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Regional Selective Assistance (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much regional selective assistance has been invested in Newcastle-under-Lyme since 1997. [223240]

Mr. Alexander: I have asked the Chief Executive of Advantage West Midlands to write to the hon. Member: a copy of that letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Renewable Energy

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the potential for promoting renewable energy in urban areas; and on what funding support is available to promote such schemes. [222217]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The DTI's It's only Natural Campaign" is a national campaign to promote renewable technologies across all regions.

The objectives of the campaign are to:

The DTI also has two grant support mechanisms to encourage the installation of small-scale renewables; Clear Skies, which as a £12.5 million budget, and the PV Demonstration Programme, which has a budget of £31 million. Both Programmes promote renewable technologies as well as providing grants.

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment her Department has made of European Parliament Directive 2001/77/EC article 7, on transmission and distribution fees and electricity from renewable energy sources; and what assessment she has made of whether the new transmission charging regime under British Electricity Trading and Transmission Arrangements contravenes the Directive. [222941]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 21 March 2005]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State exercised her powers under the Energy Act 2004 to designate licence conditions requiring the system operator to devise a GB transmission charging methodology under BETTA. Approval of that methodology is a matter for the
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independent industry regulator, Ofgem. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State also took a power in the Energy Act to enable her to adjust transmission charges for renewable generators in a specified area, if those charges would otherwise deter renewable generation in that area. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is content that, in taking these powers, and exercising her power to designate licence conditions, she has acted in a way that is compatible with Article 7 of the Directive.


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many drums of plutonium-contaminated processing waste are held at Sellafield; and what the (a) maximum and (b) average plutonium content of each drum is. [221567]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 14 March 2005]: Iam advised by BNFL that there are over 35,000 drums of plutonium contaminated waste held in storage at Sellafield. For drums of plutonium contaminated waste arising from the last 40 years of operations at the site the best estimate maximum plutonium content is around 170 g with an average plutonium content of a few grams.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on which dates since 1 May 1997, Euratom Safeguard and accountancy treaties have been breached on the Sellafield site; and in what ways the treaties were breached in each case. [221675]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The European Commission announced on 30 March 2004 its decision to launch infraction proceedings regarding aspects of Euratom safeguards implementation at the Sellafield B30 plant. There have been no other Euratom safeguards infraction proceedings in respect of the Sellafield site.

Solar Photovoltaics

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she will take to support UK solar PV manufacturing and design once funding under the 2002 to 2012 demonstration programme ends later this year. [220378]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The major PV demonstration programme is due to end in March 2006. Grants are expected to be paid up to March 2007.

The Department will continue its support for PV through a low carbon buildings" programme. The low carbon buildings programme is currently under development and there will be formal consultation on this later this year. The programme is expected to begin operating in 2006–07.

South West Regional Development Agency

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many members of staff there are in the south west regional Development Agency; and how many have been in post for (a) less than one year, (b) between one and two years and (c) more than two years. [223054]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 21 March 2005]: As at 17 March 2005 there were 251 staff employed in establishment posts in the agency.
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Of these, 32 have less than one years service, 42 have between one and two years service and 177 have more than two years service.

Telecom Services

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if her Department will publish figures for the mis-selling of fixed line telecom services, indicating the companies involved; and what discussions she has had with Ofcom on this matter. [222170]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The matter raised is the responsibility of the Regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom). Accordingly, my officials have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to reply directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the Chief Executive's letter will be placed in the Libraries of Houses.

UK Trade and Investment

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many staff are employed in the London office of UK Trade & Investment; and what plans she has for reducing London-based staff at UK Trade & Investment over the next 12 months. [203908]

Mr. Alexander: UK Trade & Investment currently has some 600 civil service staff in London and 70 staff in Glasgow. The total work force also includes temporary and agency staff who cover vacant civil service posts and provide certain specialist skills.

In line with reductions in resource envisaged in its SR 2004 settlement, UK Trade & Investment is reducing the number of posts in its London and Glasgow offices. It expects, by April 2008, to have achieved a reduction of 200 in the total number of established posts.


Apprentices (York)

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many Government-funded apprentices there were in City of York in each year since 1996–97. [222228]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The available local information on Government-funded apprentices is at Local Learning and Skills Council (LLSC) area, and prior to the creation of the LSC, Training and Enterprise Council (TEC) area. The following table shows the number of learners on apprenticeships in the north Yorkshire TEC area in October of each year from 1996 to 2000, as well as the number of learners on apprenticeships in north Yorkshire LLSC in October of each year since 2001.
Learners on apprenticeships in north Yorkshire TEC/LSC by programme and month

MonthAdvanced apprenticeshipsApprenticeships at level 2
North Yorkshire TEC
October 1996700
October 19971,400
October 19981,700600
October 19991,8001,800
October 20001,9003,000
North Yorkshire LLSC
October 20011,5003,000
October 20021,2003,000
October 20031,3003,400
October 20041,2002,600

1.The definition of in-learning changed in 2003/04. The old method only counted those in learning on the last working day of the month. The new method counts those in learning at any point during the month.
2.The reduction in 2004 is due to the transfer of significant contracts from north Yorkshire LLSC to the LSC National Contracting Service.
TEC Management information
LSC Individualised Learner Record

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