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Flexible pipeline and sub-sea production solutions using an engineering-based approach to reuse flexible pipes,
Engineered solution to pipeline pigging and flow assurance products,
Wind power development, and
Geophysics software development.
UK companies are in many cases major investors in Africa, including Angola, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Algeria and Egypt. We are particularly strong in the oil and gas sector where investment, including oil field development, over the next 10 years will exceed $50 billion.
UK ambassadors/high commissioners across Africa are in constant discussions with Ministers and senior government officials, to promote British expertise and knowledge. Paul Boateng, high commissioner in South Africa only last week met UK companies to discuss doing business in South Africa. The Duke of York visited Egypt in 2005, and had meetings with the President and Ministers. He also opened the BG Group $1.9 billion LNG project. My predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley, South (Ian Pearson), met with British investors in Libya to discuss the challenges they face and how they were doing business in the market.
Under the Cotonou Agreement, signed in Benin in 2000, 77 African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries receive non-reciprocal trade access to the European Union. Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) will replace Cotonou on 1 January 2008. EPAs will be compatible with WTO rules and are being negotiated by the European Commission on behalf of the EU.
EPAs will be designed to deliver long-term development, economic growth and poverty reduction in all ACP countries. The UK Position Paper of March 2005 states that we will not pursue any offensive interests and that we believe that developing countries can benefit from liberalisation in the long run, provided they have the economic capacity and infrastructure they need to trade competitively.
Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what ongoing role the Lancaster and Morecambe Vision Board has following the production of the economic vision for Lancaster and Morecambe. 
Margaret Hodge: The ongoing role of the Lancaster and Morecambe Vision Board is a matter for the board and Lancaster city council. I understand that the city council is considering how the Vision Board may support the achievement of local economic development objectives in the context of the economic vision and the local community strategy.
Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the merits of making funding available to agricultural businesses under the Low-Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 1 (Stream 2A). 
Malcolm Wicks: The environmental guidelines under which the Low-Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 1 Stream 2 has been approved, do not apply to aid that is covered by the Community's guidelines for state aid in the agriculture sector. The agriculture guidelines apply to all state aids granted:
in connection with activities related to the production, processing and marketing of agricultural products.
Malcolm Wicks: We currently have a total pot of £12.7 million for the Low-Carbon Buildings Programme phase 1 household stream, which on projected demand levels should allow householder funding to continue until June 2008. By this time, some of the wider measures to promote microgeneration should be taking hold, and we believe the sector may have matured to a point where householder grants are no longer necessary.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if his Department will increase the three year budget for domestic renewable energy installations under phase 1 of the Low-Carbon Buildings Programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: On 25 October 2006, we announced that £6.2 million of the total £28.5 million funding for phase 1 of the Low-Carbon Buildings Programme would be re-allocated to the household stream giving a total pot of £12.7 million. There are no plans to increase funding.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the domestic stream of the Low-Carbon Buildings Programme continues to meet householder demand until 2009. 
Malcolm Wicks: We announced on 25 October 2006 that we would be re-allocating £6.2 million of the total £28.5 million funding of the Low-Carbon Buildings Programme phase 1 to the household stream. This will give a total pot of £12.7 million, which on projected demand levels should allow householder funding to continue until June 2008. This is being achieved by transferring the bulk of public sector projects to the Low-Carbon Buildings Programme phase 2, where £50 million is being made available to support projects in the public and not for profit sectors. In addition, we are reviewing grant levels in consultation with key stakeholders and have introduced monthly allocations.
The primary purpose of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of States visit to India was to represent the UK at annual ministerial meeting of
the UK/India Joint Economic Trade Committee (JETCO) in January 2007. This obligation was in place when my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State took over the Trade and Industry brief on 5 May 2006.
It was confirmed that these visits would coincide for one day only of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and my right hon. the Friend Secretary of States respective 3-day programmes on 11 December 2006.
Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 23 January 2007, Official Report, column 1616-17W, on north west regional development, for what purpose the pre-development funding for Morecambe Vision Board for 2007-08 has been allocated. 
Margaret Hodge: NWDA is considering the request for £95,000 of pre-development funding. £50,000 of this sum is to provide continued capacity support for the Vision Board and £45,000 is a contribution towards a study into an integrated transport solution for the district to be carried out by Lancashire county council. NWDA will be reviewing the role and purpose of regional Vision Boards during 2007.
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 15 January 2007]: The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) will compete the management and operation of its sites in line with the competition schedule set out in its approved strategy. The introduction of competition is necessary to stimulate improved performance and to bring in new ideas and experience to the clean-up of the historic civil nuclear legacy. The NDAs competition schedule takes into account the Government's decision to enable the sale through a competitive process of the British Nuclear Group and Magnox Electric Ltd. The NDA competition schedule is as follows:
|Start competition process||Sites competed|
Energy review consultation (January to April 2006)
Nuclear policy framework consultation (July to October 2006).
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the height above sea level is of the nuclear power facility sites at (a) Hunterston B, (b) Heysham 1, (c) Heysham 2, (d) Dungeness B, (e) Hinkley Point B, (f) Hartlepool, (g) Torness and (h) Sizewell B. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Under the Enterprise Act, OFT is an independent competition authority, and the date of publication is a matter for it. Its website indicates it will publish during the first quarter of 2007. The Government will respond to the report in due course following its publication.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what regular monitoring is carried out by (a) his Department and (b) Ofgem to assess whether there is sufficient competition in the retail energy market for small business consumers. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Office of Gas and Electricity Market (Ofgem) is responsible for the regulation of gas and electricity supply, including the monitoring of the competitive market. I understand that the chairman of Ofgem will write to my hon. Friend about the information she has sought.
(2) if the Government will publish an action plan indicating how it plans to implement article 13 of the Energy Services Directive on smart metering, following the conclusion of the current metering and billing consultation. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answers 26 January 2007]: The Government will take any further decisions about metering and billingincluding any measures that might be required to implement article 13 of the Energy Services Directivein the light of responses to their current consultation and of other discussions with interested parties. Trials of smart meters and other devices, which the Government are co-funding with supplier-led consortia, will also begin shortly. These trials will test a range of approaches to encouraging consumers to reduce energy consumption.
I understand that the Competition Commission's current investigation into the groceries market in the United Kingdom is looking at local competition issues, including the degree of competition between multiple retailers and local grocery retail businesses, as part of its overall inquiry. The Competition Commission is required to publish its final report by May 2008 although it plans to publish before this date. The CC would like to hear from all interested parties, in writing. To submit evidence, please email: email@example.com or write to: The Inquiry Secretary (Groceries Market Investigation), Competition Commission, Victoria House, Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AD.
The Department currently has responsibility for policy on the street trading provisions of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 which provides local authorities with powers to regulate street trading. However, it is for local authorities to consider how best to support and develop local street markets in the interests and to the benefit of their local communities.
Statistics on the number of street trading licenses issued by local authorities that have adopted the street trading provisions of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, and statistics on the number of complaints local authorities receive which might be attributable to the activities of illegal street traders are not collected centrally. Assuming this information is collected by local authorities, it could be collated only at disproportionate cost.
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