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23 May 2007 : Column 1352W—continued

Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 15 January 2007, Official Report, column 817W, on waste electric and electronic equipment, if he will place in the Library the results of research sponsored by his Department and the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs into the levels of waste disposal due to switchover. [138935]

Malcolm Wicks: A copy of this research has been placed in the Libraries of the House, and has also been published at:


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Transport

Cycleways

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the use of cycleways, where they exist, is planned to become compulsory under the revised edition of the Highway Code. [138619]

Dr. Ladyman: No. The advice on using cycle facilities, including cycle ways, in both the current and the proposed revised Highway Code is not a legal requirement. It does not place any compulsion on cyclists to use any kind of cycle facilities and it remains their decision whether or not they follow this advice. The distinction between legal requirements and advisory rules is made clear in the introduction to the code.

Driving: Smoking

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward proposals to introduce a ban on smoking while driving. [138815]

Dr. Ladyman: There are no plans to bring forward legislation to ban smoking while driving.

Road traffic legislation already places responsibility on all drivers to have proper control of their vehicles. Any motorist who fails to do so, for whatever reason, such as smoking, eating, drinking, using a hands-free mobile phone, etc. is liable to prosecution.

Rule 126 of the current edition of the Highway Code highlights the need to concentrate and avoid distractions while driving. The proposed revised Highway Code, as laid in Parliament on 28 March 2007, proposes the addition of ‘smoking’ in the list of potential distractions to be avoided.

Galileo Project

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total cost has been of the UK Government’s commitment to the Galileo project; what further commitments have been entered into since the original agreement with the EU; and if he will make a statement. [138204]

Dr. Ladyman: The European Union (EU) and member states of the European Space Agency (ESA) jointly fund the design and development programme for Galileo. To date the UK’s subscription to the ESA element of the programme has been €142 million. This includes an additional UK commitment made in August 2006 to meet cost increases to the development phase.

The EU’s contribution to the design and development programme is made from the EC budget and is estimated by the Commission to be €790 million. The UK’s contribution to the EC budget is around 17 per cent. of the total, before the UK receives any abatement.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many communication satellites are envisaged for the Galileo project; what timescale is provided for its completion; and what changes in funding and organisation have resulted from the decision of the private sector partners not to honour future funding provisions. [138207]


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Dr. Ladyman: The Galileo global constellation is expected to comprise 30 satellites.

The Commission has reported that there has been a breakdown in the public private partnership (PPP) contract negotiations. The immediate cause of the breakdown is an ongoing disagreement about industrial work-share between the partners in the bidding consortium.

The March Transport Council gave the bidding consortium a deadline of 10 May 2007 to resolve their differences and take the necessary measures to allow the resumption of effective negotiations. At the same time the Commission was requested to prepare an analysis of the consortium's response and to develop alternative options for taking forward the Galileo project. A more detailed discussion on these issues will follow at the June Transport Council, where it is likely that Ministers will be asked to decide whether to continue with the current negotiations, or to end them and to request the Commission to explore in further detail the alternative options for proceeding with the project. Governance of the project will also be considered.

The timetable for the programme, its funding, and its organisation are therefore subject to these decisions.

Motor Vehicles: Excise Duties

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vehicles are registered in the road tax band (a) A, (b) B, (c) C, (d) D, (e) E, (f) F and (g) G; and how many vehicles are registered as historic. [138816]

Dr. Ladyman: The information requested, as at 31 December 2006, can be found in the following table.

Tax band Volume

Band A

350

Band B

378,473

Band C

3,970,719

Band D

3,276,140

Band E

2,508,969

Band F

3,553,507

Band G

129,510


The number of vehicles licensed in the historic tax class as at 31 December 2006 was 307,407.

Motor Vehicles: Recycling

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people have been fined for failing to comply with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency regulation relating to vehicle disposal since the introduction of changed responsibilities and procedures in 2004. [138443]

Dr. Ladyman: Since January 2004 there has been a total of 180,034 cases for failing to notify disposal of a vehicle. 175,000 people were subsequently fined.

Motor Vehicles: Registration

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the value is of fines collected by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency relating to incorrect vehicle keeper information since 1 January 2004. [138444]


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Dr. Ladyman: A total of 2,829,000 has been collected in fines by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency during the period January 2004-April 2007 in relation to incorrect vehicle keeper information (The Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002).

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department has taken to advise motorists of changed responsibilities if they cease to be the keeper of a vehicle. [138756]

Dr. Ladyman: In January 2004, a wide-reaching publicity campaign was launched to advise motorists of new registration requirements whereby the registered keeper remains liable for licensing a vehicle until DVLA is notified of its sale or transfer. Failure to comply results in the registered keeper incurring an £80 late licensing penalty if the vehicle remains untaxed.

The campaign was aimed specifically at informing motorists of the importance of notifying DVLA when their vehicle changed hands. It included:

Motor Vehicles: Testing

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans (a) to introduce bi-annual MOTs and (b) to increase the age of new cars to four years before the first MOT becomes due; and if he will make a statement. [138814]

Dr. Ladyman: We will be consulting shortly on options for the future conduct of the MOT scheme—and specifically about the frequency of testing—following a recommendation that we do so in the Davidson Review of the implementation of EU legislation. This consultation will include a full discussion of the potential advantages and disadvantages of making any change to test frequency.

Tyres

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the (a) availability, (b) reliability and (c) accuracy of garage forecourt equipment to inflate tyres; and if he will make a statement. [138529]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department for Transport requested information in 2005 from the Petroleum Retailers Association who advised that over 50 per cent. of garage forecourts have tyre pressure inspection/inflation equipment. This equipment is checked on a regular basis under
23 May 2007 : Column 1356W
maintenance contracts. The equipment is not required under any legislative provision and there are no plans to regulate for this.

Treasury

Computer Software: Contracts

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many software houses successfully verified their subcontractors electronically under the revised Contractors Industry Scheme by 30 April 2007. [138085]

John Healey: By the end of April, software developed by 41 software houses had been successfully used by contractors to complete subcontractor verifications electronically.

Construction: Pay

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the new Construction Industry Scheme on-line verification may be given without a validated national insurance number. [138247]

John Healey: This information is only required when a subcontractor is a sole trader who holds a national insurance number.

Departments: Contracts

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with which (a) organisations and (b) companies his Department's central accounting unit holds a contract; on what date each was contracted; and what the value is of each contract. [133321]

John Healey: List of contracts held by the HM Treasury central accounting unit.

Supplier Name Start date

Jones Yarrell and Co Limited

1 April 2002

Oracle Corporation UK Limited

12 July 2002

National Westminster Bank plc

20 December 2002

Specialist Computer Centres plc

2 August 2006


The value of these contracts has not been provided on the grounds of commercial confidentiality.

Departments: Stationery

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department spent on stationery in each year since 1997. [134592]

John Healey: Information on payments made prior to 2002-03 could be provided only at disproportionate cost due to a change in accounting system. Total spending by HM Treasury on both branded and unbranded stationery in 2002-03 was £363,000. For details of spending since then, I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answers I gave to the hon. Member for Rayleigh (Mr Francois) on 7 November 2006, Official Report, column 1022W and 1 May 2CJ07, Official Report, column 1615W.


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EDF

Gregory Barker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what meetings he has had with the EDF electricity company in the last five years; and if he will make a statement; [138917]

(2) what meetings his Department’s officials have had with EDF on (a) the nuclear industry and (b) the energy review in the last five years; and if he will make a statement; [138918]

(3) what meetings his Department’s officials have had with representatives of the nuclear industry in the last five years; and if he will make a statement; [138919]

(4) whether he plans to meet EDF in the next six months to discuss the Government’s plans for the nuclear industry; [138920]

(5) what plans he has to meet representatives of the nuclear industry in the next six months. [138884]

John Healey: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide range of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such meetings. For details of the Government's policy in this area, I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the Government’s Energy White Paper published today.

EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the occasions on which the Economic Secretary to the Treasury has attended ECOFIN meetings; and what matters were discussed at each of those meetings. [136415]

Ed Balls [holding answer 9 May 2007]: Ministerial attendance and the outcome of each ECOFIN have been reported either by written ministerial statement, written answer or, occasionally, by letter to the Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee.

Gift Aid: Cultural Heritage

Paul Holmes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many cultural and heritage organisations received money through the Gift Aid scheme in each year since its introduction; [137982]

(2) what proportion of cultural and heritage organisations registered as charities in the United Kingdom made use of the Gift Aid scheme in each year since its introduction; [137984]

(3) what the (a) average, (b) maximum and (c) minimum turnover of cultural and heritage organisations registered as charities in the United Kingdom making use of the Gift Aid scheme was in each year since its introduction. [137985]

Mr. Timms: HM Revenue and Customs data do not breakdown Gift Aid claims by the type of charity and the information requested could not be obtained without disproportionate cost.


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