|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mrs. May: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality which Departments have established (a) ministerial committees and (b) permanent groups involving senior civil servants to liaise with the Government Equalities Office. 
None of the other Government Departments have established ministerial committees or permanent groups specifically in order to liaise with the Government Equalities Office (GEO), although
GEO is a member of a number of cross-departmental groups. The GEO has also set up a number of groups, such as the Equality PSA Delivery Board in order to liaise with other Departments.
Dr. Francis: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many people with disabilities were employed by each local authority in each of the last three years, broken down by disability; and what proportion of employees that represents in each case. 
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has issued guidance to staff in his Department to switch off personal computers when not in use; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer of 21 April 2008, Official Report, column 1347W, on the departmental internet, how much bandwidth per month his Department purchases; how much of this is burst bandwidth; what the maximum burstable rate is; what resiliency has been purchased; how many servers host the website; and what backup solution is in place. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: The Wales Office departmental internet uses 1 megabit per second, none of which is burst, although the maximum burstable rate is 2 megabits per second. No resiliency has been purchased, but the company who hosts the website has a complete backup. The website is hosted on one server.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has issued guidance to staff in his Department to switch off personal computers when not in use; and if he will make a statement. 
The Executive is shortly to introduce a new energy saving initiative that automatically shuts down computers which are not in use. The 'Nightwatchman', as the new software is known, will be installed on all computers across the network throughout the next month or so. This software will help to save energy and reduce carbon emissions by ensuring computers are shutdown when not in use.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was paid in end-of-year performance bonuses to (a) all staff and (b) staff at senior civil service level in his Department in the 2007-08 financial year; and how many payments were made. 
David Cairns: Staff in the Scotland Office are seconded from the Scottish Executive (SE) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) who each have bonus schemes, part of which relate to annual performance appraisal. The Scotland Office does not hold information on bonus payments under the annual performance appraisal systems. Under the Special Bonus Scheme of the SE and the Reward and Recognition Scheme of the MoJ, the Office may also directly authorise bonus payments for special effort, achievement and commitment; the following table shows the number and cost of such non-pensionable bonuses:
Members of the Senior Civil Service in the Scotland Office are also seconded from the Scottish Executive and the Ministry of Justice, their bonuses are assessed under a framework set by the Cabinet Office. The Office does not hold central information on such bonuses.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland pursuant to the answer of 14 May 2008, Official Report, column 1638W, on planning: wind power, what account he takes of the effects of planning advice in Scotland in formulating planning guidance for England on the siting of wind turbines; and if he will make a statement. 
Rob Marris: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speakers Committee on the Electoral Commission what steps were taken against the British National party for its late declaration of donations, fundraising abroad, the destruction of financial records and other irregularities referred to in the BBC Radio 4 programme File on Four in February 2008. 
Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that it has taken enforcement action against the British National party on three occasions, fining the party a total of £1,750 for late submission of accounts and campaign expenditure reports. The individual civil penalties are listed as follows:
31 August 2007: Fined £1,000 for late submission of partys 2006 Statement of Accounts;
24 October 2007: Fined £250 for late submission of Accounting Unit 2006 Statement of Accounts; and
21 December 2007: Fined £500 for late submission of Scottish Parliamentary campaign expenditure return
In addition, on two occasions, the BNP has submitted quarterly returns of donations late. Its quarter 1 2003 return was late by one day and its quarter 3 2006 return was two weeks late. However, the Commission did not begin imposing fines on political parties for late submission of donation returns until quarter 1 2007.
In relation to allegations of fundraising abroad, the Commission has made inquiries into this issue and was not satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to establish that the British National Party had accepted impermissible donations.
Regarding the alleged destruction of financial records and other irregularities referred to in the BBC Radio 4 programme File on Four, the Electoral Commission reviewed a small number of shredded papers but was not able to establish that they provided evidence of a possible offence under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
Rob Marris: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speakers Committee on the Electoral Commission (1) what donations were notified to the Commission (a) on time and (b) late in each year for which figures are available; who the donor was in each case; on what date each donation was (i) received and (ii) notified; and what steps were taken in each case of late notification; 
(2) what donations were notified to the Commission (a) late and (b) on time where the donation was found to be impermissible in each year for which figures are available; who the (i) donor and (ii) donee was in each case; and on what date (A) the donation was received and (B) the Commission was notified in each case; 
(3) what donations were notified to the Commission (a) late and (b) on time by each political party in each year for which figures are available; and what steps were taken against each political party for late notification in each case. 
Peter Viggers: I am advised that the answers to the hon. Members questions are voluminous. I will therefore write to the hon. Member, have a copy of my letters placed in the Library, and ask the Electoral Commission to place a copy of the letters on their website.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) apprenticeships and (b) advanced apprenticeships there were in (i) her Department and (ii) the agencies for which she is responsible in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Dhanda: There are no apprenticeships or advanced apprenticeships within my Department. However, we will be participating in the Apprenticeship Pathfinder in September 2008 which is being facilitated by Government Skills. The Fire Service College had one apprenticeship during 2005 which resulted in the person being taken on as a permanent member of staff. None of my other agencies or the Government office network have had apprenticeships or advanced apprenticeships.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Community Empowerment White Paper will be published before the summer recess; and what the timetable is for subsequent legislation. 
Mr. Dhanda: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 5 March that she would publish a White Paper on empowerment in the summer. On 14 May the Prime Minister announced that the Government intend to introduce a Bill on community empowerment, housing and economic regeneration in the fourth session.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will hold discussions with representatives of the Harrogate International Centre on provision of funding to the centre by her Department and the Yorkshire Regional Development Agency. 
Mr. Dhanda: Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency is currently in discussions with the Harrogate International Centre, at a senior level, about the possibility of investment in its refurbishment and awaits the outcome of a feasibility study expected later this year.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) pursuant to the answer of 24 April 2008, Official Report, column 2254W, on council tax: parish councils, and with reference to the answer of 14 June 2007, Official Report, column 1169W, for what reasons her Department is not able to calculate the average parish council tax precept; 
John Healey: Information on precepts and band D council taxes set by individual parish and town councils is not collected by the Department. The only information on parish precepts reported to the Department by local authorities is the total amount of parish precepts due to be collected by each billing authority. For this reason, a precise average cannot be calculated.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many homes were revalued for the purposes of council tax at the point of sale in each region in each year since 1997; 
(2) how many homes revalued at the point of sale for the purposes of council tax were (a) revalued to (i) a higher band and (ii) a lower band and (b) the same council tax band in each region of the UK in each year since 1997. 
John Healey: Regulation 4 of the Council Tax (Alteration of Lists and Appeals) Regulations 1993 requires that a banding is reviewed following improvements (a material increase) at the point of sale (a relevant transaction). The number of such reviews, broken down by region and whether they resulted in (a) a higher band or (c) no change, were:
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|