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Wellbeing Indicators Group

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what work the Wellbeing Indicators Group has undertaken; (171358)

(2) whether the Wellbeing Indicators Group has (a) a business plan and (b) objectives;

(3) what the (a) titles and (b) qualifications are of the academics on the Wellbeing Indicators Group;

(4) what role the Wellbeing Indicators Group has in the formulation of Government policy; what cross-departmental representation the group has; and if he will make a statement;

(5) how many (a) staff and (b) members the Wellbeing Indicators Group has;

(6) what the budget of the Wellbeing Indicators Group has been in each year since its inception; and if he will make a statement.

The Wellbeing Indicators Group has provided technical advice and co-ordination on the establishment of measures of wellbeing for inclusion in the UK Government's sustainable development indicators, as committed to in the UK Government's Sustainable Development Strategy (2005) and in the UK Framework for Sustainable Development shared with the devolved Administrations.

The Wellbeing Indicators Group has agreed terms of reference.

Academic representatives on the Wellbeing Indicators Group are currently:

Tim Jackson—Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey; and also sits on the Sustainable Development Commission;

Paul Dolan—Professor of Economics at Imperial College, University of London;

Nic Marks MSc, MA—Founder of the Centre for Wellbeing at the New Economics Foundation.

The Wellbeing Indicators Group does not advise on policy formulation; its role is to advise on how well-being might be measured. Information on the use of indicators and concepts of well-being in policy can be found on the Government's Sustainable development website:

The following central Government Departments and administrations have been represented in the Wellbeing Indicators Group:

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs;

Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform;

Department for Children, Schools and Families;

Department for Communities and Local Government;

Department for Culture, Media and Sport;

Department for Health;

Home Office;

Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills;

Department for Transport;

Department for Work and Pensions;

Office of National Statistics;

Scottish Government;

Welsh Assembly Government;

Northern Ireland Assembly.

DEFRA chairs and provides the secretariat for the Wellbeing Indicators Group, which principally involves two members of staff and accounts for only a small proportion of the time of each. There are around 25 individuals attending meetings or receiving papers.

The Wellbeing Indicators Group does not have its own budget allocation and cannot incur expenditure. The group's inception was in December 2006 and it has met five times.