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5 Jul 2005 : Column 283W—continued

Running Tracks

Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which metropolitan borough councils have running tracks with associated changing facilities. [9305]

Mr. Lammy: There are 81 athletics tracks in the following 34 metropolitan borough councils: Barnsley, Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford, Bury, Coventry, Doncaster, Dudley, Gateshead, Kirklees, Knowsley, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, Oldham, Rochdale, Rotherham, Salford, Sandwell, Sefton, Sheffield, Solihull, South Tyneside, St. Helens, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wakefield, Walsall, Wigan, Wirral, Wolverhampton.

We do not hold details of whether the athletics tracks have associated changing facilities.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Consultancy Companies (Regulation)

Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will take steps to establish a regulatory body for consultancy companies. [5773]

Alan Johnson: It is not fully clear to what my hon. Friend refers. If she would like to write to me with further details I will consider the points she raises.
 
5 Jul 2005 : Column 284W
 

Economic Partnership Agreements

Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will seek to strengthen the European Commission's negotiating mandate on Economic Partnership Agreements as part of the UK presidency of the EU to ensure that countries are not subject to forced liberalisation of trade. [9179]

Ian Pearson: The Government do not believe that any changes to the European Commission's negotiating mandate are required. The Government stated in their EPA position paper published in March that

and we will continue to work closely with the Commission and other member states to realise this.

Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list (a) the budget and (b) staffing levels of the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate for the (i) 2002–03, (ii) 2003–04 and (iii) 2004–05 financial years. [8781]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The budget expenditure and staffing complement of the Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate for the financial years 2002–03, 2003–04 and 2004–05 are as follows:
£000

(b) EAS Inspectorate(a) Budget expenditure
(i) 2002–0312 regionally based Inspectors
3 Managers also with inspection powers
659,000
5 Helpline staff (to receive complaints, advise and answer worker and agency questions)
(ii) 2003–0412 regionally based Inspectors
3 Managers also with inspection powers
581,000
4 Helpline staff (to receive complaints, advise and answer worker and agency questions)
(iii) 2004–0512 regionally based Inspectors
3 Managers also with inspection powers
566,000
4 Helpline staff (to receive complaints, advise and answer worker and agency questions)

Energy Strategy

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the aims and objectives of the Government's energy policy are. [9390]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 4 July 2005]: The aims and objectives of energy policy were set out in the Government's Energy White Paper, Our Energy Future—creating a low carbon economy" in 2003. In particular, it set out the four goals of energy policy:

EU Legislation (Compliance)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what support his Department will give to the development of a working partnership between developers, investors and the commercial sector to encourage their compliance with EU legislation. [625]

Ian Pearson: It is not fully clear to what my hon. Friend refers. If he would like to write to me with further details I will consider the points he raises.

Methane Gas

Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research he has commissioned into the viability of using methane gas to generate electricity. [5412]

Alan Johnson: It is not fully clear to what the hon. Member refers. If he would like to write to me with further details I will consider the points he raises.
 
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Research, Technology and Development

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to encourage industry to invest in research, technology and development. [9389]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 4 July 2005]: The Government have made clear their long-term ambition of raising R&D intensity in the UK from its current level of 1.9 per cent. of national income to 2.5 per cent. by 2014. To support business investment in research, technology and development, the DTI provides a range of solutions that offer practical support and encouragement to industry at different stages of the innovation process.

DTI established a business-led Technology Strategy Board in October 2004 to develop a national technology strategy to take a more strategic market-led approach to Government support for new and emerging technologies crucial to innovation.

The Board has oversight of the £370 million technology programme that provides grant funding for business-led projects. Over the period 2005–08, £320 million of DTI funding is available to businesses in the form of grants to support collaborative research and development in technology areas identified as critical to the growth of the UK economy. A further £50 million contribution has been agreed by DEFRA.

All businesses can take advantage of a range of business support products designed to help the transfer of knowledge from the research base to industry—collaborative R&D Grants and Knowledge Transfer Networks, through the technology programme, and knowledge transfer partnerships, that provide support for business R&D in kind.

Additional solutions for small businesses include the Grant for R&D, which provides grants to help individuals and small and medium-sized businesses research and develop technologically innovative products and processes.

Companies carrying out more than a minimum level of eligible R&D can claim R&D tax credits that are particularly generous for small firms and include a repayable element.

The DTI also supports UK businesses and HEIs as active participants in EU framework programmes.

In addition to these direct investment and incentives, a range of other policies influence overall R&D expenditure. For example UKTI efforts to secure inward investment, public procurement, regulation, innovation infrastructure including intellectual property, skills and standards, and national and regional activities to support enterprise and business growth more generally, such as the work of Business Links.

Weights and Measures Directive

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what guidance the Government have given local authority trading standards departments regarding enforcement of the Weights and Measures Directive. [7509]


 
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Mr. Sutcliffe: There are a number of directives dealing with weights and measures including directives 75/106/EEC and 76/21 I/EEC which cover the average system of quantity control and quantity labelling for packaged goods.

Guidance for inspectors, who have the responsibility of enforcing the regulations made under these directives was issued in 1979. There is no other guidance specifically for local authority trading standards departments on weights and measures.

Guidance is however issued on new regulations, including weights and measures regulations, to assist all who are affected.


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