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We have recently consulted on a draft planning policy statement (PPS), Planning and Climate Change, which sets out our proposals on how planning should contribute to reducing emissions and stabilising climate change. Planning is expected to make a full contribution to delivering the Government's Climate Change Programme and energy policies. That includes giving greater emphasis to local renewable sources for supplying the energy needs of new developments. At the local level, development plan documents are expected to set policies on the provision of low-carbon and renewable sources of energy to provide the platform necessary for securing and complementing the increasingly high levels of energy and carbon performance required by building regulations. This provision is expected to be “significant” to reflect the full potential of local opportunities consistent with securing the new development needed in communities.

Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Andrews: The Government have made no estimate of the amount by which the value of domestic properties might rise following the installation of microgeneration equipment. There will, however, be no council tax consequences.

Any change or improvement to a property which increases its value cannot result in a higher council tax band until the property is sold or any future revaluation of properties takes place. Even then, the banding system means that only an improvement that significantly increases the value of the property would be likely to push it into a higher band.

Environmental Justice

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Judges and the legal advisers to magistrates are professionals in their field and are well placed to keep themselves up to date with changing legislation and case law. In court, representatives of the relevant prosecuting authority and the defence will raise any points of law to substantiate their case. It has not been government practice to issue information on emerging environmental law to the courts, but rather to provide public information generally when legislation is proposed and when it is being made.

Fishing: Drift Nets

Lord Kimball asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Enforcement of the closure of Irish drift-net fisheries is a matter for the Irish authorities. It is unlikely that the Irish Salmon Review Group will be involved, and the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) has no role in the management of the fisheries.

Health: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath):Occupational Aspects of the Management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): A National Guideline was proposed by the department’s NHS Plus project as part of its evidence-based guidelines work. A committee of stakeholders external to the project approves the scope and draft proposals for all the project guidelines. Each guideline is produced by a guideline development group and scrutinised by two external assessors. All members of the CFS guideline development group and the

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external assessors are listed in the published guideline, which is available on the NHS Plus website at www.nhsplus.nhs.uk.

NHS Plus worked closely with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the development of the above guideline, which is specifically focused on occupational issues. NICE is looking at clinical aspects of management of the condition.

The guideline was distributed in printed copy to all NHS Plus occupational health departments and the faculty of occupational medicine. A full scientific review and accompanying summary leaflets are freely available on the NHS Plus website. The guideline cost less than £15,000 to produce and distribute.

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The NHS Plus guideline deals with the occupational aspects of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and will complement the forthcoming National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guideline on CFS, or myalgic encephalomyelitis, which deals with the clinical aspects of the management of the condition.

Health: Malnutrition

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Finished in-year admission episodes for 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 are shown in tables which have been placed in the Library.

To minimise the risk of individual patients being identified, figures of five or less need to be suppressed where the data are geographically specific. Figures have been provided by strategic health authority of residence, as providing details at a lower organisational level would have involved heavy suppression of data.

The figures are for admission episodes where malnutrition was recorded as either a primary or secondary diagnosis.



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Health: Mental Health Beds

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): In 1996-97, there were daily on average 118 secure mental health beds available in the East of England area. In 2006-07, there were daily on average 203 secure mental health beds available in the same area. That represents an increase of 85 beds.

The East of England area is defined by the new East of England strategic health authorities (SHA). Note that these beds are from mental health providers in the East of England area, so they may not all be available for residents within the SHA boundary and there may be beds outside the East of England area that are used for residents within the SHA boundary. That can be due to the placement needs of individuals.

Health: Nursing and Allied Professions

Baroness Emerton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): I am pleased to announce that the multi-professional education and training budgets will be issued shortly to strategic health authorities (SHAs) and represent a 3.6 per cent increase on 2006-07 allocations. The year 2006-07 was exceptional and we had to give SHAs the maximum flexibility to manage their financial position to address the deficits in their area. SHAs are aware of the need to secure the future workforce of the National Health Service and to invest in education and training. This will be reinforced by a service-level agreement setting out the key priorities for them to address.

Homelessness

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The eligible rents for housing benefit (HB) have not been reduced by 14.5 per cent.



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The HB subsidy for temporary accommodation has more than doubled between 2002-03 and 2005-06, with approximately 80 per cent of the increase occurring in London authorities. Such an increase in expenditure is unsustainable and therefore the subsidy thresholds and caps have been reduced by 5 per cent for London authorities from April 2007. Outside London the subsidy thresholds and caps have been frozen.

We are confident that local authorities in London will be able to continue to secure good-quality leased temporary accommodation and meet all their reasonable costs within the limits of the subsidy system.

Local authorities in London will be able to claim full subsidy on rents up to at least £337.55 per week when they house a homeless person in short-term leased accommodation, and 15 authorities in London will be able to claim more than that.

The Government are also keen to ensure that local authorities provide a settled housing solution for households placed into temporary accommodation as soon as they are realistically able to do so.

Homelessness: Soup Runs

Lord Patten asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The Government have made no approach to the voluntary sector organisations that undertake soup runs in Howick Place. I understand that Westminster City Council is in discussion with those providers.

Immigration: English Language Courses

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Adonis): From Department for Education and Skills analysis of Learning and Skills Council (LSC) data, spend on asylum-seeker English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) courses for learners aged 19-plus was £20.2 million in 2004-05, the last year for which data are available. The changes announced in October to ESOL funding are not intended to result in savings

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but to reprioritise existing provision. The adult learning budget is expected to increase next year by approximately 7 per cent.

We will shortly publish the results of the race equality impact assessment and any changes to our proposals that Ministers will make as a result.

Information Systems: Cabinet Office

Lord Harris of Haringey asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: In the Cabinet Office over the past year:

(a) There have been no recorded instances of malicious programs having compromised departmental computer systems.

(b) In accordance with accreditation requirements, penetration tests have been carried out on departmental information systems. These were undertaken by approved IT health-check service (CHECK) organisations working independently of the system providers. It is not government policy to make public the nature and results of these tests.

(c) Four meetings of the departmental audit and risk committee have been held. An important part of the committee’s remit is to discuss, review and manage risks to departmental information.

Information Systems: DCA

Lord Harris of Haringey asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): (a) In the past year computer equipment at the Department for Constitutional Affairs was compromised on seven occasions by malicious programs, such as worms, viruses etc. In six of these incidents only a single machine was affected; in the other incident 16 machines were affected. The programs were removed as soon as discovered and had minimal impact on the department's activities.

(b) We do not provide detail on such security matters where it could compromise the security of our information systems.

(c) We follow standard advice on risk management.

Information Systems: Defra

Lord Harris of Haringey asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): (a) In the past year no malicious programs have compromised departmental computer systems, as all potential infections were trapped by the AV software and there were no reported outbreaks.

(b) The only penetration test performed in the past year was on the BlackBerry pilot and was performed by QinetiQ at Defra’s request. Eight issues were found, and these were either mitigated or taken into account in the subsequent solution for production. Release of the results might highlight vulnerabilities and compromise security.

(c) The departmental management board considered information assurance and risk in December 2006 but the management team has also considered information risk in other ways: as part of its consideration of overall departmental performance and delivery and through its oversight of major IT-enabled change programmes and local programmes, all of which have risk management processes that include information risk.



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