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Mr. Straw: Making the proceedings of the House clearer to the public is an objective to which the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House, which I chair, accords a high priority in its work and to which I am committed. In its recent report on the Legislative Process (First Report, session 2005-06, HC 1097) a number of proposals sought to address the issue, including recommendations relating to the naming of committees, provision of Explanatory Notes on Lords Amendments and possibly in due course on amendments tabled in committee, and greater information about Bills on the parliamentary website.
The House of Commons Commission, on which I sit, is also active in taking forward proposals area arising from the work of the Modernisation Committee in its inquiry in the 2003-04 session into Connecting Parliament with the Public.
Margaret Hodge: The LDA is funding the 2012 Olympics activities for which it is responsible, through use of its normal block grant from the Government and capital borrowing using its local authority prudential borrowing powers.
Under the 2003 Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the Mayor of London about the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the London Development Agency (LDA) is responsible for the assembly and remediation of the main Olympic site at Stratford and will provide a further contribution of £250 million towards the public sector funding package for the Olympics from 2008-09. The LDA will also fund a wide range of legacy activities to maximise the benefits of the games for London, including targeted skills development and business support.
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government continue to support the underlying principles of the Directive and we are working with the European Commission to introduce appropriate rules to protect agency workers.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of the money allocated to the Building Research Establishment for the Clear Skies initiative was distributed in the form of grants in each year since 2001. 
Malcolm Wicks: The total budget of £13.25 million for the Clear Skies programme has been committed to projects. £8.2 million has been paid out in grants to date, which is 62 per cent. of the budget. The breakdown is as follows:
|Grants paid (£ million)|
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many businesses have been assisted in Cumbria by Business Link or its replacement agency in each of the last five years. 
Margaret Hodge: Following a review of current activities, the North West Development Agency has decided that the Business Link service in the north west should move from the current five sub regional suppliers to a single regional provider from April 2007. Services to business will still be delivered at the appropriate local level. Priorities and strategy for the future Business Link service will be determined by the new Regional Economic Strategy and Business Link will provide a consistent service accessible to businesses across the region.
One of the findings of the study showed that the UK has access to substantial carbon dioxide storage capacity in the North Sea. These storage sites were associated with deep saline aquifers and depleted oil and gas fields.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what average hourly rate his Department paid to employment agencies for agency staff in each year since 1999, broken down by agency. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Departmental policy is that agency staff are engaged where it is not possible to source the skills for the task from within the Department but the expectation is that the appointment would be time-limited.
Jim Fitzpatrick: We have recently received representations from the Employers Forum on Age, the Association of British Insurers and Group Risk Development about insured benefits, and from the CBI on the occupational pensions provisions of the regulations.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will estimate the value of (a) oil and (b) gas reserves in the UK continental shelf at (i) budget forecast and (ii) world prices. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 12 October 2006]: While the Department of Trade and Industry publishes estimates of remaining UK continental shelf oil and gas reserves on its Oil and Gas website (at http://www.og.dti.gov.uk/informationybb_updates/chapters/reserves_index.htm), the Department does not produce estimates of the value of these reserves. The Office for National Statistics does publish such estimates (most recently at http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp? id=149), with total reserves at the end of 2004 valued by them at £108 billion.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of the money allocated to the Energy Saving Trust for the Low Carbon Buildings Programme has been distributed in the form of grants. 
Malcolm Wicks: The original budget for Low Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 1 was £30 million. £1.5 million was brought forward for use on the Clear Skies and Solar PV Major Demonstration Programmes to smooth the transition between the legacy schemes, and the new scheme.
From the remaining £28.5 million, £4.3 million has been committed to household and community projects, which is 15 per cent. of the budget. Of this amount, £0.2 million has been paid out in grants to date, which is 1 per cent. of the budget.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to ensure that the right to request flexible work to be introduced in April 2007 is available to the widest possible range of carers. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: We carried out a public consultation earlier this year on how to define which carers should be covered by the new right to request flexible working. We received responses from a wide range of stakeholders, including employers, unions, carers and carers organisations, and are considering how best to take their views into account. We will be publishing the Government response to the consultation shortly.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what input (a) his Department and (b) its (i) agencies and (ii) non-departmental public bodies had into the Hampton Review and its report, Reducing Administrative Burdens: Effective Inspection and Enforcement. 
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures he is taking to promote the use of (a) hydrogen as a (i) transport and (ii) stationary fuel source and (b) new technologies to provide renewable sources of hydrogen from waste. 
a fuel cell, where it produces zero emissions at the point of use
normal combustion, (eg in an internal combustion engine).
In 2004, the Department of Trade and Industry, commissioned analysis from the energy consultants E4Tech, Element Energy, and Eoin Lees. This analysis indicates that for the UK, the use of hydrogen as a transport fuel offers significant opportunities for cost-competitive carbon dioxide reduction by 2030. Six different types of transport energy chain have this potential and also offer increased energy security. None is readily available today and each would require significant changes to the energy system. However, they are sufficiently promising to be worth pursuing as energy options for the UK. This analysis was published on the Departments website and can be found at: http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/sources/sustainable/hydrogen/page26734.html.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions his Department has had with (a) other Departments, (b) telecommunications companies and (c) other interested parties on internet neutrality; and if he will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge: The Department has discussed the issue of net neutrality with telecommunications companies, internet service providers and other interested parties via open stakeholder meetings in preparing the UK response to the EU Commission communication on the review of the European regulatory framework for electronic communication and services.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Take-up of paid maternity leave is not recorded centrally. It is possible to make an estimate of the numbers of women taking maternity leave based on employer returns to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs of the statutory maternity pay (SMP) they recover (from 2003 this covered the first 26 weeks of leave and has recently been extended to 39 weeks in respect of births due from 1 April 2007). On this basis around 300,000 women currently receive SMP each year, which compares with around 280,000 women in 1998, the first year for which consistent data are available in the following table.
| Source: DWP|
In addition, there will be some women who will qualify for maternity leave but not SMP (because they do not meet the earnings or length of employment criteria for SMP) and similarly some who qualify for SMP but not leave (because they are employed earners for the purposes of SMP but not employees in order to qualify for leave).
Furthermore employers may offer occupational maternity pay and leave schemes over and above the statutory minimum. Results from the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey indicated that 57 per cent. of all workplaces offered some degree ofpaid extra-statutory maternity leave.
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