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15 Nov 2007 : Column 358Wcontinued
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what progress has been made on implementing the recommendations of the Office of Fair Trading on (a) the improvement of information for consumers in relation to the total cost of buying event entertainment tickets and (b) the rules governing event entertainment advertising; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has taken forward the recommendations in its 2005 report on ticket agents in the UK. For example, to work with local authority trading standards services to ensure ticket sellers comply with relevant consumer protection legislation, to consider enforcement action where necessary and to work with a trade association to produce model contract terms.
On advertising, the OFT recommended that the Committee of Advertising Practice should amend its guidance so all non broadcast event advertising is required to include the face value of the ticket, while indicating that additional fees may apply and could vary depending on the sales channel and ticket seller
used. The Advertising Standards Authority acted on OFT's recommendation and amended its guidance in April 2005 but did not require advertisers to include the face value of tickets in adverts. The OFT is continuing to work with the ASA, in relation to reforming the Committee of Advertising Practice's code in line with the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and its UK implementation.
The OFT will monitor the effects of the new legislation and changes to the ASA code before considering whether further action is needed.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the value was of renewable energy generating equipment imported into the UK in the last five years; and what the value of such equipment manufactured in the UK was over the same period. 
Malcolm Wicks: The renewable energy generation market was worth of the order of £800 million in 2006 and is set to grow in future years; this figure covers more than just equipment.
The Office for National Statistics publishes detailed breakdowns of data on trade in and manufacturer sales of generation equipment in their annual publication PRA31100 Product Sales and Trade: Electric Motors, Generators and Transformers; these figures do not distinguish between generating equipment used for renewable energy and that used for other purposes. The data can be accessed from:
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many meetings of the Infosec forum on nuclear security information have been held in the last 12 months; which organisations attend the forum; whether the funding comes from the budget of the Office for Civil Nuclear Security; and if he will publish the minutes of each meeting. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Infosec forum is a medium for information security specialists in the civil nuclear industry to share best practice. The Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) facilitates the forum. In addition to OCNS, the attendees are UKAEA, Sellafield Ltd, Springfield Fuels Ltd, British Energy, Magnox North, Magnox South, BNFL, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, Urenco, Nexia Solutions, Project Services and HSE's Nuclear Directorate. Two meetings of the forum have taken place in 2007. Participants, including OCNS, finance the forum on a rotational basis.
Although no formal minutes of the forum are taken, specific areas on which work has taken place this year include mobile computing and the introduction of the 'protect' sub-security marking.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his policy is on promoting the automation of British manufacturing; and what incentives are available for those companies who wish to automate. 
Mr. Timms: Support and encouragement for the development of advanced manufacturing techniques is a key element of Government policy to promote a high value modern manufacturing sector. The Technology Strategy Board supports innovation and collaborative research and development into a wide range of leading edge technologies including robotics and automation.
The most recent competition under the technology programme announced on 8 November by John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, seeks proposals to develop new high value manufacturing techniques to secure the nation's future manufacturing base with research on the next generation of production techniques
Government also provide a range of support through the Businesslink network and the Manufacturing Advisory Service to help companies in all sectors to improve their performance.
Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many UK registered businesses trade (a) with Pakistan and (b) in Pakistan. 
Mr. Thomas: The information requested is as follows:
(a) Total figure of those traders on the UK VAT register who have declared trade in goods with Pakistan in 2006 is 6,168. No data is available for businesses in the services sector.
(b) No official statistics are maintained on UK registered businesses in Pakistan. It is estimated that some 100 UK companies operate within Pakistan.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will publish an update on the review of security arrangements for nuclear waste storage being undertaken by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. 
Malcolm Wicks: Following the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management's 2006 recommendations, the NDA is currently in the process of carrying out a review of higher activity waste storage on behalf of Government. In drawing up the review, NDA has extended the scope beyond the narrowest definition of durability of stores in order to address the concerns expressed on storage of non-immobilised wastes in various legacy facilities. The NDA will not include a detailed assessment of the security arrangements for waste storage facilities because this is the responsibility of the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) (part of the Nuclear Directorate of the HSE), the Government regulator for security in the civil nuclear industry.
OCNS ensures that all nuclear wastes on licensed nuclear sites or in transit, are subject to a level of security commensurate with their category and activity in accordance with the demanding requirements of the Nuclear Industries Security Regulations 2003 (NISR 03). Security arrangements are kept under constant review by OCNS who liaise with NDA and site licensees to ensure compliance with NISR 03.
Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many new small businesses have been established within Copeland in the last five years; and how many received support and advice through (a) Business Link and (b) other agencies. 
Mr. Timms: Value added tax (VAT) registrations and de-registrations are the best official guide to the pattern of business start-ups and closures. BERR data on the number of VAT registrations, and the start of year stock of VAT registered businesses in Copeland local authority from 2001 to 2005 are shown in the following table. Data for 2006 will be published 14 November 2007.
|VAT registrations and start of year VAT stock in Copeland local authority|
Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Registrations and De-registrations 1994-2005, BERR, available from http://stats.berr.gov.uk/ed/vat
Although the number of registrations in Copeland local authority has fluctuated, the start of year stock has risen by 9 per cent. between the start of 2001 and the start of 2006.
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 1.9 million out of 4.5 million UK enterprises (41 per cent.) were registered for VAT at the start of 2006.
Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the value of business start up grants made to new businesses in Copeland was in the last five financial years. 
Mr. Timms: The only grants used to provide start up support were delivered via West Cumbria Development Agency (WCDA). WCDA have provided business start up support since April 2003 to November 2007.
WCDA state that £1,000 was given to each company as a grant. 94 start-up businesses were provided with a grant over this period, and £94,000 was given in total as a grant. In addition to this, training and assistance was given via WCDA staff and consultants which is estimated at £2,500 per start up company i.e. an additional £235,000 of support was given to SMEs in Copeland, making £329,000 of support in total.
Mr. Jamie Reed:
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the number of new job
opportunities that have been created by the small business sector in Copeland in the last five years. 
Malcolm Wicks: Neither the Northwest Regional Development Agency nor the West Cumbria Development Agency holds this information.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will take steps to strengthen the regulation of the safety of toys; and what discussions he has had on the subject with the European Commission. 
Mr. Thomas: At present we believe that the safety level set out in the Toys Directive and therefore the UK Toy Safety Regulations is appropriate, and that our market surveillance system is robust.
However, it is appropriate and important that we keep the situation under review. In light of this BERR officials have discussed toy safety with DG Enterprise officials on September 18 and at a special meeting of the General Product Safety Committee on 3 October.
My Department also held a Toy Safety Summit with interested parties held 29 October where the revision of the Toy Safety Directive and the Commission's toy safety stock-taking exercise were discussed.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK personnel are working with operational mentoring and liaison teams in Afghanistan. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given in another place by my noble Friend, Lord Drayson on 15 October 2007, House of Lords, Official Report, column WA33.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK forces personnel there are on operational duty in each foreign country; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following table provides the number of personnel deployed on operations by operation and location at 28 October 2007.
The number of personnel deployed on operational duty is constantly under review in order to ensure operational objectives are sustainable.
|Number of personnel deployed by operation and location( 1)|
|(1) Countries with 10 or more personnel are shown separately.|
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what system is used to ensure resupply of the combat 95 clothing system and other individual equipment in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The system, used in both operational theatres, for the re-supply of clothing and individual equipment is the GLOBAL Inventory Management System. When stock levels in theatre cannot meet demand GLOBAL is used to submit a replenishment demand back to the UK. Stock is then issued to theatre to satisfy the requirement.
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