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Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much certified timber has been purchased over the past six months; and what proportion of total timber purchases this represents. [152044]

Ms Hewitt: The Department of Trade and Industry has an environmental management system in place accredited to BSEN ISO 14001. Within that system DTI has "opted in" to include the procurement of timber and timber products to ensure that such items are procured in accordance with the Government's commitment on buying from sustainable and legal sources.

The interdepartmental timber working group is working to develop a common reporting template which will form the basis for future reporting by all Departments on timber procurement. However, that system is not yet in place, and DTI is unable to provide data on the proportion of certified timber purchased over the last six months without incurring disproportionate costs.

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if his Department's annual report on timber procurement to the Committee of Green Ministers will be published. [152046]

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Ms Hewitt: No. The DTI will report through the next Green Ministers Annual Report, which is expected to be published in November 2001.


Road Schemes

Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if it is his policy that alternative options should be considered in undertaking an appraisal under the Government's new approach to appraisal for major road schemes; [150897]

Mr. Hill: Consideration of alternative options is part of the New Approach to Appraisal.

Authorities (including the Highways Agency) submitting proposals for all major road schemes as part of their plans were required to follow the Guidance on the New Approach to Appraisal (GNATA). The GNATA appraisal summary table (AST) includes a box for a statement of other options considered when putting forward a road proposal.

Where major public transport schemes formed part of plans, authorities were asked to include an appropriate assessment of the proposed scheme against alternative options, including an AST for each. However, production of separate ASTs was not considered necessary where the choice between options was clear-cut or the scheme was in relative terms small, so in practice ASTs for alternative options were prepared for about half of the major public transport schemes given full or provisional approval in the local transport settlement.

Regional Development Agencies

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) how many staff are employed by regional development agencies in offices outside the United Kingdom; at which locations; and at what cost; [149505]

Ms Beverley Hughes [holding answer 26 February 2001]: The table sets out the offices currently maintained by the regional development agencies outside England, with details of how many staff are employed by regional development agencies in offices outside the United Kingdom; where; and at what cost and where facilities are shared with each other and other Government agencies or local authority offices.

The table has been updated since the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and Regions on 25 January 2001, Official Report, columns 667-70W. Yorkshire Forward has opened an

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office in Brussels since the original question was answered. In addition, the information given for North West Development Agency and One NorthEast in the previous answer was not complete and this has been corrected in the table.

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A condition of funding for 2001-02 will be that ministerial prior approval will be required for any proposal to extend or create new RDA overseas offices involved in inward investment or trade promotion activities.

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RDA/Office location OpenedNumber of employeesAnnual cost to RDAs (£) Other comments
Yorkshire Forward
Asia Pacific
Japan19832 full-time130,000
BrusselsFebruary 20013 full-time30,000Yorkshire Forward contributes to costs. Office is run and staff are employed by Regional Assembly
North West Development Agency
Asia Pacific
JapanLate 1980s2 part-time50,000Also have Marketing Agents since 1993 operating in Taiwan (£20,000)
EuropeJuly 20001 full-time45,000Co-funded by the Regional Assembly in an office co-habited by Sub Regional Officers (Lancashire, Cheshire, Manchester, Merseyside)
Advantage West Midlands
BrusselsNovember 20006 full-time170,000The West Midlands in Europe Office is a joint office with the West Midlands Local Government Association, Higher Education, the CBI, NEC Group, Engineering Employers Federation, Chambers of Commerce, Voluntary Sector, Further Education and has close links with Eversheds and PWC. The total cost is £500,000 of which the RDA contributes £170,000
One rep in Germany since September 2000, that incurs salary costs only of £80,000.
One part-time rep in Taiwan since April 1998, incurring salary costs only of £40,000
Two part-time agents in Korea since April 1996, incurring salary costs of only £20,000
From January 2001 six month contract for one rep in Australia incurring salary costs of £65,000
East of England Development Agency
EuropeContribute 4 per cent. of total cost of office to East of England European Partnership Office in Brussels. The office is sponsored by local authorities and the seven TECS in the region.
EEDA's contribution is £12,000
North AmericaEast of England Investment Agency, who carry out inward investment on behalf of EEDA, have a number of strategic alliances overseas, but at negligible cost. There is one part-time marketing agent in the USA at an annual cost of £5,000
East Midlands Development Agency
(Germany)2 part-time agents28,000
Asia Pacific1 part-time agent50,000
2 part-time agents
South East of England Development Agency
BrusselsSeptember 20001 full-time(8)79,000Collaborative office with South East Local Authorities and Regional Assembly
South West of England Regional Development Agency
Asia Pacific
Japan19903 full-time174,000(9)
North AmericaAlso have five staff working from their homes in Sonoma California, Chicago, and Boston
The total cost of American and Japanese operations is £565,000 (£391,000 from public and private sector partners)
One NorthEast
Asia Pacific
Japan19742 full-time200,000
Korea19901 x 0.530,000
Taiwan19891 full-time45,000
BrusselsSeptember 199243,000(10)The Agency makes a financial contribution towards the running costs, including staff costs of the North of England Office in Brussels, which is a partnership for the region
50,000(11)The office also receives funding from the North East Regional Assembly
North of England Collaborative Office
North America
(Chicago, Boston(12), Atlanta(12), West Coast)October 200015 full-time(13)500,000Joint operations between; One NorthEast, North West Development Agency and Yorkshire Forward
Official Launch February 2001
Total cost of the Collaborative Office is £1 million. 50 per cent. of costs come from other public and private sector funding
Balance met equally between the three RDAs
Midlands Collaborative US Office
North America
ChicagoOctober 20002 full-time448,000(14)Pre-September 2000 EMDA had office in Virginia at annual cost of £90,000
San DiegoOctober 20002 full-time repsJoint operation between East and West Midlands
PittsburghMay 1992Cost is shared between each RDA
Midlands Collaborative Japanese Office
Asia Pacific
Japan19972 full-time200,000As above
1 part-time
London First Centre
Asia PacificPlease note that London First Centre are a private company limited by guarantee, and they carry out inward investment promotion on behalf of London Development Agency.
North AmericaNo overseas offices, however do use consultants/agents in selected locations
0.5 of two people in Taiwan since 1998, cost £22,500
0.5 of one person in Korea since 1998, cost £7,500
Two agents in USA since 1996, cost £165,000

(8) Regional Assembly contributes 50 per cent. to salary of full-time officer.

(9) Combined cost of American and Japanese operations.

(10) 2000-01

(11) 2001-02

(12) Operations in Boston and Atlanta predate the establishment of the Collaborative Office

(13) Projected

(14) Includes UK seconded staff costs

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6 Mar 2001 : Column: 145W

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