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Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what payments his Department has made to Irwin Mitchell solicitors for services provided to coal health claimants in the last 10 years. 
Malcolm Wicks: The payments made to Irwin Mitchell solicitors for representing claimants under the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and vibration white finger claims under the Coal Health Compensation schemes is shown in the following table as at 15 June 2008.
|Costs paid to Irwin Mitchell|
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what grant funding is available to businesses under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme in 2008-09. 
Malcolm Wicks: Under the Low Carbon Buildings programme (LCBP), with an £86 million budget, around £30 million has been allocated to 6,300 projects, including £6.5 million to 154 projects in the private sector. Although all funding streams for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have now closed to new applicants, we are working closely with the Carbon Trust on a number of private sector projects to raise awareness of the potential for combining microgeneration with energy efficiency to develop low carbon buildings. Further details are available at
Support is available to businesses through the renewables obligation (RO) , the Government's main mechanism for encouraging new renewable electricity generation. All eligible renewable electricity generation installations receive renewable obligation certificates (ROCs). We have announced that under proposed reforms to the RO, microgenerators will be able to claim 2 ROCs for every IMWh of renewable electricity generated. When these changes are introduced the support that microgeneration installations receive from the RO will double to the highest level available.
Advice is available from a number of sources, including the Carbon Trust who provides site surveys to organisations, including SMEs, looking to reduce their energy demand, save money and manage their carbon emissions more efficiently. Further details are available at www.carbontrust.co.uk/solutions/sme_toolkit.htm. Further
assistance is available through Business Link at www.businesslink.gov.uk and Regional Development Agencies at
The Renewable Energy Strategy consultation due in the summer will include considerations of the role that microgeneration and distributed energy will play going forward. This will consider a range of possible initiatives such as financial or regulatory instruments, voluntary guidance and providing better information to business and consumers.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what percentage of grant funding under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme went to public sector projects in 2007. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when he plans to begin recruitment to the new Nuclear Liabilities Financing Assurance (NLFA) Board; in which publications he plans to place advertisements; what budget has been allocated for the recruitment of NLFA Board members; and what per diem rate will be paid to Board members. 
We intend to start advertising for the chair and members of the Nuclear Liabilities Financing Assurance Board before the end of June, and advertisements will be placed in publications that will attract candidates with the level of experience and skills required. The budget will be affected by the
choice of publications, which has not yet been finalised. A candidate information pack will be available shortly containing details of the recruitment process, along with remuneration information.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) whether permission is required for exploratory drilling for oil or other minerals within (a) three miles, (b) six miles or (c) 200 miles or the median line off the coast of the UK; 
(2) when exploratory drilling last took place for (a) oil, (b) other sources of energy and (c) minerals off the coast of (i) the Isles of Scilly, (ii) Cornwall and (iii) South West England, and in the wider Western Approaches and Celtic Sea; 
(3) what records he holds of exploratory drilling for (a) oil, (b) other sources of energy and (c) minerals within 200 miles or the median line from the coast of (i) the Isles of Scilly, (ii) Cornwall and (iii) South West England; 
(4) what (a) records and (b) maps his Department holds of (i) oil, (ii) other sources of energy and (iii) other mineral resources identified within 200 miles or the median line off the coast of the UK. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Department holds, or has access to, records of all UK drilling activity to search for or get petroleum. It also holds maps of all producing oil and gas fields on the UK Continental Shelf and onshore, and details of UK offshore wind farm locations. Records or maps are not held by my Department for other mineral deposits.
The following drilling activity has taken place for oil and gas off the coasts of (i) the Isles of Scilly, (ii) Cornwall and (iii) South West England, in the area out to the respective median lines and (iv) in the wider Western Approaches and Celtic sea:
|(1) Drilled on behalf of the (then) Department of Energy.|
Under the terms of the Petroleum Act 1998, written permission from the Secretary of State is required for all exploration drilling in UK, apart from exploration for coal onshore and within the UKs territorial waters. This requires the written consent of our non-departmental public body, the Coal Authority.
I am advised by the Coal Authority that identified coal deposits lie off the coast of the UK in the Firth of Forth, North East England, Yorkshire and East Anglia, Kent, North and South Wales, the Irish sea and the North West of England. These have been mined in certain areas and explored in others to varying degrees and the Coal Authority and the British Geological Survey hold records of past mining and exploration works.
In addition coal and lignite (brown coal) occurs in basins in the South Celtic sea and St Georges Channel off the coasts of South West England but the Coal Authority do not hold any records of exploratory drilling into these deposits.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many officials in his Department work on the promotion of trade between the United Kingdom and China; and how many in his predecessor Department did so in (a) 1983, (b) 1987 and (c) each year between 1998 and 2006. 
In addition there are, and have been historically, a significant number of officials within BERR, UKTI and the former DTI who deal with trade promotion with China as part of their broader responsibilities. This information is not held centrally though, and to establish proportionate full-time equivalent figures would entail disproportionate costs.
70.75 full-time equivalent staff based in the British embassy and consulates general in China work on trade promotion with China. In addition, since 2007, 28 full-time equivalent staff of the China Britain Business Council, based in the UK and China, have delivered, on behalf of UKTI, the majority of trade services in respect of China.
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