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Events are also arranged for staff to address developmental needs identified by management units.
With regards to details of training courses available for Ministers, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Noble Lord, Lord Bassam of Brighton in another place to the Noble Lord, Lord Norton of Louth, on 8 February 2006, Official Report, column 102W.
Since 1997-98 the Cabinet Office has used DHL along with other companies to provide courier services. Usage of DHL for such services up until 1999-2000 was low, with the costs incurred by a handful of different management units. From the latter part of 2000-01, the Department had a need for more regular secure courier services from DHL, in relation to daily secure courier delivery of confidential citizen data enabling printing of registration and enrolment letters and pin codes for the Government Gateway. Thereafter, the cost fluctuated according to the business need of the Government Gateway team.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether guidance is issued to Departments on answering parliamentary questions on bilateral meetings held between Ministers from different Departments. 
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what help his Department is giving to (a) rural areas and (b) other areas in the North East of England where broadband is (i) unavailable and (ii) only available at a slow speed. 
Margaret Hodge: 99.8 per cent. of the UK population is able to access broadband as defined by Ofcom in May 2004 as higher bandwidth, always-on service, offering data rates of 128kbps and above. Broadband coverage stands at 99.2 per cent. of households in rural areas.
The DTI has now moved away from basic accessibility issues towards encouraging greater take-up. In general, the market rather than the regulatoror public sector is best placed to assess the appropriateness of widening and/or strengtheningthe existing broadband network although both the regulator and the Government will consider whether there is any market failure which requires intervention.
In the consultation on the next Rural Development Programme for England, DEFRA has proposed that one priority should be to enhance opportunity inrural areas through increased investment in skills, enterprise and innovation. The availability and effective use of broadband will be key to this objective.Regional Development Agencies and other regional partners will be involved in prioritising and delivering the Programme. However, the start of the Programme is being delayed as detailed in the Statementmade by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on1 November 2006.
OneNorthEast has responsibility for regional economic and competitiveness policy in the North East of England. OneNorthEast currently offers support for providing satellite connectivity to rural businesses in the North East who are unable to get connectivity via fixed line broadband. It was the first UK region to ensure that all the exchanges could provide broadband.
The DTI, in conjunction with Ofcom, is due to publish a best practice statement on the rationale and scope for public sector interventions in the broadband market. DTI would currently support public intervention where:
The market has failed;
Distributional policy objectives can be achieved through intervention e.g. social inclusion, or reducing a digital divide; and
There is evidence that increased competitiveness can be achieved through addressing regional economic disparities.
Jim Fitzpatrick: DTI has invested in a number of initiatives contributing to a reduction in carbon emissions from 5.2 to 4.4 tonnes during the period 1990-2000 to 2004-05. This has included engaging with the Carbon Trust to undertake carbon management energy efficiency surveys, awareness campaigns and feasibility studies into on-site microgenerationexpenditure £22,740and procurement of over 33 per cent. energy from renewable sources on a cash neutral basis.
Malcolm Wicks: The appointments process for new members of the Council for Science and Technology (CST) is currently under way. On this occasion we are seeking to replace only a small number of CST members, and we are particularly looking to recruit senior business people and a senior economist, all of whom would be able to contribute actively to the science, engineering and technology policy agenda. When making these appointments Government will want to ensure that, as now, CST continues to have access to the core scientific disciplines. The selection panel will be making recommendations to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on the new CST appointments.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many of his Department's (a) computers and (b) laptops were stolen in each of the last nine years; and what the total value was of stolen computers and laptops in this period. 
|January to December each year||Description||Total quantity||Total value (£)|
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on how many occasions officials from his Department dined with officials of the UDM/Vendside at the Carlton Towers Hotel in London. 
Malcolm Wicks: Formal business with UDM/Vendside has been conducted through normal business meetings. I understand that there were occasions when those officials involved in such meetings had dinner with some members of the UDM/Vendside who were staying at this hotel. However, we do not have comprehensive records of these occasions. I should also add that similar occasions have occurred with the Claimants' Solicitors Group.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Data on the disabled status of civil servants, for the years requested, is available on the civil service website. The latest available data are as at April 2005 and these, together with previous years data, can be found at the following website addresses:
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on how many occasions the East Midlands Development Agency has invoked clawback procedures for funding it has provided to projects in the East Midlands region in each of the last five years. 
Margaret Hodge: The East Midlands Development Agency (emda) routinely builds clawback into grant funding contracts. The figure in the table represents occasions when a project has offered, or emda has requested clawback of grant funding.
The long-term nature of clawback means that some of the reclaimed amounts in earlier years relates to projects delivered by emda's preceding bodies (EMDC, English Partnerships and the Rural Development Commission).
|Financial year||Total number of projects||Total value of clawback (£)||Exclude clawback-projects delivered by preceding bodies (£)||Clawback-projects delivered by emda (£)||emda project expenditure (£)||Percentage of emda project expenditure reclaimed|
Of the total value of grant funding clawed back, over the last five financial years, £3,362,323 relates to the clawback of Gap Funding provided under the Partnership Investment Programme, a programme which emda inherited from English Partnerships. Under the terms of the programme English Partnerships provided the shortfall of funding to land developers, between the cost of developing a site and the likely future sales value. As part of the funding contract where the future sales value of a site was greater than that forecast, grant funding would be due back and hence the clawback of monies by emda.
In addition a further £885,330 has been clawed back under the Single Regeneration Budget scheme where again, under the terms of the funding contract any profits made on schemes grant funded by emda must be repaid.
The remaining balance of £1,429,739 consists of many small claims for clawback. This generally arises where there are contractual obligations to repay grant funding that has generated a profit, similar to the above schemes. In several other cases clawback has arisen where intermediary organisations, responsible for distributing grants on behalf of emda, have not distributed their full allocation of monies.
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