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Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department has spent on (a) publicity, (b) public consultation and (c) legal costs on eco-town policy since 23 July 2007, identifying separately in each case expenditure on (i) consultants, (ii) support for non-governmental organisations and (iii) consultation materials and exhibitions. (259164)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) on 23 February 2009, Official Report, column 108W. This sets out details of spending on the eco-towns programme, including publicity, public consultation and consultant costs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will estimate the amount of time spent by officials in her Department on the eco-town project since the publication of the eco-town prospectus on 23 July 2007; and how many officials in her Department are currently working on the project. (259165)

In common with the normal practice of the Department, we do not keep a record of time spent on specific policies and projects, so it is not possible to provide an estimate of official time spent on the eco-towns project since 23 July 2007. Currently nine officials are part of the eco-towns team, but there are also a number of other officials across the Department that contribute to the project, including those working in the areas of planning and climate change.