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24 July 2006 : Column 1023W—continued

24 July 2006 : Column 1024W

Letter from Jeanne Spinks, dated 24 July 2006:

Letter from Desmond Flynn, dated 24 July 2006:

Letter from Dr. Jeff Llewellyn, dated 24 July 2006:

Letter from Tim Moss, dated 24 July 2006:

Letter from Ron Marchant, dated 24 July 2006:

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Disabled People

Tom Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on his Department’s progress in fulfilling its statutory obligation as a public body of promoting the rights of disabled people. [66010]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 placed new duties on public authorities to promote equality for disabled people, ‘the Disability Equality Duty’.

The Department of Trade and Industry is currently planning a Disability Equality Scheme to be implemented by December 2006, and considering the scope of activities to be included in the progress report to be published by 1 December 2008.

The Department promotes equality for disabled people through employment legislation and the promotion and publication of relevant information and guidance.

Doorstep Lending

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the net outflow in interest payments to doorstep lenders in each local authority area in the UK. [86984]

Mr. McCartney: Information of this kind on individual credit agreements is not currently collected.

However, according to the provisional findings of the Competition Commission’s Home Credit Market Inquiry, home credit lenders collected around £1.9 billion in repayments from their customers in 2004.

Electricity Transmission

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will take steps to ensure that power producers reduce carbon dioxide emissions attributable to electricity transmission and distribution losses; and if he will make a statement. [87671]

Malcolm Wicks: Power producers are strongly incentivised to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from all aspects of electricity production through the European Emissions Trading Scheme, which incentivises all installations it covers to reduce emissions in response to a carbon price. It is up to each installation to determine what measures it may take to reduce its emissions, which may include those attributable to transmission and distribution losses.

In addition, power producers are specifically incentivised to reduce transmission and distribution losses through the requirement on all power producers using the transmission system to pay on a cost reflective basis. This aims to reflect the costs generators impose on the network to transfer electricity to where it is required. With 2 per cent. of electricity conveyed over the transmission network lost, through noise and heat, there is an environmental as well as economic case for having generation near to the main centres of electricity demand and the transmission charging system reflects this.

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About 6 per cent. of electricity conveyed over the distribution network is lost. Distribution Network Operators, as part of their regulated price controls, are incentivised to reduce these losses.

Energy Review

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to paragraphs 5.104 and 5.105 of the Energy Review, Cm 6887, what the reasons were for the choice of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Nuclear Energy Agency study to illustrate the comparative carbon footprint ranking of nuclear generation against other power generation sources; and which other analyses were examined on the comparative carbon footprint of different generation sources in the Energy Review. [86095]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 19 July 2006]: The Energy Review considered various studies on lifetime carbon emissions, including:

OECD estimates broadly reflect the range of nuclear lifecycle emissions estimates from this literature.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment was made of the potential vulnerability of existing licensed nuclear sites to (a) coastal erosion and (b) inundation in the energy review. [86926]

Malcolm Wicks: Any new nuclear power stations would be proposed, developed, constructed and operated by the private sector. Industry has indicated that the most viable sites are likely to be adjacent to existing sites. Any developers will need to manage the possible risks of coastal erosion and flooding through active flood management plans, which must be approved by the safety regulator. Government committed in the energy review report to undertake a strategic siting assessment that would assist developers in identifying the most suitable sites for nuclear power stations.

Enterprise Initiatives

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department has taken to increase enterprise in the West Suffolk constituency since 1997. [85501]

Margaret Hodge: Through the Government office for the East of England and the East of England development agency (BEDA) the Department has made considerable progress in increasing enterprise across the region.

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The main initiatives have been through Business Link, ‘SMART’ Grants for research and development and community investment.

The funding to support Business Link branded activities from 1 April 1997 through to 31 March 2006 has been derived from DTI, SBS, EEDA, DFES, DEFRA, the European Social Fund, European Structural Funds and from local authorities.

The spending profile for the whole of Suffolk has risen from £1.658 million in 1997-98 to £4.948 million in 2004-05 with a total of £28.866 million spent across the whole of Suffolk since 1997 and circa £14 million in the west of the county.

Delivery under the brand by Business Link and its partners has primarily consisted of the provision of information, advice, assisted consultancy, grants etc. and comprises a whole series of activities related to the start-up and the development of small medium enterprises.

A total of £400,000 of funding has been raised for West Suffolk companies since 1997.

There has also been Community investment of circa £2.3 million since 1997 which includes:

Approved enterprise activity in the 2006-07 Suffolk IiC business plan commencing shortly (some interventions county-wide)—£130,000.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps the Government is taking to encourage enterprise among people aged over 30. [85919]

Margaret Hodge: The Government are pursuing a range of programmes to encourage enterprise in the over 30s.

These include:

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Enterprise Insight

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people are employed in each of the (a) local and (b) sectoral enterprise campaigns established by Enterprise Insight; when the recruitment process for these will be completed; what costs have been incurred in recruiting people for these posts; and when each campaign will be fully operational. [85680]

Margaret Hodge: All the Local and Sectoral Enterprise Campaign Hubs are expected to be fully functional by the end of September 2006.

At present, one person has been appointed for the Lowestoft Local Enterprise Campaign Hub, and a further five people will be taking up their roles in other hubs over the next six weeks.

Enterprise Insight aims to recruit a total of twenty-one people to work on these elements of their work. The recruitment process should be completed by the end of September 2006.

Expenditure incurred to date on the recruitment for the Local and Sectoral Hubs is £49,284.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to his Answer of 17 July 2006, Official Report, column 135W, on Enterprise Insight, what targets have been set for Enterprise Week 2006; what funding was provided for Enterprise Insight in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2004-05; and what funding has been allocated for (i) 2007-08 and (ii) 2008-09. [87375]

Margaret Hodge: Targets for Enterprise Insight in relation to Enterprise Week 2006 have been agreed as follows:

The funding provided for Enterprise Insight in 2004-05 was £763,000, and in 2005-06 was £2 million. The funding allocated for Enterprise Insight for 2007-08 is £5 million as detailed in paragraph 16 of the 2004 Spending Review. No funding has yet been allocated for Enterprise Insight in 2008-09.

EU Convergence Funding

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what timetable has been set for the delivery of the EU Convergence Funding programme to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly between 2007 and 2013. [87610]

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Margaret Hodge: The EU Institutions are currently finalising a new package of legislation to govern future Structural Funds Programmes for the 2007-13 financial period. All of the new legislation is expected to come into force in the autumn.

Once the new legislation is agreed, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, like other UK regions, will need to submit a draft Operational Programme to the European Commission for negotiation and approval. Partners in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are currently working on producing a draft, which will in due course be submitted to a full consultation.

The first budget commitment for the Operational Programme will be made by the Commission at the time that they adopt the decision approving the Operational Programme.

However, expenditure will be eligible for a contribution from the Funds from 1 January 2007 or the date on which the European Commission deem the Operational Programme admissible if that occurs earlier.

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