§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on including energy in the comprehensive performance assessment. 
§ Mr. Morley
[holding answer 11 February 2004]: Defra Ministers have had a number of discussions involving colleagues in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on the interaction between the comprehensive performance assessment (CPA) and Defra's policies that relate to local government. Similar discussions have also taken place at official level. These discussions have included issues relating to energy.
Proposals for redesigning the CPA methodology are currently the subject of an Audit Commission consultation paper. A key objective of these proposals is for CPA to respond to the shared priorities agreed between central and local government. This is intended to improve the ability of CPA to reflect cross cutting issues like sustainable energy, including energy efficiency and related issues such as fuel poverty.