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18 Oct 2005 : Column 888W—continued

Retail Grocery Trade

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has for changes in legislation to address the issue highlighted in the Competition Report of 2000 on the retail grocery trade. [17456]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have no plans to change legislation in this area. In its report the Competition Commission concluded that the industry was broadly competitive and made no recommendation for legislative change. Competition in the supermarket and grocery sectors is a matter for the independent competition authorities.

Trading Standards

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many trading standards investigations have been carried out in each London borough in the last year for which figures are available. [16900]

Mr. Sutcliffe: DTI does not collect specific information on the number of investigations undertaken by trading standards departments. However as part of the National Performance Framework for trading standards, we do ask that they tell us how many complaints from consumers they have dealt with and how many businesses were either inspected or given advice.

The following data indicates trading standards activity across the 32 London boroughs during 2004–05—the latest year for which data is available.
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Number of businesses visited or given adviceNumber of consumer complaints responded to
Corporation of London(8)(8)
Inner London
Hammersmith and Fulham1941,067
Kensington and Chelsea1371,371
Tower Hamlets613,001
Outer London
Barking and Dagenham(8)(8)
Brent & Harrow3,4804,726
Waltham Forest1,1142,434

(8)No data available

Worker Exploitation

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what UK legislation there is to protect workers abroad from exploitation by UK companies. [18455]

Mr. Sutcliffe: We actively encourage UK-based international companies which operate in other countries, and which are subject to the laws applicable in those countries to apply high standards of corporate behaviour, including adhering to relevant internationally agreed standards which protect workers' rights.

The UK has played a leading role in ensuring that the international framework to promote and to tackle abuses of those rights throughout the world is in place, particularly through its work with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which is the UN specialised agency responsible for developing, promoting and monitoring labour standards. We play an active role in the ILO Committee on Multinational Enterprises and support the promotion and follow-up of the ILO Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy which seeks to enhance the positive social and labour effects of multinational corporations' operations throughout the world.

We also promote the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, which recommend standards of responsible business conduct for businesses operating in or from the 37 adhering countries and have written to
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the FTSE 100 companies to raise awareness of these expectations. We have also set out our approach to encouraging environmentally and socially responsible practice internationally in our International Strategic Framework on Corporate Social Responsibility published in March.


African Peace-building

Ms Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role the Department is playing in strengthening African peace-building capabilities. [17636]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence contributes to the strengthening of African peace-building capabilities by training and advising various African armed forces in Peace Support operations.

This is achieved in three ways. Firstly, through UK-based professional training of African officers. Secondly, through four permanently deployed teams training Africans for Peace Support operations, including specific pre-deployment training. These teams are the British Peace Support Team in Kenya, the British Peace Support Team in South Africa, the British Defence Assistance Team in Nigeria, the British Military Assistance and Advisory Team in Ghana and the UK element of the International Military and Advisory Team in Sierra Leone. Thirdly, through our direct support to international training centres in Africa. Examples are the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Ghana, the Peace Support Training Centre in Kenya, the Tactical Peace Support Training Centre in Bloemfontein, South Africa and the Jaji Peacekeeping Training Wing in Nigeria. Helping to build such training centres as well as training the trainers has a major multiplier effect.

In addition to our network of Defence Attache"s, around 120 British armed forces personnel are leased in Sub-Saharan Africa to assist in these tasks.

Aircraft Carriers

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he expects to make the final contract award for the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers; and how many aircraft carriers the award will be for; [18152]

(2) where it is intended to assemble the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers; [18153]

(3) what decisions have been taken concerning the allocation of construction work for the Royal Navy's Aircraft Carrier Programme; what decisions have been taken about the number of ship sections involved in the construction; and what decisions have been taken about the allocation of these sections between different shipyards. [18589]

Mr. Ingram: The decision on the ship build strategy, including assembly, for the two future aircraft carriers (CVF) and any associated contracts has yet to be taken but will form part of our main investment decision on CVF. This will happen when we are confident that the
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design is right, the contracts are right and we have sufficient understanding of cost, scheduling and risks involved.

Apache Helicopters

Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total cost is of the procurement of AH-64 helicopters for the British Army. [18391]

Mr. Ingram: The overall value of the contracts for the Apache AH Mkl was approximately £3.9 billion.

Defence Exhibition

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which governments were invited by the Defence Export Services Organisation to participate in the Defence Systems and Equipment International exhibition in September; and which were represented at that exhibition. [18178]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested can be found on the internet at:

Departmental Expenditure Plans

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what errors have been identified to date in his Department's expenditure plans for 2005–06 to 2007–08; and if he will make a statement. [17451]

Mr. Ingram: An error has been identified on page 32, Table 10 (Long Term Projects) of the MOD's Government Expenditure Plans 2005–06 to 2007–08 (Cmd 6532) for Project D154 Phase 3 costs. The table incorrectly states the cost as £524 million because costs that properly fall outside the scope of D154 Phase 3 were misattributed and also because of double-counting due to a technical change in accounting treatment. We do not expect D154 Phase 3 costs to exceed £100 million.

In light of this error, officials are currently reviewing the table for consistency and accuracy. If any further material errors are identified, I will write to the hon. Member and place copies in the Library of the House.

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