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6. Paul Rowen: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what progress has been made on the network change programme for the post office network in Greater Manchester and High Peak. 
Mr. McFadden: Following local consultations, Post Office Ltd announced its decisions on the Greater Manchester and High Peak area plan on 12 August. These confirmed that 316 branches would be retained in the area, and that four closure proposals, including Spotland Road in Rochdale, had been withdrawn. To date, 63 post office closures have been confirmed for Greater Manchester and High Peak with decisions on two other closure proposals still awaited.
Mr. McFadden): Local consultations on all 42 of Post Office Ltd's area plans have closed and decisions have been announced on 41 area plans. To date, 87 closure proposals and five outreach proposals had been withdrawn in the light of responses to local consultations. Following the network change programme, on average, over 90 per cent. of customers nationally will see no change to their local post office.
8. Greg Mulholland: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what guidance his Department gave to community groups on participating in the Post Office consultation on network change; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: The arrangements for local consultation on Post Office Ltd's Network Change Programme area plans were the responsibility of the company, operating within the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding agreed with Postwatch, and monitored closely by the consumer body. I understand that there was extensive participation and levels of response to the network change proposals put forward to local consultation from local authorities and other community and representative groups.
9. Mr. Mackay: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent assessment he has made of the level of activity in the construction industry. 
10. Mr. Illsley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent assessment he has made of the competitiveness of the British glass industry; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: No such assessment has been made recently, however the most recent figures show that the glass industry contributes £1.2 billion to the UK economy, and employs around 28,000 people directly.
11. Mr. Burns: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many meetings Ministers in his Department have had with the Minister for the East of England to discuss the business environment in Essex since 1 July 2007. 
Ian Pearson: The Government are committed to promoting enterprise. Our policies have ensured that internationally the UK is now recognised as among the best in the world to start and grow a business. The Government are determined to build on that success. That is why we published a renewed Enterprise Strategy in March that sets out a framework of five drivers to inform and structure the Governments enterprise policy: Culture, Knowledge and Skills, Finance, Innovation and Regulation. My hon. Friend will also be aware of the package of measures to support small businesses that were announced this week.
Ian Pearson: The Government are committed to ensuring the success of the multi-stakeholder Internet Governance Forum (IGF) process. We are a leading donor, with £50,000 committed to supporting the IGF Secretariat this year. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) works in partnership with Nominet in the UK IGF, which is identifying key messages for the third IGF in Hyderabad in December. In addition to promoting the contributions of UK parliamentarians, Nominet and other UK stakeholders in Hyderabad, BERR will hold a workshop on virtual worlds for delivering public service and innovation.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what assessment he has made of the relationship between the price of alcohol and drinking behaviour; and if he will make a statement; 
The Department commissioned the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), at the university of Sheffield to produce an independent review on the effects of alcohol price, promotion, consumption and harm. The review has two phases:
Phase 1 systematically identified, appraised and synthesised international evidence on the relationship between alcohol price, promotion, consumption and harm. Summary of the first phase, published on 22 July, found significant links between price and youth and heavy drinkers but it has less of an impact on moderate and occasional drinkers; and
Phase 2 explored the potential impact of potential policy changes in this area, especially the population-based impact on health, crime, and wider economy for the population as a whole and also with a focus on: young people under 18 who drink alcohol; 18 to 24-year-old hazardous drinkers; and, harmful drinkers whose patterns of drinking damage their physical/mental health or causes substantial harm to others.
Findings from the review are expected to be published this year and are intended to inform understanding of retail practices, whether they are linked to excessive drinking, and whether Government intervention is likely to be proportionate and have a significant beneficial impact.
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assistance his Department makes available to help rural businesses meet energy bills. 
We have a range of support to assist rural SMEs as part of the Governments support to the SME sector as a whole. We have developed information for our Businesslink.gov portal to consolidate and provide one-stop shop advice to SMEs on energy efficiency. We intend to have measures in place by the end of this year to enable SMEs to access energy efficiency advice and support though information and services provided by all energy suppliers. The Carbon Trust offers a range of interest-free energy efficiency loans and advice.
Mr. Thomas: Assessments of the competitiveness of different parts of the retail sector are undertaken from time to time including in the recent Competition Commission investigation into the grocery sector.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps his Department is taking to protect small businesses in the current economic climate; and if he will make a statement. 
An enhanced training offer through Train to Gain;
Free Health Checks through Business Link; and
New finance guides with the Institute of Credit Management.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 13 October 2008, Official Report, column 989W, on terrorism, what progress has been made on point 11 of the 12-point plan of 5 August 2005 in respect of consulting Muslim leaders with regard to those clerics who are not British citizens to draw up a list of those not suitable to preach who will be excluded from the UK. 
[holding answer 17 October 2008]: On progress against the 12-point plan, I refer the hon. Member again to the update provided by my right hon.
Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department on 1 September 2008, Official Report, column 1594W. This sets out that all counter-terrorism work has now been subsumed into the United Kingdoms long-term strategy for countering terrorism (the CONTEST strategy).
On point 11 in the 12-point plan, I refer the hon. Member again to the statement made by the then Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, South (Mr. Clarke) on 15 December 2005, Official Report, columns 167-71WS. No further action was taken in respect of drawing up a list of clerics to be excluded from the UK.
Since August 2005, 79 individuals have been excluded from the UK on the basis that they have engaged in unacceptable behaviours. The statistics are not broken down according to the professional background of the individuals concerned. I also refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, East and Saddleworth (Mr. Woolas) on 20 October 2008, Official Report, column 14W.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authority-owned, non-decent dwellings there were in (a) the South West and (b) Stroud district in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department collects figures on local authority non-decent homes through the published annual Business Plan Statistical Appendix. According to the latest returns available, the number of non-decent local authority homes as at 1 April 2007 in South West England as a whole was 27,128 (22 per cent. of stock). The figure for Stroud was 510 (10 per cent. of stock). The regional figure includes non-decent homes in local authorities which had established an arms length management organisation to manage their homes.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much council tax liability was written off by local authorities in each year since 1985; and what proportion of council tax liability this represented in each such year. 
John Healey: Details of the amount of council tax expected to be collected within the year by local authorities in England since 2002-03 (in £ millions), the amount of council tax written off each year, and the proportion of the amount to be collected this represents are shown in the following table. The data are reported annually by all billing authorities and were first collected in 2002-03.
|Amount of council tax to be collected (£ million)||Amount written off (£ million)||Proportion of council tax to be collected written off (percentage)|
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of council tax liability was not collected by local authorities in England in each year since 1985. 
John Healey: Details of the percentage of council tax liability collected in year by local authorities in England, since the introduction of council tax in 1993-94 and 2006-07, are available in table 2.2m of Local Government Financial Statistics No 18 2008 which is available on the Communities and Local Government website at:
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