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21 Jun 2007 : Column 2059W—continued

Furniture: Imports

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps trading standards enforcement officers take to ensure that furniture imported into the UK from other EU member states meets the safety requirements of the relevant legislation. [143112]

Mr. McCartney: Under single market rules, goods from other EU countries must be allowed to circulate freely. Products accepted for sale in one member state cannot be banned from sale in any other member states, except on safety grounds. How Trading Standards undertake market surveillance with regard to the safety legislation they enforce is a matter for them. I understand Trading Standards liaises with HM Revenue and Customs on furniture imports as appropriate, and that this has resulted in furniture being detained and convictions obtained for non-compliance with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (FFRs). They also act on tip-offs regarding unsafe furniture being sold door-to-door, at boot sales or at the side of the road, and make routine checks of furniture in retail outlets. In the period 1 April 2003-31 May 2007 there were 48 convictions for furniture not complying with the FFRs. This figure is from the Office of Fair Trading who stress it is based on returns received and that the actual figure is likely to be somewhat higher.

Gardens: Heating

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his Department's policy is on the labelling of outdoor patio heaters for energy efficiency standards. [140648]

Ian Pearson: I have been asked to reply.

Mandatory energy labelling in the European Union (EU) is covered by Framework Directive 92/75/EC, which requires that certain appliances display an energy label where they are offered for sale. This does not apply to outdoor patio heaters.

The European Commission has started a review of the EU mandatory energy labelling scheme and the most recent information we have is that it intends to bring forward a revised proposal in early 2008.


21 Jun 2007 : Column 2060W

The UK supports the extension of the labelling scheme to a much wider range of energy using products.

International Atomic Energy Agency: Recruitment

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with the International Atomic Energy Agency on its recruitment policy, with particular reference to the advertising of its vacancies; and if he will make a statement. [144001]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 19 June 2007]: The Government are aware that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) advertises vacancies for Professional and General Service posts on its website. Officials from the UK Mission to the IAEA in Vienna have met several times with the agency’s personnel division to discuss their recruitment practices. The IAEA’s personnel systems, including their recruitment section, are subject to oversight by the agency’s external auditors, the latter are appointed by members of the IAEA board of governors of which the UK is a permanent member. In addition the IAEA division of management publishes a biennial report on human resource management, which is issued to IAEA member states. The Government believe this is an acceptable level of scrutiny for such an organisation and are therefore satisfied that the recruitment policy of the IAEA is fair and transparent.

Internet: Counterfeit Manufacturing

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate his Department has made of the losses suffered in each of the last five years by the British film, music, retail and rental industries as a result of internet piracy and the production and distribution of illegal copies of film and music; and if he will make a statement. [143213]

Malcolm Wicks: Industry estimates that in 2005 the worldwide value of trade in pirate music discs was $4.5 billion while 20 billion tracks were illegally downloaded. In the same time the criminal gain in the UK from DVD piracy was estimated at £278 million. The Government are committed to working with industry to address this problem.

Better intelligence is the key work to combating intellectual property crime across the board. We need a better understanding of the criminals involved and their business methods. The Government have been working on this and a number of areas where existing material appears to be deficient. The UK Intellectual Property Office has set up an intelligence hub and is bringing in expert resources. Collaboration is vital, and I call on all sectors to become involved in the important work and to share the information they have.

Nanotechnology

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much the Government spent on nanotechnology in each of the last 10 years; and how much it plans to spend in the next 10 years. [143207]


21 Jun 2007 : Column 2061W

Malcolm Wicks: A wide variety of Government supported research activities could to some extent be deemed to embrace nanoscience and nanotechnologies, thus it is not possible to accurately identify all Government funding in this area in the last 10 years.

With this proviso, the estimated Government support committed for nanotechnology work over the last 10 years amounts to about £408 million as follows:

£ million

2006-07

66.27

2005-06

66.0

2004-05

65.76

2003-04

60.80

2002-03

40.58

2001-02

50

2000-01

35.5

1999-2000

11.00

1998-99

12.39

1997-98

(1)

(1) No data available (as there was no nanotechnology relevant coding at this time).

It is not possible to say precisely how much the Government will spend on nanotechnology over the next 10 years. These decisions will be based on the outcome of the comprehensive spending review and commercial and academic opportunities identified by the DTI’s Technology Strategy Board and the Research Councils.

New Businesses: Stafford

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many new business start-ups there were in Stafford constituency in each of the last three years; and what estimate he has made of the likely start-up rate in the next three years. [122236]

Margaret Hodge: The figures in the following table reflect the number of business start up activity in Stafford assisted by Business Link funding, they are:

New business starts

2005-06

150

2004-05

125

2003-04

110


From April this year the five existing Business Link services have been replaced by a single, regionally managed and locally delivered service. As a result there will be no dedicated/targeted services for Stafford/Staffordshire as we have now set-up a regionally wide consistent service.

Over the same period, Advantage West Midlands (AWM) through its business creation activity has assisted:

Business creation( 1)

2005-06

1,650

2004-05

225

2003-04

864

(1) Businesses created and demonstrating growth after 12 months and businesses attracted to the region.

Disaggregated figures are unavailable on a sub regional basis.


21 Jun 2007 : Column 2062W

In the current FY 2006-07 AWM, has assisted 1,293 business start ups from a forecast target range of 1,232-1,848. For FY 2007-08 the target range for new business creation is 1,264-1,896.

Forecast estimates over the next two financial years (2008-09, 2009-10) on a sub regional or on a regional basis is not available. The outcome of the comprehensive spending review 2007 will determine how regional development agencies corporate plans, explains what it plans to deliver in return for the resources allocated to it, are being developed and it is difficult at this stage to provide forecasts.

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority: Finance

Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what effect he expects the planned change in funding for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in financial year 2007-08 and subsequent years to have on employment at the UK Atomic Energy Authority's Harwell and Winfrith sites. [142651]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 14 June 2007]: The outcome of the Government's comprehensive spending review (CSR07) is not expected until autumn 2007. It is for the Site Licence Company to determine what effect CSR07 funding might have on employment at the sites.

Radioactive Wastes: Waste Management

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 11 June 2007, Official Report, column 772-73W, on radioactive wastes: waste management, what definition he uses of full share of waste management costs. [143292]

Malcolm Wicks: The reference in the Energy Review report to sharing costs reflects the fact that the storage facilities and deep repository will be primarily for waste that already exists: this will be for the public sector to fund. But we need to decide what contribution owners of new nuclear plant should make to the total costs. Our principle is that they should meet their “full share” of these costs, but we need to do more detailed work on how this should be calculated.

Science: Education

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps have been taken to evaluate the 21st century science GCSEs, and other new syllabi. [141468]

Bill Rammell: I have been asked to reply.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given on 11 June 2007, Official Report, column 790W.

Science: Government Assistance

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what mechanisms exist in Government to coordinate, develop and evaluate science centres. [144107]

Malcolm Wicks: DTI supported the start up of Ecsite UK, an umbrella organisation for science and discovery centres, to provide a national voice to the
21 Jun 2007 : Column 2063W
Government and to be the point of reference for the work of science and discovery centres. The Government have never had any direct responsibility for the set up and development of any individual science centres.

DTI and DfES are funding an Ecsite-UK initiative, totalling £750,000 between November 2006 to March 2008, for work which will enable consortia of science centres to work more effectively together and in collaboration with other organisations, with the objective of achieving financial sustainability.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of science centres in the UK and of their role in science education; and what the Government's plans are for the development of science centres in the next five years. [144108]

Malcolm Wicks: Science centres are one of the many ways in which enthusiasm for science can be generated among young people. DTI and DfES are currently providing £750,000 to Ecsite UK, an umbrella body for science and discovery centres, for work specifically designed to allow science centres to assess how they can work in combination with others, to achieve financial sustainability.

Future development of science centres is a matter for the science centres themselves.

Home Department

Asylum: Deportation

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with how many people against whom removal proceedings had commenced the Immigration and Nationality Directorate lost contact in each month of the last two years; and what percentage this represents of the total number of people against whom removal proceedings were commenced in each month. [123572]

John Reid: The information requested could be obtained only by the detailed examination of individual records at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) which countries received returning failed asylum applicants under the UK enforced returns programme in each year since 2004; how many enforced returnees were sent back to each of those countries in each year; and what packages of assistance were provided in each case; [131570]

(2) which countries have received returning failed asylum applicants under the UK voluntary returns programme since 2004; how many voluntary returnees have been sent back to each; and what packages of assistance were provided by each. [131594]

Mr. Byrne: The first of the accompanying tables shows the number of asylum applicants, including dependants, who were recorded as being “forcibly” removed from the UK since 2004, broken down by destination. These figures include enforced removals, persons departing ‘voluntarily’ after enforcement
21 Jun 2007 : Column 2064W
action had been initiated against them and since 2005 those who it is established have left the UK without informing the immigration authorities.

The second of the accompanying tables shows the number of asylum applicants, including dependants, leaving the UK under Assisted Voluntary Return Programmes run by the International Organisation for Migration since 2004, broken down by destination. These figures may include some cases where enforcement action had been initiated.

It is not possible to say at what stage in the asylum process people are at the time of their removal, as those departing voluntarily can do so at any stage.

Information relating to the reintegration assistance package provided in each case is not available; it would be available by examination of individual records only at disproportionate cost.

Published statistics on immigration and asylum are available on the Home Office’s Research, Development and Statistics website at:


21 Jun 2007 : Column 2065W
Removals and voluntary departures, excluding assisted returns(1,2,3) of asylum applicants(4),( )including dependants, by destination(5), 2004-06(6)
Destination 2004 2005( 6) 2006( 6) 2004-06 total( 6)

Albania

565

490

1,015

2,070

Macedonia

20

30

15

65

Moldova

65

55

40

160

Romania

880

665

375

1,920

Russia

40

45

50

135

Serbia and Montenegro

1,625

1,315

730

3,675

Turkey

255

790

1,610

2,655

Ukraine

150

100

75

325

EU Accession States

135

170

305

Other Former USSR

135

135

135

410

Europe other

2,300

2,185

2,005

6,490

Europe total

6,040

5,945

6,220

18,210

Colombia

185

210

145

540

Ecuador

185

155

65

410

Jamaica

465

395

395

1,255

Americas other

170

165

145

480

Americas total

1,005

925

755

2,680

Algeria

155

205

190

550

Angola

80

125

25

230

Burundi

*

15

5

15

Cameroon

55

25

25

105

Congo

30

50

45

125

Dem. Rep. Congo

15

40

90

145

Eritrea

5

*

*

10

Ethiopia

845

25

50

920

Gambia

45

35

65

145

Ghana

245

240

155

635

Ivory Coast

50

10

25

85

Kenya

110

50

100

260

Liberia

45

20

10

75

Nigeria

265

560

640

1,470

Rwanda

35

5

5

45

Sierra Leone

40

60

70

170

Somalia

15

5

10

30

Sudan

25

35

30

95

Tanzania

20

45

50

110

Uganda

210

235

190

635

Zimbabwe

50

180

50

280

Africa other

245

340

210

795

Africa total

2,585

2,300

2,035

6,920

Iran

75

170

170

410

Iraq

5

45

65

120

Libya

20

40

30

90

Syria

30

25

45

95

Middle East other

115

205

260

580

Middle East total

245

480

570

1,295

Afghanistan

345

485

450

1,280

Bangladesh

375

255

230

865

China

90

215

160

465

India

260

340

485

1,085

Pakistan

505

825

1,000

2,330

Sri Lanka

260

160

410

830

Vietnam

10

45

100

155

Asia other

275

310

405

990

Asia total

2,115

2,635

3,245

7,990

Other, and destination not known

220

165

75

460

Total asylum applicants removed(4)

12,210

12,450

12,900

37,560

(1) Includes enforced removals and those departing ‘Voluntarily’ after enforcement action had been initiated against them.
(2) Removals in 2005 and 2006 include those who it is established have left the UK without informing the immigration authorities.
(3) Excludes Assisted Voluntary Returns.
(4) Persons who had sought asylum at some stage, including dependants.
(5) Figures rounded to the nearest five, with ‘—’ = 0, * = 1 or 2.
(6) Provisional figures.

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