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Mr. Timms: This Department has not made an estimate of the average speed of broadband services available in rural areas. However, Ofcom's UK Broadband Speeds 2009 report (published July 2009) indicated that the average download speed in rural areas was 3.3 Mbps.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding from (a) the public purse and (b) the European Union budget will be provided under the new fund announced by the Secretary of State to install the next generation of fibre optic cable broadband in Wales in each financial year up to 2016-17. 
Mr. Timms: We expect the proposed landline duty to provide £150 million to £175 million per year to support investment in next generation broadband infrastructure, until 2017. The distribution of funds to support investment in particular areas is yet to be determined. No European funds have been allocated to this programme.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in the London Borough of Bexley have received a health check from Business Link. 
John Battle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many small businesses in (a) Leeds and (b) Leeds, West constituency have applied for financial assistance under the (i) Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme and (ii) Capital Enterprise scheme since their inception; and how many such applications were granted. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: As of 9 December, 79 small businesses within Leeds have been offered loans under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee totalling £8.6 million. Within the constituency of Leeds, West seven businesses have been offered loans totalling £0.43 million.
Businesses may apply for a loan from any one of the participating lenders who will assess which form of lending, including the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, is most appropriate. We do not hold figures for those businesses which are instead offered a normal commercial loan, or are rejected for failing to meet the lender's commercial criteria.
As of 9 December, with respect to the £75 million Capital for Enterprise Fund equity scheme, the appointed fund managers have so far made offers totalling £73.2 million to 47 businesses. 11 businesses have accepted the terms of the funding offered with a total value of £17.0 million. 12 businesses have received investment totalling £17.7 million, including two in the Yorkshire and Humber region. I am not providing a breakdown by parliamentary constituency or local authority as this could make it possible to identify the individual companies that have received support.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will place in the Library a copy of the results of his Department's most recent staff survey; which organisation carried out the survey; and what the cost of the survey was. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, BIS, will be publishing its October 2009 staff survey results on the BIS website in February 2010. Following publication we will place a copy of the results in the Libraries of the House.
The supplier for the BIS staff survey in October 2009 was ORC International who were procured by the Cabinet Office to deliver the first cross-Civil Service People Survey. The People Survey replaced all existing staff surveys in the civil service with a single questionnaire.
The cost of the 2009-10 People Survey for BIS was £37,000 excluding VAT. By procuring a single supplier for staff surveys in 2009-10 the civil service has saved 35 per cent. on the total cost of staff surveys in 2008-09.
Mr. McFadden: Following a machinery of Government change the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills was formed in June 2009. The following figures relate to the Departments before the merger, including the former Department of Trade and Industry.
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will bring forward proposals for regulations with the aim of protecting the public from risks associated with the installation of (a) dangerous and (b) sub-standard electrical cables. 
Ian Lucas: Electrical cables are currently regulated for the purposes of safety by European legislation. The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations make it an offence to supply unsafe electrical equipment such as electrical cables. The Regulations are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive with regard to products supplied exclusively to business (e.g. for professional installation in business and domestic environments) and by Trading Standards for products where the supply is to consumers.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health on the use of pre-employment health-related questions for job candidates which are not directly relevant to candidates' ability to do the job. 
Mr. McFadden: I have had no such discussions with the Secretary of State for Health. The use of pre-employment inquiries about health or disability is a matter for the Office for Disability Issues. Provision has been made in the Equality Bill, currently before Parliament, to ensure that pre-employment inquiries about health or disability are used appropriately.
John Battle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what his most recent assessment is of the effect on the financial services industry in Leeds of the recession; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: I am a member of the Financial Services Task Force set up by Yorkshire Forward in October 2008 to co-ordinate partners response to the recession. Its remit includes support for people facing redundancy to help them find new jobs quickly. The partners are also working on a longer term strategy to maintain Leeds and its wider city region as a UK centre of excellence for financial and professional services.
The Task Force published a report by Deloitte in March 2009 on the Future of the Financial Services Industry (FSI) in the Leeds City Region. This highlighted Leeds City Region as home to the largest FSI hub outside London, employing over 240,000 people.
The Deloitte report had a range of scenarios on the potential impact of the recession on FSI activity in Leeds and its wider City Region. Its "best case" scenario forecast up to 22,500 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs lost and a loss of annual output of £1.77 billion.
In December 2009 Yorkshire Forward completed a region wide assessment of the impact of recession. This suggests the loss of financial services output in the region could be around £820 million-less than half the best case scenario put forward in the Deloitte report. The potential jobs lost in financial services in Leeds is expected to be in the range between 12,000 and 14,000.
This recent assessment by Yorkshire Forward reinforces anecdotal views that the likely impact of the recession on financial services industry in Leeds will be less than had been expected. It is therefore clear that the financial services industry in the Leeds City Region has fared better than predicted at the start of the global recession. The sector has proved resilient through the downturn and over the longer term it is expected to continue to lead the growth of the regional economy.
I will continue to work closely with partners on the Financial Services Task Force on the longer term strategy to develop and maintain the Leeds City Region as a UK centre of excellence for financial and professional services.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many requests for flexible working from (a) mothers and (b) fathers were accepted by employers in each year since 2003; and how many such requests from carers have been accepted by employers in each year since 2007. 
The new employment rights introduced in April 2003 gave parents of children under six and disabled children under 18 the right to request flexible working, this was extended to carers in April 2007 and parents of children aged 16 and under in April 2009.
There are no requirements for either employers or employees to notify the Department when requests are made to work flexibly. The Department does not have the requested information for each year since 2003 and does not have evidence on the number of requests accepted or rejected by carers since 2007.
However, the Department conducts periodic sample surveys to estimate the proportions of employees making requests to change their regular working hours and the proportion of such requests accepted or rejected. The most recent employee survey ('Third Work Life Balance Employees' Survey') was conducted in 2006, before the implementation of the extension of the right to request to carers. The following table presents the findings from the 2006 survey.
|Request made to employer to change how they work at some point over previous two years, employees: Outcome of request by gender, parental status and adult caring responsibilities|
|Request made to change how regularly worked during the previous two years( 1)||Requests accepted by employer( 2) (fully and partially)||Request declined by employer( 3)|
|(1) 'Q (Over the last two years), have you approached your current employer to make a request to change how you regularly work for a sustained period of time?'|
(2) 'Q. Was your request to change the way you regularly work agreed to?'
(3) Not all requests had an outcome by the time of the survey.
(4) Parental status is defined in the survey as having dependent children aged 18 or less.
(5) Adult carers are defined as people who look after adults who are sick, disabled or elderly, whether they live with the carer or not.
1. Employees with parental responsibilities (defined as having dependent children aged under 19). In 2006, 22 per cent. of working parents had made a request to change their regular working pattern during the previous two years, and 80 per cent. of requests had been accepted. 27 per cent. of 'working mothers' had made requests, with 84 per cent. of requests being accepted, compared with 12 per cent. and 70 per cent. respectively for 'working fathers'.
2. Employees with adult caring responsibilities (defined as looking after sick, disabled or elderly adults). In 2006, 26 per cent. of employees with adult caring responsibilities had made a request to change their working pattern, with 79 per cent. of requests accepted (11 per cent. rejected).
Third Work-Life Balance Survey 2006. (2,081 employees across Great Britain
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