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4 Jul 2001 : Column: 184W
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if the Enterprise Bill will include measures to implement the Cruickshank review recommendations on the establishment of a payments regulator. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 2 July 2001]: The Enterprise Bill aims to encourage enterprise, strengthen competition laws and promote safeguards for consumers. As announced on 18 June, details of what will be included in the Bill will be published by the end of July.
Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will take steps to ensure that the economy of the Yorkshire and Humberside region grows to the United Kingdom per capita average. 
Alan Johnson: The regional development agencyYorkshire Forwardwas established in April 1999 to address the economic deficit in the region. Its regional economic strategy aims to create 150,000 new jobs by 2010 and achieve above UK and European average GDP growth each year.
In 200102, Yorkshire Forward has a programme budget of £213 million and a cumulative target of creating with partners up to 21,000 jobs. I will be working closely with Yorkshire Forward and its partners to ensure they deliver these improvements.
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Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 3 July 2001]: Under UK competition legislation, it is for the Director General of Fair Trading to investigate allegations of anti-competitive behaviour and if appropriate make a reference to the Competition Commission under the Fair Trading Act 1973 or take action under the Competition Act 1998.
Mr. Alexander [holding answer 3 July 2001]: We are committed to contributing towards the costs of universal banking services, which will be available at all post offices, and to providing transitional financial assistance to rural post offices. Decisions on the provision of this assistance will be taken in the context of advice from the Postal Services Commission expected in the autumn. In addition, we have announced a £2 million fund to support volunteer and community initiatives to maintain or reopen post office facilities in rural areas where the traditional post office would otherwise close. Sub-post offices in small rural settlements are eligible for rate relief.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to her answer of 25 June 2001, Official Report, column 31W, how many regulations her Department has (a) introduced and (b) reviewed the operation and working of since May 1997; and if she will place copies of such reviews in the Library. 
Nigel Griffiths: The DTI has been responsible for the introduction of 496 statutory instruments since May 1997. Of these, we estimate three quarters have not imposed costs for business, and about a tenth have saved costs for business. A third of all the regulations introduced by this Department since 1997 have been licenses allowing companies to operate as public telecommunication providers.
We have kept the regulatory environment in all sectors under continual review since May 1997. There have been numerous reviews of regulations, and copies of relevant White and Green Papers are available from the House Libraries. I will write to the hon. Member with a full list as soon as possible and place a copy in the Library of the House.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what targets have been set for the reduction of regulation in those sectors of the utility industries where competition is fully developed; and if she will make a statement. 
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Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 25 June 2001]: The Government set the legal framework which places statutory duties on each of the regulators and consider the proper discharge of these duties is a matter for each regulator. It would therefore not be appropriate for the Government to set targets for the regulators.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to her answer of 25 June 2001, Official Report, column 31W, if she will list (a) public consultations held under the Consultation Code, setting out the length of each consultation period and the reasons for consultations lasting less than 12 weeks and (b) regulations with an impact on business introduced under the new procedures setting out (i) the length of time between guidance being issued and the regulation taking effect and (ii) the reasons for guidance being issued less than 12 weeks before the regulation took effect. 
Nigel Griffiths: The consultation code applies to all public consultations launched since January 2001. Consultations on the following subjects have consultation periods of at least 12 weeks which have not yet closed:
statutory guidance to the Gas and Electricity markets authority on Social and Environmental Objectives.
Financial Penalties: Determination of turnover under the Utilities Act 2000.
Removing the 20 partner limit from partnerships and limited partnerships.
Proposals for regulations relating to fixed-term work.
How the DTI should fulfil its obligations under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act.
Proposed electricity safety, quality and continuity regulations.
Possible amendments to the Equipment and Protective Systems intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996.
Proposed changes to the consents process for offshore wind farms.
EC Directive on Certain Aspects of the Sale of Consumer Goods and Associated Guarantees.
Copyright and Visually Impaired People.
EC Directive 71/98 on Legal Protection of Designs.
Oil and Gas Infrastructure Access Provisions and Voluntary Arrangements.
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Modification of the standard condition of gas and electricity licenses by the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority. This was a second consultation on the substantive issues, seeking further views from stakeholders on more detailed points. The consultation period was four weeks.
Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations. Consultation was on draft regulations following two earlier consultations on the substantive issues. The consultation period was six weeks.
Proposed amendments to electricity supply licences. This consultation period lasted for four weeks, because of the urgent need to consult on the desirability of bringing forward legislation to provide for additional powers to safeguard against potential market abuse.
The Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for Use Outdoors Regulations 2001. Guidance in this case had been published when the EC Directive was adopted, one year before the regulation came into force. Specific guidance on the regulation was published simultaneously with the regulations, four weeks before the regulation came into force.
The Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Regulations 2000. No new guidance was issued but the current guidance notes will be updated.
The Weights and Measures (Metrication Amendments) Regulations 2001. These regulations came into force on 8 February 2001 and guidance was sent to all relevant organisations on 11 and 25 January 2001. However these regulations state that new arrangements will enter into force finally in 2009.
4 Jul 2001 : Column: 188W
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