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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps he plans to take to preserve the competitiveness of the UK heating controls manufacturing industry following implementation of the Energy-using Products Directive. 
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much had been paid out as compensation to miners for (a) chest and (b) vibration white finger disorders as at December 2007. 
Malcolm Wicks: The following table shows how much has been paid out as compensation to miners and their families for (a) chest claims and (b) vibration white finger claims as at 31 December 2007. Damages reflect total compensation paid on settled claims and any interim payments made on outstanding claims.
|Policy||Total damages (£ billion)|
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much had been paid in legal fees to (a) claimants solicitors and (b) other representatives of miners seeking compensation as at December 2007. 
Malcolm Wicks: Please see the following table showing how much has been paid in legal fees to (a) claimants solicitors and (b) other representatives of miners and their families seeking compensation for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Vibration White Finger (VWF) as at 31 December 2007.
|Payee||COPD||VWF||Total (£ million)|
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what licensing powers currently within his Departments responsibilities he expects to be transferred to the Marine Management Organisation, as proposed in the Marine Bill White Paper; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: It is proposed that powers to determine consent of applications under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 for offshore generating stations with an installed capacity of 100 MW and below will be transferred from DBERR to the Marine Management Organisation. Under proposals set out in the Planning Bill, the Infrastructure Planning Commission will deal with applications for offshore generating stations with an installed capacity exceeding 100 MW.
Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the value of hospitality provided for senior civil servants in the Nuclear Consultations and Liabilities Unit was in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will make it his policy to appoint to the Nuclear Liabilities Financing Assurance Board nuclear specialists from (a) environmental non-governmental organisations and (b) outside the nuclear industry. 
Malcolm Wicks: As stated in the Funded Decommissioning Programme Guidance Consultation, the NLFAB is expected to consist of experts from relevant fields such as current or former fund managers, pension trustees, actuaries and nuclear specialists.
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the estimated cost is of decommissioning each nuclear site within the responsibility of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. 
Malcolm Wicks: Estimating the costs of decommissioning and cleaning up the historic civil public nuclear sites, including the Magnox nuclear power stations, is the responsibility of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The latest estimate is set out on page 105 of the NDAs Annual Report and Accounts 2006-07, which is available on the NDA website at www.nda.gov.uk. This shows the discounted nuclear provision of each site for which the NDQA is responsible but does not separate decommissioning and clean-up costs. The NDA is currently in the process of updating the estimated lifetime financials per site, which will list separate decommissioning and clean up costs for each site. This will be published on the NDA website later in the year.
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which blocks have been excluded from the 25th licensing round for oil and gas (a) on environmental grounds and (b) owing to lack of data. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 27 February 2008]: Forty-two blocks have been excluded from the 25th licensing round on environmental grounds, including 21 blocks which have been excluded pending appropriate assessment consultations.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions have taken place between his Department and Post Office Ltd and (a) the Equality and Human Rights Commission and (b) disability rights organisations on the impact of local post office closures on people with disabilities. 
Mr. McFadden: In developing and consulting on their proposed strategy to put the post office network on a more sustainable footing, including closure of up to 2,500 offices, the Government sought views and comments from the public and a range of organisations representing customer groups including the disabled. The Governments response in May 2007 to the national public consultation confirmed that in rationalising the network no particular part of the network and no particular group of people should be significantly more adversely affected by closures than any other. It also confirmed that access criteria would be introduced to maintain a national network and, in particular, to protect vulnerable customers and that, in applying these criteria, Post Office Ltd would take account of geographical factors and consider local socio-economic factors and the availability of public transport to access alternative service provision.
Assessment of the impact of the closure of specific individual post offices is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd in developing and consulting locally on its area plan proposals. I have therefore asked Alan Cook, managing director, to reply direct to the hon. Member.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has received from the Mayor of London on post offices in London in each year since 2001. 
Mr. McFadden: The information is not available in the form requested. However, our records show that, within the period specified, the Mayor of London made numerous representations about post office closures in general and about the closure of specific, individual post offices. The Mayor also responded to the Governments national consultation on the Post Office, and discussed post office issues most recently with me at a meeting on 19 September 2007.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on how
many occasions radioactive material has been (a) stolen and (b) lost (i) from nuclear premises and (ii) in transit since 2003. 
Malcolm Wicks: Across the UK, the largest amounts of nuclear materials are stored or processed on civil licensed nuclear sites, whose security is regulated by the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS), which is a part of the Health and Safety Executive. The UKs civil nuclear sites and nuclear material transporters apply robust security measures and are regulated by the OCNS to ensure compliance.
Outside the sites and material in transit regulated by OCNS, small numbers of thefts and losses have occurred whilst radioactive materials have been transported in the UK. The Department for Transport (DFT) investigates such events and takes regulatory action as appropriate. Information is available in reports published by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) on behalf of the DFT. All HPA reports have been placed in the House of Commons Library and copies of these reports since 2001 are available on the DFT website.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what guidelines are in place to (a) co-ordinate and (b) prevent duplication in the work of the regional development agencies and the Government Offices for the Regions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: RDAs and GOs have different and complementary roles supporting sustainable economic development in the regions. The nine regional development agencies were established by the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998 and the Greater London Authority Act 1999 to undertake the purposes set out in the Acts. The Government office network is central Government in the regions. It works on behalf of 11 sponsor Departments.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the average annual household bill for (a) gas and (b) electricity in (i) Bexley borough and (ii) Greater London in each of the last 10 years. 
The lowest level of aggregation for average annual domestic gas and electricity bills that is available is at gas/electricity region level. It is published quarterly in Quarterly Energy Prices, the latest version of which is accessible online at http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file43302.pdf The town/cities specified in tables 2.2.3 and 2.3.3 within this publication indicate which region the bills apply too. London is used to represent Greater London, and
therefore incorporates Bexley borough. Constituency level averages are not available.
Average bills vary significantly with the type of payment method used; therefore all statistics are broken down between the direct debit, standard credit and prepayment methods. The following table shows the average annual bill for each payment type in London in cash terms since 1998 (the earliest available year).
|Standard credit||Direct debit||Prepayment||Standard credit||Direct debit||Prepayment|
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