development of the campus has been through a partnership between the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the North West Development Agency (NWDA), the Universities of Manchester, Liverpool and Lancaster and Halton borough council. This has led to more than 60 high-technology companies locating at Daresbury over the past two years.

The STFC has confirmed that it will continue to invest at Daresbury to provide global leadership in key science and technology areas, building on the world class skills currently on the campus.

The Government have asked Sir Tom McKillop to chair an independent review of how best to implement the Government’s and STFC’s shared vision for Daresbury.

Electricity Generation

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many facilities with the capacity to generate more than 500 megawatts were (a) given planning consent and (b) closed in each year since 1997; and what the type and capacity of each of those facilities was. [186360]


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Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 18 February 2008]: The following new over 500 MW power stations in England and Wales have been consented by this Department since 1997:

During the same period the following over 500 MW power stations closed:

Over 500 MW power stations in Scotland are the responsibility of Scottish Ministers and are not included in the data here.

Electricity: Conservation

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps his Department (a) has taken and (b) intends to take before 2012 to reduce the waste of electrical power. [180183]

Malcolm Wicks: In the Energy White Paper, the Government set out a series of measures, which can significantly reduce energy use in homes and business by 2020 (7.0-11.7 MtC by 2020).

Measures being introduced in the domestic sector include a continued obligation on energy suppliers to reduce home energy use, new building regulations, the energy performance certificates to make energy use more important when buying and selling homes and working with the EU to improve product standards, for example by phasing out inefficient light bulbs by 2011.

In the business sector, the new carbon reduction commitment will mean that for major business and the public sector energy use receives greater attention to encourage companies to take more action on energy efficiency.

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme will continue to provide an incentive for the largest energy users to use energy efficiently.


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In addition, the energy industry regulator, Ofgem, has an objective to promote efficiency in electrical distribution and transmission. They do this by providing incentives to system operators in the relevant price controls.

Employment: Tribunals

Chris McCafferty: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the Gibbons Review recommendation to review the circumstances in which it is appropriate for employment tribunal chairs to sit alone, in order to ensure that lay members are used in a way that adds most value; and if he will make a statement. [185070]

Mr. McFadden [holding answer 7 February 2008]: The Government acknowledge the valuable and important contribution which lay members make to the tribunal system. This was reaffirmed through responses to the Government consultation ‘Resolving disputes in the workplace’ which was issued in March 2007 and closed on 20 June 2007. Most respondents commented that the tripartite structure of the tribunal was a real strength which aided decision-making in cases where considerations of context and reasonableness were important.

There was also support in the consultation for employment judges to sit alone in determining cases involving issues of a purely legal nature and in straightforward monetary cases, where the practical experience of the workplace that lay members bring to the tribunal’s deliberations is of less relevance. Additionally, over 70 per cent. of respondents to the consultation supported the introduction of a new, swift approach to dealing with straightforward claims, where cases could be determined by an employment judge, with the consent of the parties, on the basis of the papers.

Responding to these findings in the consultation process, the Government propose to develop further the good practice which already exists within the tribunals by establishing a fast-track system for dealing with simple monetary claims. The fast-track system will involve five jurisdictions where claims potentially raise straightforward issues and therefore potentially could be determined without the need for a tribunal hearing. The jurisdictions considered suitable for the fast track are:

Claims falling within these jurisdictions that are combined with other jurisdictions outside the list, will not be eligible for a fast-track determination.

Energy: Renewables Obligation

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform for which (a) crops and (b) crop by-products renewable obligation
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certificates were issued for burning in power stations for each year since 2001; whether each was domestically grown or imported; and what the authorised amounts were in each case. [185619]

Malcolm Wicks: My Department does not hold the information requested.

However the following table provides an estimate of the types of material co-fired from 2005 until the end of September 2007 under the renewables obligation:

Tonnes
Total 2007 2006 2005

Palm oil

45,728

6,202

36,697

2,829

Palm residues

1,165,087

238,216

480,043

446,828

Olive residues

514,211

131,160

99,829

283,222

Shea residues

31,558

21,357

4,781

5,420

Wood and wood residues

633,595

140,868

206,804

285,923

Crop residues and co- products

382,821

105,880

152,457

124,484

Short rotation Coppice and Miscanthus

15,626

8,881

2,439

4,306

Other

419,094

98,343

59,735

261,016


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