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1 Nov 2006 : Column 528W—continued


The number of agency staff in the Department fluctuates throughout the year and they were not categorised as such until mid-2004. The following figures are as at 1 October of each year:

1 October Number of agency temps

2004

179

2005

180

2006

87


The number of staff seconded into the Department, again as at 1 October of each year, was as follows:

1 October Number of secondees into DTI

1997

82

1998

119

1999

134

2000

112

2001

80

2002

118

2003

128

2004

103

2005

89

2006

82



1 Nov 2006 : Column 529W

Departmental Staff

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of vacancies in his Department in the last 12 months required candidates to have at least a grade C in (a) English and (b) mathematics GCSE. [96738]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Recruitment to the DTI is competence based focusing on skills and experience rather than formal qualifications, and there may not be a specific requirement for new recruits to hold a particular type of qualification. These data are therefore not collected centrally.

Energy Technologies Institute

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the new energy and environmental research institute that he announced in Budget 2006 is planned to be established; and how much the Government plan to grant to the institute in the first year of its existence. [97966]

Jim Fitzpatrick: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry published the prospectus for the Energy Technologies Institute on 14 September. It envisaged that the institute would be legally established and fully operational in 2008, with 50:50 public/private sector funding. The prospectus also envisaged the following funding profile, if there are worthwhile projects available. The Government are committed to providing 50 per cent. of these funds.

Cost per annum (£ million)

2006-07

2

2007-08

20

2008-09 (and onwards)

(1)100

(1 )Assumes £50 million p.a. is secured from private sector partners.

Energy Policy

Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the feasibility of using thorium-powered nuclear reactors to help meet UK electricity demand. [96768]

Mr. Darling: It is for industry to decide what type of fuel to use in any future reactor systems. Industry proposals for a commercial thorium-fuelled reactor would seem unlikely while there are ample supplies of uranium.

IT Projects

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which information technology projects are being undertaken by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies; what the (i) start date, (ii) original planned completion date, (iii) expected completion date, (iv) originally planned costs and (v) estimated costs are of each; and if he will make a statement. [95863]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested is as follows:


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‘Core’ DTI information technology projects:

Companies House information technology projects:

Insolvency Service information technology projects:

National Weights and Measures Laboratory information technology projects:

The Patent Office information technology projects:

Joint Telescope Agreement

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the UK will withdraw from the joint telescope agreement with Australia; and what the annual savings will be to his Department. [98210]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The agreements between the Governments of the UK and Australia concerning the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) will terminate with effect from 1 July 2010.

The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) is responsible for the funding of astronomical research. In financial year 2005-06, the
1 Nov 2006 : Column 531W
UK's contribution to the costs of operation of the AAT, paid by PPARC, was £1.58 million. The reductions in annual financial contributions, as a result of the phased withdrawal from the Anglo-Australian Telescope, will be approximately as follows:

£ million

2006-07

0.7

2007-08

1.1

2008-09

1.2

2009-10

1.3

2010-11

1.5


Light Bulbs

Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of light bulbs purchased by his Department in 2005 were of the compact fluorescent type. [98261]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department installs energy efficient lighting throughout its estate as a part of its strategy to achieve the energy targets set out in the framework for sustainable development in Government.

The percentage of compact fluorescent type lights purchased on the DTI estate represented 27 per cent. for the calendar year 2005.

Ministerial Visits

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he plans to visit Northern Ireland. [97258]

Mr. Darling: I have no immediate plans to visit Northern Ireland.

Polar Research

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the future of an independent UK polar research capability, with particular reference to (a) future funding, (b) planned projects and (c) pooling of resources. [95369]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). BAS undertakes the majority of Britain's scientific research on and around the Antarctic continent. In addition, NERC supports the Antarctic Funding Initiative (AFI) which provides access to Antarctica for scientists from NERC and the UK's university community.

NERC supports environmental research in the Arctic at UK universities and research institutes. NERC also leases buildings at the International Science Facility at Ny ...lesund in Svalbard for the NERC Arctic Research Station, which BAS manages.

(a) and (b) The BAS research programme is planned and funded on a five-year timetable and the current programme ‘Global Science in the Antarctic Context', ends on 31 March 2010, further details of which are available at www.antarctica.ac.uk. BAS has also received additional funding to construct a new
1 Nov 2006 : Column 532W
research station at Halley, which will be operational for the 2009-10 Antarctic season.

Details of the funding allocation to BAS are in the table:

£ million
Resource Budget Capital Budget Total Budget

2006-07

38.0

12.5

50.5

2007-08

40.7

17.0

57.7

2008-09

39.0

7.0

46.0

2009-10

37.8

4.3

42.1


(c) Co-operation within Antarctica on logistical matters is standard operational practice, and BAS has formal agreements with Chile, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands and the USA.

Transport

Blue Badges

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether car drivers are entitled to display a blue badge only when a person with disabilities is in the car; and if he will make a statement. [94150]

Gillian Merron: When a vehicle is being driven by someone other than the badge holder, a blue badge may be displayed for the purposes of entering or leaving an area, which is accessible only to vehicles displaying a blue badge, in order to pick up or drop off the badge holder.

Buses

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many bus (a) routes and (b) vehicles on such routes there were in (i) Beverley and Holderness and (ii) East Riding of Yorkshire in each of the last nine years; and if he will make a statement. [93437]

Gillian Merron: The information requested is in some cases not available and in others could be obtained only at disproportionate expense.

Driving Licences

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many driving licences were reported (a) lost and (b) stolen in each of the last five years. [97297]

Dr. Ladyman: The DVLA does not keep records of the specific reasons why duplicate driving licences are requested. Duplicate licences are supplied to replace lost, stolen and damaged licences. The total number of duplicate driving licences issued in each of the last five financial years is as follows:


1 Nov 2006 : Column 533W
Number

2001-02

584,489

2002-03

699,528

2003-04

811,670

2004-05

856,258

2005-06

937,634


This supersedes my answer of 19 October 2006, Official Report, column 1340W, to the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mark Pritchard).


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