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Regional Development Agencies

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the board memberships for each regional development agency; whom she has consulted as representatives of local authorities whose areas fall within the agency's area before making the appointments to the board for each regional development agency; against what criteria applicants to the board of regional development agencies were judged; and what representations she has received concerning her appointments of the board members of regional development agencies. [58388]

Alan Johnson: In accordance with the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998, representatives of employers, employees, local authorities and those who live, work or carry out rural issues are consulted before appointments are made to the RDA boards. All stakeholders are consulted on all appointments.

RDA appointments are made in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner of Public Appointments' Code of Practice. The selection criteria are drawn up for each round of appointments. I have placed in the library of the House the Information for Candidates for the last two apointments rounds, which includes the job specifications. There have been many replies to the various appointments rounds and details of these cannot be produced except at disproportionate cost.

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Linda Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will publish the fireworks injury statistics for 2001; and if she will make a statement. [42754]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The total number of persons recorded as attending hospital casualty departments in Great Britain during the 2001 bonfire night period was 1362. This represents an increase of 40 per cent on the previous year's total of 972. There were no deaths in the 2001 Bonfire period but we are aware of one death occurring outside the recording period.

The increase in recorded accidents causes great concerns. We continue to do all we can to promote safety and to prevent misuse of fireworks.

I am arranging for copies of the injury figures together with the analytical and regional tables to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses as well as on the DTI website:


Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for what reason the proposed transposition of the EU e-commerce Directive into UK law, as set out in the Government's consultation document, is materially different from the form of transposition adopted by Germany. [54877]

Mr. Alexander: The aim of transposition is to reproduce faithfully the meaning of a Directive in—and in accordance with the practice of—national legislation. Member States may therefore adopt different wording in order to achieve the same effect and often do so. Whatever the textual differences, the Government's understanding is that the German legislation transposing the E-Commerce Directive has the same intention as the draft UK Regulations on which public consultation closed on 2 May. The Government is now considering whether the wording of the UK Regulations giving effect to that intention can be improved.

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received from (a) the e-envoy and (b) the Cabinet Office with regard to the implementation of the EU e-commerce Directive. [54878]

Mr. Alexander: The Department has worked closely with all branches of Government, including the Office of the e-Envoy and the Cabinet Office, in formulating its approach to, and proposals for, implementing the E-Commerce Directive and will continue to do so in finalising those proposals in the light of responses to the recent public consultation.

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of the world's electronic commerce business was conducted in Britain, (a) in March 2000 and (b) at the latest date for which figures are available. [57553]

Mr. Alexander: We have been unable to locate official statistics through ONS, OECD (or any other international group) that would allow a comparison between the UK and global levels of e-commerce value.

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Sandra Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the consultancies which have been commissioned by Consignia in each of the last three years, their remit and their cost. [55588]

Mr. Alexander: Under the commercial freedoms model enshrined in the Postal Services Act 2000, this is a commercial matter for the company.

Dartford Parcelforce Depot

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the decision of Consignia to close the Dartford Parcelforce Depot. [57111]

Mr. Alexander: Parcelforce Worldwide is losing £15 million per month. Despite investment of around £200 million in recent years, Consignia has failed to turn its parcels operation around and a new approach was needed to restructure and re-position the business. Closure of Dartford depot in August will result in business moving to a nearby facility in Charlton.

The loss of jobs as a result of restructuring is regrettable. The company will offer as many as possible of those affected the option of continued employment with a different part of the business or a voluntary redundancy package.

The decision to restructure Parcelforce was taken by the Board of Consignia. The Government accepts that action is necessary to stem the company's losses. Undertaking this action is a commercial matter for the Board of Consignia.

Nuclear Safety

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry who from her Department attended the Oslo Meeting from 6–8 May on nuclear accidents; and if she will make a statement. [56129]

Mr. Wilson: No-one from my Department attended the meeting. Representatives from the UK Competent Authorities (DTI and DEFRA) under the International Atomic Energy Agency's Early Notification and Assistance Conventions were invited but were unable to attend owing to prior commitments and the need to prepare for a UK national exercise. The meeting in Oslo was a follow-up meeting to one held in June 2001 which was attended by UK representatives. Officials in DTI and DEFRA will be informed of the proceedings in due course.

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the basis and outcome of the ISIS nuclear emergency exercise held in May. [57981]

Mr. Wilson: Exercise Isis was held on 10 May 2002 based on a simulated emergency at Bradwell Power Station. This was part of an ongoing programme of regular off-site exercises for civil nuclear installations. These test the off-site facility for each site, in this case based at Essex Police HQ in Chelmsford, and involve a wide range of local and national agencies. As this was the National (level 3) exercise for 2002/03, this also tested

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the various government departments at their headquarters. The exercise tested the response to an event with off-site consequences wider than those usually tested.

Preliminary indications are that this was a successful and worthwhile exercise. It is too early to comment in detail, as the process of collecting the considered comments of all participating organisations is still ongoing. As with all such exercises, the lessons will be fully evaluated and taken forward in future planning.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the recent international convention on nuclear safety; which members of her Department attended it; what was discussed; and what conclusions were reached. [58536]

Mr. Wilson: Officials from my Department and from the Health and Safety Executive attended the second Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties of the Convention on Nuclear Safety held in Vienna from 15–26 April 2002.

The purpose of the meeting was to review the national reports of the Contracting Parties, which focused on the measures they have taken to implement the obligations of the Convention. The United Kingdom presented its report at the meeting, as did other Contracting Parties, and each report was subject to questions and debate by the Contracting Parties.

Discussion of country reports during the review meeting is confidential. However, a Summary Report of the meeting, including conclusions and recommendations, is available on the IAEA website Publication of country reports is at the discretion of each Contracting Party. The United Kingdom's National Report and the reports of other Contracting Parties can be found on this site.

Confectionery (Safety)

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to her answer of 19 April 2002, Offical Report, column 1202W, whether her Department has received a report by RoSPA on the safety of confectionery products containing toys. [57296]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The department received the RoSPA Report in May 2002.

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