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30 Oct 2002 : Column 850W—continued


Departmental Websites

Dr. Cable: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the website links associated with his Department, including sites now dormant or closed, and indicating whether they are live, dormant or closed; what the start up costs were for each site listed; what the operating costs were in each year since start up for each site; which company hosted each site; what assessment takes place for each site; which company does the assessment; if he will place the assessment reports in the Library; and if he will make a statement. [75585]

The Prime Minister: The current 10 Downing Street website" was launched in February 2000 at an initial cost of #75,000, hosted in-house. The running costs in each subsequent financial year are as follows: #185,000 (2000–01), #187,000 (2001–02).

The number of page impressions and visitor sessions that the site received is monitored weekly in-house and usage statistics are published on the site ( The 10 Downing Street website received 3,268,240 visitor sessions and 46,379,169 page impressions last year.

Two other sites—" and"—were launched in July 2000 at an initial cost of #55,000, hosted by Peasy Ltd. The running costs in each subsequent financial year were as follows:

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#11,750 (2000–01) and #28,500 (2001–02). Both sites are currently being incorporated into the main Downing Street website.

Special Envoys

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list those persons who, since 1 May 1997, have acted as a non-official special envoy on his behalf in countries outside the UK. [77684]

The Prime Minister: As has been the practice for previous Administrations, if it is helpful to the UK Government individuals may be asked to carry messages or undertake particular tasks on behalf of the Prime Minister or the Foreign Secretary. We do not maintain a record of such occasions.

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the visits undertaken since 11 March by Lord Levy in his capacity as special envoy, giving in each case the dates of the visit, the persons met, and the purpose of the visit. [77800]

The Prime Minister: In his capacity as the Prime Minister's envoy, Lord Levy has travelled overseas to exchange views on the Middle East peace process with a range of contacts since 11 March.

Lord Levy visited Israel between 22 and 24 March and 15 and 17 July. He met Israeli contacts including Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Defence Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, President Moshe Katsav, Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee Haim Ramon, and Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg. Lord Levy also met US Envoy General Anthony Zinni and US State Department Senior Advisor for Israeli-Arab Negotiations Aaron Miller while he was in Israel in March.

Meetings also took place on both of these visits with Palestinian Authority leadership including President Yasser Arafat, Sa'eb Erekat, Mohammed Rashid, Mohammed Dahlan and Jibril Rajoub.

Between 7 and 9 July Lord Levy visited Morocco and met King Mohammed VI. He also met King Mohammed's advisor Andre Azoulay, Foreign Minister Mohammed Benaissa, and Deputy Foreign Minister Taib Fassi-Fehri.

On 17 and 18 July Lord Levy visited Egypt. He met President Mubarek, Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa and Presidential Advisor Dr. Osama al-Baz.


Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Ian Lucas: To ask the Solicitor General on how many occasions the CPS has (a) prosecuted and (b) declined to prosecute an offender for breach of an antisocial behaviour order in 2002. [76681]

The Solicitor-General [holding answer 28 October 2002]: A breach of an antisocial behaviour order is a criminal offence. The CPS is responsible for the review and conduct of such cases. In considering the decision to

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prosecute, Crown Prosecutors apply the evidential and public interest tests as set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

The CPS holds no central records in respect of particular offences. The information is held on individual case files, and could only be obtained by examining each relevant file in every CPS office: the costs of this exercise would be prohibitive.


Air Industry Levy

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much levy was received by the Government in financial years (a) 1998–99; (b) 1999–00 and (c) 2000–01 in respect of (i) the Airbus A320 Launch Aid, (ii) the Airbus A330/340 Launch Aid, (iii) RB211–535 aeroengine, (iv) V2500 aeroengine, (v) EH101 helicopter and (vi) Lear 45 executive jet; and if she will make a statement. [77901]

Alan Johnson: Unfortunately the Government cannot disclose the levies received by programme, as the information is commercially confidential and market sensitive under Exemption 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Public Information. However, I can provide the total levies received for those programmes for the financial years requested. These are as follows:

Financial YearTotal levies received for A320, A330, RB211–535, V2500, EH101
1998–99#152.4 million
1999–00#187.2 million
2000–01#130.9 million

Airbus 340

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much the Government has invested, broken down by financial year, in British Aerospace plc for development of the new airbus A340–500/600 wing; and if she will make a statement. [77904]

Alan Johnson: The Government did not invest in the Airbus A340–500/600 wing programme.

Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she expects solicitors dealing with mining and compensation claims to have received the chronic bronchitis and emphysema pensions model on computer disc. [77974]

Mr. Wilson: The Department issued a spreadsheet based pensions calculator to claimants'

representatives on computer disc in June 2002, as an interim measure to assist solicitors. The spreadsheet is also available on the website.

An enhanced pensions model is being developed and is currently undergoing comprehensive testing. Such testing is necessary to ensure that the model is calculating damages correctly before it is issued to claimants' representatives.

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The Department is liaising with the Coordinating Solicitors Group on both the testing and the plans for issuing it once testing is complete. It is currently planned to release the model in stages-and we expect that the first phase will be released by the end of the year, subject to resolution of certain outstanding issues.

The pensions model is a complex piece of software and a number of parties are involved in the test and issue process. It is not possible to exactly predict when the complete model will be available, as further problems may be identified during the remaining period of testing that could require fixing before final release.

Cleaner Vehicles Task Force

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much financial assistance has been given to the Cleaner Vehicles Task Force in each of the last five years; what future support is planned in the next two years; when the Task Force is next due to report; what assessment has taken place of the effectiveness of the Task Force; and if she will make a statement. [78265]

Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply.

My Department and the Department of Trade and Industry provided secretariat support to the Cleaner Vehicles Task Force (CVTF) and we jointly funded the publication of the Task Force's various reports. The final report of the CVTF "The Way Forward", was published in June 2000 containing a range of recommendations for Government, industry and others on encouraging the production and introduction of cleaner vehicles and fuels. The Government published a formal response to these recommendations in December 2000 (Cm4932) as well as providing a further update on progress in March 2002. Copies of these documents are available in the Libraries of the House.

Hydrogen Technologies

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether her Department has sponsored research into the possible contribution of nuclear energy to the creation of hydrogen to power fuel cells. [77235]

Mr. Wilson: The Department is not currently sponsoring specific research into the possible contribution of nuclear energy to the creation of hydrogen to power fuel cells. We are, however, actively investing in sustainable hydrogen technologies through industrial research and development on fuel cells via the DTI Advanced Fuel Cells Programme. This is worth approximately #2 million per year. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is investing in fundamental research into sustainable hydrogen technologies at approximately #3 million over four years (through the SUPERGEN initiative) and also in fuel cell technology through generic mechanisms (approximately #500,000 per year).

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what evaluation she has made of options available to introduce hydrogen-based fuel for transport. [77236]

Mr. Wilson: Hydrogen can be generated via a number of routes and may be used in modified internal combustion engines or fuel cells to power vehicles. The

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forthcoming Energy White Paper will discuss the prospective use of hydrogen and fuel cell technology in transport, industrial and other stationary applications.

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