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15 May 2007 : Column 658W—continued


The NHMF provides my Department with data on the level of unpaid lottery commitments at the final day of each quarter of the financial year. The closest figure to August 2006 that we have available is September 2006.

On 30 September 2006 the NHMF’s balance in the NLDF was £722,554,821. Its forward commitments including both contractually binding and ‘in principle’ commitments totalled £1,107,819,235. It was therefore over-committed on its NLDF balance by £385,264,414.

On 31 March 2007 the NHMF’s balance was £660,163,116. Its forward commitments, including both contractually binding and ‘in principle’ commitments totalled £1,084,000,000. It was therefore over-committed by £424,000,000.

Olympic Games: Greater London

Mr. Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how many landscaping contracts have been awarded as part of the preparation for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games programme; and if she will make a statement; [136287]

(2) how much has been spent to date on landscaping projects in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games programme. [136289]

Mr. Caborn: The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has to date appointed one contract for the EDAW Consortium to lead landscape design for the Olympic Park. In the coming months, further contracts will start to be procured relating to the following areas:

As is consistent with other non-departmental public bodies, the ODA will be publishing its expenditure figures in its annual report, which will be publicly available before the summer recess.

Trade and Industry

Administered Incentive Pricing

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will place in the Library the regulatory impact assessment for implementation of administered incentive pricing; and if he will make a statement. [136084]

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 both Houses.

Bankruptcy: Gloucestershire

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people in Gloucestershire were declared bankrupt in each year since 1997. [136765]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Regional insolvency statistics are only available on the basis of the locations of Official Receivers offices, each of which covers a group of county courts where the cases are heard and the courts having jurisdiction over these. It is not possible to provide bankruptcy statistics by constituency, county or Government Office Region. The following table provides the bankruptcy order statistics considered to be closest to those of interest in courts with insolvency jurisdiction which themselves fall within Gloucestershire but they should not be treated as reliable estimates for the administrative geography requested.


15 May 2007 : Column 659W
Cheltenham county court Gloucester county court Total

1997

57

129

186

1998

65

124

189

1999

65

111

176

2000

57

124

181

2001

65

125

190

2002

81

186

267

2003

93

175

268

2004

120

221

341

2005

135

318

453

2006

259

395

654


Construction: Payments

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to publish his Department’s plans to improve payment practices under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (Part II). [136982]

Margaret Hodge: The DTI is developing detailed proposals to improve the adjudication and payment provisions in Part II of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996. My officials are due to meet representatives of the construction industry to discuss the proposals shortly. I intend to publish a consultation paper to follow up our previous joint consultation with the Welsh Assembly Government on “Improving payment practices in the construction industry”.

Departments: Disciplinary Proceedings

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many grievance procedures have been initiated in his Department in the last 12 months. [135162]

Jim Fitzpatrick: 18 formal grievance procedures were initiated in the Department during 2006.

Departments: Intimidation

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many complaints of bullying have been investigated in his Department in the last 12 months; and how many complaints have been upheld. [134822]

Jim Fitzpatrick: There have been less than five complaints of bullying investigated in the last 12 months in the Department. No further information can be provided on the grounds of confidentiality.

The Department’s policy and procedures for investigating complaints is set out in the staff handbook, “The Guide”, available to all staff.

Departments: Sexual Harassment

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many complaints of sexual harassment have been investigated in his Department in the last 12 months; and how many complaints have been upheld. [135380]


15 May 2007 : Column 660W

Jim Fitzpatrick: There have been less than five sexual harassment complaints investigated in the last 12 months in the Department. No further information can be provided on the grounds of confidentiality.

The Department’s policy and procedures for investigating complaints is set out in the staff handbook, “The Guide”, available to all staff.

Farmers: Bankruptcy

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 1 May 2007, Official Report, column 1564W, on farmers: bankruptcy, for what reasons bankruptcy figures for 2006 are not available by industry sector. [137111]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Bankruptcy statistics broken down by industry sector are routinely published one quarter in arrears of the headline figures. At the time when the answer referred to above was provided, full year 2006 figures would not, therefore, have been available.

However, further to this, development work is currently being undertaken to the section of the bankruptcy database that records industry classification to update it to the current standard for official statistics: SIC2003 (Standard Industrial Classification 2003). Statistics based on SIC2003 are expected to be available for new bankruptcy orders from July 2007. Complete, reliable statistics by industry for new orders from October 2006 to June 2007 are not available.

For information, the numbers of bankruptcy orders and company liquidations recorded under “Agriculture” and made in the “first 9 months of calendar year 2006” in England and Wales were 129 (bankruptcy orders) and 28 (company liquidations)—the basis of these is consistent with the annual figures for 2001-05 provided in the answer to the hon. Member on 1 May 2007, O fficial R eport, column 1564W.

Post Offices

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many new post offices opened in (a) 2004, (b) 2005 and (c) 2006. [136809]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The question the hon. Member has asked relates to operational matters for which Post Office Ltd. is directly responsible. Post Office Ltd. has provided the following figures relating to the number of post offices opened.

Number of post office branches opening
Number

2004

190

2005

202

2006

239


Post Offices: Essex

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many new post offices have opened in Essex since 1997. [136813]


15 May 2007 : Column 661W

Jim Fitzpatrick: The question the hon. Member has asked relates to operational matters for which Post Office Ltd is directly responsible. I understand that the information is not held at county level and the information is available only from 2002. Post Office Ltd has provided the following figures relating to the number of post offices opened for the East of England Region which includes Essex.

Number of post office branches opening
From: Number

2002

185


Post Offices: Rural Areas

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to halt the decline in the number of rural post offices. [136812]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government’s policy of preventing avoidable closures of post offices in rural areas, introduced in November 2000, has helped safeguard the number of rural post offices.

Proposals set out in the Government’s consultation on the Post Office Network which ran until 8 March 2007, included criteria to safeguard coverage in rural and remote rural areas. The Government’s response to consultation which will set out final decisions is expected shortly.

Postal Services: Gloucester

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many postcards he has received as part of the Not via Swindon campaign to keep the Gloucester sorting office open. [136894]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department has received 250 postcards as part of this campaign.

Sheep Meat: New Zealand

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what tonnage of sheep meat was imported to the UK from New Zealand in each year between 2004 and 2006; and how much has been imported in 2007. [137035]

Mr. McCartney: HM Revenue and Customs’ Overseas Trade Statistics for the quantity of fresh, chilled and frozen sheep meat imports from New Zealand (Standard International Trade Classification 01211 and 01212) are shown in the following table:

Tonnes

2004

82,050

2005

79,208

2006

83,248

2007 (January and February)

15,701



15 May 2007 : Column 662W

These figures exclude imports of offal, skins and fats. Comparable figures for imports from New Zealand of fresh, chilled and frozen edible offal of sheep, goats, horses, asses, mules or hinnies (SITC 01255 and 01256) were 10,880, 12,399, 10,466 and 1,977 tonnes respectively; all of this is likely to be sheep offal.

Education and Skills

Adoption

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the impact of progress towards adoption targets for local authorities on children and families. [136822]

Mr. Dhanda: The Government have set a number of targets on adoption.

The following target was included in the Department of Health publication ‘Improvement, Expansion and Reform: The Next Three Years (Priorities and Planning Framework 2003-06)’:

“Maintain current levels of adoption placement stability (as measured by the proportion of placements for adoption ending with the making of an adoption order) so that quality is not compromised whilst increasing the use of adoption as follows:

The period during which this target operated came to an end in March 2006.

The target helped significantly to raise the number of adoptions of looked after children, where adoption was in the child's best interests. Between 2000-01 and 2004-05 the proportion of looked after children placed for adoption within 12 months of the decision that adoption was in the child's best interests remained stable at around 80 per cent.. We will be reviewing the factors that influenced performance against this target in light of the full implementation and bedding down of the Adoption and Children Act 2002.

In addition, in 2004, the following Department for Education and Skills Public Service Agreement target was introduced:


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