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Energy: Renewables

Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: The purpose of the renewables obligation is to encourage more renewable generation in the UK. Allowing suppliers to meet their obligation by sourcing renewable supplies from outside the UK would not meet this objective. Therefore electricity suppliers cannot comply with their renewables obligation by providing financial assistance to renewable energy projects outside the UK.

Environmental Protection: Aarhus Convention

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:



21 Jan 2008 : Column WA14

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The UK is supportive of the goals of the Aarhus Convention. The UK will report on the legislative, regulatory or other measures that the UK has taken to implement the provisions of the convention; and their practical implementation.

EU: Structural and Cohesion Funds

Baroness Cohen of Pimlico asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: EU structural funds in the UK are not administered by the Treasury but by the appropriate managing authority.

Baroness Cohen of Pimlico asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): Communities and Local Government employed a division of 28 people in 2006-07 to administer England's European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant programmes. The staff cost for that year was £1.2 million.

The division has been reorganised during 2007-08 and the number of staff employed is currently being reduced.

Gershon Review: NIO

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:



21 Jan 2008 : Column WA15

Lord Rooker: On (a) and (b), there have been no voluntary or compulsory redundancies to date as a result of the Gershon review. The department is on course to meet its target under the Gershon efficiency review. During the Gershon period, staff numbers in the Northern Ireland Office have increased from 1,817 in April 2004 to 2,074 in December 2007. However, these figures include staff in the Youth Justice Agency, the Public Prosecution Service and the Northern Ireland Prison Service which are considered front-line growth services and are excluded from Gershon headcount reduction targets. When these staff are excluded, the Northern Ireland Office headcount has reduced by 109, from 1,114 to 1,005.

Government: Composition

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Prime Minister of the day organises departments and appoints Ministers as necessary to deliver the Government's objectives and priorities.

Government: Data Transfer Protocols

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government use a secure infrastructure for transmission of data to European Union institutions—the TESTA EU Commission network—and the organisation of transfers using this network, or transmission of data by any other means, is the responsibility of individual departments, in accordance with a memorandum of understanding between the European Commission and the UK.



21 Jan 2008 : Column WA16

I also refer the noble Lord to the Statement made by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007 (Official Report, col. 1179). The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. On 17 December, the Cabinet Office published an interim progress report (Official Report, col. WS 69). Copies are available in the Library. A further report is expected in spring 2008.

Health: MMR Vaccine

Lord McColl of Dulwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Decisions about funding in individual civil legal aid cases are entirely a matter for the Legal Services Commission (LSC) or, prior to 1 April 2000, its predecessor the Legal Aid Board. As such, Ministers do not intervene in or comment on decisions made about the grant of funding in individual cases.

Housing: Energy Efficiency

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Measurements of energy performance for dwellings use the Government's standard assessment procedure (SAP). SAP and reduced data SAP (RDSAP), a simplified version which is used to assess existing dwellings, are used in the production of energy performance certificates (EPC), which have to be made available when a dwelling is constructed, sold or rented out. For the owner-occupier sector, EPCs will be provided as part of the home information pack and will contain recommendations for improving the dwelling's energy performance; they also direct the reader to the Energy Saving Trust for further information and advice.

The Government have also developed a web-based carbon calculator, which is available to view on the Directgov website; this uses the RDSAP methodology. The calculator helps individuals and households to work out their carbon footprint and to access advice about the improvements they can make.



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Housing: Homes and Communities Agency

Baroness Whitaker asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The Homes and Communities Agency will be the national housing and regeneration agency responsible for helping deliver 3 million homes by 2020. The agency will work within the planning policy framework, notably Planning Policy Statement 3 (Housing) in delivering good-quality, well-designed housing.

This agency is not just about delivering housing numbers. It is also about regenerating the areas in which these will be built, developing places where people want to live. The agency will champion the highest standards of sustainability, including low and zero carbon technologies and will lead the way in design, facilities and services involving local communities.

The Homes and Communities Agency will be an expert delivery partner working with local authorities, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and developers, to ensure support, tools and guidance are used to assist in the creation of well-designed communities where people want to live, now and in the future.

Local Government: Parish Councils

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): We are currently discussing with the councils concerned and the Electoral Commission which of the eight such outstanding parish cases should be completed in time for elections to the new

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parish to be held on 1 May 2008. We will confirm shortly with these councils which cases will be dealt with within this timescale.

In seven further cases we have now approved the creation of new parishes and intend to make the orders establishing the parishes in time for elections on 1 May 2008. I will place copies of these orders in the Library of the House.

Northern Ireland Office: Staffing

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: As part of its CSR07 settlement, the Northern Ireland Office is required to make 5 per cent per annum real savings in administration costs from 2008-09 onwards. Detailed plans to achieve these savings are being developed. These include savings in staff costs through natural wastage or redeployment, and savings in non-staff costs. The NIO’s participation in shared services initiatives across the Northern Ireland Civil Service, for example Account NI (for financial services) and HRConnect (for human resources), will contribute to the delivery of these savings.

Pigs

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Information on UK breeding pigs and pigmeat production is collected in various forms by Defra; for example the United Kingdom Pig Notice, published quarterly, includes statistics on breeding herds, slaughter and trade.

The number of pigs in breeding herds declined after 1998 for several reasons including the effects on productivity of animal diseases, and also the recovery of the beef market following BSE, the costs of production, exchange rate movements and increased competition from imports. The government-funded Pig Industry Restructuring Scheme of 2000-01 was brought in to help secure the longer-term viability of the sector. The decline in the breeding herds has slowed in recent years although the industry continues to face considerable challenges. It is to be commended for working to secure a sustainable future through market principles and improvements in efficiency and production standards. Defra is

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supportive of the efforts of the industry and is currently funding a £2 million programme through the Meat and Livestock Commission to aid market recovery in the pigmeat and other red meat sectors affected by last year's foot and mouth outbreak.

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:



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Lord Rooker: The tables below show the volume and value of pigmeat imported into the UK each year since 1998 as recorded in the official trade statistics.

Volume of Pigmeat Imports into the UK
Tonnes
YearPork, frozenPork, fresh or chilledPig offal, fresh, chilled or frozenPig meat and offal (other than liver) prepared or preservedBacon, ham, etc.Total volume of pigmeat

1998

56,049

99,850

18,463

53,677

231,397

459,436

1999

66,799

147,654

18,833

41,884

231,303

506,473

2000

72,883

172,651

28,176

45,671

267,925

587,308

2001

71,658

167,521

22,882

45,945

281,305

589,311

2002

74,850

201,077

18,524

45,365

291,634

631,450

2003

107,690

272,815

21,371

43,164

303,181

748,220

2004

95,683

287,800

20,120

52,622

301,721

757,946

2005

85,646

346,343

18,826

50,505

283,413

784,733

2006

81,643

377,125

18,360

53,289

263,961

794,378

Jan-Oct

2007

74,729

302,623

12,863

51,410

227,163

668,787

Value of Pigmeat Imports into the UK
£000s
YearPork, frozenPork, fresh or chilledPig offal, fresh, chilled or frozenPig meat and offal (other than liver) prepared or preservedBacon, ham, etc.Total value of pigmeat

1998

51,430

124,343

8,636

105,7061

375,518

665,633

1999

53,493

161,867

5,747

102,778

398,902

722,787

2000

65,698

209,453

5,839

117,000

456,352

854,343

2001

73,051

262,707

10,679

129,366

568,136

1,043,939

2002

66,024

265,004

8,649

118,922

568,519

1,027,117

2003

90,421

373,530

9,104

116,828

622,626

1,212,510

2004

95,145

401,834

9,577

141,440

547,871

1,195,868

2005

103,859

486,213

11,434

159,731

528,036

1,289,273

2006

104,716

577,713

10,927

174,040

550,241

1,417,637

Jan-Oct

2007

91,130

451,714

7,472

156,405

451,810

1,158, 531


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