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13 Nov 2008 : Column 1366W—continued


13 Nov 2008 : Column 1367W

13 Nov 2008 : Column 1368W
RDA expenditure on external consultants
£000
RDA 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

AWM

572

453

672

496

247

312

EEDA

449

282

226

714

563

453

EMDA

621

295

149

228

148

347

LDA(1)

(2)0

(2)0

335

479

2,062

1,529

NWDA

874

815

792

535

518

833

ONE

183

146

200

309

197

181

SEEDA

110

80

125

98

120

66

SWRDA

527

431

648

557

281

316

YF

180

270

296

194

228

390

(1) Increased consultancy fees can be explained through a need to quickly ramp up capacity alongside increased agency spending levels. This particularly applies to the Olympic Bid, Olympic Land Assembly and on other major capital projects such as Wembley Stadium.
(2) LDA had different financial recording systems in 2002 and 2003. To provide expenditure on external consultants for these years would incur disproportionate cost.

RDA expenditure on private contractors
£000
RDA 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

AWM(1)

12,493

16,936

27,040

31,405

39,158

32,382

EEDA

13,594

14,238

16,921

16,775

16,391

15,388

EMDA

30,469

30,927

24,683

23,332

28,188

23,863

LDA

(2)0

(2)0

121

48

77

271

NWDA(3)

34,024

31,659

77,755

50,623

54,961

64,514

ONE

24,230

39,420

25,050

23,090

32,360

28,350

SEEDA

33,216

48,818

47,949

40,638

43,217

43,052

SWRDA

43,294

43,590

35,939

29,104

30,568

25,847

YF

44,700

47,958

47,969

50,805

35,572

41,162

(1) This expenditure figure relates to activity on the agency's land and property portfolio.
(2) LDA had different financial recording systems in 2002 and 2003. To provide expenditure figures on private contractors for these years would incur disproportionate cost.
(3) Expenditure on private contractors rose from 2002-03 to 2004-05 in line with an increase in agency responsibilities. Since 2004-05, the agency's delivery mechanism has moved away from direct development and more towards grant funding partners to deliver projects. Spend with private contractors has therefore fallen, but grant expenditure has risen accordingly.

Renewable Energy: Finance

Ben Chapman: To ask the Minister of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if his Department will bring forward proposals for subsidising renewable electricity generators in circumstances of rising prices for fossil fuels. [223660]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 15 September 2008]: We already support renewable electricity generation through the renewables obligation. But given the challenges of security of energy supply, climate change and rises in fossil fuel prices we want to do more, not only on renewable electricity but also on renewable heat and transport fuels. We are currently consulting on potential measures designed to increase the use of renewable energy to around 15 per cent. of total energy by 2020 (depending on the final target to be agreed in the proposed EU renewable energy directive). The consultation document can be found at

As regards support for renewable electricity, possibilities include further amendments to the renewables obligation (on top of the changes in the Energy Bill) and further support for microgeneration and small scale renewable electricity, possibly in the form of feed-in tariffs.

A copy of the consultation document can be found in both Libraries of the House.

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the economic rent paid to renewable electricity generators in consumer subsidy; and what steps he is taking to minimise such costs. [223661]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 15 September 2008]: I have been asked to reply.

Renewable electricity generators’ income is derived from the sale of electricity, renewables obligation certificates and levy exemption certificates. The value they can derive from these is a matter for commercial negotiation in the market. The Government commissioned estimates of the costs of electricity generation from renewable sources and how much in practice the operators of such generating stations receive from the sale of the electricity, renewables obligation certificates and levy exemption certificates from Ernst and Young LLP. Their report “Impact of banding the Renewables Obligation - Costs of electricity production” (URN 07/948) was published by DTI in 2007 and copies were placed in both Libraries of the House.

Our proposed reforms of the renewables obligation are designed to increase both the effectiveness and the value for money of the instrument. These issues are discussed in the impact assessment that accompanies the Energy Bill that is currently being considered by Parliament. Our estimates in this impact assessment suggest that under our preferred option, rents could be reduced by £1.9 billion over the lifetime.

We are currently consulting on the UK renewable energy strategy, the consultation document can be found at:

Our work on the renewable energy strategy includes further considerations on the efficiency of the renewables obligation, see section 3.8 of the consultation document. Potential measures include reviewing the ‘bands’ of the renewables obligation, increasing the stability of the ROC price, and considering linking compensation under the renewables obligation to changes in electricity wholesale prices. A copy of the consultation document can be found in both Libraries of the House.


13 Nov 2008 : Column 1369W

Royal Mail

Mr. Timpson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will place in the Library a copy of Mr. Richard Hooper’s report on the future of the Royal Mail. [233923]

Mr. McFadden [holding answer 6 November 2008]: The Government have not yet received the report, but expects to do so by the end of November.

The Review Panel was asked to consider how to maintain the universal postal service in the light of market developments.

Health

Airwave Service

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what organisations for which his Department is responsible (a) use and (b) are planning to use Airwave handsets. [234700]

Mr. Bradshaw: Through the Ambulance Radio Programme it is planned that all NHS Ambulance Trusts in England will have a full Airwave service by the end of 2009. The following national health service bodies are already using terminals as part of the programme’s roll-out:

The Department does not routinely collect information on contracts that individual NHS bodies may have entered into with Airwave Solutions Ltd. for terminals.

Alcoholic Drinks: Young People

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to reduce the incidence of binge drinking among (a) men and (b) women aged 16 to 24 years. [234958]

Mr. Alan Campbell: I have been asked to reply.

As part of the Alcohol Strategy published in June 2007, the Home Office (and Department of Health) is currently highlighting the issue of our drinking culture through its national marketing campaign ‘Know Your Limits’. This campaign aims to change the attitudes of 18 to 24s over the long term by increasing awareness of the problems and by highlighting the consequences of irresponsible drinking. We are doing this in a number of ways which include advertising and also through public relations. Our public relations work includes media advocacy and liaising with news media and also script writers to inform them about our policies and
13 Nov 2008 : Column 1370W
communications and to hold a mirror up to the way they portray alcohol. The aim of this work is to try and influence more positive associations with alcohol to create a culture where it is socially acceptable for young people to choose not to drink and, if they do start drinking, to do so later and more safely.

The Home Secretary announced in her speech on 6 February 2008 that a number of new measures and possible steps would be taken to crack down on crime and antisocial behaviour which is fuelled by alcohol. This includes highlighting the message that it is not acceptable for young people to drink in public places.

The Home Secretary also said that she is considering a number of options including making the possession of alcohol by a young person an offence or possibly involving the parents if alcohol is confiscated from a child. We are currently considering the effectiveness of the current powers and what can be done to help the police use them more effectively.

Additionally, the Culture Secretary, the right hon. Andy Burnham, said in his statement of 4 March 2008, that the offence of persistently selling alcohol to children would be changed from ‘three strikes’ to ‘two strikes’ in three months. The Government will legislate to increase the maximum fine for not obeying an instruction to stop drinking in a designated public place from £500 to £2,500. Other issues which may not require legislation include making it easier for the police to disperse antisocial drinkers and we will extend the alcohol arrest referral pilots so that under 18s may also benefit from a brief intervention from a trained worker.


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