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Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what grants are available for noise insulation. 
Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply
No such grants are available centrally.
There are statutory requirements for the provision of noise insulation in specified circumstances, in respect of noise from various sources. Under the Noise Insulation Regulations 1975 the appropriate highway authority will provide insulation in the form of secondary glazing to the windows and glazed doors, of dwellings and other buildings used for residential purposes, or payment of grants for this purpose, where such properties are not more than 300 m from the nearest point of a new highway, including an additional carriageway added to an existing highway, or an alteration affecting the line or level of an existing highway. The provision of insulation or grant is subject to there being an increase, or expected increase, in noise on the façade of the property attributable to the traffic on the new or altered highway from that prevailing before construction started, provided this is above a prescribed level.
Under the Noise Insulation (Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems) Regulations 1996 an authority responsible for constructing a new railway, tramway or other guided transport system, or for adding to an existing system, has a similar duty to provide insulation for dwellings and other buildings used for residential purposes, or to pay grant for that purpose.
Similar statutory schemes have been made under s79 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982, and previous powers, requiring provision of noise insulation in respect of aircraft noise at Heathrow and Gatwick airports. At other airports, noise insulation may be provided on a voluntary basis or in accordance with planning conditions.
Noise insulation schemes under any of these statutory provisions are subject to qualifying dates: they are not open-ended.
Local housing authorities could consider whether it would be appropriate to award a discretionary Home Repair Assistance grant to private home owners and tenants for noise insulation. The Regulatory Reform
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(Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002, if enacted, will provide authorities with a new general power which they could also use to this end.
Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment has been made of potential bird strikes at Heathrow airport; and what measures are being taken to deal with this. 
Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply.
Heathrow Airport Ltd. carries out a continuing assessment of the bird strike risk at the airport and takes remedial action as part of its operating licence obligations. The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions has also established a working group, involving Heathrow Airport Ltd., the Civil Aviation Authority and other interested parties, to look at a broader range of issues connected with the bird strike hazard in the Heathrow area.
Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what work her Department is doing on the impact of climate change. 
Margaret Beckett: The UK Climate Change Programme outlines the Government's approach on adaptation to climate change. An important component of this is the ability to assess possible impacts and adaptation options. To address this, my Department has provided a further three years of funding for the UK Climate Impacts Programme to help the public and private sector carry out studies to assess what climate change may mean for them and how to prepare for it.
To help such assessments, new climate change scenarios for the UK will be published on 26 April 2002. These contain important information on how the UK's climate may change in future as a result of greenhouse gas emissions. Copies of the scenario reports will be placed in the Libraries of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
In addition, the Government have recently begun an inter-departmental process to consider the implications of climate change. My Department is participating in this activity and has also commissioned a survey of the implications of climate change for its policies and operational responsibilities. The study should be completed this year.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received concerning recent shipments of Brazilian mahogany to the UK; and if she will make a statement. 
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Mr. Morley: Pursuant to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Sayeed) on 10 April 2002, Official Report, column 272W, the final sentence of the second paragraph did not contain the most up-to-date information. Paragraph two should read as follows:
Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to the answer of 10 April 2002, Official Report, column 379W, on the Transport and Telecommunications Council, what the status of the general orientations reached by the Council is; and whether issues covered by these general orientations could be reopened by the UK. 
Mr. Alexander: A "general orientation", now more often known as a "general approach", is an indication of the formal position the Council might take at a later stage. The term is used when a formal position of the Council cannot be reached because the legislative pre-conditions of the decision-making process have not yet been met, for example because the European Parliament has not yet delivered its opinion.
There were two general approaches reached at the 25 March Telecommunications Council relating to decisions on electronic interchange of data between administrations (IDA) (Council number 1198301) and Trans-European Telecommunications Networks (Council number 1532401). Both proposals had cleared parliamentary scrutiny in advance of the Council, so we signalled that there were no outstanding UK issues to raise for the moment. It does however remain open to use to raise additional issues if the European Parliament proposes significant amendments. We will keep the Committees informed of developments.
Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps her Department is taking to ensure that businesses are not misled by companies purporting to be acting on behalf of the Data Protection Registrar. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department is cooperating with relevant enforcement authorities over this issue. We advise those who wish to complain about such an approach to contact their local Trading Standards Office. This is in line with advice issued by the Information Commissioner.
Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether she plans to investigate the effects on competition and the potential monopolies created by the growth of pub chains. 
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Miss Melanie Johnson: In his review of the Beer Orders in 2000, the Director-General of Fair Trading found no evidence to warrant a monopoly reference of the pub chains to the Competition Commission. The Director- General has pledged that he will continue to be vigilant in his pursuit of anti-competitive practices in the industry.
Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the EU Directive 1999/44/EC (Refunds on Faulty Products) will be implemented. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department is currently consulting on draft regulations to transpose EC Directive 1999/44/EC (on Certain Aspects of the Sale of Consumer Goods and Associated Guarantees) into UK law. The consultation ends on 23 May 2002 and regulations will be laid before Parliament.
Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to consult the recruitment industry on the content of the proposed European directive on working conditions for temporary workers. 
Alan Johnson: Officials have been discussing the effects of the proposed European directive on working conditions for temporary workers with the recruitment industry, and will continue to do so.
Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research she has conducted into the average length of temporary work assignments in the UK. 
Alan Johnson: We are aware of existing research on the nature of temporary work. Should further information be needed in light of the Commission's proposals, we will consider the case for further research.
Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to meet the European Commission to discuss the proposed European directive on working conditions for temporary workers. 
Alan Johnson: I have discussed it with Commissioner Diamantopoulou, and others, and expect to have further contacts.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures she is taking to safeguard labour market flexibility, with particular reference to the proposed European directive on working conditions for temporary workers. 
Alan Johnson: We are studying the proposal to ensure that it provides adequate protection for agency workers without unnecessarily reducing labour market flexibility.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether she has asked the European Commission to withdraw the proposed European directive on working conditions for temporary workers. 
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Alan Johnson: We are studying the proposal to establish whether it protects agency workers without damaging the important contribution agency workers and agencies make to the labour market and to maintaining high levels of employment.
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