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19 Jan 2004 : Column 1035Wcontinued
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many fuel poor households there are in each district council area in Cambridgeshire; and what her estimate is of how many (a) children and (b) elderly people are living in fuel poor households. 
Nigel Griffiths: The available information from the English House Condition Survey indicates that, in 2001, there were 139,000 fuel poor households in the Eastern Region. This is based on fuel poverty defined as occurring when a household needs to spend more than 10 per cent. of its income on all fuels in order to maintain a satisfactory heating regime.
More detailed breakdowns within the Eastern Region are not available from this survey as the sample size is not large enough to enable reliable detailed estimates of fuel poverty at a more local level to be produced.
Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the written statement of 8 January 2004, Official Report, columns 1314WS, on gas quality, what assessment she has made of the number of domestic appliances that would require (a) replacement and (b) modification as a consequence of change to the upper Wobbe Index limit for domestic gas supplies; and what assessment has been made of the cost of (i) processing and (ii) blending. 
Mr. Timms: The Department is considering these important issues, working together with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Office for Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), and other interested parties, with a view to preparing the public consultation document referred to in my written parliamentary statement of 8 January 2004, Official Report, columns 1314WS.
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Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average full and final settlement paid to former miners and their families is for (a) vibration white finger and (b) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and how many settlements were less than (i) £1,000, (ii) £500 and (iii) £200. 
|Less than £1,000||21,418||2,647|
|Less than £500||9,475||193|
|Settlements less than £200||3,413||8|
|Average settlement value(21)||£7,729||£8,168|
(21) Excludes denials.
Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many of the full and final settlements for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were reduced because of a smoking history; what percentage of the total number of such settlements this represents; and what the average value was of the reductions made. 
Jacqui Smith: Although it is possible to give net change figures for manufacturing jobs in Lancashire and Chorley (see table) information about the number of jobs created is not kept in an easily accessible form. It is not therefore possible to answer this question accurately.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps her Department is taking to ensure the fastest possible completion of compensation payments to former miners for (a) chronic bronchitis and emphysema and (b) vibration white finger. 
Nigel Griffiths: The DTI is working closely with the medical assessment organisation, IRISC, (The Department's claims handlers), solicitors and other representatives of miners and their families to process and settle claims as quickly as possible. So far almost £2 billion has been paid to over 300,000 such miners, their widows and families.
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Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 13 January 2004]: On 18 December 2003 I wrote to all 515 firms of solicitors dealing with coal health claims, seeking clarification of whether they charged additional fees and asking those solicitors who had taken a proportion of miners' compensation to repay the money to claimants and their families. I have asked that they provide a response by the 23 January 2004.
To date I have received 160 replies, who all but one have confirmed that they do not double charge. We believe that certainly three other firms have been charging some additional fees, one of which has agreed to repay them.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the terms of the arrangements agreed are between her Department and the Union of Democratic Mineworkers with regard to the union's subsidiary company established to process claims under the miners' compensation scheme. 
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether her Department has made representations to the Union of Democratic Mineworkers about the union's policy on charging legal fees for processing miners' compensation claims. 
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to which organisations her Department wrote in December 2003 in relation to legal fees in the Miners' Compensation Scheme; and if she will publish the texts of the letters. 
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Ms Hewitt [holding answer 12 January 2004]: The policy relating to the patenting of carbon molecules in the field of nanotechnology is that the usual patentability criteria, including novelty, inventive step and industrial application, must be satisfied.
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the maintenance work that needs to be carried out on the National Grid; and if she will hold meetings with National Grid Transco to discuss the matter. 
Mr. Timms: National Grid's maintenance regime is being considered as part of the DTI's Engineering Inspectorate investigation into the major power failures in London on 28 August 2003 and in Birmingham on 5 September 2003. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry expects to meet with representatives from National Grid Transco shortly.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much money from the North West Regional Development Agency has been spent in (a) Cumbria, (b) Lancashire, (c) Greater Manchester, (d) Merseyside and (e) Cheshire in each of the last three years. 
Jacqui Smith: I have been advised by the Northwest Development Agency (NWDA) Chief Executive that the NWDA does not allocate its funding on a sub-region basis. NWDA's total expenditure for the last three financial years was:
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