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Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 6 May 2008, Official Report, column 828W, on the Valuation Office, if he will outline how the models differ from each other within the Automated Valuation Model. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 19 March 2008, Official Report, column 1226W, on the Valuation Office Agency: Rightmove, whether the initial contract between the Valuation Office Agency and Rightmove has now ended; and whether a decision to extend the contract has been made by the Valuation Office Agency; 
While no further payments are required, the benefits of access to Rightmoves historic records by the Valuation Office Agency, as provided for in the initial contract, remain in place. No decision has been made on extending the contract.
Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 19 March 2008, Official Report, column 1226W, on Valuation Office Agency: ICT, what sources will be used to supply the geo-spatial data for the Geographic Information System; and whether this will include (a) ACORN and (b) MOSAIC data. 
(a) £706,668, for the set up and licences (costs incurred between 1999-2000 and 2005-06); and
(b) £87,250 for ongoing maintenance in 2008-09.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many annual tax credit documentation letters were sent in duplicate to both members of the same household in the latest period for which figures are available. 
For cases where a reply is not required then one form is sent to each adult claimant in a household playing back the information that HMRC proposes to use to finalise and renew their claim. These are then automatically renewed using these details unless the customer provides updated information by the renewals deadline.
In 2007, HMRC issued renewal packs for around 4.1 million reply required claims plus notices for around 2.4 million claims for claims they proposed to renew automatically. It is not possible to say how many of those were issued to joint claimant households. Tax credits notices contain all the information used to calculate an award and it is a requirement of the primary legislation that when HMRC make a decision about tax credit entitlement, they send a notice setting out the decision to each of the partners in a joint claim.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent representations he has received from the Royal Society in respect of the role of carbon capture and storage in combating climate change. 
Malcolm Wicks: I receive many representations from a wide range of organisations, including recently the Royal Society, in respect of the role of carbon capture and storage in combating climate change.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has received from residents of Southend-on-Sea on the proposed new coal power station at Kingsnorth; what response he has made; if he will place in the Library a copy of each such representation; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent discussions he has had with (a) power generation companies, (b) gas distribution companies and (c) Energy Watch on the cost of energy supplies to domestic consumers. 
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many people in (a) Wakefield District and (b) Hemsworth constituency are eligible for social tariffs from energy suppliers. 
Malcolm Wicks: The information requested is not available. Energy suppliers voluntarily provide a range of assistance to households vulnerable to fuel poverty, including social tariffs. In April the Government secured the individual agreement of the six largest energy suppliers to increase their collective spend on social assistance to £150 million a year by 2010-11. This will be spent on a number of initiatives including social tariffs, rebates and trust funds.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment his Department has made of the resilience of nuclear power stations to flooding. 
Malcolm Wicks: UK nuclear power stations are designed to be protected against flooding, and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requires flood defence plans to be periodically reviewed by site operators. HSE would also require appropriate flood protection measures and flood defence plans for any new nuclear power station in the future.
The potential impact of flooding would be a relevant consideration in any future siting assessment for any proposed new nuclear build, alongside a range of other considerations. We will be consulting on draft criteria for the Strategic Siting Assessment shortly.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many and what proportion of (a) post offices within supermarkets and (b) stand-alone post offices in (i) Southend and (ii) Essex will be closed under the Post Office Network Change Programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what annual cash savings the Post Office expects from the closure of post office branches at (a) 42 Vicarage Road, Maidenhead, (b) 55 High Street, Wargrave, near Reading and (c) 49 Wootton Way, Maidenhead. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 9 June 2008]: This is a commercial and operational matter for Post Office Ltd. (POL) and the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd. (ABCUL) who, I understand, maintain a regular dialogue to explore the opportunities for working together. I also understand that ABCUL use the Co-operative Bank as a channel for credit union current accounts and that the banks contract with POL enables current account customers of credit unions using this Co-operative Bank service to pay in or withdraw cash and make balance inquiries at post offices.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what monitoring of waiting times at post office branches (a) his Department and (b) Postcomm performs; what methodology is used; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department does not carry out any monitoring exercises for waiting times at Post Office branches. Postcomm, the industry regulator, has a limited role in relation to the Post Office network. It monitors the impact of strategic developments in the network, and provides advice to the Secretary of State in the form of an annual report. It is not currently carrying out any research in this area.
Post Office Ltd. monitors waiting times at branches through its mystery shopper visits. A sample of 1,000 branches are visited on a monthly basis by a mystery shopper and marked against a range of factors, including waiting times. This is to ensure that customer service is being maintained and where branches are identified as falling below standard, this is raised with the sub-postmaster or branch manager.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent steps the Government has taken to encourage private businesses to use energy from renewable sources. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Renewables Obligation (RO) is the Governments main mechanism for encouraging new renewable electricity generation with all eligible renewable electricity generation installations able to receive Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs). We have announced that under proposed reforms to the RO, microgenerators will be able to claim two ROCs for every one MWh of renewable electricity generated. The Government intend to introduce these changes from 1 April 2009, thus doubling the support they receive through the RO to the highest level available.
Under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP), with an £86 million budget, around £30 million has been allocated to 6,300 projects, including £6.5 million to 154 projects in the private sector. Although all funding streams for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have now closed to new applicants, we are working closely with the Carbon Trust on a number of private sector projects to raise awareness of the potential for combining microgeneration with energy efficiency to develop low carbon buildings. Further details are available at:
Advice is available from a number of sources, including the Carbon Trust who provides site surveys to organisations, including SMEs, looking to reduce their energy demand, save money and manage their carbon emissions more efficiently. Further details are available at:
The Renewable Energy Strategy consultation due in the summer will include considerations of the role that microgeneration and distributed energy will play going forward. This will consider a range of possible initiatives such as financial or regulatory instruments, voluntary guidance and providing better information to business and consumers.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform from which regulatory requirements he proposes to exempt those companies with 20 or fewer employees; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: When we published the Enterprise Strategy next to the Budget in March 2008, we announced that the Government will introduce a new approach to help ensure that regulation affecting small firms achieves the outcomes aimed for while minimising unnecessary impacts. This flexible approach includes considering whether small firms can be exempt from requirements without affecting essential protections or if there is scope for simplified enforcement. This will be applied to new regulation currently under development.
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