HC Deb 13 November 2003 vol 413 cc408-9
10. Mr. Colin Challen (Morley and Rothwell)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions have been held with Departments regarding their sustainable development objectives in the forthcoming comprehensive spending round. [138334]

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (John Healey)

Departments will be required to consider sustainable development as part of the 2004 spending review process, as they were in 2002.

Mr. Challen

I am sure that my hon. Friend will study very carefully the Environmental Audit Committee report entitled "Greening Government", which was published earlier today. One of its key observations is that the public service agreements in Departments other than the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have hardly any environmentally related targets at all. So will my hon. Friend and the Treasury put pressure on other Departments to increase the number of such targets in the next comprehensive spending review?

John Healey

I pay tribute to my hon. Friend's work on the Environmental Audit Committee, and to the work of the Committee itself. I should point out that we already have 14 departmental PSAs, deriving from the 2002 spending review, that incorporate sustainable development. But I shall indeed study his Committee's report carefully, and I will consider the case that he makes about targets. I shall of course then respond to the Committee, in full, in the normal way.

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