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Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many overseas visits and to which destinations have been undertaken by the Minister for Science over the last three years; and how they were funded. 
Ms Hewitt: Over the last three years, the Minister for Science has undertaken 43 overseas visits to the following destinations: Belgium, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and USA. This includes a number of formal and informal EU Research Council meetings.
The travel costs have been met from within the departmental budget.
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Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) press notices and (b) consultation documents were issued by her Department during the summer recess. 
Ms Hewitt: 158 press notices and 17 consultation documents were issued by the Department during the summer recess period. 57 of the releases issued during this period were standard statistical information notes, merger clearances and other company law announcements. Copies of all the documents are available on the DTI website. Press notices are also available from the Central Office of Information.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment his Department has made of the implementation of the End of Vehicle Life Directive on MG Rover. 
Ms Hewitt: The DTI Consultation Paper includes a partial regulatory impact assessment that addresses the costs and benefits of the Directive. My Department has had a number of meetings with MG Rover, and with other car manufacturers, about the impact of the Directive. A full assessment of the effect on individual companies cannot be made until the precise method of implementation has been decided.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the administrative budget is of each of the English regional development agencies in the current financial year. 
Alan Johnson: The RDAs' administration budgets this year are as follows:
|One North East||10.653|
|North West Development Agency||14.044|
|East Midlands Development Agency||7.488|
|Advantage West Midlands||8.793|
|East of England Development Agency||5.836|
|South East Development Agency||7.143|
|South West Development Agency||9.099|
|London Development Agency||9.470|
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions she has had with representatives of the textile industry regarding the climate change levy; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 22 October 2001]: Ministers and officials maintain contact with textile industry representatives, where issues of concern to the textile industry are discussed. Prior to the levy's implementation in April this year, the British Apparel and Textile Confederation (BATC) negotiated an Energy
23 Oct 2001 : Column: 138W
Efficiency Agreement with the Government for an 80 per cent. discount from the levy for eligible textile companies.
Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will review the Code of Practice of the Hearing Aid Council relating to protection of persons who purchase a hearing aid in circumstances in which they were misled by the seller. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Code of Practice is the responsibility of the Hearing Aid Council, who keep it under review.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will estimate total staff costs for his Department and its agencies by nation and region of the UK; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt: The pay bill costs for the DTI, excluding the Patent Office and Companies House Trading Funds, but including the Department's gross and net controlled agencies, in 19992000 were £222 million. A more detailed breakdown is given in the Department's Expenditure Plans Report 200102 to 200304, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House (Cm 5112). The figure is not broken down geographically, and it would incur disproportionate cost to do so, but the Department's current staff, excluding those at the agencies and in Government offices, are distributed as follows:
|Based||Number of staff||Percentage|
I have asked the agency and Trading Fund chief executives to reply directly in respect of the expenditure and staff for which they are responsible.
Letter from Chris de Grouchy to Mr. Michael Weir, dated 23 October 2001:
Letter from Claire Clancy to Mr. Michael Weir, dated 23 October 2001:
23 Oct 2001 : Column: 139W
I am responding on behalf of the Patent Office, an Executive Agency of the DTI, to the Parliamentary question tabled on 23 July 2001 in which you asked the Secretary of State if she would estimate total staff costs for her Department and its agencies by nation and region of the UK.
The paybill costs for the Patent Office in 20002001 were £24.5 million. A more detailed breakdown is given in our Annual Report 200001, a copy of which is available in the library of the House. The figure is not broken down geographically but the staff are distributed as follows:
895 (98.7%) are based in Wales; and
12 (1.3%) in England; and
0 (0%) in Scotland; and
0 (0%) in Northern Ireland.
Letter from Desmond Flynn to Mr. Michael Weir, dated 23 October 2001:
Letter from John Holden to Mr. Michael Weir, dated 23 October 2001:
Letter from Roger Heathcote to Mr. Michael Weir, dated 23 October 2001:
Letter from Iain MacGregor to Mr. Michael Weir, dated 23 October 2001:
23 Oct 2001 : Column: 140W
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will estimate the number of staff employed by her Department by region and nation of the UK; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt: The total staff in post figures for the DTI, including agencies (Companies House, Employment Tribunal Service, Insolvency Service, National Weights and Measures Laboratory, Patent Office and Radiocommunications Agency) is 10,099.
This figure is broken down by nation as follows:
|Staff in post||Percentage|
This figure is further broken down by nation and region (county) as follows:
|Tyne and Wear||79|
23 Oct 2001 : Column: 141W
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