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15 Mar 2007 : Column 470W—continued


Roads: Cambridge

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) total number of accidents, (b) average daily traffic flow and (c) accident rate per million vehicle kilometres was for the stretch of (i) the A14 between Girton and Cambridge, (ii) the A10 between Cambridge and Ely and (iii) the A1307 between Haverhill and Cambridge in 2006; and what each has been in 2007 to date. [127395]

Dr. Ladyman: The information requested for 2006 will be available in summer 2007. Data for 2007 will be available in summer 2008.

Roads: Construction

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many kilometres of HGV lanes have been built or designated since 1997. [125992]

Dr. Ladyman: None.

Tolls: Greater London

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was paid by the Government Car and Despatch Agency in London congestion charges in each year since the scheme’s inception; and if he will make a statement. [126914]

Dr. Ladyman: The Government Car and Despatch Agency paid the following in London congestion charges since the scheme’s inception:

Congestion charge (£)

2002-03

22,202.00

2003-04

179,465.50

2004-05

158,508.00

2005-06

146,846.20


The continuing reduction in the congestion charge paid in 2004-05 and 2005-06 reflects the Agency’s decision to diversify its Government fleet to include Toyota Prius vehicles, which are currently exempt from the London congestion charge.

Wheelchairs: Pedestrian Areas

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what studies have been carried out on the risks associated with (a) motorised wheelchairs and (b) other pavement vehicles; what results were shown for Class 3 vehicles; and what representations have been made to his Department on this issue. [127700]

Gillian Merron: The Department has published a review of these vehicles, including research into the number of related incidents categorised by severity. The findings are available on the Department’s website. We are currently reviewing this evidence in conjunction with the representations received on general use of such vehicles, which have included some on safe usage.

Wrexham-Bidston Railway Line

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research has been carried out into the extent of the potential for modal shift away from cars of the electrification of the Wrexham-Bidston railway line. [124327]

Mr. Tom Harris: I am aware that the Borderlands Rail Study commissioned by the Taith Consortium of North Wales local authorities, the Welsh Development Agency, Merseytravel and Cheshire county council assessed the economic case for investment in the Wrexham-Bidston line, including electrifying all or parts of it.

The benefits of reduced road congestion would be taken into account formally in the assessment which would be required from the promoters of any rail proposal seeking Government funding.


15 Mar 2007 : Column 471W

Trade and Industry

EC Energy Policy: Canada

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has made to ongoing energy discussions between the European Union and Canada; what matters of energy policy the Government plans to bring up at next month’s EU-Canada summit; and if he will make a statement. [127341]

Malcolm Wicks: We are in regular contact with Canadian and EU colleagues about energy and climate security in the run up to the G8 Summit in Germany in June 2007, including the prospects for a post-2012 agreement on climate change.

The EU-Canada summit will take place on 4 June. An agenda for this meeting has not yet been set. We will, however, contribute fully to the dialogue at the appropriate time.

Financial Services: Advisory Services

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many independent financial advice practices went into administration in each year since 1997. [127524]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The official insolvency statistics published by the Insolvency Service include total numbers of company administrations in England and Wales sourced from Companies House. However, these are not available broken down by industry sector, so it is not possible to provide the figures for independent financial advice practices.

Post Office: Magazine Press

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the cost to the Post Office was of producing the Keeping You Posted magazine in the latest period for which figures are available; and what assessment he has made of the impact of the magazine. [127638]

Jim Fitzpatrick: This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. Alan Cook the Managing Director has been asked to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Project Al Yamamah

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations have been received by his Department about the Al Yamamah military contract following the announcement that the Serious Fraud Office would end its investigation into the contract. [126927]

Malcolm Wicks: As with other Government Departments, including those with a more central role in this matter, the Department of Trade and Industry has received a number of communications about the decision of the Serious Fraud Office to discontinue its investigation in relation to the Al Yamamah programme.


15 Mar 2007 : Column 472W

Thames Water: Billing

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations he has received regarding Thames Water’s policies in respect of non-paying customers. [127238]

Ian Pearson: I have been asked to reply.

DEFRA Ministers and officials regularly meet with key water industry stakeholders and have received representations on a range of water industry issues, including Thames Water’s policy on customers in debt and non-payment of bills.

Treasury

Arms Trade: Balkans

John Barrett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) assault rifles and (b) machine guns were imported from (i) Bosnia and Herzegovina, (ii) Croatia and (iii) Serbia and Montenegro in each year since 2000; and if he will make a statement. [126385]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 9 March 2007]: The information is not available in the format required.

Child Trust Fund

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what activities were recently undertaken as part of Child Trust Fund week; and what the cost was of each. [118713]

Ed Balls: As part of Child Trust Fund week, a number of activities were undertaken to help promote parents’ engagement with the Child Trust Fund accounts set up in their children’s names, and to encourage new parents to open the accounts themselves. These included a nationwide radio and parenting media advertising campaign at a cost of £234,000, the preparation and distribution of packs designed to help MPs promote the Child Trust Fund in their local regions at a cost of £30,000, and a campaign to promote editorial coverage in the national media at a cost of £31,000. All such expenditure is subject to the normal rules concerning Government communications expenditure, and is designed to ensure properly targeted communications and full value-for-money. All aforementioned costs are exclusive of VAT.

Departments: Knowledge Management

Justine Greening: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many knowledge managers are employed by his Department; what their total remuneration is; how many vacancies for knowledge manager positions there are in his Department; what the salary range is of posts which are vacant; and if he will make a statement; [127458]

(2) how much his Department spent on knowledge management in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07; what the planned expenditure is in 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. [127459]


15 Mar 2007 : Column 473W

John Healey: Knowledge management involves the improvement of organisational record-keeping, filing systems and processes, and is especially important in efficiently meeting the demands of the Freedom of Information Act and managing the transition to full electronic data storage and management. The Treasury currently employs three individuals on this type of work, one on a part-time basis, and is seeking to recruit a further two individuals. As advertised, the salary ranges for these posts are £40,039 to £48,589.

Departments: Ministerial Policy Advisors

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 22 February 2007, Official Report, column 1907W, on special advisers, to which film and television company his answer referred. [126595]

John Healey: The DVDs of film and television series were received from Warner Bros. Entertainment and subsequently donated to charity.

Departments: Pay

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the percentage wage increase will be for each grade of civil servant in his Department in the 2007-08 pay round. [126840]

John Healey: Pay Awards for the Senior Civil Service grades will be in line with the Review Body on Senior Salaries Report No. 63.

The pay award process for the delegated grades has not yet commenced.

Economic and Monetary Union

Mr. Francois: To ask (1) the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost to date has been of maintaining the Treasury Euro Resource website, www.euro.gov.uk; [126746]

(2) what the cost to the public purse was of the Treasury Euro Resource, Euro Information, in each year since its inception. [126747]

Ed Balls: Information on the costs of starting up and maintaining the Treasury’s euro website has been given in the answer of 25 July 2006 to the hon. Member for Wealden (Charles Hendry), Official Report, column 1351W, the answer of 24 June 2004 to the hon. Member for North-East Hertfordshire (Mr. Heald), Official Report, column 1471W, the answer of 8 March 2004 to the hon. Member for Truro and St. Austell (Matthew Taylor), Official Report, column 1275W, and the answer of 22 October 2002 to the hon. Member for Twickenham (Dr. Cable), Official Report, column 220W. The direct cost of maintaining the euro website in 2006-07 was £12,000.

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost has been of the euro information centres in (a) Southampton, (b) Inverness, (c) Kent and (d) Birmingham since their establishment. [126909]

Mr. Hoon: I have been asked to reply.


15 Mar 2007 : Column 474W

An overall figure for the operating budgets of Euro Information Centres (EICs) since their establishment is not readily available, as they receive funding from a variety of sources, including charging for some of their services, and have been in operation for more than twenty years. To provide this information for the EICs in Southampton, Inverness, Kent and Birmingham could be done only at disproportionate cost.

Energy: Conservation

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which projects on energy efficiency in the public sector and increased access to the arts and culture have received funding under the Invest to Save-Inclusive Communities Budget since 4 April 2005; and how much each project received. [126869]

Mr. Timms: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement made by the former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, my right hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (Des Browne) on 22 March 2006, Official Report, column 23WS.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to introduce fiscal incentives to encourage households to introduce renewable energy and energy efficiency methods in their homes. [127142]

John Healey: All taxes are kept under review and any changes are announced by the Chancellor as part of the Budget process.

The Government recognise the importance of household energy efficiency and renewable energy technology and since 1997 has introduced a number of measures in support of these. These include reduced VAT rates for the installation of energy saving materials such as insulation, draught-proofing, heating controls and also for micro-generation-technologies powered by renewable and sustainable energy sources. In addition, the Landlords Energy Saving Allowance (LESA) was introduced in 2004 to improve energy efficiency in the private rented sector. Pre-Budget report 2006 announced extensions to the scope of LESA as well as a stamp duty exemption for the majority of new zero-carbon homes. The pre-Budget report also announced that Finance Bill 2007 would include legislation to ensure that individual householders installing micro-generation are not subject to income tax on any payment for surplus electricity exported back to the grid.

The Government remain committed to meeting environmental challenges and continue to look for ways to promote household energy efficiency and renewable technologies through a range of tax and other policy measures.

Financial Services: EC Law

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he expects the markets in financial instruments directive to be implemented in full in the United Kingdom by the deadline of November 2007. [127333]

Ed Balls: The UK was the only major member state to transpose the markets in financial instruments directive by 31 January 2007. This provides the maximum time available for industry and the FSA to prepare for implementation.


15 Mar 2007 : Column 475W

HM Revenue and Customs: Consultants

Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what expenditure on external advice and consultancy was incurred by HM Revenue and Customs in (a) 2004-05 and (b) 2005-06; how much has been incurred in 2006-07; which consultants were engaged; and on what projects. [123358]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 27 February 2007]: The spend from HMRC consultancy budgets for the periods requested was published by the National Audit Office in their report on Central Government’s Use of Consultants in December 2006 (HC 128). Figures for 2006-07 will be published in HMRC’s departmental report this spring.

Information on which consultants were engaged is not readily available and we would incur disproportionate costs in carrying out this analysis. However, we can make available the results of earlier analysis which we have on file, showing the top 20 (top 10 for 2004-05) spend by consultancy firm. The information is as follows:

Top 10 consultancy suppliers by spend—EX-IR and EX-CE, 2004-05


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