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23 Feb 2010 : Column 463W—continued

Pathways to Work

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will integrate Access to Work assessments more closely with Pathways to Work providers. [315716]

Jonathan Shaw: [holding answer 4 February 20010]: Access to Work is a form of 'in work' support. As such there are no plans to integrate it more closely with Pathways providers. In those situations where the right type of support cannot be easily established Access to Work will use the services of contracted external assessors.

Access to Work is available to disabled people moving into paid work, including people who have been taking part in Pathways to Work and other employment programmes, as well as people already in work. Access to Work can provide practical advice and support to the disabled person and their employer to help them overcome work-related obstacles resulting from disability, for example by funding specialist equipment, a support worker or communication support at a job interview.

The White Paper "Building Britain's Recovery: Achieving Full Employment" set out a range of improvements to Access to Work. As published, we are currently discussing these proposed improvements with stakeholders, for a staged implementation starting in April 2010.

The proposed improvements include better targeting at customers further from the labour market, including people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions. The proposals also include targeting people working for smaller employers, who are currently under-represented on the programme, and to offer a 'certificate of eligibility' so that a person can indicate their eligibility for Access to Work assistance to a prospective employer.

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Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) public and (b) private sector employees were contracted out into defined benefit pension schemes that offered benefits better than the minimum requirements for guaranteed minimum pensions in 1996-97. [317191]

Angela Eagle: The legislation in place between 1978 and 1997 required a contracted out defined benefit scheme to provide a guaranteed minimum pension (GMP). It was a matter for the trustees and/or sponsoring employer of each scheme to decide what if any benefits to provide in addition to the GMP, and information is not available centrally on the number of public or private sector employees in schemes which offered such benefits.

Personal Savings

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidelines her Department issues on the classification of assets as savings. [310773]

Jim Knight: Chapter 29 of the Decision Maker's Guide (DMG) gives guidance on what particular assets count as capital when assessing entitlement to income support and jobseeker's allowance. A copy of chapter 29 of the DMG has been placed in the Library. The DMG is available online at:

Similar guidance is available for the other income- related benefits. Chapter 52 of the DMG gives guidance on employment and support allowance and chapter 84 gives guidance on state pension credit.

Remploy: Public Relations

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2009, Official Report, column 524W, on Remploy: public relations, if she will place in the Library a copy of the documents produced by Portland PR for Remploy on factory closures communications. [315700]

Jonathan Shaw: Remploy commissioned Portland PR to provide a range of services to help the company improve strategic communications.

Portland PR provided support for senior management on the overall communications strategy, and this advice informed a wide range of internal and external communication documents, materials and other communication channels across the whole company, including the factories.

It is therefore not possible to identify documents on factory closure communications produced separately by Portland PR.

Social Security Benefits: Bexley

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many residents of (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency and (b) the London borough of Bexley were in receipt of (i) housing benefit, (ii) council tax benefit, (iii) disability living allowance, (iv) incapacity benefit, (v) income support and (vi) employment and support allowance at the latest date for which information is available. [317264]

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Jonathan Shaw: The most recent available information is given in the tables.

Housing benefit and council tax benefit figures are not available by parliamentary constituency.

Housing benefit/council tax benefit recipients in London borough of Bexley: October 2009


Housing benefit


Council tax benefit


1. Figures are as at 8 October 2009.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
3. Claimants receiving both housing benefit and council tax benefit will be counted twice in this table
4. On 1 April 2009 structural changes to the local authorities in England took effect. Changes are reflected from May 2009.
Single Housing Benefit Extract

Benefit recipients in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency and London borough of Bexley: May 2009
Benefit Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency London borough of Bexley

Disability living allowance-cases in payment



Incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claimants



Income support claimants



Employment and support allowance claimants



1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Some additional disclosure has been applied.
2. Claimants receiving more than one of these benefits will be counted under each benefit
3. Disability living allowance figures show the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example, if they are in hospital.
4. Employment and support allowance replaced incapacity benefit and income support paid on the grounds of incapacity for new claims from 27 October 2008. The figures relating to employment and support allowance have been thoroughly quality assured to National Statistics standard. However, it should be noted that this is a new benefit using a new data source which may not have reached steady state in terms of operational processing and retrospection. Hence the most recent data shown are provisional.
DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.

Unemployment Benefits: Cancer

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) people undergoing or recovering from radiotherapy and (b) in-patients (i) in total and (ii) normally resident in Scotland have been refused employment support allowance since 27 October 2008. [317753]

Jonathan Shaw: The information requested is not available.

Energy and Climate Change


Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the amount of biomass needed to fuel proposed new wood-burning power stations; and what proportion of it he expects will be from UK sources. [317107]

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Mr. Kidney: Power stations of over 50 MW in England and Wales are subject to consent by the Secretary of State under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989.

Biomass capacity of up to 849 MWe has been approved under the Section 36 consenting regime since 2007, which is expected to use up to 6.77 million tonnes of biomass per year when all plants are operational. There is also 1,289 MWe biomass capacity currently under consideration by the Secretary of State, which if consented would use up to a further 10.56 million tonnes of biomass per annum. Therefore, the combined total of consented and in planning biomass applications for England and Wales, of plants over 50MW, is 2,138 MWe potentially using up to 17.33 million tonnes of biomass per annum. This capacity includes both dedicated biomass power plants and combined biomass and energy-from-waste power plants.

Power stations of 50MW and under, in England and Wales, are considered by the local planning authority in the normal planning regime.

According to the UK RESTATS database, which has collected renewable energy data since 1989, dedicated biomass power capacity of up to 349.6 MWe has been consented by local planning authorities in England and Wales. This consented capacity, assuming a typical 25MW plant will use up to 0.2 million tonnes per annum, would use up to 2.80 million tonnes of biomass per year when all plants are operational. There is also a further 90.1 MWe dedicated biomass capacity under consideration, which is expected to use up to 0.72 million tonnes of biomass per annum. Therefore, the combined total of consented and in planning dedicated biomass applications for England and Wales, of plants 50MW and under, is 439.7 MWe using up to 3.52 million tonnes of biomass per annum.

It is not possible to separately identify the wood-burning capacity as most plants will have the flexibility to use a range of biomass fuels according to cost, availability and other considerations.

Robust biomass supply chains are only now becoming established across the UK and biomass fuels are increasingly traded as a global commodity. Therefore, we expect, in the short term at least, that these plants will use a significant volume of imported biomass, together with wood fuel sourced from managed UK forests and woodlands and from other sources such as the by-products of our timber industry, home grown perennial energy crops such as miscanthus grass and short rotation coppice (SRC) willow, and a range of biomass fuels derived from waste as defined under the renewables obligation.

Departmental Energy

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the estimated (a) amount and (b) cost was of energy used in his Department in each year since it was established; what proportion of the energy used was generated from renewable sources in each of those years; and if he will make a statement. [317228]

Joan Ruddock: For the last full year that information is currently available, January to December 2009, the Department has used approximately 2,209,980 Kwh of
23 Feb 2010 : Column 467W
electricity and 1,184,478 Kwh of gas. The cost of this was £176,216 for the electricity and £43,043 for the gas.

The electricity was procured through the green tariff from the OGC catalyst framework contract.

Departmental Public Expenditure

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has spent on (a) new furnishings and (b) new vehicles in each year since its inception. [312541]

Joan Ruddock: Since its inception on October 3 2008 The Department for Energy and Climate Change has spent (a) £699,503 on new furnishing and (b) nothing on new vehicles.

Departmental Surveys

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will place in the Library a copy of the results of his Department's most recent staff survey; which organisation carried out the survey; and what the cost of the survey was. [311506]

Joan Ruddock: The Department will be publishing its October 2009 staff survey results on the DECC website on 1 March 2010. Following publication we will place a copy of the results in the Library.

The supplier for the Department's staff survey in October 2009 was ORC International who were procured by the Cabinet Office to deliver the first cross-Civil Service People Survey. The People Survey replaced all existing staff surveys in the Civil Service with a single questionnaire.

The cost of the 2009-10 People Survey for the Department was £18,300. By procuring a single supplier for staff surveys in 2009-10 the civil service has saved 35 per cent. on the total cost of staff surveys in 2008-09.

Departmental Travel

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much was spent on travel between England and Scotland by staff of his Department in each year since its inception. [316792]

Joan Ruddock: The Department of Energy and Climate Change was created in October 2008. The amount spent on travel between England and Scotland in the Financial Year 2008-09 was £157,274.

Energy Supply

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when the Government plans to publish a response to the report Energy Security: a national challenge in a changing world. [317099]

Mr. Kidney: Mr. Wicks raised a number of important issues which we have studied carefully. We will publish a response shortly.

Energy: Finance

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much Government funding from all sources has been provided to (a) the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), (b) TERI Europe, (c) the Asian Energy Institute and (d) the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership in each of the last five years. [311809]

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Joan Ruddock: The information is as follows.

(1) Funding for The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has not funded TERI directly over this period. In 2009 DECC funded Phase 2 of a UK-India collaborative study on the barriers to technology transfer. This work was led by the Science and Technology Policy Research Unit at Sussex university (SPRU), which received £167,000 in funding. SPRU partnered with TERI on this study.

The following has been provided to TERI by other Government Departments: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Funding

£441,000 from FCO for seven projects through the strategic programme fund and global opportunities fund, 2004 to 2010, as follows:

Project £


Incorporating micro complexities in programmes and policies for energy security in rural India



Developing an Energy Security Policy for India



Commercialisation of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in India



Information Sharing System to enhance coping capacities of farming communities in dealing with climate variability and climate change



Exploring opportunities for technology transfer to developing countries for mitigation of climate change



Design of renewable energy credit system for India



Scoping Study-Climate Change Induced Migration and its Security Implications in India's Neighbourhood.




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