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TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Hinduja Group

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what grant applications his Department has received from the Hinduja group of companies since 1 May 1997; and what grants have been paid. [62239]

Mrs. Roche [holding answer 3 December 1998]: We have no record of the Department receiving any application for grant from the Hinduja group.

Ministerial Travel

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Maples) of 7 December 1998, Official Report, columns 70-71, for what reasons the Minister of State was required to return from Liverpool to London for an urgent meeting. [63308]

Mr. Mandelson: The Minister of State was required to attend an unscheduled meeting with the Prime Minister and the then President of the Board of Trade.

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Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the occasions since 1 May 1997 on which Ministers in his Department have taken flights in chartered private aircraft; what were the relevant origins and destinations; what was the cost to public funds on each occasion; and what were the reasons such a mode of travel was authorised. [63336]

Mr. Mandelson: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Maples) on 19 November 1998, Official Report, columns 889-90.

EU Structural Funds

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much money allocated to the United Kingdom for specific Objective I projects since 1994, has been (a) returned and (b) renegotiated for later use, because of the failure of agreed projects to materialise in the agreed time. [63154]

Mrs. Roche: All structural funds money allocated to the United Kingdom under Objective 1 since 1994 has been to programmes which cover the period 1994-99. No money from these programmes has been returned or renegotiated for later use.

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on (a) the definition of the conditions laid down by the European Union in respect of Objective I structural funding, requiring an undertaking by the recipient member state Government to a substantial commitment to substantial spending over the whole period in delivering an agreed programme within the Community Support Framework and (b) the United Kingdom Government's interpretation of that definition. [63156]

Mrs. Roche: The European Union structural funds contribute only a proportion of the costs of individual projects. It is for Member States to ensure that matching funding is in place. In the United Kingdom, this responsibility lies with the end beneficiary.

Additionality is also a requirement of the structural funds regulations, and must be verified in respect of the whole territory covered by each Objective within each Member State. This means that UK expenditure on activities eligible for co-financing from the structural funds has to be maintained at least at the same level during the current programming period of 1994-99 as in the previous programming period. The United Kingdom has been able to demonstrate this to the Commission's satisfaction on an annual basis.

Gas-fired Power Stations

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will announce further decisions on outstanding applications to build new gas-fired power stations. [63809]

Mr. Battle: I have today announced the following decisions:

Coryton Energy Company Limited (InterGen (UK) Ltd.)

A direction has been given under section 14(3) of the Energy Act 1976 that the proposed 750 MW gas-fired generating station at Coryton in Essex may only proceed subject to a condition limiting the use of gas to

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10,668 million kilowatt hours (364 million therms) a year. The station already has consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 and deemed planning permission.

Medway Power Limited (AES Electric Ltd.)

Consent has been given under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 for a 20 MW oil-fired black start facility at the Medway power station in Kent. The facility has also today been given deemed planning permission and (as an oil-fired station) clearance under section 14 of the Energy Act 1976.

Keadby Developments Limited (Scottish Hydro-Electric plc.)

A direction has been given under section 14(3) of the Energy Act 1976 to prevent the building of a 770 MW generating station to be fuelled by natural gas, at Keadby in Lincolnshire.

Barking Power Ltd. (Thames Power Ltd.)

Section 36 consent has not been granted for an open cycle gas turbine generating station (130 MW) and black start facility (24 MW) at the Barking power station. The application will be put on hold unless an interested party satisfies the Secretary of State that it should be determined at this stage.

AES Partington Ltd. (AES Electric Ltd.)

Section 36 consent has not been granted for a 380 MW combined cycle gas turbine generating station at Partington, Old Trafford, Greater Manchester. The application will be put on hold unless an interested party satisfies the Secretary of State that it should be determined at this stage.

InterGen (UK) Ltd.

Section 36 consent has not been granted for a 800 MW combined gas turbine generating station at Spalding in Lincolnshire. The application will be put on hold unless an interested party satisfies the Secretary of State that it should be determined at this stage.

These decisions have been taken in accordance with the policy set out in the White Paper entitled "Conclusions of The Review of Energy Sources for Power Generation and Government response to fourth and fifth Reports of the Trade and Industry Committee" (Cm 4071). In the case of the decision on Coryton, the partial clearance arose from the unique circumstances and their impact on the interests of the developer.

In cases where section 36 consent has not been granted or a section 14(3) direction given, the Secretary of State would be prepared to review the position, if requested, when the stricter consents policy announced in the White Paper is relaxed.

Decisions on other applications under consideration will be announced in due course.

Copies of the relevant Press Notices and letters are being placed in the Library of the House.

Pesticides

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what studies his Department carried out into the impact of a pesticides tax on the costs of small and medium-sized distributors of such products. [63268]

Mr. Battle: My Department has been closely involved with the extensive research work which DETR has

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commissioned on the feasibility of an economic instrument to assist in delivering the Government's pesticides minimisation policy. The research has included assessment of the effects of such an instrument on the competitiveness of distributors.

My Department has not carried out any separate studies, but has asked the British Agrochemicals Association to work with the UK Agricultural Supply Trade Association, to provide information on the structure of the industry in order to further assess the impact on distributors and manufacturers.

Devolution

Ms Roseanna Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if he will list (a) by programme over £50,000 and (b) the total spending by his Department in Scotland on the identifiable spending areas detailed in Table 7.6A of the Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 1997-98 (Cmnd 3601); which of these programmes will fall solely or jointly under the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament; and what arrangements are in place to transfer control of funds for these projects to the Scottish Executive or Parliament; [63282]

Mr. Mandelson: Under the terms of the Scotland Act 1998, the Scottish Ministers will assume responsibility for a range of devolved functions which will in part depend on secondary legislation which has yet to be passed. My Department is reviewing its programmes, including the research components, in the light of the Scotland Act. It is too early to say to what extent programme expenditure which is currently administered by the Department may relate to functions which will transfer to Scottish Ministers. Work is taking place to establish the extent of any such expenditure and to assess the need for any consequential transfer of funds to the Scottish Ministers. For the total spending by the Department in Scotland, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to the hon. Member for North Tayside (Mr. Swinney) on 4 November 1998, Official Report, column 615.


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