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Creche Facilities

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what creche facilities are provided by her Department; and at what cost. [44853]

Ms Hewitt: The following are DTI's child care provisions for its staff.

Holiday Playscheme

Departmental staff in central London have access to a 32-place holiday playscheme for a minimum of 54 days each year. Staff contribute £14.00 per place towards the £31.00 daily fee. DTI HQ staff in Cardiff have access to a local Easter and summer holiday playscheme for a contribution of £8.00 per place towards the £16.00 daily fee.

Nursery Places

Departmental staff in central London have access to six nursery places (divided equally between under 2s and over 2-year-olds) at the inter-departmental nursery. The weekly cost to the Department for a full-time place for an under 2-year-old is £200.50 and £169.00 for 2-year-olds and over. Staff contribution is levied at a flat rate of £103 per week for a full-time place, irrespective of the age of the child. Children attending the nursery on a part-time basis are charged a pro rata rate.

DTI's total expenditure on child care for this financial year is £43,995.00.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the (a) private finance initiative and (b) public private partnership projects which have been delayed. [44888]

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Ms Hewitt: The following projects have been delayed:

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the difference was between the price offered in reaching preferred bidder stage and the final contract price for PPP contracts let by her Department in each of the last four years; and if she will make a statement. [45617]

Ms Hewitt: My Department has not let any PPP contracts in the last four years.

Human Rights Act

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many cases have been brought against her Department under the Human Rights Act 1998; and what has been the cost in (a) legal fees to defend cases and (b) compensation payments. [45061]

Ms Hewitt: We do not collect central records of all cases in which the Human Rights Act 1998 is relied on. Human rights are now integrated in the general law and are rarely the sole basis for a challenge. We do monitor centrally those cases which we consider may be of particular significance to this Department.

We do not collect separate information centrally about the costs to public funds, legal fees or compensation payments in cases which include a human rights issue. In most cases it will be difficult to single out associated costs relating to the human rights element.

Public Service Agreement

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which public service agreement targets that are scheduled to be met in 2002 will not be achieved by the due date. [44839]

Ms Hewitt: Information abut progress on public service agreement targets will be published in the DTI's 2002 departmental report.

FYR Macedonia

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what arrangements are in place to encourage trade between the UK and FYR Macedonia. [45242]

Nigel Griffiths: In June 2001, Trade Partners UK organised representation of 12 UK companies at the Skopje International Fair. Trade Partners UK also arranged a programme for representatives of two major Macedonian food importers visiting the International Food Exhibition in London.

A similar programme of events is planed for 2002–03.

In addition, Trade Partners UK offers a full range of services to exporters by way of inquiry handling, briefing, and general advice and support for market entry.

Pollution (Irish Sea)

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list pollution incidents involving discharges above 0.01 tonnes in the Irish sea from 9 July

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2001 to the latest available date, stating the (a) date, (b) size of incident, (c) name of company reporting the spill and (d) name of the company responsible in each case. [44002]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 21 March 2002]: The information relating to oil spill incidents in the Irish sea basin, reported to the Department of Trade and Industry, from 9 July 2001 to the present date is as follows.

DateAmountReported byResponsible company
14 September 20010.1BHPBHP

DTI only receives reports for oil spills reported from or attributed to offshore installations.

Greenwich Mean Time

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will confine GMT to the period between the last Sunday in November and the last Sunday in January. [45345]

Alan Johnson: There are no plans to reduce the period of GMT. The start and end dates of summer time are harmonised across EC member states through a European directive.


Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what joint programmes her Department has to promote bilateral trade with India. [43596]

Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 21 March 2002]: The full range of services of British Trade International—both for trade and investment—are available to British companies seeking to do business with India which is a very important market for the United Kingdom. Trade Partners UK is responsible for helping UK exporters and outward investment, while Invest UK seeks to attract Indian investors, who are coming to the UK in growing numbers.

The Indo-British Partnership (IBP) was created in 1993 to encourage trade and investment between our two countries. Since the inception of the IBP UK-India trade has grown by 45 per cent. and, including invisibles, is now worth £5 billion a year.

The Enterprise Initiative: India is a current Trade Partners UK programme designed to help small and medium sized UK companies to enter the Indian market. The initiative offers a variety of services to British exporters.

Rail Lines (Kent)

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many meetings the South East England Development Agency has had since its inception with (a) Railtrack, (b) the Strategic Rail Authority and (c) Connex SE to discuss the issue of power shortages and infrastructure planning on the (i) London Victoria to Sittingbourne, (ii) London Bridge to Sittingbourne and (iii) Cannon Street to Sittingbourne railway lines. [46183]

Alan Johnson: None.

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Fenestration (Self-assessment)

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action her Department is taking to enable small traders to join the fenestration self- assessment scheme. [42720]

Dr. Whitehead: I have been asked to reply.

I recently made regulations which allow a person registered with the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme (FENSA) to certify to local authorities that replacement glazing they undertake complies with the Building Regulations. FENSA has been developed by the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) in consultation with, among others, key industry representative bodies, local authorities, and my Department.

From the start it was the Department's requirement that the scheme should be open, fair and cost-effective. Any business of any size is able to join the scheme. All firms are required to pay a standard registration fee of £100, in addition to a vetting fee of £200. The vetting fee is not required however, if the firm has already been vetted by another body which has standards comparable to FENSA. Currently 19 such bodies are recognised. Therefore the majority of firms applying to FENSA do not need to pay the vetting fee. On top of the vetting fee there is an annual fee of £50, and a transaction charge of under £1 per certificate issued to local authorities—£2 if not undertaken electronically. All these costs are exclusive of VAT. Inspection will be undertaken on 1 per cent. of installations, subject to a minimum of two and a maximum of 100. These will cost around £100 per inspection. The firm is also required to purchase Approved Documents L1 and N.

I do not consider these costs to be punitive. FENSA represents a cost-effective mechanism for companies to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations, while at the same time, providing the necessary safeguards to ensure consumer confidence. Fees set below this level would not allow the necessary number of checks to be undertaken, or the development and maintenance of a satisfactory database which eases the certification process for the installer. I consider that no special measures are required for small traders.

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