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4 Mar 2008 : Column 2404W—continued


Departmental Equality

Roger Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what conclusions his Department has reached in fulfilment of the duty under section 3.111 of the statutory code of practice of the disability equality duty. [190686]

Mr. McFadden: BERR's disability equality scheme was published in November 2007. This was a revision of the former DTPs scheme, updated to reflect the machinery of Government changes of June 2007. At the same time summaries and conclusions of the steps taken to fulfil the obligations to the disability equality duty were updated in the action plan and covered the period since the DTI scheme was published in December 2006.

BERR's disability equality scheme can be found on the Department's website at

BERR has made progress in embedding the scheme across the Department and the 2008 annual report on the scheme will appear within the next BERR departmental annual report. We are also in the process of preparation to complete the Secretary of State report due on 1 December 2008, which will be used as a tool to make further improvements.

Departmental Translation Services

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much was spent on translation services by his Department and its predecessor, associated agencies and non-departmental public bodies in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05, (c) 2005-06, (d) 2006-07 and (e) in 2007-08 to date. [187981]

Mr. Thomas: Expenditure by the Department through its centrally managed arrangements for translations services into and from English, is as follows:

Financial year Expenditure (£)

2003-04

356,391

2004-05

353,735

2005-06

408,091

2006-07

446,661

2007-08 (to 22 February)

229,494


Information on expenditure by the Department's Agencies and non-departmental public bodies is held by the bodies themselves. It is not held centrally. I am asking Agency chief executives to write direct to the hon. Member and am arranging for a copy of the list of the non-departmental public bodies to be placed in the Library of the House for the use of the hon. Member.

Discrimination: Tribunals

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many discrimination cases were heard by employment tribunals, broken down by the type of discrimination, in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [190504]

Bridget Prentice: I have been asked to reply.

The number of hearings by type of case is not held centrally. However, the number of discrimination cases disposed of over the last five years is given in the following table. Information is not available for 2007-08 as details are collated locally and processed and published at the end of the financial year.


4 Mar 2008 : Column 2405W
The number of discrimination cases disposed of from 2003-04 to 2006-07
2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Sex

10,254

16,211

24,217

18,909

Disability

3,925

4,673

4,072

4,345

Equal Pay

2,195

3,943

11,323

7,854

Race

3,117

3,080

3,430

3,117

Religion or belief(1)

340

498

Sexual orientation(1)

321

384

Age(2)

135

Total

19,491

27,907

43,703

35,242

(1) Information is available from 2005-06 onwards following introduction of new legislation.
(2) Information is available from 2006-07 onwards following introduction of new legislation.
Data is not available prior to the introduction of relevant legislation.
Source:
Appendix 1, The Employment Tribunals Service Annual Report for years 2003-04 to 2006-07

Industrial Disputes

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) when the Government plan to publish a summary of the views received on the consultation paper, Consultation on Resolving Disputes in the Workplace - Supplementary Review, launched in May 2007; [191766]

(2) when the Government plan to publish a summary of the views received on the consultation paper, Success at Work - Resolving Disputes in the Workplace, launched in March 2007. [191767]

Mr. McFadden: We plan to publish our response to the views expressed by consultees in this consultation in due course. We will also make available all the responses received.

Internet

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will make it his policy to ensure that .co.uk internet domain names are only issued on condition that at a minimum an administrative contact is domiciled in the UK. [188162]

Malcolm Wicks: The responsibility for registration of .co.uk domain names rests with Nominet, a private, not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee. Nominet offer an open system for registration for .co.uk domains and some 92 per cent. of registrants have an address in the UK. The company seek to ensure that contact details for registrants, that might be required in any dispute about the use of a .co.uk domain, are accurate.

Minimum Wage

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has received on the implications of proposals in the child care reimbursement element of his Department’s response to consultation on the national minimum wage and voluntary workers for volunteering and the capacity of voluntary bodies. [190825]

Mr. McFadden: Since the close of the consultation on the national minimum wage and voluntary workers, my department has received written representations, largely from voluntary organisations, about the
4 Mar 2008 : Column 2406W
reimbursement of child care expenses. We are currently considering how best to address the issues raised with us in correspondence.

Political Levy

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether individual trade union members have the right to (a) opt out from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) political fund and (b) opt out from their political levy being apportioned to the TUC’s political fund. [191052]

Mr. McFadden: The Trades Union Congress has no political fund.

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the level of awareness of trade union members of their right to opt out of contributing to trade unions’ political funds. [191087]

Mr. McFadden: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has taken measures to raise awareness of this right by producing guidance on the relevant law in a publication entitled “Trade Union political funds: a guide for trade unions, their members and others”. There has been no research by the Department to measure awareness of this or any other trade union right.

Post Offices: Bexley

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many people responded to the consultation on the relocation of Bexleyheath post office to a WH Smith branch. [189398]

Mr. McFadden: This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, managing director of POL, to reply direct to the hon. Member. Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has received in (a) opposition and (b) support of the relocation of Bexleyheath post office to WH Smith. [189399]

Mr. McFadden: My right hon. Friend has received one letter and one previous parliamentary question from the hon. Member about the relocation of Bexleyheath post office to WH Smith.

Post Offices: Closures

Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what method was used to calculate the weekly customer figures published in the branch assessments for each post office branch facing closure. [189182]


4 Mar 2008 : Column 2407W

Mr. McFadden [holding answer 26 February 2008]: This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, Managing Director of POL, to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions he has had with Post Office Ltd on the options for outreach in the current closure programme; and what flexibility he is encouraging in the use of this method of delivering services. [190902]

Mr. McFadden [holding answer 29 February 2008]: I have had discussions with Post Office Ltd on the wider application of the four outreach options which were piloted with Government funding but would also encourage consideration of other viable outreach options in the light of specific local circumstances.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what minimum service is being made available by Post Office Ltd under the heading outreach as part of the current closure campaign. [190903]

Mr. McFadden [holding answer 29 February 2008]: The Government consider that decisions about individual branch opening hours and service offerings are a matter for Post Office Ltd and individual sub-postmasters, reflecting the needs and level of demand in local communities.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the maximum financial amount is that a post master/mistress may be paid as compensation for branch closure. [190904]

Mr. McFadden [holding answer 29 February 2008]: The payments to subpostmasters whose offices are compulsorily closed under Post Office Ltd.'s network change programme compensate them for not being able to sell their business and are based on up to 28 months remuneration.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many post offices have closed in Castle Point over the last 10 years; and when a further review of post offices in Castle Point will be undertaken. [190496]


4 Mar 2008 : Column 2408W

Mr. McFadden: This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, Managing Director of POL, to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Regional Development Agencies: Patents

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will list the patents held by each regional development agency; and whether ownership is shared with another entity in each case. [189107]

Mr. McFadden: No RDA itself holds patents. However, patents are held by organisations which RDAs have supported through grants and investments.

Regional Development Agencies: Research

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much each Regional Development Agency spent on research and development (a) in nominal prices and (b) as a proportion of total expenditure in each of the last five years. [189108]

Mr. McFadden: The tables show details of expenditure by RDAs through the ‘Grant for Research and Development’ programme and as a proportion of grant in aid budgets.

The programme assists start-ups and SMEs to carry out research and development work on technologically innovative products and processes. ‘Grant for R and D’ allows businesses to undertake projects which would be untenable if grants were not available. Similarly, it helps to attract private investors, to whom the projects would otherwise not be financially viable.

Prior to April 2005, the Small Business Service was responsible for delivering the grant offers made by the RDAs. Information on spend was collated by the SBS only on a national basis. Figures prior to 2005-06 therefore relate to grant offers made by the RDAs.

In April 2005, responsibility for delivering grant for R and D transferred from the Small Business Service to the RDAs in accordance with the Government’s policy on transferring responsibility for business support to the RDAs. Figures for 2005-06 and 2006-07 relate to actual spend by RDAs through the Grants for R and D programme.

2002-03 2003-04
RDAs Grant in aid budgets (£ million) Offers (£000) R and D as a proportion of grant in aid (percentage) Grant in aid budgets (£ million) Offers (£000) R and D as a proportion of grant in aid (percentage)

AWM

204

2,392

1.17

240

2,743

1.14

EEDA

88

9,771

11.10

80

12,355

15.44

EMDA

101

4,933

4.88

117

3,830

3.27

LDA

295

3,923

1.33

317

7,697

2.43

NWDA

274

6,889

2.51

309

8,251

2.67

ONE

193

1,518

0.79

223

2,284

1.02

SEEDA

112

9,886

8.83

136

12,915

9.50

SWRDA

103

2,398

2.33

99

2,714

2.74

YF

211

4,787

2.27

244

6,638

2.72


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