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North Sea States Conference

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the recent conference of the North Sea states in Norway; which members of her Department attended it; what discussions took place; and what conclusions were reached. [58537]

Mr. Meacher: I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 16 April 2002, Official Report, column 882W to my hon. Friend the Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Llew Smith).

Air Pollutants Limits

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what EU air pollutants limits the UK has not transposed into national law. [58541]

Mr. Meacher: I have been asked to reply.

We are in the process of transposing the following Directives which either limit emissions of air pollutants or set limit values for concentrations of pollutants in ambient air: Directive 1999/13/EC on the limitation of emissions of volatile organic compounds due to the use of organic solvents in certain activities and installations, which sets limits on the use of certain solvents; Directive 2000/69/EC relating to limit values for benzene and carbon monoxide in ambient air; Directive 2000/76/EC on the incineration of waste, which sets limits for a range of emissions from incinerators to air; Directive 2001/80/EC on the limitations of emission of certain pollutants into the air from large combustion plants, which sets limits on the emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and dust; Directive 2001/81/EC on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants, which sets national emission ceilings for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and ammonia; and Directive 2002/3/EC relating to ozone in ambient air which sets target values and long-term objectives for ozone.

Funding (Luton, South)

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what moneys have been provided (a) directly and (b) via agencies for which the Department has responsibility to the Luton South constituency since 1997. [58585]

Alan Johnson: In the period January 1997 to May 2002, the Department offered £179,000 under the Regional Selective Assistance and Regional Enterprise Grant schemes to companies in Luton South.

10 Jun 2002 : Column 982W

The Department has managed central Government funding to the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) since June 2001. However, DTI do not hold detailed information about EEDA's spend at constituency level.

The Small Business Service, an executive agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, funds Bedfordshire and Luton Chamber Business Enterprise but the Department does not hold detailed information about the SBS's spend at constituency level.

European Space Agency

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much the UK has contributed to the European Space Agency budget in each of the last five years. [58535]

Ms Hewitt: Figures for space expenditure contributed to the European Space Agency and co-ordinated through the British National Space Centre (BNSC) for each of the last five years, and for total civil space expenditure through BNSC, are as follows.

£ million

ESA expenditureTotal BNSC expenditure

Transparency Review

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she intends to publish the Transparency Review. [58378]

Ms Hewitt: The Transparency Review was initiated in 1999 following the Comprehensive Spending Review. Its goal was to improve the accountability within the higher education sector for its use of public funds. The approach taken was to ensure that UK universities adopted a robust costing system to enable them to calculate the full economic costs of their main activities of teaching and research. An activity based costing methodology for this purpose was subsequently developed, and had been adopted by all UK HEIs by the end of 2001.

No separate report on the outcome of the review has been compiled. However, the data is being used by HEIs to inform their management processes.

Foresight Round

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if industrial participation in the new Foresight Round will be greater than in the previous round. [58376]

Ms Hewitt: Throughout its life, the Foresight programme has aimed to create new networks linking industry and academia to help the UK make best use of science and technology. Industrial participation remains central to the programme.

10 Jun 2002 : Column 983W

Of the 13 Foresight panels that were managed from within the Office of Science and Technology over the period 1999–2002, eight were chaired by industrialists, and about 50 per cent. of panel members were from business. During this period, Foresight established a regional network of coordinators. On-going regional initiatives, led by RDAs and others, working with trade associations and businesses to look ahead and identify opportunities and threats, have now gained a great deal of momentum. We expect this level of industrial engagement in Foresight to continue, and be enhanced by the next phase of projects.

Two pilot projects have just been announced, and a full programme will be agreed following wide consultation later this year. Each project will involve first hand input from industry, and will generate information and ideas, many of which will be important for businesses—to guide their current and future strategic thinking about commercial opportunities and threats.

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how the main themes for the new Foresight Round were chosen. [58377]

Ms Hewitt: The next phase of the Foresight programme will be composed of a series of discrete projects, forming a rolling programme. A formal process is being instituted to identify suitable projects. The Government's chief scientific adviser (CSA) will be hosting a meeting of leading innovators from industry and academia in July 2002 to generate about a dozen ideas. This will be followed by a wide consultation with stakeholders from business, academia and Government before a formal programme of projects is agreed upon.

In order to maintain the momentum of the programme, and to refine the process for taking forward work, two pilot topics have been initiated. These are flood and coastal defence and cognitive systems. These were chosen by the chief scientific adviser, and endorsed by Ministers, after a consultation involving the Foresight Steering Group, the Foresight panels that were in place from 1999–2002, and Government Departments.

Miners' Compensation

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of full and final offers her Department aims to make to former miners seeking compensation in 2002 in the Cynon Valley. [58554]

Mr. Wilson: With regard to the respiratory disease scheme, we are committed to making 50,000 full and final offers GB-wide by the end of 2002—of which 15,000 will be in Wales. We remain on track to meet both these commitments.

On VWF, we remain on track to have medically assessed all validated claims by spring this year.

The Department does not set constituency specific targets.

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what range of post-medical assessments procedure offers on vibration white finger and respiratory disease have been made in the Cynon valley. [58553]

10 Jun 2002 : Column 984W

Mr. Wilson: Claims for both respiratory disease and vibration white finger are settled under the tariffs detailed in the Claims Handling Agreements agreed between the Department and the claimants' solicitors. Claims are assessed on an individual basis, there are no minimum or maximum levels. In Cynon valley the range of offers is broken down as follows:


Respiratory diseaseNil157,941
Vibration white fingerNil27,410

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of miners' compensation claims registered in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) Wales and (d) the Cynon valley have been settled with regard to (i) respiratory disease and (ii) vibration white finger. [58555]

Mr. Wilson: Detailed below is a breakdown of the percentage of claims which have received full and final settlement, broken down by scheme and location.

GB-wideEnglandWalesCynon valley
Respiratory disease
Total number of claims186,874138,31335,4683,469
Total claims settled26,33719,8164,923431
Percentage of claims settled14.114.313.912
Vibration white finger
Total number of claims141,487115,50517,5541,952
Total claims settled40,25030,6236,533647
Percentage of claims settled28.426.537.233

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures have been taken in South Wales to speed up the compensation process for former miners. [58557]

Mr. Wilson: The Department continues to work with the claimants' solicitors and other parties, through the Welsh Ministerial Monitoring Sub-Group, chaired by my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, to ensure that any backlogs and delays are dealt with as expeditiously as possible. Our claims handlers, IRISC, set up an office in Cardiff last year to speed up the handling of Welsh claims. Staff there work closely with the local solicitors.

The system is being constantly refined and improved. I have set clear targets which are on course to be met, and which will see 15,000 full and final respiratory disease offers made by the end of year. In Wales alone we have already seen over £152 million paid out under the coal health schemes.

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage and what number of live claimants have undergone the full medical assessment process in the Cynon valley. [58556]

Mr. Wilson: In Cynon valley, 966 live respiratory disease claimants have been medical assessed, this forms 57 per cent. of the total number of live claimants.

10 Jun 2002 : Column 985W

In relation to vibration white finger, 1,196 live claimants have been medical assessed, this forms 64 per cent. of the total number of live claimants in Cynon valley.

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