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24 Nov 2008 : Column 1140W—continued

We notified all of those who took part in earlier rounds of consultation, or took part in the Examination in Public that the consultation documents were available. This involved writing to some 8,000 addresses in the south-east of England.

A press notice was issued to local news desks and placed on the Government Office website as well as the website of the regional assembly.

A news article setting out the process and consultation details was included in the Government Office for the South East partners newsletter and was distributed to approximately 1,100 regional partners and stakeholders.

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what date the revised South East Plan will be published. [238828]

Mr. Khan: The Secretary of State expects to publish the South East’s regional spatial strategy in the spring of 2009.

Travelling People

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many authorised sites for Gypsies and Travellers are provided by local authorities in (a) Essex, (b) Suffolk, (c) Norfolk, (d) Kent, (e) Hertfordshire, (f) Berkshire, (g) Cambridgeshire and (h) Greater London. [237785]

Mr. Iain Wright: The bi-annual count of Gypsy and Traveller caravans provides information on local authority Gypsy and Traveller sites. This is available on our website at:

The number of authorised local authority sites as at January 2008 was as follows:

Number

Essex

14

Suffolk

1

Norfolk

6

Kent

16

Hertfordshire

11

Berkshire

8

Cambridgeshire

14

Greater London

34


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Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many cases of compulsory purchase of land there have been in England in order to build publicly-owned Gypsy and Traveller sites in the last 10 years. [237786]

Mr. Iain Wright: The information requested is not held centrally. The exercise of compulsory purchase powers is a matter for individual local authorities.

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many authorised private Gypsy and Traveller sites there are in England. [237787]

Mr. Iain Wright: As at January 2008 there were 1,315 authorised private Gypsy and Traveller sites in England.

Energy and Climate Change

Biofuels

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on biofuels; [236404]

(2) what discussions officials in his Department have had with officials in the Department for Transport on biofuels. [236405]

Joan Ruddock: The Department is in regular contact with the Department for Transport and its agencies, at both ministerial and official levels, to discuss a range of issues, including biofuels.

British Energy: EDF

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on which occasions Ministers in his Department have met senior executives of (a) British Energy and (b) EDF since its establishment. [231795]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 18 November 2008, Official Report, column 364W.

British Energy: Nuclear Liabilities Fund

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether the Nuclear Liabilities Fund plans to sell its British Energy bonds as part of the deal announced on 24 September 2008. [234613]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: British Energy (or any new owner) has the right to require the NLF to sell its bonds should it wish to repurchase them, and in any case would be required to offer to repurchase bonds due to the change of control of the company. Any decision as to whether to dispose of the bonds following such an offer would be a commercial matter for the Nuclear Liabilities Fund, in consultation with the Secretary of State.

Carbon Emissions: Housing

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many energy efficiency measures have been installed under the (a) Carbon Emissions Reduction Target and (b) Decent Homes programme in England in each (i) Government Office region, (ii) local authority area and (iii) constituency. [234686]


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Joan Ruddock: Ofgem, which administers the carbon emissions reduction target (CERT) scheme for the Government, have said that there have been 28,136,069 measures for the period covering the first two quarters of CERT. This figure is not exhaustive as suppliers only report on the major measures such as insulation and compact fluorescent lamps at this point of the programme.

Under CERT, Ofgem is only required to monitor energy suppliers’ activity across Great Britain as a whole.

Decent Homes is administered by Communities and Local Government.

Carbon Emissions: Local Authorities

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will list the local authorities he expects to fall within the scope of the Carbon Reduction Commitment; and if he will make a statement. [236776]

Joan Ruddock [holding answer 18 November 2008]: Local authorities, as with all other participants in the Carbon Reduction Commitment, will be included if they meet the threshold of electricity consumption of 6000 MWh measured through half hourly meters during 2008. It will be for the local authorities themselves to assess their electricity consumption to establish whether they are above the threshold. DECC does not therefore have a list of local authority or other participants at this stage, though we expect most top tier authorities will be included.

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he expects the Carbon Reduction Commitment to apply to local authorities; what piloting of the scheme has taken place in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Scotland; whether permits will be allocated or auctioned; and if he will make a statement. [236777]

Joan Ruddock [holding answer 18 November 2008]: The Carbon Reduction Commitment will begin in April 2010. The first phase, between April 2010 and March 2013, will be an introductory phase in which an unlimited number of allowances will be sold at a fixed price. This will allow participants to gain experience of the scheme before the “capped” phases begin in April 2013. There are no pilots of the scheme in operation. Allowances will be sold at a fixed price in the first phase and auctioned in subsequent phases rather than allocated.

Carbon Sequestration

Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many responses he has received to his consultation on carbon capture readiness; if he will list those responses and summarise their contents; what steps he now intends to take on the matter; and if he will make a statement. [238061]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Seventy-nine responses were received to the “Towards Carbon Capture and Storage” consultation which covered carbon capture readiness for new power stations among other topics. These responses are now being carefully analysed and considered. A list of respondents, together with a summary of their comments will be included as part of the Government's response to the consultation which will be published in due course.


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Climate Change Group

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will place in the Library an organisational chart for the Climate Change Group. [236597]

Joan Ruddock: The detail of the future organisational structure of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is currently being determined, following its creation on 3 October 2008. The organisational chart will be placed in the Library in due course.

Climate Change: Local Area Agreements

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress has been made towards the climate change objectives included in the 2008 local area agreements. [236403]

Joan Ruddock: Progress by local authorities and their partners against climate change targets included in local area agreements for the period 2008-11, which were put in place in June 2008, will be assessed by the Audit Commission through the comprehensive area assessment process, to commence in April 2009.

Departmental Manpower

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many staff in his Department did not achieve an acceptable assessment grade in their annual report from the Department by which they were previously employed in the latest reporting year for which figures are available. [235226]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) came into existence on 3 October 2008 and the list of staff who will be moving to the new Department is still being finalised. It is therefore not currently possible to provide a definitive answer to this question.

The Departments for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will be replying separately to this question. Their answers will cover all staff who were in those Departments at the end of the 2007-08 reporting year (the latest year for which figures are available), including those staff who have now moved to DECC.

Departmental Marketing

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many staff in his Department are responsible for branding activity; and what the cost of employing such staff has been since his Department's creation. [237463]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: One member of staff deals with branding activity which occupies less than 30 per cent. of this member of staff’s time. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was formed on 3 October 2008 and since then the cost of employing staff to do branding activity, based on average staff costs, has been approximately £3,000.


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Departmental Microgeneration

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress has been made on the installation of microgeneration and renewable technologies on the Departmental estate. [236395]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: DECC has been working with DEFRA estates, which maintains 3-8 Whitehall Place, in considering the application of various technologies that would improve the energy efficiency of the building. DECC intends to implement the guidance provided in Good Practice Guide 286—Energy Performance in the Government's Civil Estate. As well as considering ways to improve the building's energy efficiency, we are also looking for opportunities to reduce our carbon, energy and water consumption through changes to the way in which we work. However the use of micro generation and onsite renewables at this building, with its central London location, is unlikely to be viable. 100 per cent. of the electricity supplied to 3-8 Whitehall Place is however generated from renewable sources. Electricity for other DECC locations, including Atholl House and temporary accommodation in Ergon House and 1 Victoria Street, is procured under a green tariff In addition, DECC is considering the feasibility of the connection of 3-8 Whitehall Place to the Whitehall District Heating System.

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the cost of provision of Government cars to special advisers in his Department has been since the establishment of the Department. [238169]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: None.

Energy Supply: Consumers

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what guidance his Department provides to energy suppliers on provision of notice periods to allow the cancellation of business or household energy supply contracts in the event of significant price rises. [234741]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: None. It is for Ofgem to provide any guidance.

Energy Supply: Fuel Poverty

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the expenditure by the six largest energy suppliers on social tariffs for their customers in the last 12 months; how much of such expenditure has been incurred as a result of the agreement between the energy companies and the Government on social tariffs; and if he will make a statement. [234663]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 10 November 2008]: Ofgem published its first Review of Suppliers’ Voluntary Initiatives to Help Vulnerable Customers on 6 August
24 Nov 2008 : Column 1145W
2007, which covered the period to July 2007. Ofgem updated this report in October 2007. Both reports can be found online at:

The reports show that, at that time, the savings to customers from being on a social tariff was estimated to be just under £25 million. Annex 1 of the update shows suppliers’ own estimates on their spend on social tariffs which totals just over £26 million.

Following the announcement in Budget 2008, energy suppliers agreed in April, to increase how much they are spending on social programmes. This year they will be spending collectively £100 million, rising to £125 million in 2009-10 and £150 million in 2010-11.

Expenditure on social tariffs during the first year of the voluntary agreement will be published in Ofgem's next reporting cycle in 2009. However, early indications from suppliers show that since this time last year the numbers of customer accounts on social tariffs have at least doubled.

Ofgem will shortly be publishing a report on suppliers’ social programmes, including their social tariffs, for the period to the end of March 2008.


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