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23 Feb 2004 : Column 72W—continued

Communications Masts

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many TETRA masts in England are (a) in place and (b) planned in total for complete roll-out in (i) the United Kingdom and (ii) Sussex. [155652]

Mr. Timms: Ofcom has provided the following figures.

United Kingdom

The Airwave network currently has around 2,200 sites and has plans to install a further 1,100. Dolphin operates 951 live sites and subject to customer requirements plans to install a further 10. The West Midlands Ambulance service has six sites with no plans at present for more. London Underground plans to install 270 sites, with rollout to commence shortly.

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Sussex

Airwave have 65 sites in place and plan to install a further 15. Dolphin have 20 sites with no further installations planned for 2004 unless customer requirements change.

University Challenge Seed Funds

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact that University Challenge Seed Funds have had on (a) the overall productivity of UK businesses and (b) reducing disparities in regional productivity. [153574]

Ms Hewitt: Since their establishment the Challenge funds have invested £47.3 million in projects which will improve UK productivity by making our excellent science and engineering base more easily accessible to business.

Radioactive Waste

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what meetings have been held between her Department's liabilities management unit and the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM); what matters have been discussed with CoRWM at such meetings; and what decisions have been taken. [154690]

Mr. Timms: My Liabilities Management Unit (LMU) and NDA Team have held two meetings with CoRWM to discuss the establishment of the NDA, as part of the on-going work of the Committee.

This dialogue will continue.

Wind Farms

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the number of wind turbines which will be required to meet Government targets on renewable energy in the United Kingdom. [155481]

Mr. Timms: To meet the Government's target of 10 per cent. of electricity generated from renewable sources by 2010 we expect that approximately 3,500 to 5,000 wind turbines will be required. This includes both onshore and offshore turbines, and assumes that around 7 per cent. to 8 per cent. of electricity is generated from wind with the remaining 2 per cent. to 3 per cent. from other renewable sources.

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment has been made of the potential hazard posed by wind turbines to migrating bats. [155023]

Mr. Timms: Studies 1 of the impact of wind farms on wildlife suggest that there is a small risk of bat strikes from the operation of wind turbines but that this occurs on a very irregular basis due to the good echolocation systems that bats use to navigate.

In addition, under the normal planning regime and for consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 regime or the Transport and Works Act 1992 wind farm developers are required to consider all environmental

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aspects of wind energy projects and produce an Environmental Impact Assessment. These assessments are available to the public.

The great majority of British bat species do not undertake large scale migrations and so would not be expected to interact with offshore wind farms. The exception to this is Nathusius's pipistrelle which is known to undertake long distance migrations in Europe (including sea crossings), but this is an uncommon species in the UK. The potential for bat interactions with wind turbines is recognised and are being considered in the Strategic Environmental Assessments that will precede any future offshore wind farm licensing rounds.

Similarly, bats are listed as a consideration in guidance "Background document on problems and benefits associated with the development of offshore wind farms" issued by the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic (OSPAR document EIHA 03/4/6-E(L)) and thus potential effects on bats would be expected to be assessed in project specific Environmental Impact Assessments for offshore wind farms.



Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research has been undertaken by (a) her Department, (b) the Energy Technology Support Unit on behalf of her Department and (c) consultants for her Department on (i) shadow flicker and (ii) noise from wind farms. [155024]

Mr. Timms: Research on wind turbine noise has been carried out under the Department's New and Renewable Energy Programme. Copies of the reports 1 from those studies are available on the DTI website at www.dti.gov.uk/publications. No research has been carried out into shadow flicker from wind turbines under the DTI's New and Renewable Energy Programme. However, others have conducted research in this area and references 2 to those studies are provided as follows.









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MINISTER FOR WOMEN

Gender Pay Gap

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister for Women what the difference in pay was between (a) full-time and (b) part-time male and female workers in each year since 1997. [152065]

Ms Hewitt: The following table shows (a) the full-time hourly pay gap and (b) the part-time hourly pay gap, measured as the difference in hourly pay between women working part time and men working full time since 1997.

Percentage

Full-time pay gapPart-time pay gap
MeanMedianMean
199719.816.242
199820.016.243
199919.215.442
200018.915.040
200118.514.541
200219.014.341
200318.012.940

The Government are taking steps to address the underlying causes of the full-time and part-time gender pay gap. The part-time pay gap, which closed by two full percentage points over the period 1997 to 2003, is significantly bigger than the full-time pay gap.

To some extent this reflects the occupations that part-time work has historically been concentrated in. The Government are seeking to encourage alternative ways of working for both women and men through initiatives such as the Work-Life Balance campaign, and legislation such as the new law for working parents which enables parents with children under six or disabled children under 18 to request to work flexibly, whilst placing a duty on employers to seriously consider such requests.

PRIME MINISTER

10 Downing Street

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the hon. Members who are not Cabinet Ministers who have (a) security clearance for and (b) passes to No. 10 Downing street. [155431]

The Prime Minister: We do not comment on security arrangements for No. 10 Downing street.

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Prime Minister what his policy is on the serving of beer at official receptions held at No. 10 Downing street. [155789]

The Prime Minister: Catering at official functions held at No. 10 Downing Street is provided by the Government Hospitality Section of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and a mixture of soft and alcoholic drinks including beer is served as appropriate.

Dr A. Q. Khan

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will discuss with President Musharraf of Pakistan the case of Abdul Qader Khan. [155911]

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The Prime Minister: We remain in contact with the Pakistani Government over counter-proliferation issues, including the case of Dr. A. Q. Khan.


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