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Energy Safety Management Audit

Ms Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the Health and Safety Executive will publish its report on the Safety Management Audit of British Energy. [107558]

Mrs. Liddell: I understand that HSE's report, 'Safety Management of British Energy Generation Limited' and 'British Energy Generation (UK) Limited', has been published today. Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

North Yorkshire Power Line

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the Lackenby to Norton overhead power line will be removed. [107559]

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Mrs. Liddell: Although approval for the North Yorkshire Power Line was given in March 1998 there was an error in the consent documentation resulting in a gap in the line of approximately 160 metres. The filling of this gap had to be the subject of a lengthy legal process, including public consultation. Having considered the representations following that consultation, I have concluded, first, that there is no need to hold a public inquiry before making a decision in respect of this gap in the consents for the line, and second, that it is reasonable to grant the National Grid Company consent for the section of line which was not granted on initial consideration in 1998.

While this decision resolves the matter of the "gap", there are still a number of issues to be resolved before the National Grid Company can begin the construction of the new line and the dismantling of the existing one.

Copies of the Press Notice and decision letter are being placed in the Library of the House.

Export Licences (RDX)

Mr. Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which company, organisation or individual in China was to receive the raw RDX for which a standard individual export licence was issued between 7 May and 10 November 1999. [106440]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 24 January 2000]: As set out in my letter of 23 September, a copy of which is in the Library of the House, the stated end-use for the RDX in its raw form covered by the licence was wellhead abandonment and oilfield use. The enduser was Halliburton International Inc., and I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

UK Competitiveness Indicators

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the factors underlying the conclusions of his report, "UK Competitiveness Indicators 1999", on (a) working hours and (b) per capita national income in the UK, in relation to that in other G7 countries. [106530]

Mr. Byers: The analysis underlying "UK competitiveness Indicators 1999" showed that, on average, we work more hours than our main European competitors and yet we achieve a lower national income per head. The analysis showed that, in comparison to France and Germany, both the proportion of population in employment in the UK and the number of hours worked per person employed are relatively high. Despite this, poor productivity means that GDP per head is some 18 per cent. below the average for the G7. The factors underlying this are assessed in "UK Competitiveness Indicators 1999". Closing the gap will require improvements in several areas, including innovation performance, management and work force skills, and entrepreneurship.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which projects relating to his Department that appeared in the Private Finance Panel's list of 29 November

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1995 (a) have been completed, (b) are still pending, (c) have been dropped and (d) are being pursued by means other than a public private partnership. [105871]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 24 January 2000]: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 24 January 2000, Official Report, columns 117-18W.

EU Structural Funds

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which areas of Newcastle upon Tyne receive (a) the maximum level of state support and (b) the full level of Objective 2 support from the European Union; and which areas will receive the maximum levels of support in each category in the next financial year. [106706]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 25 January 2000]: The maximum level of state support permitted under Community Law in the English regions is available in areas designated under the terms of Article 87(3)A of the Treaty of Rome. There are no such areas in Newcastle upon Tyne, nor will there be in the next Financial Year. Under proposals which are currently awaiting final endorsement from Brussels Objective 2 support will be available in all areas of Newcastle upon Tyne except for the Wards of Castle and Westerhope.

Fuel Poverty

Mrs. Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 26 November 1999, Official Report, column 210W, on fuel poverty (1) if he will indicate the date of the first meeting of the inter-ministerial group to examine fuel poverty; [105470]

Mrs. Liddell [holding answers 25 January 2000]: The Group met on Wednesday 19 January 2000. It is jointly chaired by myself and my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions. The other members are: my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office; my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury; my hon. Friend the Minister for Public Health; the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Social Security, my hon. Friend the Member for City of York (Hugh Bayley), and Callum McCarthy, Director General of the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets.

The Group discussed and agreed its terms of reference and objective, and approved a programme of work. The agreed terms of reference are:

The Group's objective is:

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The programme of work to take these forward was agreed as:

    To research the effect of changes in income, energy prices and energy efficiency on the number of fuel poor.

    To identify the projected impact of existing and planned policies on the fuel poor.

    To develop an understanding of the gap between the impact of existing and planned policies and fuel poverty objectives, and the policies and resources required to meet objectives.

    To develop a comprehensive strategy, setting out Government fuel poverty objectives, policies to deliver them, and targets and timescales for those objectives.

    To identify areas where further work is needed to ensure co-ordination of Government policy activity among the various different players, and setting up mechanisms to take this work forward.

    To establish methods of developing indicators, monitoring progress, and evaluating outcomes.

Oil and Gas (Scotland)

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what estimate he has made of the percentage of oil and gas produced in Scottish waters which is landed outside Scotland; [106578]

Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 25 January 2000]: My Department publishes an annual report "Development of the Oil and Gas Resources of the United Kingdom", copies of which are available in the Library of the House. This lists all the oil and gas fields on the UK Continental Shelf. In each case it shows the location of the field, the operator and how the product is transported from the field. In the case of gas, and of oil sent through a pipeline, the place where the product is landed is given. The "Scottish area" within which offshore platforms are subject to Scots law is defined in the Civil Jurisdiction (Offshore Activities) Order 1987, which has effect under section 11 of the Petroleum Act 1998.

Where the oil is taken off the field by tanker the movements involved are too complex to be listed in full in the Department's annual report. Nor is the information asked for by the hon. Member routinely produced by my Department, or could be except at disproportionate cost.

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