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Mr. Olner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which of the proposals of Ofcom detailed in the Communications White Paper require legislation to incorporate agencies overseen by his Department; if Ofcom will operate in shadow form; and if he will make a statement. [147615]

Ms Hewitt: Legislation is required to transfer the functions of the Radiocommunications Agency and of Oftel to Ofcom, as proposed in Chapter 8 of the White Paper. The Government will consider whether to set up a shadow Ofcom before Royal Assent. In the meantime, we are working closely with all the regulators concerned to plan a smooth transition to the new regulatory regime.


Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the operational committees which are responsible to the Management Board of the Export Credits Guarantee Department for overseeing the business functions and operations of the Export Credits Guarantee Department; and on what dates each of these committees was set up. [146646]

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Mr. Caborn: The following is the information:

Operational committeesDate
Underwriting Committee1992
Underwriting Technical and Policy Committee1992
Claims and Recoveries Management Committee1992
Tactical Recoveries Committee1992
Cardiff Claims Committee1994
Debt Conversion Committee1992
Market Committee1998
IT Scrutiny Committee1997
Treasury Management Committee1999
Audit Committee1994


Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the recent report of the Centre for Economics and Business Research into the impact of the euro on employment and unemployment; and if he will make a statement. [146947]

Mr. Byers: The Government have said that they will make an assessment of the five economic tests early in the next Parliament.

Manufacturing and Business Skills

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he plans to publish a White Paper on manufacturing and business skills. [148070]

Mr. Byers: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment and I intend to publish a White Paper on business (including manufacturing) and skills in the near future.


Hardship Fund

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, how much money is allocated to the Hardship Fund for the current financial year; which dioceses have been given help from the Hardship Fund; what criteria are applied when distributing the Hardship Fund money; and what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the Hardship Fund for the next financial year. [148031]

Mr. Stuart Bell: The hon. Member refers to the funds the Church Commissioners provide to the Archbishops Council for selective allocation to dioceses to support the cost of parish ministry. The Commissioners must determine annually the total sum available for this purpose, taking into account the other statutory duties laid upon them by this House and by the General Synod of the Church of England.

In 2001 the Council will allocate £14.9 million provided by the Commissioners for stipend support to thirty dioceses, nearly two-thirds of which will be targeted on dioceses whose financial need is greatest. In addition the Commissioners provide more that £5 million in direct payments to clergy in all dioceses.

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The dioceses receiving allocations in 2001 are:

The current allocation formula takes into account diocesan socio-economic factors such as potential income, unemployment and OxLIP (a low income predictor) together with diocesan resources from historic endowments. It is under review and after revision will place greater emphasis on expected levels of giving by parishioners. It is expected that the new proposals will be introduced in 2002.


Waste Disposal

Mr. Temple-Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what guidance he has issued concerning the temperature at which combustion of polychlorinated biphenyl should occur in incinerators in order to minimise the emission of dioxins and dibenzofurans. [147512]

Mr. Meacher: The Environment Agency has issued a Technical Guidance Note (S2 5.01) for waste incinerators regulated under Part A of the Environmental Protection (Prescribed Processes and Substances) Regulations 1991/SI No. 472, and a guidance note to its inspectors on the requirements of the EC Directive on the incineration of hazardous waste. These notes summarise both the statutory requirements of the Directive and the techniques available for incineration. As a minimum, a combustion

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temperature of 850 deg C in the presence of 6 per cent. oxygen for a period of two seconds after the last injection of combustion air is required, unless it can be shown that the Directive emission limit values are complied with and the levels of dioxins and furans emitted are lower or equivalent to those obtained by applying the temperature and residence time requirements laid down in the Directive. However, if the waste stream contains more than 1 per cent. of halogenated organics (which may include polychlorinated biphenyls) a temperature of 1,100 deg C is required in order to minimise emissions of dioxins and dibenzofurans.

Road Schemes

Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the road schemes (a) approved and (b) provisionally approved in (i) the targeted programme of improvements, (ii) multi-model studies and (iii) the local transport settlement, where the primary objective is economic regeneration. [147316]

Mr. Hill: "Regeneration and integration" was stated in "A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England" as the primary objective of the following schemes in the targeted programme of improvements:

A5Weeford-Fazeley Improvement
A11Roudham Heath-Attleborough Dualling
A27 Polegate Bypass
A46Newark-Lincoln Improvement
A120Stansted Braintree
A249Iwade-Queenborough Improvement
A500Basford, Hough, Shavington Bypass
A500City Road/Stoke Road Junctions

Regeneration featured strongly in the cases made by authorities for the following schemes accepted as part of the local transport settlement announced on 14 December 2000.

Accepted schemes
LeedsEast Leeds Link Road
Provisionally accepted schemes
BirminghamA38 Northfield Regeneration Scheme
DarlingtonDarlington Eastern Transport Corridor
DorsetWeymouth Relief Road
DurhamA688 Wheatley Hill to Bowburn
NorfolkNar Ouse Regeneration Route
SandwellCradley Heath Town Centre
StaffordshireBiddulph Bypass
StaffordshireRugeley Bypass
ThurrockWest Thurrock Riverside Regeneration Scheme
WakefieldHemsworth--A1 Link
WakefieldGlasshoughton Link Road

Multi-modal studies are not a mechanism for approving road schemes. They are designed to examine options for dealing with transport problems and informing subsequent decisions on investment in transport projects. To date only one report on a multi-modal study, 'Access to Hastings', has been received and is under consideration.

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Fuel Poor Households

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. Simpson), on 18 January 2001, Official Report, column 294W, on fuel poor households, if he will estimate on the same basis the number of fuel poor households in each nation and region of the United Kingdom in 1996. [147247]

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Mr. Meacher: The common definition of a fuel poor household is one that needs to spend in excess of 10 per cent. of household income in order to maintain a satisfactory heating regime. Using data from the latest English House Condition Survey, the following table shows the effect of different options for calculating household income on the number of households defined as fuel poor by Government Office region in 1996 1 .

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Government Office region(a) Income including Housing Benefit and Income Support for Mortgage Interest (£000)(b) Income excluding Housing Benefit and Income Support for Mortgage interest (£000)(c) Income excluding housing expenditure (£000)
North East330370470
Yorkshire and Humberside560650770
West Midlands550640820
North West7008901,080
South West440520710
East Midlands360440560
Greater London480670930
South East450580830
England (£ million)(5)4.3(5)5.3(5)6.8

(4) Assumes fuel costs include those for non-heating purposes.

(5) Due to the manner in which these data are processed and rounded, the total reported nationally differs very slightly from the sum of the individual regions.

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Fuel poverty is a devolved matter and it is the responsibility of the respective Parliament and Assemblies to comment on the situation in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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