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Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on how many occasions he has met (a) the Government chief scientific adviser and (b) his Department's chief scientific adviser in the course of his official duties in the last 12 months. 
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change for what reasons his Department ceased to accept applications for funding for photovoltaic projects under phase two of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme on 30 November 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: In Budget 2009, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor announced a further £45 million for LCBP to allow for grant funding continuity up to the introduction of Green Energy Cash-backs (feed-in tariffs) on 1 April 2010 and Renewable Heat Incentives (RHIs) on 1 April 2011. Technology 'pots' were created to allow for equitable support for all microgeneration technologies from the LCBP programme.
We currently have approximately £5.7 million worth of applications for PV being evaluated under Phase-2 and this will exhaust the total allocation for PV As a result, we closed LCBP-2 to new PV applications from 1 December 2009 in line with our discussions with industry.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he has taken to ensure the continuous availability of funding for solar photovoltaic projects; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kidney: The Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP) will provide continuity of grant provision up until the introduction of Green Energy Cash-backs (FITs) in April 2010 for the Phase-1 (householder stream). The demand for grants for solar photovoltaic technology under the Phase-2 scheme (communities and other not-for-profit organisations) has been unprecedented and we have found it necessary to close that programme to new applications, however we are currently processing a backlog of £5.7 million worth of applications for PV projects.
Grant funding for microgeneration technologies including Solar PV will be available through the recently announced PAYS pilot scheme starting in December 2009 and further grant funding will be available for communities participating in the Low Carbon Communities Challenge. In both these programmes, the choice of technology will be defined by the applicants but will include Solar PV.
The Low Carbon Buildings Programme will close to applications for electrical microgeneration, including Solar PV on 31 March 2010 when feed-in tariffs (FITs) will be introduced. Due to unprecedented demand, the Phase-2 scheme (non-domestic) has been
closed to new Solar PV applications from 1 December 2009 as we have approximately £5.7 million worth of applications for PV waiting to be processed.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many claimants received assistance under the Warm Front programme in each of the last three years; how many such claimants were not reimbursed for the full cost of work carried out under the Warm Front scheme in each such year; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kidney: The number of households assisted under Warm Front in the last three complete years, alongside the number of households who received works whose value was in excess of the grant limit, are as follows:
|Assisted households||Households asked to contribute|
Mr. Andy Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what monitoring process is in place to ensure the quality of work carried out under the Warm Front scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kidney: Due to the vulnerable nature of Warm Front applicants, the scheme pays particular attention to maintaining the highest possible standards of safety, quality and customer care. As manager of the scheme, Eaga continually monitors contractor performance using customer satisfaction surveys, with the best performing contractors receiving
Additionally, upon completion of installation, 100 per cent. of heating and 5 per cent. on insulation installations (chosen randomly) are inspected by experienced independent engineers to ensure the necessary standards are met.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the proportion of households that have a broadband internet connection in each local authority area. 
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of households have a broadband internet connection in (a) rural areas of England and (b) Herefordshire. 
Mr. Timms: The Department does not have information on the proportion of households connected to broadband in (a) rural areas of England and (b) Herefordshire. However, figures from the Ofcom Communications Market Report: English regions of August 2009, indicate that 65 per cent. of households in rural England, and 58 per cent. of households in rural West Midlands, have fixed broadband connections.
Derek Wyatt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure that consumers can access third party provider services via broadband services provided by regulated private companies. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 7 December 2009]: I understand that the hon. Gentleman is concerned about a specific situation in which he says access to 118 directory inquiries services is restricted by BT through their "Home Hub" broadband product.
BT's Home Hub is a wireless internet router which facilitates a range of services including broadband and a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone capability. BT provides access to their own directory enquiries service (118 500) through the VoIP service and restricts access to other directory inquiries services. This restriction is limited to the Home Hub VoIP service as customers can access other 118 numbers through their normal BT phone, or by prefixing the number with five when using their VoIP phone to access their public switched telephone network line. Users are also free to access 118 services through the internet.
A recent Significant Market Power (SMP) review by Ofcom found that "call origination for Voice over Broadband (VoB) calls is not the same market as wholesale call origination on a narrowband network" and as such, BT are within their rights to restrict access to other directory inquiries services.
Ofcom have recognised that as VoIP/VoB services develop and increase in significance they may need to re-examine their judgment and possibly include VoIP/VoB calls in BT's end to end connectivity obligation. In the mean time, the Department and Ofcom are keen to encourage commercial negotiation between BT and the affected service providers to find a resolution to this ongoing dispute.
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of broadband coverage in (a) Lewes constituency, (b) East Sussex and (c) the South East. 
The Department does not hold the information in order to make a recent assessment of the adequacy of broadband coverage in (a) Lewes constituency, (b) East Sussex and the south-east. However, in its Communications Market Report: English Regions, published in August 2009, Ofcom estimates that in the
South East, 99.98 per cent. of households were connected to a DSL-enabled BT exchange and 84 per cent. of households were connected to an unbundled local exchange.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many (a) small, (b) medium-sized and (c) large businesses in Eastbourne have received funding under the Regional Loans Transition Fund scheme since the scheme was established. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Regional Transition Loan Funds were established by the Regional Development Agencies as a time limited measure while national instruments such as the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme were put in place. In the South East England Development Agency region the Transition Fund provides loans of up to £150,000 for small and medium-sized enterprises that are facing liquidity issues arising from the adverse financial credit squeeze. The Transition Fund is financed by SEEDA and managed by Finance South East. One business in Eastbourne has applied for funding under this scheme since it was established. This application was turned down as it did not meet the eligibility criteria. For comparison, in the SEEDA region over the same period, 141 businesses enquired about these loans, 27 businesses were offered funding and 20 have so far received funding, of which two are based in East Sussex. In those circumstances where companies did not meet the criteria a range of advice through the Business Link network has been made available, such as business health checks. Over 95,000 businesses have benefited from this service to date across England, including 17,851 in the South East.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in each (a) parliamentary constituency, (b) local authority area and (c) Government Office region had received funding under the (i) Enterprise Finance Guarantee, (ii) Working Capital, (iii) Trade Credit Insurance Guarantee, (iv) Capital for Enterprise Fund and (v) Automotive Assistance Programme scheme on the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
The Enterprise Finance Guarantee is a temporary loan guarantee scheme aimed at facilitating additional bank lending to viable small and medium sized enterprises. Decision-making on individual loans is fully delegated to participating lenders and is done on commercial grounds.
Figures on the Enterprise Finance Guarantee are available at constituency and at local authority level, a copy of which shall be deposited in the Library of the House. For brevity, following are figures for the number and value of loans offered and drawn within each region as of 26 November.
|Region||Number of new loans offered to customer||Total value of offered loans (£ million)||Number of new loans drawn by customer||Total value of drawn loans (£ million)|
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