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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the rates averaged over the three years used for the purpose of formulating the assisted areas map were for (a) the Isle of Wight, (b) the Isle of Thanet, (c) England and (d) the United Kingdom of (i) employment, (ii) residence-based unemployment, (iii) workforce-based unemployment and (iv) manufacturing employment share; and what the standard deviation was for each of the purposes of the European Commission's regional aid guidelines. 
|Estimate of employment rate||Estimate of residential unemployment||Estimate of workforce unemployment||Manufacturing employment share|
|Isle of Wight||69.4||10.2||10.4||17.4|
|Thanet, Sandwich and Worth||72.8||10.7||12.5||20.0|
|Great Britain excluding Article 87(3)(a) areas||74.2||7.6||6.6||18.1|
These numbers are not National Statistics, though they were derived from National Statistics sources. The calculations for Thanet also included Sandwich and Worth wards in Dover, and total figures were calculated for Great Britain rather than for England or the United Kingdom.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will investigate the competition implications of supermarkets' refusal to accept meat from UK-registered low throughput abbatoirs. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: Product sourcing decisions are normally a commercial matter for the company concerned. However, if these do raise competition concerns, they should be put to the Director General of Fair Trading, who is responsible for investigating complaints about anti-competitive behaviour.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will set up a joint working group of her Department and the Food Standards Agency to undertake a risk assessment of toys embedded in foodstuff items. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: I have no plans to do so. Research commissioned by my Department provided no evidence to suggest that toys marketed with foodstuffs pose a greater risk to children than other small toys. The European Commission has also looked at this issue and reached the same conclusion.
Miss Melanie Johnson: It is for suppliersmanufacturers, wholesalers and retailersto take appropriate measures, within the limits of their activities, to ensure that the products they supply to consumers are safe. Risk assessments are generally carried out by the manufacturer of the final product.
All toys supplied in the UK must satisfy the essential safety requirements of the Toys (Safety) Regulations 1995 which implement the European Directive on the safety of toys. The Directive is under review and we will give
19 Apr 2002 : Column 1203W
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions have taken place with the Dutch Postal Service about the future of Consignia; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 10 April 2002]: Consignia took part in discussions about a possible merger of Consignia's postal activities with the Dutch Postal Service (TPG). However, no satisfactory agreement was reached and Ministers therefore agreed with the company that discussions should cease. It has been the policy of successive Governments not to go into the detail of such commercially confidential matters.
Since the government has given Consignia commercial freedom, within the public sector, it is entirely appropriate that Consignia has been considering its commercial strategy, including the possibility of relationships or ventures with other operators.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her policy is towards the proposals contained in the EC White Paper, Strategy for a Future Chemicals Policy; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt: The UK Government supports the aims and objectives of the EU Chemicals Strategy. We wish to see a workable strategy that protects the environment and human health by targeting chemicals of most concern through the authorisation process while at the same time minimising animal testing, encouraging innovation and maintaining the competitiveness of the chemicals industry. We support the addition to the authorisation process of chemicals that are at the same time persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBTs) and that are very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB), once the necessary criteria for identification of PBTs and vPvBs are established; and also the inclusion of known endocrine disruptors when agreed scientifically valid test methods and criteria are established to identify these substances.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact on the UK chemicals industry of the EC White Paper, Strategy for a Future Chemicals Policy. 
19 Apr 2002 : Column 1204W
the European Chemicals Bureau. No extra costs are envisaged for regulatory authorities and the Commission argues that a saving in industry human resources can be expected. An initial Regulatory Impact Assessment carried out on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs suggests that the costs to the UK might be in the order of £760 million (about 1.2 billion euros). The consultants Risk and Policy Analysists Limited are currently carrying out a Business Impact Assessment on behalf of the Commission for the whole of the EU. This report is due to be published next month.
Ms Hewitt: The terms of reference for the Chemicals Innovation and Growth Team are that it will evaluate the key factors that will impact on the chemicals industry globally and identify the opportunities and challenges for the UK; formulate a vision of what the future chemicals industry might look like and how to get there; and make recommendations to industry, Government and others for specific actions.
The Chemicals Innovation and Growth Team consists of representatives from the chemicals industry and other key stakeholders and is chaired by Byron Grote of BP Chemicals. It is focusing on four major areas: innovation; regulation and reputation; customers and markets; and skills and competences. It will report later this year.
Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking to control the activities of businesses which represent themselves as public agencies enforcing the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. 
Mr. Wills: I refer the hon Member to my replies to the hon. Member for Batley and Spen (Mr. Wood) of 5 February 2002, Official Report, columns 906907W; and the hon Member for Weston-super-Mare (Mr. Cotter) of 5 March 2002, Official Report, column 196W.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many contracts the Wales Office has with consultants; what level of professional indemnity insurance is standard in contracts with small consultants; whether he can make exceptions to the level of professional indemnity insurance; and what recent discussions he has had with other Government departments about the level of professional indemnity insurance. 
19 Apr 2002 : Column 1205W
the Environment Act 1995 (Commencement No. 20 and Saving Provision) (Wales) Order 2001; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: The essential purpose of the Order was to bring into force, in Wales, the provisions of the Environment Act 1995 relating to the remediation of contaminated land. As such, and having regard to information I received from the National Assembly for Wales, I was satisfied that it raised no untoward financial implications.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the cost-effectiveness of the Artificial Insemination of Cattle (Emergency Licences) (Wales) Regulations 2001; and if he will make a statement. 
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