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European Funding

Mr. Alton: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to allow the private sector to match funding for European regional development funding and European social funding.

Mr. Eggar: My right hon. Friends and I have agreed with the European Commission target figures for private sector contributions to the regional single programmes co-financed by the ERDF and ESF. The Merseyside programme, for example, envisages private contributions totalling 368 mecu alongside ERDF and ESF grant of 813 mecu: 816 mecu domestic public finance is also required for this programme.

Mr. Alton: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what models the Government have developed of how the private sector should be encouraged to access the European regional development fund; what models have been submitted to the EC; what discussions have taken place or are planned on this issue between Her Majesty's Government and the Commission; and what plans Her

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Majesty's Government have to introduce agreed changes in time for approval of 1995 submissions.

Mr. Eggar: The Government wish to maximise the private sector contribution to projects to which the ERDF makes grants and has put to the Commission proposals for facilitating this while ensuring that projects are of general economic benefit to the areas concerned and that ERDF grants do not lead to excessive profit. The Commission's comments are awaited. Any changes to current practice will be introduced as soon as they are agreed. The timetables for considering applications vary from region to region.

Mrs. Jane Kennedy: To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) what consultations he has had or intends to have with the European Commission concerning procedures through which the private sector could access the European regional development fund;

(2) if he will allow private sector companies to match finance for projects obtained from the European regional development fund and the European social fund.

Mr. Eggar: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton) today.

Mrs. Jane Kennedy: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of the application of European Commission rules concerning the private sector's ability to wholly match finance projects eligible for European regional development fund support in objective 1 regions of other European Union member states.

Mr. Eggar: Some individual projects, in other member states as in Merseyside, may be financed exclusively by the private sector and the ERDF. However, the European Commission has in each case agreed with the Governments concerned that the aggregate of projects will be co-financed by specified amounts of national, including regional and local, as applicable in each case, public sector money, and as any private sector finance.

Following are the aggregate figures in mecu for those single programming documents which show ERDF projects separately from those co-financed by other European structural funds:


                        |ERDF    |Private |public           


Flevoland (Netherlands) |80      |181     |423              

French Guiana           |92      |0       |78               

Guadeloupe (France)     |160     |37      |223              

Hainaut (France)        |307     |210     |374              

Martinique (France)     |166     |43      |123              

Reunion (France)        |320     |118     |229              


Merseyside              |475     |289     |480              

Northern Electric

Mr. Cousins: To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he sought from Trafalgar House assurances as to the continued employment of sufficient staff at Northern Electric.

Mr. Jonathan Evans: No such assurance has been sought from Trafalgar House.

Mr. Cousins: To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he received the advice of the Director General

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of Fair Trading on the possible reference of the Trafalgar House bid for Northern Electric.

Mr. Jonathan Evans: The advice was received on 2 February 1995.

Mr. Cousins: To ask the President of the Board of Trade on what date he or his representatives met Trafalgar House plc to discuss assurances in their bid for Northern Electric; whether

representatives of the Director General of Electricity Supply were present; and whether Northern Electric, the takeover panel and the Office of Fair Trading were informed of this meeting.

Mr. Jonathan Evans: Officials from my Department and representatives of the Director General of Electricity Supply met representatives of Trafalgar House on the afternoon of 13 February to discuss such assurances. The Office of Fair Trading was aware of the discussions. Neither the takeover panel nor Northern Electric was informed by my Department about the meeting.

Mr. Cousins: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is his statutory authority (a) for asking Trafalgar House to ensure that sufficient financial and management resources and other facilities were available to carry out the obligations of Northern Electric and (b) to secure compliance with such an assurance.

Mr. Jonathan Evans: The assurances obtained from Trafalgar House are not based in statute. If Trafalgar's bid for Northern Electric succeeds, the Director General of Electricity Supply--DGES--will monitor Northern Electric's behaviour, under Trafalgar's ownership, in the course of his normal regulatory duties. In doing so, the DGES will have available his usual regulatory powers, including the power to make an MMC reference under the Electricity Act 1989 and the monopoly provisions of the Fair Trading Act 1973, if appropriate.

Nuclear Electric

Mr. Flynn: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what financial guarantee the Government have provided and what costs have been underwritten in relation to Nuclear Electric's bid to gain a contract for reactor construction in Taiwan.

Mr. Eggar: The Government, in their role as shareholder, have required Nuclear Electric to absorb any working capital or other financial requirements arising as a result of the bid within the company's existing external financing limit.

Trade Delegation, Malta

Mr. Barnes: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the members of the delegation led by the Minister for Trade to Malta in January; who the delegation met with; and what were the results.

Mr. Needham: I was accompanied to Malta by a strong business delegation representing a broad spectrum of British industry and services, details of which are given. The visit was a success. We met four Ministers and held a seminar at the chamber of commerce. Many new business contracts were established and we have set up a United Kingdom/Malta roundtable to provide a forum for regular discussion. The Maltese Minister of Finance, whom I met in Malta, will meet my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in London this week.

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Mr. S. Naill Armstrong


Andrews Holdings Ltd

Mr. Alex Josephides

Business Director

Avro International Aerospace

Mr. Keith Davis


Bovis International Ltd

Mr. Nick Cooke

Head of Corporate Affairs

Forte PLC

Mr. Geoff Ball

Sales Director

GEC Alsthom

Mr. Jeremy Hand

Assistant Director

Hambro European Venture Ltd

Mr. W. B. A. Tanner


Motherwell Bridge Projects Ltd

Mr. Douglas J. Ridley, Managing Director and Mr. Chris Evans, Director Responsible for Malta

Mowlem International Construction

Mr. Maurice A. Hutson

Executive Chairman

Parker Plant Ltd

Mr. Ian Butler

Export Director

Stanton PLC

Mr. M. Walker

Director, Africa Department

Taylor Woodrow International Ltd

Mr. Geoff Hollyhead


Trinity Holdings PLC

Mr. R. G. Hepburn

Sales and Marketing Director

John Brown Engineering Ltd

Mr. Walter Herd

International Sales Manager

Leyland Trucks Ltd

Mr. Roy Lester

International Sales Director

Marconi Instruments Ltd

Mr. John Hill

Vice Chairman

UBAF Bank Ltd

Sir Anthony Kershaw, Chairman and Mr. John R. Richardson, MD Tilhurst Limited

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Mr. Alistair Flemming


Weir Group

Mr. Buhagiar

Local Agent

Rank Xerox

Graham Atkinson


Keith Gullick


John Fordyce

Export Promoter for Malta

Nuclear Incidents

Mr. Flynn: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are the conditions under which the nuclear industry must report accidents and incidents on its sites in local newsletters and to Ministers.

Mr. Page: I refer the hon. Member to the answer by my right hon. Friend the Member for Eddisbury (Mr. Goodlad), the then Under-Secretary of State for Energy, to a question from the then hon. Member for Sherwood on 30 April 1987, Official Report , columns 203 4 .

Nuclear Waste

Mr. Flynn: To ask the President of the Board of Trade which customer countries have expressed an interest in the BNFL proposal to substitute high-level waste for intermediate and low-level waste.

Mr. Page: BNFL has signed reprocessing contracts which contain return-of-waste options with organisations in Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Holland. All have indicated that they would be prepared to consider substitution, if BNFL were to offer it.

Mr. Flynn: To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he intends to return to high-level wastes resulting from reprocessing at THORP to their customer countries, including wastes arising from spent fuel used at Japanese magnox plants.

Mr. Page: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the then Under-Secretary of State for Industry and Energy to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North (Ms Walley) on 1 February 1995, Official Report , column 696 .

Anti-personnel Mines

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what considerations he has given to enacting an export moratorium on the component parts of anti-personnel mines; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 14 February 1995]: I am not aware of any case having arisen. Any application

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for an export licence for specially designed components for land mines would be subject to export controls, and would be considered on a case-by-case basis in the light of the indefinite moratorium which the United Kingdom has declared on the export from the UK of anti-personnel land mines which do not have self-destruct or self- neutralising mechanisms, and other established criteria.

Voluntary Works Councils

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what study his Department has made of the work of the voluntary works councils in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Oppenheim: I have been asked to reply.

The Government encourage voluntary employee involvement and monitors significant developments in

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this field but have not made any specific study of voluntary works councils in the United Kingdom.


Occupational Therapy

Mr. Mallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many occupational therapy referrals were received in the Newry and Mourne unit of management in which a case report has not yet been issued in each month since January 1994.

Mr. Moss: The information is not available in the form requested. Quarterly data on assessment by occupational therapists for aids and adaptations to the homes of people with a disability in the Newry and Mourne HSS trust are shown below.

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