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Mr. Hunt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what arrangements Ofcom makes for payments from organisations it has fined; and within what period of time penalised parties are required to make payment; 
Mr. McFadden: The matters raised are 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 the hon. Member. Copies of the chief executives letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many sub-post offices now operate, either full or part-time, from the premises of public houses. 
Mr. Thomas: The Government are taking a range of steps to help businesses through the current economic downturn to boost capital and liquidity in the market. This is across all sectors of the economy. Key measures include the introduction of a new Enterprise Finance Guarantee to support up to £1.3 billion of bank lending, a separate £10 billion guarantee facility to support further working capital bank lending, a £75 million Capital for Enterprise Fund to convert businesses debt into equity, and £25 million of regional funds. Public houses are able to access the package of help on offer, including a Business Link Health Check, via:
Jenny Willott: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many coin-operated telephone boxes in each parliamentary constituency have been converted to card operation in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. McFadden: This information is not held by the Department. Neither BT nor Ofcom hold these data broken down by constituency of location. The cost of generating the data on this basis would incur disproportionate cost.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many (a) coin-operated and (b) card-operated public telephone boxes in each parliamentary constituency have been removed from operation in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. McFadden: This information is not held by the department. However, after a review by Ofcom, BT consulted with the local authorities on its national rationalisation programme of removing up to 8,700 telephone boxes. That process has now ended and BT has taken steps to remove those telephone boxes that are cash operated or cashless only where there has been no objection from the local authority. These data are not available in each of the last 10 years at constituency level but BT could provide more recent data by geographic area on request subject to their discretion.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many (a) coin-operated and (b) card-operated public telephone boxes there were in each constituency in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. McFadden: This information is not held by the Department. Neither BT nor Ofcom hold this data for each parliamentary constituency in the last 10 years. The cost of generating the data on this basis would incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much each regional development agency has budgeted to pay in empty property business rates in 2008-09. 
|Budgeted business rates on empty properties in 2008-09|
|(1) An assessment is currently being undertaken on an additional property following its purchase.|
(2) The economic regeneration of Yorkshire and Humbers main urban centres is a Regional Economic Strategy Priority. To support delivery of this priority, YF has acquired strategic properties and sites. The economic downturn is lengthening the delivery of re-uses and new uses for these sites which impacts on rates and empty rates costs.
Mr. Thomas: UK Trade & Investment has an ongoing and active programme of support for the UK renewable energy industries, in partnership with UK Renewables. This includes such activities as organising UK groups at overseas trade shows and bringing potential buyers and decision makers to the UK to see our renewables capability first-hand.
UKTI is implementing the delivery of a UK Energy Excellence Marketing Strategy, to promote the UK as international partner of choice across all the energy industries including renewables. This is a major Government campaign, operating alongside other UK marketing strategies, such as those for ICT and life sciences.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the cash value of defence equipment sales to Sri Lanka was in each of the last two years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: The Government publish detailed information on export licences issued, refused and revoked, by destination, including the overall value and a summary of the items covered by these licences, in its annual and quarterly reports on Strategic Export Controls.
The Government's annual reports, published since 1997, and quarterly reports, published since 2004, are available from the Libraries of the House and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website at
The Government do not approve any defence related exports if it judges that there is a clear risk that they will be used in contravention of the Consolidated Criteria, including for external aggression or internal repression. We routinely refuse export licences where we believe there is a risk of this, and have refused a number of licences to Sri Lanka on this basis.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will direct Ofcom to take steps to ensure that deaf and hard-of-hearing people have (a) equal access to mobile and internet telecommunication services and (b) access to modernised relay services. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 9 February 2009]: Within its existing remit in this area, Ofcom has stated that it would like to see the introduction of additional relay services and have commissioned a study into the social and economic benefits of such services. It is important that the approach reflects current and emerging technology and this study is examining the gap between services that are currently available (including the existing relay service, SMS, instant messaging and email) and potential services. The study will consider the existing relay service Text direct (also known as Type Talk which allows two way telephone conversations between deaf or speech impaired people), captioned telephony (where the relay assistant re-voices one end of the call into captions using speech recognition technology), Video relay (which enables sign language users to communicate with hearing people in real time, using a sign language interpreter based remotely) and internet protocol access to text relay (which would enable people to have fixed and mobile access to text relay via a PC with an internet connection, removing the need for specialist terminal equipment).
The European legislation that establishes the objectives of member state regulation in this area is currently being reviewed. The Government have supported efforts to strengthen the obligations on member states in this area to achieve results that are practical use to disabled users. Our response to the public consultation on the review of the EU legislation noted
There was universal recognition that disabled users should not be excluded from being able to enjoy the benefits of a modern telecommunications sector where economic technical solutions existed.
Mr. McFadden: The South East Development Agency has established a Loan Fund for companies in the south-east. The Agency will provide up to £3 million in transition loan funds, available through the Bridging Mezzanine Debt Fund Managed by Finance South East Ltd. The fund will help high-growth businesses having difficulty obtaining finance from the commercial sector. Unsecured loans of up to £150,000 will be available in the form of commercial loans to bridge the gap between the amount the banks are able to offer businesses and the amount these businesses need to survive and grow. Companies in the south-east can apply for funds by contacting Finance South East Ltd. through their website:
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many overseas visits have been made by each of the business ambassadors since 3 October 2008; and what the cost of (a) flights, (b) accommodation, (c) gifts and (d) other expenses was for each such visit. 
|Name||Visit made||Flight cost (£)||Accommodation costs (£)||Gifts (£)||Other expenses (£)||Note/(£)|
Mexico (February 2009). Meeting with HMA and UKTI representatives. Meeting with Mexican Secretary of Communications and Transport and HMA. Meeting with Coordinator of the infrastructure and Tourism Cabinet, Office of the President of Mexico and HMA
|(1) Car hire|
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the cost of running the business ambassadors secretariat within UK Trade and Investment has been since 3 October 2008; and what proportion of that cost has been for (a) secretariat staff salaries and (b) other expenses. 
Mr. Thomas: UKTI has resourced the business ambassador secretariat from within its overall internal resources. The estimated salary cost for the period since 3 October 2008 is approximately £24,000; this includes set-up costs. No other expenses have been incurred.
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