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27 Oct 2004 : Column 1246W—continued

Product Labelling

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what requirements there are for mandatory labelling of products for business to business sales, to ensure that the customer is receiving the (a) quantity and (b) quality of the product as advertised. [193966]

Mr. Sutcliffe: There are a diverse range of requirements for mandatory labelling of products. These address among other issues information on safety, health and environmental questions, and quantity of the product, composition of certain non-food products, and production standards of certain
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food products. Details of the full range of requirements are not held by my Department and could be obtained only at disproportionate costs.

The quantity and quality of products supplied in business-to-business sales is usually a contractual matter between those parties.

Regional Selective Assistance

Mr. Alan Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate she has made of the number of jobs (a) created and (b) safeguarded by regional selective assistance grants in (i) the North East and (ii) Tyne and Wear in the last five years. [193367]

Jacqui Smith: In the last five years to 31 March 2004, offers of Regional Selective Assistance in the North East are expected to create 15,430 new jobs and safeguard 12,743. The estimated figures for Tyne and Wear are 7,891 and 7,287 respectively.

Telephone Marketing

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps (a) she and (b) Ofcom is taking to protect people from silent telephone calls by commercial power diallers; and if she will make a statement. [193585]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information requested is as follows:

(a) My Department introduced the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) scheme, under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 1999, which provides protection to subscribers from unsolicited silent calls that are made by commercial power diallers. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has responsibility for the enforcement of the TPS scheme and considers breaches.

(b) The Office of Communications (Ofcom) can take action against persons who persistently misuse networks or services in a way that causes unnecessary annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety, but which falls short of a criminal offence, and Ofcom took action against two companies on 30 April 2004, which were found to have generated unacceptably high levels of unsolicited silent calls.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what legislation is in place to protect (a) directory and (b) ex-directory private telephone owners from (i) domestic and (ii) international automated computer dialled telesales phone calls; and what her assessment is of the effectiveness of this legislation. [193783]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government introduced the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations in 1999, which provides a scheme called the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) scheme. This protects subscribers from unsolicited direct marketing calls, which originate from the UK or are made from abroad on behalf of UK companies, irrespective of whether they are dialled manually or made by an automated computer. The TPS scheme does not differentiate between directory and ex-directory subscribers and provides the same level of
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protection to all registered subscribers. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has responsibility for the enforcement of the TPS scheme and considers breaches.

The feedback from subscribers is positive in respect of preventing unsolicited direct marketing calls.

Wind Turbines

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her answer of 14 September, Official Report, column 1541W, on wind energy, what part of the energy used in wind farm manufacture gives rise to carbon dioxide; and in what amounts. [189693]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Most aspects of the manufacture and installation of a wind turbine gives rise to carbon dioxide, which is the same for any other forms of energy production.

There are no definitive studies which show this figure across wind farm manufacture, however, the British Cement Association, calculated the amount of carbon dioxide produced in a single foundation of a 2.5MW wind turbine.

Approximately 46 tonnes of carbon dioxide is produced for each turbine, but when this is compared with the annual savings of carbon dioxide, the pay back time is three days.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what grants and assistance are available for the (a) capital installation and (b) operating of wind turbines; and if she will make a statement. [190744]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government's main instrument for supporting the establishment of wind farms is the Renewables Obligation. The Obligation is a market based support mechanism that requires licensed electricity suppliers to provide a specified proportion of their electricity from renewable sources. This provides an assured market for renewable electricity and attracts a premium.

To date, the Government have committed £117 million in grant support towards the capital installation of early offshore windfarm development. No direct grant support is provided for onshore windfarm development except for some small household or community installations under the Clear Skies scheme.



Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the backlog is in dealing with entry clearance cases from Dhaka. [193357]

Mr. Mullin: Our High Commission in Dhaka is currently processing non-settlement visa applications that do not require interview within 48 hours. The waiting time for non-settlement applications requiring interview is currently one month with the exception of applications under the Sector Based Scheme (SBS) which are currently taking five months. The SBS allows UK employers in the food processing and hospitality
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sectors the opportunity to apply for work permits for foreign nationals. Settlement applications requiring interview are also currently taking approximately five months to process.

There are a number of reasons for these delays. So far this year there has been a 31 per cent. rise in visa applications in all categories compared with 2003. Much of this relates to the SBS. Our High Commission in Dhaka received over 8,000 SBS applications this year. As a result of the high number of refusals in this category (64 per cent.), our High Commission have also seen an increase of 129 per cent. this year on the number of appeals they handled in 2003.

UKvisas are considering providing reinforcements for the visa section in Dhaka with the aim of ensuring a swift return to normal standards of service.


Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will make a statement on the recent elections and referendum in Belarus; what representations he has made to the Belarus Government concerning the elections and referendum, with particular reference to poll rigging and intimidation of voters; when and in what forum he will next raise the situation in Belarus with the UK and European partners; and what recommendations for future action he will make to them; [193463]

(2) if he will make a statement on the constitutional referendum in Belarus that will allow the President to seek unlimited terms in office. [193820]

Mr. MacShane: I refer the hon. Member to the declaration on the conduct of the election and referendum in Belarus issued by the EU on 20 October. We fully support this declaration. We are deeply concerned about the issues raised in the preliminary findings and conclusions of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Election Observation Mission. Working Groups in Brussels have begun to explore options for action. We will press for a clear response to the conduct of the election and referendum.

The full text of the EU declaration is available on the Presidency's website at: asp?CMS ITEM=6E8D65E8E7E145F5A45D9B9BCl 8C40EBX1X53350X89

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps Her Majesty's Government is taking to encourage Belarus to (a) work towards becoming a democracy, (b) ensure that the electoral process is not subject to Government interference and (c) ensure that the opposition is not subject to intimidation and violence. [193819]

Mr. MacShane: The Government, together with our EU partners, regularly raises our concerns about democracy and the need for free and fair elections in Belarus with the Belarusian Government, bilaterally through our embassies in Minsk, in multilateral fora including the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Permanent Council in Vienna, and through public declarations. Several statements were issued through the EU and OSCE in the lead up to the
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17 October elections. The UK contributed three Long Term Observers, 30 Short Term Observers and the Deputy Head of Mission to the OSCE's International Election Observation Mission (IEOM). We fully support the EU declaration of 20 October condemning the conduct of the 17 October parliamentary elections and the violent actions taken by the Belarusian authorities against the opposition. We will now press Belarus to implement the recommendations in the OSCE/IEOM's final election report, which will be published shortly. We will also look to bolster our support for civil society and to continue deepening our links with NGOs and opposition parties.

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