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29 Oct 2008 : Column 1103W—continued

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Project Board is made up of senior officials from: DECC; BERR; Cabinet Office; CLG; DEFRA; DFT; HMT; Wales Office; Welsh Assembly Government; the South West Regional Development Agency; and the Government Office for the South
29 Oct 2008 : Column 1104W
West. In addition, there are non-executive members from the University of Cambridge Centre for Sustainable Development; the Sustainable Development Commission; and Partnerships UK.

The Ministerial Group to which the Project Board reports consists of Secretary of States from: DECC, BERR, CLG, DEFRA, DFT, and Wales Office, together with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Minister for the South West, the Welsh First Minister, and the Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the remit is of the Technical and Engineering Expert Panel appointed to provide advice to the Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study team; how its members were selected; and when the panel’s advice and reports will be published. [231158]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Expert Panel has been appointed to peer review the technical outputs of the Feasibility Study and to provide it with independent engineering advice. The members were selected following consultation with the Royal Academy of Engineering and other professional engineering bodies. The panel’s advice will be taken into account in the final versions of the technical reports, the first of which will inform the shortlist of schemes on which we aim to consult early in 2009.

Solar Power

Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential for development of solar photovoltaic energy in the UK. [226129]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department of Energy and Climate Change, formerly BERR, as part of a consortium, commissioned research on the growth potential for microgeneration in England, Scotland and Wales, including the potential contribution it could make towards the 2020 renewable energy targets. It found that high policy support would deliver a total of 6.7 TWh renewable electricity at a cumulative subsidy cost of £5.7 billion, of which annual generation for PV in 2020 could be 1.17 TWh.

A further study of PV and wind turbines in the existing non-domestic building stock suggested that a high policy support scenario could result in annual generation of 12.5 TWh for solar PV at a cumulative subsidy cost of £17.9 billion by 2020.

The report can be viewed at:

The Renewable Energy Strategy Consultation closed for responses on 26 September. In formulating our final strategy, we will be considering the contribution needed to meet our targets from different technologies.

Water Power

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what plans the Government has to promote the commercial development of wave and tidal stream technology. [230836]


29 Oct 2008 : Column 1105W

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government are helping to meet the challenge of developing and commercialising wave and tidal stream technology and have put in place the most comprehensive package of support measure for marine energy anywhere in the world. Since 2000 over £100 million has been committed.

The package of support measures we have put in place, includes the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's (EPSRC) Supergen Marine programme, Carbon Trust funding, research funding from the Technology Strategy Board and the Energy Technologies Institute.

DECC’s £50 million Marine Renewables Deployment Fund provides a package of measures central to which is a £42 million ‘Wave and Tidal Stream Energy Demonstration Scheme’. We also support the European Marine Energy Centre wave and tidal stream test site in Orkney and have offered £4.5million support to the proposed £28 million Wave Hub, a project that will provide the infrastructure for demonstration of commercial wave farms, off the Cornish coast.

The aforementioned demonstrates the Government’s continued commitment to supporting the development of this sector from R and D towards the eventual commercialisation of wave and tidal stream technology.

In addition, through the Energy Bill the Government are banding the renewables obligation to provide additional support to foster the development of these emerging technologies; this would double the incentive available to the marine sector.

The Government are also considering the responses to the recent UK Renewable Energy Strategy consultation, to see whether further measures need to be adopted to promote the commercial development of wave and tidal stream technology.

Wind Power: Planning

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average length of time between the submission of a planning application for an onshore wind farm and the grant of consent was in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and what plans his Department has to reduce this figure in respect of future applications. [229980]

Mr. Iain Wright: I have been asked to reply.

This summer’s consultation on the Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy (RES) notes that the time taken by local authorities in England to reach decisions on wind farms in 2007 was around 14 months on average. In 2007 there was one decision in England made under S36 of the Electricity Act 1989 and this took 36 months. The RES sets out the wide-ranging reforms of the planning system being taken forward by Government to enable more efficient and timely decision-making. The RES also set out and invited views on a range of potential additional measures to support onshore renewable development.

Culture, Media and Sport

Departmental Lost Property

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what (a) equipment and (b) data was lost by his Department in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [231446]


29 Oct 2008 : Column 1106W

Mr. Sutcliffe: My Department has lost the following equipment in the last 12 months:

Number

Blackberry

4

Mobile phone

3

Floppy disk drive unit

1

Memory stick

2


The data held on the mobile phones and memory stick is the only data that has been lost. The e-mails held on Blackberrys are deleted remotely as soon as they are reported missing. The memory sticks held a small number of files and there are no reports that this included sensitive or personal data.

Departmental Postal Services

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps his Department has taken to monitor the cost of its mail services in the last 12 months. [221478]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Department has monthly meetings with its mail room service provider to review mail room costs and identify opportunities for efficiency savings.

Departmental Press

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on (a) transcripts and recordings, (b) fees to the Newspaper Licensing Authority and (c) analysis of press coverage in each of the last three years. [224842]

Barbara Follett: The information is as follows:

Recordings

The Department pays an annual subscription charge to the Media Monitoring Unit (this is part of the Central Office of Information, previously part of the Cabinet Office) which includes recordings.

Subscription charges paid by the Department to the Media Monitoring Unit in each of the last three years are as follows:

Subscription charges to the Media Monitoring Unit (Cost per annum including VAT) (£)

2005-06

34,662.50

2006-07

35,426.25

2007-08

40,537.50


Transcripts

Transcript charges paid by the Department in each of the last three years are as follows:

Transcript charges (Cost per annum including VAT) (£)

2005-06

4,436.81

2006-07

5,796.40

2007-08

5,077.88


National Licensing Authority

Fees to the National Licensing Authority are twofold; a direct annual charge and an indirect monthly payment via our press cuttings providers, EDS Media.


29 Oct 2008 : Column 1107W

Charges paid by the Department to the National Licensing Authority over the last three years are as follows:

Cost per annum excluding VAT (£)

Subscription charge to the National Licensing Authority Charges paid indirectly to the National Licensing Authority via EDS Media

2005-06

24,330.18

12,514.13

2006-07

49,765.18

13,765.96

2007-08

41,733.35

16,378.47


Analysis

The Department commissioned analysis of press coverage in 2005-06 at a cost of £10,056.69 excluding VAT. No such analysis was conducted in 2006-07 or 2007-08.

Information for 2008-09 has not been included as the current year’s expenditure has not yet been audited.

Departmental Public Participation

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what (a) listening exercises and (b) public forums his Department has held in each of the last two years; what the (i) purpose and (ii) cost was in each case; and who the private contractor was and how much it was paid in each case. [221348]

Barbara Follett: The Department regularly engages in dialogue with a range of relevant stakeholders, who may include members of the public, representatives from our non-departmental public bodies and other interested parties or individuals within our sectors.

The Department has held no formal, planned activity in the last two years specifically defined as a “listening exercise”. The Department held a series of public engagement events which could be defined as “public forums” to discuss the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, details for which are as follows:

Public forums

Departmental Security

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many security passes have been reported (a) lost and (b) stolen by staff in (i) his Department and (ii) the agency sponsored by his Department in each year since 2001. [228940]


29 Oct 2008 : Column 1108W

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Department holds records from 2006. These are not split between lost and stolen. The Royal Parks Agency holds records from 2004.

The number of staff security passes that have been reported as lost or stolen are as follows:

DCMS Royal Parks Agency

Lost/stolen Lost Stolen

2004

n/a

6

0

2005

n/a

6

1

2006

31

7

0

2007

9

8

0

2008

3

6

3


Departmental Temporary Employment

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which companies were used by his Department for providing temporary staff in each of the last five years; and what the value of contracts with each such company was in each of those years. [229083]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The companies and amount spent on temporary staff are listed as follows. Information prior to 2004 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

£
Supplier 2007-08 2006-07 2005-06 2004-05

Adecco

217,233.72

453,499.54

488,050.84

54,522.63

Poolia Specialist Recruitment

106,107.84

47,714.39

26,453.76

0.00

Josephine Sammons

50,420.96

99,876.23

127,485.25

311,920.40

Venn Croup

0.00

44,907.83

6,474.40

15,114.26

Morgan Law

50,290.00

36,895.00

0.00

0.00

Marks Sattin

7,226.25

26,709.54

0.00

19,730.47

Reed Personnel Services

0.00

38,826.75

0.00

18,499.44

TFPL Ltd.

6,319.60

0.00

0.00

0.00

Robert Walters Operations Ltd.

0.00

32,890.27

36,348.36

36,740.10

Goodman Masson Recruitment Services

0.00

0.00

1,837.71

23,167.21

Hayes

13,824.64

0.00

0.00

0.00

Brook Street

52,405.67

0.00

0.00

0.00


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