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10 May 2007 : Column 447W—continued

New Businesses

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many new businesses have opened in Northern Ireland in each year since 1997. [135044]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Northern Ireland Executive: Telephone Services

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what revenue was generated from telephone helplines connected to Northern Ireland Government Departments and Agencies in each of the last six years, broken down by helpline. [136057]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.


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Oil

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many oil spills there were at (a) residential and (b) commercial premises in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. [135587]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Olympic Games: Greater London

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 30 April 2007, Official Report, column 1446W, on Olympic Games: Greater London, which organisations have representatives sitting on the Olympic NI Task Force; and what recommendations the task force has made (a) to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and (b) to the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. [136333]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what initiatives have been identified by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in discussions with the Olympic NI Task Force, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the London Organising Committee for the Olympic games as being suitable Olympic projects for Northern Ireland; and what assessment he has made of the potential benefit of these initiatives to Northern Ireland. [136334]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Recycling: Industrial Wastes

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to encourage recycling amongst the business community in Northern Ireland. [136046]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Shipbuilding

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps the Government are taking to assist the Northern Irish shipbuilding industry. [135043]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Tourism

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps the Government are taking to encourage the growth of tourism in Northern Ireland. [135035]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.


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Scotland

Departments: Paper

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of paper used (a) for photocopying and (b) in printed publications by his Office was from recycled sources in each of the last three years. [134063]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office participates in a contract, let by the Scottish Executive, which allows for the purchase of photocopy paper from recycled sources. All areas with purchasing authority have been advised to procure recycled paper for the purpose of photocopying.

The Office obtains printed publications from a variety of sources. Figures are not held centrally of the percentage of recycled paper used in printed publications. However, the Office routinely requires that printers source paper that has a minimum of 75 per cent. recycled content.

Devolution

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he received requests from the (a) Scottish Parliament and (b) Scottish Executive for the transfer of reserved matters from Westminster to Holyrood in each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement. [134787]

David Cairns: Section 30(2) of the Scotland Act provides a mechanism whereby Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998 can be modified by an Order in Council, subject to the agreement of both the UK and Scottish Parliaments. It allows the boundaries of the Scottish Parliament’s legislative competence to be adjusted by removing existing reservations, adding new ones or updating existing ones. Scotland’s settlement was always intended to have scope for flexibility and section 30(2) provides for that. The following Section 30(2) Orders have been made since 2002:

Trade and Industry

Administered Incentive Pricing

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) when he expects the spectrum on which Administered Incentive Pricing is charged to change usage; [136082]

(2) what revenues he expects to be raised from the charging of Administered Incentive Pricing on spectrum (a) in 2007 and (b) in each of the next five years, broken down by sector; and what the revenues were from each sector in 2006. [136083]


10 May 2007 : Column 450W

Margaret Hodge: The matter raised is the responsibility of the independent 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 House.

Departments: ICT

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the (a) originally estimated, (b) most recently estimated and (c) outturn cost was of each of the five largest information technology contracts agreed by his Department with outside suppliers in the last five years as referred to in the answer of 16 June 2006, Official Report, columns 1489-90W, on Information Technology. [135623]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department has one main Information Technology contract. This is a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) Agreement awarded to Fujitsu Services which has been in place for more than five years. In 2005 the Department awarded a Competed Services Framework Arrangement to six suppliers to enable an element of competition for IT projects. A small number of lower value IT contracts (less than £500,000) have been awarded through this arrangement. The largest project awarded outside of the PFI Agreement during 2006-07 is shown as follows.

Construction Industry Statistics Service
£ million

Original estimate

1.6

Contracted cost

1.4


Post Offices

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what assessment he has made of whether the practice of establishing post offices in major retail outlets is being implemented in compliance with the rule which disallows the establishment of sub-post offices within one mile of another post office outlet; [136087]

(2) if he will assess the merits of providing compensation to any sub-post office in circumstances where its business is adversely affected by the establishment of post office branches in nearby major retail outlets. [136088]

Jim Fitzpatrick: These are operational matters for Post Office Ltd. Alan Cook the Managing Director has been asked to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Written Questions

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the reason was for the time taken to respond to the Question answered on 7 November 2006, Official Report, column 1092W, on Mr. David Mills, tabled by the hon. Member for Devizes on 27 February 2006. [125362]

Dr. Howells: I have been asked to reply.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials wished to look carefully and fully into all the
10 May 2007 : Column 451W
background on the original question, which covered a wide range of cross cutting issues including UN and EU sanctions, Iran and commercial matters. The FCO regrets the amount of time this took.

Transport

Aviation: Exhaust Emissions

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how his Department plans to respond to the advice from the Air Quality Expert Group’s recently published report Air Quality and Climate Change: A UK Perspective that reversal of the growing trend for long-distance commuting and the growth in air travel would be highly beneficial for both local air quality and the global atmosphere. [136438]

Gillian Merron: The Department has noted this report which covers a wide range of issues. The Department’s transport strategy as outlined in “The Future of Transport” White Paper (DfT 2004), “The Future of Air Transport” White Paper (DfT 2003) and subsequent Progress Report (DfT 2006), sets out a sustainable approach to transport issues to achieve a modern, efficient and sustainable transport system which balances the increasing demand for travel against our goals of protecting the environment and improving the quality of life for everyone. The Department will continue to reflect this balance, including that between air quality and climate change, when developing policy in the future.

Biofuels: Garages and Petrol Stations

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in placing biofuel pumps in petrol station forecourts. [136444]

Dr. Ladyman: Biofuels are available in low blends at well over 100 filling stations in the UK. In this form, they do not need special pumps or storage facilities: they are dispensed via standard petrol and diesel pumps, and motorists will not generally be aware that the fuel they are buying contains a small amount of biofuel. By 2010, we expect that the Government’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) will mean that the great majority of petrol and diesel sold in the UK will contain up to 5 per cent. biofuel.

Biofuels can also be used in high blends (for example, ethanol can be blended into petrol at a mixture of up to 85 per cent.). This needs vehicle modifications and separate refuelling pumps. A number of vehicles are on sale which can run on these blends, and the Government are supporting these through various fiscal incentives. This Department has also grant-funded the installation of 14 bioethanol E85 pumps. The location of these pumps can be found via:

Cycling: Highway Code

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account is taken in the revised Highway Code of the statement in the Response to
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Consultation Report of March 2007 that road users other than cyclists need to be made aware that the choice to use cycle facilities remains with the cyclist and there is no law compelling their use. [136480]

Dr. Ladyman: The Highway Code states that “where possible” cyclists should use cycle lanes. This means that while they are encouraged to do so, they are not compelled. The difference between legal requirements and advisory rules is made clear in the introduction to the code.

In response to the views raised by respondents to the consultation, the rules for cyclists were amended. Some 30 other rules throughout the Highway Code were revised to add emphasis to the need for consideration of cyclists by other road users.

The Highway Code as a whole draws more attention to vulnerable road users, including cyclists, than previous versions. It also specifically instructs drivers to pay attention to bus and cycle lanes, as cyclists may be pulling out of them, or using roads alongside.

Departments: Disciplinary Proceedings

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many grievance procedures have been initiated in his Department in the last 12 months. [135163]

Gillian Merron: The number of grievance procedures initiated in the Department for Transport in the last year has been 147.

The figure is a significant increase on previous years. There are several reasons for this including:

In Department for Transport (Central), the procedures for disputing annual performance reports was changed to include using the Department's grievance procedure with the aim of resolving such disputes within a fixed timescale.

Departments: Intimidation

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints of bullying have been investigated in his Department in the last 12 months; and how many complaints have been upheld. [134821]

Gillian Merron: The number of complaints of bullying investigated in the Department for Transport in the last 12 months was 39. Of these, seven cases were upheld and a further 14 are still being investigated.

The Department has in place arrangements for informing all staff about policies on ensuring that the work environment is free from harassment or bullying.


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Departments: Sexual Harassment

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints of sexual harassment have been investigated in his Department in the last 12 months; and how many complaints have been upheld. [135381]

Gillian Merron: The number of complaints of sexual harassment investigated in the Department for Transport in the last 12 months was five. Of these four cases are still being investigated.

The Department has in place arrangements for informing all staff about policies on ensuring that the work environment is free from harassment and bullying.


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