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Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the use of Iranian-made rockets in attacks against Iraqi targets and coalition forces in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: We consistently monitor the equipment and armaments being used by militias and other insurgents in Iraq. Any support for insurgents through supply of weapons, training or funding contributes to instability in Iraq.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had on the Israel-Palestine conflict and its humanitarian implications with the United States administration. 
Meg Munn: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had regular contact with US Secretary of State Rice, most recently on 2 April. We remain gravely concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Essential services, including water and sanitation, are close to breakdown and a number of essential medical items and drugs are out of stock. The UK continues to stress the need for the international community to remain fully engaged on the middle east peace process.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 6 March 2008, Official Report, column 2791W, on nuclear fuels, what the UKs objectives are for the 17 to 18 April conference on nuclear fuel cycle arrangements. 
Dr. Howells: Together with our German and Dutch co-hosts we aim to bring together countries that are considering introducing nuclear energy and countries that have specific experience in nuclear fuel supply to share expertise and best practice. We will listen to states views on the Multilateral Nuclear Approaches agenda. This will help in developing a viable regime of nuclear fuel assurances under the International Atomic Energy Agency auspices that will support states rights to the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technology.
Meg Munn [holding answer 3 April 2008]: Successive Governments have regarded Tibet as autonomous while recognising the special position of the Chinese authorities there. We have consistently informed the Chinese government of our view that greater autonomy should be granted to the Tibetans. But like all other EU members, we do not advocate Tibetan independence. We have emphasised that the current political difficulties in Tibet can best be resolved through dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama has stated publicly that he opposes violence and does not seek independence, but greater autonomy for Tibet. We consider that this provides a basis for a negotiated settlement to the issue of Tibet.
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will meet representatives of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to discuss the formal publication of the OHCHR Report on Western Sahara; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) visited the region in 2006 to gather information on the human rights situation. The OHCHR shared its report privately with Morocco, Algeria and the Polisario on 8 September 2006, but did not publish it, and I understand the OHCHR maintains its decision not to make the report public. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has no plans to meet with the OHCHR and respects its decision to not publish the report.
We are keen to see a resolution to the question of Western Sahara. To this end, the UK fully supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy to the Western Sahara, Peter Van Walsum, to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara. We support the process of UN-chaired negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario currently under way.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much he has allocated to business support, promotion of enterprise and economic development in (a) 2007-08 and (b) each financial year to 2010-11; and how much of this planned expenditure will be channelled via the regional development agencies' single pot in each such year. 
Regarding how much the Department allocated to business support, promotion of enterprise and economic development in 2007-08, I
have nothing to add to the answer to the hon. Member on 18 October 2007, Official Report, column 1288W.
Regarding the amount of planned expenditure channelled through the Regional Development Agencies single pot, my Department has allocated £535 million in 2008-09, £523 million in 2009-10 and £512 million in 2010-11 to the single budget.
The RDA single budget is intended to deliver a range of statutory objectives including regeneration, business support, employment, skills and sustainable development. The RDAs detailed proposals covering the next three years will be set out in their corporate plans, which will be published in the near future.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what recent steps the Government has taken to minimise the burden of regulation for businesses; 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 5 March 2008]: Government undertook an exercise, supported by industry, to measure the Administrative Burdens that impact businesses of all sizes as a result of complying with regulations. Upon the completion of this exercise, 25 per cent. net targets by 2010 were set to reduce this burden.
In December 2007, 19 Simplification Plans were published, showing more than 700 measures to reduce the burdens of complying with regulations. Over 280 of these measures have already been delivered saving businesses £800 million per year.
Smaller businesses stand to benefit from substantial rewrite of Company Law. Coupled with better guidance, new provisions are expected to lower third party costs and make compliance easier. Conservative estimate of £2 million annual savings delivered.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will consider providing financial support to the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales. 
Mr. Thomas: We recognise the benefits of the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Wales. The CAT can apply for grants for demonstration of technologies under the existing programmes of the Environmental Transformation Fund where it meets the criteria. However we are not currently in a position to be able to provide additional core support to the Centre.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many and what percentage of appeals by employees of (a) his Department and (b) its agencies were (i) heard and (ii) upheld by the Civil Service Appeal Board in each of the last 10 years; how much was awarded in compensation by the Board to each successful appellant in each year; what the reason was for each compensation award; how many appellants were reinstated by the Board in each year; and what the reason was for each (A) dismissal and (B) reinstatement. 
Mr. Thomas: 34 employees of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, formerly Department of Trade and Industry and its agencies have made an appeal to the Civil Service Appeal Board, in the last 10 years. Two of these cases have been upheld at the Civil Service Appeal Board since 2002. To provide information on compensation awarded at the Civil Service Appeal Board would be at a disproportionate cost, also to give further details of the individual cases may compromise the identity of the individual contravening the Data Protection Act.
Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if his Department will carry out a strategic environmental assessment of energy policy with regard to the environmental impact of new coal-fired power stations. 
Malcolm Wicks: We have no such plans. Our use of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) has been focussed on technologies where we have the necessary information on where projects would be located. For most onshore power stations it is the market that decides where they are located.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether his Department provides any (a) capital and (b) revenue support to any conference or exhibition centre; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: My Department has one conference centre based at its HQ building at 1 Victoria street. An external service provider is contracted to manage the centre on the Departments behalf for which they are paid a monthly fee. As part of the BERR estate, the conference centre has a regular maintenance schedule that may involve some capital or revenue expenditure.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what timetable his Department plans for the (a) commencement and (b) implementation of each of the provisions of the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 yet to be commenced and implemented. 
Mr. Thomas: The Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 (the Act) contains provisions relating to three distinct policy areasConsumer Voice, estate agents and contracts concluded away from business premises (doorstep selling)which are being commenced and implemented to different timetables:
1. The new National Consumer Council, Scottish Consumer Council, Welsh Consumer Council, Northern Ireland Postal Services Committee, and new statutory redress schemes for gas, electricity, and postal services consumers, are planned to be operational on 1 October 2008. Work is well under way on the development of these new arrangements. Commencement of the relevant provisions of the Act reflects both the progress and the needs of the implementation programme. The Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 (Commencement No. 2) Order 2007 (SI 2007 No. 3546) brought into force on 21 December 2007 the provisions which enabled the appointments of Chairs and Members to be made formally to the new bodies, and for the new bodies to make an important contribution to the implementation process. That Order also commenced provisions relating to the new redress schemes. The Commencement No. 4 Order (SI 2008 No. 905), which was made on 26 March 2008, commenced with effect from 1 April 2008 the provisions which made the new National Consumer Council responsible for maintaining accounts. The Commencement No. 3 Order has been published in draft, and is subject to approval by a resolution of each House of Parliament. The draft Order seeks to commence the provisions relating to the requirement on the new National Consumer Council to publish and consult upon a forward work programme.
2. Provisions in the Act that amend the Estate Agents Act 1979 by making provision for redress schemes dealing with complaints about estate agents were brought into force on 8 October 2007 by the Commencement No. l Order (SI 2007 No. 2934). Once the Office of Fair Trading has approved a redress scheme open to all estate agents, an order requiring estate agents to belong to an approved scheme can be made. Subject to OFT approving a scheme, the Government expects this requirement to be in force with effect from 1 October 2008. Provisions in the Act that amend the Estate Agents Act 1979 by expanding the grounds for the issue by the OFT of prohibition and warning orders and increasing the investigatory powers of enforcement officers, were included in the Commencement No. 4 Order and will come into force on 1 October 2008. The Government expects to commence the remaining estate agents provisions on 6 April 2009.
3. The Government expect to make the new Regulation on door-step selling in May and commence the Regulation on 1 October 2008. The Regulation will extend the protections consumers have when a visit is unsolicited (e.g. right of withdrawal and cooling off period) to sales as result of a solicited visit, and require traders to include the notice of the right to cancel within a written contract.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what submissions he has received from manufacturers of cosmetic products on data on animal testing required under Regulation 9(1)(i) of the Cosmetics Products (Safety) Regulations 2004 in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps his Department requires manufacturers to take in notifying new cosmetics products under the Cosmetics Products (Safety) Regulations 2004. 
Mr. Thomas: Regulation 10 of the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2004 (as amended) requires UK based cosmetic product manufacturers and importers where the UK is the first place a cosmetic product is placed on the EU market, to notify BERR of the place of manufacture or importation and the type of cosmetic product.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how his Department has implemented (a) Regulations 5 (7) to 5 (16) of the Cosmetics Products (Safety) Regulations 2004 with particular reference to Regulation 5 (9), and (b) the EU requirement that member states prohibit the sale of cosmetic ingredients and finished products that have been tested on animals using animal methods which may be replaced by valid alternative tests using fewer or no animals; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: Regulation 5(7)-5(16) of the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2004 (as amended) is the UK's implementation of the 7th Amendment to the European Union's Cosmetics Directive, which principally dealt with animal testing issues. These requirements are enforced by local authority Trading Standards Departments; no central records of their enforcement activity are kept.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether it is his policy that Ministers should sign all letters responding to hon. Members' correspondence; and if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's advice and guidance to staff on dealing with Members' correspondence. 
Mr. Thomas: All letters in response to hon. Members' correspondence are approved by BERR Ministers. Electronic signatures and letters from private secretaries are sometimes used to accelerate responses to hon. Members.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what visits he made to (a) Harrogate International Centre, (b) International Conference Centre, Birmingham, (c) Manchester Central, (d) Scottish Exhibitional and Conference Centre, Glasgow, (e) Edinburgh International Conference Centre, (f) Bournemouth International Conference Centre, (g) the Brighton Centre, Brighton, (h) the Riviera Centre, Torquay, (i) Queen Elizabeth Centre, London, (j) Excel
Conference Centre, Docklands, London, and (k) Business Design Centre, Islington, London, in the period 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2007; and what events he attended at each. 
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