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2 July 2008 : Column 899W—continued

Departmental Pay

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much was claimed in reimbursable expenses by special advisers in his Department in each of the last 10 years. [215240]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The amount claimed in reimbursable expenses by special advisers is:


2 July 2008 : Column 900W

£

2004-05

2,520.71

2005-06

2,037.60

2006-07

2,671.39

2007-08

1,462.17


Records kept before 2004 do not separate these costs, and this could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. All official travel by special advisers is undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the ministerial code and the Civil Service management code.

Economic and Monetary Union

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on what date the euro changeover plan of his Department was last updated; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the most recent version. [215528]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Under-Secretary of State for Justice, my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Garston (Maria Eagle) on 17 June 2008, Official R eport, column 886W.

Government Communications

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many staff in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies (i) are classified as Government communicators and (ii) have access to the Government communication network. [215114]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The Wales Office has three members of staff who are classified as Government communicators, and all three have access to the Government communication network. The Wales Office does not have any agencies.

Morning Star

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many copies of the Morning Star publication his Department subscribes to each week; and at what cost. [215667]

Mr. Paul Murphy: None.

Radioactive Materials: Waste Disposal

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will hold discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the implications for Wales of the Government's strategy for the disposal of radioactive waste. [214282]

Mr. Paul Murphy: There have been detailed discussions between UK Government Departments and the Welsh Assembly Government in preparation of the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely White Paper.

The Welsh position is set out in the White Paper and we are pleased that the Assembly Government continues to play a full part in the programme. This will ensure the implementation of a framework appropriate to the needs of Wales and that the interests of Wales are taken into account.


2 July 2008 : Column 901W

Wood

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how much timber and timber products were procured by his Department in each of the last five years; and at what cost; [213758]

(2) how much timber and timber products were procured by his Department originating from independently verified legal and sustainable sources or from a licensed FLEGT partner in each of the last five years; and at what cost. [213759]

Mr. Paul Murphy: Some timber was used as part of maintenance works undertaken in my Departments London office, which were carried out between 2004 and 2007. The cost of this element could not be separated from the wider maintenance contract.

All timber used by my Departments managing agents, in carrying out maintenance work since 2004, is from a sustainable source.

Electoral Commission Committee

Departmental Buildings

Mr. Maude: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission what the cost was of the recent refurbishment of the Electoral Commission’s offices in London. [215506]

Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that the recent refurbishment work on its offices in London was undertaken by the landlord of the building. The works were funded directly by the landlord and as such, the costs are unknown to the Electoral Commission. No costs were incurred by the Electoral Commission.

Departmental Location

Mr. Maude: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission what relocation benefits the Electoral Commission has offered to staff or new staff taking up a post in its new regional offices. [215492]

Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that it has not offered or paid any relocation benefits to staff taking up post in its regional offices.

Departmental Manpower

Mr. Maude: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission how many permanent staff of the Electoral Commission are classed as (a) staff without posts and (b) part of a people action team. [215576]

Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that none of its staff are classed as without posts and that the Commission does not have any staff who are part of a people action team.


2 July 2008 : Column 902W

Departmental Security

Mr. Maude: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission how many departmental identity cards or departmental passes have been reported lost or stolen by staff of the Electoral Commission in the last 24 months. [215616]

Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that its records show that in the last 24 months, five office building passes have been reported lost by staff of the Commission.

Scotland

Departmental ICT

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what IT contracts his Department has entered into in the last two years. [215136]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office shares an information technology system (SCOTS) with the Scottish Executive, which is responsible for the development, administration and maintenance of the system; consequently, the Office does not directly enter into any IT contracts.

Departmental Inquiries

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland 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. [212316]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office has not commissioned any independent inquiries in the last five years.

Departmental Manpower

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many permanent staff in his Department are classed as (a) staff without posts and (b) part of a people action team. [215582]

David Cairns: Staff in the Scotland Office are on secondment from the Scottish Executive or the Ministry of Justice. As at 31 March 2008, the Office had a small number of staff awaiting reassignment to their parent Department; however, to protect the identity of individual staff, data relating to less than five people are not disclosed.

Identity and Passport Service

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the effects of the proposed transfer of services from the regional Identity and Passport Service Office in Glasgow on (a) employment and (b) access to passport services in Scotland. [212441]

Meg Hillier: I have been asked to reply.

The decision has not yet been made. The Identity and Passport Service is in consultation with the PCS (trade union) on the proposal at this time. A decision is not expected until after the period of consultation.


2 July 2008 : Column 903W

Access to passport services in Scotland will not be affected. There are no plans in the immediate future to remove counter services. First time applicants can attend interviews in Scotland and emergency passports will continue to be issued to customers in Glasgow.

Church Commissioners

Departmental Aviation

Mr. Maude: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how many individual domestic air flights were undertaken within Great Britain by representatives of the Church Commissioners in the most recent year for which figures are available; and at what cost. [215562]

Sir Stuart Bell: This information is not available but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the Commissioners and the other National Church Institutions are committed to the Church’s “Shrinking the Footprint” campaign. I am therefore confident that domestic flights are undertaken only rarely by the Commissioners’ staff or their representatives.

Communities and Local Government

Blue Rubicon

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what payments (a) her Department and (b) London Resilience has made to Blue Rubicon; at what cost; and for what purpose. [215065]

Mr. Dhanda: For details of payments made to Blue Rubicon before 7 February 2008 I refer the hon. Member to the answer to the Freedom Of Information request published on the Department’s website at:

Since 7 February 2008, the Department has paid Blue Rubicon the sum of £222,244.75 for public relations services to continue the promotion of the measures contained in the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive, including promotion of Energy Performance Certificates and Display Energy Certificates.

No payments have been made to Blue Rubicon by London Resilience.

Council Tax: Valuation

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes were in each council tax valuation band in each region of England on the latest date for which figures are available. [215744]

John Healey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 21 April 2008, Official Report, column 1390W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Barnsley, East and Mexborough (Jeff Ennis).


2 July 2008 : Column 904W

Councillors: Thames Gateway

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which councillors are engaged in the Thames Gateway project; what positions they hold; and how much each received in expenses from the Thames Gateway organisation in each of the last three years. [213915]

Caroline Flint: There are 18 local authorities directly involved in the Thames Gateway including Essex and Kent county councils, plus the Greater London Authority and two Urban Development Corporations who have planning powers. I have provided information only on those organisations that attend the ministerially chaired Thames Gateway Strategic Partnership who are represented by local authority members. This list represents the current membership. When an individual cannot attend, a substitute from the organisation they are representing usually attends, who may be a councillor.

Name Organisation represented Local authority role

Cllr. Rodney Chambers

Medway Renaissance Partnership

Leader, Medway Council

Cllr. Andrew Bowles

Swale Forward

Leader, Swale Borough Council

Cllr. Stephen Castle

East of England Regional Assembly

Cabinet Member, Essex County Council

Cllr. Malcolm Buckley

Basildon Renaissance Partnership

Leader, Basildon District Council

Cllr. Pam Challis

Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership

Leader, Castle Point Borough Council

Cllr. Teresa O'Neill

Invest Bexley

Leader, Bexley Council

Cllr. Chris Roberts

Woolwich Regeneration Agency

Leader , Greenwich Council

Cllr. Conor McAuley

TG London Partnership

Executive Member for Regeneration, Newham Council

Cllr. Keith Mitchell

South East England Regional Assembly

Leader, Oxfordshire County Council

Cllr. Roger Gough

Kent Thameside Delivery Board

Cabinet Member, Kent County Council

Boris Johnson

Greater London Authority

Mayor of London


Any more information about an individual councillor's involvement in the Thames Gateway is not held by the Department. The councillors listed do not receive any expenses from the Department for their involvement in the Thames Gateway and any expenses councillors might be entitled to are expected to be claimed from their local authority.

Communities and Local Government also sponsors the Thurrock and London Thames Gateway Development Corporations. There are four councillors on the board of the TTGDC and their remuneration—as published in the annual reports is as follows:

£000
TTGDC 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Cllr V. Liddiard

11,806

11,973

12,121

Cllr G. Hague

5,903

11,973

12,121

Cllr T. Hipsey

6,409

12,121

Cllr J. Kent

8,854

6,442

12,121

Y. Gupta

984

A. Smith

26,306


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