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Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking together with local authorities and devolved Administrations to reduce levels of fuel poverty. 
This includes the Warm Front Scheme in England, carbon emissions reduction target and the Decent Homes Programme primarily addressing the energy efficiency of households, winter fuel and cold weather payments to increase household incomes.
The combination of national and local programmes and delivery through local government, partnerships and area-based schemes can help target areas of particular need. We are currently consulting on the Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP), where we propose to support energy efficiency measures at a local, community level, by fostering new and existing partnerships between energy companies, local authorities, voluntary organisations and other such bodies, to offer support to poorer communities on a house-by-house, street-by-street basis.
As part of the Local Government Framework, National Indicator 187 (Tackling Fuel Poverty) has been designed to measure the proportion of households on income-related benefits for whom an energy assessment of their housing has been carried out and have a SAP of below 35 or greater than 65. We are encouraged that 40 out of 150 local area agreements (LAAs) have included NI187 as one of their 35 local improvement targets and have set challenging but achievable targets. All local authorities will have to report on progress each year.
Responsibility for fuel poverty policy is a devolved matter. Ministers across Government and the devolved nations discuss policy to tackle fuel poverty and we publish an annual report which includes information on progress in the devolved Administrations.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: A decision on the application by E.ON UK plc for consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 for a 1600MW coal fired power station at Kingsnorth will follow the conclusion of both the consultation on carbon capture readiness and the planned new consultation on a new framework for coal fired power stations.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the reduction in domestic production of natural gas on security of energy supply; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Companies are bringing forward new gas supply infrastructure to meet the gradual decline in the UKs stocks of indigenous gas. Our import capacity has increased by 400 per cent. in the last 10 years, and is now equivalent to some 120 per cent. of our annual gas consumption. In addition, 18 commercial gas storage projects are in different stages of development; if they were all to come forward they could give us storage capacity equivalent to some 20 per cent. of our current gas consumption by around 2020.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information his Department makes available to local communities whose areas are the subject of onshore wind farm applications; what formal guidance his Department provides to local authorities considering each application; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government have a comprehensive framework of national planning policy and guidance on renewable energy. This is in addition to the body of guidance for local planning authorities on handling planning applications and engagement with local communities affected by planning applications. Communities and Local Governments Planning Policy Statement on Climate Change (PPS1) and Renewable Energy (PPS22) set out the considerations that will be relevant to planning applications for wind farms. There is also detailed guidance for practitioners in the companion guides supporting both PPSs.
In addition, the guidance on applications for large-scale energy developments (over 50MW) under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 makes clear the need to ensure that local communities are consulted at an early stage. This can be downloaded at
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions he has had with representatives of carers interest groups on proposals for payments of carers allowance to people who have retired from work and continue to care for relatives. 
Jonathan Shaw: In our Carers Strategy, published in June 2008, we set out our vision of the support we aim to provide for carers over the next 10 years. In developing our Carers Strategy, we conducted one of the most in-depth and widespread consultations ever held on carers issues. This included discussions with carers interest groups on a wide range of benefit issues.
People who have retired from work but continue to care for relatives are not excluded from claiming carers allowance. Although carers allowance will not usually be payable where state pension is in payment, the person can still access the carer premium, currently £27.75 a week, in the income-related benefits such as housing benefit and council tax benefit, or the equivalent additional amount for carers in pension credit. In addition, where someone would receive less from state pension than from carers allowance, an amount of carers allowance can be paid to make up the difference.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many benefit claimants in (a) Great Britain, (b) each region and (c) each London borough did not receive the full child support payment in each of the last 12 months. 
Kitty Ussher: The administration of the child maintenance system is a matter for the Commissioner of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants in (a) Great Britain (b) each region and (c) each London borough did not receive the full child support payment in each of the last 12 months. 
It should be noted that the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 made changes to the way child maintenance is paid to parents with care in receipt of income based benefits. Prior to 27 October 2008, the Child Support Agency, on behalf of the Secretary of State, was required to retain a proportion of child maintenance received in respect of parents with care in receipt of income based benefits. From 27 October 2008, the Agency forwards all maintenance received and parents with care in receipt of benefits will need to inform Jobcentre Plus about any maintenance they have received.
The information you have requested in respect of the number of cases where the non-resident parent paid all, part or none of the child maintenance due in the previous quarter is included in the tables which have been placed in the Library.
Some non-resident parents will go to great lengths to avoid fulfilling their responsibilities to their children. The Child Support Agency has made improvements to how it is collecting and enforcing maintenance and is now consistently collecting and
arranging record amounts of child maintenance, with over £1.1 billion collected or arranged in the year to the end of December 2008.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
|Table A: Maintenance Outcome by Government Office Region and London Local Authority March 2008|
|None||Full||Over 1-20||Over 20-40||Over 40- 60||Over 60-80||Over 80 to under 100|
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