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31 Oct 2005 : Column 714W—continued

Solar Power

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with power companies on the retrofitting of solar power to existing buildings. [20249]

Malcolm Wicks: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not discussed with power generation companies retrofitting of solar power to existing buildings.

Sustainable Development

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures are planned for new advice for consumers within the framework of the Government's sustainable development strategy. [21505]

Malcolm Wicks: 'Securing the Future', the Government's sustainable development strategy, published March 2005, described our intention to develop a new information service provisionally called Environment Direct.

DEFRA are currently drawing up detailed plans for Environment Direct, but it is likely to be a consumer-focused online service that will give people information about the impacts of different goods and services and how to make the most sustainable consumption choices. We hope to have an initial version of Environment Direct in operation from late 2006.
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Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment has been made of progress towards implementation of measures outlined in the last departmental sustainable development action plan; and what progress has been made against each target. [21511]

Malcolm Wicks: The DTI was the first Government department to produce its own Sustainable Development Strategy in 2000. The strategy identified where DTI can most make a difference in delivering the Governments Sustainable Development (SD) goals.

Since 2000 we have focused on the priorities set out in the DTI SD Strategy, for example the Energy White Paper of 2003 set out four new goals for energy policy, including putting the UK on a path to cut carbon dioxide emissions by some 60 per cent. by 2050.

Other priorities drawn out in the strategy were sustainable consumption and production (SCP), corporate social responsibility (CSR) and greening government. These have been taken forward through a number of initiatives—including publication in 2003 of Changing Patterns—UK Government Framework for Sustainable Consumption and Production" and the new commitments set out in chapter 3 of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy (Securing the Future", of March 2005); the launch of the CSR Academy and the International Strategic Framework on CSR. Work on Greening Government is on-going.

SD is embedded in the DTI Business Plan, in objectives 4, 7 and 11.

The strategy is being superseded by the SD Action Plan that is currently being developed.

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to publish the next departmental sustainable development action plan. [21512]

Malcolm Wicks: The DTIs Sustainable Development Action Plan is currently being developed.

This is in line with the commitments laid down in Securing the Future; delivering UK sustainable development strategy", of March 2005, that all Government departments and their executive agencies produce focused sustainable development action plans based on the Strategy by December 2005. All Government departments will report against the commitments laid down in their action plans from December 2006.

Trade Policy

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the opportunities during the UK presidency of the European Union to improve the transparency and accountability of trade policy making within Europe; and if he will publish the (a) agenda, (b) attendance and (c) minutes of the meetings of the Article 133 committee. [20985]

Ian Pearson: The UK Presidency of the European Union has convened a number of specific meetings of the General Affairs Council and of trade Ministers
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informally with the express purpose of increasing transparency in the field of trade policy, particularly in relation to the Doha Development Agenda

The agendas of the Article 133 Committee are available on the website of the Council of the European Union and on the UK Presidency website. However, details of the persons attending meetings of the Article 133 Committee are not published, nor are there formal minutes of the Article 133 Committee.

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if the Government will renegotiate the trade negotiation mandate of the European Commission in its presidency of the European Union; and if he will make a statement. [20986]

Ian Pearson: The Commission is currently operating under a number of negotiating mandates for various trade dossiers, such as multilateral trade negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). These mandates are set by General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) conclusions. As Presidency, the UK chairs these GAERC meetings. The GAERC on 18 October reaffirmed the Commission's mandate for the current round of WTO negotiations, the Doha Development Agenda (DDA).

UK Trade and Investment Websites

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what cost-benefit analysis was undertaken for the recently launched UK Trade and Investment South West Forum for China Forum website. [21664]

Ian Pearson: No cost-benefit analysis was undertaken. The recommendation to develop this website was made by the China/South West England Steering Group, a private/public sector group. The website is a regional resource.

The website provides businesses in the South West access to information about China-related activities in the region and points businesses to a wide range of other resources that already exist. The aim is to assist companies to take advantage of the opportunities in China.

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what co-ordination takes place with UK Trade and Investment to ensure that best practice is shared between different regional websites. [21665]

Ian Pearson: UK Trade and Investment has in place a number of measures to ensure effective best practice sharing on websites. Our regional teams in England have access to advice and guidance from our HQ marketing and website teams. Specifically we have an online tool for sharing best practice on corporate identity. This contains online branding guidelines as well as signposting to the Government website guidelines best practice.

UK Trade and Investment's Marketing and Communications team also host six- monthly working group meetings to share best practice. Discussion includes online activities. Furthermore, UK Trade and Investment's regional directors meet monthly, which provides a further opportunity for co-ordination.
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Wind Farms

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many net units of electricity were exported to the grid by each operational wind farm in the United Kingdom in each of the last 12 months. [20826]

Malcolm Wicks: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Information we do hold centrally is for electricity on an annual basis and covers the generation of electricity by all wind farms in the United Kingdom. In 2004, 1,736 GWh of electricity were generated by onshore wind farms and 199 GWh by offshore wind farms.


Armoured Vehicles

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many applique" armour kits to protect the undersides of vehicles his Department has available for (a) Land Rovers, (b) Saxons and (c) Scimitars. [21078]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 25 October 2005]: Currently there are no applique" armour kits available to protect the undersides of Land Rover and Saxon vehicles. 84 Scimitars have been fitted with applique" armour and an Invitation to Tender has been issued for a further 100 sets to be manufactured and fitted over the next five years.

Astute Submarine

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the delivery schedule is for the Astute submarine; and what the (a) cost and (b) payment terms per unit are. [19446]

Mr. Ingram: The contract with BAE Systems is for three Astute class submarines.

HMS Astute, the first of class is due to enter service in 2009 followed by the second of class, HMS Ambush in 2010 and the third of class, HMS Artful in 2012.

The estimated cost at 31 March 2005 for the three boats is £3,492 million.

The current payment arrangements for the contract provide the contractor with reimbursement of its agreed costs in relation to their performance against the contract. To claim profit the contractor is required to achieve agreed milestones.

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