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Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Companies Act 2006

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whom his Department consulted before he decided to delay the implementation of certain provisions of the Companies Act 2006 to 1st October 2009; and how such consultation was conducted. [166764]

Mr. Timms: The Government’s decision to delay final implementation of the Companies Act 2006 was taken in the light of advice from the Registrar of Companies that he cannot be absolutely confident of implementing the necessary changes to Companies House systems and processes by October 2008. We did not carry out external consultation before making this announcement because this could not have affected the advice to Ministers from the Registrar of Companies. We are however consulting key stakeholders about the commencement date for provisions, such as those relating to the general duties of directors in respect of conflicts of interest, which do not necessitate changes to Companies House systems and processes.

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the financial effect on companies as a result of the change in the proposed date for the implementation of provisions of the Companies Act 2006 from 1 October 2008 to 1 October 2009. [166488]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 20 November 2007]: The Government recognise that companies need clarity about the commencement timetable for the Companies Act 2006 so that they can make proper preparation for
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full implementation. In particular, we wished to avoid companies making changes to their articles of association in the 2008 annual general meeting season in a way which would have required them to hold an extraordinary general meeting if the commencement timetable were changed next year. The Government have therefore decided, in the light of advice from the Registrar of Companies that he cannot be absolutely confident of implementing the necessary changes to Companies House systems and processes by October 2008, to announce a change to the timetable now so that companies do not incur unnecessary costs.

Nuclear Power: Security

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions he has had with the Director of the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) on the problems reported in OCNS annual reports on the adequacy of security vetting in the civil nuclear industry. [165155]

Malcolm Wicks: In his annual reports, the Director of the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (DCNS) reports among other things on trends in vetting demand and the performance of the OCNS Vetting Office in issuing security clearances for permanent employees and contractors in the civil nuclear industry. In the last three years, there has been an unprecedented demand for new clearances in the industry and many existing clearances have become due for review. This increased demand coincided with a period of high staff turnover in 2004-05 and backlogs accrued. In each of the last two years, however, the OCNS Vetting Unit has produced a very strong performance which has met this increased demand and cleared most of the outstanding work relating to the routine review of existing clearances. DCNS is confident that all this latter work will be complete by 31 March 2008.

Post Offices: Heswall

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions he has had on the proposed closure of Heswall village post office. [166397]

Mr. McFadden [holding answer 20 November 2007]: None. The Government do not have a role in proposals or decisions for individual post offices and final decisions on which post offices will close will be taken by Post Office Ltd. (POL) in light of the responses received to the area consultations.

Renewable Energy: EU Countries

Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what information his Department holds on the percentage of electricity generated from renewable sources of energy in each of the EU member states (a) in 1997 and (b) at the most recent date for which information is available. [163343]

Malcolm Wicks: Electricity from renewable energy as a percentage of gross electricity consumption is published by Eurostat. The information for 1997 and
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2005 is as follows. 2005 is the latest year for which such information is available for all member states:

Percentage
1997 2005

Cyprus

Malta

Estonia

0.1

1.1

Belgium

1.0

2.8

Poland

1.8

2.9

Luxembourg

2.0

3.2

Lithuania

2.6

3.9

United Kingdom

1.9

4.3

Czech Republic

3.5

4.5

Hungary

0.6

4.6

Ireland

3.8

6.8

Netherlands

3.5

7.5

Greece

8.6

10.0

Germany

4.3

10.5

France

15.2

11.3

Bulgaria

7.0

11.8

Italy

16.0

14.1

Spain

19.7

15.0

Portugal

38.3

16.0

Slovakia

14.5

16.5

Slovenia

26.9

24.2

Finland

25.3

26.9

Denmark

8.8

28.2

Romania

30.5

35.8

Latvia

46.7

48.4

Sweden

49.1

54.3

Austria

67.2

57.9

EU (27 countries)

13.1

14.0

Source:
Eurostat http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu

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