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The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has today published a companion guide to PPS22 on renewable energy. The companion guide offers good practice advice on a range of issues, including how to frame policies for renewable energy in development plans.
Planning Policy Statement 22, published in August 2004, was an important step towards facilitating the delivery of more renewable energy developments and thereby meeting this Government's commitments in respect of global warming and climate changes. It sets out the Government's national planning policies for all types of renewable energy development. The companion guide offers practical advice as to how these polices can be implemented on the ground. It is intended to assist planners, regional and local decision-makers and other stakeholders in understanding the often complex issues associated with the different technologies and their application in different environments and is relevant to all local planning authorities in England.
The guide addresses the actions required at the local and regional level, with regard to both strategic/forward planning and development control and includes a chapter of each of these planning policy issues. It also sets out the factors that make a "good" renewable energy application, how best to assess cumulative landscape and visual effect and how to deal with community involvement. Case studies are used to illustrate key points and to demonstrate how specific issues can be addressed. A technical annex to the guide includes specific advice on the range of renewable energy technologies covered by PPS22.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Health (Mr Hutton) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
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The annual accounts and accompanying Comptroller and Auditor General report of NHS professionals for 200304 has today been laid before the House of Commons pursuant to Section 98(1C) of the National Health Service Act 1977. Copies have been placed in the Library.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): I have today placed in the Libraries of both Houses a Consultation Paper on the disclosure of information in family proceedings cases involving children. The text is also available on the department's website at http://www.dca.gov.uk/consult/confr.htm.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: My honourable friend the Minister of the Cabinet Office is today announcing a review of the current arrangements for the provision of air travel for the Royal Family, Government Ministers and accompanying senior officials, taking into account safety, reliability, security and value for money, and to make recommendations for improvement. The review will be headed by Sir Peter Gershon and is expected to report in the second half of 2005.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: I have today published Delivering Diversity in Public Appointments 2004, which explains what each central government department is doing to increase diversity on the boards of their public bodies.
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The report contains action plans for each department as well as details of progress to date. It also includes targets to increase the proportion of appointments held by women, people from minority ethnic backgrounds and disabled people to be achieved by 2007.
The Government are keen to ensure that their commitments to public appointments are met. The first is that selection should be made on merit, using fair and open procedures that ensure the best available candidate is appointed to each post.
The second is a commitment to improving diversity in public appointments. There is real value in boards broadly reflecting the community they serve and I firmly believe that more diverse boards lead to more effective decision-making.
Overall progress has been made in the representation of people from minority ethnic backgrounds and disabled people. However, the overall figures for women have dropped slightly, thus emphasising the need to continue to promote our diversity objectives and continue our outreach work.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey): My right honourable friend the Minister of State for the Arts (Estelle Morris) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
The 15th report of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art for 2003-04 will be published later today. The reviewing committee provides independent advice to the Secretary of State on whether cultural objects that are the subject of applications for export licences are of outstanding national importance. During the period covered by the report, following recommendations from the reviewing committee, temporary bars were placed on the export of nine items, including paintings, furniture, silverware and archives. Of these, seven items, valued at £6.8 million, were purchased and remain in the UK. The report contains the reviewing committee's comments on policy matters relating to the operation of the export control and the protection of cultural objects, and details of each case considered during the period 1 July 2003 to 30 April 2004.
The Treasury has today published the Government's response to the consultation on the definition of home reversion type arrangements for inclusion in the scope of the Financial Services and
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Markets Act 2000, which closed on 28 September 2004. Copies are available in the Vote Office and the Library of the House, and are accessible on the Treasury website at www.hmtreasury.gov.uk.
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