|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2002, Official Report, columns 182 and 184W, on stolen equipment, whether the computer equipment stolen from his Department was (a) new and unused and (b) used; and what was the nature of the data stored on such items in each case. 
Dr. Whitehead: The information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. It is the policy of the Department that thefts of computer equipment should be reported to the police. The Department also records such thefts in the Incident Reporting and Alert Scheme (UNIRAS) at the National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre (NISCC) and encourages its agencies to do likewise.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the cost was to his Department and its predecessor of management consultants in (a) 199798 and (b) 200001. 
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what impact (a) the Support for Maritime Training Scheme and (b) the Tonnage Tax have had on the training and employment of British seafarers, and by what performance indicators that impact is measured. 
Mr. Jamieson: Since the introduction of the Support for Maritime Training scheme (SMarT) in 1998, approximately 480 cadets a year have received training under the scheme. The forecast for the financial year 200102 is 500. In addition a significant of seafarers were also involved in gaining second Certificates of Competency or revalidations.
To date, 58 groups of companies, including the 50 approved by the Inland Revenue for entry into tonnage tax, have received approval by the DTLR of their training commitments. This equates to about 508 training places.
20 Mar 2002 : Column 346W
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions by what means nominations were sought for places on harbour boards on the Isle of Wight; how many appointments he has made to such bodies since 1997; who the appointees were; and what were their terms of office. 
Ms Keeble [pursuant to her reply, 14 March 2002, c. 1203W]: my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is not responsible for any appointments to harbour boards on the Isle of Wight. Vacancies on the boards of trust ports are advertised in the local and regional press.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the terms and conditions of foreign seafarers being switched to the red ensign under the tonnage tax scheme. 
Mr. Jamieson: For ships joining the UK Shipping Register the Maritime and Coastguard Agency checks crew agreements to ensure that they comply with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention on articles of agreement, and also comply with relevant UK Merchant Shipping legislation. Guidance is set out in Marine Guidance Note 148.
Mr. Jamieson: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has disposed of 28 properties, including cottages, redundant garages and small parcels of land since 1997. The total receipts from the sales came to £500,000.
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what investigations his Department has carried out following the two fishing boat accidents in the Irish sea on 31 January and 14 February; what the results have been of those investigations; and what further action will be taken to ensure that action plans are in place in fishing ports to address similar accidents in the future. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) was informed that the first fishing vessel had had an accident on 30 January and initiated an investigation the following day. The branch became aware that the second fishing vessel was missing on 15 February and, using an inspector who happened to be in Northern Ireland at the time progressing the first investigation, initiated inquiries the same day.
Both investigations are on-going. The MAIB aims to publish accident reports within nine months of the event. There is every expectation this will be achieved in the first accident but may well be longer in the second as there has been no sign of the missing vessel since she sailed. Without any direct evidence to explain what occurred, the investigation is likely to take longer.
20 Mar 2002 : Column 347W
The MAIB investigates about 3 per cent. of all accidents reported to it. When the decision has been taken to carry one out, inspectors will take whatever action they consider most suitable in the circumstances. This process has stood the test of time and there are no plans to make any substantial changes to the existing arrangements. All investigations result in a report being made publicly available.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the operation of EU state aid rules on the encouragement of national flag shipping and seafarer employment. 
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on how EC state aid can be released to benefit regeneration initiatives in renewal areas. 
Ms Keeble: Nearly £130 million of European funding has this week been awarded to large scale regeneration projects in the West Midlands with a further £33 million earmarked for projects in Staffordshire and the north Black Country, once proposals can be worked up.
Regeneration projectsdrawn up by local authorities, Advantage West Midlands and various local partnershave been clustered together into "packages", to ensure a co-ordinated, strategic approach to the regeneration of the West Midlands.
Two of the packagesfor the north Black Country/south Staffordshire and for north Staffordshirehave had £16.5 million and £16.9 million earmarked for them respectively, while RDA Advantage West Midlands and consultants working on behalf of GOWM help the partnerships get the proposals into final shape.
Mr. Jamieson: The Government recognise that operators in the short sea trades are at a disadvantage compared with those in the deep sea sector. They are, therefore, considering a proposal by the industry for a short sea shipping employment grant to encourage employment in the short sea sector.
20 Mar 2002 : Column 348W
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment has been made of the effects of introducing a short sea shipping employment grant. 
Mr. Jamieson: Ministers have considered a proposal for the introduction of short sea shipping employment grant. The parties involved have been requested to forward more information on how such a grant would help to generate more UK seafarer employment.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the need to extend seafarer income tax concessions and the crew relief cash scheme. 
Mr. Jamieson: Seafarer income tax concessions are a matter for the Chancellor. We are committed to extending the crew relief costs scheme to cover European ports. This will be implemented by legislation when parliamentary time is available.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|