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The total number of Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in membership of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux across England and Wales has reduced from 699 in 1998 to 428 in 2008. However, in the vast majority of cases this is as a result of bureau mergers and not closures. Citizens Advicethe national charityworks in partnership with its members and funders to merge legal entities where there is a strong business case to do so. The number of outlets from which CAB advice is available continues to grow and currently stands at approximately 3,300. Permanent closure of Citizens Advice Bureaux is extremely rare and in the past decade the only areas where services have been terminated, either by the funder or by Citizens Advice, are : London borough of Ealing, London borough of Islington, Lytham St. Annes, Oadby and Wigston, and Old Swan.
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what (a) powers and (b) discretion he has to disagree with the findings of the Competition Commission on (i) competition issues, (ii) the creation of merger situations, (iii) media plurality issues and (iv) public interest issues; 
(2) what (a) powers and (b) discretion he has to decide on different actions from those proposed by the Competition Commission (i) generally and (ii) in respect of divestment of cross-media shareholdings. 
Mr. Thomas [holding answer 22 January 2008]: In cases where the Secretary of State intervenes in a merger on public interest grounds under section 42 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act) and subsequently makes a reference to the Competition Commission under section 45 of the Act on the grounds that the merger gives rise to both competition and public interest issues, the Competition Commission prepares a report in accordance with section 50 of the Act which is submitted to the Secretary of State. This report contains the Competition Commission's decisions on the questions set out in section 47 of the Act. These are:
(a) whether a relevant merger situation has been created;
(b) whether the creation of that situation has resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market of the United Kingdom;
(c) whether, taking account only of any substantial lessening of competition and any admissible public interest consideration, that situation operates, or may be expected to operate, against the public interest.
(a) whether to make no finding at all in the case on the basis that the public interest consideration specified in the intervention notice is not relevant to a consideration of the merger situation concerned;
(b) whether to make an adverse public interest finding (noting that Section 45(6) of the Act provides that any anti-competitive outcome shall be treated as being adverse to the public interest unless it is justified by one or more than one public interest consideration which is relevant); and
(c) what action to take to remedy, mitigate or prevent any of the effects adverse to the public interest which may have resulted from the relevant merger situation.
In reaching his decisions under section 54 of the Act, the Secretary of State is required, under section 54(7)(a) of the Act, to accept the decisions of the Competition Commission as to whether a relevant merger situation has been created and whether it results in an anti-competitive outcome. In reaching his decisions under section 55 of the Act on remedies, the Secretary of State is required, under section 55(3) of the Act, to have particular regard to the report of the Competition Commission.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many (a) new build and (b) refurbishment projects of a value of under £250,000 for which his Department was responsible took place in 2005-06; and how many of those projects were subject to the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method. 
Mr. Thomas: My Department carried out five refurbishment projects up to a value of £250,000 during the 2005-06 financial year. No new builds were carried out and therefore these projects were not subject to the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many (a) new build and (b) re-furbishment projects for which his Department was responsible took place in 2005-06 up to a budget of £5 million; and how many of those projects were subject to a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment. 
Mr. Thomas: My Department carried out six refurbishment projects up to a value of £5 million during the 2005-06 financial year. No new builds were carried out and therefore these projects were not subject to the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method.
Mr. Thomas: Since 1999 my Department has made progress in energy efficiencies by reducing the size of the property estate space by 46 per cent. with a decrease of 11.2 per cent. in energy consumption.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many people aged (a) 30 to 39, (b) 40 to 49, (c) 50 to 59 and (d) 60 to 69 years have (i) applied for jobs, (ii) received interviews and (iii) gained (A) temporary and (B) permanent jobs in his Department in 2007. 
Mr. Thomas: BERR was created in June 2007 following machinery of government changes. BERR complies with age legislation introduced on 1 October 2006 and does not ask people to disclose their age when they apply for a post. However, after selection every new starter completes a personal data form which includes an age field. This information is recorded in the BERR personnel management information system.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what products featuring departmental or Government branding were procured by (a) his Department and its predecessor and (b) its agencies in each of the last five years. 
The Insolvency Service have spent £14,489 in the last five years on a limited number of promotional products with Insolvency Services branding, including banner stands, pens, clocks, mugs and USB memory sticks.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether the standard terms and conditions of purchase used by his Department in procurement of goods and services from the private sector prohibit the assignment of debt. 
Mr. Thomas: There is no express provision in the Department's standard terms and conditions of purchase prohibiting the assignment of debt. The Department's standard terms and conditions of purchase do however include a prohibition on the contractor giving, bargaining, selling, assigning, subcontracting or otherwise disposing of the contract or any part thereof without the previous agreement in writing of the Department. Accordingly a contractor may not assign its debts under the contract without such approval from the Department. This reflects the OGC recommended provision in this regard.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much his Department and its predecessor spent on foreign travel for (a) Ministers and (b) officials in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when he expects transitional agreements to be available to countries not ready to sign up for an economic partnership agreement by 1 January 2008. 
Mr. Thomas: 35 countries from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group signed up to an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) before the end of 2007. These countries now receive duty free quota free access for their products into the EU. Of the countries which did not agree an EPA, 32 are classified as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) which makes them eligible for the Everything But Arms scheme (EBA) which provides for duty free access into the EU on all products except for arms. 10 other countries can utilise the Generalised System of Preferences scheme (GSP) which is available to all developing countries and provides for a reduction in the standard rate of duty for products entering the EU. These schemes were already in existence and so these countries have been able to utilise them since the beginning of this year.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many tonnes of carbon dioxide each electricity company has been granted a permit to emit in each year from 2008 to 2012. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 22 January 2008]: Emissions allowances are allocated on the basis of installations rather than companies. A list of the number of EU Emissions Trading Scheme allowances issued to each installation in the UK has been published on the DEFRA website at:
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the cost was of the energy review process, excluding legal costs incurred during the judicial review. 
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much was spent on external consultancies in the preparation of (a) energy review, Our Energy Challenge, The Energy Challenge and (b) Meeting the Energy Challenge. 
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the costs were of printing Our Energy Challenge, The Energy Challenge; and how many copies were printed. 
Malcolm Wicks: The total cost of producing the Energy Review consultation document Our Energy Challenge, and the Energy Review report The Energy Challenge was approximately £104,000. This figure covers charges for typesetting and printing both documents.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which external consultants were used by his Department and its predecessor in the preparation of the energy review, Our Energy Challenge, The Energy Challenge and Meeting the Energy Challenge. 
Malcolm Wicks: Consultants appointed as specialist advisers to the Energy Review were: academics from Imperial College London and Manchester University; AEA Technology Environment; Deloitte; E4Tech; Econnect; Ernst and Young; Global Insight; Poyry Energy (previously called Ilex); Jackson Consulting; Jade Energy Ltd., Morgan Stanley; Nera Economic Consulting, Oxera Consulting; Oxford Economic Forecasting, Redpoint Energy, Wade, Wood McKenzie.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many meetings of his Departments Energy and Climate Security Panel have been held since its inception; which expert seminars have been organised to date on the advice of the panel; and what the URL for the panels website is. 
We will be holding the first expert seminar on What are the key risks in the global gas and oil markets to 2030 in February 2008. A further expert seminar on Renewable Energy Strategy is planned for late spring 2008.
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