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Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the difference in the purchase costs of new vehicles between the UK and (a) other European countries and (b) the USA. 
The paper included an assessment of the effects of action by the competition authorities and changes in the competition regime on new car prices in the UK. In so doing the Report made reference to the reports of the European Commission on price differentials within the European Union, the latest of which was published on 29 July 2004 (www.europa.eu.int/comm/competition/car_sector/price_diffs/).
The DTI paper reported that new car prices in the UK had reduced, on average, by about 10 per cent. between April 2000 and October 2003 and that the European Commission research shows evidence that the disparity between new car prices in the UK and the rest of the Union had decreased.
|AMEC Services Ltd.||Offshore wind turbine and bird activity at Blyth||136,240|
|Garrad Hassan and Partners Ltd.||UK contribution to concerted action on Offshore Wind Partners Ltd. Energy Deploymentphase 2||74,030|
|NEG Micon Rotors Ltd.||Large multi-part offshore blade development||495,000|
|NEG Micon Rotors Ltd.||Review of control algorithms for offshore wind turbines||47,955|
|Garrad Hassan and Partners Ltd.||Finite element modelling of offshore wind turbine support structures||22,180|
|Insensys Ltd.||Improved performance of wind turbines using fibre optic structural monitoring||139,970|
|QinetiQ||Design and manufacture of radar absorbent wind turbine blades||112,600|
|Euro-Projects (LTTC) Ltd.||Opportunities for reinforced thermoplastic composites in offshore wind structures||48,500|
|NEG Micon Rotors Ltd.||Fully integrated resin distribution system||225,000|
|Hayes McKenzie Partnership||Microseismic and infrasound monitoring of low frequency. noise and vibration from wind farms||25,045|
|Seacore Ltd.||Offshore wind farms proposal to reduce costs of foundations and installation||999,912|
|SEtech(Geotechnical Foundations Engineers) Ltd.||FINPILEimproving the lateral stability of monopile foundations||49,178|
|Scott Wilson Oceans||Innovative foundation designs for offshore wind turbines||39,800|
|SLP Engineering Ltd.||The application of suction caisson foundations to offshore wind turbine||917,000|
|Caley Ocean Systems Ltd.||Boat access system prototypeoffshore wind turbines||68,300|
|Hovemere Ltd.||Mobile wind lidar for offshore wind farms||71,500|
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations she has received on employer's liability insurance cover for prison education staff at HMP Brixton; and what measures are taken to ensure that Reed Education adheres to employment law. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
The Secretary of State for Education and Skills has not received any representations concerning this matter. Officials at the Department for Education and Skills investigated an allegation that
10 Feb 2005 : Column 1803W
employer's liability insurance for prison education staff at HMP Brixton had expired on 1 December 2004. It transpired that this was not the case and that during the period of 1 December 2004 to 30 November 2005, the education staff at HMP Brixton were covered by employer's liability insurance.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total expenditure by her Department on external consultants was in (a) 199697 and (b) 200304; and what the estimated cost of employing external consultants will be in (i) 200405, (ii) 200506, (iii) 200607 and (iv) 200708. 
Derek Twigg: Within the Department for Education and Skills the total cost of consultants charged to administration budgets was £8.216 million in 199697 and £4.7 million in 200304. The cost charged to programmes is not recorded centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many contracts in her Department have been granted to (a) EDS, (b) Fujitsu and (c) EDS and Fujitsu jointly in each of the last two years; whether they were open to competition; for what they were granted; for how much, and over what period of time; and if she will make a statement. 
One contract was awarded to (b) Fujitsu to undertake the proof of concept of the Cybrarian Project. The objective of this project was to assist in decreasing the digital divide by facilitating access to the internet and to learning opportunities for those who currently do not, or cannot, use the internet because of lack of skills or confidence or because of physical or cognitive disabilities. Fujitsu was awarded a £465,000 contract, following an Office of Government Commerce S-Cat exercise, to develop and produce demonstrator systems and tests. The exercise was completed by Fujitsu in autumn 2003.
Mr. Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many school-leavers in the Easington constituency went on to (a) higher education, (b) further education and (c) full-time employment in each year since 2001. 
Dr. Howells: Information on 18-year-olds entering HE is collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and is available at constituency level. The number of 18-year-olds entering HE from Easington constituency for each year since 2001 is given in Table 1. The numbers have been rounded to the nearest five.
|End of calendar year||Number of people|
Estimates of the percentage of 16-year-olds participating in education and LSC funded work based learning (WBL) are not available below local education authority (LEAs) level. The number of 16-year-olds participating in full-time education for end 2001 (2001/02 academic year) in Durham LEA was 4,200 (rounded to the nearest hundred) or 66 per cent. of the age group. The number of these young people participating in education and WBL was 5,500 or 87 per cent. Estimates for end 2002 and end 2003 (provisional) are due to be published in March 2005.
Information on 16 to 19-year-olds in employment (both full- and part-time) is available at parliamentary constituency level from the Office for National Statistics. Table 2 shows the numbers and percentages in Easington constituency since 2001. However, sample sizes are very small due to the narrow age band and small geographic area. Therefore, the employment rate is volatile and care should be taken when interpreting the figures. The numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand, with the rates calculated from unrounded numbers.
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