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Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many properties in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) Scotland, and (c) Dumfries and Galloway were exempt from the normal six days a week postal deliveries during the past four years; if she will investigate the reasons for these exemptions; and what action she will take to reduce the number of exemptions. 
Mr. Alexander [holding answer 17 January 2002]: The question of exceptions to the universal service is a matter for the postal regulator, the Postal Services Commission (Postcomm). Under the Postal Services Act 2000, Postcomm has the primary duty to ensure the provision of a universal postal service; that is at least one delivery of relevant postal packets is to be made every working day to the home or premises of every individual or other person in the United Kingdom or to such identifiable points for the delivery of relevant postal packets as Postcomm may approve.
However, the legislation does provide for the possibility that some addresses will receive less than this but only in exceptional circumstances. Such exceptions must be justified and agreed with Postcomm. Under the terms of the European Postal Directive these must also be notified to the European Commission. Since the establishment of the regulatory regime it has become clear that the incidence of exceptions is more widespread than was previously envisaged.
So, working closely with Postwatch (the postal consumer council), Postcomm is currently formulating a long-term policy on this matter and Postcomm intends to publish a public consultation paper, in the spring, setting out a long-term approach.
However, in the interim, and to avoid Consignia being in breach of its licence obligations, Postcomm issued a Direction on 23 March 2001 under section 4 of the Postal Services Act 2000 which designated exceptional conditions and circumstances under which Consignia plc was not obliged to comply with the every working day delivery requirement of the universal postal service. That Direction expired on 23 September 2001 and on that date Postcomm issued a second interim Direction (which is still in force). I am placing in the Library of the House a copy of that Direction.
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The Annexe attached to the Direction outlines the geographical exceptions to the Direction. One of these relates only to parcel deliveries. One additional delivery point, was added to the Annexe to the Direction issued on 23 September 2001.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will give a breakdown by parliamentary constituency of the number of homes in Scotland from whom Consignia plan to withdraw postal services; and from how many homes in the Angus local authority area Consignia proposes to withdraw postal services. 
Mr. Alexander: Consignia would need Postcomm's authorisation to make changes to the way it carries out the universal postal service obligation in Scotland and Postcomm is not aware that Consignia plans to make such changes in Scotland. Subject to Consignia's universal service obligations, the number and timing of deliveries is an operational issue for Consignia.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with Consignia regarding their proposal to withdraw postal services from some rural homes in Scotland. 
Mr. Alexander: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has had no discussions with Consignia on this issue. Consignia would need the postal regulator the Postal Services Commission's (Postcomm) authorisation to make changes to the way it carries out the universal postal service obligation in Scotland and Postcomm is not aware that Consignia plans to make such changes in Scotland. Subject to Consignia's universal service obligations, the number and timing of deliveries is an operational issue for Consignia.
Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures the Government are taking to protect the (a) price and (b) frequency of postal services in remote and rural areas from the pressures resulting from increased competition in delivery of mail, with particular reference to the Highlands of Scotland; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt: Under the Postal Services Act 2000 the Postal Services Commission (Postcomm) has the primary duty to ensure the provision of a universal postal service. The obligation consists of a service provided at an affordable price determined by a public tariff uniform throughout the UK and includes the delivery each working day to the home or premises of every individual in the UK and a collection each working day from access points.
Subject to this primary responsibility, Postcomm is also under a duty to exercise its functions in the manner which it considers is best calculated to further the interest of users of postal services, wherever appropriate, by promoting effective competition between postal operators. In performing this secondary duty Postcomm shall have regard to the interests of, among others, individuals residing in rural areas.
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Currently Postcomm requires Consignia plc, in the licence, to provide a universal postal service. Subject to Consignia's universal service obligations, the number and timing of deliveries is an operational issue for Consignia.
The prices that Consignia can charge for specific postal services, in particular prices for first and second class postage, are controlled by its licence granted by Postcomm on 23 March 2001. Postcomm is currently in the early stages of reviewing this price control and expects to publish initial proposals this summer.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many households do not receive a daily post delivery, broken down by postal area; and what measures she plans to take to overcome this. 
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the responses received regarding the Manufacturing Summit of 5 December 2001; and if she will place the responses in the Library. 
Mr. Wilson: A number of organisations provided written evidence to the Summit and a number of less formal comments were received. I have arranged for copies of the written evidence to be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the publications issued by her Department in each of the last four years; and what the (a) circulation, (b) cost and (c) purpose of each was. 
Ms Hewitt: A list of those DTI publications produced since 1 December 2000 that have been notified to my Department's Publications Unit has been placed in the Libraries of the House. The listing includes the total cost incurred by the Department in production of each publication (where notified centrally), and excludes publications produced for internal use. For a list of publications published to December 2000, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Hertsmere (Mr. Clappison) on 12 December 2000, Official Report, column 79W.
Circulation and purpose varies for each individual title. Information at the required level of detail is not collected centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, purposes include: guidance on legislation, informing people on a variety of issues such as consumer protection, and providing information to help small businesses.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many cases of work-related stress have been reported in her Department; how much compensation has been paid to employees; how many work days have been lost due to work-related stress, and at what cost; what
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procedures have been put in place to reduce work-related stress, and at what cost, in each of the last three years; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt: Data on work related stress are not collected separately in my Department. However we are committed to maintaining a safe working environment for staff and to reducing absences caused by any sickness or injury.
The Department offers an in-house counselling and advice service, with referrals to an outside specialist service where needed, which helps both managers and staff tackle work-related stress. Workshops are held for groups of staff and training is available.
Alan Johnson: The DTI look at total investment and its components, including Government, business and manufacturing investment. The DTI competitiveness indicators publication compares both Government and business investment over time with the other G7 countries, using data sourced from the OECD.
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