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18 Oct 2004 : Column 445W—continued

Digital Television

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the postcode areas in Essex where Digital Terrestrial Television services are not available. [190963]

Estelle Morris: Unfortunately, it is not possible to list the postcodes in Essex where Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) is not available. However, Ofcom have supplied detailed information about DTT coverage in the Essex area.

Essex is served by three main transmitters that broadcast DTT services, at Sudbury, Crystal Palace and Bluebell Hill:

Digital signals from Bluebell Hill are also available to viewers in the south of the county, Grays, Stanford Le Hope, Canvey Island, South Benfleet and in parts of Southend.

Flodden Battlefield

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the proposed plans for alterations to the Flodden Battlefield site. [190527]

Mr. Caborn: A grant of £24,970 has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to Branxton Parish Council to fund a project to explain, inform and stress the importance of Flodden Battlefield. The project will increase access to the battlefield by means of new footpaths and by publicising a short route which can be followed by car. Information boards and seats will also be placed at strategic points along these routes. In addition to this, Branxton Village Hall will be refurbished and will become a centre for a mobile exhibition about the battle. A video and leaflet promoting the battle and the local area will also be produced.

Ministerial Expenses

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much the Department spent on (a) maintenance, (b) renovation, (c) council tax and (d) running costs of residential properties used by Ministers and officials in each year since 1997. [191402]

Mr. Caborn: DCMS has no residential properties for the use of Ministers or officials.


Ross Cranston: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many off-licences have been revoked in each of the last 10 years. [190637]

18 Oct 2004 : Column 446W

Mr. Caborn: Statistics on the number of licence revocations in England and Wales are collected on a triennial basis. The figures for years 1992, 1995, 1998 and 2001 are shown as follows:
Year to 30 JuneTotal number of off licences revoked

The statistics for 2004 are expected to be published within the next month.

Tsar Appointments

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many tsars have been appointed with responsibilities which cover part of the work of her Department; and if she will make a statement. [191920]

Mr. Caborn: There have been no 'tsars' appointed to cover any areas of the work of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.


ACAS Codes

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her assessment is of the likely effect of the new Arbitration, Conciliation and Advisory Service codes extending to the employee a right of appeal against any disciplinary, grievance or dismissal decision made by their employer on (a) the volume of applications to employment tribunals and (b) small and medium-sized enterprises. [189809]

Nigel Griffiths: It is widely accepted good practice for employees to have the right of appeal against any dismissal, disciplinary or grievance decision. This has always been reflected in the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures and the revised Code does not differ from the previous version in this respect. This position is reinforced by the new Dispute Resolution Regulations (which came into force on 1 October 2004) that will make the right of appeal a statutory requirement. The Government do not expect this to have any impact on the volume of tribunals applications.

Business Links

Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what practical support Business Links will be giving to the proposed community interest companies. [189945]

Nigel Griffiths: Since April 2003 all 45 Business Link operators have been required to include support for social enterprises in their business plans. The Community Interest Company will be one of several legal forms available to social enterprises from July 2005 and Business Link operators will provide a full range of service to such companies.
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I am asking the BLOs to make their plans public in respect of CICs before July 2005.

Chemicals Industry

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the future of the UK chemicals industry. [191565]

Jacqui Smith: The chemicals industry is well-established in the UK. The Government are committed to helping the industry remain competitive and innovative to help ensure a successful future.

The Government-industry Chemicals Innovation and Growth Team Report in 2002 said that the chemicals industry had the potential to change and grow provided it grasped the opportunities. It set out a road map to help ensure that the industry would be best placed to do so. This process is being taken forward by the industry-led Chemistry Leadership Council with the support of Government.

We have put in place the instruments to help provide the skills the industry needs, the support it needs on R and D and innovation, and to help ensure that regulation is designed and implemented in a way that takes into account the competitive needs of the industry.

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she has taken to reduce regulation in the chemicals industry. [191566]

Jacqui Smith: The chemicals industry is rightly a highly regulated sector. This regulation is there to protect health and the natural environment. At the same time, however, legislation needs to promote innovation and competitiveness if the industry is to have a sustainable future. In order to enable us to address this balance in a more systematic way in line with the Government's Principles of Good Regulation, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the 2004 Budget Statement the establishment of a Chemicals Regulatory Forum. This forum is designed to provide both Government and industry with a better grasp of the cumulative impact and inter-relationship of existing regulation, and to offer the opportunity for an improved dialogue on emerging policy and regulatory proposals emanating from both the UK and the EU.

More specifically, the UK Government have been very active in seeking to help shape the development of the proposed new EU Regulation for the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH), to reflect the impact that these proposals will have on the chemicals industry. The changes to the draft regulation, as a result of these representations, have so far reduced the projected cost to the industry of REACH by approximately €10.6 billion.


Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the Minister for Construction, Small Business and Enterprise will reply to the letter dated 18 August from the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan regarding constituent, Mr. A. Keys of Peterhead. [192084]

Nigel Griffiths: I have answered the hon. Member's letter today and apologise for the delay.
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Data Protection Scams

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry under what powers her Department closed down companies for operating data protection scams and other such practices last year. [191632]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 15 October 2004]: The Office of Fair Trading has taken action under The Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988 against a number of businesses and individuals disseminating such misleading mailings.

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