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Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many Consignia staff are employed at the Nine Elms Royal Mail sorting office; and what plans she has for the future of this sorting office. 
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I have been informed that the company is currently undertaking a review of its countrywide road, rail and air transport links as part of plans to reshape the entire network to meet the demands for faster, cost effective services in the future.
Consignia has informed me that, for each of the last five years prior to the Hatfield rail disaster in October 2000, 20 per cent. of mail was carried by train, 5 per cent. by air and the remaining 75 per cent. by road; and that figures since October 2000 are not available.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the total costs were for operating (a) the National Consumer Council, and (b) the Scottish Consumer Council in (i) 199697, (ii) 199798, (iii) 199899 and (iv) 19992000. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the salaries are of (a) the chairman and members of the National Consumer Council, and (b) the chairman and members of the Scottish Consumer Council. 
Ms Hewitt: The chairman and board of the NCC and the SCC are public appointees. The salary of the chairman of the NCC is £30,900 per annum and the salaries of the NCC members are £10,000 per annum. The salary of the chairman of the SCC is £15,450 per annum. The members are unpaid, but receive an attendance allowance of £87 per day.
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Ms Hewitt: The salary of the director or chief executive of the National Consumer Council is given in the annual report. It is currently set at £61,498 per annum. The director of the SCC is an employee of the NCC. The individual salaries of NCC employees are not in the public domain.
Ms Hewitt: The role of the Scottish Consumer Council (SCC) (an independent sub-committee of the National Consumer Council (NCC)) is to make all Scottish consumers matter by ensuring that all consumer interests, particularly those of disadvantaged groups, are heard by people who can make a difference in business, the public sector and in Government.
Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the total solicitors' costs to her Department was of the action of the right hon. Member for Tyneside North (Mr. Byers) against Associated Newspapers and Simon and Schuster. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many employees of (a) her Department and (b) agencies sponsored by her Department work in (i) London, (ii) areas benefiting from EU Objective 1 status, (iii) areas with Objective 2 status and (iv) other areas. 
|Objective 1 areas||1||219||220|
|Transitional objective 1 areas||0||6||6|
|Objective 2 areas||543||1,692||2,235|
|Transitional objective 2 areas||0||35||35|
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Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has (a) to underwrite insurance premiums and (b) to seek suspension of the operation of airline passenger duty following the events of 11 September. 
The Government set up a temporary replacement insurance scheme for UK and Isle of Man airlines following the withdrawal of commercial cover for third party liabilities in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the US. The scheme underwrites third party, war and terrorism liabilities above $50 million for the majority of airlines for a commercially based premium, but will waive the premium for airlines that choose to buy $100 million of cover on the commercial insurance market. The scheme was extended for 30 days on the 24 October and will now expire at midnight on the 23 November. If it is clear that adequate commercial insurance has not returned to the market, the scheme will again be renewed.
Barbara Follett: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average increase in the earnings index in the 12 month period to February was as a result of bonus payments; and (a) what proportion of that was due to a growth in the financial sector and (b) what proportion of those bonuses went to (i) men and (ii) women. 
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Mr. Ingram: I am pleased to announce that, further to the announcement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 26 October last year, Official Report, columns 41415, the Ministry of Defence has concluded negotiations with BAE Systems Marine and has today placed a contract worth an estimated value of £120 million with the BAE Systems Marine Govan Shipyard on the Clyde to construct two Alternative Landing Ships Logistics. This is in addition to the first two ships in the class which are to be built by Swan Hunter at its Tyneside yard. BAE Systems Marine will build their vessels to Swan's design.
This represents an important enhancement to our Amphibious Capability, as each ALSL has more than twice the carrying capacity of the ships that they will replace. This significantly increases our specialist amphibious lift capacity. The vessels being built by Swan Hunter are due to enter into service in 2004 and 2005. Work at Govan on the further two vessels should commence later this month with a planned in-service date of 2005.
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