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5 Nov 2009 : Column 1117W—continued

South America

Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what dates Ministers from his Department met representatives of the Government of (a) Brazil, (b) Argentina, (c) Venezuela, (d) Ecuador, (e) Chile, (f) Cuba, (g) Bolivia and (h) Paraguay in (i) 2008 and (ii) 2009. [297919]

Chris Bryant: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and Ministers from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) regularly meet representatives of Governments of the above-mentioned Latin American countries during the duties of essential business.

Previous meetings include:

Additionally, the Foreign Secretary met with all Latin American Ambassadors to London in April 2009 for a round-table discussion.

Tanzania: Overseas Investment

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what advice his Department provides to potential British investors in Tanzania; whether such investors are informed of the Silverdale Farm case; and if he will make a statement. [296730]

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Mr. Ivan Lewis: UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the Government Department, made up of staff from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, which helps UK companies to export and attracts foreign investment into the UK.

UKTI does not promote UK investment overseas, including to Tanzania; this is the responsibility of the Tanzanian government through the Tanzanian Investment Centre and the country's diplomatic missions. However, should they be asked to do so, UKTI staff in Dar es Salaam brief potential UK investors on the business environment in Tanzania and provide them with local business and government contacts. While these briefings do not provide specific details of previous UK investors in Tanzania, such as the Silverdale Farm case, they provide advice on issues such as local bureaucracy, regulations, licensing and taxation. They also recommend that potential investors considering going into business with a Tanzanian partner conduct thorough due diligence into their prospective local partner, and take specialist legal advice before entering into any form of partnership agreement. This information can also be found via the UKTI website:

Written Questions: Government Responses

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to answer (a) Question 294787 on Colombia: land mines and (b) Question 295023 on travel advice to British nationals, tabled on 22 October 2009. [297867]

Chris Bryant: These questions were answered on 3 November 2009, Official Report, column 935W and column 931W respectively.

I apologise for the delay in replying to these two questions.


Forensic Science Service: Chepstow

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what meetings he has had to discuss the future of the Forensic Science Service Laboratory in Chepstow in the last eight months. [297568]

Mr. Hain: I have discussed this issue with both the Home Secretary and with the hon. Member for Newport East. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State also visited the Chepstow laboratory in September to discuss the transformation with staff there.

I can assure the hon. Member that the Government will work closely through Jobcentre Plus and others with those affected by the Forensic Science Service Transformation program to give them all the support they need at this unsettling time.


Olympic Games 2012: Pay

Pete Wishart: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what bonuses have been paid to (a) consultants and (b) contractors working on the Olympic Park construction project. [289375]

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Tessa Jowell: The information is as follows:

(a) In order for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to achieve or exceed specific time and cost-based targets, incentive payments are made to its delivery partner CLM for the achievement of key performance indicators for the delivery of programme milestones and cost targets. The amounts payable to CLM in respect of performance are disclosed at note 19 to the ODA's Annual Report and Accounts 2008-09, a copy of which is available in the House Library:

£ million





The ODA, working with CLM, achieved significant savings of £390 million. CLM's contract is heavily incentivised and payment to them is dependent on meeting strict performance measures tied to delivering on time, to budget and to a high standard.

(b) The ODA incentivises contractors on the Olympic Park to deliver on time and on budget. Incentive payments have therefore been included as part of the contracting process. Payments to date are as follows and are included in the figures published quarterly to Parliament. The project remains on-track and on-budget.

Company Project Payable for Amount (£ million)

Sir Robert McAlpine


Piling and roof trusses


Balfour Beatty

Aquatics Centre

Completion of design procurement and erection of steel trusses




Completion of piling




Completion of foundations



Enabling Works

Delivery of works to timetable



Enabling works

Delivery of works to timetable



Enabling Works

Percentage of the incentive payment to Morrison and Nuttall


Prime Minister

Environment Protection: Work Experience

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Prime Minister what progress has been made in implementing proposals to increase green work placements, in association with the Eden Project and the Mayday Network; what public funds have been allocated to the proposals; and what his estimate is of the number of green work placements that will be created by this programme. [296998]

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

The Department is currently drawing up plans to deliver green work placements. A full announcement on plans to implement the programme will be made shortly.

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Communities and Local Government

Community Relations

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department plans to take to counter extremism in areas predominantly populated by white, working-class people; how such neighbourhoods will be identified; and what funding his Department plans to allocate to such activities. [294255]

Mr. Malik: The Government have announced £12 million this financial year to help neighbourhoods feeling the pressure from recession most acutely and address the legitimate fears which, if neglected, can prove fertile territory for extremism and those who would divide our communities. Neighbourhoods have been identified by examining a range of hard and soft data around cohesion, deprivation and crime, perceived unfairness in the allocation of resources and feedback from people working locally. Although there are modest additional resources available for support specific to the individual area, the focus will be on working through mainstream government programmes operating in the target areas. The aim is for local authorities to ensure people are aware of opportunities and services and have the opportunity to influence what happens in their local area. This is one element of wider work to understand and tackle perceptions of unfairness and disaffection, reduce tensions which threaten community cohesion, and build resilience in communities to resist negative messages from extremists and far-right groups.

Community Relations: Faith Schools

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has commissioned recent research on the relationship between the number of faith schools in an area and community cohesion. [297870]

Mr. Malik: The Department has commissioned no such research.

Departmental Consultants

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent by his Department on consultancy services relating to the establishment of (a) the Homes and Communities Agency and (b) the Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme; and which organisations provided services for each project. [297832]

John Healey: The Department spent £322,613 (excluding VAT) on consultancy services to support establishment of the Homes and Communities Agency. The consultants used were Stanton Marris LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bridget Skelton Ltd., Turner and Townsend and Blake Lapthorn.

PricewaterhouseCoopers provided commercial expertise to support development of our interventions to prevent repossessions, in particular to inform negotiations with lenders on their forbearance policies and liaison with the money advice sector, and advise on the interface with the regulatory framework. The total cost was £1,143,883 (excluding VAT). Statistics from the Financial
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Services Authority show that by June 2009, over 135,000 borrowers were benefiting from forbearance offered by their lender, an increase of 74 per cent. on the previous year.

Departmental Energy

Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has a strategy to encourage voltage optimisation on the estate of local authorities. [295275]

Barbara Follett: Communities and Local Government has no strategy for local authorities to encourage voltage optimisation in the estate of local authorities.

Departmental Recruitment

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to his Department's advertisement for a job vacancy published in August 2009 for a policy adviser to the Secretary of State on Faith and Community, and pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Robert Neill) of 16 July 2009, Official Report, column 655W, on Tony Clements, how many staff in his Department who are not special advisers have the job title (a) policy and (b) departmental adviser. [292982] [Official Report, 20 January 2010, Vol. 504, c. 1MC.]

Barbara Follett: All civil servants in the Department provide policy advice to Ministers as necessary and regardless of job title.

According to the Department's Staff Directory, 87 staff currently have policy adviser within their job title and no staff have departmental adviser within their job title.

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent on recruiting each member of the (a) Homes and Communities Agency Board and (b) National Housing and Planning Advice Unit Board. [297830]

John Healey: The information is as follows:

Homes and Communities Agency

The board appointments recruitment processes for the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the Tenants Service Authority (TSA) were to some extent run in combination and it is not possible to break these costs down further between the two organisations or the individual members. The total amounts spent were:

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National Housing and Planning Advice Unit

The total amount spent on recruitment of the Board of the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit was £94,535, of which £91,300 was incurred on recruitment agency fees, and £3,235 on engaging an Independent Appointments Assessor. It is not possible to breakdown these costs further to identify amounts which specifically related to the recruitment of individuals, as the process was conducted as a total recruitment package for a Board of five Members and one Chairperson.

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