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Advantage West Midlands

22. David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions she has had with Advantage West Midlands about promoting Telford as a business location. [52022]

Alan Johnson: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has met recently the board of Advantage West Midlands, to discuss region-wide issues such as manufacturing and the region's proposal to become a manufacturing beacon; clearly this will have an impact on Telford.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and other DTI Ministers also attend frequent meetings of the RDA chairs, including Advantage West Midlands, where a wide range of issues is discussed, including its broadband and technology cluster proposals.

Energywatch

23. Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures she has put in place to monitor the effectiveness of Energywatch. [52023]

Ms Hewitt: Energywatch is subject to formal and informal in-year monitoring by DTI. The impact that Energywatch has had and the benefits it has delivered against its main aims are measured against its performance indicators. The indicators for 2001–02 were published in 2001 in the document "Measuring Up", and Energywatch's performance against them will be set out in its annual report for 2001–02. Those for 2002–03 are included in the document "What We Plan To Do, Year 2", Energywatch's forward work programme for 2002–03.

Energy

24. Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when her Department will respond to the performance and innovation unit report on future energy provisions. [52024]

Ms Hewitt: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given earlier today to the hon. Member for Vale of York (Miss McIntosh).

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Corporate Social Responsibility

25. Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of companies have adopted corporate social responsibility policies; and if she will make a statement. [52026]

Mr. Alexander: There is no single measure for the proportion of companies that have adopted corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies. However, 76 per cent. of FTSE 100 companies currently publish information on their social, human rights and environmental performance. In addition, 83 per cent. of companies that feature in the FTSE all-share index are now represented in the FTSE 4Good indices, which reflect the performance on equities regarded as socially responsible.

It is currently estimated that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) make a social contribution of up to £3 billion per annum.

The Government will publish their second report on CSR on 14 May, which is designed to drive forward the CSR agenda and encourage more businesses to initiate their own CSR policies.

Digital Broadcasting

26. Mrs. Lawrence: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures she is taking to guarantee the future of all three platforms for delivery of digital broadcasting. [52028]

Mr. Alexander: The Digital Television Action Plan sets out a wide range of tasks to be undertaken by Government and stakeholders in order to achieve our aim for the UK to have the most dynamic and competitive market for digital TV in the G7, and to enable us to meet the criteria set for the switchover from analogue to digital terrestrial transmissions. The action plan is based on our commitment to enabling consumers to have a choice, wherever possible, of the means by which they access their digital services. Where Government have a principal role to play, as in ensuring that the digital terrestrial platform has sufficient spectrum available to it to enable it to compete effectively, we will do so. However, it is up to the broadcasters and others involved in the provision of digital television services to make the most of what each platform can offer.

Coal Aid Scheme

Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has held with EU partners about a replacement coal aid scheme. [52008]

Ms Hewitt: This issue was discussed at the last Energy Council on 5 December last year, attended by my hon Friend the Minister of State for Industry and Construction. There have since been a number of discussions, at official level, in the Council Energy Working Group.

BCCI

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the meeting between the hon. Member for Leicester, East and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary at her Department on 17 April concerning BCCI. [51564]

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Miss Melanie Johnson: I met my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East together with Mr. Clarke, Mr. Malik and Mr. Qayyum on 17 April to discuss the progress of the liquidation of Bank of Credit and Commerce International SA. I am grateful to my hon. Friend and his colleagues for bringing me up to date with their concerns.

National Insurance

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will estimate the cost in the next 12 months of the Budget changes to employers' national insurance contributions to (a) her Department, (b) agencies of her Department and (c) local government carrying out functions within the responsibility of her Department, (d) industry, (e) manufacturing industry, (f) aerospace industries, (g) small businesses and (h) self-employed people. [52081]

Ms Hewitt: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary on 29 April 2002, Official Report, column 544W.

Scientific Research

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on her action to promote scientific research in the UK, with special reference to research and development spending, training, investment and independent advice. [52547]

Ms Hewitt: Scientific research lies at the heart of this Government's policies to stimulate innovation and economic development, and to improve the quality of life. The Science and Innovation White Paper—"Excellence and Opportunity: A science and innovation policy for the 21st century"—was published in July 2000. It set out our strategy for building on the UK's record of scientific excellence, and for ensuring that outputs from scientific research are harnessed in innovative products and services that will yield economic and social benefits for the people of the UK.

The following are among the actions we are taking to promote scientific research in the UK:


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Business Contacts

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what occasions in the last 12 months she has lobbied in other countries in support of specific contracts; and with what results. [53957]

Ms Hewitt: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on 26 April 2002, Official Report, column 490W.

BP

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in what work Mr. Bob Saunders will be involved at her Department while on secondment from BP. [52159]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 29 April 2002]: Mr. Saunders will work in Oil and Gas Directorate and will deal with downstream oil industry issues. The specific duties include contributing to policy development and briefing on the downstream oil sector including questions of security of supply, fuel quality, air and water quality and fuelling of vehicles in the longer term.

The secondment will be subject to contractual terms and conditions, including provisions on avoidance of conflict of interest.


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