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2 Jun 2009 : Column 336W—continued

Water Charges

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the average weekly water bill for a (a) one, (b) two, (c) three and (d) four or more person household. [276647]

Huw Irranca-Davies: Neither Ofwat nor my Department hold information on the average weekly water bill for households.

Ofwat’s leaflet “Your water and sewerage bill 2009-10” provides information on average annual water bills for unmetered and metered bills for every water company in England and Wales. I have arranged for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House.

Water: Maps

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the accuracy of the Environment
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Agency's surface water mapping; and whether the accuracy of the mapping has been subject to independent verification. [277011]

Huw Irranca-Davies: The Environment Agency has confirmed that the accuracy of the surface water mapping was independently assessed, although the information currently available to do this is limited. The maps of Areas Susceptible to Surface Water were compared with those of the 15 Integrated Urban Drainage pilot projects and models already held by the independent consultants.

The information on the maps is still under development and is currently only considered suitable for emergency planning purposes. The maps give an indication of the broad areas likely to be susceptible to surface water flooding based upon an extreme summer rainfall event with no drainage systems working. The information is not sufficiently accurate to use for individual properties as the current version excludes, for example, the impact of buildings and kerb heights on surface water flows, which at the local level can be significant. There will be properties at risk from surface water flooding that will not be included within the outline areas on the maps, and possibly other individual properties within the areas outlined that are not at risk because of particular local features that the mapping process did not reflect.

Women and Equality

Departmental Visits Abroad

David Simpson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how much expenditure was incurred in respect of overseas visits which (a) she, (b) other Ministers in the Government Equalities Office and (c) Government Equalities Office senior officials undertook in 2008. [262169]

Maria Eagle: In 2008 the Government Equalities Office incurred the following expenditure for overseas travel by its Ministers and senior officials:


Number of visits Expenditure (£)

Minister for Equality



Other GEO Ministers



GEO Senior Officials






Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Advertising: Competition

Peter Luff: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will make an assessment of the level of competitiveness of the UK online advertising market; and if he will make a statement. [276979]

Barbara Follett: I have been asked to reply.

The UK has the largest advertising market in Europe(1) and online advertising is the fastest growing advertising
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medium in the UK. In 2008, UK online advertising was responsible for 19.2 per cent. of the UK advertising market—up from 15.5 per cent. in 2007(2).

The World Advertising Research Centre (WARC) has forecast that in 2009 total internet adspend in the UK will be £3.96 billion, overtaking the value of television advertising estimated at £3.83 billion.

The Government are committed to supporting the UK’s creative industries. The Government’s strategy for the Creative Economy, Creative Britain—New Talents for a New Economy, published in 2008, sets out a range of initiatives that will help provide the business support structures and skilled workforce needed to ensure the UK’s creative industries remain highly competitive.

Business: Regulation

Mr. Binley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many regulations imposing costs on businesses were introduced in 2008. [261344]

Ian Pearson: The information on regulations is published on the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website:

However, the overall number that affect business is not collated centrally.

Mr. Binley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether impact assessments have been carried out on all regulations affecting businesses which are due to come into force in April 2009. [261346]

Ian Pearson: All new regulatory changes introduced and published on BusinessLink:

in April 2009 have impact assessments where required. The impact assessments can be found online on the Impact Assessment Library:

or embedded within the Explanatory Memoranda for the relevant legislation published on the OPSI website:

EU Internal Trade

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the monetary value of UK (a) exports to and (b) imports from other EU countries was (i) including and (ii) excluding the Rotterdam/Antwerp effect in each year since 1997. [277113]

Mr. Thomas: Office for National Statistics data for UK exports to and imports from the EU27 are shown in the following table.

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£ million
UK goods exports to the EU UK services exports to the EU UK goods imports from the EU UK services imports from the EU






















































For technical reasons associated with EU enlargement, consistent figures are not available for trade in 1997 or for services trade in 1998. For some periods, trade in goods figures were affected by transactions associated with missing trader VAT fraud, most notably in the first half of 2006.

No figures are available for the impact of the Rotterdam/Antwerp effect on statistics on UK trade with the Netherlands and Belgium compared with other countries; nor is it obvious how this affects statistics on trade with other EU countries compared with the rest of the world. HM Revenue and Customs regularly analyse asymmetries between UK trade statistics and those produced by other countries: in particular, in December 2005 they published a report called “Analysis of Asymmetries in intra-community trade statistics with particular regard to the impact of the Rotterdam and Antwerp effects” which can be found at:

The ONS and HMRC keep the methodologies underlying trade statistics under review.

Exports: White Phosphorus

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Devizes of 23 February 2009, Official Report, column 19W, on ammunition exports, to which companies the export licences were issued. [277075]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 1 June 2009]: Export licence applications are made to the Government in confidence and, for that reason, the identities of the companies involved are not published.

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 23 February 2009, Official Report, column 19W, on ammunition: exports, whether any of the transfers listed in the Government's annual and quarterly strategic export control reports since 1999 were for military devices containing white phosphorus. [277283]

Ian Pearson: As previously stated BERR's Export Control Organisation has identified 67 licences that have been issued since March 1999 for munitions that, like white phosphorous munitions, are designed to create
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illumination or act as an incendiary. Because the export licence application does not require the exporter to provide the chemical composition of munitions to be exported, it is not possible to say how many—if any—of those 67 related to the export of military devices containing white phosphorous.

Manufacturing Industries: Motor Vehicles

Anne Main: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the Statement of 27 January 2009, Official Report, columns 165-67, on the automotive industry, how many motor manufacturers have since received loan guarantees. [260550]

Ian Pearson: The Automotive Assistance Programme (AAP) received state aid clearance until 27 February. It opened for business on the same day. BERR held a seminar on 11 March to bring together industry, banks and the relevant trade bodies (including the SMMT) to make sure that the application process runs as smoothly and effectively as possible. No loan guarantees have yet been issued under the AAP, however we are in discussions with a number of companies who have expressed interest or made applications to the Programme.

Motor Vehicles: Manufacturing Industries

Janet Anderson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what arrangements his Department has made for the administration of the car scrappage scheme; what procedures are to be followed in deciding whether a car has been scrapped; and who will determine whether a car has been scrapped under the scheme. [276023]

Ian Pearson: Under the scheme, the onus on administration is placed with the manufacturers, using their existing relationships and systems for working with dealers. Dealers will be required to provide proof that the old vehicle has been scrapped in the form of a ‘Certificate of Destruction’ from an authorised treatment facility and will liaise with manufacturers on the paperwork. The manufacturers will then claim the money back from BERR. There will be a number of checks to ensure compliance with the scheme criteria and the scheme will be periodically and independently audited.

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2009, Official Report, column 1406W, on motor vehicles: Government assistance, if his Department will provide assistance through the Automotive Assistance Programme to (a) GM Motors , (b) Opel and (c) Vauxhall. [276238]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 18 May 2009]: We are in regular contact with GM, discussing a range of issues including how we can best continue to help the company in the UK. The access to AAP support by businesses such as (a) GM Motors, (b) Opel and (c) Vauxhall would depend on theirs meeting the programme criteria.

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Small Businesses

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent steps the Government has taken to fund small business growth. [245470]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 12 January 2009]: On 14 January 2009 we launched the Real Help for Business measures to support businesses in the current economic climate, building upon the commitments we made in the pre-Budget report on 24 November 2008.

The £1.3 billion Enterprise Finance Guarantee supports lending to viable businesses that would otherwise not be available. As of 13 May 2009, over £375 million of eligible applications from over 3,340 firms has been granted, being processed or assessed.

With respect to the £75 million Capital for Enterprise equity scheme, the appointed fund managers have now made offers totalling around £6 million to four businesses and are continuing due diligence on the further proposals that have been put forward. The Working Capital Scheme, though not available directly to businesses, enables participating banks to increase the amount of working capital they can make available to businesses with a turnover of up to £500 million.

We are also working with UK banks and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to maintain existing lending and make more credit available to SMEs. With the EIB, Government have helped UK banks to negotiate credit lines of more than £1 billion to provide loans to small and medium businesses. In addition the UK is the first country in the world to have negotiated legally binding lending commitments with banks receiving state support. RBS and Lloyds have committed to £39 billion of additional lending over the next 12 months; at least £6 billion of this is to SMEs. Both agreements are already in effect.

Small and medium-sized businesses can find information and support at:

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