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The regions Graduate Retention Programme, which has been running for six years, funded by Yorkshire Forward in partnership with the regions universities, which aims to retain graduates from the universities and colleges of Yorkshire and Humber, as well as the attracting graduate talent from outside the region. This is critically important for business ability to compete on a national and international stage.
Centres of Industrial Collaboration (CICs)are funded by Yorkshire Forward. They aim to get knowledge within universities into companies in practical ways. Since their launch in 2003 they have collaborated with over 1,800 businesses and generated more than £39 million of research income for the region.
Since 2005, a major new driver for encouraging enterprise in the neediest areas of the region is the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI). Yorkshire and Humber has five LEGI partnerships, led by the local authorities, working to ensure wider benefits of business growth spread to more deprived communities. They will be supported by £128.6 million from the Government over five years. The five LEGI schemes cover Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Doncaster and North East Lincolnshire.
The Leeds LEGI programme, entitled Sharing the Success aims to address great imbalances in the local economy. Leeds has been awarded approximately £20 million to deliver an enterprise programme targeted at tackling worklessness issues in its most deprived
neighbourhoods. To date nearly 50 new businesses have started in the LEGI area, nearly 100 new jobs created and over 100 local residents found employment.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much (a) his Department and (b) its executive agencies spent on (i) recruitment consultants and (ii) external recruitment advertising to recruit staff in each of the last five financial years; which recruitment consultants were employed for those purposes in each of those years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: When running recruitment campaigns, recruitment costs, including advertising costs are generally devolved to individual management units and there are no central records held of the breakdown of advertising costs. When advertising vacancies, the departments use the most appropriate advertising media be it national, regional, local, trade magazine or website, depending on the nature of the vacancy to be filled.
Mr. Leech: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will bring forward proposals to extend the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 to include the time that support workers are obliged to spend sleeping at their place of work; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: There are no current plans to change legislation in this area. We are, however, reviewing the guidance on sleepovers as part of work to reduce uncertainty about what constitutes compliance with the law.
James Duddridge: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation sponsored by his Department and its predecessor has (i) amended and (ii) enhanced existing powers of entry since May 1997. 
Mr. McFadden: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the Minister of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Mr. Coaker) on 7 October 2008, Official Report, column 577W.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effects of turbulence in financial markets on the willingness of banks to provide loans to fuel-poor householders to improve their home energy efficiency rating. 
Low income and vulnerable households are able to access discounted or free energy saving and heating measures as a result of Government policies. These include the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target regulations on energy suppliers (as a result of which free cavity wall and loft insulation are available to households in receipt of certain benefits and tax credits and those over 70), and publicly funded schemes such as the Warm Front scheme in England and the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme in Wales. The Government's Home Energy Saving Programme announced on 11 September set out a £1 billion package of new activity to help all households save energy and save money.
As stated at Budget 2007, based on consultation with major banks and building societies, the Government anticipates that the measures it has put in place and improved energy advice and information have the potential to create a market for green financial products designed to help householders invest in energy efficiency and microgeneration installations.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many people in West Chelmsford constituency have (a) applied for a grant for energy efficient measures under the Warm Front scheme and (b) been awarded a grant for energy efficient measures under the scheme. 
Joan Ruddock: Between 1 June 2005 and 30 September 2008, 1,273 households in West Chelmsford applied for a Warm Front Grant, 859 have qualified and of these 721 have received assistance. The remaining 138 households are awaiting the delivery of measures.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he (a) is taking and (b) plans to take to publicise the (i) Warm Front Scheme and (ii) Warm Deal Scheme; how much was spent by his Department and predecessor departments to publicise each scheme since its inception; and if he will make a statement. 
Warm Front advertising and promotion is not an expense drawn from the Warm Front budget. It is a contractual requirement placed on Eaga, as the main contractor, to generate sufficient interest in the scheme to fulfil the budget.
(a) In promoting the Scheme, Eaga undertakes several streams of activity targeted at reaching those eligible or potentially eligible for assistance. Activities include attendance at local community events, partnerships with both the Department of Health and the Department of Work and Pensions, affinity arrangements with local voluntary and charitable groups and direct mailing activities with local authorities.
(b) Eaga will continue to publicise Warm Front so that it is visible and available to those in need, and will ensure that the scheme assists as many households as possible by fully utilising its budget.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what research he has recently (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effectiveness of the (i) Warm Front Scheme and (ii) Warm Deal Scheme in reducing fuel poverty; and if he will make a statement. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department travelled by (i) car, (ii) rail and (iii) air on Government business in each year since its creation. 
Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to reduce congestion on motorways and two-lane roads caused by slow-overtaking heavy goods vehicles; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Clark [holding answer 17 October 2008]: The Highways Agency is undertaking a series of trials on the Strategic Road Network, restricting HGVs over 7.5 tonnes from using any lane other than the nearside lane for short stretches of road. Trial areas include the M42 Junction 10 to 11 and two sections of the A1 (M) Southbound from junctions 61 and 63. After a successful 18-month trial on the A14 the restriction has been made permanent, and the process of making the order permanent on the M42 is in progress.
In addition, the Highways Agency has constructed new crawler lanes at four locations on the motorway network, one on the M27 and three on the M5 in the south-west area. These sites were identified as places where congestion has been caused by the slow movement of HGVs.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of the rail network was electrified in (a) 1978, (b) 1988, (c) 1998 and (d) 2008; what plans exist to electrify further sections; and on which of these sections electrification has commenced. 
|Percentage of total route kilometres open to passenger traffic that are electrified|
|(1) Latest year for which figures are available. Source: Transport Statistics Great Britain 2007.|
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the net change in the number of train carriages on the rail network has been since 1 May 1997, allowing for the removal of Mk 1 trains and other time-expired vehicles, in (a) absolute and (b) percentage terms; and what the change in passenger numbers has been over the same period. 
In May 1995 the number of vehicles on lease was 10,401 and, as of today, the number on lease on the Rail Network is around 11,150, an increase of around 7.2 per cent. It should also be noted that a further 1,300 vehicles will be delivered as part of the High Level Output Specification (HLOS), of which 423 have already been ordered. In 1997-98 there were 846 million passenger journeys and by 2007-08 this had risen to 1,232 million.
Although the numbers may seem disproportionate in percentage terms it should be noted that off peak traffic and non-London traffic has grown substantially faster
than London peak traffic; hence, a large proportion of the extra journeys are being made on what were previously under utilised trains.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has a comparator to assess the relative value for money of private and public operation of railway passenger services. 
Paul Clark: The Government's policy is that rail passenger services are provided by the private sector through competition to operate publicly-specified franchises. There are no public operations which could provide the yardstick for a comparator.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which train operators have requested a time extension for payments of the premia due under their franchise agreements in the last 12 months. 
Paul Clark: Train operators have been encouraged to implement the simplified fares structure set out in the 2007 White Paper, reducing the number of principal fare types to three typesAnytime, Off-peak and Advance, with standard terms and conditions for each category.
Train Operating Companies continue to set fares, where regulated, within the Policy of limiting overall increases to RPI + 1 per cent., in all but two cases. The Southeastern franchise, and the West Yorkshire part of the Northern franchise, are subject to an overall regulatory cap of RPI + 3 per cent. to reflect investment by the franchisees.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what European Union law governs whether train and station operations should be separated from rail infrastructure maintenance and renewals. 
Paul Clark: Directive 91/440/EEC requires separation of accounting between infrastructure management business and the provision of transport services, and prohibits the transfer of public funds between these functions. It allows member states to achieve this through the organisation of distinct divisions within a single entity or by requiring the infrastructure to be managed by a separate entity.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has made an assessment of the value for money of (a) integrating
rail infrastructure and operations in the public sector and (b) separating train and station operations from rail infrastructure maintenance and renewals. 
Paul Clark: No such formal assessment has been made. It is generally accepted that the structures put in place at privatisation were flawed. The 2004 Rail White Paper and 2005 Railways Act set out a new streamlined structure, specified by the Government and delivered by the private sector, under which rail investment is based on affordability and value for money as determined by the independent Office of Rail Regulation.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the value for money of operating rail passenger services in the public sector after each passenger franchise expires. 
Paul Clark: The Government's policy is that rail services are provided by the private sector to a specification developed in the public sector; therefore, no formal assessment has been made of the value for money of operating rail passenger services in the public sector.
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