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External legal fees

The expenditure is in connection with a variety of external legal fees including payments to Treasury Solicitors and costs incurred in connection with the Department’s criminal prosecution functions including prosecution counsel and agent solicitors‘ fees, and expenses incurred by prosecution witnesses.

Cambridge/Massachusetts Institute of Technology (CMI)

CMI brings together the University of Cambridge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a global model of collaboration. Its work has covered four main programme areas: integrated research—focusing on areas that will have a major impact on the future evolution of technology; undergraduate exchanges—bringing about cultural change through student and staff exchanges; Professional Practice—adapting the Massachusetts Institute of Technology model for partnership with industry; and National Competitiveness Network—links CMI with UK universities and industry.

DTI has taken the position that CMI will not receive any additional directly allocated government funding and that any further government funding it receives must be gained through open competition.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for what purpose the expenditure in Uganda referred to in table B4 of his Department’s annual report was made. [109450]

Malcolm Wicks: The expenditure related to a Medical Research Council (MRC) capital project.

It was for the renewal of laboratory facilities at the main Entebbe site of the MRC/Uganda Virus Research Unit in Uganda.

Fuel Poverty

Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the number of people living in fuel poverty in England in each of the last five years. [109628]

Mr. Darling [holding answer 18 December 2006]: Figures for the number of households in fuel poverty in England are produced from analysis of the English House Condition Survey. From 2003, the survey is being carried out on a continuous rolling basis. Prior to 2001, however, this survey was conducted on a five-yearly basis. Hence, the number of households in fuel poverty is not available for all of the last five years. The figures for 2001, 2003 and 2004 are available. These statistics are detailed in the following table:

Total number of:
Households in fuel poverty Vulnerable households in fuel poverty



1 4


1 2

1 0


1 2

1 0

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Fuel poverty statistics for the United Kingdom are published in the UK Fuel Poverty Annual Progress Report.


Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much was spent by his Department on furniture made by British firms in each year since 2000. [105151]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The following expenditure was incurred by the Department from September 2002 to purchase new-style desking and chairs from British suppliers. There was no significant investment made before that date.

Date Cost including VAT (£)

September 2002 to 31 March 2003


1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004


1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005


1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006


1 April 2006 to date


This programme was part of a programme to improve space utilisation, which has helped to reduce the central London estate from eight buildings to three.

Industrial Injuries: Claims

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many claims registered by (a) Beresfords and (b) AMS Law for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease where no postcode was provided have (i) been settled, (ii) resulted in no additional action since their registration and (iii) been dropped by the solicitor. [109740]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 18 December 2006]: The answers to parts (i) and (iii) are shown in the following table:

Beresfords AMS Law

Claims registered (no postcode)



Total settled



Settled by payment



Settled by denial/withdrawal



Out of the claims registered (no postcode) there are 833 claims for Beresfords and 194 claims for AMS Law that are at various stages of the scheme.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what dates (a) AMS Law and (b) Moss Solicitors met with his Department in (i) 1998 and (ii) 1999 to discuss the UDM and Vendside claims handling agreements. [109743]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 18 December 2006]: Based on available records I understand that meetings took place on 14 December 1998 and on 2 November 1999.

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International Subscriptions: Non-proliferation

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much has been spent on the International Subscriptions (non-proliferation), broken down by main budget heading. [109317]

Malcolm Wicks: The UK is a member of two international non-proliferation organisations to which it is required to make subscription payments—the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Both of these organisations request that subscription payments are made in foreign currencies, and the Pounds Sterling figures provided in the table are based on exchange rates at the time of payment.

The UK is obliged to pay an annual contribution to the IAEA Regular Budget, which pays for most of the IAEA’s work and the running of the Agency itself, and is expected to make a payment to the Technical Cooperation Fund, which pays for the IAEA’s development programmes in less developed countries.

The UK’s contributions to the Regular Budget and Technical Cooperation Fund for 2006 are as follows:

UK contributions

Regular Budget

£10,994,536 (payments of $3,483,058 and €13,095,414)

Technical Cooperation Fund

£2,656,536 (payment of $4,581,025)

The UK is obliged to make an annual contribution to the OPCW Programme and Budget, which pays for the OPCW’s work and the running of the Organisation itself. The UK’s contribution to the Programme and Budget for 2006 was £2,722,408 (payment of €3,972,579).

In addition, the UK makes extra payments each year in support of the work of the IAEA and OPCW. This includes support to the IAEA Safeguards Support Programme which totalled £1.3 million in the 2005-06 financial year.

Internet Providers

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will take steps to secure stricter performance and service-quality targets from internet service companies providing a migration access code for those customers wishing to change internet providers. [108639]

Margaret Hodge: The matter raised is the responsibility of the Regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which is accountable to Parliament rather than Ministers. Accordingly, I have asked the Chief Executive of Ofcom to reply directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the Chief Executive’s letter will be placed in the Libraries of the Houses.


Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much the Government has spent on nanotechnology research in the last five years. [108402]

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Malcolm Wicks: Because an understanding of the physics and chemistry of matter and processes at the nanoscale is relevant to all scientific disciplines, a wide variety of research activities could be deemed to embrace nanoscience and nanotechnologies to some extent. Thus it is not possible to accurately identify all Government funding in this area in the last five years. But to date funding of around £13 million has been allocated for research to address the potential risks posed by engineered nanoscale materials and the social and economic implications of nanotechnologies. To help industry maximise the potential benefits of nanotechnologies, between 2001 and 2006 this Department committed at least £49 million on applied research projects that are relevant to industry and £45 million on support for research infrastructure. The Research Councils have provided substantial funding for nanoscience and nanotechnology. For example, they provided £19.8 million for an Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration on Nanotechnology to operate between 2002 and 2007 and between 2001 and 2005 relevant expenditure by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council alone amounted to over £160 million in research grants with additional support for around 200 new PhD studentships.

Nuclear Power Stations

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether procedures for informing his Department of reductions in generating capacity at UK nuclear power stations differ according to the (a) ownership and (b) other factors affecting the status of power stations; and what the procedure is relating to those owned and operated by British Energy. [104996]

Malcolm Wicks: Grid Code obligations require Generators to notify National Grid about useable output on a regular basis. This includes the nuclear stations owned by BE. This information regarding individual power stations is provided to National Grid on a confidential basis. National Grid keeps the Department updated on overall available margin on a regular basis. In addition, aggregated data of total output useable and available margin is published by National Grid on every working day.

As part of the restructuring of British Energy, DTI receives all such information that it needs to monitor the financial viability of the company: this includes relevant information on operational matters. As a listed company BE would alert the market to any material issues affecting its financial position.

Post Offices

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many post offices in each London borough are planned to be closed under the most recent reorganisation proposals. [109698]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government’s proposals for the Post Office network are the subject of a public consultation which runs until 8 March 2007.

Following the Government response to the national consultation, Post Office Ltd will draw up local area implementation plans within the framework of our final decision. Post Office Ltd will, after discussion
19 Dec 2006 : Column 1909W
with sub-postmasters, Postwatch and Members of Parliament, consult publicly for six weeks providing the opportunity for local representations and suggestions.

Decisions will then be a matter for the company on how best to restructure the network ensuring that no one part of the network or no particular group of people is significantly more adversely affected than any other.

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of towns with a population of 15,000 or more has no post office. [108104]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I understand that Post Office Ltd. (POL) does not hold this type of information, because it is not required for operational purposes.

The classification of a post office branch as urban or rural is an operational matter for POL. The company has for several years classified “rural post offices” on the basis of a Countryside Agency definition of a rural settlement as one with less than 10,000 inhabitants. POL considers “urban areas” to be those areas with an aggregated population exceeding 10,000. In urban areas over 99 per cent. of the population still live within one mile of their nearest post office.

Public Bodies

Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much funding his Department gave to the (a) Advisory Committee on Carbon Abatement Technologies, (b) Carbon Trust, (c) Energy Saving Trust and (d) Sustainable Energy Policy Advisory Board in each of the last five years; and how much has been provided to each body in 2006-07. [106949]

Mr. Darling [holding answer 4 December 2006]: Both the Carbon Trust and Energy Saving Trust have been allocated funds, and the details are shown in the following table.

£ million
2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

The Carbon Trust


Energy Saving Trust



5. 8



Payments made to the Energy Saving Trust include those for capital grant claims and the management fees associated with the solar pv major demonstration and low-carbon building programmes.

Payments made to The Carbon Trust include those for the energy efficiency loan scheme and the low- carbon building programme.

We made no payments to either the Carbon Trust or Energy Saving Trust prior to 2002-03.

The Advisory Committee on Carbon Abatement Technologies (ACCAT) was constituted in November 2003. It provides strategic advice on the activities of the Carbon Abatement Technologies programme. It does not allocate or administer any funds.

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The Sustainable Energy Policy Advisory Board (SEPAB) was formed in December 2003. It is an advisory board and does not allocate or administer any funds.

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