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Work Experience

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the impact of the current downturn in the economy on courses involving any form of work experience. [232275]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: There has been no direct assessment of the impact on work experience placements of current events in the economy.

Information from the LSC from 2006-07, the last complete academic year for which we have data, shows that 480,000 work experience placements took place during Key Stage 4, supported by education business partnership organisations. We estimate that around 300,000 employers work with education each year. On that basis we are confident that young people will continue to have access to work experience but will keep this under review.

Energy and Climate Change

Carbon Emissions

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his policy is on proposals from the French Presidency for a co-decision procedure for the EU to adopt a 30 per cent. reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020 from a 1990 baseline. [227864]

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Joan Ruddock: The Government believe that the EU’s commitment to a 30 per cent. reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as part of a comprehensive international agreement should be built firmly into the current EU Climate and Energy Package. We believe that the trigger for moving to the higher EU GHG target should be the EU’s ratification of an international climate agreement for post-2012. Once the decision to ratify is taken, we favour amending the EU’s implementing legislation by the comitology procedure rather than co-decision. This is in line with the proposal from the European Commission and the position taken by the European Parliament. However, ultimately, it is the commitment to the 30 per cent. reduction target that is of greatest importance. Whatever process is put in place to move to a higher target, it must be swift and transparent.


Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many tonnes of coal reserves exist in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK. [227168]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Coal Authority estimates that the UK has 3,380 million tonnes of coal resources.

Of this, 270 million tonnes is economically recoverable coal in the ‘reserves category’ (i.e. proved and probably mineable coal) at current deep mines and sites subject to conditional deep mine licences. A further 75 million tonnes are at existing surface mines, those with planning approval granted and those currently in the planning process.

The Coal Authority estimates there to be 235 million tonnes of previously proven reserves remaining in closed deep mines still in licence. A further 2,030 million tonnes of potential deep mine prospects and 765 million tonnes at potential surface mine prospects, including those in pre-planning and resources within former conditional licences.

No detailed regional breakdown of these figures is readily available.

Energy: Waste Management

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the quantity of wasted energy in the form of heat produced by energy from waste plants in England in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and what proportion this represents of the total energy produced from the sites. [226760]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: There were 18 permitted municipal energy from waste plants in England in 2006. Four of these were operating as combined heat and power (CHP) plants and therefore their heat energy is not wasted. For the remaining 14, wasted heat energy is assessed at approximately 1.1 TWh for the year 2006. This calculation allows for some plants that are not yet working at full capacity and takes into account their own energy requirements for incineration. This figure is based on an estimate of 12.5 per cent. for the average thermal inefficiency of electricity-only energy from waste systems relative to CHP.

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The Government have consulted on changes to regulations to make it easier for operators of CHP energy from waste plants to claim ROCs (renewable obligation certificates) under the renewables obligation.

As well as the 18 municipal plants discussed, there were a further 85 permitted waste incineration facilities in England in 2006. Due to differences in the calorific value of the wastes they accept, we have no estimate of the waste heat energy from those plants.


Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to ensure that community scale renewable electricity technologies such as solar photo voltaics and small wind can contribute fully to help to reach the 2020 renewable energy target. [226876]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: As part of developing the renewable energy strategy which will be published in spring 2009 we are considering how to encourage onsite technologies including community scale renewable technologies such as solar photovoltaics and small wind. The Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change recently announced the Government's view that a feed-in tariff for small-scale generation can play an important role alongside the renewables obligation for large-scale projects. We plan to bring an amendment to the Energy Bill to make this happen.

Currently, electricity generated from solar PV is also eligible for support under the renewables obligation (RO), which is the Government's main mechanism for encouraging new renewable electricity generation. Generators currently receive one renewable obligation certificate (ROC) for every 1MWh of renewable electricity. Under reforms to the RO, we are proposing that solar PV receive two ROCs per MWh.

The low carbon buildings programme (LCBP) is the Government's £86 million demonstration grant programme. Under LCBP Phase 2, with a £50 million budget, we support community scale projects for the public sector and not for profit organisations.

Nuclear Power

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what proportion of the national electricity requirement the Government envisage being met by nuclear generation by 2020. [227914]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government published their latest energy and emissions projections in May 2007. The document is available at:

These projections assume that the share of nuclear electricity generation in 2020 would be around 6 per cent., based on the continued operation of three existing plants. An updated set of projections is due to be published shortly.

Power Stations: Standards

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of the case for applying emission performance standards to the approval of new power plants. [226016]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 15 October 2008]: In the context of the Energy Bill, the Department has considered the concept of an emission performance standard for new power stations. We do not support the introduction of such a standard because it would not yield any additional carbon savings as missions from the power sector are already capped under the EU emissions trading scheme. Furthermore, it presents a number of risks:

Radioactive Materials: Waste Disposal

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change which Ministers in his Department are responsible for policy on (a) nuclear safety and (b) nuclear waste storage and disposal. [226689]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 13 October 2008]: I am.

Radioactive Materials: Waste Management

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the arrangements are for the utilisation and disposal of the former Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories site; and what consultation is planned as part of that process. [225856]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The former Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories site was split at the end of 2006, between the Berkeley Nuclear Licensed site and the Berkeley Centre, which lies outside of the nuclear licensed site. The licensed site is at an advanced stage of decommissioning and, as a result, all activities are focused on clean-up and waste management. There are no commercial activities carried out on the licensed site. Details are set out in the site Lifetime Plan, reflected in the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s strategy and annual plans. The Berkeley Centre is managed as an asset by the NDA, which is considering options for its use or disposal in consultation with stakeholders.


Community Orders: Hampshire

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many community orders were issued in (a) Southampton, (b) Test Valley Borough and (c) the ceremonial county of Hampshire in each of the last five years. [231304]

Maria Eagle: Data on community sentences (including the community order and other community sentences) are available by police force area and the following table
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shows the number of community sentences issued in the Hampshire police force area 2002-06. Data for 2007 will be available later in the year. Community sentence data are not made available for smaller areas because detailed checks on sentencing data are not carried out at court level.

Number of persons sentenced to community sentences in Hampshire police force area, 2002-06












These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
OMS Analytical Services
24 October 2008
Ref: PQ(OMSAS)291-08


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average duration of an inquest at a Coroner’s Court in England is; and in which Coroners’ Courts jurisdictions inquests lasted more than a year in the last 10 years. [231229]

Bridget Prentice: The latest available statistical information on the timeliness of inquests relates to the calendar year 2007. The estimated average time taken to complete inquests in 2007 by coroners in England was 25 weeks.

Statistics on inquests lasting more than one year have been collected only since 2004. However, I can confirm that 9 per cent. of inquests concluded by coroners in England in 2007 took over a year. I can also confirm that all coroner jurisdictions except two (the Isles of Scilly and the Queen’s Household, which both have only a very small number of inquests in a year) concluded at least one inquest in either 2006 or 2007 where the time taken was more than a year. These figures relate only to those inquests where the death occurred in England and Wales. Timeliness statistics are not collected by the Department for inquests where the death occurred elsewhere.

There are a number of reasons why individual inquests can take considerably longer man the average time of 25 weeks. These include the need for coroners to await medical reports and the completion of investigations by other agencies such as the police, the Health and Safety Executive, and the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

Cost Effectiveness

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what efficiency savings will be required from (a) Prison Service workforce replanning, (b) probation productivity via trust programmes, (c) prisons legal advice and (d) other identifiable areas or programmes under his Department’s Financial Plan for the Comprehensive Spending Review for 2008 to 2011; [232633]

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(2) what efficiency savings are expected to be found by prison productivity, broken down by specified programmes, under his Department’s Financial Plan for the Comprehensive Spending Review for 2008 to 2011. [232634]

Mr. Hanson: The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) is on target to achieve cashable savings of £80 million in the current financial year. Budgets for 2009-10 and 2010-11 have not yet been agreed.

NOMS will achieve £80 million savings in 2008-09 through a range of activities, including the introduction of standardised operating arrangements in closed male, establishments; clustering operations in neighbouring prisons; reducing staffing in area offices; and reductions in administration and IT costs. A number of major change programmes are under way to ensure that NOMS can operate within available resources for the rest of the spending period but budgets for 2009-10 and 2010-11 have not yet been agreed and it is not yet possible to quantify the savings that will be generated by specific activities.

Data Protection

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people have been disciplined or dismissed in (a) his Department and its predecessor and (b) the Prison Service for breaches of data protection or inappropriate use of personal or sensitive data in each of the last three years. [232146]

Mr. Wills: Centrally held records in the former DCA show that three members of staff have been dismissed for inappropriate use of personal or sensitive data in the last three years, all in 2006. Information on other disciplinary sanctions is not held centrally in the format requested.

Centrally held records in the public sector Prison Service show that members of staff have been disciplined and dismissed for inappropriate use of personal or sensitive data in the last three years. In some of these cases, the inappropriate use of data is actually included as part of a wide range of charges against the members of staff:

Centrally held records in NOMS and OCJR show there have been no recorded cases of discipline or dismissal for breaches of data protection and inappropriate use of personal or sensitive data.

Departmental Lost Property

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what (a) equipment and (b) data were lost by his Department in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [231437]

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Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice has recorded nine significant personal data related incidents for 2007-08, published in its resource accounts and laid before the House on 21 July 2008.

There were five related equipment losses, comprising of four laptops and one electronic storage device.

I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 25 June 2008, providing the final report on measures for data handling procedures in government.

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