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3 Feb 2010 : Column 328W—continued


In line with guidance issued by Cabinet Office on 17 November 2008, the Department and agencies revised internal timescales for the processing and payment of invoices with effect from 1 December 2008. Since then, there has been a steady improvement in the NIO's statistics.

The Government policy of paying within 10 working days applies to invoices from all suppliers irrespective of size-no distinction is made for small or medium-sized enterprises and separate statistics relating to these groups are not recorded.

Departmental Mobile Phones

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) mobile telephones and (b) BlackBerrys have been provided to (i) Ministers and (ii) special advisers in his Department in (A) 2008-09 and (B) 2009-10 to date; and at what cost to the public purse. [313172]


3 Feb 2010 : Column 329W

Paul Goggins: A BlackBerry was provided for the Secretary of State in February 2009 at a cost of £212 plus 15 per cent. VAT.

No other mobiles or BlackBerries were purchased for Ministers or special advisers in 2008-09 or 2009-10.

Departmental Public Consultation

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many citizens' juries or summits have been hosted by his Department since October 2008; on what date each event took place; and which Ministers were present at each event. [314530]

Paul Goggins: The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has not hosted any citizens' juries or summits since October 2008.

State Visits: Republic of Ireland

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for what reasons the President of the Irish Republic was invited to the Police Training College on 28 January 2010; and who invited her. [315358]

Paul Goggins: That is an operational matter for the Chief Constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Member, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

House of Commons Commission

14 Tothill Street

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what expenditure the House of Commons Commission has incurred on (a) rent, (b) refurbishment, (c) business rates and (d) utility provision in respect of 14 Tothill Street in the last 12 months. [315095]

Nick Harvey: The Commons share of expenditure for 14 Tothill Street for the 12 months to 31 December 2009 was:

£

( a) Rent

2,400,000

(b) Refurbishment

1,300,000

(c) Business rates

175,000

(d) Utilities

28,000


Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what contribution the House of Lords has made to the Commission towards the cost of (a) rent, (b) refurbishment, (c) business rates and (d) utilities in respect of 14 Tothill Street in the last 12 months. [315248]

Nick Harvey: The House of Lords made the following contributions for the year ended 31 December 2009:


3 Feb 2010 : Column 330W
£

(a) Rent

1,610,000

(b) Refurbishment

3,239,000

(c) Business rates

117,000

(d) Utilities

29,000


Leader of the House

Topical Debates

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Leader of the House how many applications have been received each week asking for subjects to be debated in topical debates since their inception; and what the 10 most popular subjects proposed for debate have been since procedures for such debates were instituted. [314676]

Barbara Keeley: I have today issued a written ministerial statement outlining proposed subjects for topical debate between 18 November 2009 and 31 January 2010.

Following a review of topical debate procedure in October 2007, the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons has issued regular written ministerial statements setting out this information. These can be found in the Official Report:

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Salmon: Merseyside

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the size of the salmon population in (a) the River Mersey and (b) all rivers in the Merseyside region, (i) on the latest date for which information is available and (ii) (A) two, (B) five, (C) 10 and (D) 15 years ago. [314466]

Huw Irranca-Davies: The current assessment of the salmon population size in the Mersey catchment covers two elements of the fish's life cycle:

No distinction is made between (a) River Mersey and (b) All Rivers in the Merseyside region when assessing adult salmon. All monitoring of adult numbers is carried out at the Woolston Weir Fish Pass and Trap in Warrington.

The Woolston fish pass was adapted to trap fish in 2001, shortly after evidence was collated to confirm the arrival of adult salmon in the river. It has since been run in the autumn of each year.


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Number of adult salmon Number of days fish trap is operated

2001

3

18

2002

26

48

2003

1

6

2004

(1)-

(1)-

2005

42

10

2006

8

21

2007

35

41

2008

45

20

2009

3

4

(1) Shut for health and safety modification

The number of days spent trapping varies from year to year and is dependent upon the amount of resource available.

Video technology is currently being developed for the trap to enable the remote counting of adult salmon all year round.

Juvenile salmon distribution is currently monitored on the River Goyt by electric fishing for young fish and the counting of adult redds (nests). Since young salmon were discovered on the River Goyt in 2001, they have been counted in small numbers every year on the river.

Number of juvenile salmon Number of surveys in the lower Goyt

2005

4

4

2006

6

8

2007

4

5

2008

0

1

2009

1

6


Juvenile salmon surveys will start on the River Bollin in 2010. This river has now been opened up to adults by the building of two new fish passes, developed as part of the Environment Agency Mersey Life project.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Broadband

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many UK households do not have access to broadband internet services. [315026]

Mr. Timms: Ofcom's Communications Market Report: English Regions (Published August 2009) reported that about 4,200 UK households were not connected to a broadband enabled exchange at the end of 2008. The report can be found at:

For some 11 per cent. of households connected to a broadband enabled exchange, line lengths or other technical issue mean that the speed delivered to the customer is less than 2 Mbits.

Business

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what information his Department collates on the (a) number of businesses in and (b) annual revenue of the independent hand car wash sector. [312694]


3 Feb 2010 : Column 332W

Angela E. Smith: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated 29 January 2010:

Copyright: Recordings

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he plans to bring forward legislation to clarify the lawfulness of copying for personal use a recording the copier purchased; and if he will make a statement. [314151]

Mr. Lammy: The law in this area is clear: it does not permit the copying for personal use of a recording the copier has purchased, without permission of the copyright holder. For example, tracks purchased online are often accompanied by licences permitting consumers to make a limited number of copies for their own use, but many CDs have "all rights reserved".

The Government carefully considered this issue in their Copyright Strategy, "(c) the way ahead", and the second stage consultation on copyright exceptions arising from the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property. We concluded that a UK-only approach will be unable to deliver the correct balance between the access that consumers desire and the appropriate remuneration that rights holders need. EU-wide consideration is required, which we would support.

Departmental Visits Abroad

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what expenditure his Department incurred on representation at official level at overseas events in each of the last five years. [314273]

Mr. McFadden: The Department does not centrally record details of representation at official level at overseas events. The Department holds information on overseas travel at the aggregate level but does not specifically relate these costs to events abroad, to obtain this information would entail disproportionate cost.

The Department publishes details of senior staff on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website at:

Overseas conferences attended are included.

Employment: Females

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the proportion of women who
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work (a) between one and five, (b) between six and 10, (c) between 11 and 15, (d) between 16 and 20, (e) between 21 and 25, (f) between 25 and 30, (g) between 31 and 35 and (h) over 35 hours a week in each year since 1997. [313558]

Angela E. Smith: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated 28 January 2010:


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