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The events listed pertained to a broad range of different issues within Ministers briefsfrom small business to consumer protection and the automotive industry. It also includes interdepartmental meetings between Whitehall economic experts.
Mike Penning: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the rate (a) per minute and (b) per three minutes charged to a caller to a number operated by his Department and its agencies beginning with (i) 084 and (ii) 03 is. 
Ian Pearson: This Department is unable to confirm the cost of calling the 084 numbers in use, as rates will vary dependent upon the tariffs applied by each caller's telephone service supplier. The Department does not deploy any 03 numbers.
Mike Penning: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the average duration of a call to a telephone number beginning with (a) 084 and (b) 03 operated by his Department and its agencies was in the last period for which figures are available. 
Ian Pearson: The information available on call duration to the Department's 084 numbers is limited to the three numbers supplied by the main telephone supplier, Global Crossing. For the first quarter of 2009 the average call duration for these 084 numbers was two minutes and nine seconds. The Department does not use 03 numbers.
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much his Department and its predecessor has spent on IT training for its staff in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Thomas: The Departments budgets for training are devolved to individual directorates. IT training, whether it relates to routine or project-related activities, is not separately itemised on the Departments accounting system and the amount that was spent on it within overall training budgets could be ascertained only at disproportionate cost.
Judy Mallaber: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) how many of the 678 equal pay claims upheld at an employment tribunal in 2007-08 related to the employer with the greatest number of cases reaching an employment tribunal in that year; 
Tim Farron: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will make an estimate of the (a) monetary value and (b) quantity of waste food disposed of from his Department's premises in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Thomas: Over the last 12 months up to the end of April 2009, it is estimated that 16,350 kgs of waste food was disposed of by BERR's catering service provider from its restaurant facility at 1 Victoria street.
Mr. Moss: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which review model was used by the Hampton review team in its assessment of the Gambling Commission; and on how many occasions the Review Team met the Gambling Commission for the purposes of the assessment. 
Ian Pearson: Under the Hampton implementation review framework, regulators are reviewed under one of two models, depending on their size, scope and impact, to ensure that reviews are proportionate to the organisation in question.
The Gambling Commission was assessed under the 'Model 1' framework whereby a review team of experienced individuals from the Better Regulation Executive, National Audit Office, the Security Industry Authority and the EEF assessed the work of the Commission over a one-week period. The review team conducted a combination of interviews with senior staff, with representatives of the gambling sector, and with individual regulated businesses, as well as shadowing the work of Commission inspectors.
The review team met with a wide range of Commission staff, including both Commission members and Executive staff ranging from the Chief Executive to their compliance and advisory staff over the course of 6 October to 10 October.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether the rules against misleading omissions under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 will apply to property information questionnaires in home information packs. 
Mr. Thomas: The rules on misleading omissions in the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) will apply to Property information questionnaires (PIQs) where they constitute a marketing communication between a trader (as part of his business) and a consumer. The rules prohibit the provision of unclear material information or the hiding or omission of material information which the consumer needs in the circumstances.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what guidance his Department has issued on the effect of (a) the Cancellation of Contracts Made in a Consumers Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008 and (b) Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 on the (i) sale and (ii) marketing of (A) homes and (B) home information packs. 
about the Cancellation of Contracts Made in a Consumers Home or Place of Work etc. Regulations 2008. The Office of Fair Trading has published joint OFT/BERR branded general guidance, available on the OFT website at:
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his policy is on whether the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (EC) 1400/2002 should expire in 2010; and what discussions he has had with the motor repair industry on this matter. 
Mr. Thomas: On the basis of detailed discussion with EU member states, the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation will be extended or otherwise by the European Commission as this falls within their competence under Article 81 (3) of the European Treaty. We have expressed concerns about access to information, particularly technical information, and parts for the independent aftermarket, and have made several representations to the European Commission on the subject. Most other EU member states have expressed similar concerns. I would expect these concerns to be addressed in any formal proposals by the European Commission.
Officials from BERR and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) have been in discussion with representative groups from the motor vehicle industry including the Right to Repair campaign throughout the review of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation and these helpful contacts will continue.
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will hold an inquiry into the actions of Visteon UK and Ford UK to establish responsibility for pension and redundancy payments for employees made redundant by each company; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: As indicated during the debate in the House on 30 April, BERR is in contact with Visteon UK. I understand that the unions and the Visteon corporation have agreed a much improved redundancy package and that staff at the three Visteon UK plants voted overwhelmingly to accept it. I hope that the necessary payments can be made as soon as is possible. We will continue to monitor the situation.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many times Ministers in his Department have met representatives of the Post Bank Coalition in the last six months. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 20 April 2009]: My right hon. Friend the Minister for Employment Relations and Postal Affairs attended the Post Bank Coalition's launch event on 17 March and regularly meets representatives of a range of post office network stakeholders and other interested parties.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what new powers the provisions of the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 will provide for local authorities. 
which will enable a regulator to impose, by notice, one or more of the following:
a variable monetary penalty determined by the regulator;
a requirement to take specified steps within a stated period to secure that an offence does not continue or happen again; and
a requirement to take specified steps within a stated period to secure that the position is restored, so far as possible, to what it would have been if no offence had been committed.
which will prevent a business from carrying on an activity described in the notice until it has taken steps to come back into compliance.
which will enable a business, which a regulator reasonably suspects of having committed an offence, to give an undertaking to a regulator to take one or more corrective actions set out in the undertaking.
Part 2 of the Act, which commenced on 6 April 2009, established the primary authority scheme. The scheme allows businesses, charities or other organisations that operate across more than one site, to enter into a partnership with a local authority for it to become a primary authority. As well as promoting consistency, the scheme is intended to help local authorities decide what action will be necessary and proportionate in a given circumstance to bring about a successful outcome with the minimum burden to an organisation.
Where the Local Better Regulation Office has registered a primary authority, any other local authority that proposes to take enforcement action against an organisation must contact the primary authority first. The primary authority can then block the proposed enforcement action if it believes that it is inconsistent with advice or guidance that it has previously given. In situations where action is urgently required to prevent harm, the Act allows local authorities to proceed immediately and inform the primary authority as soon as possible after taking the action. Under the scheme, a local authority may reclaim costs incurred while acting as a primary authority on a cost recovery basis.
Ian Pearson: The UK does not have a national mandatory retirement age. The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 introduced a default retirement age of 65, which allows employers to use retirement at 65 as a tool for workforce planning. However, employers do not have to retire employees once they reach 65. They are free to continue to employ them for as long as they like, and employees are entitled to request to continue working beyond 65.
As the Government clearly stated when the regulations were introduced, we are committed to undertaking an evidence based review of the default retirement age five years after its introduction. This provides sufficient time for the regulations to bed in and helps business to plan with certainty. We will be gathering the evidence needed to enable us to undertake this review in 2011. If the conclusion of the review is that the evidence demonstrates a default retirement age is no longer necessary, we will take the necessary steps to remove it.
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 31 March 2009, Official Report, column 1186W, on WPP, what matters were discussed at the meeting. 
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many council tax liability orders have been issued by magistrates to local authorities in England and Wales in each year from 1998 to 2008. 
Statistics on the number of orders issued, as opposed to the number of applications made, are not available. The following table shows the number of applications for council tax and business rate liability orders made to magistrates courts during the financial
years 2005-06 to 2008-09 inclusive. These liability orders attract the same fee charge, and are therefore recorded on the internet fees accounting system (IFAS) in the same way. It is not possible to distinguish between applications for liability orders made in relation to council tax and business rates.
|Number of applications for council tax and business rate liability orders made to magistrates courts in England and Wales, 2005-06 to 2008-09|
|Number of applications made|
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