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20 Jan 2009 : Column 1316Wcontinued
along with data for other Departments and agencies.
Earlier sickness data are not readily available and the cost of producing these would be disproportionate to the benefit to be derived.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what use (a) his Department and (b) service providers under contract to his Department make of (i) 0844 and 0845 telephone numbers and (ii) revenue-sharing telephone numbers for calls from members of the public; for which services such numbers are used; what prefixes are used for revenue-sharing numbers; how much revenue has accrued from revenue-sharing numbers in each of the last five years; what consideration his Department has given to introducing 03-prefixed telephone numbers for calls to all such services; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: From the central records that are available, (i) there are seven 0845 telephone numbers services administered by the Department for public use. These are
0845 015 0010: BERR Publications Orderline
0845 015 0020: BERR Publications Orderline (Fax)
0845 015 0030: BERR Publications Orderline (Minicom)
0845 019 0001: Personnel Training Services Consortium
0845 600 0678: National Minimum Wage
0845 600 9006: Business Link Helpline
0845 955 5105: Employment Agency Standards.
The Department does not operate any revenue-sharing numbers. No records are held to show if the Department has ever used or benefited financially from revenue-sharing numbers in the past five years.
No telephone information is available from BERR's central records on the use of 0844/5 and revenue-sharing numbers by its contracted service providers
The Department has no immediate plans to use 03 prefixed numbers.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will increase the number of Employment Agency Standards inspectors and helpline staff; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department has recently doubled the number of Employment Agency Standards inspectors. There has been no increase in the number of helpline/intelligence staff. There are no plans to make further changes in the immediate future.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform with reference to his Departments press release of 18 November 2008, what the budget is for the Its Your Call Road Show; when the road show will (a) commence and (b) conclude; which are the 28 towns and cities it will visit; and what were the criteria by which those locations were selected. 
Mr. McFadden: The budget for the Its Your Call road show is £250,000. The road show was launched on 18 November and commenced in Cardiff on 19 November, it will conclude on 7 February 2009. During this time the road show is visiting; Cardiff, Bristol, Newport, Swansea, Stirling, Kilmarnock, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Norwich, Peterborough, Leicester, Derby, Liverpool, Blackburn, Manchester, Coventry, Nottingham, Birmingham, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, London, Portsmouth and Plymouth. We have chosen locations which have a large number of low paid workers as we want to reach as many people as possible who could be affected by the minimum wage.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many post office services are accommodated in church buildings; and where each is located. 
Mr. McFadden: This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, Managing Director of POL, to reply direct to my hon. Friend.
Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate Post Office Ltd. has made of the savings from recent post office branch closures. 
Mr. McFadden: Post Office Ltd. is forecasting annual savings of £45 million from post office closures implemented under its Network Change Programme, as part of a wider programme of cost reductions.
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much was spent on the consultation on the recent round of Post Office branch closures. 
Mr. McFadden: This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, managing director of POL, to reply direct to the hon. Member. Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps he is taking to ensure age verification online by e-tailers. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: I have been asked to reply.
The Government believe the existing legislation relating to consumer protection by age verification is sufficient as these regulations regarding age appropriate goods apply online as they do offline. We expect online and offline retailers to take appropriate measures to ensure that age-restricted goods are not made available to people under the relevant age.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 12 January 2009 to Question 244582, when he expects the first complete figures on performance in making payments to suppliers within 10 days to be available. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 19 January 2009]: Government Departments will report performance against the new 10-day payment target in their annual reports, following the established procedure for reporting 30-day payment performance.
Achieving the new 10-day target requires changes in systems, guidance and behaviour in both departmental and supplier systems. It is therefore important that we monitor initial progress and I have asked Departments to collect interim data for the months of November and December and then for the quarter ending March 2009. I expect these data to be available at the end of January 2009 and by the end of April 2009 respectively.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the operating costs were for each regional development agency in England in (a) 2006, (b) 2007, (c) July 2008, (d) August 2008, (e) September 2008 and (f) October 2008; and what he assesses the effect on for the economy was of the operation of the regional development agencies. 
Mr. McFadden: Operating costs are defined as staffing plus administration costs. The table shows the operating costs for each Regional Development Agency (RDA) for 2006-07 and 2007-08. However, the totals provided for July, August, September and October 2008 are not audited management account figures and therefore some elements included in the statutory accounts such as depreciation charges are excluded from the sums presented.
In relation to the question on benefits to the economy from RDAs operations; the Government have commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an independent evaluation of the economic impact of RDAs. Their report has just been completed and I will be presenting it to the House shortly.
|Total operating costs|
|(1) Figures for 2008-09 have not been audited.|
(2) This figure includes £3,178,000 of expenditure incurred by subsidiaries. Costs incurred by subsidiaries of YF were consolidated into the Agencys accounts in 2007-08 for the first time. In 2006-07 costs incurred by subsidiaries were not included with those of YF. For comparison purposes, the subsidiaries cost for 2006-07 was £3,616,000.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what functions regional development agencies have to promote economic competition between regions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 19 January 2009]: Regional development agencies have the primary purpose of furthering economic development and regeneration in their areas. Ministers have made it clear to RDAs that in rebalancing national and regional efforts, they expect RDAs to avoid duplication and competition among themselves.
There has been, at times, perceived competition for example on Inward Investment projects. However, the UK economy is the winner from such investments in whatever region of the UK that brings investment and new jobs as well as safeguarding existing jobs.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will establish a mechanism to ensure that the private sector partner for Royal Mail may never take a majority stake; what new technology will be put in place across Royal Mail; what the timetable for the tender process will be; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: My noble Friend, the Secretary of State said in his statement on 16 December 2008 that his Department will want to study the report in detail and he would respond with a full statement of Government policy in the early part of next year. He was clear that the proposed partnership is on a minority basis and the Government have a commitment to keep Royal Mail publicly owned.
What technology is rolled out across Royal Mail is a matter for the company's management and I have asked Adam Crozier to respond direct to my hon. Friend on this. I will ensure that copies of his reply are in the Libraries of the House.
The detailed process, and timetable for engaging with those interested in entering into a partnership with Royal Mail, is still being developed but it is expected to commence early this year.
Colin Burgon: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what remuneration package the Chairman of Royal Mail received in respect of the financial year 2007-08; and how many days he worked as Chairman of the Board in 2007-08. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 15 January 2009]: In 2007-08, Allan Leighton received £200,000 in remuneration for working his contractual two-day week obligation to Royal Mail, which he fulfilled.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many small to medium-sized enterprises were registered in (a) the North West, (b) Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council area and (c) Cheadle constituency in each year since 1997. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 18 December 2008]: Estimates of the number of registered small to medium-sized enterprises, in each of the last five years, are not available below the regional level.
Only data for businesses of all sizes registered for VAT are published by BERR. It is estimated that the majority (97.9 per cent.) of these will be small (with fewer than 50 employees) and a further 1.7 per cent. will be medium-sized (with 50-249 employees).
The number of businesses registered for VAT in Stockport metropolitan borough, Cheadle and the North West for the start of 1997 to the start of 2008 is shown in the following table.
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