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The Valuation Office Agency has two operational units which provide dedicated general administrative support to its network of offices across England and Wales. They were originally established as data capture centres but are now network support
offices. The Agencys published annual accounts report only the total costs of its operationsattributions to individual units are not made and could not be undertaken at reasonable cost.
Plymouth Network Support Office
Valuation Office Agency
190 Armada Way
Halifax Network Support Office
Valuation Office Agency
60 Crown Street
Jane Kennedy: The Training and Events Catalogue is held in linked electronic formats within the Valuation Office Agency's main IT systems and can only be viewed with full functionality through the appropriate software package. To provide a copy of the catalogue and attached documents could be done only at disproportionate cost.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment was made of the likely impact of fast-track voluntary arrangements on the level of annulled bankruptcies in preparing the regulatory impact assessment for the Enterprise Act 2002; and if he will make a statement. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment has been made of the impact of fast-track
voluntary arrangements for bankruptcy; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: The Insolvency Service is undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of the Enterprise Act 2002 insolvency provisions, overseen by an evaluation group of independent stakeholders. The final evaluation report on the individual insolvency provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 is due to be published in autumn 2007.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many complaints were received by the Insolvency Service in each year since 2002; how many of these complaints related to the fees charged by insolvency practitioners acting as trustees in individual bankruptcy cases; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: The main function of the Insolvency Service is to administer individual bankruptcies and companies wound up by the court. Complaints received by the Insolvency Service mainly relate to those activities. The Insolvency Services financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March, details of complaints received for the years 2002-03 to 2005-06 are set out as follows:
The primary responsibility for agreeing an office holders remuneration rests with the creditors and there are legislative provisions that enable the court to consider challenges to the amount of remuneration charged or allowed. As the legislation provides for such an appeal process I am unable to consider such complaints.
Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) how many residents of Islwyn constituency started their own business in each of the last five years; 
|VAT registrations , Islwyn parliamentary constituency|
Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Registrations and De-registrations 1994-2005. Available at http://stats.berr.gov.uk/smes/vat
Although the number of new registrations has fluctuated over the period, the total number of VAT registered businesses in Islwyn parliamentary constituency has increased from 1,005 in 2001 to 1,110 at the start of 2006, an increase of 105 (10 per cent.).
However, VAT registrations do not capture all business activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if they fall below the compulsory VAT threshold, which was £60,000 at the start of 2006. Only 1.8 million out of 4.3 million UK enterprises (42 per cent.) were registered for VAT at the start of 2005.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many businesses there are in York; how many there were in 1997; and how many businesses have (a) started and (b) ceased trading in York since 1997. 
Mr. Timms: Estimates of the total business population, which includes businesses with a turnover above and below the VAT threshold, are not produced below the regional level. However, data on the total number of VAT registered businesses, and the number of businesses registering and de-registering for VAT each year, in each UK constituency are published by BERR. Data is available at:
There were 2,085 VAT registered businesses in the City of York constituency at the start of 1997. At the start of 2006 there were 2,495 VAT registered businesses, a rise of 410 (20 per cent.) over the period.
VAT registrations do not capture all business activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if they fall below the compulsory VAT threshold, which was £60,000 at the start of 2006. Similarly, businesses that de-register may not have closed. Only 1.8 million out of 4.3 million UK enterprises (42 per cent.) were registered for VAT at the start of 2005.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant
to the answer of 17 July 2007, Official Report, column 264W, on children: protection, what steps the Government plan to take before the implementation of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 in autumn 2008 to prevent known paedophiles from opening a childrens agency specialising in theatre, television and modelling. 
Mr. McFadden: Under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 it is an offence to knowingly offer work to or to employ a person in a child care position if they are disqualified from working with children either by virtue of being included on one of the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Lists (the Protection of Children Act (PoCA) List or its equivalent in Scotland or List 99) or a disqualification order from the court. Individuals who apply or offer to work, accept work or continue to work with children in such positions will be committing a criminal offence and can face prosecution if they are disqualified from working with children.
The extent to which those running a childrens agency specialising in theatre, television and modelling would be covered by the PoCA regulations would depend on the nature of their actual work. However, if a person is deemed to be caring for children under 16 in the course of the childrens employment they would be in a regulated position and therefore covered by PoCA.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what percentage of sick leave taken by staff in his Department was stress-related in each of the last three years. 
The aforementioned data cover all recorded conditions related, or possibly related, to stress and do not distinguish between work and non-work related stress. These data should be considered in the context of an average sickness absence figure for 2006 of 5.4 days for the former DTI which is below the average for a civil service medium sized policy based organisation in of 6.6 days.
Early referral to the Departments medical adviser,
Return to work interviews,
A Keeping in Touch policy for those on long term sick leave,
Participation in the cross-Whitehall network on stress management.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what research he has conducted on (a) the average time for an employment dispute to be resolved, (b) the average time for an employment dispute to be resolved through an employment tribunal, (c) the average time for an employment dispute to be resolved if resolved through mediation and (d) the average time for an employment dispute to be resolved if mediation is undertaken but was unsuccessful; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: The most recent assessment carried out by my Department of average time for employment disputes to be resolved was the 2003 Survey of Tribunal Applications. The next such survey is scheduled for the first half of 2008. Average time estimates are not available for those cases going to mediation, as the Department does not conduct research on mediation of employment disputes outside of the Employment Tribunal System.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether his Department has conducted any research on user satisfaction in mediated employment disputes. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the average total cost of (a) mediating and (b) litigating an employment dispute. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department does not collect information on private mediation in employment disputes. The Department has approved plans to undertake the next periodic Survey of Employment Tribunal Applications (SETA) in 2008. SETA assembles a broad range of data on ETs including the legal costs, costs of advice and representation, and other expenses, incurred by claimants and employers involved in employment tribunals (ET) claims. The last SETA was conducted in 2003. Results were published by the Department in 2004 as ERRS No. 33 Findings from the Survey of Employment Tribunal Applications 2003.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many employment dispute mediators there were in each of the last three years; and what he expects to be the trend in this figure over the next three years. 
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