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Mr. Mike O'Brien: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had discussions with ministerial colleagues on many issues, including on Ofgems initial findings and proposals from its probe into the energy markets.
15. Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what mechanisms are in place to ensure the continuation of supply to a customer in circumstances where an energy company fails. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Ofgem licences for suppliers who sell gas or electricity directly to consumers include arrangements that allow Ofgem to appoint a supplier of last resort, thus enabling continuity of supply if a company fails. They allow Ofgem to direct another supplier to take on the contracts of the failed supplier and thereby enable continuity of supply to consumers. This is what happened in the recent case where E4B went into administration.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Feasibility Study was announced in September 2007 and the terms of reference were published in January 2008. Contracts were let to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment, and to provide advice on technical and engineering issues, on potential project ownership structure and financing, and on regional economic and energy market impacts. Following input from stakeholders, the feasibility study published a list of 10 potential schemes in July this year and has been assessing in broad terms the costs, benefits and impacts of the long list of potential schemes. This work will feed into an internal review, which will take place at the end of this year. Subject to that review, we will launch in the new year a public consultation to invite views on the scope of the strategic environmental assessment and on which of the 10 proposals will be short-listed for more detailed assessment in 2009. Advisory and scoping reports produced for the feasibility study will be published with the consultation paper.
Joan Ruddock: The Government have put in place a comprehensive framework of policies and measures to promote energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy, including the recent announcement by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister of a new £1 billion package of measures to deliver lasting improvements in energy efficiency to help families permanently cut their energy bills.
18. Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of community energy saving schemes; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: In 2001, a three-year Government sponsored pilot project was launched to reduce fuel poverty on a local area basis. An evaluation of the pilot highlighted actions required for the area-based approach to be successful. The pilot evolved into the Warm Zones initiative which has continued across some areas, with the original concept being extended to include broader energy efficiency activity. The Community Energy Efficiency Fund built on these experiences and in September 2007 funded 49 individual projects across the country. A full evaluation will be undertaken in the future to see the impact these projects have had.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent meetings Ministers and officials from his Department have held with the Government of Sweden to discuss the energy and climate change priorities of the Swedish Presidency of the European Union. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: There have been no meetings between Department of Energy and Climate Change Ministers or officials and the Government of Sweden to discuss these issues since the Department of Energy and Climate Change was established on 3 October.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change for what average length of time coalminers in Scotland with outstanding compensation claims have been waiting to receive their payments. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 6 November 2008]: The following table provides the average time from receipt of claim to date for those claims from Scotland not yet settled under the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and vibration white finger (VWF) schemes:
|Policy||Outstanding claims||Average months outstanding|
The Department continues to seek to resolve outstanding claims as quickly and fairly as possible consistent with the requirements of the claims handling arrangements for each scheme. We expect remaining VWF cases to be completed in early 2009 and the majority of COPD cases to be settled by autumn 2009.
Mr. Wills: Airwave handsets are currently used in a limited number of areas within Her Majesty's Prison Service. There are no current plans to extend the use of the Airwave Service to other areas of the Ministry of Justice.
Mr. Hanson: It is important that community orders are enforced and it remains a key priority for Government. Guidance is issued to probation services for the implementation and enforcement of community orders through the publication of national standards and through the publication of periodic and specialist guidance in probation circulars. The most recent update for the management of offenders was published in 2007 and issued to all probation areas. This outlines the actions and time scales to be applied to the implementation and enforcement of community orders.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what projections his Department has made of reductions in staff numbers owing to (a) natural wastage, (b) early retirement, (c) voluntary redundancy and (d) compulsory redundancy by 2011 for the purposes of his Department's plans for the Comprehensive Spending Review; how many agency staff and contractors his Department retains at present; and how many he expects to retain in 2011. 
Maria Eagle: The 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review required us to reduce our spending by over £1 billion by 2011. We are working hard to develop robust plans to streamline our business, cutting out unnecessary overheads and non-essential projects to remove duplication of effort and increase efficiency. The Department is currently conducting the necessary due diligence on its initial scoping work and we cannot yet provide accurate information on workforce projections. However, our approach to the use of agency staff and contractors will be to limit their use to essential tasks only and where it is cost effective for the Department to employ them, rather than permanent members of staff.
Maria Eagle: The MoJ settlement received in the last Comprehensive Spending Review meant that the MoJ would have to absorb cost of living increases and other upward pressures equivalent to approximately £1 billion over the three year period. Ministers and the Management Board have been working to put in place plans to achieve the savings which are necessary. In doing this, our overall approach has been to capitalise on the synergies and the opportunities created by the merger of two large parts of Government to form the MoJ. We intend to do so in particular through increasing efficiency, removal of duplication and new ways of working while continuing to prioritise the delivery of effective frontline services.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will make it his policy to collect and publish data on the number of forced sales of peoples homes approved by the courts; and if he will make a statement. 
Bridget Prentice: Court staff record information about orders for sale onto the main administrative systems in the county courts as part of their routine daily administrative duties. However, the orders for sale are recorded using a general order field and as such are not identifiable from other orders made. Changing the administrative systems to create a specific order for sale event would incur prohibitive costs.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has to ensure that the Land Registry launches a proper public consultation before the destruction of any original documents and deeds. 
Mr. Wills: Land Registry has no plans to conduct further public consultation before it proceeds with the planned destruction of the documents referred to in my previous answers on 30 October 2008, Official Report, column 1300W, and 6 November 2008, Official Report, column 749W. As previously stated Land Registry conducted comprehensive consultation during development of the current legislation over five years ago and publicised the changes prior to implementation of the revised rules in 2003.
Land Registry will further publicise its actions through a press release, a notice on its website and a notice to key stakeholders. Land Registry will not destroy any documents connected with applications held on 13 October 2003 until three months after the issuing of this additional publicity.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much the Land Registry has spent on consulting the public on its plans to destroy original deeds and documents in the last two years. 
Mr. Wills: Land Registry has not completed any dedicated consultation exercises on its plans to destroy original deeds and documents within the last two years. Consultation relating to this area was conducted as part of a wider exercise prior to the introduction of the revised Land Registration Rules in 2003.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to ensure that all grades of staff in the National Offender Management service have a balanced representation drawn from the prison and probation services. 
As the Agency is responsible for Prison and National Probation Services delivery it is important that there is representation from both services at all levels. The Agencys Director General is responsible for ensuring that appropriate knowledge and expertise is in place across all grades of staff.
|Throughput of offenders on accredited programmes in 2007-08|
|(1) The number of offenders who completed or failed to complete an accredited programme in custody.|
(2) The number of offenders who commenced an accredited programme in the community.
|Completion targets and completions for accredited programmes in 2007-08|
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