Previous Section Index Home Page

4 Jul 2005 : Column 46W—continued


Acts of Parliament (Internet Access)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will take steps to make all Acts of Parliament published before 1988 for which his Department is responsible available online. [3722]

Alan Johnson: The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) within the Cabinet Office is the Queen's printer of Acts of Parliamentary, and responsible for the publication of Acts of Parliament. HMSO has considered the publication of Acts prior to 1998, which is the earliest date when these were available electronically, but has decided not to do so as many have been heavily amended and to publish them in their original form would be misleading for many users. The Government are, however, taking forward development of a statute law database which will contain the fully
4 Jul 2005 : Column 47W
revised and updated text of all legislation from 1275. It is expected that this will be made available to the general public during 2006.

Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor Nuclear Power Stations

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what weaknesses were uncovered in which power stations during recent inspections by Government nuclear inspectors of the graphite cores of advanced gas-cooled reactor nuclear power stations; [4481]

(2) what dates were originally predicted by computer models as to when inevitable weakening in the graphite cores of advanced gas-cooled reactor nuclear power stations would occur; what revision of these dates was undertaken in subsequent studies; and what bearing this has on the scheduling of decommissioning advanced gas-cooled reactor nuclear power stations; [4482]

(3) what factors lead to the onset of weakening in the graphite cores of advanced gas-cooled reactor nuclear power stations at a rate faster than that predicted by computer modelling; and what measures his Department has put in place to guard against further such weakening; [4483]

(4) what implications the risk of advanced gas-cooled reactor nuclear power stations developing cracks in their graphite cores will have on (a) their current operational life, (b) the operational life of plants using similar systems and (c) Government policy relating to the possible construction of new nuclear power stations; and if he will make a statement. [4484]

Malcolm Wicks: Technical issues relating to the graphite cores of advanced gas-cooled reactor power stations are complex technical matters for British Energy and the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate. Therefore, I have asked the Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations to write to the hon. Member. The Government's position on new nuclear power stations remains the same as stated in the 2003 White Paper—we are keeping the option of new build open. Before any decision were taken to proceed with the building of new nuclear power stations there would need to be the fullest public consultation and the publication of a further White Paper setting out our proposals.

The 'West Midlands Regional Energy Strategy' published in November 2004 by GOWM, The West Midlands Regional Assembly and Advantage West Midlands, also recognises the need for the increased use of renewable energy resources as one of its four key objectives and sets out four priorities under this banner along with identifying those organisations with a lead responsibility and milestones.

The Regional Planning Guidance for the West Midlands published in June 2004 by the GOWM includes a chapter on Energy Policies which includes renewable energy, base lining its use in the region at 0.1 per cent. in 2000, identifying the potential to increase this to at least 15 per cent. and encouraging local authorities to encourage renewable energy proposals in their development plans. This includes location guidance and the environmental impact of its generation.
4 Jul 2005 : Column 48W

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will estimate the total cost of closing down each advanced gas-cooled reactor nuclear power station in order to carry out maintenance work on the graphite core. [4485]

Malcolm Wicks: This is a matter for British Energy.

Advantage West Midlands

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much has been provided by Advantage West Midlands for each regeneration zone in the west midlands in each year since they were established. [7620]

Alun Michael: There have been a number of changes to the way the Government requires AWM to report on it's spend. There was no geographic analysis of figures spent by Advantage West Midlands prior to 2002–03, when the Government changed the way they expect Regional Development Agency's to report on their spending.

The following figures cover 2002–03, 2003–04 and also 2004–05, although the figures for 2004–05 have not yet been audited.
Coventry and Nuneaton19,01913,67512,359
East Birmingham and North Solihull17,60040,58066,980
North Black Country and South Staffs23,59636,68439,582
South Black Country and West
North Staffordshire16,03120,82519,880
Expenditure Outside Regeneration
Region Wide15,05526,29257,006


Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer given on 13 June 2005, Official Report, column 68W, on agents, on how many occasions in the previous year UK trade and investment provided information to companies about potential agents; if he will list (a) the companies to which information was given and (b) the countries about which the information was given. [7924]

Ian Pearson: UKTI does not hold this data centrally. To co-ordinate it would represent disproportionate cost.

Air Travellers (Financial Protection)

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what assessment he has made of consumers' understanding of financial protection schemes for air travellers; and if he will make a statement; [8293]

(2) what recent discussions he has had with consumer groups on financial protection schemes for air travellers; and if he will make a statement; [8294]

(3) what assessment he has made of the UK's ability to meet its obligations under the Package Travel Directive if major tour operators move their business outside the Air Travel Organisers' Licence scheme. [8295]

4 Jul 2005 : Column 49W

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Air Travel Organisers' Licence (ATOL) regulations use the same definition of package" as the Package Travel Directive and the UK regulations which implement the Directive to define their coverage in respect of package travel organisers. Any tour operator which provides flight-based packages has no choice but to hold an ATOL or to be acting for a disclosed principal which holds an ATOL. If a tour operator were to legally operate outside of the ATOL scheme they would need to alter their products in such a way that they no longer constituted a package. Since the definition in the ATOL Regulations and the Directive is the same, it follows that if a product falls outside of one it will fall outside of the other and the UK would have no obligations under the Directive in respect of that business.

I am very aware of the views of consumer representatives' on this high profile issue for the leisure travel sector. I understand they have made those views known to both the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Transport as they consider the arguments for change to the current regime.

The Civil Aviation Authority has undertaken extensive work in order to assess consumers' understanding of financial protection in this market. This assessment was reported in the CAA's advice to the Government (Financial Protection for Air Travellers and Package Holiday Makers in the Future, CAA Advice to Government, July 2004) and in their consultation document of July 2003. These reported the results of their consultation with consumer organisations and also the results of research carried out for the CAA into customer expectations and their perceptions of protection in the holiday market (Financial Protection for Air Holiday, Final Report: NFO Transport and Tourism). These documents and reports are available at

Next Section Index Home Page