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Youth Services: Finance

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many myplace projects have been initiated by (a) local authorities and (b) young people. [260670]

Beverley Hughes: To date, myplace funding of £240 million has been awarded to 62 projects. Thirty-three of those projects are local authority led.

Myplace aims to deliver world class youth facilities driven by the active participation of young people and their views and needs. All myplace projects have demonstrated clear evidence that young people, particularly disadvantaged young people, have been and will be fully involved in the development, design and future running of the project.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many proposals for myplace projects have been rejected by local authorities. [260671]

Beverley Hughes: All myplace applications need to be endorsed by the relevant top tier local authority to demonstrate that the project responds to local needs and priorities. Of the 240 myplace applications received to date, 12 have been rejected due to the application not having local authority endorsement.

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Broadband

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his most recent estimate is of the extent of broadband internet access. [249001]

Mr. McFadden: Ofcom Research indicates that over 99 per cent. of households are connected to a broadband enabled exchange. Satellite broadband is geographically available to 100 per cent. of the UK.

Broadband coverage of 512 kbps is available to over 98 per cent. 1 Mbps to over 97 per cent. and 2 Mbps to 93 per cent. Access to 50 Mbps service would be available to over 45 per cent. of households by the end of 2009.

Ofcom’s Communication Market Report 2008 stated that the proportion of homes taking broadband services grew to 58 per cent. by Q1 2008, a rise of six percentage points on a year earlier.

Broadband: Pensioners

John Battle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of levels of broadband access for pensioners; and if he will make a statement. [255469]


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Mr. McFadden: Over 99 per cent. of households are connected to a broadband enabled telephone exchange. Ofcom stated in 2008 that 46 per cent. of those over 65 had broadband access at home. This contrasts with 57 per cent. of adults in the same period.

The Government recognise digital inclusion as being a very important challenge facing the UK. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and my noble Friend the Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting, have formed a dedicated Cabinet Committee—MISC 34 and established a cross-government co-ordination unit. The Government have engaged a wide range of stakeholders in developing the cross-government report “Delivering Digital Inclusion - An Action plan for Consultation” in order to have a coherent and concerted drive to address digital inclusion and increase access to broadband/digital technologies for pensioner households and people with disabilities. The action plan details over 70 Government actions taking place to advance digital inclusion. The action plan and details are available at:

and

Broadband: Rural Areas

Mr. Gray: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent assessment he has made of the likely economic effect on rural small businesses of not having access to broadband in the next two years. [258444]

Mr. McFadden: This Department has made no recent assessment on the likely economic effect on rural small businesses of not being able to access broadband in the next two years. However, I recognise the importance of broadband access in rural areas and will be developing plans for a universal service commitment to be effective by 2012 as part of the Digital Britain report. We will set out our plans for the level of service which we believe should be universal and anticipate that this consideration will include options up to 2Mbps.

Departmental Data Protection

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will make it his policy for his Department to sign the Information Commissioner’s Personal Information Promise. [258948]

Mr. McFadden: The Government welcome the promise as a commendable initiative to raise awareness of the importance of effective data protection safeguards, particularly for those organisations with no similar commitments already in place.

The Government take data protection very seriously. Following the Cabinet Office Review of Data Handling Procedures in Government, Departments have been required to implement a number of measures to improve data security.

The Ministry of Justice is considering with the Information Commissioner’s office how the promise
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might add additional value to those measures that are already in place within Government, including published departmental information charters.

Departmental Internet

Mr. Harper: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will publish a copy of his Department's website accessibility plan. [257234]

Mr. McFadden: The Department's website accessibility statement is available at:

BERR is currently working with external accessibility specialists to develop a full accessibility plan, and this will also be published at the above address when completed.

The Department re-launched its website in September 2008 working with accessibility specialists to ensure that the site meets level double-A of the web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG 1.0). This included testing the site with disabled users and training web publishers. When content is discovered that fails to meet the double-A standard it is fixed immediately.

The Department will be moving to a new website content management system in March 2010. Achieving accessibility levels of at least WCAG level double-A will be a requirement of the new system and website.

Departmental Visits Abroad

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what the cost of (a) flights, (b) accommodation, (c) gifts and (d) other expenses was for the Secretary of State’s visit to Russia in October 2008; and how many departmental staff accompanied him; [254634]

(2) what the cost was of (a) flights, (b) accommodation, (c) gifts and (d) other expenses for the Secretary of State’s visit to the Gulf region in November 2008; and how many departmental staff accompanied him; [254635]

(3) what the cost was of (a) flights, (b) accommodation, (c) gifts and (d) other expenses for the Secretary of State’s visit to India in January 2009; and how many departmental staff accompanied him. [254671]

Mr. McFadden: Since 1999, the Government have published a list of all overseas travel by Cabinet Ministers costing over £500. Information for the last financial year, 2007-08, was published on 22 July 2008 and for the first time included details in respect of all Ministers. Details for the current financial year will be published as soon as possible after the end of the financial year. All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code.

Employment Agencies

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will consult trade unions and employers on an extension of statutory periods of notice for agency workers. [258895]


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Mr. McFadden [holding answer 26 February 2009]: The Government reviewed the current framework and coverage of employment rights, including the question of statutory notice periods, and the outcome was published in our policy document “Success at Work; protecting vulnerable workers, supporting good employers”, in March 2006. We concluded that the existing framework met the labour market’s current needs and there was no need for further legislation in this area.

We will be launching a consultation in the near future on the implementation of the EU Agency Worker’s Directive, which will, consistent with the CBI-TUC agreement of June 2008, introduce equal treatment for agency workers in respect of basic working and employment conditions after 12 weeks in a given job.

Employment Agencies: EU Law

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what timetable he has set for consultation on the implementation of the EU Agency Workers Directive; [258850]

(2) what progress he has made on the implementation of the EU Agency Workers Directive. [258851]

Mr. McFadden [holding answer 26 February 2009]: Now that agreement has been reached in Europe on the EU Agency Workers Directive the Government hope to introduce the necessary legislation in the current parliamentary session. There will be a detailed consultation on how we intend to implement the directive. We hope to launch an initial policy consultation in the near future followed by a second stage consultation later in the year with the proposed draft regulations.

Environment Protection

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what studies his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the job creation potential of the UK's environmental industries. [256465]

Ian Pearson: This Department commissioned from Innovas Solutions Ltd. last year a study to asses the current size of growth potential of the UK Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services sector. We plan to publish this shortly.

Foreign Workers: North West

Robert Neill: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much funding the North West Regional Development Agency has provided to Migrant Workers Northwest for employment support for migrant workers in 2008-09 to date. [259652]

Mr. McFadden: In 2008-09 NWDA provided £96,000 of funding for Migrant Workers North West. Further details of the work of Migrant Workers North West can be obtained from:


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Insolvency

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many businesses have entered administration in (a) Cornwall, (b) the south west region and (c) England in the last 12 months. [259638]

Mr. McFadden: There were 4,820 administrations (Enterprise Act 2002) in England and Wales in 2008. Statistics covering business administrations are not currently available on a regional basis within England and Wales.

Insolvency: Hampshire

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many businesses have entered administration in (a) Winchester constituency and (b) Hampshire in the last 12 months. [260277]

Mr. McFadden [holding answer 3 March 2009]: There were 4,820 administrations (Enterprise Act 2002) in England and Wales in 2008. Statistics covering business administrations are not currently available on a regional basis within England and Wales.

Motor Vehicles: Sales

Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the number of car sales during each month since January 2008; and if he will make a statement. [259053]

Ian Pearson: According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), new car registrations in the UK since January 2008 were as follows:

Number

January 2008

162,097

February 2008

69,610

March 2008

451,642

April 2008

175,668

May 2008

179,272

June 2008

209,190

July 2008

153,420

August 2008

63,225

September 2008

330,295

October 2008

128,352

November 2008

100,333

December 2008

108,691

January 2009

112,087


One NorthEast: Finance

Jim Cousins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the estimated monetary value is of the assets transferred to the North East Property Partnership by One North East (ONE); and what income from the Partnership has been received by ONE in each year since 2004-05. [260369]


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Mr. McFadden [holding answer 3 March 2009]: Assets valued at £122 million at 31 March 2004 were transferred on 1 April 2004 to the North East Property Partnership in exchange for loan notes valued at £148 million.

The income received from the partnership in each financial year from 2004-05 is:

£ million

2004-05

14.3

2005-06

26.2

2006-07

14.2

2007-08

17.6

2008-09(1)

8.4

(1)( )Forecast figure only

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