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21 Feb 2005 : Column 243W—continued

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Animal Experiments

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what incentives are available for the researching of alternatives to experimental testing on animals. [202829]

Ms Hewitt: The Medical Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences fund the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NCSRs). NCSRs has made £500,000 available for research on all 3Rs in the 2005–06 period.

Business Rates

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with the Office of the Deputy min Minister on its business rates proposals in relation to green generation of electricity. [217084]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I have discussed this matter with my right hon. Friend the Minister for Local and Regional Government (ODPM) (Mr. Raynsford). My predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for East Ham (Mr. Timms) also wrote to the Minister for Local and Regional Government on the issue. There have also been a number of discussions at official level between our respective Departments and the renewables industry.

Departmental Buildings

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the (a) capital and (b) running costs of providing supplementary heating was in her Department's buildings in London in each of the last three years. [215149]

Ms Hewitt: Over the last three years the Department has purchased a small number of stand-alone radiators at a total cost of £1,700 for emergency use only.

The running costs cannot be identified as use of each unit is not individually logged or metered.

Design

Alan Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry who the ministerial design champion for her Department is. [215651]

Ms Hewitt: My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Science and Innovation leads on design for the Department.
 
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ECGD (Anti-corruption Procedures)

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 27 October 2004, Official Report, column 1242W, on the Export Credits Guarantee Department, if she will place in the Library the Government's written responses to the written and verbal representations made by (a) Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) customers and (b) organisations representing ECGD's customers in respect of ECGD's anti-bribery and corruption procedures. [210121]

Mr. Alexander [holding answer 24 January 2005]: Documents relating to discussions between ECGD, the CBI and industry on the Department's new anti-bribery and corruption procedures introduced on 1 May 2004 and the revised procedures that came into force have been placed in the Libraries of the House and are available on the ECGD website (www.ecgd.gov.uk/_)

ECGD will shortly be launching a public consultation on these procedures.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what representations were made by BAES, Rolls-Royce and Airbus to the Export Credit Guarantees Department about its anti-corruption procedures; and if she will place written submissions in the Library; [203068]

(2) if she will place in the Library representations made by (a) BAES, (b) Rolls-Royce and (c) Airbus at meetings held with her Department since January to discuss the anti-corruption procedures brought into force by the Export Credits Guarantee Department on 1 May; [200600]

(3) if she will place in the Library minutes from the meetings since January in which (a) her officials and (b) Export Credits Guarantee Department staff have met organisations to discuss anti-corruption procedures brought in by the Export Credits Guarantee Department; [200601]

(4) which companies have made representations to her Department regarding the anti-corruption procedures brought into force by the Export Credits Guarantee Department on 1 May; and if she will place these representations in the Library. [201178]

Mr. Alexander: Documents relating to discussions between ECGD, the CBI and industry on the Department's new anti-bribery and corruption procedures introduced on 1 May 2004 and the revised procedures that came into force have been placed in the Libraries of the House and are available on the ECGD web site (www.ecgd.gov.uk/_)

ECGD will shortly be launching a public consultation on these procedures.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will place in the Library a copy of the Export Credits Guarantee Department's anti-bribery and corruption provisions that applied to Airbus prior to 1 May. [201181]


 
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Mr. Alexander: Copies of ECGD anti-bribery and corruption procedures that applied to all companies prior to 1 May 2004 have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate she has made of the likely costs to local authorities of complying with the EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive. [216031]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Local authorities have no specific obligations under the EU Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) although their established role in relation to domestic waste collection means they will inevitably be involved. Under current proposals, local authorities will have the opportunity to register civic amenity sites for free collection and recycling of separately collected WEEE by producers.

Non-domestic Rates

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether her Department has carried out analysis of the impact of the non-domestic property rating system on the development of a competitive telecommunications market. [206983]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: In response to recommendations made by the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) the Department appointed a contractor to carry out an independent review of the rating system as it applies to telecommunications. The BSG published an interim status report on their website in December 2004.

Nuclear Industry

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on her policy on state aid case C 39/2004 (ex N613/2003), 2004/C 315/05 of OJ C315 volume 47 of 21 December 2004, on public financing of nuclear decontamination; what representations she has received from the nuclear industry; what representations she has made on the issue to the European Commission; and what impact the case will have on the establishment of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. [215242]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We notified the European Commission of our intention to support the creation of the NDA in December 2003. The Commission announced a formal investigation into state aid to the NDA on 1 December 2004. This announcement confirmed that the transitional arrangements under which the NDA will start work on 1 April 2005 do not involve state aid. We are working closely with the Commission and formally responded to them on 31 January 2005. We will make further responses to the Commission as required. We are in ongoing consultation with BNFL.

Oil and Gas Exploration

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many licences have been issued for oil and gas exploration in UK territorial waters off the coast of Northern Ireland. [216669]


 
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Mr. Mike O'Brien: Since offshore licensing began in the 1960s, three production licences (which cover exploration activity) have been issued over acreage in quadrants 111, 124, 125 or 126, which lie just off Northern Ireland.
Licence
number
Blocks coveredIssuedSurrenderedOperator
P869111/03, 111/04, 111/0819931999BG International Limited
P870111/10, 111/1519931997BG International Limited
P871111/25, 111/29, 111/3019931997Elf Exploration UK plc


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