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LNM Holdings

Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions took place between her Department and other Government Departments on the takeover of Sidex Steel by LNM Holdings. [38850]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 28 February 2002]: Discussions took place between Trade PartnersUK and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Steel Industry

Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what employer recruitment subsidies have been put in place to support those made redundant from Corus in (a) Wales and (b) the UK as a whole. [39811]

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Ms Hewitt: None. Redundant Corus workers, in Wales and the UK as a whole, were offered help to find new employment through the Job Transition Service (now called the Rapid Response Service) which is designed to match worker's skills to local job vacancies. In some circumstances, where the eligibility criteria are met, newly redundant workers have early entry to the national new deal programme that offers a wide range of options, including employer subsidies—designed to encourage the employment of the long term unemployed.


David Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the hon. Member for Walsall, North will receive a reply to his letter of 22 January regarding the construction industry. [38456]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 28 February 2002]: The reply in question has been signed by myself and forwarded to my hon. Friend prior to the tabling of his question.


Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many members of her staff in each of the past two years have been granted a day's paid leave to work as a volunteer; and if she will make a statement. [39745]

Ms Hewitt: All members of staff in my Department have the right to one day's special leave with pay per year to undertake voluntary activity for the benefit of the wider community.

The granting of paid time off for voluntary activity is delegated to line management level and figures are not held centrally.

Miners' Compensation

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to locate a respiratory specialist in Merseyside to assist with medical assessments of former miners seeking compensation. [38347]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 4 March 2002]: There are now almost 1,560 claims in respect of living miners registered in Merseyside. Centres have been positioned geographically in areas of high concentration of claimants and where respiratory specialists are available to staff the centres. Claimants are usually invited to attend a test centre within a 25-mile radius from their residence. The centres Merseyside claimants will be directed to are Wrexham, Wigan and Manchester. These are considered to be adequately close to service the needs of Merseyside claimants. However, claimants are given the option to attend a different centre if a more suitable time is available. For those claimants who are not able to travel to a centre, and have a letter from their doctor, Healthcall, the company contracted to undertake the Medical Assessment Process, MAP, can carry out home visits. Where there are pockets of claimants outside the 25 mile radius of a test centre, but insufficient numbers to set up a permanent centre, one of the mobile testing units will be used to assess these claimants.

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Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made in processing miners' compensation claims in (a) the UK, (b) the north-east, (c) south Tyneside and (d) the Jarrow constituency. [39617]

Mr. Wilson: IRISC, the Department's claims handlers, have made the following interim and full and final settlements to date:

RegionNumber of interim paymentsNumber of full and final paymentsDamages paid (£ million)
Respiratory disease
(a) UK31,16312,920172.6
(b) North-east5,9291,62736.6
(c) South Tyneside4991842.8
(d) Jarrow121550.7
Vibration White Finger
(a) UK41,88322,577396.2
(b) North-east9,1715,16797.4
(c) South Tyneside9823059.2
(d) Jarrow2491022.5

There has been some good progress lately, particularly in relation to respiratory disease. In January alone, over 2,800 full and final offers, excluding expedited offers, were made worth £21.1 million in relation to respiratory disease. With regards to Vibration White Finger, 3,200 offers have been made in January, worth £29.5 million.

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many outstanding claims for miners' compensation there are in (a) the UK, (b) the north-east, (c) south Tyneside and (d) the Jarrow constituency. [39616]

Mr. Wilson: IRISC, the Department's claims handlers have registered the following number of claims and made the following settlements:

RegionNumber of claimsNumber of full and final paymentsNumber of denied/ withdrawn claims Number of outstanding claims
Respiratory disease
(a) UK131,73112,9203,584115,227
(b) North-east26,6351,62757224,436
(c) South Tyneside2,368184402,144
(d) Jarrow607559543
Vibration White Finger
(a) UK111,64422,5774,51084,557
(b) North-east20,6775,16793114,579
(c) South Tyneside1,916305671,544
(d) Jarrow51910217400

Combined Heat and Power

Mr. Colman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimates have been made about the future potential of CHP in sectors of the economy, with particular reference to industry, in the Department's report, Long-Term Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the UK, from the Inter-departmental Analysts Group chaired by the Department. [39383]

Mr. Wilson: The report by the Inter-departmental Analysts Group makes a number of references to the future potential for CHP and micro CHP in all sectors of

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the economy to contribute to savings in greenhouse gas emissions. For the industry and services sectors this (technical) potential is incorporated within the estimates for potential savings from improved energy efficiency. That potential has been considered on the basis of a scenario approach to 2050, explained within the energy efficiency sections of the paper prepared by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and specifically in annexes C and D. Overall, the report suggests potential for CHP to provide up to 25 per cent. of electricity generation for industry and services by 2050. The full report is found at greenhousesgas/index.htm.

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will revise the sustainable development guidelines to reflect the Government's target to double the UK use of combined heat and power by 2010. [39980]

Mr. Wilson: The Department has not issued any guidelines on sustainable development. However the DTI's Sustainable Development Strategy was published in October 2000 and is available on the DTI website. The Government remain committed to supporting CHP and my Department is working with colleagues in DEFRA and industry to improve the economic conditions for CHP and we are actively contributing to the development of the Government's CHP strategy.


Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what assessment she has made of the common position on Directive COM2000/0385, with particular reference to the compromise agreed on Article 13 regarding unsolicited e-mail marketing; [39458]

Mr. Alexander: At the Telecoms Council on 6 December last year, member states and the Commission reached political agreement on the draft Communications Data Protection Directive, including the provisions on unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE) in Article 13, where the issue has been whether UCE should be subject to opt-in rules, under which it could only be sent with the prior consent of the addressee, or member states should have discretion to apply opt-out rules, under which UCE can be sent unless the addressee has objected, either to e-mails from a particular sender or on a blanket basis by registering on a central opt-out list.

The Commission's original proposals produced a very divided response, and at the council, a compromise was agreed. Under this, the general principle would be opt-in, but with an opt-out exception for e-mail sent in the context of an existing customer relationship provided, among other things, that the sender has obtained the addressee's contact details in accordance with existing data protection rules. The UK supported this compromise wording at the council, and we believe it offers a sensible and workable regulatory approach. The draft Directive is now going through second reading procedures in the European Parliament.

6 Mar 2002 : Column 353W

The Government will shortly be publicly consulting on draft Regulations implementing the E-Commerce Directive.

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