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Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to assess the effects of the activities of supermarkets on the size of the UKs carbon footprint. 
Mr. Woolas: Supermarkets will be subject to the Governments mandatory Carbon Reduction Commitment cap and trade scheme, which will lead to reductions in electricity use and direct energy use CO2 emissions (as well as requiring large non-energy intensive organisations such as supermarkets to annually report those energy use emissions).
As well as taking action to reduce the direct CO2 emissions from their own activities (including their storage, display and transport of products), the supermarkets are also to be influential in reducing the embedded emissions associated with the whole supply chain of products consumed in the UK, including their production, manufacture, packaging and disposal.
DEFRA, together with the Carbon Trust, is also sponsoring the BSI to develop a Publicly Available Specificationa method for the assessment of the lifecycle green house gas emissions of goods and services. This involves working with a number of retail outlets. The specification will be published later this year.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much waste was classed as hazardous in each of the last five years; and how much hazardous waste was sent to landfill in each year. 
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many (a) apprenticeships and (b) advanced apprenticeships there were in (i) his Department and (ii) the agencies for which he is responsible in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Thomas: The use of apprenticeships and advanced apprenticeships is managed by each business area. There is no central information available and cost of determining the number of apprenticeships within BERR and its agencies would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many individuals have been declared bankrupt in (a) East Dunbartonshire constituency and (b) in each Government office region in each of the last five years; and what forecast he has made of the number of personal bankruptcies in each of the next five years. 
|Numbers of bankruptcies in E and W by GOR. 2005-07|
|1. Totals for GORs plus Wales are not the same as official published totals for E and W due to missing and/or inaccurate postcode data and the regional figures being based on extracts from the database at a different point in time.|
2. There are no official forecasts of personal bankruptcy numbers. The Insolvency Service does use a planning assumption for the number of bankruptcies in England and Wales as a whole, and this number is in the service's corporate plan 2008-11, available at www.insolvencygov.uk.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps he is taking to protect consumers who borrow on terms that assert fixed rates of interest from contractual provisions that enable the interest rates to which they are liable to vary. 
Mr. Thomas: The Government have introduced a number of measures to promote greater transparency in the consumer credit market so that, before they enter into a credit agreement, consumers have the information they need to make an informed choice and are aware of the terms and conditions of the agreement.
The Consumer Credit (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2004 specify the information which must be disclosed to borrowers before a regulated consumer credit agreement is made and they specify the manner in which the information must be disclosed. Borrowers should therefore be fully aware of the terms, such as the type of interest rate applicable, before they enter into any agreement.
In addition, the Consumer Credit Directive, which, it seems likely, will be due to be implemented by October 2010, will include a requirement for lenders to provide borrowers with a key standard information sheet before entering into a contract.
Furthermore, the Consumer Credit Act 2006 strengthens consumer rights, by enabling consumers to challenge unfair lending agreements before the courts. Courts are able to consider the entirety of a relationship between debtors and creditors to determine whether any of the circumstances arising from an agreement are unfair to the debtor. The Act also introduces an alternative dispute resolution scheme under which consumers have access to a free and independent means of resolving disputes with their lenders by taking their case to the Financial Ombudsman Service, rather than having to go through the courts.
Further protection is provided through the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, which come into force on 26 May. These introduce a general prohibition on the use of unfair commercial practices that harm consumers' economic interests. Unfair commercial practices will include failure to inform consumers of material information they need to know to make informed purchasing decisions. Any concerns that the practices of traders may infringe this prohibition may be brought to the attention of OFT or Trading Standards.
In addition, the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations enable consumers to challenge any term which has not been individually negotiated in a consumer contract, where that term causes a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties to the detriment of the consumer. If the court agrees that the term is unfair, it will not be binding on the consumer.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of whether BT's plans to build telephone-bearing advertising structures on the roadside are permissible under BT's code powers. 
When BT wish to install new telephone kiosks bearing illuminated advertising, they are required on each occasion to apply to the local authority, prior to installation, for an advertising consent. This is in addition to the General Permitted Development Order which they are required to obtain for the installation of any type of payphone in a public place.
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what maximum penalties are applicable for (a) conspiracy to defraud creditors, (b) fraudulent trading, (c) preferential treatment of creditors and (d) failure to file statutory company accounts and returns within the period set down by law. 
(b) The current maximum penalty for fraudulent trading in respect of a company is imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or a fine or both. The current maximum penalty for participating in fraudulent business carried on by a sole trader is imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or a fine or both.
(c) Preferring one creditor to the general body of creditors is not a criminal offence. However, it may give rise to civil remedies that can be taken by a trustee or liquidator against the recipient of the preference, for the benefit of the general body of creditors.
Mr. Thomas: Under the Enterprise Act 2002, the responsibility for identifying and investigating cartels falls to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The following list contains 15 cartel cases where an infringement decision was issued by the OFT against cartels under the Competition Act 1998. It does not include cases where allegations may be in the public domain but remain under investigation, or are subject to legal proceedings. They are:
Supply of local bus services involving bus routes in the Leeds area.
Supply of automatic slack adjusters within the UK.
Supply of Hasbro toys and games in the UK.
Provision of services by cattle auctioneers at livestock marts in Northern Ireland.
Supply of luxury ornamental ware in the UK.
Supply of football club's or national team's replica kits in the UK.
Supply of repair, maintenance and improvement services for flat roofs in the West Midlands.
Supply of desiccant through distributors for use in insulated glass units in the UK.
Supply of installation, repair, maintenance and improvement services for felt and single ply flat roof coverings in the north east of England.
Supply of installation, repair, maintenance and improvement services for mastic asphalt coverings for flat roofs (and other flat surfaces) in Scotland.
Supply of installation, repair, maintenance and improvement services for felt and single ply coverings for flat roofs in western-central Scotland.
Supply of installation, repair and maintenance and improvement services for coverings for flat roofs and vehicular decks in England and/or Scotland.
Supply of stock check pads in the UK.
Supply of aluminium spacer bars in the UK.
Provision of boarding services and comparable day services by certain independent fee paying schools in the UK.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will draw to the attention of his Department's Companies
Investigation Branch the compliance of directors of (a) Move (Newcastle-under-Lyme) Limited, (b) W. J. Leisure (Newcastle-under-Lyme) Limited, (c) Venue Master One Limited (trading as The Albion), (d) Pubscene Limited, (e) Prohibition PC Limited, (f) Move One Limited, (g) W. J. Leisure (Hanley) Limited, (h) Move (Hanley) Limited, (i) M One (Newcastle-under-Lyme) Limited, (j) M One (Hanley) Limited and (k) Hove One Limited in respect of the law governing the filing of (i) accounts and (ii) other statutory returns within the relevant time limits. 
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will direct his Department's Companies Investigation Branch to seek reports on directors' conduct from (a) liquidators Begbies Traynor of Stoke-on-Trent in respect of the affairs leading to the liquidation of (i) W. J. Leisure (Newcastle under Lyme) Limited, (ii) Venue Master One Limited, (iii) Prohibition PC Limited and (iv) W. J. Leisure (Hanley) Limited and (b) DTE Leonard Curtis of Hollins Mount, Bury in respect of the affairs leading to the liquidation of (A) Move (Newcastle under Lyme) Limited, (B) Move One Limited and (C) Move (Hanley) Limited and from liquidators Moore Stephens of Stoke-on-Trent in respect of the affairs leading to the winding-up and liquidation of Pubscene Limited. 
Mr. McFadden: The Secretary of State has received reports from the liquidators of the various companies mentioned, other than Pubscene Limited which was subject to a winding up order dated 23 September 2003 when the Official Receiver was appointed. The Official Receiver will report to the Secretary of State if he comes to the conclusion that due to their actions further action is warranted against the directors.
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will ask his Department's Companies Investigation Branch to assess whether the law governing preferential treatment of creditors was complied with prior to the liquidation of (a) Move (Newcastle-under-Lyme) Limited, (b) W. J. Leisure (Newcastle-under-Lyme) limited, (c) Venue Master One Limited (trading as The Albion), (d) Pubscene Limited, (e) Move One Limited, (f) Prohibition PC Limited, (g) W. J. Leisure (Hanley) Limited and (h) Move (Hanley) Limited in respect of amounts due to (i) the owners of freehold property used by the companies, (ii) suppliers of drinks to licensed premises operated by the companies and (iii) banks. 
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