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Written Answers

Volume 588: debated on Wednesday 1 April 1998

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Written Answers

Wednesday, 1st April 1998.

Peru: Population Control Programme

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will make representations to the Government of Peru about its population control programme. [HL1163]

Peru is a priority country for health and population assistance from the Department for International Development. We are in regular dialogue with the Peruvian Ministry of Health concerning its policies and their implementation. In this dialogue we have indicated the potential for targets to reduce emphasis on service quality. The Government of Peru has recently announced that it will implement a number of reforms to its population and reproductive health programmes, as well as a comprehensive monitoring programme, to ensure compliance with international family planning norms and informed consent procedures.The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development discussed these matters with the Peruvian Health Minister at the recent Inter-American Development Bank meeting in Cartagena.

Association Of Chief Police Officers For Scotland

asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Williams of Mostyn on 16 March

(WA 103), whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of the accounts of the Association of Chief Police Officers for Scotland and all other related documents submitted to the Government when they considered their contribution of £141,000 in respect of the Association of Chief Police Officers' staff salaries and administration costs for the financial year 1997–98. [HL1212]

The accounts of the Association of Chief Police Officers for Scotland are contained in the association's annual report. I have arranged for a copy of the latest available report, for 1996–97, to be placed in the Library of the House, together with a copy of the letter of 11 July 1996 submitted to the Scottish Office Home Department by the association in respect of its estimated expenditure on staff salaries and administrative costs for the financial year 1997–98.Staff and administration services for the association's secretariat are provided by Lothian and Borders Police Board and the department's contribution is paid direct to the board and not to the association.

Angola

asked Her Majesty's Government:What is their latest analysis of the political and security situation in Angola; to what extent they believe UNITA has demobilised; what arms may be being supplied to rebel-held areas, from where and via which African countries; how secure the frontiers of Angola are proving to be; and what future role for the United Nations they are proposing, together with their fellow members of the United Nations Security Council. [HL1148]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
(Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean)

We are encouraged by recent progress in the peace process, including the demobilisation of UNITA personnel, and have urged both sides to implement the remaining provisions of the Lusaka Protocol by the 1 April deadline. We are aware of reports of arms being supplied to UNITA through Zambian airspace; the Zambian authorities have given their assurance that they will work to prevent this happening. The United Nations has an important continuing role to play in promoting national reconciliation and socio-economic development, particularly with regard to human rights.

Eu Structural Funds And Cap: Reform

asked Her Majesty's Government:What representation they are proposing to make concerning the European Union's proposals to change the basis of allocation of structural funds and common agricultural policy funds. [HL1132]

The Commission's proposals for the structural funds and for other cohesion policies for the years 2000–2006 and reform of the common agricultural policy were published on 18 March.The Government believe that the structural funds need to be fair, affordable, durable, simpler and more efficient. The overall budget should be well below the 0.46 per cent. of Community GNP proposed by the Commission, both before and after enlargement. The current member states, including the UK, should be prepared to see reductions in their receipts after 1999, but the burden should be distributed fairly. The Government will argue for flexibility for member states to target funds at areas of greatest need.Reform of the common agricultural policy is a major UK Government objective, and the Commission's proposals go very much in the direction the UK has advocated. The proposed cuts in support prices could save UK consumers over £1 billion per year, the environment would gain from reduced production incentives and the creation of an integrated rural development policy, while fanners would benefit from a move to a more sustainable and market-led policy. However, the proposals are not as radical as we wish. For example, they entail a significant increase in CAP spending. We shall be pressing to minimise the cost of compensation payments to be digressive and decoupled from production. EU-wide ceilings on direct aids to farmers above certain thresholds would also discriminate against the UK.Our overriding concern in the long negotiations ahead is to ensure that the outcome is fair and sustainable to the UK, other member states, and those states being considered as part of the enlargement process.

Khat

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will consider adding the khat plant to the list of Class C controlled drugs. [HL1178]

The khat plant is not controlled under the international United Nations drug conventions and we have no current plans to bring it under the controls of the misuse of drugs legislation. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs considered the misuse of khat in 1988 and advised that there was little evidence of a social problem arising from its misuse in the United Kingdom to justify bringing the plant under the controls of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. We continue to keep its misuse under review with a view to the introduction of controls, if necessary.The active ingredients of the khat plant are cathinone and cathine, which are controlled under the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971. The United Kingdom has been a party to this Convention since 1986 and both substances were controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation in 1987. Cathinone and cathine are classified as Class C drugs.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the Khat plant is classified as a controlled drug in any member state of the European Union. [HL1179]

We understand that the khat plant is classified as a controlled drug in the following European Union member states: Belgium; Denmark; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Ireland; Spain; and Sweden.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they have any information as to which countries in the European Union have companies selling khat plants or magic mushrooms by mail order. [HL1180]

There were some reports in the media in 1990 of the sale in the United Kingdom of magic mushrooms by mail order. However, we are unaware of any companies selling magic mushrooms or khat plants by mail order within the United Kingdom since then. Information is not available on the position in other European Union member states.

Animals Kept For Experiments: Reports

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will publish the reports prepared by Home Office inspectors concerning the keeping of animals for experiments under the provisions of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and the Protection of Animals Act 1911. [HL1278]

Under the terms of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, inspectors have a duty, inter alia, to:advise the Secretary of State on applications for licences and certificates; on requests for their variation or revocation; and on the periodical review of licences; andreport to the Secretary of State on any breaches of the Act or of any condition of licences or certificates.This advice and these reports are based on and contain information given in confidence and cannot be disclosed under the terms of Section 24 of the 1986 Act.The Protection of Animals Act 1911 applies more generally and can be invoked in cases of abuse or failures of care to laboratory animals. Home Office inspectors have no specific locus under the 1911 Act; if they were involved in reporting under its provisions, their reports to the police would have the status of evidence in any subsequent proceedings and any reports to the Home Secretary would be covered by Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

Ncis Service Authority: Assets

asked Her Majesty's Government:What assets will be transferred to the Service Authority for the National Criminal Intelligence Service on its establishment as a body corporate under the Police Act 1997. [HL1346]

Under the provisions of Article 4(1) of the Police Act 1997 (Commencement No. 5 and Transitional Provisions) Order 1998, we have given notice to the Service Authority for the National Criminal Intelligence Service that certain Crown assets will be transferred to it, with effect from 1 April 1998. The transfer will be free of charge. The assets comprise:

AssetsEstimated value (£000)
Information technology and communications equipment3,147
Vehicles1,049
Furniture and miscellaneous items of office equipment313
Technical equipment208
Total4,717
In addition, my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has given notice to the Service Authority for the National Criminal Intelligence Service that he will transfer to it, on the same day and free of charge, vehicles with an estimated value of £301,000.

Police Information Technology Organisation: Assets

asked Her Majesty's Government:What assets will be transferred to the Police Information Technology Organisation on its establishment as a Non-Departmental Public Body under the Police Act 1997. [HL1347]

Under the provisions of Article 4(1)(a) of the Police Act 1997 (Commencement No. 5 and Transitional Provisions) Order 1998, we have given notice to the Police Information Technology Organisation that certain Crown assets will be transferred to it, with effect from 1 April 1998, to coincide with its establishment as a Non-Departmental Public Body. The transfer will be free of charge. The assets concerned comprise:

AssetsEstimated value (£000)
Hendon Data Centre12,023
Information technology equipment and software associated with the Police National Computer21,287
Other office information technology equipment and software2,277
Furniture and miscellaneous items of office equipment742
Vehicles23
Total36,352

Four Year-Olds: Teacher Qualifications

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will list the qualifications they recognise as being appropriate for the teaching of 4 year-olds; and whether they consider a Qualified Teacher Status, with a degree from a Higher Education Institution, to be essential to every school teaching such children. [HL1182]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment
(Baroness Blackstone)

There is a range of qualifications held by staff working in early years settings which equip staff with the necessary skills to deliver government-funded nursery education for 4 year-olds, including Qualified Teacher Status. In the context of the promotion of both early education and childcare, the Government have asked the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, together with the relevant national training organisations, to examine the qualifications framework for the sector. It is the role of the national training organisations to ensure coherence of the qualifications framework and to promote the value of qualifications in the sector.From September 1999, all early years settings which are part of an LEA's Early Years Development Plan will have access to a qualified teacher to help with the planning of activities and the assessment of children's progress towards achieving the "desirable learning outcomes".

Defence Communications Services Agency

asked Her Majesty's Government:What plans they have for the Defence Communications Service to become a Defence Agency. [HL1350]

From 1 April 1998 the Defence Communication Services Agency, DCSA, is established as a Defence Agency. The DCSA will be responsible for the provision of information transfer services to meet defence needs. It will enable the MoD's requirements for national and international information transfer services to be focused on one primary provider. The DCSA's chief executive will be Major General A. J. Raper CBE and its headquarters will be at Corsham, Wiltshire. The agency will employ 899 military and 618 civilian staff at locations in the UK and Germany.The creation of the Agency will improve defence communications by focusing on the delivery of customer services rather than simply communication systems. It will also offer scope for rationalisation and provide a clear line of accountability for service delivery. The DCSA's aim will be, "To provide its customers with the optimum end to end wide area information services to meet defence needs".The chief executive has been set the following key targets for the first year of operation:

  • 1. To deliver communication services which achieve 100 per cent. of the systems output performance standards specified in the Baseline Service Document.
  • 2. To introduce by December 1998 a process for measuring the delivery of information services, assessing their effectiveness by surveying customer satisfaction and to develop the criteria for establishing an output service efficiency baseline in both areas.
  • 3. To plan the means of meeting customers' future requirements through the preparation of a Business Development Programme by March 1999.
  • 4. To achieve 2 per cent. cost savings through efficiency measures and to seek to improve further the value for money of delivered services through the preparation by March 1999 of a management and efficiency programme which plans for rationalisation and reinvestment following reviews of:
    • inherited responsibilities and resources;
    • business unit boundaries;
    • agency-wide business processes;
    • and takes account of the outcome of the Strategic Defence Review.

    Residential Care Homes And Nursing Homes: Fees Increase

    asked Her Majesty's Government:What are the future levels of regulatory fees for residential care homes and nursing homes. [HL1348]

    The Department of Health received 189 replies to the consultation document on increasing regulatory fees for residential care homes and nursing homes issued on 19 January. One hundred and six respondents agree that fees should be increased, although many of these felt that the proposed increases were insufficient. Of the other respondents, 80 felt the proposed increases were excessive and the remaining three did not express an opinion about the level of increases.Having considered the responses carefully, we have decided that fees should be increased as proposed in the consultation document with effect from 1 May 1998. We will be laying the necessary regulations before Parliament to bring these increases into effect.

    Geriatric Beds

    asked Her Majesty's Government:What is the breakdown of geriatric beds between acute rehabilitation and long stay care following the announcement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health on 5 November 1997 that 32,000 geriatric beds were available on the NHS. [HL1254]

    The Department of Health does not collect information on the breakdown of geriatric beds between acute rehabilitation and long stay care. The latest information that is available is given in the table.

    Table: Average daily number of available beds in geriatric wards in National Health Service trusts in England, 1996–97
    Number
    Elderly: Normal Care130,000
    Elderly: Limited Care22,000
    Elderly: Total32,000
    1 Where resources permit the admission of patients who might need all but intensive therapy.
    2 Where nursing care rather than continuous medical care is provided.

    Ministerial Letters: Writing Paper

    asked the Leader of the House:Under what circumstances it is appropriate for a Minister to respond to a point raised on the Second Reading of a Bill on House of Lords, rather than departmental, writing paper; whether such an answer has the same force in the former case as in the latter; and whether a copy of such a letter should be placed in the Library of the House in the usual way. [HL1133]

    It is for Ministers to decide which writing paper to use when responding to points made in debates in the House. The authority of a ministerial letter is not affected by the heading of the writing paper. It is for Ministers to decide in each case whether to place copies of letters in the Library; again, such decisions are not affected by the nature of the writing paper.The noble Lord will be aware of the guidance in the Third Report from the Select Committee on the House of Lords Offices (9 December 1997, HL Paper 49) that "House of Lords stationery may be used for all correspondence relating to the work of the House".

    Mines (Notice Of Abandonment) Regulations 1998

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they intend to lay the regulations under Section 58 of the Environment Act 1995 for mine operators to notify the Environment Agency before abandoning a mine or part of a mine. [HL1351]

    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
    (Baroness Hayman)

    We are today laying before the House, the Mines (Notice of Abandonment) Regulations 1998. The regulations will come into force on 1 July 1998. On 4 March, my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Angela Eagle) made the necessary commencement order to bring the remainder of Sections 58 and 60 of the Environment Act 1995 into force on 1 July. This period of notice will allow mine operators time to put in place the necessary steps to avoid a criminal liability for failing to notify the agency of a proposed abandonment.These regulations are being introduced following extensive consultation with interested parties. Copies of the responses received are available from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions libraries. The regulations will help the Environment Agency ("the Agency") avoid an unexpected minewater breakout resulting in serious contamination of controlled waters by enabling the agency to identify appropriate action to prevent pollution or treat minewaters when a mine or part of a mine is abandoned.The regulations require mine operators to notify the agency at least six months before abandoning a mine or part of a mine and to publish a notice in at least one local newspaper where the mine is situated. They set out the precise contents of both the notice to be given to the agency and the public notice in a local newspaper. The notice for the agency requires the operator to give an opinion as to the consequences of the proposed abandonment with relevant supporting information. Variations to the timing of the notice will apply where abandonment follows an emergency, and in some cases of insolvency. Where a phased programme of abandonment is planned, this could be notified to the agency and published in a local newspaper at one time, so as to reduce the burdens on the operator.My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Angela Eagle) has also brought into effect the remainder of Section 60 of the Environment Act 1995. This removes the statutory defence against prosecution from the owners and former operators of mines abandoned after 31 December 1999, where a polluting discharge is "permitted" to flow from an abandoned mine or part of a mine.

    M6 Motorway: Speed Limit

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Why there is a 50 mph limit on the M.77 and M.8 motorways as they go through Glasgow but no such urban motorway restriction on the M.6 motorway as it goes through Birmingham. [HL1224]

    I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency to write to the noble Lord.

    Letter to Lord Rowallan from the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr. L. Haynes, dated 1 April 1998.

    The Minister for Roads, Baroness Hayman, has asked me to reply to your Question about the different speed limits in operation on the M.6 motorway in England and the M.77 and M.8 motorways in Scotland.

    The Scottish Office is responsible for motorways and trunk roads in Scotland, whereas the Highways Agency is responsible for the operation of the motorway and trunk road network in England. Colleagues in the Scottish Office have advised that the M.8/M.77 passes through the centre of Glasgow and that it was designed to cater for the needs of urban traffic. The junctions are less than a kilometre apart in some places and bends are tighter than those found on present day motorways. The 50 mph speed limit is therefore necessary to ensure the safety of road users where traffic is constantly joining or leaving the motorway through the city.

    In contrast, the M.6 motorway, to the north of Birmingham, was designed to 1970s motorway standards. The junctions are farther apart and consequently a 70 mph limit is more appropriate. There are times, though, when the very heavy flows of traffic lead to severe congestion. We are currently considering the possibility of adopting controlled motorway technology, similar to that already in use on parts of the M.25, so that the maximum permitted speed can be varied to make best use of the network.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Genetically Modified Crops

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether, in the event of ill-effects being discovered to flow from genetically modified crops, they, or the firms marketing the plants, will be liable in law for damages, and whether, if the former, they are themselves taking out insurance against this eventuality, or, if the latter, requiring the firms to do so. [HL1258]

    Civil liability for damage caused by genetically modified organisms is governed by the common law as developed by the courts. Depending on the facts of the case, a public authority regulating the marketing of genetically modified organisms may be liable if it acts negligently. On the basis of common law principles, a firm marketing the genetically modified crop may be liable in law for any damage arising from ill effects attributed to the crop. There is no requirement placed on firms to take out insurance against this eventuality. Depending on the facts of the case, the statutory regime for product liability may also be relevant.

    Concrete Deterioration

    asked Her Majesty's Government:What problems are associated with the thaumasite form of sulphate attack on concrete. [HL1352]

    During recent strengthening operations on two of the older overbridges on the M.5 in Gloucestershire, an unexpected deterioration was noted in some of the concrete columns below ground level. Consultations with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) identified this as the thaumasite form of sulphate attack. Foundations on a further three bridges were examined and were found to be exhibiting similar deterioration.The Highways Agency's view is that this does not pose a threat to the structural stability of the bridges, nor is there any risk to the safety of road users. The agency is drawing up a programme to identify which bridges might be subject to this form of problem and to investigate those bridges.BRE has been conducting research into this form of sulphate reaction since 1990 for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, but, until the cases on the M.5 were discovered last week, only three such incidents of damage to concrete foundations had previously been identified in the UK. It appears that compliance with standard design guidance on protection against sulphate attack does not guarantee protection of concrete against the thaumasite form of reaction. At present, BRE is undertaking both laboratory and long-term field studies into this phenomenon. These studies have led it to the conclusion that this form of sulphate reaction can only occur when there is a combination of:

  • (a) A source of sulphates, as commonly found in clay soils;
  • (b) Very wet, cold conditions; and
  • (c) A source of calcium carbonate in the concrete (limestone aggregate in the cases investigated).
  • The expert independent advice received from the BRE is that, while it believes that its initial findings indicate the need for wider study, it is strongly of the view that any damage to buildings would be gradual and there is no danger to people in buildings.

    In the light of the problems discovered on the M.5, we have today appointed Professor Leslie Clark to chair an expert group to study the phenomenon further and to report to me as soon as possible. The group will develop guidance and advice on any implications for existing buildings and structures and on the design and specification of new construction.

    Housing Planning

    asked Her Majesty's Government:How they intend the new approach to planning for future housing requirements to be taken into account in existing reviews of regional planning guidance and development plans. [HL1353]

    The statement Planning for the Communities of the Future (Cmnd 3885) points out, in paragraph 33, the need for an orderly transition from the old to the new policy. The new approach will be introduced as soon as possible, through reviews of regional planning guidance. We will discuss with the regional planning conferences how far it will be possible to introduce the new arrangements into existing review processes, some of which are likely to be completed next year. In the meantime, where development plans are being replaced or altered, they should continue to have regard, inter alia, to existing regional guidance. However, in considering whether to object to proposals put forward in development plans, the Secretary of State will treat each case on its merits, taking account of national policy, including that in the statement. A more detailed note on the transitional position has been placed in the Library.

    Water Charging

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will publish a consultation paper following the review of water charging in England and Wales. [HL1354]

    My right honourable friends the Secretary of State for Wales and the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions are publishing today water charging proposals. The driving principles behind our policy on water charging are to have a system which provides for fair water charges and gives customers more choice in the way they pay for water. That system has to look after vulnerable customers. It also has to help ensure that water is used efficiently. We propose four key measures:

  • (i) Those who currently pay on an unmeasured basis and use water only for essential domestic purposes should be able to continue to do so in their present home.
  • (ii) We should remove the threat of disconnection from domestic customers.
  • (iii) Domestic customers should have the choice of a meter, free of charge, if it suits their needs.
  • (iv) Targeted help should be available for consumers with special needs.
  • For the foreseeable future, the majority of customers will pay their water charges on an unmeasured basis. We remain firmly of the view that customers should not, in future, be obliged to start paying for water in their present home on a measured basis where they are not using significant amounts of water for non-domestic purposes like garden watering using a sprinkler. To allow this, we propose a change in the law to allow rateable value charging to continue beyond the year 2000.We also propose to remove the powers of water companies to disconnect domestic water supplies in the event of non-payment. This will be particularly reassuring to those who are most vulnerable. Access to water is essential to the maintenance of general good health and well-being, and the water charging arrangements need to reflect that. Of course, water companies are entitled to be paid for the services they provide, but other debt recovery procedures are available to them. Our concern about public health demands that we maintain the flow of water supplies to households in all circumstances.Measured charges may, in the right circumstances, encourage individual customers to use water efficiently. Some consumers, such as single people or pensioners in larger properties, will see an advantage in moving to a measured charging basis for their bills. We propose that in future customers should have the choice to have a meter fitted, free of charge. But those who choose a meter should also have the opportunity to revert to an unmeasured charging basis within a year if metering does not suit their needs.Companies should draw up imaginative new tariffs which increase customer choice. Those should bring benefits to customers who have not previously seen any point in being metered. And tariffs can also be designed to give customers strong incentives to economise on water for discretionary purposes without discouraging essential use. It must be for the companies to take the lead in developing such tariffs, but we look to the regulator to see that they do so. In particular, we see a strong case for ending standing charges for metered customers, which can be a particular problem for people on low incomes with low water use.For new homes, and those substantially altered since 1990, there are no rateable values. We do not believe that any of the unmeasured charging options for these homes are attractive. We therefore propose that metering should continue to be the normal charging method. But we will consider constructive proposals for alternative charging options which consultees wish to put forward, including possible unmeasured options for new houses.A particular concern of this Government is the position of vulnerable customers. So we propose that households on low incomes, particularly large families, and those with special medical needs who live in houses with a metered supply should have the right to opt for a charge based on average use rather than their actual meter reading. This should provide targeted and effective assistance to the groups who could be most disadvantaged as a result of metering.Copies of the Government's consultation paper,

    Water Charging in England and Wales—A New Approach, on which responses have been requested by 14 May, have been placed in the Library of the House.

    Table 1: Government estate: energy efficiency performance

    1

    Energy Expenditure

    2

    £

    Own investment in energy efficiency

    2

    £

    Percentage reduction relative to 1990–91

    3

    (positive figures represent per cent, improvement} Total cost at standard prices adjusted for estate and weather changes

    Civil Departments, including Agencies

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1991–92

    1992–93

    1993–94

    1994–95

    1995–96

    1996–97

    MAFF—"Main estate"41,570,0351,607,392500,000344,000-13-4-21114
    MAFF—Laboratories42,092.0681,195,120330,000124,000-12-19-24-29-256
    Cabinet Office499,165703,573325,0000-14058154
    Culture, Media & Sport1075,41482,8881,0000-7-16
    Customs & Excise3,046.6383,476,954300,00090,50021410142011
    Education and Employment1.464,2301,337,96345,700294,650-2-20-10-15-9-17
    Employment Service7,021,4126,820,6221,132,5240448920
    Environment51,375,9871,228,38187,11637,200813914167
    Environment—HSE6754,812667,458144,56405-4-1-281520
    Enviornment—QEIICC2. 6464.473291,71500-17-16-14-8-6-1
    FCO834,208920,98930,00021,754-37-9-10-14-21
    Health7801,192722,641117,00031,500-130-98-83-54-46
    Home Office2,012,1612,051,87300-8-8-8-7-21
    Home Office—Prisons218,141,74324,257,8261,200,00002-4-3-801
    Inland Revenue9,054,2308,256,246567,744250,000126121616
    International Development9372.396212,935158,0000-4031135
    Lord Chancellor's Department5,889,6805,301,6100003991214
    National Savings1,043,471921,999951,717620,4853812171924
    Northern Ireland11,107,2769,012,943870,000313,00012591310

    Government Departments: Energy Efficiency

    asked Her Majesty's Government:What progress has been made by government departments towards the target of improving energy efficiency by 20 per cent. in the nine years to 31 March 2000. [HL1349]

    By 31 March 1997, energy efficiency in government departments had improved by just over 15 per cent. since 1990–91.Full details are given in the attached tables; the overall improvement is shown in Table 4. The tables include revisions to figures for earlier years revealing better performance than previously reported. All results reported here relate to periods before this administration took office. Energy management in individual departments is a matter for those departments and their green Minister. The Government aim to be at the forefront of good practice to improve energy efficiency, and will be looking to ensure that momentum is maintained through the strengthened role of green Ministers under the Chairmanship of my right honourable friend the Minister for the Environment, Mr. Michael Meacher. We are also working on the development of new performance indicators which will, for the first time, enable comparisons with independent standards of good practice across the economy.The results for the former Department of the Environment in 1996–97 were affected by relocation and rationalisation of its accommodation in London and elsewhere. This resulted in the need to run a number of old and new buildings while changes took place. The department's two new headquarters buildings at Eland House and Ashdown House will be fully occupied by the end of March 1998. Both include a number of energy efficient measures, including a combined heat and power system and a displacement cooling system.

    Table 1: Government estate: energy efficiency performance

    1

    Energy Expenditure

    2

    £

    Own investment in energy efficiency

    2

    £

    Percentage reduction relative to 1990–91

    3

    (positive figures represent per cent, improvement} Total cost at standard prices adjusted for estate and weather changes

    Civil Departments, including Agencies

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1991–92

    1992–93

    1993–94

    1994–95

    1995–96

    1996–97

    Scottish Office81,139,914779,63460,00070,000-6-8-12-18-17
    Scottish Court Service8755,401755,40180,00080,00025183333
    Scottish Prison Service2,424,3772,409,695372,6900-104573
    Social Security1114,236,00015,684,9691,000,0001,170,000-1-1-4-13-5
    Trade and Industry2,718,2532,170,7400055053341
    Transport5. 122,940,0572,807,248235,205315,0007812171523
    Treasury234,492393,1621,855084-9-15-3
    Welsh Office543,700488,89511,93325,540122433
    Total92,612.78594,560,8728,522,0483,787,6291.30.60.60.67.47.5

    Table 2: Government estate: energy efficiency performance

    1. 16

    Performance against energy and cost indicators, relative to 1990–91 (positive figures represent per cent, progress)

    Adjusted for estate and weather changes

    Adjusted for weather changes only

    Fossil fuel

    Electricity

    Total kWh

    Total cost

    CO

    2

    Total CO

    2

    Civil Departments, including Agencies

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1995–96

    1996–97

    MAFF—"Main estate"44748-16-12333511141619135
    MAFF—Laboratories-916-341-1612-2561517-2322
    Cabinel Office3946-1-2330291542016-6-34
    Culture, Media and Sport10-112-60-9-8-7-16-7-15-7-15
    Customs and Excise4843133322520112516-12-17
    Education and Employment2828-17-2762-9-17-5-132-2
    Employment Service1723-6-1411132042-4-2
    Environment510360-13312416726192527
    Environment—HSE63151922918152018242226
    Environment—QEII CC2.6-52-8-1-1-19-3-6-1-7-2-7-2
    FCO2316-26-333-4-14-21-10-18-1-28
    Health23341-84-75-11-3-54-46-40-32-21-14
    Home Office55-5-123-210335
    Home Office—Prisons21215-18-20911011013-2-2
    Inland Revenue231213171914161618172328
    International Development9-829173813211351035968
    Lord Chancellor's Department303036222312141517-40
    National Savings18319281917192419242128
    Northern Ireland18161161513131024211211
    Scottish Office81819-39-3834-18-17-8-3-710
    Scottish Court Service8393930303636333334341414
    Scottish Prison Service1511-6-121397310550
    Social Security112618-9-181693-57-1-9-21
    Trade and Industry676720315154334138445866
    Transports5.12324610152435152318253943
    Treasury16190-141195-310329-10
    Welsh Office3831-6-4181633771724
    Total20.621.0-1.0-1.215.315.57.47.513.113.67.07.4

    Table 3: Government estate: energy efficiency performance

    13. 14

    Percentage reduction relative to 1990–91 (positive figures represent per cent, improvement)

    Adjusted for estate changes and weather correction

    Fossil fuel

    Electricity

    Total kWh

    Ministry of Defence

    1994–95

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1994–95

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1994–95

    1995–96

    1996–97

    Civil1525351115131725
    Navy143237333941183338
    Army1117218202013176
    RAF13232610914122023
    Procurement Executive02399021602263
    DERA1317-833-2810-5
    Total11.721.516.617.418.720.113.920.817.4

    Percentage reduction relative to 1990–91 (positive figures represent per cent, improvement)

    Adjusted for estate changes and weather correction

    Adjusted for weather estate changes only

    Total cost

    CO

    2

    Total CO

    2

    Ministry of Defence

    1994–95

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1994–95

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1994–95

    1995–96

    1996–97

    Civil12814121119-7-80
    Navy253640263943132630
    Army151812162113162518
    RAF111519121720212529
    Procurement Executive022290224102241
    DERA06-307-407-4
    Total15.519.918.616.522.020.616.623.922.5

    Table 4: Government estate: energy efficiency performance

    15

    Percentage reduction relative to 1990–91 (positive figures represent per cent, improvement)

    Adjusted for estate changes and weather correction

    Fossil fuel

    Electricity

    Total kWh

    Entire Government estate

    1994–95

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1994–95

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1994–95

    1995–96

    1996–97

    Civil Departments11.620.621.0-6.4-1.0-1.27.115.315.5
    MoD11.721.516.617.418.720.113.920.817.4
    Total11.621.217.99.612.213.111.819.116.8

    Percentage reduction relative to 1990–91 (positive figures represent per cent, improvement)

    Adjusted for estate changes and weather correction

    Adjusted for weather estate changes only

    Total cost

    CO

    2

    Total CO

    2

    Entire Government estate

    1994–95

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1994–95

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1994–95

    1995–96

    1996–97

    Civil Departments0.67.47.54.813.113.6-1.97.07.4
    MoD15.519.918.616.522.020.616.623.922.5
    Total10.815.915.112.919.218.410.918.717.8

    Table 5: Government estate: energy and cost indicator16

    Energy Indicator

    Cost indicator

    Fossil fuel kWMm

    2

    Electricity kWh/m

    2

    Fossil fuel £/m

    2

    Electricity £/m

    2

    Civil Departments, including Agencies

    1990–91

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1990–91

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1990–91

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1990–91

    1995–96

    1996–97

    MAFF "Main estate"42861511488194913.581.891.854.885.645.46
    MAFF—Laboratories5786284852353152337.237.856.0614.0918.9013.87
    Cabinet Office29117615794951163.632.201.965.655.686.96
    Culture, Media and Spor101561741531411501691.962.181.918.488.9910.15
    Customs and Excise16184911301131262.011.051.147.806.787.58
    Education and Employment1661201201521781932.081.501.509.1310.7111.59
    Employment Service2201821688287932.742.272.104.915.235.59
    Environmen52821691818788993.532.112.275.235.255.92
    Environment—HSE618718215810384812.342.271.986.205.024.85
    Environment—QEII CC2.61532331652702722721.912.912.0616.2116.3016.32
    FCO2181681831451831942.732.102.298.7110.9711.61
    Health21741161031071971882.171.451.286.4211.8211.26
    Home Office3122972951361431383.903.713.698.188.588.28
    Home Office—Prisons25074464316982836.365.575.394.154.894.96
    Inland Revenue16612714610592872.081.591.836.335.515.24
    International Development93814112712201821374.775.143.3913.2310.928.23
    Lord Chancellor's Department2591811811081051023.242.262.266.506.316.12
    National Savings1911561842081681492.391.962.3112.4910.108.93
    Northern Ireland234193195109971012.922.412.446.535.846.16
    Scottish Office8258211208911261263.222.632.605.457.577.53
    Scottish Court Service81631001006445452.031.251.253.862.702.70
    Scottish Prison Service5334514746772756.675.645.924.044.294.50
    Social Security112782072271031131213.482.592.846.206.767.29
    Trade and Industry3721221241961571364.651.531.5411.779.408.17
    Transport5.12196134105114103972.451.681.316.846.185.81
    Treasury2482082011071071223.092.602.516.406.407.30

    Table 5: Government estate: energy and cost indicator

    16

    Energy Indicator

    Cost indicator

    Fossil fuel kWh/m

    2

    Electricity kWh/m

    2

    Fossil fuel £/m

    2

    Electricity £/m

    2

    Civil Departments, including Agencies

    1990–91

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1990–91

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1990–91

    1995–96

    1996–97

    1990–91

    1995–96

    1996–97

    Welsh Office158981081261331311.971.221.357.558.007.89
    Total302253255991011023.783.173.185.916.086.12

    Footnotes to Tables:

    1 Progress is expressed as a percentage relative to the 1990–91 base year value of the performance indicator in question. Positive figures represent improvement. The standard indicator, against which the target to improve energy efficiency by 20 per cent, by 31 March 2000 is measured, is obtained by weather-correcting energy consumption and converting to costs using "standard prices" for fuel (6p/k W/h for electricity and 1.25 p/kWh for all fossil fuels) then dividing by floor area. Conversion to money both reflects the relative costs of electricity and fossil fuel and their environmental impact, and the use of fixed prices eliminates the effects of tariff changes which distort the comparison of fuel bills.

    2 Although figures have been prepared on a consistent basis, caution should be exercised in comparing the energy use of different departments and agencies because of differences in their estate and the nature of their work. For example, the operational needs of prisons and the QEII Conference Centre mean than they have a pattern of energy use which is different from that of a department which has predominantly office accommodation. Expenditure on energy and investment figures are included for information only. Investment figures relate to clearly identifiable energy efficiency measures undertaken by departments. Energy efficiency is an integral part of all major construction projects, including building refurbishment and plant replacement and the figure "0" for some departments does not necessarily mean there has been no investment, just that the investment was not clearly identifiable.

    3 The average performance figure for the civil estate cannot be derived by simply adding together the individual departmental progress and dividing by the number of departments because this does not allow for the large variations in consumption. The correct figure is obtained by calculating the value of the performance indicator for the year in question and the base year, for the civil estate as a whole, and calculating the reduction relative to the base year.

    4 The energy performance for MAFF's "Main estate" and its laboratories continues to improve with ongoing investment in energy schemes, continued staff awareness programmes and changes to estate classification and further rationalisation in 1996–97.

    5 Last full year for the former Environment and Transport Departments. The former Environment Department now has a greater proportion of air-conditioned buildings than in the base year, because of estate rationalisation, relocation to new HQ buildings and inclusion of some Government Offices for the Regions.

    6 HSE was removed from the DFEE estate on the formation of that Department. QEII Conference Centre is reported separately because of its business-led demands. The initial sharp rise in consumption following the 1990–91 base year was directly attributable to increased revenue earning activity, which has continued throughout the reporting period, and the more recent decline in consumption reflects the effect of energy conservation measures undertaken at the site.

    7 Rationalisation of the estate since the base year has led to staff moving from several naturally ventilated buildings to more densely occupied air-conditioned buildings, all equipped with information technology equipment.

    8 Base year is 1991–92.

    9 Base year in 1991–92. Data for Natural Resources Institute no longer included following its transfer to the University of Greenwich.

    10 Base year is 1994–95, by which time energy efficient lighting and other improvements already installed in buildings which are already fully air-conditioned with intensive IT usage.

    11 Workload is increasing, affecting occupancy and requiring offices to be occupied for longer, increasing the use of energy. Greater use of information technology, expansion of the use of air conditioning and the upgrading of lighting levels has increased electricity consumption.

    12 Figures exclude the Vehicle Inspectorate Agency.

    13 The Ministry of Defence (MoD) estate is different from the rest of the government estate, and has been undergoing more radical changes.

    It is therefore treated in a slightly different way. In common with the civil estate, it has greatly increased its use of information technology.
    Full data for the years between 1990–91 and 1993–94 are not available, so the table shows the results for 1994–95 onwards.

    14 Floor area cannot be calculated for the majority of the MoD estate. However, to enable comparisons with data for the civil estate which is adjusted for changes in floor area, a proxy has been used. Changes in consumption arising from estate changes have been estimated as a result of estate adjustments, with appropriate adjustments made to the gross data for the years following the change. In common with other Departments, the MoD has a target to achieve a 20 per cent, improvement by 31 March 2000. Positive figures represent improvement.

    15 This shows the combined results for the whole of the government estate based on the data in tables 1, 2 and 3. It is not a simple average af the data but reflects the proportion of total consumption represented by each part of the estate (see also note 3). Some departments have i different base year, and the individually agreed base year has been used for the purposes of this table, where appropriate.

    16 In some instances the base year is not 1990–91, but for the purposes of Tables 2 and 5 the agreed base year has been used in the calculation.