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3 Apr 2008 : Column 1146W—continued

Olympic Games: China

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister for the Olympics if she will hold discussions with (a) the International Olympics Committee and (b) the Chinese authorities to urge them not to include the Tibetan Autonomous Region and the Chinese provinces which, taken together, constituted Tibet prior to the Chinese invasion, in the route of the Olympic Torch before the Beijing Olympics. [198695]

Tessa Jowell: We are aware that the Olympic Torch Relay is due to pass through Tibet and up Mount Everest on its way to Beijing. The passage of the torch relay through any country is a matter for the authorities of the country concerned and the International Olympic Committee.

Prime Minister

Advisory Committee on Business Appointments: Standards

Chris Huhne: To ask the Prime Minister if he will assess the effectiveness of the work of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments. [196892]

The Prime Minister: The work of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments has already been the subject of a review by the Public Administration Select Committee. Its report, “The Business Appointment Rules”, published in June 2007, included consideration of an independent review carried out by Sir Patrick Brown. They concluded that

Copies of the reports and the Government’s response are in the Libraries of the House. The Public Administration Select Committee is also considering further the work of the advisory committee in relation to its current inquiry on lobbying.

The House will also wish to be aware that the chairman of the advisory committee, Lord Mayhew, has informed me that he wishes to step down from the chairmanship of the committee for reasons of ill health. I would like to place on record my thanks to him for the nine years of outstanding service and commitment he has given the committee and public life more generally. Sir John Blelloch, the vice chairman, will manage the committee’s day-to-day business until a successor to Lord Mayhew is appointed.

3 Apr 2008 : Column 1147W

Departmental Internet

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Prime Minister whether the IT system of 10 Downing Street is able to provide a record of Wikipedia entries (a) created and (b) amended from within his Office. [195831]

The Prime Minister: I know of no instance where my Office has either created or amended any records on Wikipedia.

Departmental Pay

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Prime Minister what the (a) total staffing cost and (b) average annual salary of members of the Number 10 policy unit was in each of the last five years. [195798]

The Prime Minister: The overall staffing costs for No. 10 are published on a regular basis following the end of the financial year.


Average Earnings

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the average annual (a) earnings were and (b) household income was in Wales in each of the last three years. [197908]

Mr. Paul Murphy: Average earnings figures complied by the Office for National Statistics are published as a weekly figure. The data for 2007, 2006 and 2005 are as follows:

Ave rage gross weekly earnings (full- time) (£)







(1 )Due to a change in Office for National Statistics methodology the 2005 figure is not directly comparable to 2006 and 2007.

The latest data on estimated gross disposable household income in Wales for the years 2003, 2004 and 2005 were published in March 2007 and are as follows:

Estimated gross disposable household income (GDHI) (£)







Brofiscin Quarry

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when Rhondda Cynon Taff Council were first advised by the Environment Agency to expect receipt of a list of appropriate persons in respect of the pollution in and around Brofiscin Quarry; when the Agency expects to provide the list; what the reasons are for the time taken; and if he will make a statement. [197423]

3 Apr 2008 : Column 1148W

Mr. Paul Murphy: I am informed by the Environment Agency Wales that on the 7 March 2008 the Environment Agency apprised Rhondda Cynon Taff county borough council of the status of its investigation into potential ‘Appropriate Persons’. The Environment Agency did not advise the local authority when it would receive a list of the ‘Appropriate Persons’. The Environment Agency is still investigating who should be responsible for the cost of remediation in accordance with the provisions of Part 2A Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Statutory Guidance.

Brofiscin Quarry: Hazardous Substances

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2008, Official Report, column 2243W, on Brofiscin Quarry: hazardous substances, what the timetable is for the Environment Agency completing their investigation into responsibility for the cost of remediating the quarry. [193497]

Mr. Paul Murphy: This matter is within the devolved responsibility of the Welsh Assembly Government. However, I understand the Environment Agency is still investigating who should be responsible for the cost of remediation. In doing so, it must ensure that it acts in accordance with the relevant legislation and statutory guidance. The contaminated land regime does not prescribe a timetable for completion of the investigation.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 1300W, on hazardous substances: Brofiscin quarry, what the original planned date for publication of the remedial options was; and what the reason for the time taken to publish is. [197874]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The Environment Agency had no original planned date for publication of its remediation option appraisal but it will place the information required by Regulation 15 and Schedule 3 of the Contaminated Land (Wales) Regulations 2001 on a public register.

The Environment Agency intends to place that information on the public register as soon as reasonably practicable after it is generated.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (HL) 2007-08

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will hold discussions with the Health Minister in the Welsh Assembly Government on the effects of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, if enacted, in Wales. [197819]

Huw Irranca-Davies: My right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Public Health (Dawn Primarolo) has had regular discussions with the Welsh Assembly Government during the preparation and passage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill and I fully expect those discussions to continue.

3 Apr 2008 : Column 1149W

Work and Pensions

Access to Work Programme: Fraud

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the (a) amount and (b) number of cases of fraud in the access to work scheme in the last 12 months; and what sanctions there are against people who commit such fraud. [198255]

Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 1 April 2008]: The level of undetected fraud in Access to Work funding is not separately estimated.

From 1 April 2007 to 28 March 2008 Access to Work provided grants totalling £62 million to help around 40,000 people to keep or get work. In the same period 28 Access to Work cases were investigated because of potential fraudulent claims. The investigation identified a total loss of £190,573. Action taken resulted in savings of £123,605. Court proceedings were taken in three cases where fraudulent claims to Access to Work funds were identified.

Any cases of deliberate fraud will be prosecuted for theft, and courts may consider the imposition of a fine or custodial sentence as well as ordering recovery of amounts overpaid. The Department can cease to deal with an organisation if it is felt that by doing so it would eliminate an unacceptable risk to public funds.

Individuals may continue to receive support through the programme as long as they satisfy the eligibility criteria and comply with the terms under which their support was approved.

Consumer Goods: Nanotechnology

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many products containing free nanoparticles are available in the UK consumer market. [196964]

Ian Pearson: I have been asked to reply.

The Government's aim is for the UK to derive maximum benefit from nanotechnologies and their products in a way that safeguards health, safety and the environment and addresses the aspirations and concerns of the public. The statement by the UK Government about nanotechnologies, announced in the written ministerial statement of 28 February 2008, Official Report, columns 86-7W, explains what the Government are doing to deliver these objectives.

The Government do not hold a list of products containing free nanoparticles although it has published a report on the manufacture and use of nanomaterials in the UK

To promote a standardised approach to labelling and ensure that products containing manufactured nanoparticles can be correctly identified, the British Standards Institute has recently published a good practice guidance document PAS 130:2007 “Guidance on the labelling of manufactured nanoparticles and products containing manufactured nanoparticles”.

3 Apr 2008 : Column 1150W

The Research Councils are undertaking public dialogue on nanotechnologies and the topic is likely to feature in work resulting from the recent programme of stakeholder engagement to identify the implications of new and emerging science and technology.

Government Departments and agencies are keeping under review the need for action to address regulatory gaps in the light of emerging evidence. The ministerial group on Nanotechnologies (which comprises the Ministers for Science and Innovation; the Environment; Public Health; Health and Safety; and Business and Competitiveness) will oversee the process and will also review progress on delivery of the Government's other commitments regarding nanotechnologies.

Departmental Advertising

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which of his Department's initiatives have been advertised to the public in each of the last 10 years; and what the cost of each such campaign was. [192223]

Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions was formed on 8 June 2001 from parts of the former Department of Social Security, the former Department for Education and Employment and the Employment Service. Information on costs prior to 2002-03 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The Department runs a number of promotional campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of rights and responsibilities. The following table details spend on advertising campaigns run by the Department in each of the last five complete financial years.

Government policies and programmes affect the lives of millions of people and in order for them to work they must be communicated effectively. But that also has to be done with cost efficiency in mind and there are strict rules to ensure value for money on Government advertising.

3 Apr 2008 : Column 1151W
Departmental advertising costs £000

2006-07( 1)

Age Partnership Group


Age Positive


Targeting benefit fraud


Reducing customer error


The Pension Service core benefit take up


Winter fuel payments


Child maintenance enforcement


Jobcentre Plus promotion to Black and Minority Ethnic audience


Job Done


Jobseeker's Allowance 50+ Pilot


Lone parent


2005-06( 1)

State pension deferral


Images of disability


Targeting benefit fraud


Pension credit


Winter fuel payments


State second pension


Age Partnership group


National sector campaign


2004-05( 1)

Age Positive


State pension deferral


Disability Discrimination Act


Targeting benefit fraud


Direct payment


Council tax benefit


Pension credit


Winter fuel payments


Lone parent leaflet promotion marketing


National vacancy campaign


IB reforms pilots


2003-04( 1)

Age positive


Second state pension


Pension service awareness


New Deal


Disability Discrimination Act


Targeting benefit fraud


Direct payment


Council tax benefit


Pension credit


Winter fuel payments


Jobseekers direct


IB reforms pilot


Jobcentre Plus customer marketing


National employer campaign


2002-03( 1)

Age positive


Future pensioners/informed choice


Second state pension


New Deal for Musicians


Disability Discrimination Act


Targeting benefit fraud


Direct payment


Winter fuel payments


Inherited serps


(1) The tables do not include the following as the information is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost:
spend by non-departmental bodies for which the Department is responsible;
details of highly localised publicity activity by the Department's customer-facing businesses;
recruitment or procurement advertising;
Jobcentre Plus publicity during 2002-03 as at that time allocations sat with individual policy teams and within regional budgets.

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