|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if Her Majesty's Government will accept the recommendation of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents for a three year pilot of single/double summer time to establish whether lighter evenings all year round will reduce road casualties. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The last experiment with lighter evenings between 1968 and 1971 proved to be unpopular and was abandoned following a vote in Parliament. The Government have no plans to introduce another pilot of single/double summertime.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effects on accidents at work of turning back the clocks each October. 
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent estimate the Government have made of the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the building, maintenance and decommissioning of a tidal power station over (a) 10, (b) 20 and (c) 50 years; and if he will make a statement. 
The Department will be including the Carbon Trust carbon management 'five stage' approach within its estate strategy to meet its commitment to achieving the energy targets and Part L of the building regulations .
Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has for ensuring continuity of support for school and other community projects under his Department's Clear Skies programme. 
Malcolm Wicks: A new low carbon buildings programme will continue to offer grant support to school and community projects once the current Clear Skies Programme comes to an end. The new programme will begin in April 2006, subject to EU State Aids approval. My Department is also looking to work in partnership with major private sector players in the energy field in order to expand the micro generation sector, with a particular emphasis on renewable energy technologies on schools.
Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what funding will be available for school (a) hot water, (b) wind, (c) biomass and (d) ground-source heat pump projects after the final deadline for applications to his Department's Clear Skies programme. 
Malcolm Wicks: Further funding for schools will be available through a low carbon buildings programme, which will allow developers to chose the most appropriate technology for each project, including all those mentioned above. The new programme will begin in April 2006, subject to EU State Aids approval. The Department is also looking to work in partnership with major private sector players in the energy field in order to expand the micro generation sector, with a particular emphasis on renewable energy technologies on schools.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Gateshead, East and
9 Nov 2005 : Column 529W
Washington, West constituency, the effects in Gateshead, East and Washington, West of changes to his Department's policies since 1997. 
Since 1997 the Department has applied policies which have resulted in there being some 300,000 more businesses than in 1997. We have made life easier for business by cutting corporation tax, simplifying VAT registration and setting the highest VAT threshold in Europe. We have simplified company law and introduced reforms removing the preferential creditor status of the Crown, freeing up £70 million more each year for business. The Company Law Reform Bill will generate deregulatory benefits of some £250 million a year (including £100 million for small companies), and we are pursuing a £1 billion deregulatory target over the lifetime of our five year programme.
In 2001 we undertook a review of our direct business support measures and subsequently introduced a range of streamlined and simplified products, which include grants and loans for capital investment and research and development, knowledge transfer, and support for the implementation of best practice. The annual business support measures budget is some £400 million, and many of the DTI services have been delivered through strong and effective regional development agencies since their creation in 1999.
Recognising the importance of manufacturing to the UK economy, the DTI launched its Manufacturing Strategy in 2002. The strategy sets out the actions needed to create a high value, high skill manufacturing sector capable of introducing new products and processes into our economy, creating new markets, and delivering a huge boost to our prosperity. The Manufacturing Advisory Service, which provides expert advice to manufacturers, has to date generated over £155 million of added value for UK firms.
The DTI is working to significantly strengthen the links between higher education and industry, and will continue to build on the UK's outstanding science base. Between 1997 and 2007, the science budget will have more than doubled, rising to £3.3 billion.
The Department seeks to work closely with all our stakeholders. We have introduced independent members to the DTI board, enabling us to function better with input from business people, trade unionists, academics and others.
9 Nov 2005 : Column 530W
Although the policies and initiatives mentioned above have benefited individuals, businesses and communities in every part of the United Kingdom, it is not possible to quantify precisely all of the benefits accruing directly to individual constituencies.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what contingency plans he has in place to respond to possible energy shortages in (a) industry and (b) domestic homes this winter; and what forecast he has for energy usage in the next 20 years. 
Under much worse than normal winter weather, or if unexpected major problems are experienced on the supply side, it may be necessary for large industrial users to restrain demand for gas. Much of this can be done through the electricity generating industry switching to coal or other fuels. In a competitive market such as that in the UK we would expect this to take place on a commercial basis in response to price signals indicating tightness in the gas market.
Ministers are liaising with both Ofgem and National Grid to ensure that all possible measures are taken to anticipate problems with power supply in the highly unlikely event of the market being unable to balance supply and demand in this way.
Malcolm Wicks: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have had extensive discussions with EU partners, including member states, the European Commission and European Parliament, on a range of energy issues, including security of energy supplies.
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions he has had (a) with Ministerial colleagues and (b) others about the security of the UK's energy supply. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|