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Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what service obligations are placed on broadband providers to extend their coverage nationally; how such obligations are regulated; and if he will make a statement. 
The UK telecommunications market is regulated by Ofcom. Ofcom has designated BT and Kingston Communications (in the Hull area) as the Universal Service Providers in the UK. Ofcom report that 50 per cent. of UK adults now have broadband at homeup from 39 per cent. a year ago and a seven-fold increase
over the last four years. More than 13 million UK homes and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are now connected to broadband, compared with 9.9 million a year earlier and 330,000 in 2001.
The European Commission is reviewing the scope and future of universal service in the EU later this year and we expect a Green Paper to be published in the autumn. The DTI will consult widely in preparing a response to the Green Paper.
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 22 January 2007]: The latest Annual Small Business Survey found that 51 per cent. of small businesses with employees surveyed would like support from Government but experience difficulties in determining what is available.
The DTI-led Business Support Simplification Programme is driving work across all levels of Government to tackle the confusion caused by the number of business support services available. By 2010 the Programme will deliver Government support for business which is easier to access, which is targeted where it will have greatest impact and which is delivered to get best value for money.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how many times the Corporate Social Responsibility Academy's management committee has met in each calendar year since its inception; 
Margaret Hodge: The CSR Academy was a web-based service provided as a DTI business support scheme and did not employ staff. It was run by a project director who worked with five organisations appointed as Academy programme partners:
Business in the Community;
Association of Business Schools;
Chartered Institute of Personnel Development; and
British Chambers of Commerce.
Year l24 events
Year 219 events
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many private businesses in the UK (a) applied for and (b) were awarded grants under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme in (i) 2006, (ii) January 2007 and (iii) February 2007. 
|Period||Number of applications received||Number awarded grants|
Private businesses can only apply to the Low Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 1 Stream 2. This stream is a competitive process, with a number of application call deadlines planned through to March 2008. We recently completed our assessment of applications received in the first call, however no grant awards have been made as yet.
Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations his Department received, and from whom, in support of the prospective composite package of public funding which has subsequently been granted to East Port Great Yarmouth. 
Margaret Hodge: The Department of Trade and Industry gave consent to EEDA to fund the project in March 2005, having considered the views of the Department for Transport the then Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (now Communities and Local Government), HM Treasury and the Government Office for the East of England.
The Government Office for the East of England collated representations received in relation to the project. There were 151 letters of support: 17 from stakeholders, seven from local authorities (one of the letters also listed the names of 36 companies who supported the project), four from MPs and 123 from local businesses.
The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) commissioned a detailed economic appraisal of the proposed Outer Harbour project. This confirmed a public sector funding requirement comprising funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Objective 2 programme for the East of England and from EEDA, alongside funding from Norfolk county council and Great Yarmouth borough council.
The Department of Trade and Industry considered EEDA's application for consent to use its Development Agency funds to support the project as part of the proposed public funding package. The DTI gave its consent to EEDA in March 2005, having considered the views of the Department for Transport, the then Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (now
Communities and Local Government), HM Treasury and the Government Office for the East of England.
Allocation of the ERDF funds from the East of England Objective 2 programme was then approved by the regional ERDF programming committee, chaired by the Government Office in partnership with regional agencies including EEDA, the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA), the Learning and Skills Council, the Environment Agency, the Voluntary and Community Forum and the eligible local authorities, and by the European Commission in compliance with state aid and major project notification procedures.
Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2007, Official Report, column 637W, on small businesses, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people working in family businesses in the UK. 
Mr. Darling [holding answer 16 April 2007]: It is not possible to provide precise estimates of the number of people working in family businesses in the UK from statistical data on the total business population.
Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme in reaching under-represented groups. 
Margaret Hodge: The purpose of the Small Firms Loan Guarantee (SFLG) is to enable lending to any eligible small business that satisfies the accredited lenders commercial criteria for lending apart from being able to provide the security normally required. It is designed to be accessible to all qualifying small businesses, including those from under-represented groups.
Among the accredited lenders there are two Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs), which focus on lending to businesses, in disadvantaged communities, with viable business propositions but which are unable to access some or all of the finance they require from mainstream sources.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the cost-effectiveness of different abatement measures for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the aviation sector. 
Gillian Merron: As set out in the Air Transport White Paper (2003) and its progress report (2006), the Government believe that aviations climate change impacts are best addressed through a Global Emissions Trading scheme. This approach is endorsed by the Stern Review on the economics of climate change which strongly supports carbon pricing to ensure that economic decisions fully reflect social and environmental costs. Until a truly global solution can be found, the inclusion of aviation in the existing EU Emissions Trading scheme represents the best multilateral option available.
The UK Government have led the debate within Europe for aviations inclusion in the EU ETS since the UK presidency of the EU in 2005. The UK welcomed the publication of the European Commissions proposal on 20 December 2006 to include aviation into the EU Emissions Trading scheme (EU ETS) and now looks to the German and Portuguese presidencies of 2007 to give this issue priority so prompt progress can be made with negotiations.
Dr. Ladyman: Total sales of biofuels in the UK in 2006 were around 264 million litres, of which around two thirds were biodiesel and one third bioethanol. The Government do not hold precise data on the country of origin of these biofuels. Our understanding is that the great majority of the biodiesel sold in the UK in 2006 was produced domestically, but all of the bioethanol was imported.
The total amount of UK-produced biofuel is set to increase significantly in future years as a result of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). Once the RTFO comes into effect in April 2008, the Government will also have much better data on the provenance of all biofuels sold on the UK market. This is because in order to receive any credits under the RTFO suppliers of renewable transport fuels will be required to provide information, where possible, on, among other things, the country of origin of the feedstock used to produce their biofuels.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents involving passengers on bus services were reported in each of the last five years,
broken down by (a) constituency and (b) service provider; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: Tables showing the number of reported personal injury road accidents involving bus/coaches by constituency in each of the last five years have been placed in the Library of the House. 2005 is latest year for which data are available. Many of these accidents include buses/coaches which had no passenger casualties. Additionally some of the buses/coaches may have had no passengers at all. The information requested broken down by service provider is not collected.
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