Previous Section Index Home Page

8 Jan 2003 : Column 240W—continued

Voluntary Organisations

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the impact of the increased insurance costs on voluntary sector organisations. [88505]

Ruth Kelly: The Government are aware of recent rises in premiums for liability insurance, which have affected some businesses and voluntary sector organisations. As announced in the Pre-Budget Report, the Department for Work and Pensions is undertaking a formal review of the operation of Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance.


ASW Cardiff

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether the Welsh Environment Agency has agreed to fund the cleaning of the Combustion Chamber at ASW Cardiff. [85482]

Peter Hain [holding answer 5 December 2002]: I have been asked to reply. While the Welsh Development Agency would join me in welcoming Celsa's potential future investment in Cardiff, the agency's involvement would be strictly limited by European rules on state aid to assigning the lease on the Castle Works site on purely commercial terms to the new purchasers.

8 Jan 2003 : Column 241W

The Welsh Development Agency has made it clear that the same terms would be available to any potential purchaser.

The Welsh Development Agency is not able to offer financial inducements to a steel company.

Green Ministers

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which Minister in his Department is the nominated Green Minister; how often he has attended meetings of the Green Ministers; and which official has responsibility for the Defra rural proofing check-list in his Department. [88456]

Peter Hain: My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Wales is the nominated Green Minister for my Department and regularly attends meetings of the Cabinet sub-committee.

Rural impacts of policies, which apply across England and Wales, are assessed by the relevant lead Government Department. The development of distinctively Welsh policies is undertaken in conjunction with the National Assembly for Wales whose own integrated appraisal tool includes full consideration of the impacts on rural areas.


Christmas Expenses

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much will be spent on (a) entertaining, (b) Christmas decorations and (c) other festive activities this Christmas season by her Department and Government agencies answerable to her Department; and of this sum, how much will be spent in Ministers' (i) private offices and (ii) official residences. [88124]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 19 December 2002]: The Department, including the Royal Parks, will have spent #9,944.26 on entertaining, #1,430 on Christmas decorations and #3,369.31 on other festive activities in this Christmas season. Of these amounts, #64.26 will have been spent in Ministers' private offices. No Minister in the Department has an official residence.

All of this expenditure is strictly for official purposes only and made in accordance with the departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on the principles set out in Government Accounting.


Hawk Exports

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what equipment has been exported under the OIEL for the transfer of Hawk components and production equipment to India, which was formally issued on 6 September 2001. [87612]

8 Jan 2003 : Column 242W

Nigel Griffiths: [holding answer 17 December 2002]: I refer the right hon. and learned Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Mr. Llwyd) on 18 March 2002, Official Report, column 53W.

Battery Recycling

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to the answer of 19 November 2002, Official Report, column 107W, if she will make a statement on the proposed disposal or reuse of this material. [87762]

Mr. Wilson: The aim of industrial nickel cadmium battery collection schemes including Bat-Re-Back in the UK and the Collect Nicad schemes in other EU states is to create a closed loop process which will see the collected batteries sent to a recycling facility where the cadmium is extracted for use in the manufacture of new batteries and the nickel is recycled and sold to the steel industry. The batteries collected from Bat-Re-Back are sent to the SNAM recycling facility in France. Although consumer nickel cadmium batteries are not widely collected in the UK they can be subject to the same recycling process.

British Energy

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the costs to British Energy of (a) storage of all AGR nuclear fuel and (b) continuation with current reprocessing contracts in each year of the projected life of each of British Energy's advanced gas-cooled reactors. [87144]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 19 December 2002]: Details of the restructuring proposal, including those relating to historic and future spent AGR fuel management, were set out by British Energy in its announcement on 28 November 2002.

The spent fuel management contracts between British Energy and BNFL are a matter for the companies. The Government intend to look at how the historic spent fuel contracts are managed as a part of the creation of the Liabilities Management Authority.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the likely effects on the public purse of British Energy going bankrupt. [89103]

Mr. Wilson: British Energy submitted a plan to Government for the solvent restructuring of the company. The Department and its financial advisers assessed the implications and decided to support it. Should British Energy not be able to deliver the restructuring plan, the Government are prepared to see the company go into administration, and would need to consider further the future structure of the business, its assets and liabilities.

Coal Health Compensation Scheme

Andy Burnham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much compensation was paid to people resident in the (a) Leigh, (b) Markerfield, (c) Wigan parliamentary constituencies and (d) the

8 Jan 2003 : Column 243W

Wigan borough under the Coal Health Compensation Scheme, by 15 December (i) 2000, (ii) 2001 and (iii) 2002. [87244]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 17 December 2002]: It is not possible to provide the statistics requested for the year 2000. In the timescale available it is not possible to provide statistics for the year 2002 up until 15 December 2002. However, we are able to provide figures for Wigan Borough up to 12 December 2002 and figures for the constituencies up to 30 November 2002.


Parliamentary Constituency
Damages PaidLeighMarkerfieldWiganWigan Borough
Cummulatively to 31 December 2001
1 January 2002 to 30 November 2002
1 January 2002 to 12 December 2002

Construction (Skills Gap)

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures her Department is taking to address the construction industry's skills gap; and if she will make a statement. [88732]

Mr. Wilson: In order to recruit and retain people with the necessary skills at all levels, the construction industry needs to address the underlying issues which prevent it being seen as a career of first choice. Rethinking Construction and the Construction Best Practice Programme, which DTI supports, are working to tackle these issues. DTI is also working with the Strategic Forum for Construction which intends to develop and implement strategies to enable the industry to recruit and retain the 300,000 qualified people that CITB estimate are required by the end of 2006, and result in a 50 per cent. increase in suitable applications to build environment, higher and further education courses by 2007.

The DTI also works closely with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB—the statutory industry training board) and other industry bodies to ensure that workers in construction receive the training they need. For example, DTI gives support to XNational Construction Week", a major national event showcasing career opportunities for the industry; the XMaking Connections" initiative, which aims to attract and retain higher quality graduates in greater numbers; and a Xlanguage skills audit" to assess the perceived need for language skills in construction, where the first language of significant numbers of workers is not English.

The DTI, together with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), is taking forward a pan-industry skills and workforce development agenda that is relevant to the construction sector. The DTI

8 Jan 2003 : Column 244W

recognises the particular importance of high quality leadership and management, and has just published a Government response to the final report of the Council for Excellence in Management and Leadership (CEML).

Next Section Index Home Page