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Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government do not comment on the carbon price, on which the revenue from auctioning of emissions allowances is dependent. In addition, the amount of revenue will depend on the number of allowances to be auctioned. This will not be known until the revised EU ETS Directive is agreed and the cap for the 2012 phase is set.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): Other than the Environment Agency's commendation of the Beddington zero energy development (BedZed) project in its 2003 water efficiency awards, the Government are not aware of any specific conclusions reached by the Environment Agency on the positive results to date of BedZed. The Government last year announced their policy that all new homes should be zero carbon from 2016. Exemplary projects and programmessuch as BedZed, English Partnerships' Carbon Challenge and Communities and Local Government's eco-towns programmewill play an important role in helping to pave the way for industry to reach the zero carbon standard.
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Question asking Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of households spending more than one tenth of their disposable income on energy in each of the last five years for which figures are available (HL2306).
The table below shows the number of UK households that spent more than 10 per cent of their disposable income on energy bills in each of the years from 2001-02 to 2005-06. These estimates are based on data collected through the Expenditure and Food Survey, which is a sample survey covering approximately 7,000 households in the UK.
|Number of households with energy bills1 greater than 10 per cent of disposable income2|
|Number of households|
|1 Energy bills include payments for gas, electricity, coal, paraffin, peat and oil for central heating|
|2 Disposable income covers all income (including state benefits) after the deduction of income tax, employees' national insurance contributions and council tax.|
|Source: Expenditure and Food Survey, Office for National Statistics|
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government have welcomed the Thoresen report and on 3 March, the Chief Secretary announced that the Government will take forward a £12 million money guidance pathfinder, to be delivered by the Financial Services Authority. The Government will publish a detailed response to Thoresen, including plans for the pathfinder, in their financial capability action plan later in the spring. Evidence from the pathfinder project will inform the Government's decision on how best to implement a national service.
Whether an independent audit of the efficiency of the interface between the National Firearms Licensing Management System and the Police National Computer was carried out after it was completed in September 2007; and if so, whether they will place a copy of the audit report in the Library of the House. [HL2290]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Following successful completion of the implementation of the interface between the National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS) and the Police National Computer (PNC), a review of the efficiency of the interface between the two systems is now being conducted with a view to ensuring that the business benefits are fully realised by the police service.
The review is being conducted by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) and the Association of Chief Police Officers. A summary of the review will be available on the NPIA website (www.npia.police.uk) in due course and, as such, there are no plans to place copies of the review in the Library.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 provide for the charging of fees in relation to requests for information where the cost of complying would exceed appropriate limits. The appropriate limit is currently £600 for central government and £450 for other public authorities. In addition, public authorities may charge for disbursements and for information supplied in accordance with their publication schemes. It is the request that engages the fees regulations and not the requester. The Government currently have no plans to amend the fees regulations.
Lord Rooker: The disclosure of some of the information requested, including details of internal or interdepartmental meetings with Ministers or officials, would be prejudicial to the effective conduct of public affairs.
The information that can be disclosed is as follows; as 1 January was a public holiday, all government departments were closed. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State was on leave on 2, 3 and 4 January. During the period in question, the Secretary of State held receptions at Hillsborough Castle for Cardinal Brady and Childline. He also had a meeting with the First and Deputy First Ministers, visited the Women's Support Network and visited Bombardier (Shorts Plc).
In addition to those functions listed, the Secretary of State has regular meetings with political parties, local politicians, the Minister of State, internal and external stakeholders and his officials. He also carried out a full range of duties and engagements in London.
Why the Romany Gypsy Liaison Officer for the South West Region was not invited to speak, though present, at the South West Regional Spatial Strategy Examination in Public on 3 March; and whether they will ensure that any views she may submit will be given careful consideration. [HL2400]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The Romany Gypsy Liaison Officer for the South West was invited to participate in the examination in public. However, on the first day (4 March) her seat was taken by another gypsy representative. This was observed by the CLG regional lead officer who raised it both with the panel secretary and the liaison officer. However, the liaison officer was not prepared to make a complaint against the other gypsy representative, and no formal action was taken on behalf of the panel. The panel will, however, take account of any written representations she has made.
How many adverse reactions to measles, mumps and rubella vaccines have been reported by parents and medical professionals since their introduction; and how many of those reported adverse reactions included bowel problems. [HL2371]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): As of 6 March 2008 the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has received 7,785 suspected UK adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports associated with MMR vaccine, measles and rubella vaccine and single measles, mumps and rubella vaccines.
Number of suspected ADR reports with reactions related to inflammatory bowel problems associated with MMR vaccine, measles and rubella vaccine and single measles, mumps and rubella vaccines up to 6 March 2008:
|Reaction Term (PT)||Number of suspected ADR reports received|
It is important to note that a report of an ADR does not necessarily mean that it was caused by the vaccine. Many factors have to be taken into account in assessing causal relationships including temporal association, the possible contribution of concomitant medication and any underlying disease.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): Rough sleeping and homelessness remain a priority for this Government. We recently announced £200 million homelessness grants for local authorities and the voluntary sector over the next three years to help prevent homelessness and tackle rough sleepingthe largest ever cash injection for homelessness services.
What redress is available to persons who purchase new homes, following planning approval by local authorities, on flood plains or land at high risk of flooding; against whom such redress is available; and what are the obligations of local authorities in this regard. [HL2343]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): It is for individual householders to satisfy themselves about the adequacy of insurance cover for flooding and other risks to their properties. The Government are committed to working with the insurance industry to maximise the availability of flood insurance for homes and small businesses, and maintains regular contact with the Association of British Insurers to discuss insurance cover for existing properties, and other issues of mutual interest.
The Government's planning policies on development and flood risk are set out in planning policy statement 25 (PPS25), Development and Flood Risk. Our policy approach, which we strengthened in December 2006, is to avoid inappropriate development in flood risk areas, and to direct development away from high- risk areas by ensuring that sites at little or no risk of flooding are developed in preference to areas at higher
17 Mar 2008 : Column WA10
Local authorities are required to decide planning applications for new housing in flood risk areas in accordance with the development plan. They must also take into account all material considerations, including government policy in PPS25, and any views expressed by the Environment Agency.
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