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5 Jan 2004 : Column 118W—continued

Ministerial Meetings

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she last met the Chairman of British Midland; and if she will make a statement. [144233]

Ms Hewitt: I have not met the Chairman of BMI British Midlands in an official capacity.

Motor Industry

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much funding has been given by her Department to the Rover Task Force in each year since it was created. [142123]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is as follows:

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Funding for Rover Task Force recommendations by financial year

2000–01 (24)10,238,718
2002–03 (26)11,318,157
2003–04 (26)20,935,848

(24) Interim Proposals

(25) Interim Proposals, Modernisation and Diversification

(26) Modernisation, Diversification and Regeneration

We provided the substantial amount of £129 million to implement the recommendations of the Rover Task Force. Some £11 million has been spent on actions which needed to be taken immediately, for example to support the automotive supply chain. A further £17 million has supported the Modernisation of the automotive supply chain and nearly £20 million has been used for Diversification, to support and encourage businesses to engage in new activity. In addition £22 million has been agreed to create three High Tech corridors to attract and develop more high tech and high value added businesses. Overall up to March 2003 £28 million of these amounts has actually been spent and further £21 million is expected to be spent in 2003–04.

We also agreed an overall sum of £2 million to kickstart initiatives in the North Staffordshire area. £10 million was made available to Advantage West Midlands to buy a strategic site in Birmingham for future industrial development. In addition £42 million has been provided for good quality Regional Selective Assistance projects in the region. Some £5 million of the actual £129 million is not yet allocated to specific.

Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the section of the Triennial Report of the nuclear safety advisory committee, issued on 9 December 2003, on the environmental hazards posed by the high level radioactive waste tanks at Sellafield. [144508]

Mr. Timms: The Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee's Trienniel Report covers the period 1999–2001. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published detailed reports into the storage of high level radioactive waste at Sellafield. The most recent report, in HSE's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate's Newsletter of February 2003, states that:

Oil-fired Appliances

Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many companies in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland undertake (i) installation and (ii) maintenance of oil-fired domestic central heating systems. [143071]

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Ms Hewitt: There are many companies within the UK, ranging from major boiler manufacturing companies such as Baxi Potterton and Worcester-Bosch, to small "one man" companies who install and maintain domestic central heating boilers and systems. Many are registered with the Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) and I would refer my hon. Friend to OFTECs own website——which gives access to a comprehensive list of these companies.

Post Offices

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the Royal Mail is required to conduct environmental impact studies when considering the closure of a large number of post office outlets in urban areas, with particular reference to the effects on the use of private cars to access post offices. [144174]

Mr. Timms: There is no such requirement. The urban network programme is designed to manage change in the urban post office branch network by closing branches where there is oversupply and poor viability and investing in branches which continue to serve the area in order to prevent unmanaged decline of the network. In putting forward proposals under this programme, Post Office Ltd undertakes extensive analysis of an area, using a modelling system showing where customers live and where they shop, and how demand for post office services is currently met. It also shows overlaps in provision where two or more branches are chasing the same customer base and where the network may need to change to create viable businesses while ensuring that branches are still accessible to the customers in the area. Checks are made of local authority plans, environmental and transport information, local shopping habits, and other local developments and features are assessed on site visits. Each closure proposal is subject to a six week public consultation in accordance with the Code of Practice agreed with Postwatch.

At the end of the programme, 95 per cent. of the urban population will still live within a mile of the nearest post office and the majority within half a mile.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what responsibility for defining exceptional circumstances in relation to closure under the network reinvention programme of post offices in the 10 per cent. most deprived wards lies with (a) her Department, (b) the Royal Mail Group, (c) Post Office Ltd. and (d) Postwatch. [145054]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 18 December 2003]: Responsibility for defining exceptional circumstances in relation to closure under the network reinvention programme of post offices in the 10 per cent. most deprived wards and which are more than half a mile from the next post office rests with Post Office Ltd. All closure proposals are, however, subject to public consultation under the Code of Practice agreed between Post Office Ltd. and Postwatch.

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how many proposals for closure have been made under the Urban Reinvention

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Programme for the Post Office network; how many closures have been made; how many such proposals have been reversed following consultation; what the locations are of post offices which have been reprieved following consultation; and what the reasons were for those branches remaining open; [143559]

Mr. Timms [holding answers 17 December 2003]: Decisions on post office closure proposals under the urban reinvention programme following public consultation are an operational matter for Post Office Ltd and I have asked the Chief Executive to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Regional Development Agencies

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list, for each regional development agency, its board members showing (a) for councillor members, their party and local authority and (b) for other members, any declared party affiliation and the principal business or voluntary organisation to which they belong. [145060]

Jacqui Smith: RDA Boards are chaired by business people and at least 50 per cent. of Board members have business experience. Each Board has a maximum of 15 members. Ministers have given a commitment that four will be elected local Councillors and one will have knowledge of rural issues. The balance will have backgrounds in Trade Unions, the voluntary and community sector and higher/further education interests.

Board members are there to further the success of the RDA. They should not consider themselves to be the delegates of a particular group or body, but take into account the interests of the region as a whole.

The following table lists the people currently serving on the boards of England's Regional Development Agencies. For those who were appointed to positions allocated for councillors the table gives the relevant authority and the party they represent on that authority.

The Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice, which is followed when making appointments to the Regional Development Agency Boards, requires that when announcing the appointments any press release should include details of the appointee's response to the political activity question. If no political activity has been declared this should be made clear. This information is therefore set out in the biographies of the Board members.

Biographies for all Board members are available in the Libraries of the House.

NamePartyLocal authority
Advantage West Midlands
Nick Paul—(Chair)
Richard Barnes
Isabella Moore
Norman Price
Tony Sealey
Ahmed Hassam
Julie Haney
David Smith
Michael Oakes
Susan Davis(Lab)Telford and Wrekin Council
Paul Tilsley(Lib Dem)Birmingham City Council
Richard Hyde(Con)Warwickshire County Council
Roger Lawrence(Lab)Wolverhampton City Council
Michael Sterling
Bill Holmes
East of England Development Agency
Richard Ellis—(Chair)
Marco Cereste
Leo Murray
Chris Paveley
Yasmin Shariff
George Kieffer
Patricia Holtom
John Snyder
Ruth Bagnall(Lab)Cambridge City Council
Sal Brinton(Lib Dem)Cambridgeshire County Council
Stephen Castle(Con)Essex County Council
Bryony Rudkin(Lab)Suffolk County Council
Roger Ali
Karen Livingstone
Tim Wilson
East Midlands Development Agency
Derek Mapp—(Chair)
Jane Bradford
Bryan Carr
Valerie Dwyer
Ron Whittaker
Samantha Gemmell
Jonathan McLeod
Peter Ramsden
Kashmir Bilgan(Lab)(27)Melton Borough Council
Graham Chapman(Lab)Nottingham City Council
Andrew Scarborough(Lab)(27)Wellingborough Council
Ross Willmott(Lab)Leicester City Council
Neville Jackson
Patricia Morgan-Webb
Rita Patel
North West Development Agency
Bryan Gray—(Chair)
John Dunning
Dennis G. Mendoros
Anil Ruia
Neville Chamberlain
Brenda Smith
Robert Johnston
Joe Dwek
Richard Leese(Lab)Manchester City Council
Pauleen Lane(Lab)Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council
Michael Storey(Lib Dem)Liverpool City Council
Marie Rimmer(Lab)St. Helens Council
Sir Martin Harris
Maureen Williams
Dave McCall
One North East
Margaret Fay—(Chair)
Richard Maudslay
Geoffrey Hodgson
Christopher Edwards
Tim Cantle Jones
Jane Nolan
Chey Garland
John Cuthbert
Philip Hughes(Ind)Teesdale District Council
David Walsh(Lab)(28)Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
Christine Smith(Lab)Durham County Council
Keith Taylor(Lab)Newcastle City Council
Jackie Fisher
Barbara Dennis
Kevin Rowan
South East England Development Agency
James Brathwaite—(Chair)
Janis Kong
Mary McAnally
Peter Read
Robert Douglas
Terry Mills
John Peel
Sarah Hohler(Con)Kent County Council
Keith House(Lib Dem)Eastleigh Borough Council
Rob Anderson(Lab)Slough Unitary Council
Peter Jones(Con)Rother District Council
Clive Booth
Elizabeth Brighouse
Poul Christensen
Phil Wood
South West of England Regional Development Agency
Juliet Williams—(Chair)
Nicholas Buckland
Brian Kemp
Mike Leece
Jeremy Pope
Colin Skellett
Henry Studholme
Judith Reynolds
Robin Nicholl(Lab)(29)Bath and North East Somerset Council
Catherine Bakewell(Lib Dem)Somerset County Council
Duncan Hames(Lib Dem)West Wiltshire District Council
Christine Reid(Lab)North Wiltshire District Council
Nigel Costley
Jonathan Porritt
Eric Thomas
Yorkshire Forward
Terry Hodgkinson—(Chair)
Brian Greenwood
Richard Gregory
Lord Haskins
Dr. Christopher King
Julie Kenny
John Napier
John Spencer
Eileen Bosomworth(Con)Scarborough Borough Council
Kathryn Pinnock(Lib Dem)Kirklees Council
Stephen Houghton(Lab)Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Nicholas Dakin(Lab)North Lincolnshire Council
Adeeba Malik
Stella Guy
Robert Boucher

(27) These Board members lost their seats in the local elections in May 2003, they are not required to resign but they will stand down from the board when their first term of appointment ends on 13 December 2004.

(28) This Board member lost his seat in the local elections in May 2003, he is not required to resign but will stand down from the board when his first term of appointment ends on 13 December 2004.

(29) This Board member did not stand as a candidate in the local elections in May 2003 he is not required to resign but will stand down from the board when his first term of appointment ends on 13 December 2004.

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