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(1) A net increase in the cash release of provisions of £17,324,000 charged to Non-Voted RDEL (with a corresponding increase in the provision charge scored in AME) to reflect the latest forecast of outturn.
(3) To reflect the Non-Voted impact of an increase in Non-Budget Grants in Aid (Non Voted) for the Council of RFC A of £4,199,000 in the Central TLB and £4,943,000 in Land TLB; £210,000 for the Marine and Sea Cadets Society by reducing Resource DEL current costs and increasing Non-Budget Grants in Aid with no overall impact on resource.
(4) To reflect the Non-Voted impact of an increase in Non-Budget funding by £10,991,000 from within Resource DEL to reflect the latest forecast of outturn for the Navy Command, Land Forces and Central TLBs.
Andy Lebrecht, Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, represented the UK at the Energy Council in Brussels on 12 March.
The first item on the agenda was the draft regulation concerning the notification to the Commission of investment projects in energy infrastructure, on which the Council reached political agreement. Most issues, including the UK's previous areas of concerns (principally in relation to the extra burden on industry
and on member state administrations) were resolved during negotiations and agreement was reached with little discussion by member states.
The Council then agreed conclusions on the Commission Communication "Investing in the development of low carbon technologies", which sets out the strategic approach to energy research in the EU over the next 10 years. The UK is content with the text of the conclusions and pleased that the previous expectation of large increases in member state national spending has now been qualified.
The last substantive item was an exchange of views on the energy aspects of the Commission's proposed Europe 2020 strategy for jobs and growth initiative, based on a presentation by the Commission of its Communication published on 3 March. The Commission noted that energy was central to the Europe 2020 strategy, given its relevance to the economy, employment and climate change. In the discussion that followed, member states agreed on the value of the strategy, and on the importance of developing an energy action plan for 2010-14. There was general agreement that the energy action plans should cover energy efficiency, diversification of energy sources and research and development. The UK noted that the EU budget should reflect the 2020 priorities.
The presidency briefly updated the Council on the outcome of the informal Energy Council in Seville in January; on Russia-Ukraine energy relations; and on the latest report on the status of the EU electricity and gas markets. The Hungarian delegation reported on the energy security summit attended by representatives from Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe in Budapest on 24 February.
The Council ended with a working lunch where Commissioner Oettinger outlined his views on the Commission Work Programme on energy, focusing on policies to meet the 20/20/20 objectives, the need for proper implementation of the internal market package, and energy efficiency. He also emphasised his intention that the energy action plan should look beyond the short-term and set out a route map towards 2020 and 2050.
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Hilary Benn): I am pleased to announce that the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) will vest on 1 April 2010 as an executive non-departmental public body.
The MMO has been established by the Marine and Coastal Access Act, and will act as the UK Government's principal delivery body in the marine area in the waters around England and in the UK offshore area for matters that are not devolved and its centre of marine management expertise. The MMO will bring together a number of marine management activities from across Government, as well as delivering new marine planning, licensing and nature conservation functions created by the Act. This represents a real opportunity to provide an identifiable focus on marine matters and will make a contribution to achieving sustainable development by bringing together delivery of a number of marine functions within a single independent body, enabling integrated implementation of Government policy for the marine area.
"to secure a healthy environment in which we and future generations can prosper".
delivering an integrated system of marine planning;
delivering a streamlined, transparent and consistent system for licensing marine activities and developments;
contributing to conserving natural resources, eco-systems and species, including the development of marine protected areas;
modernisation and streamlining of the management and regulation of England's marine fisheries; and
contributing to responses, relationships and returns to the EU and international bodies.
In delivering the functions above, the MMO will work closely with a wide range of UK Government Departments with a policy interest in the marine area-the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Communities and Local Government (CLG), the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The MMO will also deliver specific operational functions on behalf of DEFRA, DfT and DECC.
The MMO also has a requirement to manage its functions with the overarching objective of making a real contribution to the achievement of sustainable development in the marine area and in the wider context. I will issue the MMO guidance on how it should discharge its functions with regard to this objective, and a draft of this guidance will be laid in Parliament.
The organisation will be directed by an independent chair (Christopher Parry) and board, and led by a chief executive (Steven Gant). The MMO will have net operating costs in 2010-11 of £32.3 million. It consists of a headquarters office located in Newcastle, and a network of 18 coastal offices.
I announced on 12 February 2009 that the Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA) would be subsumed into the new body and that it would cease to be a separate Executive Agency. The remit and functions of the MFA will continue to be delivered within the wider remit of the MMO.
a coherent, transparent delivery body for independently reconciling conflicting demands and pressures in the marine area including through the introduction of a new, integrated system of marine planning;
a modernised, accessible and streamlined licensing system, leading to structural efficiencies and savings;
a comprehensive approach to the formulation and implementation of policy in the marine area across Government;
an authoritative hub for information exchange and research in the marine area, providing access to its own data and an expert on what other sources are available;
a contribution to the achievement of sustainable development and partnership in the marine area providing a single focus for marine management issues; and
the positioning of the UK as the internationally recognised leader in marine management.
Since the Marine and Coastal Access Act received Royal Assent on 12 November 2009, my officials have been working to put in place the necessary legislation to commence and transfer appropriate powers and duties to the MMO to ensure that it is operational from
1 April. This began with the first Commencement Order which came into force on 12 January 2010, establishing the MMO as a body corporate, and is being followed by further Commencement Orders and mechanisms to transfer functions to the MMO. These will come into effect on 1 April.
The new marine planning function and streamlined licensing regime are currently either under consultation or in development and will come on stream after vesting. Current timetabling anticipates the new licensing regime to be operational from spring 2011, and marine plan areas to be agreed in that timeframe also which will enable the MMO to prioritise and begin work on this first marine plan.
Further details of the MMO's role and responsibilities are given in its corporate documents: the Framework Document, the Corporate Plan 2010-11 to 2012-13, and the Business Plan 2010-11. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and will be published on the MMO's website: www.marinemanagement.org.uk
Ministers will discuss the EU's response to Haiti and seek to agree a common position for the global donors' conference in New York on 31 March. This is likely to include: a common aggregated figure for EU commitment for reconstruction; a long-term plan for economic growth and development; and a commitment to joint programming to enhance aid effectiveness. Ministers will also discuss the creation of an "EU House" in Haiti to enhance co-ordination and represent EU donors not present on the ground. They may also discuss plans for further work on the EU's emergency response capability.
We expect Ministers to be updated on the latest developments following the tragic earthquake on Saturday 27 February. The UK has responded to specific requests made by the Chilean Government and provided £250,000 to the Red Cross and delivered 600 tents to World Vision through DFID and the MOD. With EU partners, the UK has provided €3 million for the relief effort through European Commission Humanitarian Aid.
Ministers will discuss the work of the new EU Representative for Afghanistan, Vygaudas Ušackas, focusing on his immediate priorities. These include implementation of the EU action plan, follow-up to the London conference and preparations for the Kabul conference. The upcoming EU-Pakistan summit on 21 April may also be discussed.
Ministers will continue their discussions on how the EU's post-Lisbon structures can deliver more coherent, co-ordinated and effective EU actions, including in its relations with emerging powers. Ongoing planning for the European External Action Service may also be discussed under this item.
Over lunch, Ministers will review recent developments on the MEPP with Quartet Representative, Tony Blair. Baroness Ashton is expected to brief on her visit to the region this week, and the Quartet meeting in Moscow on 19 March. Ministers are likely to agree an EU declaration for the EU/Israel Association Council, which will take place in Brussels on 23 March.
The GAC will present and discuss the draft Council conclusions for the spring European Council on the 25 and 26 March including points on EU2020 and climate change. On EU2020, we will seek to make progress on the agreement of a comprehensive European economic strategy that delivers strong, sustainable and balanced growth. On climate change, we will seek to ensure continued international focus on the goal of a legally binding treaty.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Mr. Mike O'Brien): The Department of Health's overall departmental expenditure limit (DEL) is unchanged from the written statement made on 23 February 2010, Official Report, column 40WS, at £105,564,260,000, the administration cost limit is unchanged at £218,191,000. The impact on resource and capital is set out in the following table:
|(*)The total of "administration budget" and "Near cash in Resource DEL" figures may well be greater that the total resource DEL, due to definitions overlapping.|
(**)Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL since the capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.
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