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30 Mar 2006 : Column 1143W—continued

Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of members of the principal civil service pension scheme in his Department joined the scheme before the age of (a) 20, (b) 25, (c) 30, (d) 35, (e) 40, (f) 45 and (g) over 45 years old. [61997]

Alan Johnson: As at 28 February 2006 there were 9,449 active members of the principal civil service pension scheme in the Department (including DTI Executive Agencies). The ages at which they joined the scheme are shown in the following table.
AgeNumber
(a) before 201,720
(b) 20 and before 252,761
(c) 25 and before 301,667
(d) 30 and before 35941
(e) 35 and before 40718
(f) 40 and before 45852
(g) 45 and after790

Private Office

Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the cost was of his private office and that of his predecessors as Secretary of State in each year since 1997. [60908]

Alan Johnson: The figures showing the cost of my private office for 1997 to 2000 are held on an old accounting system and are not readily available.
 
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The cost of my private office for the financial years 2000 to 2005 were:
£000
2000–01424
2001–02415
2002–03402
2003–04436
2004–05409




Note:
The figures for 2005–06 are not available.




Queen's Awards

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 13 February 2006, Official Report, column 1652–3W, on Queen's Awards, who the members were of the three panels of judges for the three Queen's Awards categories for (a) 2004 and (b) 2005. [59348]

Alan Johnson: Existing members of the Panel of Judges (junior selection committees), that represent the three separate categories of Business Award (for International Trade, Innovation, and Sustainable Development), who also served on the 2004 and 2005 Panels, are deliberately excluded from the public domain to avoid direct lobbying of panel members.

Those Members of the 2004 and 2005 Panel of Judges who have since departed, are listed as follows:


 
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Queen's Birthday

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans his Department has to celebrate Her Majesty's 80th birthday; what advice he has issued to his Department's executive agencies on celebrations for the birthday; and if he will make a statement. [54185]

Alan Johnson: The Department will fly the Union flag on 21 April in honour of Her Majesty's 80th birthday. No instructions have been issued to executive agencies on how they might wish to mark the Queen's birthday.

Research and Development

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what financial assistance his Department is giving to research and development for industry in (a) Coventry, South and (b) the West Midlands Region. [61754]

Alun Michael [holding answer 29 March 2006]: In financial year 2005–06, Advantage West Midlands offered a total of £185,056 to four companies in Coventry South under the DTI's Research and Development Grant Scheme, which is designed to help individuals and small and medium-sized businesses research and develop technologically innovative products and processes. The corresponding figures for the West Midlands are £1,607,871 being offered to 19 companies.

Advantage West Midlands also contributed 332.6 million towards the £70 million Premium Auto Research and Development Program (PARD) at the University of Warwick.

PARD assists companies involved in supplying to the luxury car industry and is also supported by partner companies including Jaguar and Land Rover. It allows companies who would not normally be able to invest
 
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heavily in research and development to use the cutting-edge facilities at the Warwick Manufacturing Group, ensuring West Midlands firms gain access to the highest level of skills and technology. Since being launched in 2003, projects have covered areas such advanced body joining techniques, characterisation of new vehicle materials, crash analysis and the exploitation of IT technologies.

CovPress, a company based in Coventry South, is one of the 200 companies that have benefited from PARD to improve their productivity. Through PARD, the company has been able to tackle a series of production issues at their plant and develop increasingly sophisticated body parts.

Royal Mail

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether all outgoing post from his Department is sent using the Royal Mail; and what criteria his Department uses to determine postal arrangements. [59753]

Alan Johnson: The more specialist requirements for external mail are already subject to competitive tender in the DTI and intergovernmental mail is handled by the normal interdepartmental service (IDS) run by Cabinet Office. We continue to use Royal Mail for other first and second class mail and we have no current plans to change any of these arrangements.

Russia

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the level of UK trade with Russia. [61792]

Ian Pearson: Bilateral trade with Russia rose to over £7 billion last year. UK exports to Russia rose to £1.9 billion and UK imports from Russia to £5.2 billion in a wide range of sectors a year on year increase of 27 per cent. for exports and 47 per cent. for imports.


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