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17 Dec 2008 : Column 884W—continued

Renewables Obligation Order 2009

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on what dates (a) the draft Renewables Obligation Order 2009 and (b) the Government’s Response to the consultation on the Order were published. [244229]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The draft Renewables Obligation Order 2009 and the Government’s Response to the consultation on the order were published on 2 December 2008 and can be found at

Wind Power

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the future of the Cirrus Array offshore wind farm following the withdrawal of Royal Dutch Shell from the consortium funding the development. [244448]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Cirrus Energy (a consortium comprising Scottish Power, Eurus Energy, Shell Wind Energy and DONG) withdrew their application to this Department for Section 36 consent for the proposed 270MW offshore wind farm ‘Cirrus Shell Flat Array’ on 31 October 2008.

This decision is a matter for the companies concerned, but reflects the particular circumstances of the project's location and does not reflect the attractiveness of the UK's offshore wind market as a whole nor the viability of other projects.

The UK is currently leading the world in the delivery of offshore wind. This is because we are creating the right business environment for investment, stimulating investment in technology development and deployment, working to improve access to the grid and speeding up
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the planning process. With more than 90 UK and international companies registering their interest for new offshore wind development rights with the Crown Estate under the Round 3 competition, the expansion of offshore wind in UK waters remains very much on course.

Wind Power: Environmental Impact Assessment

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what environmental impact assessment regarding wildlife is required for wind turbines, with particular reference to bats. [242049]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: For projects over 50 MW, which are considered under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 or under the Transport and Works Act 1992, wind farm developers are required when seeking development consent to consider all environmental aspects of wind energy projects and produce an environmental impact assessment (EIA) which is available to the public. This includes the possible effects on flora and fauna, including bats. For projects of 50 MW or less, which are considered under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the local planning authority may request an ELA is completed.

In addition, DECC have commissioned numerous research projects in order to assess possible environmental impacts from wind turbines. In particular, DECC are funding research into the development of techniques that may reduce the risk of bats interacting with wind turbines. The results of this research should be published next year.

Prime Minister


Gregory Barker: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what correspondence he has had with members of the public on the noise thresholds that should apply to air source heat pumps and micro-wind turbines under the permitted development system; [244502]

(2) with reference to his letter to a member of the public of 27 August 2008, on the inclusion of air source heat pumps and micro-wind turbines in the permitted development scheme, for what reasons the relevant delegated legislation has not been laid before Parliament. [244503]

Mr. Iain Wright: I have been asked to reply.

The Prime Minister has received two recent letters from members of the public on the noise thresholds under permitted development for householder air-source heat pumps and micro wind turbines. The Government are committed to permitting the installation of small wind turbines and air source heat pumps without the need for a planning application. However it is important we set the right criteria for noise levels for wind turbines and pumps on homes under permitted development and resolve the issue of possible interference with aviation communication systems. The Minister for Housing and Planning will make a statement to Parliament in the new year.

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Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Government policies to encourage safe and sensible social drinking. [240371]

Dawn Primarolo: A cross-Government ministerial group monitors and manages the delivery and effectiveness of the Government’s alcohol strategy. Information on progress against the actions in ‘Safe. Sensible. Social. The next steps in the National Alcohol Strategy’ (a copy of which has already been placed in the Library) as well as statistical data assessing reductions in alcohol harm or changes in public awareness are published on Government websites.

Latest data show the following information on progress against the actions in ‘Safe. Sensible. Social. The next steps in the National Alcohol Strategy’ as well as statistical data on alcohol harms or changes in public awareness:

On 3 December 2008, we announced proposed legislation for powers to create and enforce a mandatory code for alcohol retailers and £4.5 million of investment in an enforcement campaign to tackle alcohol-related crime and antisocial behaviour.

By introducing a mandatory code, we are acting to restrict irresponsible alcohol promotions, including those based on price. We will act in necessary and proportionate ways to help ensure that the environment in which alcohol is consumed does not encourage excessive consumption.

Alongside this announcement, we published a summary of the responses to the recent public alcohol consultation and the Sheffield University School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) review of the effects of alcohol price and promotion. Both documents have been placed in the Library.

The Department’s new Alcohol Improvement Programme will bring together new and existing guidance,
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data, good practice and training materials for NHS primary care trusts (PCTs) and alcohol practitioners, along with direct support to those PCTs with the highest rates of alcohol-related hospital admissions.

Consumers will increasingly have available the information they need to make informed decisions on their consumption.

Industry will be expected to play its part in promoting safer and more sensible drinking.

Advice and support for those who are at most risk will be made available through the effective commissioning and delivery of NHS preventive interventions and treatment.

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) adults and (b) children were admitted to accident and emergency departments in England as a result of drinking alcohol in each month of the last four years. [243707]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not collected centrally.


Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect of the Government's strategy on cancer on the rates of those diagnosed with cancer in each year since 2001. [243178]

Ann Keen: Since 2001, the incidence of cancer has increased, this is explained by our aging population and people living longer.

Cancer incidence in England

Number of new cancer cases Male Female

























Cancer statistics are collected routinely and are used to aid both policy development and as proxy indicators for the affect of implemented policy.

In general, the earlier a cancer can be diagnosed, the greater the chance of a cure. Both the NHS Cancer Plan (published 2000) and the Cancer Reform Strategy (published 2007) (a copy of which has already been placed in the Library) included programmes of work that attempt to achieve this. Since 2000, we now have:

We have assessed the wider impact of these cancer strategies by looking at their affect on mortality rates over an extended period. Mortality rates in people under 75 have fallen by 17 per cent. between 1996 and 2005. This performance means that we are expecting to
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exceed our prostate specific antigen target of a minimum 20 per cent. reduction in cancer mortality by 2010 from 1995 to 1997 rate.

Cancer: Health Services

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to ensure that GPs are always informed about the treatment and follow-up care of cancer patients undertaken by hospitals. [243033]

Ann Keen: The General Medical Council has made it clear that it is the duty of every doctor to work with colleagues in the ways that best serve patients’ interests and, subject to patient consent, to keep colleagues well informed when sharing the care of patients. The “Cancer Reform Strategy” (CRS) published in December 2007 (a copy of which has already been placed in the Library) recommended that commissioners and service providers should ensure they have robust local systems in place to enable patients to experience good continuity of care. Through the NHS IT modernisation programme the Department is introducing an electronic care records service that will allow all clinicians involved in a patient's care to have access to the key information that they need.

The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative will look at ways we can improve the ongoing support for people living with and beyond cancer, and test sites to pilot models of care will focus on all aspects of the care pathway, including assessment, care planning and immediate post treatment approaches to care.

In addition, the National Chemotherapy Advisory Group’s independent draft report “Chemotherapy Services in England: Ensuring quality and safety” reinforces the importance of continuity of care. It recommends summary records of chemotherapy treatment are copied to patients and their general practitioners on completion of the treatment and subsequent care plans drawn up and communicated to any relevant health care professionals involved in the management of the patients’ care. This report is still subject to consultation until 4 February 2009, and the final report is expected to be published in the spring 2009.

Cancer: Nuclear Power Stations

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will commission research on the potential for causal correlation between incidence of cancer and proximity to nuclear power stations. [244154]

Dawn Primarolo: The independent advisory Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE), which was established in 1985 in response to the final recommendation of the Black report (Black, 1984) has undertaken and published a number of studies on the incidence of cancer in populations in the neighbourhood of nuclear power stations in the United Kingdom. Details of all COMARE's publications are available on its website

In 2005 COMARE published its tenth report, which reviewed earlier evidence and presented new data relating to childhood cancers around nuclear installations in Great Britain. By doing this, it investigated whether the
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claims of an excess of childhood cancer around some specific nuclear installations are a regular feature of the majority of the largest nuclear sites in Great Britain.

The peer-reviewed report concluded that there was no evidence of excess numbers of cases in any local 25 km area around nuclear power stations, which would include either primary exposure to radioactive discharges or secondary exposure from re-suspended material. This report puts various allegations of other cancer clusters around nuclear installations into context.

The 11th COMARE report shows that childhood leukaemia and many other types of childhood cancers do not occur evenly within the population of Great Britain. There are a variety of incidence rates in different geographical and social circumstances and these differ more that would be expected than from simple random or chance variations. This uneven distribution (or clustering) occurs at all levels of population distribution throughout the country, down to very local levels such as those of electoral wards. It is not known why childhood cancers tend to cluster like this. Much attention has been given to interactions between exposure to infections and immune responses. Other possible explanations have also been considered, including exposure to environmental agents. The analyses in this report have been carried out on the largest dataset of childhood cancer cases ever compiled anywhere in the world. The very large dataset gives considerable confidence in the results.

To carry out the studies described in its report required a very large database and was compiled over a considerable time scale. The database was constructed from the National Registry of Childhood Tumours by staff of the Childhood Cancer Research Group in Oxford. The current dataset consists of 12,415 cases of childhood leukaemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and 19,908 cases of children with solid tumours registered under the age of 15 in England, Wales and Scotland from 1969 to 1993 inclusive.

Compulsorily Detained Mental Patients

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which psychiatric hospitals have provided separate units for the assessment of patients arrested by the police under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983. [240407]

Phil Hope: We do not hold this information centrally.

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