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Margaret Hodge: Value added tax (VAT) registrations are the best official guide to the pattern of business start-ups. DTI data on the number of VAT registrations, and the start of year stock of VAT registered businesses, in East Sussex and Eastbourne from 1997 to 2005 are shown in the following table. Data for 2006 will be available autumn 2007.
|VAT registrations and start of year VAT stock|
Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Registrations and De-registrations 1994-2005, Small Business Service, available from:
Although numbers of registrations in Eastbourne and East Sussex have remained fairly constant, the start of year stock has risen by 10 per cent. over the period in Eastbourne, and by 12 per cent. in East Sussex.
VAT registration and de-registration data do not capture all business activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if their turnover falls below the compulsory VAT threshold, which has risen in each year since 1997. Similarly, businesses that de-register may not have closed. Only 1.8 million out of 4.3 million businesses (42 per cent.) were registered for VAT at the start of 2005.
Margaret Hodge: Figures are not available separately for bagged and bulk portland cement. HM Revenue and Customs Overseas Trade Statistics give the following figures for imports of portland cement, whether or not coloured, in thousand tonnes.
|Imports of portland cement|
|Quarter||Weight (thousand tonnes)|
Overseas Trade Statistics.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what tonnage of bagged cement (with additives) was (a) produced in the UK and (b) imported into the UK in each quarter of each year since 2004; 
Margaret Hodge: The Office for National Statistics publishes annual figures for Product Sales and Trade: Cement (PRA 26510). Combining the figures for white and grey Portland cement gives the following volume data in million tonnes.
|UK manufacturer sales||Total exports||Total imports||UK net supply|
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what the reasons are for the differences in the safety flammability requirements set out by the Nightwear (Safety) Regulations 1985 for pyjamas and nightdresses; and if he will make a statement; 
I have received no direct representations on this issue. I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Tim Loughton), on 21 May 2007, Official Report, column 1041W. I also refer the hon. Member to the replies I gave her on 14 June 2007, Official R eport, column 1266W, covering the question of amending the Nightwear (Safety) Regulations 1985 to make it compulsory for children's pyjamas to meet the flammability requirements of the regulations. Regarding the reason for differentiating between pyjamas and nightdresses, a line was drawn between them on the basis that nightdresses involve free-flowing designs which are more likely to catch light from open fires. Nightdresses which comply with the flammability test of the regulations tend to be made from man-made fibres such as polyester. Pyjamas and nightdresses made from cotton would need to be treated with flame retardant chemicals in order to pass the same test. Such chemicals can affect the feel and comfortability of the fabric, and could pose problems for allergy sufferers. It is important to note that even chemically treated
fabrics, and those with natural flame resistance, will not be completely safe from ignition, so parental guidance and supervision has a key role here, too. Legislation has to seek to provide a balance between appropriate levels of fire safety and health/comfortability requirements.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how much his Department spent on providing information to companies on compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in relation to allergies in each of the last five years; 
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer s 4 June 2007]: General guidance on employers responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act is available on the employing people pages on businesslink.gov and on the Department for Work and Pensions site as the Department responsible for the Act. The DTI has not spent any further money on providing information to companies on allergies and the Disability Discrimination Act in the five year period.
Jim Fitzpatrick: The following table records the numbers of compulsory liquidations in the North West region classified according to Official Receiver's (OR) Offices from 1999-2000 to 2006-07. Figures have been provided by financial year due to the movement of individual OR offices between broader regions coinciding with financial years. Prior to 1999-2000 the North West region did not exist separately and the Northern region (as it was then included OR offices in the North East. For this reason comparable figures for the earlier years are not readily available.
|Financial year||Compulsory liquidations|
|(1) In 2004-05 and 2005-06 Stoke-on-Trent moved to the Midlands region and is not included in the above figures for those years. In 2004-05 there were 62 compulsory liquidations under the Stoke-on-Trent Office, in 2005-06 there were 95.|
(2) In 2006-07 Stoke-on-Trent moved back to the North West region.
Official Receiver's offices in the North West region include Blackpool, Chester, Liverpool, Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent.
Jim Fitzpatrick: There is no record of any payment by DTI to any of the companies in the Caparo Group since the implementation of the current finance system in September 2003. To access records before this date would incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many civic amenity sites are registered as designated collection facilities for all five categories of waste electrical and electronic equipment under the EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive. 
Malcolm Wicks: There are 1,046 local authority civic amenity sites that have registered as designated collection facilities (DCFs). This represents 100 per cent. of local authority sites in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland and 97 per cent. of sites in England. In addition there are a further 400 private DCFs including local authority waste transfer stations.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many compliance schemes are available for electronic producers with recycling obligations under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations. 
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