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13 Oct 2005 : Column 562W—continued

General Lighthouse Fund

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the Government of the Republic of Ireland regarding the cessation of payments from the UK General Lighthouse Fund for the provision of navigational aids in Irish territorial waters. [16115]

Dr. Ladyman: We have received no representations from the Irish Government on this matter. However, in March we secured a commitment from the Irish Government to renegotiate the 1985 Agreement which sets out the funding arrangements for the Commissioners of Lights and the provision of navigational aids for the whole of the island of Ireland.

Left-hand Drive Limousines

Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will allow left-hand drive limousines to be issued with a certificate of initial fitness so that they can be certified as passenger service vehicles. [17762]

Dr. Ladyman: Left-hand drive limousines are already allowed to be issued with a certificate of initial fitness if they conform with the requirements of the Public Service Vehicles (conditions of fitness, equipment, use and certification) Regulations 1981. However, most are unlikely to qualify due to other aspects of their design.


Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his latest estimate is of the costs incurred by the Highways Agency in making alterations to Junction 14 of the M5. [17023]

Dr. Ladyman: The latest cost of the works to Junction 14 on the M5 is £781,327, which includes final payments for the engineering works.

Road Fatalities (Hornsey and Wood Green)

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of
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road fatalities in Hornsey and Wood Green constituency in each of the last 10 years; what the average for London boroughs was in each year; and if he will make a statement. [16991]

Dr. Ladyman: The information requested is in the following table.
Fatalities in personal injury road accidents: 1995–2004

Constituency of Hornsey and Wood Green(1)Average for the
London boroughs(2)

(1) Based on 2004 boundaries.
(2) Figures have been rounded to the nearest whole number.


Science and Engineering

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what steps the Government are taking to make parents aware of the opportunities that exist for girls in science and engineering. [16355]

Meg Munn: The Department has a £6.9 million contract with the UK Resource Centre for Women (UKRC), to promote SET (science, engineering, technology) skills for women. The UKRC is affiliated with, and provides guidance to, (Joint Innovation) JIVE Partners, an organisation which has delivered staff training to over 400 careers professionals and is now working with teachers. The importance of involvement with parents is stressed within this training. JIVE's newly published How To Guide on Careers Advice (SET for Girls) also stresses the involvement of parents in careers events and organised activities.

DTI is supporting the science, engineering, technology and maths network (SETNET) for the next three years with funding in excess of £10 million. Through its work with schools, SETNET comes into regular contact with parents, for example through family learning days and careers roadshows. SETNET runs the Science Engineering Ambassadors (SEAs) scheme, in which young scientists act as role models for school students.

SEAs work with parents to give them the information they need to encourage their children (of both genders and all ethnic backgrounds) to look at the opportunities available to them. There are now nearly 11,000 ambassadors, of which over 50 per cent. are under 35 and 38 per cent. are women.

The computer club for girls initiative (CC4G) is supported by DfES. It is run within schools and aims to transform the attitudes of girls towards technology-related careers. Parents have to give their consent to this extra curricular activity and are kept informed of their children's progress.
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DTI also sponsors the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) and the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA). The RAEng is currently extending its extra-curricula support for girls in science and engineering. The HEADSTART scheme creates opportunities for girls to attend summer schools at universities. Making these all-girls events removes a potential barrier to access for some faith groups. Parents are directly involved at the start and finish of this scheme. Another new scheme (the London Engineering Project (LEP)) will take curriculum enrichment into inner-city schools where care will be taken to make all events gender appropriate in terms of choice of engineering theme, approaches and materials. Encouraging active parent participation will be a key element for LEP. The BA CREST Award scheme offers girls (and boys) opportunities to take part directly in scientific research and engineering projects. This scheme includes a range of presentations and events through which parents are encouraged to keep up-to-date with their children's work.

In addition, the DTI supports initiatives such as the WISE Campaign (Women Into Science and Engineering). WISE have produced a booklet entitled "Engineering Equals" which includes advice for parents, and includes action lists, places to visit, and reading material to encourage girls into science, engineering and technology. WISE's work with girls also brings them into direct contact with parents, e.g. through residential courses where the parents are invited in on the last day to hear what their daughters have learned.


Business Start-ups

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many new businesses have registered in (a) Huddersfield, (b) Yorkshire and (c) England in each of the last five years. [16293]

Alun Michael: DTI figures based solely on VAT registrations for Huddersfield parliamentary constituency, Yorkshire 1 and England are shown as follows for 2000 to 2004. Data for 2005 will be available in autumn 2006.
VAT registrations 2000–04


(3) The Government office region of Yorkshire and the Humber excluding North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire unitary authorities.
Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Registrations and De-registrations 1994–2004, Small Business Service, available at

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VAT registrations do not capture all start-up activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if they fall below the compulsory VAT threshold, which has risen in each year since 1997. Only 1.8 million out of 4.3 million enterprises were registered for VAT at the start of 2004.

Commission for Racial Equality

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the maximum length of time is which it should take for a caseworker to be assigned by the Commission for Racial Equality when a complaint of a potentially discriminatory pay system is raised with them. [15511]

Paul Goggins: I have been asked to reply.

The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) does not have a target for the time it should take to assign a caseworker when a complaint of a potentially discriminatory pay system is raised with it. It prioritises cases on the basis of its own assessment of their urgency and then deals with them as quickly as the available resources will allow. The CRE has recently completed a consultation exercise on proposals aimed at improving the service it provides to the public.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many complaints regarding the time it takes to assign a caseworker by the Commission for Racial Equality there have been in each of the past five years. [15512]

Paul Goggins: I have been asked to reply.

This information is not available. The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) does not maintain a record of the number of complaints received about the time it takes to assign a caseworker. Where the complaint is covered by the Race Relations Act 1976, the CRE is bound by law to consider all applications for assistance in cases of alleged discrimination.

Although the amount of assistance given varies depending on the nature of the case, everyone who applies will get some advice.

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