|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mrs. Liddell: The Government have set out five economic tests which will have to be met before any decision to join can be taken. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said that the Treasury will make another assessment of the five tests early in the next Parliament.
Mrs. Liddell: This Government have set themselves the goal of being the best place in the world to trade on line. Our clear strategy to achieve this is set out in the UK online annual report, which was launched on 11 September. In addition, we are working closely with the Better Regulation Task Force to identify existing or potential regulatory burdens on e-commerce.
26. Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the implications for the UK's ability to meet its long-term climate change targets of the magnox power stations closure programme. 
Mrs. Liddell: In March my Department issued "Energy Projections for the UK; Working Paper", which included assumptions on energy generation from nuclear plants and their life expectancy. BNFL's announcement on 23 May this year of its strategy for its Magnox stations has no implications for the UK's ability to meet its climate change targets under the Kyoto Protocal.
Mrs. Liddell: Auctions have important advantages as a method of assigning radio spectrum. They are fair, transparent and efficient in awarding licences to those who will use them to best advantage. Following the successful Third Generation auction earlier this year,
2 Nov 2000 : Column: 580W
auctions will continue to be used, where appropriate, to achieve optimal use of spectrum, facilitate faster roll-out of new services and promote competition. My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Small Business and E-Commerce announced on 15 June 2000, Official Report, columns 699-700W our intention to award by auction licences for the provision of broadband fixed wireless access at 28 GHz. We will also be considering whether further licences for the provision of broadband fixed wireless access at 40 GHz should be awarded by auction.
28. Mr. Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received since the coming into force of the provisions of the Employment Relations Act 1999 on (a) individual trade union representation and (b) collective trade union recognition. 
Mr. Alan Johnson: No representations have been received on the right to be accompanied at disciplinary and grievance hearings, which came into effect on 4 September 2000. Since the statutory procedure on trade union recognition came into force on 6 June 2000, my Department has received two requests for a meeting on the procedure.
Mrs. Liddell: DTI ministers regularly visit the EU candidate countries and discuss issues related to EU accession with their Governments. Although my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no immediate plans to visit any of the countries, I intend to visit Warsaw in December to discuss enlargement and the wider EU economic agenda.
Mrs. Liddell: My Department's Public Understanding programme aims to create as many opportunities as possible for people to learn about recent scientific developments and to debate their value and the issues that they raise for society. It also aims to generate interest in SET among young people in order to develop and encourage lifelong interest in these subjects and possibly leading to the pursuit of science-based careers.
2 Nov 2000 : Column: 581W
Mr. Alan Johnson: The Post Office has been urgently developing plans to implement the recommendations of the PIU report on network modernisation. Subject to validation by a robust business case, Government support will be available for modernising and maintaining the rural network, restructuring of the urban network, establishing and operating universal banking services and pilot trials for the development of Government General Practitioner and internet access and learning point facilities. Under the Spending Review, as the first stage of modernising the post office network, ring-fenced support of £270 million over the next three years has been allocated for new investment to start the implementation of the PIU report.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many commercial banks have agreed to work with the Government and the Post Office in the creation of a universal bank; and how many have declined invitations to do so. 
Mr. Alan Johnson: The Post Office and the high street banks are continuing to work together to develop the concept of universal banking services and the Government are closely monitoring developments.
Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) Scottish and (b) UK claimants of compensation for mining-related respiratory diseases have (i) received their final settlement and (ii) died before receiving their final settlement. 
Issues remain outstanding that prevent full and final offers in all cases. These issues are in discussion with the solicitors representing the claimants and in the meantime, wherever possible, we will continue to make interim offers following the full assessments, the level of such have been significantly increased to enable offers totalling £100 million to be made by Christmas.
Mrs. Liddell: The Department has received around 123,000 claims and these continue to rise by around 1,000 a week. This is a unique process as the biggest personal injury cases in British history, an estimate of two to three years has been given but kept under review. Under normal circumstances, with full court action, the process can take
2 Nov 2000 : Column: 582W
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the reasons why the Jodrell Bank observatory Merlin project bid was not granted funding by the North-West Science Review; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: A total of 52 proposals were received by the North-West Science Review Team. They were not only subjected to peer review to ensure that only excellent science would be funded, but judged by other criteria such as their likely impact on the north-west science base, and on their potential contribution to the future of the north-west economy. The e-Merlin proposal was not ranked highly enough to receive funding when judged against these criteria.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the recipients of funding recently announced by the North-West Science Review; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: On 16 October, my noble Friend the Minister for Science and Technology announced that nine science projects in the north-west were to share in £26 million of Government funding. The Daresbury Laboratory, the University of Liverpool, the Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Manchester, the University of Salford and UMIST are all in the lead on projects being funded. The other members of the successful consortia are the University of Lancaster, the Salford Royal Hospitals Trust, the Christie Hospital Trust and the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research.
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry's Department's criteria for the funding of science projects across the United Kingdom science base is scientific excellence.
With regard to the North-West Science Review, the overriding priority remained scientific excellence, however other criteria such as the likely impact on the north-west science base and the potential contribution to the future of the north-west economy were also taken into account.
2 Nov 2000 : Column: 583W
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received about (a) the Jodrell Bank observatory Merlin project bid to the North-West Science Review and (b) the future funding of the observatory. 
Dr. Howells: (a) My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has received one letter from a Member of the European Parliament about the e-Merlin project bid to the North-West Science Review. In addition, the Minister for Science has received a second letter on the same topic from a Member of Parliament.
(b) My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has received one letter on the future funding of Jodrell Bank from a Member of Parliament. In addition, the Minister for Science has received two letters on the same topic, one form a Member of Parliament and one from a representative of a local Government association. The Prime Minister has received one letter on this topic from a member of the public.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects a decision from the North-West Science and Daresbury Development Group on the Jodrell Bank Observatory Merlin project bid for funding; and what representations he has received regarding the funding review. 
Dr. Howells: The North-West Science and Daresbury Development Group is not considering the e-Merlin project proposal. This proposal was considered by the North West Science Review Team, whose recommendations for funding were announced by my noble Friend the Minister for Science on 16 October 2000. This proposal was not recommended for funding.
With regard to representation, I have received one letter from Chris Davies, Member of the European Parliament, and in addition, the Minister for Science has received one letter from my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Riverside (Mrs. Ellman).
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|