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25 Jan 2010 : Column 682W—continued

Morocco

Mark Williams: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what export of military equipment to Morocco for use in Western Sahara he most recently licensed; and on what date. [312361]

Ian Lucas: The most recent licence for export to Morocco of military equipment where the stated end-use was in the Western Sahara was a Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL) for military firing sets and components for military firing sets for use in humanitarian de-mining operations issued on 7 October 2009.

Motor Vehicles: Manufacturing Industries

Peter Luff: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the implication for competition in the UK retail motor industry of the European Commission's proposals to replace sector-specific block exemptions for the industry with a general exemption; and if he will make a statement. [311021]

Kevin Brennan: A revised Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MVBER) will come into force on 1 June 2010, when the current MVBER (No. 1400/2002) expires. There is no proposal to replace the MVBER with the general Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices Block Exemption Regulation (No. 2790/1999), itself currently under review. The MVBER, both current and revised, are in addition to the Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices Block Exemption Regulation. The European Commission's latest public consultation on a revised draft text of the MVBER and accompanying guidelines is underway. The draft regulation and guidelines reflect the European Commission's already extensive consultation with business, national competition authorities and member states. In particular, the provisions in respect of the market for repair and maintenance services and spare parts where we, based on ongoing discussions with business and stakeholder groups, have intervened strongly with the European Commission to ensure the effectiveness of the revised regulation and guidelines for the repair and maintenance sector.


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National Physical Laboratory

Dr. Cable: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate his Department has made of the value added to the economy by the National Physical Laboratory. [313126]

Mr. Lammy: On 20 May 2009, the National Measurement Office, which was then part of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills but is now an Executive Agency of BIS, published an Economic Impact Report-Metrology Investment: Impact on Innovation and Productivity. The models described in that report estimated that an additional investment of £6 million (10 per cent. of the annual investment at the time) in the National Measurement System (NMS) could enable additional GDP of between £300 million and £400 million through enhanced innovation.

The NMS budget covers work at several laboratories but about 80 per cent. of it is carried at the National Physical Laboratory. The National Physical Laboratory also carries out significant work not funded from the NMS budget.

Offenders

Chris Huhne: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many employees of his Department and its agencies have been convicted of a criminal offence of each type in each year since 1997. [308504]

Mr. McFadden: We are unable to supply the information requested. As far as we aware the figures are less then five in each year since 1997 (in this Department and its predecessors) and therefore suppressed on the grounds of confidentiality.

I have approached the chief executives of the Insolvency Service, Companies House, the National Measurement Office and the Intellectual Property Office and they will respond to the hon. Member directly.

Letter from Sean Dennehey, dated 11 January 2010:

Letter from Peter Mason, dated 18 December 2009:

Letter from Stephen Speed, dated 18 December 2009:


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Letter from Gareth Jones, dated 22 January 2010:

Origin Marking

Mark Williams: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will put in place procedures to record separately the export of products to those Moroccan settlements in the occupied Western Sahara deemed to be illegal. [312311]

Mr. Timms: I have been asked to reply as Minister with responsibility for HM Revenue and Customs.

As a member of the European Union, the UK operates European Union customs legislation and tariff at its borders. European customs procedures do not contain a separate country code for Western Sahara. The absence of a specific country code means that the information requested is not available, and it is not possible to put in place the monitoring procedure requested.

The information requested on imports into the UK from Morocco is provided in the following table:

Consignments imported into the UK from Morocco

Number Value (£)

2007

91,972

409,919,889

2008

73,580

406,090,728

2009

59,962

302,691,526


Overseas Students

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many foreign nationals have studied at English language schools in England which have subsequently been closed for failing to reach required standards of teaching in each of the last three years. [311503]

Kevin Brennan: It is not the responsibility of this Department to monitor or maintain standards of teaching at English language schools in England as they are private or charitable trusts. Inspection of English language schools is the responsibility of independent accrediting bodies; these are the British Council, the Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC), the British Accreditation Council (BAC) and the Accreditation Body for Language Services (ABLS).

Policy

Kate Hoey: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Vauxhall constituency, the effects on the constituency of changes to his Department's policies since 1997. [310335]


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Mr. McFadden: Since 2000, the policies and actions of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (and its predecessors) have focused on building a competitive economy and on delivering prosperity and sustainable economic growth. The implementation of BIS policy in the London borough of Lambeth (information is not available specifically for the Vauxhall constituency) has been taken forward primarily by the London Development Agency and the Government office for London, working in partnership with the local authority and other relevant bodies.

Caution must be exercised in seeking to attribute directly the effects of specific measures on local economic indicators. Nonetheless, examples of how BIS policies and actions have impacted on Lambeth include:

Radio Frequencies

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what information his Department holds on levels of investment by the programme making and special events sector in radio microphones and associated technologies that will be usable beyond 2012 since notice of the spectrum clearance was provided by Ofcom. [312865]

Mr. Timms: Ofcom has estimated the costs for the residual value of programme making and special events (PMSE) equipment that will be affected by the changes in channel 69 to be £15-30 million, taking into account the relevant life of the equipment, and has made these costs available to the Department. Costs of £67 million have also been provided by representatives of PMSE users, based on a new for old approach and the costs of clearing all the channels affected.

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills when he expects the migration of programme making and special events users from the digital dividend spectrum channels 31 to 37 and 61 to 69 to replacement frequencies to (a) start and (b) finish; and if he will make a statement. [312866]

Mr. Timms: The matter raised is the responsibility of the independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which is accountable to Parliament rather than Ministers. Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to reply directly to the hon. Member.
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Copies of the chief executive's letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Regional Development Agencies: Property

Robert Neill: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the (a) address and (b) area is of each regional development agency property which is (i) occupied and (ii) vacant according to data held in the electronic property information mapping service database. [312499]

Mr. McFadden [holding answer 21 January 2010]: Documents listing the addresses and areas of each Regional Development Agency property which are (a) occupied and (b) vacant, as currently recorded in the e-PIMS database, have been placed in the Libraries of the House. E-PIMS is a live database that is constantly being updated.

Royal Mail: Snow and Ice

Ben Chapman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what discussions he has had with Royal Mail on delivery routes in areas which are not receiving mail because of extreme weather conditions; [311369]

(2) what discussions he has had with Royal Mail on the effects of severely adverse weather conditions on postal deliveries. [312073]

Mr. McFadden: Department officials have been in contact with Royal Mail during the severe weather. I understand that the vast majority of motorways and major trunk roads linking the UK have remained open during the severe weather allowing Royal Mail's national networking to operate, but local deliveries and collections have been disrupted, especially in remote areas, where local roads and access have been affected by extreme weather conditions.

Decisions relating to operational matters are the direct responsibility of the company and local assessments are made on whether services can operate safely under local conditions. Royal Mail has been keeping customers informed of disrupted services via its website:

but due to the nature of the changing conditions, assessments are regularly made and it is not always possible to give customers advanced notice of whether local services will be operating as normal.

The Government would like to thank postmen and women up and down the country for their efforts to deliver the mail during the severe weather.

Students: Gloucestershire

Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many students in higher education have received payments in respect of (a) tuition fee loans, (b) maintenance loans, (c) grants for living costs, (d) bursaries and scholarships and (e) extra help for students with children or adult dependents in Gloucestershire in each of the last three years; and what the amount was of payments of each such type made to students from Gloucestershire in each such year. [310980]

Mr. Lammy: The available information is shown in the table.


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25 Jan 2010 : Column 688W
Student support, Gloucestershire 2006/07 to 2008/09
Academic Year
2006/07 2007/08 2008/09

Students (thousands) Value (£ million) Students (thousands) Value (£ million) Students (thousands) Value (£ million)

Tuition Fee Loans

4.7

8.7

6.4

15.9

8.0

23.0

Maintenance Loans

8.8

31.2

8.9

31.2

9.2

32.4

HE Maintenance Grant

1.7

3.0

3.0

5.7

4.8

8.8

HE Grant

1.4

1.2

0.8

0.7

0.3

0.2

Extra help for students with children or adult dependents(1)

0.2

0.5

0.2

0.6

0.3

0.7

(1) Childcare Grant, Parental Learning Allowance, Lone Parents Grant and Adult Dependants Grant.
Note:
The information requested on bursaries and scholarships is not available centrally as they are the responsibility of higher education institutions. Complete information for the current academic year 2009/10 is not yet available, and will be available in late 2010 when a Statistical First Release on Student Support will be published on the Student Loans Company website.
Source:
Student Loans Company

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