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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 29 November 2005


Intelligence and Security Committee

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister what (a) emoluments, (b) expenses and (c) facilities are available to the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee; and if he will make a statement. [31407]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 24 November 2005]: The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) is supported by a clerk and secretariat in the Cabinet Office. The ISC Chairman and members are unpaid but expenses incurred by them in the course of their ISC duties are met from within the ISC's budget, which is funded by the Cabinet Office.


Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his statement of 16 November 2005, Official Report, column 96S, and the Secretary of State for Defence's statement of 17 November 2005, Official Report, columns 113–14, what account he took of the Attorney General's letter to Lord Astor of 9 July in making his statement. [31709]

The Prime Minister: There is no contradiction between my comments and the Attorney-General's letter of 9 July. The Army Prosecuting Authority (APA) was established under the Armed Forces Act 1996 and acts independently of the military chain of command. As an additional measure of protection from interference, the APA is subject to the general superintendence of the Attorney-General but he is not responsible for taking decisions on individual prosecutions. There is nothing unusual about this practice which takes place with the other prosecutors superintended by the Attorney-General, for example, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Serious Fraud Office, Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office, and the Public Prosecution Office Northern Ireland.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Prime Minister how many times he has visited soldiers who are receiving hospital treatment in the UK after being wounded in Iraq. [33139]

The Prime Minister: I have visited members of the armed forces both in the United Kingdom and abroad, and have met injured personnel on these occasions.

Nuclear Power

Mr. Evans: To ask the Prime Minister what (a) representations he has received from and (b) advice he has been given by his special scientific advisers in the last 12 months on nuclear power. [33045]

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The Prime Minister: Information relating to internal discussion and advice is generally not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.


Carbon Dioxide

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what year-on-year projections he has made for the reductions of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration estimated to result from present and proposed measures. [32162]

Mr. Morley: I have been asked to reply.

As the 2003 Energy White Paper makes clear, UK emissions of CO 2 account for only about 2 per cent. of the global total, and therefore our own actions will only have a detectable impact on atmospheric CO 2 concentrations as part of a concerted international effort. Our policies on emissions are intended to contribute to an emission reduction of 60 per cent. by developed countries by 2050 leading to eventual stabilisation of atmospheric concentrations at below 550 parts per million, provided others take commensurate action.


Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will reply to the letter of 18 May from the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood, on behalf of constituent Mike Josypenko regarding planned changes to UK trade and investment support for exporters. [32282]

Ian Pearson: I regret the delay, which was due to an administration error, but a full reply has now been sent.

Digital Broadcasting

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate his Department has made of the number of television sets that will be dumped following digital switchover; what legislation governs locations for recycling; and if he will make a statement. [32198]

Alun Michael: DTI and Defra have commissioned research to model any changes in patterns of waste disposal generated by digital switchover now that the time scale has been determined. Results from this research are expected early in 2006.

A range of facilities recycle waste materials deriving from production processes or from disposal of finished products. These are subject to the various planning and regulatory controls which govern the location and operation of industrial production plants generally. Disposal of television set-top boxes and video recorders will all be subject to intended regulations implementing the Waste Electrical and electronic Equipment Directive which are planned to come into force in June 2006.
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International Trade (Women's Participation)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps the UK has taken to facilitate the active participation of women's organisations in international trade decision-making structures; and if he will make a statement. [33091]

Meg Munn: The Government is committed to ensuring gender considerations are mainstreamed in UK and EU trade policy development.

To help achieve this, the Government set up the Gender Expert Group on Trade (GEGT) in early 2004. It is made-up of representatives from women's and development non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and academics to advise the Government on the gender implications of trade policy formulation.


Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how many registered plumbers there have been in each of the last 10 years. [31298]

Alun Michael [holding answer 23 November 2005]: There is no official register of plumbers in the UK as there is no licence to operate" requirement and I cannot be sure that the following information covers all areas of plumbing. Individual plumbers are employed by firms operating in both the domestic and commercial markets. Depending on the nature of their work and skills level, some would be more appropriately referred to as heating engineers. Especially in the domestic market, many plumbers are self-employed and may operate at a very local, or neighbourhood level.

I understand that the Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers has 12,200 active members, covering all categories and including trainees.

There are two main trade associations, The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (England and Wales) has 1,100 registered companies. The Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation has 6,500 active plumbers registered with them. The split is roughly NI 2,000; Scotland 4,500.

Telephone Preference Service

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how many complaints regarding marketing calls have been received by the Information Commissioner from consumers following their registration for the telephone preference service for each year since 1999. [28560]

(2) how many companies have been subject to investigations by the Information Commissioner for breaches of telephone preference service arrangements for each year since 1999. [28561]

Alun Michael: I understand from the Information Commissioner that due to the nature of the casework management system previously used by his office, he is unable to provide specific numbers for telesales complaints prior to 2004, but the annual reports to Parliament each year have provided general figures for complaints and inquiries.
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3,040 complaints about the regulations were recorded as dealt with in 2004 (January to December) 597 of which were recorded as relating to phone calls. In 2005 the office has received 4,200 regulations complaints this year, 925 of which relate to phone calls.

Traffic Offences

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people have been convicted for driving while using hand-held mobile telephones since January 2004; and if he will make a statement. [31441]

Fiona Mactaggart: I have been asked to reply.

Motoring offences statistics are part of National Statistics. The pre-announced date for availability of 2004 data is March 2006.

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