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13 Jun 2006 : Column 1067W—continued


Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the UK’s objectives are for the next International Whaling Commission meeting. [77386]

Mr. Bradshaw: The UK’s key aims are to resist any attempts to end the moratorium on commercial whaling and resist threats to weaken or remove the conservation agenda of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). We will also highlight the cruelty involved in whaling, and promote the adoption of a new whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic. Furthermore, we will strongly urge Japan, Iceland and Norway, to cease their whaling activities.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what changes to the present international whaling arrangements a majority of votes at the International Whaling Commission could achieve. [77387]

Mr. Bradshaw: Although Japan and her allies may, for the first time, gain a simple majority at the next annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), such a majority would not be sufficient to overturn the moratorium on commercial whaling (which requires a 3/4 majority). However, it would enable them to determine the IWC agenda, delete certain key conservation items and change the rules of procedure to their ultimate benefit.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who the member states are of the International Whaling Commission; and which are eligible to vote. [77388]

Mr. Bradshaw: The International Whaling Commission, as of 12 June, has 70 member Contracting Governments: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Finland, France, Gabon, The Gambia, Germany, Grenada,
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Guatemala, Republic of Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kiribati, Luxembourg, Mali, Republic of Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Senegal, Slovak Republic, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United States.

How many of these member states have voting rights will be determined only at the opening of the next annual International Whaling Commission meeting (IWC58) on 16 June, when it is known whether member states have paid their annual subscription and whether their credentials are in order. Even then the position can change during the meeting.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which member states of the International Whaling Commission are (a) in favour of and (b) against (i) commercial and (ii) scientific whaling. [77475]

Mr. Bradshaw: Issues are very rarely put to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in such stark terms. As such, the UK Government cannot determine with absolute confidence how each IWC member state might vote on removing the moratorium on commercial whaling or in protest against scientific whaling.

Trade and Industry

AK-47s

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether a consignment of AK-47 type assault rifles has recently been imported from Bosnia into the UK. [75595]

Dawn Primarolo: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested is not available.

Belvedere Incinerator

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to make a decision on the proposed Belvedere incinerator. [76651]

Malcolm Wicks: I expect a decision to be announced very shortly.

Building Industry

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what support his Department is giving to the TrustMark scheme in the building industry. [75174]

Margaret Hodge: The TrustMark scheme has been developed jointly by Government, industry and consumer stakeholders to raise standards in the domestic repair, maintenance and improvement sector and to provide better information to consumers. The TrustMark scheme grew out of the Government’s 2001 manifesto commitment to tackle cowboy builders.


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DTI licensed TrustMark Ltd. (a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee) on 19 August 2005 to operate the framework. This involves assessing and licensing compliant membership organisations (“Approved Operators”) to use the logo, and monitoring their continued compliance. Approved Operators can then license compliant members. There are currently 10 Approved Operators (with further applications being considered) and around 6,500 licensed members.

Our aim is that, over time, improved performance as a result of TrustMark will enhance the construction industry’s reputation and improve consumer confidence leading to higher volumes of work and better levels of consumer satisfaction.

DTI is supporting TrustMark Ltd. with a grant of £2 million over two years, ending March 2007.

Criminal Offences

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the criminal offences created in legislation sponsored by his Department since April 2005, broken down by Act. [76911]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested is as follows:

2005

No legislation introduced by my Department received Royal Assent.

2006
Act/section Offence

Consumer Credit Act

51(1)

Penalty for false information.

In addition to the new offence created under Section 51 (1), it is an offence under Section 39 (1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 for any person to engage in activities for which a licence is required under the Act when he does not have a licence covering those activities and the 2006 Act makes debt administration and the provision of credit information services new licensable activities. Hence, the ambit of Section 39 (1) is extended.

Equality Act

6

Unlawful disclosure of information.

22

Failure, without reasonable to excuse, to comply with an order under subsection (6).

54

Knowingly recklessly making a false statement of the kind mentioned in subsection (4)(a).

73

Knowingly or recklessly making a false statement, in connection with assistance sought from another, that a proposed act is not unlawful.

Schedule 2, paragraph 13

Without reasonable excuse, (a) fails to comply with a notice under paragraph 9 or an order under paragraph 12 (2), (b) falsifies anything provided or produced in accordance with a notice under paragraph 9 or an order under paragraph 12 (2), or (c) makes a false statement in giving oral evidence in accordance with a notice under paragraph 9.


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Departmental Expenditure

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the 10 non-public sector entities that have received the largest total sum of payments from his Department in each of the last five years. [71809]

Jim Fitzpatrick: From 2003-04 the 10 non-public sector entities that have received the largest total sum of payments from the Department were as listed, in alphabetical order, as follows. Information at this level of detail relating to prior years is not held on the Department’s current financial system, and cannot be retrieved without incurring disproportionate cost.

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Departmental Staff

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what opportunities exist for people to work beyond retirement age in his Department. [69006]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Staff may retire on reaching the age of 60 or work until they are 65 or retire at any time between 60 and 65 subject to giving three months notice. Staff in the senior civil service may work beyond 60 if there is a business requirement for them to do so. For all other staff the current maximum retirement age is 65 and they are not retained after that age other than in cases of exceptional departmental need.


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David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of the staff in his Department is (a) male, (b) female and (c) disabled, broken down by grade. [69008]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The following statistics refer to Staff in Post at 1 April 2006.

Percentage of staff in post in the DTI
Grade( 1) Male Female Declared disability

Senior civil service

72

28

4

Band C

65

35

6

Band B

55

45

9

Band A

37

63

12

Fast stream

52

48

6

DTI total(2)

57

43

8

(1) Grade bands—the grade structure at the DTI is split into three bands. The equivalent civil service grades are as follows: Band C—senior executive officer (SEO) to grade 6 Band B—executive officer (EO) to higher executive officer (HEO) Band A—administrative assistant (AA) to administrative officer (AO) (2) Including UK Trade and Investment and Office of Manpower Economics Note: Departmental records of disabled staff are solely based on voluntary declaration of disability under the Disability Discrimination Act and not connected in any way to a formal register of disability.

Minimum Wage

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the Department has considered implementing a higher minimum wage in areas where the overall cost of living is higher. [76718]

Jim Fitzpatrick: There are no plans to set different minimum wage rates for different areas or regions. There are often greater variations in pay within regions than between regions, and this would be complex to monitor and enforce. Single national rates are less bureaucratic and more easily understood for all concerned.

Mobile Phones

Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the number of mobile phones in circulation in England and Wales in each of the last five years. [75557]

Margaret Hodge: The Department does not hold the information that my hon. Friend requested nor is it available centrally and to obtain such information would entail disproportionate cost. However, research carried out by Ofcom found that the number of mobile phone subscribers in the UK rose from almost 45 million in 2001 to more than 64 million by the end of 2005.

Sayers Bakery

Mr. Wareing: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what notice of redundancies he has received in respect of Sayers Bakery, Lorenzo Drive, Liverpool; what action he is taking; and if he will make a statement. [76696]


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Jim Fitzpatrick: Advance notification of the proposed redundancies at Sayers Confectionery Limited., Lorenzo Drive, Liverpool, has been received. The information was passed to the Manager of Norris Green Jobcentre plus, who has arranged for staff to visit the site to assist those employees who are facing redundancy. The Jobcentre plus offers access to a range of support schemes, from the new deal and the jobseekers allowance through to more focused schemes designed to help those caught up in restructuring. It provides information on job searching; compiling CVs; further education and training for individuals who need to develop new skills; benefits information; etc. The help required is agreed in discussion with the employer, and in liaison with the local Government Office and the Local Learning and Skills Council.


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