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16 Oct 2006 : Column 960Wcontinued
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when de-licensing of the former British Nuclear Fuel Ltd. laboratories site at Berkeley is expected to be completed. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 12 October 2006]: The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) assumed responsibility for the decommissioning and clean up of the UKs civil nuclear legacywhich includes the Berkeley nuclear siteon 1 April 2005. The NDA requires each of its sites to produce Life Time Plans which set out the total scope of activities which need to be undertaken over the sites planned lifetime to bring it to its proposed end state. In this context the NDA expects the Health and Safety Executives Nuclear Installations Inspectorate to have completed the de-licensing of the former BNFL laboratories at Berkeley by the end of December.
Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he plans to amend the remit of Ofgem. 
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much was allocated to support the rural post office network in each of the last 20 years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: There was no financial support provided to the rural post office network until this Government introduced the social network payment in 2003. Allocations since then have been: £146 million in financial year 2003-04; £151 million in 2004-05; and £147 million in 2005-06. For this and the next financial year we have made available up to £150 million per annum. Additionally, £2 million was made available under the capital start-up scheme introduced in July 2001.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of the regional targets for renewable electricity generation, derived from the Regional Renewable Assessment Overview, should be met from microgeneration installed by (a) individual home-owners, (b) community groups and (c) public institutions. 
Malcolm Wicks: Microgeneration technologies have a significant role to play as part of our overall renewables mix, but it is too early in the development of the market to be able to set meaningful targets or identify proportions of demand likely to come from different segments of the market. Regions should be looking to meet renewable targets through whichever technologies are most effective for their situation.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people are eligible for the statutory right to four weeks' paid holiday in each local authority in the UK. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: In 1998, the Government introduced an entitlement to four weeks' paid annual leave.
Statistical information on the number of people eligible for this right is not available for each local authority in the UK.
Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions he has had with senior executives in the British steel industry; and if he will make a statement. 
There have been no recent discussions with senior executives in the UK steel industry. However the Department has enjoyed an excellent relationship with the UK steel sector over the years, and during this time there has been regular
contact between DTI Ministers and senior industry representatives. Most recently I met representatives of the UK steel industry on 21 June in the context of emissions trading. Thereafter on 13 July I met a delegation from the Metals Forum, including a representative of the trade association UK Steel, to discuss a range of issues affecting the metals sector.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry why claims handlers Stuart Bell Associates were placed on his Departments published list of solicitors authorised to deal with coal health claims. 
Malcolm Wicks: The list included all those who had been chosen by claimants to represent them in handling coal health claims. The Department does not authorise claimant representatives.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many trade union recognition deals there have been in each of the last 20 years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: There are no official statistics on the number of trade union recognition deals reached in any year. However, in each year since the statutory recognition procedure came into force on 6 June 2000, the Central Arbitration Committee has awarded recognition in the following number of cases:
|The number of trade union recognition awards by the CAC by year (1 April -31 March)|
|Trade Union Recognition Awards|
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of UK electricity-generating capacity can use more than one fuel type. 
Malcolm Wicks: At the end of December 2005, out of a total UK generating plant capacity of 81.7 GW, 4.9 GW or 6 per cent. was accounted for by mixed or dual-fired conventional steam stations. In addition data collected during 2004 showed that 4.6 GW of combined cycle gas turbine capacity (an additional 5.5 per cent. of total generating capacity) had access to distillate as a back-up fuel.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of UK gas demand is met by interruptable contracts. 
Malcolm Wicks: It is estimated that sales of gas supplied on an interruptible basis accounted for around 20 per cent. of total gas sales in 2005. See para 4.26 of the Digest of UK Energy Statistics, 2006, which can be found at http://www.dtistats.net/energystats/dukes06.pdf
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will enable compensation claimants represented by Vendside Ltd. to have access to their files. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 11 October 2006]: If the Department received a file access request from a compensation claimant, the Department would reach a decision as to whether to disclose taking account of its legal obligations. The Department would expect only to receive such requests where claimants had tried and failed to obtain that information from their representatives.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects the European Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive to be implemented. 
Malcolm Wicks: The intention is, subject to the outcome of the current public consultation on the draft implementing regulations, that the directive should be transposed into UK law early in 2007, leading to full implementation on 1 July 2007.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what arrangements have been made to deal with the heavy and additional intermittent workload that will occur on the grid as a result of additional wind turbines in Wales; what progress has been made in implementing these arrangements; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Responsibility for making arrangements for accommodating wind generation wishing to connect to the grid network in Wales lies with the distribution network operators, SP Manweb and Western Power Distribution, and the National Grid Company. However, the DTI, in conjunction with Ofgem, established the Transmission Working Group (and its predecessor the Transmission Issues Working Group) to monitor progress in identifying and delivering GB-wide grid infrastructure upgrades necessary to accommodate the Government's renewable targets. The DTI is also working closely with the National Grid Company on studies to review the future performance of GB Transmission system with a renewable generation capacity commensurate with achievement of these targets. I hope that the outcome of these studies will be available early in the new year.
Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the latest estimate is of opiate seizures in Afghanistan since the start of UK operations there. 
Mr. Hoon: It is difficult to obtain precise opiate seizure figures since UK operations in Afghanistan began in 2002, due to the absence of adequate information systems at that time.
Further to the written answer of my hon. Friend the Minister for the Middle East of 14 July 2006, Official Report, column 2133W, in response to a question from the hon. Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey), in which he referred to a total of 186.6 tonnes of opiate equivalents seized for the period May 2005 to June 2006, the Afghan Ministry of Interior have recently revised their estimate of total seizures. They estimate for the period 1 May 2005 to 11 October 2006, 115.3 tonnes of opiate equivalents were seized.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the aims and objectives are of the Climate Change and Energy Group; and if she will make a statement on the Groups progress against its targets. 
Mr. McCartney: The Foreign and Commonwealth Offices (FCO) Climate Change and Energy Group (CCEG) contributes to the delivery of the Governments following international priorities:
Supporting the UK economy and business through an open and expanding global economy, science and innovation and secure energy supplies
Achieving climate security by promoting a faster transition to a sustainable, low carbon global economy
It works closely with my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretarys special representative for climate change and other Government Departments, in particular the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department for International Development. Key to CCEGs role in delivering these priorities is providing support to the Foreign Secretary and her special representatives efforts to place climate security at the heart of UK foreign policy, and to reframe the climate and energy debate to build a sense of urgency and imperative for action among key international constituencies.
preparation of and briefing for the Foreign Secretarys attendance at the second ministerial meeting of the Gleneagles Dialogue in Monterrey, Mexico 3-4 October, which focused on the economics of climate change, technology opportunities and clean energy investment and will lead to enhanced action to promote lower carbon growth;
briefing for the Foreign Secretary on climate change issues for discussions with a range of international partners, including the US, China, India, Mexico and EU partners;
joint work with DTI on assessment of international risks to EU energy supplies;
the FCO has appointed three regional energy advisers covering Middle East, Africa and the Caspian. These advisers support the FCOs network of posts in these regions on energy issues and liaise with interested Whitehall departments on developments in them. One example of the work done has been to push forward the implementation of the Kazakhstan memorandum of understanding on energyaimed at building closer co-operation on energy issues; and
management of the Global Opportunities Fund Climate Change and Energy Programme, for which £4.6 million is available this financial year, and which aims to promote change in the governance and use of international energy resources and systems to help secure the UKs medium-term global climate change and energy objectives.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what child care (a) provision and (b) assistance is available to her Department's staff. 
Mr. Hoon: There are two in-house nurseries, one at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Main Building, King Charles Street and the other at Hanslope Park, Milton Keynes.
The London Nursery has a total of 36 places. These are subsidised and the fees range from £23 to £34 per day.
The Hanslope Park nursery has a total of 50 places. Fees are £139 per week for under-2s and £126 for children two and over.
The FCO introduced the Salary Sacrifice Childcare Vouchers Scheme on 1 April 2006. This enables staff to purchase child care vouchers up to the value of £243 per month by sacrificing the equal amount of salary. The resulting saving in tax and national insurance to the individual officer is up to the value of £1,200 per year.
The FCO pay a 50 per cent. subsidy to the Westminster Playscheme to enable FCO staff to take up places for their school-age children during normal school holidays.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of (a) staff and (b) new staff employed since April 2005 in (i) her Department and (ii) each of the agencies for which she has responsibility is recorded as disabled. 
Mr. Hoon: Disability status at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is declared and voluntary. In this context the figures requested are:
Proportion of staff employed since April 2005 who have declared a disability
Wilton Park is our only agency. The number of staff, and the proportion of disabled employees, are both so small that disclosure would risk identifying individuals.
Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many disabled people were hired by her Department in each of the last five years for which figures are available; what percentage of the overall workforce these figures represented in each year; and how many disabled people left their employment in her Department over the same period. 
Mr. Hoon: The overall percentage of staff, who had declared a disability, rose from 2.1 per cent. in 2001 to 3 per cent. in 2005. Disability status is self-declared and voluntary. The information requested is as follows:
|Disabled new entrants||As a percentage of workforce||Disabled leavers|
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