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Works of art purchased by the House of Commons in 2006

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Trade and Industry

British Household Panel Survey

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to his answer of 8 January 2006, to the hon. Member for Truro and St Austell, Official Report, column 293W, on the British Household Panel Survey, what factors were taken into account when designating (a) living alone and (b) living in social housing indicators of disadvantage. [116193]

Malcolm Wicks: For the purposes of the British Household Panel Survey:

(a) Living alone is defined in terms of the number of people within the household. In particular, living alone is defined as a person living in a household with no other individuals, either adults or children.

(b) Living in social housing is defined as a person living in accommodation that is rented from either a local authority or from a housing association.


Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many letters to his Department sent from hon. Members during Session 2005-06 remain unanswered, broken down by those which are (a) one, (b) two, (c) three, (d) four and (e) over six months old. [114621]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department has the following unanswered correspondence from hon. Members for the 2005-06 session:

Unanswered correspondence

Over six months old


Four months old


Three months old


Two months old


One month old


The total number of letters received from hon. Members for this session was 12,509, 8,272 of which were answered within the 15 day deadline.

Employment Agencies

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what regulations govern the employment of staff deployed by employment agencies; and what checks are undertaken to ensure that the terms and conditions of employment of such employees meet legal requirements. [115339]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 16 January 2007]: Employment agencies are required to meet minimum standards of conduct established under the Employment Agencies Act 1973 and associated Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003. The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment
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Businesses Regulations seek to protect those using the job-finding services provided by employment agencies. The DTI’s Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate is responsible for enforcing the legislation, which, among other things, sets out what must be included in an agency’s terms and conditions with work-seekers.

The EAS helpline provides advice and guidance to agencies and workers on the various obligations and rights under the legislation. The EAS helpline can be contacted on 0845 955 5105.

The inspectorate investigates every relevant complaint it receives, which would include those concerning temporary agency workers’ terms and conditions of employment, and, which indicate a possible breach of the legislation. It also undertakes targeted spot checks in those sectors where, on a risk-based analysis, they consider that breaches of legislation are more likely to occur. It does this by visiting agencies’ premises, where appropriate, and examining the records.

Energy Services Directive

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent progress has been made on the implementation of the Energy Services Directive. [116301]

Malcolm Wicks: Overall responsibility for implementation of the Energy Services Directive lies with the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The metering and billing aspects of the directive are amongst the issues covered in the Government's current energy review consultation on metering and billing.

Fuel Poverty

Lynne Featherstone: 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 London in each of the last five years, broken down by borough. [115975]

Malcolm Wicks: Fuel poverty statistics are only available at Government office region level. Latest available figures are sourced from the 2004 English House Condition Survey and show that in 2004, 119,000 households in London (3.9 per cent. of all households in London) were in fuel poverty. This statistic cannot be broken down further. Figures for fuel poverty in London in 2001, 2003 and 2004 are given as follows. Figures for other years are not available.

Number of households in fuel poverty







Small variations between years may be due to sampling variability, rather than underlying trends in the data.

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Gas Storage

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent changes have been made to the planning process relating to gas storage. [116040]

Malcolm Wicks: No recent changes have been made to the planning process related to gas storage.

The importance of additional gas supply infrastructure, including gas storage, is growing as Great Britain imports more gas.

To help meet this challenge, measures were announced last year to review the onshore and offshore consents procedures for gas supply infrastructure, to assess scope for simplification and streamlining.

Any changes to onshore planning processes for gas storage will be considered in light of the broader scope of the Planning White Paper. The Government are currently consulting on potential changes to offshore consenting regimes for gas storage.

Metering Systems

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what analysis the Government have carried out of the roll out of smarter metering systems in other European countries. [115077]

Malcolm Wicks: Smart metering has been introduced in a number of markets, in Europe and elsewhere, for a variety of purposes. These markets have significant differences from that in Great Britain, which has competition in both energy supply and metering provision. Ofgem’s consultation document on domestic metering innovation (February 2006) included an analysis of overseas experience. As part of the Energy Review, the Government are currently consulting on a range of metering and billing issues, including smart metering.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what analysis the Government has (a) carried out and (b) plans to carry out on the environmental and energy benefits of smarter metering systems. [115078]

Malcolm Wicks: Smart metering was addressed in the Government’s Energy Review consultation document and Report, and, in more detail, in the Government’s consultation on metering and billing, which was published in November 2006. Further detailed consideration of smart metering is contained in the documents about metering innovation published during 2006 by the industry regulator, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem).

Offshore Wind Turbine Programme

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what capacity constraints he has identified affecting the UK’s offshore wind turbine programme. [114955]

Malcolm Wicks: There is a current global supply and demand issue for turbines, both onshore and offshore, which has an effect on supply to the UK market. There
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is currently an approximate 2-year lead time delay for the supply of offshore turbines.


Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what volume of recyclates was exported to China in each year for which figures are available. [116168]

Malcolm Wicks: Recyclates are not recorded if they are not subject to the prior written notification and consent procedures which apply to exports of hazardous waste. However, HMRC’s Overseas Trade Statistics include mass data for waste and scrap, including the selection of UK exports to China shown in the following table:

Thousand tonnes
Waste, pairings and scrap of plastics Waste and scrap of paper and paperboard Waste and scrap of metal





































1. Overseas Trade Statistics basis.
2. 0 indicates less than 500 tonnes.
3. Metal includes waste and scrap of precious metal or metal clad with precious metal, ferrous metal, copper, nickel, aluminium, lead, zinc, tin, tungsten and tantalum.

Some waste glass (cullet) exports were recorded, but this was less than 50 tonnes in total across the nine years.


British Transport Police

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many crimes were reported to British Transport Police in (a) England, (b) London, (c) each London borough and (d) each London (i) underground, (ii) mainline and (iii) interchange station in relation to (A) violence against the person, (B) sexual offences, (C) theft of passenger property and (D) robbery in each of the last five years, broken down by sex of the victim; and whether the crime was reported by a member of (1) the public and (2) rail staff in each case. [116230]

Mr. Tom Harris: This information is not held by the Department for Transport but by the British Transport Police who can be contacted at:

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