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The UK intends to make available an £800 million contribution to the Strategic Climate Fund announced at the Hokkaido G8 summit, a proportion of which will be allocated to the Clean Technology Fund. Part of the
UK's contribution will also be allocated to the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience.
The exact allocations to these (and other programmes funded through the Strategic Climate Fund) have yet to be determined since some aspects of the sectoral programmes are still under design. Roughly two thirds of the £800 million will be allocated to climate change mitigation, and one third to climate change adaptation.
The joint DEFRA/DFID Environmental Transformation Fund-International Window (ETF-IW) will finance the UK's contribution. The ETF-IW is in addition to current climate and ODA spending for both DFID and DEFRA.
Tom Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the value has been of imports of produce into (a) the UK and (b) the EU under the interim EU-Palestinian Authority Association Agreement; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: The Association Agreement between the European Community and the Palestinian Authority was signed in February 1997. Its trade provisions came into force on an interim basis on 1 July 1997.
For the period July 1997 to December 2007, EUROSTATs Comext trade statistics database recorded UK and EU imports of goods from the Occupied Palestinian Territories worth about €7.8 million and €72.9 million, i.e. about £5.3 million and £48.7 million respectively.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps his Department plans to take to encourage safe and responsible celebrations on and around Guy Fawkes Night in 2008. 
Mr. Thomas: BERR is responsible for fireworks legislation, as well as the promotion of the safe and responsible use of fireworks. Every year the Department carries out a publicity campaign to ensure the UK population has adequate information about firework safety, with the objective of reducing the number of accidents relating to fireworks.
We currently produce a range of literature, which is available online and updated annually, including: copies of the fireworks safety code for adults and children; schools packs; posters and leaflets for retailers; and a campaign toolkit for local Trading Standards teams.
This year's campaign will also involve close working with other fireworks safety interest groups and the media to promote the important safety message on and around Guy Fawkes day, as well as other festivals involving the use of fireworks.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much fish was procured by his Department and at what cost in each of the last five years, broken down by species; and what amount and value of such fish met the Marine Stewardship Council standard in each such year, broken down by species. 
Mr. Thomas: The Departments contracted catering service provider does not have sufficiently detailed information available to answer this question fully and to produce it would involve disproportionate cost.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his latest estimate is of the change in the number of independent food stores in the last 12 months; and what steps he plans to take to reduce the regulatory burden on such businesses. 
Mr. McFadden: The Competition Commission's Final Report on its Investigation of the Groceries Market, published on 30 April 2008, estimated that the number of convenience stores operated by small businesses stayed approximately at the same level (34,554 in 2006 and 34,505 in 2007). The report also estimated that the number of specialist grocery stores, which includes greengrocers, butchers, fishmongers and bakeries fell from 18,985 in 2006 to 18,465 in 2007.
As part of the Enterprise Strategy published this year, the Government will consult on the introduction of a new system of regulatory budgets for Departments. These would be budgets setting out the limit of regulation that can be introduced within a given period. Adopting such a forward looking limit on the costs of regulation would be a world first, and further support Britain as one of the best places in the world to do business.
The Enterprise Strategy also announced the Government's intention to build on our think small first policy for small business by investigating where small businesses could be exempted from new regulation. When regulation is necessary, the Government will fully explore different approaches to regulating small businesses to ensure the regulation is proportionate and appropriate to the context of small business.
Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the number of jobs (a) safeguarded and (b) created by inward investment into the UK in 2007-08. 
Mr. Thomas: On 2 July UK Trade and Investment announced that in 2007-08 it recorded 1,573 decisions to invest in the UK, and 45,051 new jobs plus 58,488 safeguarded jobs associated with these investments.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the (a) income, (b) expenditure and (c) profitability of the (i) Linslade, (ii) Hockliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard, (iii) Eaton Bray, (iv) High Street South, Dunstable and (v) Luton Road, Dunstable post offices was in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what consideration he has given to the provisions of section 62 of the Environment Act 1995 in respect of the withdrawal of postal services from settlements in national parks; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden [ holding answer 3 July 2008]: In developing such proposals under its Network Change programme, Post Office Ltd. is required to comply with the access criteria set by Government, to take account of geographical factors, including distance to alternative outlets, and to consider availability of public transport, local demographics and the impact on local economies.
I understand that Post Office Ltd. has specifically consulted the Dartmoor National Park Authority in respect of its post office closure and new outreach proposals in its Devon area plan. The authority's response, together with all other responses received in response to the local public consultation, will be carefully considered in reaching final decisions.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many of the 2,500 post offices proposed for closure in May 2007 have been allowed to continue in operation. 
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what sanctions there are in postmasters' contracts with Post Office Limited for breaking confidentiality agreements in relation to (a) the network change programme and (b) any other matter. 
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many cases of fraudulently redirected mail the Royal Mail discovered in each of the last three years for which figures are available; what steps Royal Mail is taking to counter this practice; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 14 July 2008]: This is an operational matter for which Royal Mail has direct responsibility. I have therefore asked the chief executive of Royal Mail, Adam Crozier, to provide a direct reply to the hon. Member.
Advantage West MidlandsMichael Oakes
East of England Regional Development AgencyLord Edward Iveagh
East Midlands Development AgencyCllr Geoffrey Stevens
Northwest Regional Development AgencyPeter Allan
ONE NorthEastIan Brown
South East of England Development AgencyPoul Christensen
South West Regional Development AgencyHarry Studholme
Yorkshire ForwardLord Christopher Haskins.
|Number of new VAT registrations and VAT registered businesses|
Although the number of new VAT registrations in each area has fluctuated between 2000 and 2006 the total number of VAT registered businesses has increased in both Bexley and London over the period. The stock of VAT registered businesses in Bexley district has increased by 595 (12 per cent.) between the start of 2000 and the start of 2007 and in the London region there has been an increase of 38,350 (14 per cent.) over the period.
VAT registrations do not capture all business activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if they fall below the compulsory VAT threshold, which was £60,000 at the start of 2006. Only 1.9 million out of 4.5 million UK enterprises (43 per cent.) were registered for VAT at the start of 2006.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will appoint an independent ombudsman and draw up a code of practice to regulate trade between supermarkets and local suppliers. 
Mr. Thomas: In its report into the Supply of Groceries in the UK, published on 30 April, the Competition Commission (CC) identified that excessive risks and unexpected costs were being transferred from grocery retailers to suppliers. To address this concern, the CC is extending the supermarkets code of practice (SCOP) to include a larger number of retailers and prohibit some practices that take place. The CC is also seeking undertakings from the grocery retailers covered by the new groceries supply code of practice (GSCOP) to establish an ombudsman to monitor and enforce compliance with the GSCOP. If the CC is unsuccessful in establishing the ombudsman within a reasonable period of time, the CC will ask BERR to take the necessary steps to set up an ombudsman. BERR would then carry out a full consultation.
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