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21 Nov 2002 : Column 255Wcontinued
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seek a reduction in the movements of (a) high-level and (b) intermediate-level radioactive material by BNFL. 
Mr. Wilson [holding answer 20 November 2002]: The number of movements of radioactive material undertaken by BNFL is dependent on operational requirements and is a matter for BNFL. I have no reason to believe that BNFL or any other relevant operator would undertake unnecessary movements of radioactive material The transport of radioactive material in the UK is subject to stringent regulatory requirements in respect of safety and security.
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(15) Excludes COI fees and VAT.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many car parking spaces are available to (a) employees of her Department and (b) visitors to her Department within the proposed Central London Road User Charging Zone. 
12 car parking spaces available to visitors to the Department.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the policy is of her Department in relation to the reimbursement of Central London road user charges incurred by its employees. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 19 November 2002]: The DTI policy in relation to reimbursement of central London road user charges incurred by its employees is to reimburse the costs only if necessarily incurred on essential departmental business.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the estimated cost is to her Department of the Central London Road User Charging Scheme for (a) 17 February 2003 to 31 March 2003, and (b) 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004. 
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Ms Hewitt [holding answer 19 November 2002]: The DTI does not maintain central records of the number of staff who make essential business journeys into the area covered by the central London congestion charging zone. To obtain data on which to produce a meaningful estimate for the information requested would entail disproportionate cost.
Ms Hewitt: Under ECGD's Debt Conversion Scheme, a percentage of a country's rescheduled debt stock (usually 10 or 20 per cent.) can be swapped for 'certain' projects. When evaluating such requests, ECGD will consider the potential contribution of any project towards the social, economic and environmental development of the country. ECGD is willing to consider projects involving rainforest protection. Any project must be jointly approved by the debtor Government and ECGD and comply with ECGD's Business Principles.
The Debt Conversion Scheme does not affect debt relief for HIPCs (Highly Indebted Poor Countries), for whom the UK Government have pledged to write-off 100 per cent. of their UK debt. Debt write-offs for HIPCs are contingent on country commitment to a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper process.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the Government's policy is on the responsibility of employment agencies to interview and assess those responding to job advertisements, where the advertisement is published (a) in a newspaper and (b) on the internet; and if she will make a statement. 
Alan Johnson: Under the legislation covering the private recruitment industry, employment agencies and employment businesses, who have placed job vacancy advertisements in either a newspaper or on the internet, before supplying or introducing a work-seeker to an employer, are required to make all such inquiries as are reasonably practicable to establish that the worker-seeker is suitable and has such qualifications as are required by law and that employment of that work-seeker by the employer would not breach any other duty or restriction imposed by law.
It is in the best interests of all those involved in this sector to ensure that the legislation covering the private recruitment industry operates effectively and is relevant to the flexible labour market of today and of the future. On-line recruitment companies have proposed that the Employment Agency legislation should not apply to on-line job boards. I will consider the case for treating on-line job boards as a special case on its merits within the normal framework.
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Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the time it takes for industrial tribunals to hear individual cases; and if she will make a statement. 
Alan Johnson: In the financial year 200102, the Employment Tribunals heard 69 per cent. of individual cases within 26 weeks of receipt. In the current financial year, as at the end of October 2002, Employment Tribunals have heard 72 per cent. of individual cases within 26 weeks of receipt.
This achievement is in the context of a 60 per cent. increase in applications over the three years to March 2001. At March 2002, the level of applications remained high in comparison to previous years.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Member for South Norfolk (Mr. Bacon) of 10 June if he will place details of the direction in the Library; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wilson: The DTI's 1996 Sectoral Competitiveness Analysis for PV estimated that there were a maximum of 350 people employed fulltime in the manufacture, supply, design, consultancy, and research areas. A subsequent review in 2001 concluded that though there had been some expansion and reduction of staff in individual organisations the overall figure had remained about the same.
Since then, with the implementation of the #10 million Domestic and Large-Scale Field Trials, and the launch of the #20 million First Phase of the Major Photovoltaic Demonstration Programme this number has undoubtedly risen.
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