|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many contract staff have been appointed in regional development agencies to work on export trade promotion and inward investment. 
Jacqui Smith: I understand that the number of permanent staff employed on a contract basis and other staff contracted to work on export trade promotion and inward investment by England's Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) are as follows:
|RDA||Number of permanent staff employed by the RDA||Other staff contracted to work on export trade promotion and inward investment(22)|
|South East of England Development Agency (SEEDA)||17||11|
|East Midlands Development Agency (Emda)||15||3|
|London Development Agency (LDA)||1||0|
|Northwest Development Agency (NWDA)||16||(23)0|
|ONE North East||17.5||(23)2|
|South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWRDA)||14||5|
|Yorkshire Forward (YF)||16||(23)6.5|
|Advantage West Midlands (AWM(24))||16||3|
|East of England Development Agency (EEDA)||0||(25)33|
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many regional selective assistance grants have been made since 1997; what their value is; and how many jobs her Department estimates have been (a) created and (b) safeguarded by the scheme. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 20 December 2004]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, South (Mr. Cunningham) on 16 November 2004, Official Report, column 1309W.
Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for which pieces of legislation affecting business introduced by her Department since 1997 regulatory impact assessments have been made. 
Nigel Griffiths: I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry gave to the hon. Member for Twickenham on 27 January 2003, Official Report, column 596W.
The latest bi-annual Command Paper issued by the Cabinet Office lists all Departments' Regulatory Impact Assessments from January to June 2004. This paper, along with previous Command Papers, is available in the Libraries of the House.
The following Regulatory Impact Assessments published by the Department of Trade and Industry since July 2004, and for which a Command Paper is yet to be published, are available in the Libraries of the House:
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many Smart awards and grants for research and development have been given since 1997; what their total value was; and if she will make an estimate of the value that the grants and awards added to companies in terms of (a) cash, (b) jobs and (c) exports. 
Number of awards|
(offers of grant)
|Value of awards|
(offers of grant)
The figures are for offers of grant made under the Smart scheme in England between 1 March 1997 and 31 March 2004. Smart closed to applications on 31 August 2003. The Grant for Research and Development, which built upon the Smart scheme, began accepting applications on 1 June 2003.
The most recent, independent evaluation of Smart in 200001 found that (a) annual turnover was nearly £500 million higher, (b) employment was more than 8,000 higher and (c) annual exports were nearly £270 million higher than they would have been without the scheme.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much each of the research councils has paid to consultants (a) to help them prepare for oral evidence sessions before parliamentary Select Committees and (b) for other services since June 2001. 
Ms Hewitt: The Research Councils have paid in total £84,306 (inclusive of VAT) to consultants to help them prepare for oral evidence sessions before parliamentary Select Committees. The information on the total amount paid for all other consultancy services commissioned since June 2001, is not held centrally within the Department and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Ms Hewitt: Appointments to the companies' boards are made by the Minister in the relevant Department: they are not made directly by the Shareholder Executive. The Shareholder Executive will be expected to advise Ministers on those appointments.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the Shareholder Executive's day-to-day management responsibilities are for the public shareholdings for which it is directly responsible; and whether these responsibilities involve authority over (a) operations, (b) budget approval and (c) appointments. 
Ms Hewitt: The Shareholder Executive has the management responsibility for monitoring and advising in a shareholding capacity those businesses for which it is directly responsible; these responsibilities include consideration and advice to Ministers on budgets and appointments to boards but it is for the management of those businesses to be responsible and accountable for their operations.
Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the South West Regional Development Agency's financial support for a microsystems company in Estores, Plymouth; if she will seek an explanation from the agency of their use of public funds; and if she will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 6 December 2004]: I understand that a full assessment of the development of the Estover Road site into an open access manufacturing facility was begun in February 2004. This included an impartial assessment by five independent referees and assessment by an expert panel. In November 2004, the Executive Panel (a group of RDA, DTI and Industry experts that provide strategic advice on the investment of the £40 million Capital Facilities programme) voted unanimously that a sustainable business plan for the Estover site would be very difficult to achieve and that the application into Round Two of the Capital Facility programme should not be progressed any further.
On the information I have received, I do not think that the South West of England Regional Development Agency and the DTI were wrong to carefully evaluate this potentially important project. Additionally, I am satisfied that due consideration was given to this project before the bid was turned down.
In the first instance both SWRDA and the DTI investigated the feasibility of retaining the BAE Systems Estover Road facility as an MNT Centre of Excellence. DTI supported the cost of this feasibility assessment with a grant of £1.384 million, in addition to the £550,000 invested by the SWRDA.
Under the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998, England's Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) are required to seek the consent of the Secretary of State on the use of public funds. The conditions under which an RDA has delegated authority to give assistance are set out in a Financial Memorandum which states that it may commit expenditure not exceeding £10 million on individual projects subject to certain conditions; any expenditure that is in any way novel or contentious, regardless of its cost, requires the specific prior approval of the Secretary of State. I understand that the South West of England Regional Development Agency decision to invest in this particular project came within the scope of this delegated authority.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|