Previous Section Index Home Page

10 Mar 2009 : Column 394W—continued

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 extended direct payments to those people who lack capacity to consent and who are currently excluded from the scheme. These people will now be able to benefit from direct payments
10 Mar 2009 : Column 395W
through the appointment of a ‘suitable person’, often a friend or relative, to receive the payment on their behalf. The Department has recently consulted on draft regulations to implement this extension which, along with revised accompanying guidance, will come into force this year.

Anyone making decisions for a person who lacks capacity, including a suitable person who receives direct payments on that person's behalf, is obliged under the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) to act at all times in the best interests of the person lacking capacity. Acting in someone's best interests includes involving them in the decision-making process as far as is reasonably practicable to make sure that the person is able to have as much input as possible into decisions about their care. Suitable persons will need to be able to demonstrate how they have spent the direct payment and councils will have the power to stop the direct payment if it is not being spent in the way which it was intended when it was made.

We are also taking action to ensure advice is made available to families who will manage direct payments on behalf of an individual who lacks capacity. The Government are making resources available under the MCA grant to councils and primary care trusts to train professionals on all aspects of working with people who lack capacity and taking best interest decisions on their behalf. Councils decide how best to use these resources on training, awareness raising and appointing specialist MCA professionals.

Wheelchairs

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what progress his Department has made towards publishing the outline model for wheelchair services as part of its transforming community equipment and wheelchair services programme; [261547]

(2) when he plans to publish the new model for wheelchair services; and what the reasons are for the time taken to publish the model; [261548]

(3) what estimate he has made of likely reductions in waiting times for (a) assessments for and (b) access to powered wheelchairs resulting from the proposed new model for wheelchair services; [261549]

(4) whether he plans to discuss his proposed new model for wheelchair services with (a) wheelchair users with multiple sclerosis and (b) other wheelchair service users and their carers. [261550]

Phil Hope: Discussions are ongoing within the Department on the future model for wheelchair services so as to ensure that a model is developed which is suitable for the national health services and service users.

Stakeholder views are key in the development of any new model of service provision and wheelchair service user groups worked with the Care Services Efficiency Delivery programme on the future model for wheelchair services. Departmental officials have had and will continue to have meetings involving all groups of wheelchair service users and their carer, including multiple sclerosis, when required.

Waiting times, assessments and access to powered wheelchairs are the responsibility of the NHS and these data are not collected by the Department.


10 Mar 2009 : Column 396W

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Banks: Foreign Workers

Mr. Weir: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether he has had discussions with representatives of banks on the off-shoring of their management and IT functions; and what the outcome of these discussions was. [260978]

Mr. Thomas [holding answer 5 March 2009]: I have not had any meetings with representatives of banks to discuss the off-shoring of their management and IT functions.

Business: Terminology

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what definition of a micro business his Department uses. [260058]

Ian Pearson: The Department defines a micro business as a business with nine or fewer employees.

Construction: Billing

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the effect on the time taken to make payments to subcontractors of the requirement on Government bodies to pay invoices submitted by tier one contractors within 10 days. [258749]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 25 February 2009]: Prompt payment helps the cash flow of sub-contracting companies. Departments are encouraging their tier one contractors to pass on the 10 day payment terms to their subcontractors.

Departmental Correspondence

Mr. Shepherd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when he plans to reply to the letter of 20 February 2009 from the editors of the Birmingham Post, the Birmingham Mail and the Coventry Telegraph on his Department's response to the communiqué from the West Midlands auto industry summit. [259308]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 27 February 2009]: The Secretary of State has responded.

Departmental Trade Unions

Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which trade unions are recognised in his Department. [262074]

Mr. McFadden: This Department recognises three trades unions: FDA, Prospect and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) which are all members of the Council of Civil Service Unions.


10 Mar 2009 : Column 397W

Easter

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will bring into force the principal provision of the Easter Act 1928 fixing the date of Easter. [261801]

Mr. McFadden: We have no plans to implement the Easter Act 1928. It remains on the Statute Book but the Act requires that before a draft order is laid before Parliament

At this time, the churches have not all expressed a desire or willingness to move to a fixed Easter.

Electronic Equipment: Waste Disposal

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what procedures are in place under the EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive to ensure that the independent audit of transfrontier shipments complies with the terms of the Directive. [259342]

Ian Pearson: Under the UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations, exporters who issue evidence of treatment and recycling must be approved by the appropriate environment agencies. Evidence notes can only be issued by exporters in respect of WEEE that has been exported in accordance with EU legislation on waste shipments. Under the WEEE regulations, exporters must maintain records that demonstrate that the reported treatment and recycling has taken place. These records must be made available for the agencies to audit and, in the case of larger exporters, are subject to independent audit.

Environmental Transformation Fund

Colin Challen: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which projects for which his Department is responsible receive funding from the Environmental Transformation Fund; how much each has received from the Fund since its inception; and what new projects are planned. [259359]

Ian Pearson: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) is not responsible for any projects currently receiving funding from the Environmental Transformation Fund. The domestic element of the Environmental Transformation Fund, which was formerly jointly led by BERR and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), has been led by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) since the creation of DECC in autumn 2008. DEFRA and the Department for International Development (DflD) are jointly responsible for the separately managed international element of the fund.


10 Mar 2009 : Column 398W

Government Departments: Procurement

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the cost of running the (a) CompeteFor website and (b) supply2.gov website was in each of the last three years; how many unique visitors each site received in each of those years; and if he will make a statement. [253638]

Ian Pearson: The running costs for CompeteFor are as follows:

The CompeteFor site has had 54,000 businesses register since launch in January 2008.

Supply2.Gov.uk is operated under a concession type contract whereby the supplier carries all of the commercial risk. Initial set up costs totalling £120,000 were borne by the Department of Trade and Industry in 2006. In 2008-09 BERR funded the provision of a free trial for businesses which ran between 1 May and 31 July 2008, at a cost of £110,310 (ex VAT). No other payments have been made in relation to the portal.

The breakdown of supplier registrations into financial year is as follows:

Total registrants since launch to the end of January 2009 was 125,178.

Job Creation

Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps he has taken to create British jobs for British workers since 24 September 2007. [258709]

Ian Pearson: The Government have announced a series of measures to support businesses and families through the financial crisis. A summary of these measures are set out in “The Road to the London Summit: the plan for recovery”. Copies of the document are available in the Libraries of the House.

Manufacturing Industries: Motor Vehicles

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much the European Investment Bank has given in loans to each automotive company for investment in lower carbon initiatives since 27 January 2009. [260615]

Ian Pearson: The European Investment Bank (EIB) is currently assessing a number of applications received under its clean transport facility from UK and other European automotive companies following the doubling of the clean transport facility budget in December 2008.

Motor Vehicles: Government Assistance

Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the number of applications by individuals for car loans which were rejected in each
10 Mar 2009 : Column 399W
month since January 2008; what assistance he plans to give to individuals to secure finance for the purpose of purchasing a new car; and if he will make a statement. [259052]

Ian Pearson: The Government do not routinely collect information on individual car loan rejections. My noble Friend, the Minister for Trade and Investment, is exploring what solutions can be found to enable the car finance industry to access credit. He is consulting with a range of interested parties, including the Bank of England, banks and the motor finance industry.

Redundancy

Ms Keeble: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the number of (a) women and (b) men who were made redundant in each of the last four quarters for which figures are available. [262425]

Mr. McFadden: The level of redundancies, split by gender, in the United Kingdom in each of the previous four quarters is given in the following table.

Redundancy levels
Thousand
2008 Male Female Total

Q1

75

36

111

Q2

76

51

127

Q3

91

65

156

Q4

177

82

259

Source:
Labour Force Survey, ONS

Retail Trade: Havering

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps his Department is taking to assist the retail industry in the London Borough of Havering; and if he will make a statement. [261136]

Mr. Thomas: BERR recognises the positive contribution the retail sector makes to local, regional and national economies.

Through Business Link, the Capital's retail sector, including the retail industry in Havering, can access mainstream Government business support products which encourage increased productivity, skills, innovation and opens up new business opportunities.

The Government are also providing businesses, including retailers, with ‘Real Help Now’ which consists of targeted products and initiatives to help firms during these tough economic times.

Saudi Arabia: Arms Trade

Dr. Cable: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) when the Export Credits Guarantee Department granted an indemnity for the Al-Yamamah Saudi-British Defence Co-operation Programme; and what the present status of this indemnity is; [257401]

(2) when the Export Credits Guarantee Department granted an indemnity for the Salam Project; and what the present status of the indemnity is. [257402]


10 Mar 2009 : Column 400W

Ian Pearson [holding answer 23 February 2009]: Since 1989 ECGD has provided consecutive insurances and indemnities to BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd in respect of the Al Yamamah programme (now known as the Saudi British Defence Co-Operation Programme), the last of which was a five year Indemnity issued in 2006, to which, in 2007, the Salam programme was nominated for cover in accordance with the terms of the Indemnity. The Indemnity was terminated by BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd with effect from 1 September 2008.

Small Businesses: Procurement

Margaret Moran: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will remove charges to small and medium-sized enterprises for use of (a) Supply2gov and (b) Catalist. [257034]

Ian Pearson: The Department is working to ensure that the principal recommendation of the Glover Review, a single, free of charge, easy to search portal is launched by 2010. 95 per cent. of supply2.gov.uk users are currently registered for the free of charge service. OGC Buying Solutions do not charge suppliers of any size to be on catalyst.

Margaret Moran: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will simplify and speed up the procurement process for (a) small and medium-sized enterprises and (b) social enterprises supplying the public sector. [257035]

Ian Pearson: The Department is working with the Office of Government Commerce to implement all 12 recommendations made in the Glover Review, “Accelerating the economic engine: through transparent, simple and strategic procurement”, published in November 2008, which aims to simplify and speed up the procurement process for SMEs wanting to supply goods and services to the public sector.


Next Section Index Home Page