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14 Sept 2004 : Column 1529W—continued


Renewable Energy

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on subsidies available for companies working to find and develop renewable energy sources. [187296]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Renewables Obligation is the key policy mechanism by which the Government are encouraging the growth necessary to reach the UK's renewable energy targets. It requires all licensed electricity suppliers in England and Wales to supply a specified and growing proportion of their electricity from renewables. Renewable energy is also exempt from the Climate Change Levy, a tax on commercial energy use.

In addition the Government also provides a range of other support for industry-led research and development and demonstration projects for longer term renewables and low carbon energy generation technologies, through the DTI and the Carbon Trust. Further details can be found at http://www.dti. and http://www.

Age Discrimination

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to introduce legislation against age discrimination in the work place following the judgment in the case of Rutherford and Bentley v. Towncircle Ltd.; and if she will make a statement. [188254]

Jacqui Smith: The Rutherford and Bentley case is not about age discrimination—it is about sex discrimination, and the Government welcomes the Court of Appeal judgment that UK legislation is not unlawful. The Government have undertaken public consultation on forthcoming age legislation, which will come into force in 2006, including proposals on upper age limits for unfair dismissal and statutory redundancy payments.
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British Nuclear Group

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she received from BNFL its first near term work plans and its lifecycle baseline analysis for British Nuclear Group sites; and what procedure is in place for amendment to these planning documents. [187502]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The first lifecycle baselines for British Nuclear Group sites were received on 30 September 2003. The first near term work plans for BNFL sites were received on 15 March 2004. Updating lifecycle baselines and near term work plans will be an annual process.

British Telecom (Service Obligations)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what powers she has to instruct BT to meet its obligations to customers who have a medical priority in the event of breakdown or disruption due to planned maintenance. [188391]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The matter raised is the responsibility of the Office of Communications (Ofcom) as independent regulator. Accordingly, my officials have asked the Chief Executive of Ofcom to respond directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the Chief Executive's letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Business Link

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the estimated administrative cost is of devolving Business Link services to the regions. [186347]

Nigel Griffiths: The combined estimated administrative cost to the Department of Trade and Industry and the Regional Development Agencies, of devolving the management of Business Link Operators to the Regional Development Agencies is less than £650,000.

Business Support Agencies

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how her Department measures the success of its business support agencies. [186318]

Nigel Griffiths: The common monitoring framework for all DTI business support product provision measures immediate benefits to assisted businesses, quality of service they receive and the process required to deliver a good service.

All business support products will also be included in an annual Business Support Cross Product Monitoring Survey. The monitoring survey aims to measure the client experience and subsequent impact and effectiveness of each scheme.

In addition DTI undertakes regular evaluations of the economic benefits of each its products and services and these are published on the DTI website.

Combined Heat and Power

Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what discussions the
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Sustainable Energy Policy Group ministerial committee has had in relation to the Combined Heat and Power Strategy; [187581]

(2) what discussions (a) the Sustainable Energy Policy Network (SEPN) Advisory Board, (b) the SEPN Programme Board and (c) the SEPN Strategy Group have had in relation to the Combined Heat and Power Strategy. [187582]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Sustainable Energy Policy Network (SEPN) Ministerial Committee, the SEPN programme board and SEPN strategy group regularly have wide ranging discussions on energy policy issues, including the contribution of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) to the objectives set out in the Energy White Paper.

Minutes of the Sustainable Energy Policy Advisory Board's discussions can be found on the SEPN website at The CHP Strategy was not on the Board's agenda at the three meetings held since its creation in December 2003.

Corporate Venturing UK

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the total funding is that has been given by her Department to support Corporate Venturing UK since it was launched. [186343]

Nigel Griffiths: The total funding provided by this Department to Corporate Venturing UK since its inception is £1,465,415.

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on her Department's proposed funding arrangements for Corporate Venturing UK. [186344]

Nigel Griffiths: The Department has no plans to provide further funding for Corporate Venturing UK.


Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what statistics the Government collate on (a) incidences and (b) the cost to British business of cybersquatting on British companies and individuals. [187952]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government do not run the internet and we do not have responsibility for internet domain names. Statistics for Top Level Domain names are held on the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) Arbitration and Mediation Center website ( Since 1999 WIPO has recorded 554 instances of disputes for generic top level domain names (.int .com etc.) in which the complainant was domiciled in the UK.

Nominet UK is responsible for .uk internet domain name registration. As of 31 August there were over 3.6 million .uk registrations in Nominet's register database. To date, Nominet has received 1,813 disputes into its Dispute Resolution Procedure since September 2001.
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Nominet's Dispute Resolution Procedure is free of charge and Nominet provides it's administrative and mediation services free. The domain name registry responsible for .com, .net etc. offer similar dispute resolution procedures; where they are administered by WIPO they are subject to fees as set out at (

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the Government's policy towards the practice of cybersquatting; and what steps the Government are taking to reduce cybersquatting. [187957]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: WIPO defines cybersquatting as the pre-emptive, bad faith registration of trademarks as domain names by third parties who do not possess rights in such names. Cyber squatters exploit the first come first served nature of the domain name registration system to register as domain names third parties' trademarks or business names of famous people as well as variations thereof. A common motive for cybersquatting is the intention to sell the domain name back to the trademark owner or to attract web traffic to unrelated commercial offers.

The Government support the development of affordable alternative dispute resolution procedures by domain name registries.

It is ICANN's (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers) responsibility to co-ordinate, at a global level, the internet domain name system. ICANN's board have adopted a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy for all registrars serving the .com, .net, and .org domains.

Nominet UK manages the database of .uk domain name registrations. Nominet have a Dispute Resolution Procedure developed in close consultation with UK stakeholders.

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