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11 Feb 2004 : Column 1480Wcontinued
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 introduced new rights for part-time workers ensuring that part-timers are not treated less favourably than comparable full-timers in their terms and conditions, unless it is objectively justified.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, how many businesses have been helped by each regional development agency; what the average sum of money received by these businesses is; how many of the businesses helped are still operating; and how many of these businesses have increased their profitability. 
England's Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) help businesses both directly and indirectly through a range of activities and programmes including skills development, upgrading infrastructure and improving business competitiveness of the region in general.
Information on how many businesses have been helped, the average sum of money received, how many are still operating, and how many have increased their profitability, is not available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
The number of businesses added to the regional economy as a direct result of RDA activity is available for financial year 20022003 and is broken down by Agency in the following table. The information is also available on the DTI website at http://wwv.dti.gov.uk/rda/info/.
11 Feb 2004 : Column 1481W
|RDA||Total number of new businesses added to the regional economy in 200203 as a direct result of RDA activities|
|Advantage West Midlands||170|
|East of England Development Agency||156|
|East Midlands Development Agency||225|
|London Development Agency||1,368|
|North West Development Agency||603|
|One North East||717|
|South East of England Development Agency||141|
|South West Regional Development Agency||525|
11 Feb 2004 : Column 1482W
Jacqui Smith: All projects undertaken by England's Regional Development Agencies go through an evaluation process once the project impact can be assessed, usually at least six months after the projects are completed. To ensure compliance with guidance issued by the Department each agency has a project performance and evaluation team which is tasked with determining the success of the project, to identify lessons to be incorporated into other projects and to improve processes. The agencies are also collectively developing a mechanism to share the outcomes of evaluations carried out.
1. Figures shown are sourced from the Research Councils financial accounts and exclude notional cost of capital.
2. Figures shown are total spend by each council, financed from all sources.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many small businesses increased their profits above £15,000 in each year since 1997; and what the percentage change was in each year. 
|First year||Second year||Number of businesses with profits(10) , (11) above £15,000 in second year but below £15,000 in first year||Percentage moving above £15, 000 of the total below £15,000 in the first year|
(10) For Incorporated Businesses, profits chargeable to Corporation Tax.
(11) For Unincorporated Businesses, Taxable Profits.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what discussions she has had with the Office of Fair Trading in respect of the supermarkets' voluntary code of practice; and if she will make a statement; 
Mr. Sutcliffe: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has had no discussions so far with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on this issue, because they are carrying out an independent review of the statutory Code of Practice governing supermarkets' relations with their suppliers. The OFT is expected to conclude its review shortly. My right hon. Friend will then decide if any action is necessary.
Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions her Department has had with the Pakistan Government on the export of Pakistan-produced textiles into the European Union. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Officials in the Department have had frequent contacts with representatives of the Government of Pakistan over a Commission proposal to impose anti-dumping duties on cotton-type bed linen originating in Pakistan. At my request, the Director, Market Access met a delegation of high ranking Pakistan Government officials on 7 January 2004 and conveyed to them that the UK would oppose the Commission's proposal.
11 Feb 2004 : Column 1483W
Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received from the National Union of Mineworkers on the suspension of investment aid to UK Coal and Kellingley Colliery; and what her response was. 
Mr. Timms: The Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers wrote to me on 20 December 2003 to express concern that UK Coal had announced reviews of three collieries shortly after being offered £36.5 million of Coal Investment Aid. The letter also expressed concern about UK Coal's plans for flexible working arrangements at Kellingley Colliery and sought to link the award of aid to UK Coal with a commitment that there would be no redundancies or colliery closures.
In my reply of 26 January 2004, I noted the union's views. I also noted that the company had accepted the offer of up to 30 per cent. support for planned investment at five of its eight mines, including for Kellingley, and said that it would be in the best interests of everyone connected with these mines that UK Coal should be able to develop these investment plans without further delay. (I can confirm that it has since accepted the offers of aid for two of the three mines in review.) My letter also said that flexible working arrangements are a matter for UK Coal.
(3) what has been the volume of United Kingdom trade with (a) Benin, (b) Burkina Faso, (c) Chad and (d) Mali in each of the last 10 years. 
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