|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
The Department collects disability data on a voluntary basis. The information tabulated as
11 Nov 2004 : Column 833W
follows is extracted from our personnel records database and gives the position in DTI Headquarters as at 31 December 2003 respectively:
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many new electricity pylons are planned to be constructed in (a) the Vale of York and (b) North Yorkshire in (i) 2004, (ii) 2005 and (iii) 2006. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government do not have this data as they do not centrally plan the electricity network. It is a matter for the network operators to bring forward proposals as the need arises and these will be subject to appropriate scrutiny under section 37 of the Electricity Act 1989.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Under grounding new power lines is very much more expensive than putting them overhead, particularly at higher voltages and this may be reflected in electricity prices to the consumer. Technological developments are unlikely to change that equation in the immediate future. The network companies concerned will consider representations to underground all or part of proposed overhead line developments in working up the details of their proposals, and it is possible that underground cables may be appropriate in certain circumstances. But expectations must be realistic.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the reasons are for the removal of the Register of Employment Tribunal Applications from the public domain via the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004; and what representations she has received from (a) trade unions and (b) legal professionals on the subject. 
The Government carried out a full and open consultation on the future of the public register, as part of a wider public consultation, between December 2003 and March 2004, on reform of the employment tribunal regulations and rules of procedure. The Government response summarising the outcome of that exercise was published in July 2004. It noted that the balance of views among key stakeholders was that the register's advantagesin terms of freedom of information and access to sources of advice and support that the parties might not otherwise know to approachwere outweighed by its significant disadvantages. The disadvantages cited included compromising the privacy
11 Nov 2004 : Column 834W
of the parties, and leaving them open to receiving numerous unwelcome, and in some cases misleading approaches from "ambulance chasers". Evidence of such approaches was provided by some consultees.
Many consultees, including the TUC, individual unions and a number of employment law firms, favoured complete abolition of the register. There were concerns that the register was used for blacklisting purposes. There was, however, support expressed by some for the retention of the aspect of the register recording judgments. This was considered to be useful for monitoring purposes, and to ensure that there continued to be a public record of judgments reached in the tribunals.
The Government decided, in the light of the consultation responses, and having given further careful consideration to the matter, that pre-judgment details of claimants and respondents should no longer be entered on the public register, but that judgments should continue to be recorded. This decision was implemented in the new regulations, which came into effect on 1 October 2004.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many times during the Greek presidency of the EU the Standing Committee on the harmonisation of national legislation on cableway installations designed to carry passengers met; when and where these meetings took place; which UK Government expert was present at each meeting; what (a) technical and (b) financial issues were raised by the UK Government expert at each meeting; what recommendations the Committee produced during that period; what actions were (i) proposed and (ii) taken by the (A) EU and (B) UK Government as a result of the Committee's recommendations; and if she will make a statement. 
The European Community directive 2000/9/EC, which introduced common standards for the construction and putting into service of cableway systems designed to carry persons has been implemented in the UK by the Cableway Installations Regulations 2004, which came into force on 3 May 2004.
Details of developments during the Greek presidency can be found in Cm6097 "Developments in the European Union, January to June 2003, the Greek Presidency" which was laid before Parliament in January 2004 and is available at www.fco.gov.uk/commandpapers.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make it her policy to ensure that all hospitality within her Department is sourced from fair trade producers wherever possible within the boundaries set by the public procurement rules. 
Ms Hewitt: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answers given to him and the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) on the policy adopted for the use of fair-trade products in hospitality on 15 December 2003, Official Report, column 641W, 1 November 2004, Official Report, column 88W and 4 November 2004, Official Report, columns 36263W.
It is departmental policy to include the promotion of and use of fair trade products within our contracted hospitality, including tea, coffee, drinking chocolate, orange juice, cereal snack bars and sugar.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what assessment her Department has made of the impact of the recent rise in the cost of wholesale gas on the competitiveness of British companies; and what steps she plans to take to minimise this impact; 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Historically, industrial gas prices in Great Britain have been at or among the lowest in the EU. Although it is too early for official comparative data to be available, gas industry sources and intelligence indicate that wholesale gas prices have also increased (under the influence of higher oil prices) in continental Europe. A recent report by Oxford Economic Research Associates shows that the UK had the most competitive energy markets in the EU and G7 in 2002, and provisionally also for 2003. (The report is on the DTI website at www.dti.gov.uk/energy/gas_and_electricity/competitiveness_structure/index.shtm.l.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: My Department has been encouraging the European Commission to use its existing competition powers to the full extent to ensure timely progress towards a liberalised and competitive EU energy (gas and electricity) market.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received regarding cost increases to the glass container industry as a consequence of new emissions limits. 
Jacqui Smith: Over the past year my Department has received a number of representations from the glass container industry about cost increases and other issues arising from new emissions limits, particularly in relation to CO 2 . This has included contact with Ministers at plant visits, in ministerial correspondence and at meetings at official level.
Mr. Bill O'Brien:
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what advice and assistance her Department has given to the glass container industry
11 Nov 2004 : Column 836W
on (a) closure of plants in recent years and (b) challenges facing the industry; and if she will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: In August 2002 the Department commissioned the British Glass Manufacturers Confederation to examine the requirements for a full scale competitiveness study of glass manufacturing and manufacturing sectors.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|