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Anglo-Italian Meetings

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on how many occasions in the last six months members of her Department have met their Italian counterparts; and what subjects were discussed. [56884]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 16 May 2002]: DTI Ministers are regularly in touch with the Italian Government bilaterally and in EU and other multilateral fora on a range of issues. For example, my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Small Business visited Rome in November 2001 where he had meetings with, among others, his Italian opposite number. DTI Ministers meet their Italian counterparts at EU Internal Market, Consumer Affairs and Tourism Councils four times a year and at Industry and Energy Councils, Research Councils, Employment Councils and Telecomms Councils twice a year. Officials are frequently in touch with their Italian counterparts at all levels, on a wide range of subjects.

Confectionery (Safety)

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to her answer of 19 April 2002, Official Report, column 1202W, whether her Department's research considered the incidence of domestic episodes not notified to doctors involving children placing in their mouths small parts from toys embedded in confectionery. [57269]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The research analysed non-fatal and fatal choking cases over a ten-year period (1986–1996) involving children under four years of age who were seen in an A&E department of a hospital participating in my Department's Home Accident Surveillance System. The research also analysed data

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from the Home Accident Death database. It would not be feasible to collect data about every single incident in the UK that does not result in a visit to a hospital A&E department.

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to her answer of 19 April 2002, Official Report, column 1202W, what evidence her Department has collated on the impact embedding a toy within chocolate products has on its odour; and if she will make a statement. [57310]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The manufacturer of the leading brand has provided the Department with research which confirms that the smell of the chocolate does not migrate to the toy because of the capsule contained within the egg.

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to her answer of 19 April 2002, Official Report, column 1203W, what action she intends to take in cases where manufacturers breach DTI safety labelling guidelines. [57309]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Day-to-day enforcement of safety legislation is undertaken by trading standards officers who have the appropriate powers to take action if the necessary labelling is not present.

Energy Review

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received as part of the consultation process on the Government's Performance and Innovation Unit energy review, published on 14 February. [57325]

Mr. Wilson: The Government launched the consultation on energy policy on 14 May, following the publication of the energy review earlier this year. No representations have been received since the launch of the consultation but as work proceeds we shall be posting any replies we receive (unless otherwise requested) and notes of key meetings on the DTI's and DEFRA's websites.


Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her objectives will be when entering discussions with Consignia and the Post Office Ltd. to determine the future of support branches of the Post Office in rural communities. [55287]

Mr. Alexander: Advice from the Postal Services Commission will inform future discussion on support for the rural post office network. The Government are currently considering that advice on transitional financial assistance.

Employment Regulations

Mr. Alan Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make an announcement on the Fixed Term Employees' (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002. [58082]

Alan Johnson: The Fixed Term Employees' (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 will not be coming into force on the 10 July 2002, as intended, since the Employment Bill (which contains the regulation-making power) has not yet received Royal

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Assent. We intend to lay the regulations once the Bill has received Royal Assent and aim to bring them into force on 1 October. This will give businesses and employees ample time to prepare for these new regulations, in line with the Government's better regulation guidelines.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will estimate the annual additional employment costs of work-related regulations introduced since 1997. [55508]

Alan Johnson: Costs and benefits of employment legislation are estimated and published in regulatory impact assessments, which are available in the Libraries of the House. The annual costs to business of employment legislation implemented by the Department since 1997 are estimated to be approximately £5 billion per year. The vast majority of these costs arise through the provision of enhanced terms and conditions of employment.


Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the savings which will arise for each Government Department as a result of the website [51514]

Mr. Leslie: I have been asked to reply. is an architecture on which multiple Government websites can be built and deployed quickly and cheaply without incurring separate hosting costs.

When was refreshed in January 2002, it was built in a modular way so that its components can be offered to Departments and local authorities. To this end, the architecture that supports is now being offered to Departments and local authorities so that they can deploy their web presences more rapidly at reduced cost.

Estimated cost savings are £5 for every £1 spent by each Department using the UK online infrastructure.

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research has been carried out to assess the level of (a) awareness in the population analysed by socio-economic group, (b) usage by the population analysed by socio-economic group, (c) repeat usage by the population and (d) satisfaction of users with respect to the website; and what the findings were. [51559]

Mr. Leslie: I have been asked to reply.

(a) There is no specific piece of research that measures awareness of the website However, the Office of the e-Envoy commissions an annual tracking study to measure the progress of the overall UK online campaign. These results showed that the overall awareness of UK online increased from 33 per cent. to 45 per cent. between January 2001 and February 2002. These results are also available by socio-economic group.

(b) A new statistical analysis solution for was implemented in January 2002. This shows that usage of has risen from 14,000 unique users per week in January peaking at over 80,000 in April. Visits (a series of page views) have likewise increased from 50,000 in January peaking at over 170,000 in April. We do not have this data broken down by socio-economic group.

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(c) The statistical analysis does not cover session cookies, therefore repeat usage figures are not available. However, we closely monitor customer feedback via our customer management programme. A dedicated team has been set up to handle customer queries in real-time and to analyse the feedback from members of the public.


Data Protection Act

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library copies of each version of the internal guidance which have been drawn up by his Department since 1 January 1999 to assist staff in his Department to answer subject access requests under the Data Protection Act 1998. [53390]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office today.


Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has received from the Prime Minister of Nepal during his visit to the UK concerning (a) the future of the Gurkhas in the British Army, and (b) the case made by the Gurkha Army Ex-Serviceman's Organisation for pay and pension equality for Gurkhas who are serving or who have served in the British Army. [57809]

The Prime Minister: I met the Nepalese Prime Minister on Monday 13 May along with my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for International Development and the Minister of State for the Armed Forces. The main focus of our discussions was internal issues in Nepal, and what the UK could do to help. The issue of Gurkha pensions was raised briefly by the Nepalese Prime Minister at the end of the meeting. The Brigade of Gurkhas remains an integral and much valued part of the British Army and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

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