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Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he expects the full net costs of the closure of the Thorp nuclear reprocessing plant to be recovered through insurance. 
This is a matter for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) who became the owners of the plant and facilities of BNFL (including Thorp) when it was set up on 1 April 2005.1 understand from the NDA that it intends to make an insurance claim to cover the costs of the temporary closure of Thorp due to the incident including repairs, and any income losses resulting from the closure will be the
2 May 2006 : Column 1383W
subject of an insurance claim by the NDA. The extent of the claim will be dependant both on regulatory approval for the re-start of the facility and on the subsequent restart date. The claim is currently being compiled and validated by the NDA. This is expected to be completed by the summer in light of which discussions with loss adjusters will then begin.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will set out with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to West Lancashire constituency the effects in West Lancashire of changes to his Department's policies since 1997. 
Alun Michael: The Department for Trade and Industry has responsibility for driving our ambition of 'prosperity for all' by working to create the best environment for business success in the UK, helping to increase productivity through the promotion of enterprise, innovation and creativity and investing in world-class science and technology. It ensures that a successful economy is underpinned by secure, sustainable and affordable energy and champions British interests globally while promoting economic reform in Europe and free and fair world trade.
In 2002 we launched the Manufacturing Strategy and Advisory Service which has helped over 1,000 companies nationally increase their value added by an average of £105,000. We invest approximately £500 million per year via the Small Business Service and Business Link to assist the start up and development of SMEs. In 200304 through the Office of Science and Technology we invested £2.4 billion in UK research and we are investing £187 million (2004 to 2006) through the Higher Education and Innovation Fund to support knowledge transfer. A summary of our achievements can be found at www.dti.gov.uk.
The Government-funded regional development agencies are the key vehicle for driving forward regional economic development. Businesses across the north west have benefited from a range of initiatives in the Regional Economic Strategy, developed by the Northwest Development Agency (NWDA) and regional partners, which aim to develop business cluster and key sector growth potential, assist access to finance, develop business incubators, promote innovation, drive up skills and support regeneration.
115 projects in West Lancashire are benefiting from NWDA funding. In addition, extensive business counselling and advice has been provided to businesses and potential start-ups through the Business Links, the Research and Development grant and the Manufacturing Advisory Service.
I was grateful, however, for the Scottish Affairs Committee recommendations on 'Meeting Scotland's Future Energy Needs' published on 29 March and my office will be contacting Westfield Development Centre with a view to organising a meeting with their representatives.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has made to the EU Commissioner for External Trade on (a) his decision to impose duties on imports of shoes from China and Vietnam, (b) the current discussions on imports of furniture from Asia and (c) the current talks in the Doha trade round; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: The Department of Trade and Industry was actively involved in the European Commission's consideration of provisional anti-dumping measures on footwear with leather uppers from China and Vietnam. Given the likelihood that measures would be implemented, Ministers and officials sought to ensure that the Commission took account of the concerns of the full range of stakeholders, not just those EU producers who had filed the initial complaint. In so doing, the UK successfully agreed for the exclusion of children's footwear and special technology athletic footwear from the measures.
My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State has met Peter Mandelson, the European Trade Commissioner, on several occasions over the last 12 months, to discuss the current Doha Development Agenda, including ways to secure an ambitious pro-development outcome to which the UK is fully committed.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate has been made of the (a) cost of and (b) time required to carry out the necessary safety and environmental impact assessments into a possible extension of the life of Wylfa nuclear power station beyond 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
This is a matter for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) who (when it was set up on 1 April 2005) became the owner of the plant and facilities of BNFL (including the fleet of Magnox nuclear power stations e.g. Wylfa). The NDA is considering the scope for extending the life of Wylfa beyond 2010which is the planned closure date given in its approved strategy. The NDA has advised me that in light of factors such as the age of the plant, related safety concerns, and the closure of associated fuel processing facilities at Sellafield such an extension is highly unlikely.
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The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Chichester (Mr. Tyrie) on 23 November 2005, Official Report, column 1965W, and to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) on 18 April 2006, Official Report, column 400W.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the towns in (a) England and Wales, (b) Scotland and (c) the European Union that he has visited in an official capacity in each month since 1997; what the purpose of each visit was; what the (i) date, (ii) time, (iii) location and (iv) duration was of each meeting; if he will place in the Library the text of any speech made; and if he will make a statement. 
For visits I have made in the UK between 2001 and 2004 I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) on 7 November 2002, Official Report, columns 44143W, 26 April 2004, Official Report, columns 82930W, and 4 March 2005, Official Report, columns 142930W. Between January 2005 and March 2006 I have undertaken the following visits within the UK:
|6 January 2005||Leeds|
|13 January||St. Mary's Island, Dartford|
|24 January||Greenford, Northolt|
|31 January-1 February||Wythenshaw|
|23 February||Lambeth College|
|St. Andrew's Bay|
|30 March||Coventry Leicester|
|10 January 2006||Swindon|
My visits cover a range of matters including health, education, criminal justice and the economy. I also travel regularly to my constituency. I travel making the most efficient and cost-effective arrangements. My travel arrangements are in accordance with the arrangements for official travel set out in Chapter 10 of the Ministerial Code, and the accompanying guidance document, Travel by Ministers".
For overseas visits, the Government have since 1999 published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. Copies of these lists are available in the Library of the House. Information on the number of officials accompanying Ministers on overseas visits is included in the list. All Ministers' travel arrangements are in accordance with the arrangements for official travel set out in Chapter 10 of the Ministerial Code, and the accompanying guidance document, Travel by Ministers". Information for the year 200506 will be published as soon as it is ready after the end of the financial year.
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