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23 Jun 2008 : Column 12W—continued

Olympic Games 2012: Cost Effectiveness

Mr. Bone: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what criteria she plans to use to assess whether the 2012 London Olympic Games provide value for money. [212619]

Tessa Jowell: The Olympic programme is subject to regular National Audit Office Value for Money Audits. The latest NAO Report—‘Preparations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Progress Report’—was published on 20 June 2008. Previous reports have covered risk assessment and management (February 2007) and the budget for the 2012 Games (July 2007).

The success of the 2012 games will also be assessed against other published indicators, in particular those identified in “Public Service Agreement 22 (PSA 22)—Deliver a successful Olympic Games and Paralympic Games with a sustainable legacy and get more children and young people taking part in high quality PE and sport”. The PSA 22 delivery agreement was published by HM Treasury in October 2007.


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Wales

Departmental Furniture

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many (a) chairs, (b) desks and (c) other office furnishings have been purchased by his Department and its agencies in each of the last five years; and at what cost in each case. [211759]

Mr. Paul Murphy: In the last five years, my Department has made the following purchases in respect of departmental furnishing.

This brings the total spend to £2,239.27. These purchases were all made in the financial year 2006-07.

Departmental Home Working

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people in his Department are authorised to work from home. [212513]

Mr. Paul Murphy: Eight members of Wales Office staff have laptops and related equipment which enables them to work from home. Some use this on an ad hoc basis, while others have a more regular working from home arrangement.

A further 11 members of staff have Blackberries, which enable them to keep in touch by email while they are out of the office or travelling.

Departmental Inquiries

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what independent inquiries have been commissioned by his Department in the last five years; what the (a) purpose and (b) cost was of each; and what steps were taken following each such inquiry. [212314]

Mr. Paul Murphy: None.

Departmental Marketing

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much his Department spent on branding and marketing activity in 2007-08. [212046]

Mr. Paul Murphy: Nil.

Departmental Vetting

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what procedures his Department follows for checking the criminal records of employees; and if he will make a statement. [213139]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The Wales Office only recruits existing civil servants and does not conduct criminal records checks itself.

All staff are required to have counter terrorism clearance (and in some cases developed vetting). This includes disclosure and checking of all criminal convictions (spent and unspent).


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Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Carbon Emissions: Finance

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 June 2008, Official Report, columns 386-87W, on carbon emissions: finance (1) what the main manmade contributing sources of output are of the six gases which are required to be reduced according to Kyoto targets; [212846]

(2) what volume of carbon dioxide emissions was produced in the UK in the latest year for which figures are available; and what target in tonnes has been set for such emissions under the Kyoto protocol. [212847]

Mr. Woolas [h olding answer 20 June 2008]: The main sources of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) in the UK in 2006 were energy supply (40 per cent. of total UK CO2 emissions in 2006), transport (24 per cent.), business (17 per cent.) and residential (15 per cent.). The main sources of methane emissions (CH4) in the UK in 2006 were waste management (41 per cent. of total UK CH4 emissions in 2006) and agriculture (38 per cent.). The main sources of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in the UK in 2006 were agriculture (68 per cent. of total UK N2O emissions in 2006) and transport (15 per cent.). The primary source of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the UK is release of refrigerants. The primary sources of Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are from aluminium smelting and electronics manufacture. The primary sources of Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) in the UK are from magnesium smelting and from the release of SF6 used in electrical insulation.

In 2006, emissions of UK carbon dioxide were 554.4 million tonnes. This figure includes emissions from the Crown Dependencies and those Overseas Territories that have joined the UK's ratification of the Kyoto protocol. This figure includes emissions and removals from land-use, land-use change and forestry, as accounted for under the Kyoto protocol. Our Kyoto target is to ensure emissions of the six greenhouse gases controlled under the protocol throughout the period 2008-12 are no higher than 3.412 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This equates to average emissions of no higher than 682.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. UK emissions in 2006 were 652.34 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent. This figure does not take into account additional emissions savings delivered through UK participation in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) which was estimated to be 34 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2006.

Climate Change: Developing Countries

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made on the research project designed to help developing countries adapt to and plan for the consequences of climate change, announced at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change summit in December 2007; and if he will make a statement. [210348]

Mr. Thomas: I have been asked to reply.


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The UK and the Netherlands are funding research into the economics of adaptation, to build our understanding of the benefits and costs of adapting to climate change in developing countries. The research team has made good progress since December 2007. Six countries have been identified as possible case studies, and detailed discussions have so far taken place in Vietnam, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Bangladesh and Bolivia, with a visit to Ghana from the research team due shortly. All of these countries have welcomed the initiative and expressed their demand for such analysis.

We expect the first report from the research team next month. This will consist of a methodological and literature review. This report will be made publicly available. This will be the case for all interim reports produced in advance of the final study, which will be published towards the end of next year.

Dredging: River Thames

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what navigation safeguards will be applied to protect shipping and marine craft during dredging of the Thames in connection with the London Gateway Port; [212087]

(2) when dredging of the Thames will commence for the channel to accommodate the London Gateway Port. [212088]

Jonathan Shaw: Consents to undertake dredging to develop and subsequently maintain navigational areas within the London Gateway Port are given by the London Gateway Port Harbour Empowerment Order 2008, issued by Department for Transport that came into force on 16 May 2008.

The timing of the proposed dredging is a commercial decision for the new Harbour Authority, London Gateway Port Ltd.

Responsibility for maintaining navigational safety within the tidal Thames is the responsibility of the Port of London Authority.

Fisheries: Quotas

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that additional fishing quota allocated to the UK is used in a sustainable way. [213258]

Jonathan Shaw: I am not aware of any additional fishing quota being allocated to the UK.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tonnes of plaice were caught in area 7E in each of the last three years; and what percentage of the UK's quota for plaice this represented in each year. [213259]

Jonathan Shaw: Information on catches of plaice by the UK fishing fleet in the Western English Channel (Area 7E) is shown in the following table.


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Plaice quota and landings for UK vessels
Total UK end-year quota for plaice (Tonnes) Plaice caught in Area 7E (Tonnes) Percentage

2005

16,722

882

5

2006

15,648

962

6

2007

14,317

677

5


Flood Control: EU Grants and Loans

Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether a flood defence scheme in Powick, Worcestershire, would be eligible for European funding made available from bodies other than the Environment Agency. [212815]

Mr. Woolas [holding answer 20 June 2008]: Yes, other funding sources can be utilised for Flood Defence Schemes such as Powick in Worcestershire.

European funding has been used to deliver Flood Defence Schemes around the country. These funds supported partnership approaches including between local authorities, regional development agencies, developers and the Environment Agency.

Flood Control: Grants

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what grants are available to enable people to finance flood defences for domestic properties; and if he will make a statement. [212967]

Mr. Woolas: Currently there is no Government grant scheme offering assistance to those wishing to install property-level resistance and resilience measures.

However, we have undertaken a £500,000 pilot scheme looking at the best way of providing financial assistance to people to install flood proofing measures on a mix of individual properties including both dwellings and small businesses. Through the local authorities and Environment Agency teams working on these pilot projects, we will monitor the effectiveness of the chosen solutions as and when they are tested through flooding.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002 [1] local authorities have some flexibility in providing discretionary assistance for repairs and adaptations. It is for local authorities to decide the circumstances in which to give discretionary assistance and what form that assistance may take (e.g. grants, loans, equity release schemes etc.).

Genetically Modified Organisms: Seeds

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy on the use of terminator seeds is. [212632]

Mr. Woolas [holding answer 20 June 2008]: In 2000 a decision was reached under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that ‘terminator’-type seeds should not be approved for field trials or commercial release without an appropriate assessment of their possible impact. As a party to the CBD we support that decision. There are no terminator seeds in commercial use anywhere
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in the world at present, and as far as we are aware there are no plans for any to be introduced in the foreseeable future.

Marine Fisheries Agency

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had on the career development of staff of the coastal offices of the Marine and Fisheries Agency following the entry into force of the proposed Marine Bill. [212013]

Jonathan Shaw: Responsibility for career development in the Marine and Fisheries Agency rests with the chief executive, his management team and individual staff members. They will be considering issues relating to career development and training as part of the continued development of the agency, mindful of the Marine Bill and the agency's probable transition to a Marine Management Organisation.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what estimate he made of the cost of reforming the Marine and Fisheries Agency to meet the policy objectives set out in the draft Marine Bill; [212008]

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost of establishing the Marine Management Organisation as a non-departmental public body. [212011]

Jonathan Shaw: The proposed Marine Management Organisation (MMO) will be an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB) charged with making the sustainable development of the marine area a reality.

The MMO will be built on the Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA) and where practicable we are transferring functions to the MFA in advance of the establishment of the MMO. I am keen to achieve a smooth transition from the Marine and Fisheries Agency to the Marine Management Organisation, and to start work towards the new organisation in good time. A budget of £1 million has been allocated to support the continued development of the Marine and Fisheries Agency in 2008-09, mindful of its probable transition to the MMO. This work is not dependent on the parliamentary process.

Indicative one-off set-up costs for establishing the MMO as an NDPB have been included in the Draft Marine Bill Impact Assessment which was published on 3 April 2008.

Communities and Local Government

Buildings: Carbon Emissions

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make a statement on (a) the ruling of the European Court of Justice in relation to the use of on-site power generation through energy service companies and (b) the implications of the ruling for the Government’s strategy on zero-carbon buildings. [212736]


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Mr. Iain Wright: The Government are currently considering the implications of the judgement including the impact on its strategy on zero carbon buildings.


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