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Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much has been spent by her Department on voice coaching for Ministers and officials in each of the last five years. [48878]

Ms Hewitt: The majority of the Department's training budget is allocated to individual directorates. Each directorate has responsibility for managing, monitoring and evaluating attendance at training events in line with the departmental business and training plans. Disproportionate costs would be incurred to collate the data centrally for the purposes of answering this question.

Construction Industry

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the names of those organisations which have made representations to her about the operation of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. [48757]

Mr. Wilson: Approximately 30 landscape firms, plus the British Association of Landscape Industries, have made representation about the operation of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS).

Representations have also been received about the Major Contractors Group and their policy on the CSCS.


Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to the answers of 11 March 2002, Official Report, column 671W and 10 April 2002, ref 48035, what penalties have been levied on Healthcall for (a) failure to provide reports fit for purpose and (b) reports delivered beyond 28 days targets. [49328]

Mr. Wilson: The Department is unable to comment on the financial details with Healthcall as they are commercially confidential. However, the Department has worked very closely with Healthcall from the start of the scheme to ensure that services are being delivered efficiently and effectively. The proportion of MAP reports returned as "not fit for purpose" is being closely monitored and is falling. The figures in the answer of 11 March referred not just to "not fit for purpose" returns but included also substantive queries on the medical content of the reports.

Rail Safety

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with highway authorities to ensure that contractors accessing pylons under construction are not endangering road bridges over railways. [50031]

Mr. Wilson: I would expect the National Grid Company and its contractors to comply with the requirements of the highway authorities, for whom I am not responsible.

17 Apr 2002 : Column 935W

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many SMEs are operating in Barnsley, East and Mexborough. [49986]

Nigel Griffiths: Within the Barnsley, East and Mexborough constituency there were 1,140 businesses registered for VAT with 1–249 employees in 2000, the latest year for which VAT statistics are available. Local labour force statistics provide an estimate of a further 3,000 self-employed individuals operating with no employees.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many private finance initiative projects have been subject to refinancing after the contracts have been signed; and what has been the financial effect in each case. [50284]

Ms Hewitt: None of my Department's PFI projects has been refinanced.

Construction Quality Mark

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what her Department is doing to make the public aware of the construction Quality Mark; [50013]

Mr. Wilson: I announced on the 12 March 2002, Official Report, column 891W, that the scheme will be rolled out across the country over a 3–4 year period. A Quality Mark Shadow Ownership Group has been set up and, at its first meeting on 19 April, will begin developing a comprehensive implementation strategy and detailed business plan. An announcement about the next stages of the roll out is expected after the first meeting.

The DTI is working with a number of reputable trade bodies to fast-track their members into the Quality Mark scheme. Following recommendations in the pilot review, the scheme will be developing recruitment mechanisms, including subsidised registration costs, until a critical mass has been achieved.

The DTI is also working with local authorities, financial services groups, consumer groups and others to promote the scheme to tradesmen and encourage the participation of the latter wherever possible.

The national launch of the Quality Mark at the Ideal Home Show produced extensive television and radio coverage and articles in regional newspapers. The scheme is already being marketed successfully to consumers in Birmingham and Somerset through a variety of media, including Yellow Pages and Thomsons directories, household leaflet distribution with advertising and editorial coverage in a number of local papers and radio stations. Further targeted marketing will follow in new areas once sufficient numbers of builders and tradesmen are registered.

There has been considerable interest from firms operating outside of the existing Quality Mark regions in England, Wales and Scotland. In these cases we have advised (and we will continue to advise) firms that there is nothing to stop them applying for the scheme.

17 Apr 2002 : Column 936W

Pay Gap

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make it her practice to collect and publish data relating to the pay gap between men and women by constituency. [45862]

Alan Johnson: The Office for National Statistics publishes data on the pay gap between men and women in the New Earnings Survey. However, in the case of some constituencies, the data is not sufficiently reliable for publication.

Current trends in women's individual incomes have been explored in two studies published last year by the Women and Equality Unit (WEU). Copies of these reports are available on the WEU website.

WEU Gender Briefing, which provides statistical briefing on the position of women compared with men in the labour market, is also available on the website.

There are no plans to commission further research into the gender pay gap by constituency.

Scroby Sands Offshore Generating Station

Mr. Anthony D. Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she will announce her decision on Powergen Renewable Offshore Wind Ltd.'s application to build a 76 MW offshore generating station at Scroby Sands, off Great Yarmouth. [51287]

Mr. Wilson: I have today granted consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 to Powergen Renewables Offshore Wind Ltd. for the construction and operation of a 76 megawatt offshore windfarm at Scroby Sands, off Great Yarmouth.

This development marks a significant step forward for the wind industry. It is the first offshore windfarm development to be approved from the 18 potential sites identified by developers who successfully pre-qualified last year for Crown Estate seabed leases. Offshore wind in the UK can make a major contribution to climate change objectives, to secure electricity supplies, and to our economic well being through job creation and exports. I am very pleased that this potential is beginning to be realised.

Copies of the Press Notice and the decision letter and consent are being placed in the Libraries of the House.


Project Sponsorship

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which of his Department's projects have received sponsorship since 1997, including (a) details of the sponsor, (b) the nature of the project, (c) the date of the project, (d) the total cost of the project and (e) the amount of money involved in the sponsorship deal. [48395]

17 Apr 2002 : Column 937W

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 11 April 2002]: In line with the Government's commitment in their response to the sixth report from the Committee on Standards in Public Life, it is the Department's intention to publish details of individual amounts of sponsorship valued at more than £5,000 concurrently with the departmental performance report.

Press Office

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total cost of running the Department's press office was in (a) 1996–97 and (b) the latest year for which figures are available. [46803]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 10 April 2002]: Figures for 1996–97 are not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. For financial year 2001–02, the cost of running the Ministry of Defence's central press office was £981,000.

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many press officers there were in his Department on (a) 1 May 1997 and (b) the latest available date. [46890]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 10 April 2002]: Information for 1 May 1997 is no longer available.

As at 15 April 2002, the Ministry of Defence's Corporate Communications division employed 20 press officers in its headquarters press office and in its regional network. In addition, Defence agencies, the permanent joint headquarters and the single service commands and units also employ personnel with a press officer function, some as a secondary task to their main role.

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