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25 Jun 2007 : Column 135W—continued

Departments: Warwick Manufacturing Group

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what payments his Department has made to Warwick Manufacturing Group in each year since 1997. [141908]

Margaret Hodge: No payments have been made to Warwick Manufacturing Group direct. However the following payments have been made to Warwick university, of which it is part, and to Warwick Business School, also part of Warwick university:

Warwick University Warwick Business School











The Department changed its financial system in 2003 and details of payments before then could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

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Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and the university of Warwick are major assets to the West Midlands and play a significant role in attracting inward investment into the region. WMG, in particular, is one of many assets within the region which form an integral part of an overall regional proposition presented to knowledge-driven business. It is rarely possible however to attribute the success in securing an inward investment project to one single factor, as often it is the result of a combination of issues.

For example, the Airbus decision to establish a systems engineering centre for fuel and landing gear systems in Solihull in 2006 was based on a combination of factors, including skills availability, access to existing Airbus centres in both north-west and south-west England and potential engineering links to regional universities including Aston, Birmingham and Warwick. WMG was nevertheless one of a number of factors which persuaded Airbus to locate in the region.

Economic Situation: North West Region

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will break down by area of investment the £211 billion private sector investment quoted in the North West Development Agency's Improving the Economic Performance of England's Northwest document dated February 2007. [140211]

Margaret Hodge: We believe that the figure in the question from the hon. Member should read £2.1 billion, not £211 billion.

Since 1999, the NWDA has levered the following private sector investment through its legacy programmes that includes the Single Regeneration Budget, and since 2002, the Single Programme:


Legacy (1999-2002)

Land and Property


Single Regeneration Budget


Rural Programmes


Inward Investment(1)




Single Programme (2002-06)

Business Growth


Urban, Rural and Economic Inclusion


Strategic transport, communications and infrastructure


Employment sites






Legacy and Single Programme Combined


(1 )The Inward Investment data for 2002-03 onwards are subsumed into business growth.

The North West Development Agency did not categorise private sector investment by geographical area until 2003-04. The following table details the investment by area for 2003-04 to 2005-06.

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Private Sector Investment by Area, 2003-04 to 2005-06
Area (of project) 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06









Greater Manchester




Greater Merseyside












Grand Total




Electric Cables: Scotland

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what methodology was used by Ofgem to assess the Beauly Denny transmission line; and what account was taken of the grid reinforcement to accommodate intermittent generation, with particular reference to (a) the increase in capacity made available through the installation of equipment to permit operational intertripping and (b) the use of hydro-electricity as a balancing service when economically justified; [145182]

(2) what work was undertaken by Ofgem in assessing the Beauly Denny transmission line to compare the merits of the proposed line and the use of transmission capacity from North West Scotland on mainly existing transmission lines along the Beauly-Blackhillock-Kintore-Tealing route. [145186]

Mr. McCartney: Under the UK's energy market framework it is for the licensed transmission network companies to connect new generation to the electricity grid. It is a matter for Ofgem, the independent regulator, to ensure that any proposals for extensions to the existing system are economic and efficient. It is for the planning process to consider if proposed upgrades are acceptable. In Scotland, those planning decisions rest with Scottish Ministers.

Electronic Equipment: Waste Disposal

Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many in-store take back schemes the Government expects to be set up as a result of the implementation of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive. [144916]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive requires that distributors supplying electrical and electronic equipment to household end users provide facilities for WEEE to be returned free of charge. The UK’s implementing regulations give distributors two options for meeting this obligation: they can offer in-store take back of old equipment when consumers buy a replacement item or they can join the Distributor Take back Scheme (DTS) which supports a network of primarily civic amenity site collection facilities where their customers can return their WEEE.

There is no requirement under the WEEE Regulations to maintain a register of distributors who provide in-store take back. Currently DTS membership
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represents some 75 per cent. of EEE retailing. Figures on the number of in-store take back schemes are not available.


Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans the Government has to sign partnerships with British industries to promote jobs for British citizens. [144965]

Margaret Hodge: The Government have no specific plans to sign partnerships to promote jobs for British citizens. The Department of Trade and Industry has a wide range of relationships with many sectors of the economy that address the challenges industry faces in light of increasing globalisation and that seek to improve competitiveness and create jobs. We have established a number of Innovation and Growth Teams in key sectors which provide a good example of the way in which we work with industry. We also work with inward investors to the UK who create employment. The working age employment rate remains close to the historic highs of recent years and is 1.6 percentage points higher than in April 1997.

Employment: North West Region

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 12 June 2007, Official Report, column 903W, on employment: North West region, if he will break down by employer the number of jobs safeguarded or created under the urban, rural and economic inclusion heading. [145072]

Margaret Hodge: As stated in my response of 12 June, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) does not collect information in the form requested and as such does not hold data by employer.

However, under the Regional Development Agency (RDA) Tasking Framework, introduced in April 2005, RDAs are required to disaggregate outputs by urban and rural area.

For 2005-06, the NRDA reported that 15,738 jobs were created or safeguarded, of which; 74 per cent. (11,588) were in urban areas and 26 per cent. (4,150) were in rural areas.

Further details of RDAs’ end year outputs for 2005-06 can be found at:

Energy Supply: Biofuels

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the adaptability of the existing energy supply infrastructure to (a) biofuels from crops and from the breakdown of organic waste and (b) other more environmentally-friendly fuels. [144209]

Malcolm Wicks: The forthcoming Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation will require changes to the existing oil supply and distribution infrastructure as set out in various Regulatory Impact Assessments which accompanied the development of the RTFO. The oil industry is aware of and preparing for those changes.

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Energy: Conservation

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information his Department holds on the geographical distribution of spending under the energy efficiency commitment. [142825]

Ian Pearson: I have been asked to reply.

For the first phase of the Energy Efficiency Commitment 2002 to 2005 (EEC1) the regulator, Ofgem, which is responsible for administering the scheme, monitored the delivery of energy suppliers' schemes across England, Scotland and Wales. Under EEC1, 86 per cent. of energy savings were delivered in England and 7 per cent. each in Scotland and Wales.

Information is not available on EEC expenditure, which is a matter for the energy suppliers.

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps have been taken to help individual homeowners to increase the energy efficiency of their homes; and what steps are being taken to incentivise such actions. [144207]

Ian Pearson: I have been asked to reply.

The Warm Front scheme aims to improve energy efficiency in households in England through the provision of energy efficiency and heating measures to eligible households. Since its inception in 2000, Warm Front has assisted more than 1.4 million vulnerable households. Funding for the scheme for the 2005-08 period is over £800 million.

The Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC) is an obligation on electricity and gas suppliers to meet targets for the promotion of improvements in household energy efficiency in Britain. During the first phase of the EEC (2002-05), suppliers installed a range of measures which helped an estimated 40 million households to improve their energy efficiency.

DEFRA funds the Energy Saving Trust (EST) for its work on promoting energy efficiency in the domestic sector through advertising programmes, advice centres and the endorsement of energy-saving products. The Trust also encourages local authorities to develop energy efficiency strategies.

DEFRA has also launched an online calculator that enables people to work out their carbon footprint. The calculator is part of DEFRA’s “Act on CO2” campaign which aims to make people aware of the link between their own everyday behaviour and climate change. The calculator covers three sections—home energy, appliances and personal transport—and can be used for an individual or a whole household. It also provides tailored recommendations through a personalised action plan, about what steps users can take to cut their own emissions.

DEFRA’s Guide to Greener Living, and EST’s accreditation of products under the “Energy Saving Recommended” label, also signpost consumers to products that save the most energy.

Energy: Meters

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what discussions his Department has had
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with the Health and Safety Executive on safety issues surrounding the instalment and the wearing of wires of real time displays; [144754]

(2) what discussions his Department has had with the Health and Safety Executive on the safety issues surrounding the instalment and the wearing of wires of real time displays. [144752]

Malcolm Wicks: The Department is in discussion with the Health Safety Executive about display devices. Early indications are that there are no safety concerns surrounding the installation of the devices, which are already available through retailers and some energy suppliers, but we will continue to discuss this issue with suppliers and the executive.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what consideration the Government have given to introducing smart meters with displays in May 2008 in time to meet the Energy Services Directive; [144755]

(2) what consideration the Government have given to introducing smart meters with displays in May 2008 in time to meet the Energy Services Directive. [144753]

Malcolm Wicks: In the Energy White Paper, the Government made clear their view that display devices could give gas and electricity customers information to help them make early reductions in their energy use. Further activity in respect of smart metering is being undertaken by the Government, in partnership with gas and electricity suppliers. In setting out their White Paper proposals on display devices, the Government indicated that they would consult on the implementation of these proposals in the context of their ambitions to see a roll-out of smart meters within 10 years.

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