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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many planning applications have been (a) made and (b) approved relating to energy from waste infrastructure; how many structures have been built consequentially; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Communities and Local Government collects statistics for the number of planning applications which have been made and approved for incineration with energy recovery waste facilities. However, the applications approved in any particular year are not necessarily the same facilities for which applications were made in that year. The information is set out in the following table:
|Financial year||Applications made||Applications approved|
Communities and Local Government General Development Control Returns, CPS1/2
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many pupils from schools in Blackpool South constituency went on to higher education in years (a) 1992 to 1997, (b) 1997 to 2002 and (c) 2002 to 2007. 
Mr. Lammy: The available figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) are shown in the following table. Figures on entrants for 2007/08 were released on 29th January 2009. The figures show the number of school pupils from the Blackpool South constituency who entered higher education aged 18 or 19 in 1997/98 to 2007/08.
|Number of entrants( 1,2,3) aged 18 or 19 to undergraduate courses in UK higher education institutions from the parliamentary constituency of Blackpool South, 1997/98 to 2007/08figures as at 1 December (snapshot)|
|Academic year||Number of children entering higher education aged 18 or 19|
|(1) Figures are rounded to the nearest five. Includes full and part-time students.|
(2) Excludes students at Open University.
(3) Students have been allocated to the Blackpool South constituency based on the home postcode reference recorded on the HESA student record. Some of these pupils may not have attended Blackpool South schools.
Higher Education Statistics Agency Student Record
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much the Government allocated to the student hardship fund in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07, (c) 2007-08 and (d) 2008-09; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: The Access to Learning Fund (ALF) is a discretionary fund that provides additional support for higher education students in financial hardship. ALF is administered by higher education institutions following guidance issued by the Department. Individual institutions make their own decisions on how best to target their allocation, taking into account their student population and their knowledge of local circumstances.
|Academic year||Amount allocated to ALF (£ million)|
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the impact of next generation broadband on the quality of broadband service available to (a) rural and (b) urban communities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: The Government fully recognise that next generation broadband could have a substantial beneficial impact on both rural and urban communities and economy. We will be examining the question of universality of broadband and options for maximising participation across the UK, as well as the importance of encouraging investment in next generation broadband as part of the Digital Britain Report. There will be an interim report in January, with the full report in late spring.
Ofcom is currently consulting on the appropriate regulatory environment to help support investment in
super-fast broadband services, while still promoting competition. It is only by achieving both that consumers will truly benefit from the services these new networks can deliver.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent estimate he has made of the number of households which do not have access to broadband internet because (a) local exchanges have not been enabled and (b) shared line devices prevent a broadband connection. 
A shared line device does not necessarily prevent a broadband service, but it is not possible to know this until an order for broadband has been placed and the line tested. BT is also currently working to reduce the number of shared line devices on their network.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the number of households that do not have access to broadband internet in (a) the UK, (b) the North East, (c) the Tees Valley and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland. 
Mr. McFadden: The matter raised is the responsibility of the independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which is accountable to Parliament rather than Ministers. Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to reply directly to my hon. Friend. Copies of the chief executives letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what research his Department has commissioned to compare the extent of broadband internet provision with that of other EU states. 
Mr. McFadden: This Department has not recently commissioned a comparison of broadband internet provision with that of other EU states. To avoid duplication and for reasons of efficiency the Department uses existing resources such as Ofcom's international market reports and other non paid for sources to make international comparisons.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on what dates since 1 January 2007 (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department or its predecessor have had
discussions with Business for New Europe on European matters. 
Mr. Thomas: BERR and its predecessor DTI Ministers and officials have cooperated and engaged with Business for New Europe (BNE), along with other organisations interested in the EU, on events related to EU policy. Similarly officials have had regular discussions with members of the BNE secretariat in preparation for these events. The attached list at Annex A gives further details of BERR events or ministerial meetings involving BNE since 1 January 2007.
11 September 2007: the BERR Secretary of State (John Hutton) had an introductory meeting with BNE members
19 December 2007: John Hutton attended a BNE breakfast event on Europe
14 January 2008: The BERR/FCO "Business Priorities for a Global Europe" Conference was organised in cooperation with BNE, with Roland Rudd chairing the event and BERR Secretary of State John Hutton was one of the speakers.
7 May 2008: BERR Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Shriti Vadera spoke at BNE Enlargement Seminar
17 June 2008: John Hutton attended a dinner with BNE members
8 December 2008: The Global Europe Business Summit was attended by BERR Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Shriti Vadera and Roland Rudd was one of the business participants (representing BNE)
10 December 2008: Lord Mandelson had a breakfast meeting with Roland Rudd and several BNE company members to discuss EU economic reform issues
17 December 2008: Lord Mandelson had a second breakfast meeting with Roland Rudd and several other BNE company members to discuss EU economic reform issues
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent assessment he has made of the merits of providing financial support to companies with an established record of operating in the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Todd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will bring forward proposals to extend maternity leave and employment protection rights afforded to parents to surrogate parents. 
Mr. McFadden: The rights to maternity leave and pay were introduced as a measure to enable women to take time off at the end of pregnancy and after birth to protect their health and safety and that of their children.
The Government have considered rights for surrogate parents from time to time. The need to keep the various leave and pay provisions as straightforward as possible for employers to manage, and ensure that the qualifying conditions reflect the policy rationale for the entitlement in the first place, inevitably mean that certain groups are not covered.
Parents who have a child through a surrogacy arrangement are able to benefit from many of the rights the Government have put in place to support working parents. This includes the right to parental leave, to time off for dependants and the right to request a flexible working pattern. The father of a child born through a surrogacy arrangement and who fulfils the normal eligibility criteria will be able to take two weeks' paid paternity leave.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) how many staff from his Department have provided support for the Creative Britain Review; 
Mr. McFadden: The Creative Britain report was published in February 2008 by this Department and the Departments of Culture Media and Sport and Innovation Universities and Skills. In the year leading up to publication, the equivalent of one full time staff member was provided by this Department. BERRs contribution to the reports publication cost was £30,000.
Justine Greening: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what estimate his Department has made of (a) the number of individuals subject to and (b) failing to meet the terms of debt management plans in each of the last four years; 
Mr. Thomas: As noted in my earlier written reply to the hon. Member on 15 December 2008, Official Report, column reference 425W; because a debt management plan (DMP) is an informal agreement between a debtor and his creditors there is no official estimate of their numbers. The only representations received regarding the working and effectiveness of DMPs have concentrated on whether some debtors would be better placed in individual voluntary arrangements rather than DMPs.
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