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26 Jan 2004 : Column 84W—continued

Departmental Grants

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what funding was allocated for small business support under the Smart scheme from the time of its inception to its closure; and how much of this money was distributed directly to grant recipients. [145513]

Nigel Griffiths: Following a small pilot in 1986, the full Smart scheme was launched in 1988. Initially, there was no separately identifiable funding allocation for the scheme within the larger "Innovation Budget" which provided funds for several other schemes. Smart originally operated as a competition with a fixed number of "Stage 1", or feasibility, awards but a variable number of "Stage 2", or development, awards. The SPUR scheme was introduced in 1991 and merged with Smart in 1997. Since that time there has been a separate provision for the expanded Smart. Expenditure on Smart will occur for several years yet as existing projects progress. Provision, where separately identified, and expenditure were as follows:

£ million

Financial yearExpenditure Plans or Provision where separately identified(13) Expenditure(13)

(13) Including SPUR from 1991.

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Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what funding has been allocated to finance the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships scheme; and to what timescale this funding applies. [145514]

Nigel Griffiths: DTI funding for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships in F/Y 2004–05, combined with the pre-existing commitments for the Teaching Company Scheme (TCS), which it succeeds, is planned to continue at about the same level as the expenditure in the current financial year, which is approximately £18 million. About a future £7 million per annum is currently provided by other pubic sector bodies.

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what funding has been allocated for the new Grant for Research and Development scheme; and over what timescale this funding will be available. [145515]

Nigel Griffiths: An initial £100 million has been allocated for projects commencing in the financial years 2003–04, 2004–05 and 2005–06. There will be expenditure on those projects until 2010.

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what funding her Department is providing in (a) 2003–04 and (b) in future years to support the Promoting Women's Enterprise Support Initiative. [145520]

Jacqui Smith: DTI is not aware of a programme entitled Promoting Women's Enterprise Support Initiative. It is believed that this is a reference to the measures the Government are taking to support the growth of women's enterprise nationally as they implement the recommendations of the Strategic Framework for Women's Enterprise launched last year.

In this regard, the Government will continue, in this and future years, to fund the promotion of women's enterprise through their key partners—in particular, the Business Link network and through their work with Regional Development agencies and a number of women's enterprise organisations.

Departmental Publications

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what criteria her Department uses when deciding whether a leaflet which it publishes is to be made available only on its website. [149560]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Department decides whether a leaflet should be published only on the internet on a case-by-case basis. Officials consider the intended target audience of the leaflet, whether the audience is likely to have internet access and the cost of publishing the document in hard copy. Where the publication is a lengthy or technical document, the Department may produce a hard copy executive summary, with the full document available only on the internet.

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The Department constantly reviews feedback we receive on this issue to ensure that our publications are accessible to those who need them.

Agricultural Produce (Dumping)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what quantitative assessment she has made of the impact of dumping of agricultural produce by developed countries on the economies and living standards of developing countries. [146639]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The best source of information on this topic are the large number of studies which have already been undertaken by international organisations such as the World Bank, IMF, UNCTAD and the OECD, and by charitable organisations such as Oxfam. The work of these organisations demonstrates through individual case studies the adverse effects which dumping of subsidised agricultural products on world markets can have on developing country economies. It remains, however, very difficult to make an accurate quantitative economic assessment of the overall impact of dumping of subsidised agricultural produce on developing country markets. The World Bank have, however, estimated that the comprehensive reform of all aspects of agricultural policies in developed countries could boost the income of developing countries by as much as $100 billion.

EU Regional Funding

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much EU regional funding has been invested in (a) the North West region and (b) Merseyside in each of the last five years. [147167]

Jacqui Smith: The following table shows spend over the last five years against the Objective 1, 2 and 3 EU funding streams. Objective 1 applies only to Merseyside, Objective 2 and 3 cover a range of areas across the North West, except for Merseyside.


Financial yearObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3

Fireworks Act

Ross Cranston: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether she plans to carry out a further fireworks monitoring exercise between October 2004 and January 2005 to assess the effectiveness of the Fireworks Act 2003; and if she will make a statement. [149012]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Department will be assessing the effectiveness of regulations made under the Fireworks Act 2003 by using the following sources of information:

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Using this data, the effectiveness of regulations will be better judged after the fireworks season 2004 and new year festivities of 2004–05.

Friction Dynamex

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her answers of 13 January 2004, Official Report, column 694W, on debarred directors, and column 706W, on Strikes (Dismissal), if she will disqualify Mr. J. Davies of Friction Dynamex as a company director. [149608]

Mr. Sutcliffe: An insolvency practitioner appointed to an insolvent company—which is one that has entered insolvent liquidation, administration, or administrative receivership—has a duty to report to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the conduct of the directors of that company. This report is usually submitted to The Insolvency Service within six months of the insolvency practitioner's appointment. Once the report has been received it is reviewed by The Insolvency Service to ascertain whether disqualification proceedings are in the public interest.

In the case of Friction Dynamics Ltd.—the company to which it is presumed then question relates—no report has yet been received from the insolvency practitioner appointed.

The Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 applies only to directors of a company. Therefore unless an individual can be shown to have been a director or to have acted as a director of a company in insolvency proceedings, they cannot be disqualified under this Act. Mr. J. Davies is not shown as a director of Friction Dynamics Ltd. but is believed to be a former employee.

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