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(2) what conditions are contained in franchise agreements to maintain running post offices on an estate where the lease is a different organisation, individual or legal entity than the franchise. [200145]

Mr. McFadden: These are operational matters 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.

Post Offices: Subsidies

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what level of subsidy will be available to the Post Office network after 2011; and if he will make a statement. [199872]

Mr. McFadden: In its response to the national consultation on the post office network in May 2007, the Government recognised that further funding will be required beyond 2011 as parts of the network can never be commercial. They also concluded that it would be premature to make a judgment about what level of funding would be required after 2011 given the changes planned for the network in the intervening period.

Postal Workers: Dog Attacks

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what his analysis is of the performance of the Health and Safety Executive’s record of monitoring Royal Mail’s dog attack procedure; and if he will make a statement; [195334]

(2) what plans he has to review the Royal Mail dog attack procedure; what discussions he has had with (a) Royal Mail, (b) the Communication Workers Union and (c) other organisations about reviewing the Royal Mail dog attack procedure; and if he will make a statement. [195333]

Mr. McFadden: Compliance with Health and Safety rules is an operational matter for Royal Mail management. Royal Mail takes dog attacks on post men and women very seriously and has developed procedures to ensure that its staff are not put at risk of attack while delivering the post.

Regional Development Agencies

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the (a) (i) pay and (ii) non-pay administration and (b) estate costs of each regional development agency were in each year since 2000-01. [198897]

Mr. McFadden: For question (a) (i) pay and (ii) non-pay administration, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 1076W.

For question (b) estate costs of each RDA, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 20 February 2008, Official Report, column 722W. Information for 2000-01 and 2001-02 is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what properties each regional development agency (RDA) owns; how many RDA-employed staff are located at each such property; what the square footage of space available at each is; and what estimate has been made of the value of each such property. [198898]

Mr. McFadden: The regional development agencies own a range of properties for various purposes including redevelopment for the regeneration and economic growth of the region.

RDA staff are mostly housed in leased accommodation.

The information has been placed in the Library.

Renewable Energy: Housing

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many renewable energy systems have been installed on or in UK dwellings in each year since 2000. [199378]

Malcolm Wicks: These numbers are not routinely collected through any one source, and we cannot provide yearly figures for anything except installations funded through Government grants.

Research commissioned by the DTI in 2005 on the Potential for Microgeneration found that in 2004 there were approximately 82,000 microgeneration installations in the UK. We have recently commissioned further research to update this work which is due to be completed by spring 2008.

The final Report on the Potential for Microgeneration can be viewed on:

Solar Energy

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the UK's global position in the construction of integrated solar photovoltaics; and if he will make a statement. [199380]

Malcolm Wicks: Since 2000, the Government have supported the UK Solar PV industry with over £35 million in capital grants and field trials and currently Solar PV installations receive capital grants through the £86 million Low Carbon Buildings programme. There are a number of wider measures supporting Solar PV including grants for R&D through the Technology Programme. As a result the UK Solar PV industry has strengths in the design and manufacture of building integrated products.

More information on how PV development in the UK compares with developments at an international level is available on the International Energy Agency website:

Solicitors

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform with reference to his Department’s written evidence to the
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Public Accounts Committee on Coal Health Compensation Schemes (HC350, EV17), what the equivalent figures are for each firm of solicitors listed for total (a) debt, (b) recovered debt and (c) outstanding debt at the most recent date for which figures are available. [198864]

Malcolm Wicks: With respect to the Public Accounts Committee report on Coal Health Claims, the following table shows how much claimants’ representatives owed the Department, the amount that has been recovered from them and amount outstanding to be recovered for the cost for processing claims under the ‘fast track’ Optional Risk Offer Schemes, as at 31 March 2008. Outstanding debts are due to be repaid by 30 May 2008.

£ million
Claimants’ r epresentatives Total d ebt (including interest) Total d ebt r ecovered (incl. offset and write off) Total d ebt outstanding

Thompsons

5.2

5.2

0.0

Beresfords

14.0

10.2

3.8

Hugh James

5.8

5.8

0.0

Raleys

5.4

5.4

0.0

Browell Smith and Co.

4.2

4.2

0.0

Mark Gilbert Morse

1.2

1.2

0.0

Avalon (1)

8.7

5.2

3.4

Union of Democratic Mineworkers

2.4

0.2

2.2

Watson Burton LLP

2.5

2.5

0.0

Graysons Solicitors

1.8

1.8

0.0

Total (2)

51.1

41.7

9.4

(1) A modified repayment schedule has been agreed with Avalon.
(2) Figures do not always add up due to rounding.

Targeted Advertising Technology

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what assessment he has made of the implications for personal privacy of the use of targeted advertising technology by companies; [198365]

(2) whether he has had discussions with BT on its use of targeted advertising technology. [198366]

Malcolm Wicks: The Office of the Information Commissioner made a statement on 3 March 2008 that it was in discussion with one company about the nature of its service and the way it uses information about ISP customers. My Department will consider the continued relevance of the current safeguards and legislation in the light of the outcome of those discussions. I have had no discussions with BT on this matter.

Telephones: Fees and Charges

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when he plans to respond to the Ofcom report on the extra charges imposed on those paying for telephonic use who choose not to use direct debit. [195588]


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Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 20 March 2008]: Additional charges levied by communications providers on their customers’ bills are a matter for the regulator and not the Government, and have been addressed by Ofcom’s review. Because of the widespread concern about extra charges, such as not paying bills by direct debits, Ofcom is currently consulting on its review of additional charges and the introduction of new guidance for communications providers who levy such charges on consumers. The consultation process will end on 8 May 2008.

Ofcom is then proposing to allow three months for companies to bring their contract terms and marketing material into line with the guidance. It will also publish a checklist for customers on what to look out for before they sign on the dotted line.

Union Modernisation Fund

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 18 February 2008, Official Report, columns 407-8W, to the hon. Member for Chichester, on the union modernisation fund, if he will publish any declarations of political activity made by each of the members of the Independent Supervisory Board. [191502]

Mr. McFadden: At the time of their appointment, the members of the Union Modernisation Fund Supervisory Board declared the following interests:

Health

Abortion: Gloucestershire

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many clinics are registered to perform abortions in Gloucestershire; and whether they receive public funding to carry out these procedures. [198101]

Dawn Primarolo: There are no clinics in Gloucestershire approved by the Secretary of State for Health to perform abortions. National health service hospitals do not require approval to perform abortions.


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Accident and Emergency Departments

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what opinion surveys have been conducted by (a) his Department and (b) the NHS, on the views of (i) general practitioners, (ii) hospital doctors, (iii) nurses and (iv) allied medical professionals on the outcomes of hospital reconfigurations which involved the downgrading of blue light accident and emergency facilities. [198583]

Ann Keen: Proposals for the reconfiguration of services are a matter for the national health service locally, working in conjunction with clinicians, patients and other stakeholders.

The Department has not conducted an opinion survey relating to the reconfiguration of accident and emergency facilities and does not collect data relating to individual surveys which may have been conducted by the local NHS.

Alliance Boots: Finance

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department paid to Alliance Boots Ltd. in each year since 1997; and what the purpose of each such payment was. [199688]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Departments financial records only go back to April 2001 and they show that no payments have been made to Alliance Boots Ltd. for the period April 2001 to March 2008.

Antidepressants: Prescriptions

Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will (a) undertake an evaluation of the effectiveness of and (b) issue new guidance on prescribing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants. [198667]

Dawn Primarolo: A review of the safety of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) by the Government's expert working group on the safety of SSRIs was published in December 2004 and updated prescribing advice has been issued by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as new information has become available. Most recently, a summary of the current regulatory position with respect to SSRIs was released by the MHRA on 6 March 2008 and copies have been placed in the Library.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published its clinical guideline on depression, ‘Management of Depression in Primary and Secondary Care’, in December 2004. NICE plans to review its guidance in December 2008.


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