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Select Committee Report

Mr. Bruce George: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recommendations made by the Trade and Industry Committee in its seventh report of 1995-96 have been (a) implemented and (b) are in the process of being implemented. [119781]

Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 20 April 2000]: Of the 12 recommendations, those implemented comprise numbers 1, 2 and 11. Recommendation numbers 8 and 12 are in the process of being implemented.

BNFL

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what fines British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. has had to pay in each year since 1971, arising from safety and environmental breaches at Sellafield, Chapelcross, Springfields and the magnox nuclear stations. [120714]

Mrs. Liddell: The fines paid by BNFL for safety and environmental breaches since 1971 are as follows:

Year/prosecutionFine (£)
1978
Fatal accident, Chapelcross200
1980
Accident to Radiographer, Sellafield500
1983
Overladen motor vehicle, Springfields200
1983
Beach discharge incident, Sellafield10,000
1989
Site transfers of fuel without functioning instrumentation package and alarm system, Sellafield1,000
1990
Accident resulting in injury to contractor, Chapenhurst1,500
1990
Discharge of trade effluent into Black Beck, Sellafield800
1990
Discharge of trade effluent into River Calder, Sellafield1,200
1991
Disposal of radioactive waste from HMS Inskip, Springfields7,500
1992
Breach of Site Licence Condition (Unauthorised Override Incident), Sellafield6,000
1994
Breach of Site Licence condition (Internal Flask Movement), Sellafield15,000
1996
Radiological contamination of contractor, Sellafield25,000
1997
Non-radiological (Pipe Bridge) incident, Sellafield20,000
1997
Caustic Soda release into Calder River, Sellafield32,500
1998
Solvent release to trade drain to River Ribble, Springfields20,000
2000
Failing to take proper care when working with asbestos-- Oldbury5,000

Note:

Chapelcross and Calder Hall magnox power stations have always been owned by BNFL and all their prosecutions are included. Prosecutions for the other magnox stations are only shown after 30 January 1998 when Magnox Electric plc (originally part of CEGB) was integrated into BNFL.


5 May 2000 : Column: 234W

Respiratory Diseases (Compensation)

Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the locations of the medical assessment centres in Scotland being used for conducting (a) spirometry and (b) other tests required in connection with the payment of compensation for respiratory diseases. [120793]

Mrs. Liddell: Spirometry testing has been conducted at four centres in Scotland, in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Lochore (Fife) and Drongan (Ayr). In addition to the 4,080 spirometry assessment carried out at centres, the Department has also assessed 346 claimants in their homes.

The centres at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Lochore have now been fully adapted for the more detailed medical requirements of the main Medical Assessment Process (MAP), along with a new centre in Ayr itself. The future needs for additional MAP centres will be kept under review.

Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the annual costs were of the medical assessment centres in Scotland used to provide medical tests to compensation claimants suffering respiratory diseases in each of the last three years. [120794]

Mrs. Liddell: In March last year, the DTI awarded the contract to carry out the national programme of spirometry to Healthcall Services Limited. To date DTI have paid Healthcall £155,090 in fees to test claimants in Scotland.

Enterprise Fund

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what payments have been made in 1999-2000 under the Enterprise Fund announced in the 1998 White Paper; [121007]

Mr. Byers: The net estimated outturn for the Enterprise Fund in 1999-2000 (£48.5 million on page 41 of Cm. 4611) is consistent with the figures shown on page 198 (£57.88 million) which are gross, and from which must be deducted the figures for the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme Premium Receipts and Recoveries shown on page 199 (£9.38 million).

Total actual payments in 1999-2000 under the Enterprise Fund, updated since the publication of the estimates in the Expenditure Plan Report, were £38.62 million (gross).

Ford

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the output of cars at Ford's Dagenham plant in the last 12 months. [120996]

Mr. Byers: In 1999 the Dagenham plant produced 190,977 vehicles.

5 May 2000 : Column: 235W

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has received a grant application from Ford for its Dagenham plant. [120815]

Mr. Byers: No.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what estimate he has made of potential job losses at Dagenham if Ford ceased car manufacture there; [120822]

Mr. Byers: I and my officials maintain regular and close contacts with Ford on a whole range of issues.

Ford is currently undertaking a review on the whole of their European operations. The outcome of the review is not known and no announcements are expected until after the review has been completed. Any comment at this stage on possible implications for any of Ford's UK operations would therefore be premature and counterproductive.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has (a) to aid and (b) make grants to Dagenham in the event of car manufacture ceasing there. [120824]

Mr. Byers: Ford is currently undertaking a review on the whole of its European operations. The outcome of the review is not known and no announcements are expected until after the review has been completed. Any comment at this stage on possible implications for any of Ford's UK operations would therefore be premature and counterproductive.

Motor Distribution

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he (a) has had in the last two months and (b) plans in the next three months with the EU over the block exemption of motor distribution from the competition regime. [120811]

Mr. Byers: My officials have discussed the issues raised by the cars block exemption with their counterparts in the Commission's Competition Directorate on several occasions in the past two months. They intend to remain in close contact with the European Commission in the coming months on this issue. I have also raised the matter personally with Commissioner Monti and will continue to do so.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he plans to announce the changes required in motor car distribution following the Competition Commission report. [120814]

Mr. Byers: I announced my proposals on 10 April when I published the Competition Commission report on the supply of new cars.

5 May 2000 : Column: 236W

Coal Industry

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry under which programmes he plans to pay grant to the coal industry in the next two years. [120817]

Mr. Byers: As this is a new scheme, a separate programme will be established.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he plans to discuss grants to the coal industry with the EU. [120818]

Mr. Byers: Discussions have already taken place and will continue.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will announce the amount of grant that is available for the coal industry over the next two years; and what factors will determine the level of grant to be paid. [120819]

Mr. Byers: I refer the right hon. Member to my statement to the House on 17 April 2000, Official Report, column 697.


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