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Mr. Evans: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many science departments in institutions of higher education have closed in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 29 October 2009]: We do not have a central record of the number of science departments in higher education institutions. Appropriate academic structures in HE-such as departments, schools and faculties-are determined by each institution.
Student numbers are taken as a more reliable indicator for the health of science. These numbers are growing encouragingly. Further details on numbers of science students can be found on the HEFCE website at:
Mr. Lammy: In May earlier this year I attended the sixth Space Council of European Ministers with responsibility for space. The main topics of discussion at Space Council were the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative (GMES) and the contribution of space to innovation and competitiveness in the context of the European Economic Recovery Plan.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in the European Union, Brazil, India, China, the US and Russia on cooperation in international space programmes. 
Mr. Lammy: In May earlier this year I attended the sixth Space Council of European Ministers with responsibility for space, which included discussions on the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative (GMES).
Mr. Lammy: The Government are fully funding the two UK space projects: Topsat-a technology demonstrator small satellite launched at the end of 2006, and Starbrook-a system for monitoring satellites in geo-stationary and other orbits.
In addition, the Government are fully funding a number of discrete instruments or experiments on multi-national space projects, and the MOD continues to fund existing space-related capabilities including Skynet, RAF Fylingdales and the Space Operations Coordination Centre.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills when he expects to consult on street trading by pedlars with a view to the reform of the Pedlars Acts 1871 and 1881. 
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what consideration the review of the Student Loans Company, headed by Professor Sir Deian Hopkin will give to the effect on disabled students of late payment of loans and grants. 
Mr. Lammy: Professor Hopkin's review will look at the Student Loans Company's operations for funding students in England in academic year 2009/10, and the plans for academic year 2010/11, including an assessment of the circumstances which led to any delays in responding to inquiries, assessing evidence, carrying out mean-tested assessments, and providing specific financial support to disabled students.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) all disabled students and (b) disabled students entitled to disabled students' allowance of the timing of payment of student loans and grants for 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: As part of its policy to widen participation in higher education, the Government give generous financial support to disabled students. The Government are aware of concerns expressed about delays in providing that support this academic year. These will be investigated in the review of lessons to be learned by the Student Loans Company, led by Professor Sir Deian Hopkin. Government-funded arrangements are in place to ensure that universities and colleges can support disabled students if there are delays in their assessments or payments.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills when he expects the review headed by Professor Sir Deian Hopkin on the Student Loans Company to report to
the Secretary of State; and whether the report of the review is to be published. 
Mr. Lammy: Mr. John Goodfellow, Chairman of the Student Loans Company, and I have asked Professor Hopkin for an interim report of his review into the company's operations of funding English students in academic year 2009/10 by the end of November. A final report will follow which will be published.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many complaints on the operations of the Student Loans Company his Department has received in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Lammy: The Student Loans Company is responsible for responding to complaints about its operations. Complaints received by the Department are forwarded to the company for resolution. During this academic year's processing cycle, which began in February, the Company has received 1,445 official complaints. This represents 0.13 per cent. of all applications registered.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent estimate he has made of the number of temporary and agency workers in (a) each region of England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland. 
|Distribution of temporary agency workers by region|
|Region||Proportion (percentage)||Number( 1)|
|(1) APS proportions are applied to the 1.3 million agency workers estimated by SORA/REC. Rounded to nearest 1,000.|
Figures have been rounded.
ONS' Annual Population Survey April 2008-March 2009, BIS' Survey of Recruitment Agencies (SORA) 2007 and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) 'Census' 2006
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will make representations to the European Commission on the policy of the French Government in offering an exclusive contract to operate the Paris
Metro to a state-owned monopoly; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Lucas: Representations to the European Commission on transport policy are the responsibility of the Department for Transport. However, BIS works with EU partners on maintaining an open and fair Single European Market and raises such issues in the context of the functioning of the Single Market.