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21 Nov 2005 : Column 1552W—continued

Departmental Contracts (Direct Mail)

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many contracts were signed by his Department in (a) 2005–06 to date and (b) 2004–05 for direct mail; and what the value was in each case. [27797]

Alun Michael: The Department of Trade and Industry, through the Strategy and Communications Unit, have spent the following amounts on direct mail:
£
2004–05
Queens Awards115,473
Dispute Resolution491,655
Information and consultation85,250
Total692,378
2005–06
Queens Awards90,000
National Minimum Wage997.53
Total90,997.53

These figures were sourced through HM's Government Central Office of Information.

Departmental Overseas Offices

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which agencies of his Department maintain offices overseas, broken down by (a) country where each office is maintained, (b) number of staff, (c) agency and (d) cost of each office in 2004–05. [28920]

Alun Michael: None of the Department's executive agencies maintain offices overseas. Of the non-departmental bodies sponsored by the Department the only ones that maintain overseas offices are (a) the research councils, who collectively operate an office in Brussels which employs 10 staff costing £640,000 and (b) the regional development agencies for which the table gives details of the regional development agencies offices by country, the number of staff and the annual costs (where known).
 
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UK Trade and Investment is technically neither an agency nor a sponsored body of the DTI. It brings together the work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department of Trade and Industry in supporting companies in the UK trading internationally,
 
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and overseas enterprises seeking to locate in the UK. Its overseas resources, including staff and the premises they occupy, are provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands
East of England
East Midlands
North West
CountryStaff£000Staff£000Staff£000Staff£000
Australia2(8)2(8)(9)250
Belgium1170(10)12
China
France1100
Germany11000.570
India0.5(8)0.5(8)
Japan2(8)2(8)(11)4195
Korea
Norway
Singapore0.5(8)0.5(8)
Sweden1600.560
Taiwan
USA7(8)7(8)(9)12405

Regional development agency One North East
South East England
South West England
Yorkshire Forward
CountryStaff£000Staff£000Staff£000Staff£000
Australia(9)2500.5501(12)(9)250
Belgium2141
China2601282(12)2180
France
Germany0.535
India
Japan22102854(12)(11)4195
Korea0.570144
Norway0.535
Singapore
Sweden
Taiwan1.525
USA(9)1240575702265(9)12405


(8) Collaboration between Advantage West Midlands and East Midlands Development Agency—costs not known.
(9) Collaboration between North West Development Agency, One North East and Yorkshire Forward.
(10) Contribution to East of England European Partnership office in Brussels.
(11) Collaboration between North West Development Agency and Yorkshire Forward.
(12) Total costs of South West's representation in Australia, China and Japan is £520,000.
Note:
The London Development Agency does not have any offices outside the UK.




Flexitime Rules

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what arrangements are in place to monitor the (a) operation of and (b) compliance with flexitime rules for staff in his Department. [28730]

Alan Johnson: Individual directorates operate their own flexitime arrangements within a framework set out by the Department. Directorates are advised to ensure that local managers and supervisors are aware of their responsibilities for the operation and control of the scheme and make clear to staff and new recruits who join an office flexitime scheme that disciplinary action may be taken if the scheme is abused.

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the terms are of the flexitime arrangements for staff in his Department. [28732]

Alan Johnson: Individual directorates within the Department operate their own flexitime arrangements. This enables staff to vary their times of arrival and departure from work, vary the length and timing of their lunch breaks and take time off if they work extra hours. Staff are required to record the hours that they work either manually or electronically. Flexible working hours (FWH) schemes usually have four week accounting periods and within limits staff can carry over from one accounting period to the next an excess or deficit in the hours they worked compared to their conditioned hours. Credits are given for authorised absences such as visits to the doctor and to allow for the effect of exceptional transport delays.

Learning and Skills Council

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what new companies have started up in the field of adult guidance provision since the Learning and Skills Council took over from the training and enterprise councils. [28586]

Phil Hope: I have been asked to reply.

Neither my Department nor the LSC record business start ups in adult guidance.
 
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Management and Leadership Programme

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the progress of the Management and Leadership programme of the Small Business Service; and whether complete coverage across England is expected by the end of 2005. [28919]

Phil Hope: I have been asked to reply.

At 30 September 2005 over 21,000 employers were engaged with the Leadership and Management Development Programme for Managing Directors of SMEs. Over 10,000 have had their development needs assessed and started or completed their development programme. All English regions are covered by this programme.

Packaging

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received calling for a further regulatory impact assessment on the effects of REACH EU chemicals policy on downstream users, with particular reference to packaging manufacturing; and if he will make a statement. [28491]

Barry Gardiner [holding answer 15 November 2005]: The Government have received a number of representations from different parts of industry, including the packaging sector, as well as from many other stakeholders on all aspects of the proposed REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals). These included responses to the UK's public consultation last year.

Within the UK, REACH was subject to a regulatory impact assessment in 2004, and a further impact assessment was carried out this year, which examined the implications of the regulation for some downstream sectors, including can coatings, taking into account information supplied by metal packaging manufacturers.

Across the EU, REACH has been subject to over 50 regulatory impact assessments. This includes the European Commission's extended impact assessment of October 2003, which estimated that changes made to its draft proposals could save up to €10.6 billion. The Commission also carried out a further impact assessment this year in partnership with industry, trade union, consumer and environmental organisations. That assessment considered the impact of REACH on certain downstream users of chemical substances, including flexible packaging manufacturers.

The considerable amount of work carried out in assessing the impact of the REACH proposals has been invaluable in determining costs and benefits, and in informing the negotiations.


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