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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 16 November 2000


Accommodation Questionnaire

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee what the cost was of issuing the questionnaire to hon. Members on the type of accommodation they preferred; how many hon. Members replied to the questionnaire; and what action has been taken to accommodate the requests contained in the replies. [138543]

Sir Sydney Chapman: Other than the cost of the stationery, there was no cost in issuing the questionnaire. 556 hon. Members responded. The results of the survey were analysed, presented to the Committee and passed to the Accommodation Whips.


Committee on Standards in Public Life

Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Prime Minister when he expects to receive the seventh Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life; and if he will make a statement. [138994]

The Prime Minister: I am pleased to announce that the seventh Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, entitled "Standards of Conduct in the House of Lords", has been published today by the Committee. Copies are available in the Vote Office and the Libraries.

The recommendations in the Report are for the House of Lords. The Government welcome the Report and hope and expect that the House of Lords will give it the serious consideration that it deserves.


Post Office

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what the value is of the social network payment anticipated in the Post Office Network Business Plan for each year to 2005-06; [138042]

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Mr. Byers [holding answer 13 November 2000]: It is established practice under section II paragraph 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information not to disclose such information.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will place in the Library a list of the sub-post offices which have closed since May 1997. [136704]

Mr. Byers: I understand from the Post Office that a full list of sub-post office closures since May 1997 is not readily available in one central location.

Ultra-low Sulphur Fuel

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the number of filling stations which (a) supply ultra-low sulphur petrol and (b) will supply ultra-low sulphur petrol by April 2001. [138440]

Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 15 November 2000]: The Department does not hold information on the number of petrol retail outlets in the UK selling ultra-low sulphur petrol (ULSP). According to HM Customs and Excise data, ULSP currently constitutes around a third of petrol released for consumption in the UK.

Future levels of supply for ULSP will be a matter for individual companies to determine.

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many fuel retail outlets sell low sulphur petrol in (a) Wales, (b) rural Wales, (c) England and (d) rural England; and what proportion this is of total petrol outlets. [138268]

Mrs. Liddell: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale, West (Mr. Brady) .

Information Technology

Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) which Departments had not produced e-business strategies by the end of October; [138640]

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Ms Hewitt: I would like to thank my hon. Friend for the interest he has shown in key elements of the Government's strategy for the information age. I have been asked to reply as the Minister with overarching responsibility for that strategy, which the e-Envoy and I published in the UK Online Annual Report on 11 September.

Yesterday, we published our plan for implementing all the commitments to action in the UK online report. This is on the internet at www.e-envoy.gov.uk/2000/progress/montprog.htm. The e-Envoy and I report monthly to the Prime Minister on progress against these targets. These progress reports are accessible on the internet at www.e-envoy.gov.uk/2000/progress/progress.htm.

On the specific questions my hon. Friend asks, the position is as follows:

Universal broadband access

The Wired Up Communities initiative will be piloting the impact that providing access to the internet might have on disadvantaged communities. On 11 October the Minister responsible for Learning and Technology, the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Employment, my hon. Friend the Member for North Swindon (Mr. Wills), announced that the first wired up community will be Kensington, Liverpool. We expect to announce further pilot areas in the new year.

Electronic Government procurement

Departments will monitor their own progress towards the target that

Liberalising re-use of Government information

I announced on 6 September our plans to boost the Knowledge Economy by overhauling the way Government information can be acquired and reused by publishing and internet businesses. This announcement was in the context of the Government's Review of the Knowledge Driven Economy as part of the Spending Review 2000. Her Majesty's Stationery Office colleagues are in the process of finalising details of key reforms with Treasury colleagues and are planning to publish these in late November.

Personal computer leasing schemes

We are committed to encouraging low cost leasing schemes in the Public Sector, and are currently auditing existing schemes. Over 27,000 teachers have purchased low cost computers through DfEEs 'Computers for Teachers' programme.

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Publication of UK online monthly progress reports

The last monthly progress report to the Prime Minister was submitted on 15 November and published on the e-Envoy's website, www.e-envoy.gov.uk, on the same day.

Government Departments and Agencies connected to the Government secure intranet

All sizeable central Government Departments have joined, or are in the process of linking to, the Government secure intranet. Details of those Government Departments which are connected, or planning to connect, will be placed in the Library.

Government Departments' e-business strategies

Most Government Departments have submitted their plans.

Many of the actions we are taking forward relate to matters for which the devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for setting targets and implementing initiatives. Details of these are included in the UK Online Annual Report.



Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what target the Government have set for combating malaria; what additional resources have been allocated to meet this target; and if she will make a statement. [136971]

Clare Short: The United Kingdom is strongly supporting the World Health Organisation (WHO) led Roll Back Malaria (RBM) initiative to achieve the goal of reducing the malaria burden by half by 2010. The RBM initiative provides the vehicle for concerted action by partners, especially in Africa, to deliver more widely the benefits of currently available methods of malaria control to the poorest. Overall UK developmental programme spending on malaria control activities increased to over £19 million in 1999-2000 and is set to increase further. We have contributed £12 million to WHO RBM this year alone. The UK is also supporting public-private partnerships to develop the new generation of affordable drugs required for malaria control in developing countries, both by direct funding to WHO for the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) initiative, the Lapdap product development programme and the Malarone donation.

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